navarone_bk_tgon navarone_col_lobby navarone_mv_ftfn navarone_bk_sffn navarone_col_pressbook navarone_gm_n navarone_gm_gonha navarone_bk_f10fn navarone_bk_tcn navarone_mv_tgon navarone_bk_tfn
Full Name: The Navarone Series
Nationality: New Zealand, Greek, American
Organization: S.O.E.
Occupation Agent

Creator: Alistair MacLean
Time Span: 1957 - 2008


The Navarone Series deals with a trio of agents working for the S.O.E.

The Special Operations Executive was a British intelligence organization created at the beginning of World War Two to engage in espionage, sabotage, and other activities as needed in enemy territories in Europe. Quite often the agents attached to this group were highly trained military officers and enlisted men but when working on an S.O.E. mission, they were there covertly and in civilian clothing making them spies under the Geneva Convention and therefore without any allusions as to their treatment and ultimate fate should they be captured.

The term "Navarone" is used to describe the activities of three key people and comes about because the island of Navarone was the location of the first mission, the one that brought the trio together in the first place. They would be reunited on that Greek island briefly for the second mission but would then leave to head to the actual assignment. The two remaining recorded adventures have nothing really to do with the Navarone location except in context of the three men.

The three men are Keith Mallory, Andrea Stavros, and Donovan "Dusty" Miller.

Mallory is a New Zealand officer serving with the British forces for some time, holding the army rank of Captain. He was before the war an avid mountain climber making him an indespensible man in the cliffs of Navarone. The fact that he had been operating in and around Crete and was an expert in that area made him even more valuable.

Andrea Stavros is a former Lt. Colonel in the now defunct Greek army, working with the Resistance and having no love whatsoever for the German invaders of his homeland. He is also a close friend and sometimes adversary of Mallory as the two had worked together before.

Dusty Miller is an American explosives expert who had signed up with the R.A.F. and was brought along because he was the key man for actually destroying the artillery objective of the first mission. Once he had proven himself to the others, it was natural that he remain with the team although his dour personality coupled with his pessimism always made him a cheery complement.

Mallory and Stavros like and dislike each other. Miller doesn't really like anyone, or at least trust anyone. Together they make a great team.


Number of Books:4
First Appearance:1957
Last Appearance:2008

The terrific author Alistair MacLean made his debut with the semi-autobiographical novel H.M.S. Ulysses in 1955, an adventure that still ranks as one of the greatest modern naval adventures of all time (and one of my absolutely favorite books - I still get chills when remembering it). He followed that book with his first fully fictional tale two years later. That was the first book in this series, The Guns of Navarone (TGON).

MacLean was a stickler for never doing a series. For over a decade he came out with a new adventure almost yearly and each one rushed to the bestseller list because readers knew he would be penning another winner and he never let them down. And each book was about different people in different locations handling different problems.

Then in 1968 he changed his no-sequel policy and created the second book though he took an interesting path in that the book followed the ending of the film that had been released in 1961, not the ending of his original novel. I have not read a definite reason for the change but I am sure the truth is out there. Whatever the reason, the characters of Mallory, Stavros, and Miller were reunited.

Thirty years later, author Sam Llewellyn with the blessing of the MacLean estate came up with two new adventures for the "Navarone" team. These books did not fare as well as MacLean but are worth the read.

1 The Guns of Navarone The Guns of Navarone
Written by Alistair MacLean
Copyright: 1957

British soldiers are pinned down in on a Greek island, about to be captured. To rescue them would mean certain destruction to Allied ships from artillery on the nearby island of Navarone. The
S.O.E. send British officer Captain Keith Mallory and Corporal Dusty Miller, along with Greek Lt. Col Andrea Stavros and others to infiltrate the island and destroy the guns.
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2 Force 10 From Navarone Force 10 From Navarone
Written by Alistair MacLean
Copyright: 1968

To rescue captive British agents in Yugoslavia, Captain Keith Mallory and Dusty Miller are again recruited by the S.O.E.
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3 Storm Force From Navarone Storm Force From Navarone
Written by Sam Llewellyn
Copyright: 1996

Mallory, Stavros and Miller are sent through occupied France to a supposedly neutral Spain to disable the "Werewolf" U-boats with only six day to do their mission.
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4 Thunderbolt From Navarone Thunderbolt From Navarone
Written by Sam Llewellyn
Copyright: 1998

Keith Mallory, Dusty Miller, and Andrea Stavros are given a new mission from Naval HQ to see about the development of a lethal German V3 rocket and destroy the facilities.
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4.5 The Complete Navarone The Complete Navarone
Written by Sam Llewellyn, Alistair MacLean
Copyright: 2008

The Anthology Collection of all 4 works by two authors that started in 1957 and ended in 1998 that were print together in 2008 (a period of 51 year).
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Number of Movies:2
First Appearance:1961
Last Appearance:1978

1 The Guns of Navarone The Guns of Navarone
Director: J. Lee Thompson
Writers: Carl Foreman, Alistair MacLean
Actors: Gregory Peck as Mallory, David Niven as Miller, Anthony Quinn as Stavros
Released: 1961

Based on the book by MacLean. A team is sent into Greek territory to destroy massive German guns in the cliff face on the island of Navarone. Note: It won 2 Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture & Original Score. It also won an Academy Award for Best Special Effects. Plus it was nominated for 4 other Academy Awards and a Grammy.

