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Cold War Command: The Dramatic Story of a Nuclear Submariner [Hardcover]

Dan Conley
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

30 Jun 2014
The part played in the Cold War by the Royal Navy's submarines still retains a great degree of mystery and, in the traditions of the 'Silent Service,' remains largely shrouded in secrecy. Cold War Command brings us as close as is possible to the realities of commanding nuclear hunter-killer submarines, routinely tasked to hunt out and covertly follow Soviet submarines in order to destroy them should there be any outbreak of hostilities. Dan Conley takes the reader through his early career in diesel submarines, prior to his transition to the complex and very demanding three-dimensional world of operating nuclear submarines; he describes the Royal Navy's shortcomings in ship and weapons procurement and delivers many insights into the procurement failures which led to the effective bankrupting of the Defence budget in the first decade of the 21st century. In command of the hunter killer submarines Courageous and Valient in the 1980s, he achieved exceptional success against Soviet submarines at the height of the Cold War. He was also involved in the initial deployment of the Trident nuclear weapon system, and divulges hitherto un-revealed facets of nuclear weapons strategy and policy during this period. This gripping read takes you onboard a nuclear submarine and into the depths of the ocean, and relays the excitement and apprehensions experienced by British submariners confronted by a massive Soviet Navy.


Product details

  • Hardcover: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Seaforth Publishing (30 Jun 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1848327692
  • ISBN-13: 978-1848327696
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 16.2 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 9,257 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

CAPTAIN DAN CONLEY's experience in conventional and nuclear-powered submarines is the core this account. He then become the MOD's Director of targeting for Trident and was a leading policy-maker developing nuclear weapons strategy in the 1990s. CAPTAIN RICHARD WOODMAN is a distinguished maritime historian and author.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Real Story 10 July 2014
"Cold War Command" is neither a Clancyesque “techno-thriller” nor a “tell-all” of clandestine submarine events such as "Blind Man’s Bluff" or one of the many “been there, done that” stories penned by retired submariners in recent years. It is, rather, an incredibly detailed “diary” of an extraordinary British submariner’s equally extraordinary career. It could almost be titled "The Rise and Fall of the British Nuclear Submarine Force", since CAPT Dan Conley, OBE, RN, seemed to be right in the thick of things at all the key developmental stages of a first growing, then post-Cold War shrinkage of Her Majesty’s Submarine Force – almost like the fictional Pug Henry of "Winds of War".

As a US submariner who loosely parallel CAPT Conley’s career in the time domain, serving on seven nuclear submarines, I have inevitably developed a “BS filter” in such matters as Cold War submarine operations, and unlike most in that genre, there is nothing in CAPT Conley’s book that doesn’t ring true. In fact, it being extraordinarily difficult to detect, close and trail another nuclear submarine, the fact that he calmly reports that as Commanding Officer he did so for no fewer than five different Soviet submarines over a two-week period borders on the incredulous, and proves his OBE was true and fairly earned.

As clearly a no-nonsense and straight talking Scotsman, CAPT Conley heaps praise on individuals and organizations where deserved, and equally serves out razor-sharp criticism and even distain where rightfully earned.
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