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SUBSIM Book Reviews - Naval and submarine books

Get ready for a whole new level of realism!

Ships for All Nations

Author: Ian Johnston
This revised edition forms part of a trilogy of books on the former Clydebank shipyard of John Brown & Co. Taking advantage of the massive number of original photographs and internal documents preserved by the Scottish National Archives, this book presents an in-depth history of the yard's life. From the formation of J&G Thomson in 1847, to the opening of the Clydebank yard in 1871, acquisition by John Brown & Co in 1899, the triumphs of the 20th century, to the yard's demise in 1972, this book is epic in scope.

RN Submarine Owner's Workshop Manual

Author: Peter Goodwin
Peter Goodwin is a former Royal Navy submariner and acclaimed naval historian, and  having written a Haynes manual on the HMS Victory in 2012, delivers the goods this time around. This book feels like a genuine apology to this submarine geek and Haynes fanboy. Although it contains brief sections covering the development of Britain's submarine fleet, Alliance's operational history, and what it was like to live and work aboard, the bulk of this book is a straight-up technical reference.

Clydebank Battlecruisers & A Shipyard at War
Author: Ian Johnston
What makes the book invaluable for modelers and fans of early 20th century warships is the extremely high quality of the photographs. Plate glass photography required long exposures, but the results were frequently stunning. While some are a little overexposed or out of focus, the majority of the photos are extremely crisp and fine grained, frequently atmospheric, and often loaded with detail.

  The Trident Deception
Author: Rick Campbell

An American Trident missile sub--USS Kentucky-- receives a launch order. They are about eight days away from being in range, the countdown begins. US fast attacks are sent with orders to kill, if they can find the Kentucky. The Pacific fleet is mobilized, even an Australian sub is tasked with intercepting and stopping the US sub from committing nuclear genocide.

  British Cruisers of the Victorian Era
Author: Norman Friedman

Norman Friedman, you have this amazing knack of hunting down obscure bits of information and incorporating it into your books. You make the frustrating and arcane process of ship design and naval architecture seem really interesting. You make me care about naval tactics, the politics of national defense, block coefficients, and low-angle fire control. You somehow have this amazing ability to combine all this stuff into a single cohesive naval history book.

The Hidden Threat
Author: Jim Crossley

The battleship Audacious became an early victim in what would now be a large and visible change of the sea with the use of sea mines. Initially feared that she had been hit by a torpedo, but it was not a submarine which had caused damage to Audacious , it was the Berlin (liner, 17.000 tons), a fast, armed merchant cruiser with 200 deadly mines.

North Sea BattlegroundNorth Sea Battleground
Author: Bryan Perret

During WW1 the North Sea became the principal battleground for the navies of Britain and Germany. This book explains in chronological order the major encounters between Kaiser Wilhelm II's High Seas Fleet and the Royal Navy. It also includes other important operations such as mine-laying and sweeping, the Zeppelin Offensive, the bomber offensive against the UK and complete background operational information within the area.

The Last Israelis by Noah BeckThe Last Israelis
Author: Noah Beck

Threats of annihilation directed toward Israel that routinely come from Syria and Iran have not gone away, and Israel takes them seriously. With Iran actively seeking to add nukes as part of its military, the situation draws closer to conflict. In Noah Beck's The Last Israelis, the setting could be lifted from Fox News: Iran has acquired nukes and has leaders who are twitching to use them. Israel has leadership problems and may not be prepared for the coming crisis. The international community and its usual indifference becomes a hindrance. Though it all, one Israeli submarine is scrambled to deliver ten rather small nuclear cruise missiles if everything goes to hell.

Evolution of the Wooden Ship
Author: Basil Greenhill

Most books on wooden ship construction focus on big, grand vessels, Clippers and Ships of the Line being the most popular choices. The second, and largest, part of this book takes the interesting choice of depicting the construction of a small, fairly simple merchant ship. The ship in question is a fictional two-masted schooner known as Master's Schooner, built on the River Tamar in South Devon, England, in the late 1880s. Ships of this type were built by the hundreds, supplying English coastal towns with much-needed coal and timber.

