The Glory Boys by Douglas Reeman
They are called The Glory Boys, by those who regard their exploits with envy or contempt.
Bob Kearton is one of them. Already a veteran and survivor of the close action in the English Channel and North Sea, in January of 1943 he is ordered to the Mediterranean and beleagured Malta, a mere sixty miles from occupied Sicily. Unexpectedly promoted to lieutenant-commander, he is given charge of a newly formed and as yet incomplete flotilla of motor torpedo boats. The tide of defeat is thought to be turning, the enemy no longer advancing along the North African coast with Egypt and India as final objectives, and Kearton's is a new war of stealth, subterfuge, and daring, in which the Glory Boys are only too expendable.