The Good Shepherd, by C.S. Forester
From the creator of Horatio Hornblower comes this outstanding novel of World War II. The Good Shepherd is the story of an American sea captain in charge of bringing a convoy of ships from the United States to Britain during the early day’s of America’s entry into the war. Challenged by a ruthlessly efficient German U-boat fleet, Captain Krause has a vital mission, to say the least, as Britain’s very survival is dependent on such convoys making it through. Krause is aware that the outcome of the war is very much in doubt, and he must bring to bear all the skills he has learned in a career forged largely in peacetime. Krause is more than a little reminiscent of another memorable seafaring literary creation: the abovementioned Hornblower – highly intelligent, introspective, and wracked by self-doubts. Author C.S. Forester masterfully conveys how Krause continuously must make tough decisions based on imperfect information, often low-quality ships and equipment, and subordinates who often execute his orders imperfectly. He must take all these factors into account, and how he manages to do this makes for a fine, satisfying tale. The career problems that Krause has faced earlier add a sufficient melancholy ingredient to the story, without being overly done. Forester always succeeded when he set out to write a novel of naval adventure, and The Good Shepherd is no exception.
Captain Krause provides a great study in leadership. Operating under the duress of a particularly perilous and problem-fraught mission, he is grace under pressure personified, and a stellar example for an officer.
Format: Paperback, 320 pages
Pub. Date: July 2001
Publisher: Simon Publications
Other Formats: Hardcover, Audiobook