War in the Boats: My WWII Submarine Battles
Author: William J. Ruhe, USN (Ret.)

The Crevalle came under attack by Japanese ASW ships and two days later they are sitting around making repairs or playing cards. They sat on the bottom to break contact with Japanese ASW.  The attacking Japanese dragged grappling hooks along the bottom to try and hook the Crevalle. Ruhe and his fellow officers tried to find out what that clanking noise was when suddenly they were hooked like a fish.

Sea Warfare in the North Atlantic
Author: Peter Dornan

The film  takes  us  through both the realm of the mighty English and German battleships  and cruisers.  Particularly striking are the changing images of the people, who fought for those two countries  in the conflict  that would last until 1945. The film mixed with realism and German propaganda films, in constructing the submarine fleet, and takes the viewer close to the battlefield.

Diving Stations
Author: Peter Dornan

Proteus and an Italian destroyer surprised each other with a close encounter in a dark, stormy night. While Captain Phillip Francis on the bridge was calling frantic  maneuvering commands  down the voice tube to the helmsmen, Hunt called up to remind the captain they were still running on batteries, not the diesels. Captain Francis "called back down the pipe, "You wouldn't be worried about the bloody batteries if you were up here!". The sub and destroyer mutually rammed each other, and the sub's bow plane served as a dagger to the escort's side.

Midget Submarine Commander
Author: Paul Watkins

RN officer Godfrey Place was trained up to navigate one of the diminutive British X-craft through anti-sub and torpedo nets in a Norwegian harbor to plant charges under the massive German battleship Tirpitz. The task, dubbed Operation Source, was exceedingly dangerous: not only were the German defenses formidable, but the midget subs themselves were fragile and untrustworthy craft. "If one thing goes wrong, everything goes wrong," Place stated.

Zeebrugge: Eleven VC’s Before Breakfast
Author: Barrie Pitt

This book tells a quite slanted view of what was actually a daring series of raids attempting to block the Belgian harbour entrance in 1918. The story itself is fascinating with many characters and heroes with the subtitle of the book proclaiming the amazing statistic of eleven VC’s being won before breakfast, not to mention the 21 DSO’s and 29 DSC’s awarded for the action.

Private Beatson's War
Authors: James Beatson, Shaun Springer, Stuart Humphreys

"Today the sun is bright but cold still. Dredgers, minesweepers (this line means that I got a blow from a block which some fool upset which about finished this diary and me) and small craft churn up and down. Hospital ships are anchored here and there. Last night as we sailed past them a low cheer was raised on both sides, low because strict orders were given for silence. A seaplane has whirred overhead once or twice, searching like a hawk for some submarine rat."

U-Boat War
Author: Lothar-Günther Buchheim

Lothar-Günther Buchheim, an artist before the war, enlisted in the Kriegsmarine in 1940. As a war correspondent, he wrote about his experiences onboard minesweepers and destroyers for the propaganda magazine Signal. In the Autumn of 1941, he joined the crew of U-96 for a single patrol. Armed with a camera and dozens of rolls of film, he sought out to record the U-boat experience in exhausting detail. As he states in the introduction "every aspect, every detail, counted, bore witness to the reality of war, for unless I captured it on film it was irretrievably gone."

Battle At Sea
Author: Reg Grant

Battle At Sea begins with a short history of the evolution of fighting ships, accompanied by a useful glossary. The book is divided into four sections: The Age of Galleys 1200 BCE - 1550 ACE, Guns, Sail, and Empire 1550-1850, Steam and Steel 1830-1918, and Carriers, Submarines, and Missiles 1918-Present. Each of these chapters opens with a brief introduction to the naval developments of that period, along with an illustrated timeline. These chapters are further divided by broader subject (for example, "Rivalry Across the North Sea"), and finally by individual conflicts.

