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Home > Author > Francis J Partel
Francis J Partel

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Member Since: Aug, 2010

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  Francis J Partel

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The Iliad is the finest piece of naval fiction that I have ever read!

Background Information



I was an English major at Columbia when it might have been better if I had majored in history. Subsequently I served in the US Navy in the aircraft carriers ESSEX and TICONDEROGA during the Vietnam War. After concluding my career as a business executive, I took up the challenge of writing fiction and focused quite logically on writing modern naval historical fiction.

My stories incorporate big ideas, issues, and themes within a strong narrative, interesting characters, and well-researched and documented naval history. As much as I like C.S. Forester and Patrick O'Brian I wanted to bring the genre forward from the Napoleonic Wars to the Cold War. And this introduces a set of complex issues for the novelist. The strategic theater is global, the ships are bigger, the weapons are more lethal, and the roles of younger, junior officers are relatively smaller. There are excellent stories which have been written about this period such as The Flight of the Intruder and North SAR and Tom Clancy excels in writing thrillers against a strategic backdrop.

My stories fictionalize actual events such as The Hill Fights by the Marines at Khe Sanh in 1967, anti-submarine warfare in the North Atlantic and the Mediterranean Sea, the harrasing and provocative incidents at sea between the US and NATO and Russia and the Warsaw Pact, strike warfare over North Vietnam, and the heroic and flawed characters who participated. Like the writers above I deal with the theme of leadership, but also why the Cold War might have become nuclear holocaust but didn't, and the incredibly pervasive implications of the June 1967, Arab-Israeli War to Russia and the US and the virtual universal affliction of PTSD which is the fate of at least a fifth of all infantrymen who see combat.

Like Patrick O'Brian's novels, you will find references to issues and themes of the period like the anti-war movement, women's liberation, the social revolution of the 1960's and the direct and indirect affects on the naval establishment.

You will find these elements in my novella, A Wound in the Mind, The Court-Martial of Lance Corporal Cachora, USMC and in my latest novel, The Chess Players, A Novel of the Cold War at Sea to be published in  early 2011. I am currently writing a novel about strike warfare on Yankee Station. All of these stories are written around the recurring central figure, Ens/Ltjg Robert F. Cannon, USNR, upon whom all other characters structually depend.

Please see: and

Birth Place
Plainfield, NJ USA

"A Wound in the Mind" received Honorable Mention from the Military Writers Association and "The Chess Players" was awarded The Tin Can Sailor's Association top rating for their review.

Additional Information

I am a frequent guest contributor to the Treasure Coast chain of Scripps newspapers from Jupiter to Melbourne, FL. My third novel, "Down in Laos," is forthcoming in 2015. The novel is currently being read by a major publisher.

Favorite Links

A Wound in the Mind, The Court-Martial of Lance Corporal Cachora, USMC
A decorated Marine from the 1967 Hill Fights is charged with assault and battery and Ens. Chase and Ltjg. Cannon mount a sprited defense. "Wound" is now available at the Kindle Bookstore.

The Chess Players, A Novel of the Cold War at Sea
The Chess Players is a naval story and a love story during the period just before and just after the 1967 Six-Day, Arab Israeli War. It opens with an audacious penetration of Stavanger Norway by a Russian submarine and ends when a Russian submarine confronts the Sixth Fleet in the Eastern Mediterranean. The love story begins when Ensign Cannon meets Tish Martin, a graduate student in art history, at a wedding on Martha's Vineyard, and their romance flourishes when his ship's port calls allow in London and Malta which coincides with her travel as she researches the psychological character of the master painter, Caravaggio. The novel is plotted around the actual operations of Task Group 81.3/61.3 and actual incidents during the Cold War at Sea which occurred from 1967 to 1976. Ensign Cannon returns from "Wound" and is again. structurally,the central character upon which all others depend. Please visit the website above for more information.

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