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Decoy (Ned Yorke)
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About the Author

Dudley Bernard Egerton Pope was born in 1925 into an ancient Cornish seafaring family. He joined the Merchant Navy at the age of sixteen and spent much of his early life at sea. He was torpedoed during the Second World War and resulting spinal injuries plagued him for the rest of his life. Towards the end of the war Pope turned to journalism, becoming the Naval and Defence Correspondent for the 'London Evening News'. At this time he also researched naval history and in time became an authority on the Napoleonic era and Nelson's exploits, resulting in several well received volumes, especially on the Battles of Copenhagen and Trafalgar. Encouraged by Hornblower creator CS Forester, he also began writing fiction using his own experiences in the Navy and his extensive historical research as a basis. In 1965, he wrote 'Ramage', the first of his highly successful series of novels following the exploits of the heroic 'Lord Nicholas Ramage' during the Napoleonic Wars. Another renowned series is centred on 'Ned Yorke', a buccaneer in the seventeenth century Caribbean and then with a descendant following the 'Yorke' family naval tradition when involved in realistic secret operations during the Second World War. Dudley Pope lived aboard boats whenever possible, along with his wife and daughter, and this was where he wrote the majority of his novels. Most of his adult life was spent in the Caribbean and in addition to using the locale for fictional settings he also wrote authoritatively on naval history of the region, including a biography of the buccaneer Sir Henry Morgan. He died in 1997 aged seventy one. 'The first and still favourite rival to Hornblower' - Daily Mirror

Reviews

With a mass of revealing period detail, much action and irreverent humor, Pope here goes above and beyond most World War II thrillers. In the dark winter of 19411942, Lieut. Commander Ned Yorke is ordered, by Churchill no less, to obtain a new Enigma machine and its Hydra cipher from the Germans. The British have the older, Mark II, Enigma, but only a Mark III will enable them to monitor German U-boat wireless messages, a crucial element in the Battle of the Atlantic. Yorke assembles a couple of chums and 20 hands for a daring escapade: as apparent shipwreck survivors they're picked up in the North Atlantic by a U-boat, then overpower its crew and take it over, along with its new Enigma. Their initial success is marred, however, by lack of radio transmission and the real danger, and many adventures, are encountered on their voyage back to Britain. Pope is best known for his swashbuckling Ramage novels but he certainly knows his way around World War II. December 16

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