Depth of Revenge: A NovelDepth of Revenge
Author: Richard Golden

Captain Gilad has troubles of his own. His diesel-electric sub requires fuel, and is the subject of an intense search by enemies and friends alike. His crew react to the news that their loved ones and homeland have been hit with shock, rage, and depression. They are aware something has happened, that nukes have been used against them, and the uncertainty is such that their reactions vary, and Gilad struggles to retain order on his boat. Gilad opens the sealed orders that lay out in surprising detail, all the steps and elements that must be taken in consideration. Armageddon has been thrust upon the Holy Land.

Get ready for a whole new level of realism!

An Honorable GermanAn Honorable German
Author: Charles McCain

Oberleutnant Max Breckendorf is the First Officer aboard the Graf Spee. The Kriegsmarine is finding success  against the Royal Navy, raiding merchant ships with pocket battleships and a growing U-boat fleet. Max, and his life-long friend, the engineering officer Dieter, are men of duty and discipline. Max holds a formidable store of contempt for the British and gives little thought to the basis for the war. His focus is on his career and his tasks.  Max and Dieter command boarding parties that round up the crews. The Prizes Rules are closely followed; Germany's grim future is yet to appear.

Endgame: The U-boat Inshore Campaign
Author: Dr. John White

One of the strengths of Endgame is the source material. Dr. White explains that most war diaries from U-boats were intentionally destroyed as the end of the war drew close. White turned to decrypted wireless messages and uncovered new U-boat war diaries in his quest to chronicle the Inshore Campaign in greater detail than before. He lays in a solid background on the state of the U-boat arm and its weapons as the campaign unfolds. The book progresses from there to a series of individual accounts by U-boats. Each episode frames the situation the U-boat commanders faced as the odds against them grew to staggering proportions.

Midway: The Battle That Doomed Japan
Author: Mitsuo Fuchida, Masatake Okumiya

Although the winner "always writes history," when one considers most naval battles that old maxim falls flat on it's face. Attempting to write a balanced account of the Japanese side of the Battle of Midway from a purely American perspective would be simply impossible. Dive bomber pilots boring down on their targets at 250 knots were often unreliable witnesses, nor were they aware of what their opponents were thinking at the moment. Mitsuo Fuchida was the first Japanese participant of the battle to have a book published in the West depicting Midway from his nation's perspective.

The U-boat: The Evolution and Technical History of German Submarines
Author: Eberhard Rossler

Rossler is at his best when discussing the more obscure or highly technical aspects of U-boat design and construction. The sections devoted to single-drive U-boats and the Type XXI and XXIII "Elektroboots" are substantial enough to be separate books in their own right, along with the numerous Walter designs. Rossler's treatment of the Type XXI explores in great detail the boat's evolution, the sectional construction process, the impact of Allied air raids, the results of initial testing, and the numerous deficiencies of the final design. There are also sections devoted to the evolution of sonar, torpedoes, anti-aircraft armament, and midget submersibles, along with U-boat construction processes and proposed bombproof construction shelters.

Das Boot
Author: Lothar-Günther Buchheim

Das Boot is noted for its relentlessly vivid and realistic depiction of what it's like to be locked away in a stinky metal tube for weeks on end, with a good chance of being suddenly drowned. Das Boot is certainly the roughest, most grueling, and most claustrophobic submarine novel ever written. Not much is actually left to the reader's imagination; you can almost smell the horrid stench rising up from the bilge, feel the condensation running down the bulkheads, and grow numb from the endless hammering of the diesels.

Incredible Cross Sections: Man-Of-War
Author: Richard Platt (Illustrated by Stephen Biesty)

The subject of this book is a British 100-gun first-rate ship-of-the-line of the late 18th Century, a virtual replica in all but name of Horatio Nelson’s famous HMS Victory. The author slices the ship into 10 vertical sections from fore to aft, each slice depicting a different aspect of life onboard, including health and medicine, sleeping, resupplying in port, battle, and working at sea. Each spread includes a large transverse section through the ship with important features labeled and described, and summaries covering subjects ranging from how cannons were fired, the tools used by the surgeon, and what the crew ate.

