Westbound, Warbound by Alexander Fullerton
Andy Holt, is a 20-year-old 3rd Mate in the PollyAnna carrying coal in the South Atlantic to be off-loaded, before picking up a cargo of iron ore. There are rumours of German raiders in the area which are confirmed when the seamen come across what's left of a boat and its crew, in a rapid state of decomposition. Andy's vessel is onward bound via Calcutta and her whorehouses, to Montevideo, a neutral port, all the while wary of a particular German warship, the Graf Spee, which is picking off British naval vessels. But as the PollyAnna leaves Montevideo and heads for Vitoria, who should turn up in the former but the Graf Spee herself. It transpires that a German ship in the same port is holding British prisoners, and some of the locals are reputed Nazis. The skipper is unable to get hold of the ambassador and so takes matters into his own hands. He takes the decent if rash option of ramming the German ship in the dead of night, sending Andy and others across to free the prisoners, one of whom is a charming young lady. Westbound, Warbound is Alexander Fullerton on top form - a gripping historical novel adventure of utter authenticity.