2 Force Ten From Navarone Force Ten From Navarone
Director: Guy Hamilton
Writers: Carl Foreman, Robin Chapman
Actors: Harrison Ford as Barnsby, Edward Fox as Miller, Robert Shaw as Mallory
Released: 1978

To rescue captive British agents in Yugoslavia, Captain Keith Mallory and Dusty Miller are again recruited by the S.O.E.


Number of Games:3
First Appearance:1980
Last Appearance:1983

1 Navarone Navarone
Game Type: Video Arcade
Published by: Namco
Copyright: 1980

A two-person fixed screen shooter arcade game loosely based on The Guns Of Navarone movie from 1961.
It came as an upright model only and was placed in arcades around the world.

2 The Guns Of Navarone The Guns Of Navarone
Game Type: RPG
Published by: Fasa Corporation
Copyright: 1982

A role playing game based on the 1961 movie of the same name that was the 1st of the company's Behind Enemy Lines games.

3 Guns Of Navarone Guns Of Navarone
Game Type: Home Arcade
Published by: DACC
Copyright: 1983

A first person shooter game produced for the BBC Micro Games System and the last game listed of the Super-7 package. It gave the player the ability to be the shooter of the guns and was very loosely based on the book and movie of the same name. The game was popular in the UK at the time.


Number of Collectibles:2
First Appearance:1961
Last Appearance:1961

1 The Guns Of Navarone Pressbook The Guns Of Navarone Pressbook
Item Type: Pressbook
Created by: Columbia Pictures
Copyright: 1961

A book sent to theater owners around the English speaking world by the studio that released the film. It was to help theaters promo
the movie and included promotional material they could use. It was reprint and used again in 1966 with the rerelease of the movie.

2 The Guns Of Navarone LC Set The Guns Of Navarone LC Set
Item Type: Lobby Cards
Created by: Columbia Pictures
Copyright: 1961

A series of 8 color promotional cards that were displayed in theater lobbies across the U.S. and Canada that played the movie.
They are one mini-poster and seven featuring still photo scenes of the movie.


Number of Books:1
First Appearance:2013
Last Appearance:2013

1 The Making Of The Guns Of Navarone The Making Of The Guns Of Navarone
Written by Brian Hannan
Copyright: 2013

"Coinciding with the 60th Anniversary of the film's release with revised and expanded text and for the first time over 30 illustration. Despite later becoming a major critical and commercial success, the film had a difficult road through production. U.S. producer Carl Foreman, exiled in Britain after falling victim to the McCarthy anti-communist witch hunt in the early 1950s, lost his original screenwriter, preferred male cast which included William Holden and Cary Grant and two leading ladies, one of whom was opera star Maria Callas making her movie debut. The original director also left the production. David Niven nearly died during shooting and by the time the film came to release star Gregory Peck had turned into a box office liability. Calling on new research material, Brian Hannan takes the first in-depth look at an old favorite."
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In my late teenage years when I was learning about James Bond at the same time I was hooked on Doc Savage, Tarzan, and the Shadow, I happened across a copy of H.M.S. Ulysses and to say my reading habits changed would be an understatement. Oh, I never lost my devotion to the Lord of the Jungle or the Pulp masters or the coolest spy ever; I would stay with them for years and revisit each from time to time.

But my appreciation of other adventure fiction was born and I added Alistair MacLean to my list of "read everything by this author". This was for me happening in the late 60s so by that time MacLean had penned a good number of incredible tales so I had a lot of fun reading a lot of great stuff. The Guns of Navarone was one of the first I found and I loved it. The second book, Force 10 From Navarone, was not read by me for several years and I did not care for it nearly as much but it was still MacLean and so still work a place on my bookshelves.

The movie version of the first book came out in 1961 and I was far too young to have seen it. I watched it on late night television many years later and liked it well enough, despite constant commercial interruption, to want to give it a better shake which I did some years even later when the VCR version was available. Much better without the ad breaks. My lack of affection for the second book probably tainted my response to the second movie in 1978. It was "okay" but nothing to brag about.

I have not read the two continuation novels by Sam Llewellyn. They are on my to-be-read stack but I have no idea when or if I will ever get to them. That may sound like I do not like them which is not true. I know little about them. I look forward to your comments to help me decide.


My Grade: A-


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