Midway, Dauntless Victory: Fresh Perspectives on America's Seminal Naval Victory of World War IIMidway: Dauntless Victory
Author: Peter C. Smith

Dauntless Victory is very much a “grognard” book, packed with seemingly obscure details whose inclusion in the main text often isn’t immediately obvious until later in the book. It’s packed with interviews with surviving principals, tables, flight crew rosters, discussions of naval tactics and equipment, and mini-biographies of every major player. Uniquely, Dauntless Victory is written by a British historian, rather than Japanese or American writer like most books on the subject.

Cold War Submarines
Authors:  Norman Polmar and Kenneth Moore

Between August 1945 and December 1991, the United States and Soviet Union built 936 submarines, 401 of which were nuclear powered. Of this total, the Soviets built more than 650, building at least 50 identifiable classes in all. In Western intelligence reports, speculation prevailed regarding the true capabilities of Russia's underwater warships. Since the early 90's, submarine buffs have eagerly awaited a definitive book on the design and construction of submarines during the Cold War.

Russian Submarines: An Illustrated View
Author:  Wayne Frey

If a naval enthusiast wishes to study pictures of Russian subs, he simply does a Google image search. You've seen the stock images that litter the web but nothing like that will prepare you for the motherload of detailed and highly sensitive images contained in Wayne Frey's Russian Submarines. This 125-page book is filled with close-ups of Akulas, Alfas, and Typhoons, at sea, under construction, and from unique--and previously classified--angles. This book would have created an international stir just a decade past.

Anatomy of the Ship Heavy Cruiser Takao
Author:  Janusz Skulski

Takao had a long, rather interesting career. Having participated in almost every major campaign of the Second World War, Takao was almost sunk by two torpedoes fired from the submarine Darter during the Battle of Leyte Gulf. Towed to Singapore, she was deemed too heavily damaged to be repaired, and spent the rest of the war as a floating anti-aircraft battery.  After the war, the Allied occupation forces used Takao as a communication, repair, and accommodation base, eventually scuttling the ship in the Malacca Straight on October 27, 1946.

Tales from a Tin Can
Author:  Michael Keith Olsen

In March, 1943, while patrolling off the coast of Kamchatka Peninsula, a task force consisting of two US cruisers and Dale ambushed what they thought were three Japanese transports. The battle quickly took a deadly turn for Dale--the transports were escorted by faster and more powerfully armed Japanese heavy cruisers, in attendance with two IJN light cruisers and four destroyers, kicking off a terrifying two-day naval engagement.

Scorpion Down
Author:  Ed Offley

No one has ever been able to determine what happened to the Scorpion. Had one of the torpedoes "gone hot" and exploded while still inside it's tube? Could the Trash Disposal Unit have failed? Did the diving planes jam themselves in full down position, sending the submarine into an out of control dive? A small percentage believed that foul play on the part of Soviet Navy had caused the destruction of the Scorpion. Most of these theories have been pretty thoroughly debunked, but that didn't stop Ed Offley from writing Scorpion Down.

War at Sea
Author:  Ronald H. Spector

The evolution of naval warfare in a nutshell? In the Napoleonic era, two opposing fleets might have five hours to plan a battle strategy. By World War I, that time had dropped to as little as five minutes. In the era of radar, guided missiles, and sophisticated electronic countermeasures, a commander might have five seconds to react to an incoming missile or torpedo. Surely, the unstoppable march of technological advancement can't be the only reason for these breathtaking advances. What about the men behind the machines?

Sea of Thunder
Author:  Evan Thomas

Halsey was the naval hero that America needed in it's time of crisis. Flaunted by the press as the second coming of Admiral Nelson, Halsey was a chain smoking, no-nonsense kind of guy who refused to eat off of fine China because it was "made in Japan." Halsey's luster began to wear off as his obsession with sinking the Japanese carriers nearly resulted in the destruction of much of the 7th fleet, left behind to guard the San Bernadino Straight between Layte and Samar.

The Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapon Systems
Author:  Clay Blair

The 2006 edition of The Naval Institute Guide to World Naval Weapon Systems is a $250, seven pound hardcover monster of a book - the most expensive book published by the Naval Institute. Virtually every weapon and electronic system used aboard warships and naval aircraft today is covered in detail. Everything from electro-optical systems, minehunting equipment, combat direction systems, radar, sonar, ECM and ESM systems, mines, countermeasures, guns, fire control systems, missiles, ASW rockets, torpedoes, to sonobuoys, is covered.

Silent Victory
The U.S. Submarine War against Japan
Author:  Clay Blair

Silent Victory is a massive (1,104 pages), multi-layered account of the American submarine war against the Japanese Empire. It covers the submarine war, the "island hopping" campaign, codebreaking, and a number of other related topics. First published in 1975, Silent Victory was widely acclaimed as the most complete submarine history ever published. It was also one of the first books to hint at the massive scale of Allied codebreaking operations, a key element of submarine success in the Pacific.

Ice And Steel
Author:  Don Clayton Meadows

"What-if?" and alternate history novels are usually taken with a grain of salt by serious readers. Granted, there are plenty of alternate history stories out there, but when the actual history is bad, the results are usually disastrous. I approached Of Ice And Steel with a bit of trepidation -- here was a modern day alternate history techno-thriller with a World War II sci-fi twist. It was either going to be an exciting novel, or the dumbest piece of tripe I'd ever read. Thankfully, my doubts were quashed soon enough, and I spent the next three days on the edge of my seat.

Rogue Trident
Author:  John R. Hindinger

Imagine the world's most powerful weapon in the hands of a dying man motivated solely by revenge. An Ohio-class nuclear missile submarine (SSBN), armed with 24 Trident ballistic missiles each with six 475-kiloton nuclear warheads. The world's quietest warship, capable of disappearing without a trace and unleashing the explosive power of 4,500 Hiroshimas on a whim. Sounds like the kind of stuff that might keep people up at night, huh?

Seas of Crisis
Author:  Joe Buff

The action comes early in the novel and immediately engages the reader. Fuller and the Challenger confront a gauntlet of deadly situations in the optimum undersea battlefield--beneath the polar icecap. The main thrust of Seas of Crisis is an assignment the US government gives Fuller that will either bring the war to an immediate end or escalate it to the point where the US can and will pounce on the Axis with the full might of its forces.

Six Frigates: The Epic History of the Founding of the U.S. Navy
Author:  Ian W. Toll

Imagine being a citizen of the United States in the early 1790s. Less than 10 years ago, your country fought a bloody war to free itself from the shackles of British oppression. Congress  allocated the then-colossal sum of $666,666 towards the construction of six powerful new frigates, four 44-gun and two 36-gun - the United States, President, Congress, Constitution, Constellation, and Chesapeake. For those looking for action at sea, Toll doesn’t disappoint.

Run Silent, Run Deep
Author:  Edward Beach

This is where it all began, folks: The origin of every submarine cliche since 1955. Mercifully, the originator of those cliches happened to experience them first-hand, and was a pretty decent writer to boot. The author, Edward Latimer Beach, Jr., graduated from the US Naval Academy in 1939, and served on three submarines during the Second World War. This experience gave Run Silent, Run Deep a greater sense of verisimilitude than the vast majority of submarine novels written before and after it.

Shattered Sword: The Untold Story of the Battle of Midway
Authors:  Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully

The Battle of Midway has transcended mere history to become a permanently-engrained part of the modern American mythos. Few would doubt that it was one of the most important naval battles of the 20th Century. The image of Dauntless dive bombers plummeting from the heavens, smashing three Japanese carriers in a matter of minutes, is one of the most evocative of the Second World War. But is the battle really all it’s made out to be? That’s the question authors Jonathan Parshall and Anthony Tully ask in their fascinating and potentially controversial new book.

