Title: Force 10 from Navarone
Author: Alistair MacLean
MacLean, Alistair (1968). Force 10 from Navarone. Garden City, NY: Doubleday
Date Updated: June 7, 2015
In Force 10 from Navarone, Alistair Maclean reunites us with the three main characters from The Guns of Navarone just after the completion of their desperate commando mission in the Greek Isles of WW II. However, there is no rest for the exhausted heroes, who are promptly launched on another mission by their boss in the British Special Operations Executive.
Reinforced by a group of young British Commandos, the new team is parachuted into Nazi-occupied Yugoslavia and right into the midst of a three way conflict between the Germans and several Yugoslav factions, the strongest being the Partisans, who are also engaged in a civil war. The team’s mission is to traverse the war-torn country, navigating between the warring factions, and destroy a huge dam that is the key to a planned German offensive.
The heroes from Navarone are world-weary, and wary, warriors compared to the young and enthusiastic commandos with whom they are teamed, but all will have to pull together if they are to survive a series of betrayals and mishaps. Maclean has provided a typically twisted plot that produces surprises and suspense to the very end. Maclean’s excellent and sardonic dialogue is matched with a good sense of place for war-torn Yugoslavia. This novel is infinitely more entertaining than the movie of the same title starring Harrison Ford and Robert Shaw, with which it shares not a whole lot more than a title. It’s one of Maclean’s better books, much better than his later near disasters.