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Dick Avery was a captain in the Merchant Navy. He'd sailed with some of the best - and worst - ships and crews on the seven seas. He reckoned he'd seen it all.

That was before he took command of Old Rusty, an ancient tub with a crew made up of drunks, brawlers and raw seamen of every nationality.

When Dick left Gibraltar he didn't fancy his chances of ever seeing England again.

But then they ran into a German U-boat, and he wouldn't have swapped that ship or that crew for the best in the Royal Navy!

Introduction

Although veteran artist Ian Kennedy is renowned for his superlative aircraft (and spacecraft) illustration, this cover shows that, naturally enough, he is equally adept at drawing ships and submarines too.

This behemoth of a painting really sets the scene for the wonderful maritime adventure that follows. For me, it's like The Dirty Dozen at Sea - chock full of memorable characters and action set pieces.

Many thanks to reader Yasmin Akbar for suggesting that Old Rusty should set sail once more.

Scott Montgomery, Deputy Editor

Note: Originally published as Commando No 708 (January 1973).

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