Author: Jeff Edwards

A former Chief Petty Officer, the author knows how to work in natural constraints such as gear breaking down and casualties to create tension. The conflicts between the MH-60R helos and the U-boats bear noting. I thoroughly enjoyed how the U-boats employed sub-SAM missiles to take on the air units. The author is at his best when his characters are processing sonar contacts and developing firing solutions, when the ASROCs fly and the CIWS denies incoming Vipers.

Silent Steel: The Mysterious Death of the Nuclear Attack Sub USS Scorpion
Author: Stephen Paul Johnson

On May 22nd 1968, at the height of the Vietnam War, the nuclear attack submarine USS Scorpion disappeared without a trace somewhere in the North Atlantic. After the Scorpion failed to arrive in Norfolk on the morning of the 27th, the Navy undertook the largest search operation in it's history. Most material on submarine disasters is rather sterile and distanced, and lacking in human element. Silent Steel stands out from the crowd in that the officers and crew of the Scorpion are actually allowed some development.

The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors
Author: James D. Hornfischer

Hollywood heroism and real-life heroism are worlds apart. In Hollywood, heroism is defined as "charging into machine gun fire, killing 50 Germans, and getting bruised in the ankle." In real life, heroism is "charging a squadron of Japanese battleships at flank speed in a tiny destroyer escort with two 5-inch guns and three torpedoes." Literally, this is the sort of story that’s too good for Hollywood. I put off reading this book for the longest time, simply because the title turned me off. The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors? It sounded corny beyond belief. Having a voracious appetite for naval literature, I gave in and read it.  I’m glad I did.

Anatomy of the Flower-Class Corvette Agassiz
Authors: John McKay & John Harland

The British designed the Flower-class Corvette as a "stopgap" measure to protect Allied convoys crossing the Atlantic. They were slow, poorly armed, and presumably would have "rolled on wet grass." Nonetheless, they participated in the sinking of at 51 enemy submarines. The book claims  "more than 350 drawings," but the actual number is closer to 550. Literally, almost no bolt goes uncovered.

In Harm's Way
Author: Douglas Stanton

On July 19, 1945 the USS Indianapolis, a Heavy Cruiser of the Portland-class, departed San Francisco on a secret mission to Tinian Island. She arrived at that distant island outpost on July 26th. Unbeknownst to the entire crew, the Indianapolis had delivered the components for the Little Boy atomic bomb. The story of the USS Indianapolis is one of the few naval disasters remembered to this day.

Warrener's Beastie: A Novel of the Deep
Author: William R. Trotter

Warrener finally finds a goal worthy of his ambitions: revealing the legendary Vardinoy Beast of the Faeroes. He mounts a monster hunting expedition with a veteran U-boat hunter, a hack-and-stab film director, his porn star wife, a Jewish journalist, and a lusty Hell’s angel who is convinced he’s a reincarnated Viking berserker. The only thing left is to find the monster. And survive.

Type VII U-boats
Author: Robert C. Stern

The German Type VII U-boat needs no introduction. The one warship that could win or lose the war for Germany, 709 were poured out, and plans were put in place to build twice that number. It has since come to represent the stereotypical image of the World War II-era submarine, appearing in Das Boot and That Other U-boat Movie.

Playing With the Enemy
Author: Gary W. Moore

The U-505 POWs are sent to a remote camp in Louisiana. Not even the Red Cross is notified of their existence. The Navy Baseball team are sent there as guards. The U-505 men are not completely convinced that this “baseball” isn’t a new interroga-tion tactic. In the end, the spirit of competitive sports won out with “the sound of men laughing and yelling in two languages” mixed with the “crack of a wooden bat giving a hardball a ride through the humid Louisiana morning air”.

Back from the Deep
Author: Carl LaVO

On May 23, 1939, the submarine U.S.S. Squalus sank while on a training exercise. A sister sub, the Sculpin, located her and her survivors and stood by during the rescue. The boat was raised and recommissioned as the Sailfish. Four and a half years later, Sailfish sank the Japanese carrier Chuyo, which, unbeknownst to the Americans, was carrying survivors from the Sculpin, lost several days earlier.

Castles of Steel
Author: Robert Massie

Castles of Steel is the newest book by Pulitzer Prize winning historian Robert Massie. It is a history of the naval conflict between Great Britain and Germany during the Great War, focusing on the major surface actions of 1914, 1915, and 1916. It is an effortlessly-written epic, voluminously detailed, and free of the sensationalism and posturing that mars many modern history books.

Rise to Victory
Author: R. Cameron Cooke

Nuke sub vs.  littoral AIP sub, someone's bound to get hurt.  The US captain meets his counterpart, Capt. Peto Triono of the Indonesian Navy. Peto’s German-design Type 214 boat is a stark contrast to the US nuclear sub. Diesel powered with AIP (Air Independent Propulsion, i.e., fuel cells power the electric motors) capabilities—it can cruise silently at 8 knots for 17 days without surfacing or snorkeling.

Operation Drumbeat
Author: Michael Gannon

U-123, commanded by Kapitänleutnant Reinhard Hardegen, serves as the focal point for Gannon’s narrative. In his two Drumbeat patrols, Hardegen sank 19 merchant ships, one of them barely 20 miles from New York City. Gannon recalls 123’s near-sinking at the hands of a Norwegian factory ship, it’s encounter with the Q-Ship Atik, and the infamous torpedoing and shelling of the tanker Gulf America.

The U-Boat War
Author: David Westwood

The U-boat War  skillfully chronicles the logistical issues and technological gains that worked for and against the U-boats. This studied analysis of the tactics, planning, technology, and logistics sheds light on why the war was lost and what events contributed to the defeat of the German U-boat arm.

Rig Ship for Ultra Quiet
Author: Andrew Karam, Ph.D

With a host of Soviet ASW planes, helos, and ships on high alert combing the area looking for American subs, searching diligently for Plunger... she obliges them by deliberating taking the bait and sneaking into their midst, working up fire-control solutions and taking photographs.

Hunt and Kill: U-505 and the U-boat War in the Atlantic
Author: Theodore P. Savas, ed.

U-505 was the first enemy warship captured by the United States since the War of 1812. Much has been written about how Captain Daniel V. Gallery conceived of and successfully executed the plan that resulted in the capture of U-505. Hunt and Kill, from publisher Savas Beatie, is the first book to describe the complete history of U-505, from its commissioning as a warship in 1941 to its current status as an exhibit in Chicago’s Museum of Science and Industry.

Red Star Under the Baltic:
A First-Hand Account of the Life on Board a Soviet Submarine in WWII
: Victor Korzh

"Red Star" was written in the early 1960s, when the events portrayed were still reasonably fresh in the author's mind, and originally published in Russian in 1966 under the title "Reserve of Strength." Presented in the first person, Korzh's superb record details the abysmal life and death conditions Soviet sailors endured on their primitive but stoutly constructed boats.

U-Boat Killer
Author: Capt. Donald MacIntyre

McIntyre established himself as one of the greats. He captured the number one German U-boat ace Otto Kretschmer (whose Zeiss binoculars he took and used for the rest of the war); in the same battle, he directed the attack that killed the second-scoring ace Joachim Schepke. Later in the war, his ship was torpedoed; before that he nursed a bent-nosed destroyer back to port after ramming a U-boat.

Voyage of the Gray Wolves
Author: Steven Wilson

Famed U-boat commander Kapitänleutnant Guenter "the Silent" Kern is called on by Admiral Doenitz to undertake a mission so vital to the Reich’s survival that he is allocated a small flotilla of 15 Type XXI U-boats.

Steel Boat, Iron Hearts:
A U-boat Crewman’s Life Aboard U-505

Author: Hans Goebeler with John Vanzo

Written with the capable assistance of writer John Vanzo, this book is notable because it is provides a non-officer’s perspective.  Goebeler dutifully kept diaries, notes, mementos, and reminders of his service aboard U-505, which, along with subsequent research and a copy of the ship's log, served as the core for this book.

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