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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars We All live in a Nuclear Submarine..., 17 Sep 2007
Andrew Moules (Albania) - See all my reviews
Tom Clancy doesn't write every book with his name on, but this one he surely did. His earlier novels made into films propelled him to fame, and none more so that The Hunt for Red October". I was all based on his interest in such technical things in the military, and this ist he factual version, complete with a low down on all submarines in the worlds major powers, with the focus on the deadliest US boats.
Technical terms are explained, and the feel of living on such a vessel is conveyed, from the torpedo room to the bunks (no-one except the captain gets his own) and even the kitchen (no larger than yours probably) is defined in detail.
All the systems are explained, from that which fires the weapons, to the fire-fighting equipment. Strangely, the principle reason for a nuclear submarines existence is only scantily described, perhaps because that aspect lacks the glory of the morally superior coventional weapons role. I found it tragically amusing that the plain fact that these beasts are probably the most dangerous pieces of hardware ever concieved by mankind is left unsaid. Teh fact that vessels such as the USS Thresher sank without recovery is mentioned, but the implications of a reactor melt-down in the ocean (which would make Tchernobyl look like a picnic in the park) is completely unexplored. Of course now, all these years later, we can all thank God that even with the Kursk disaster that didn't happen, but a third of the world's seas could then be contaminated.
What is explored is really every other aspect of building, maintaining, manning and commanding subs. The training that recruits receive especially at Captain level is explained, and here comes the surprise. Despite Tom Clancey's patriotism, he confesses that no one does it better than...the British! The Perisher course for training RN submarine captains is thouroghly discussed, and credit is given to the Royal Navy creating the worlds best leaders in submarine warfare, and rightly so when they carry such enormaous responsibility, not only for their government, but ultimately the lives of everyone! This brings up the obvious concern that other navies have a below par leadership in their subs. I think that Clancey could have gone deeper into that, especially from the Soviet/Russian side of things.
As a conclusion, various scenarios are explored in which nuclear submarines would play a role, from lying low in deep water harbours to attacking airfields in Iran (with Land Attack Cruise Missiles as they did in the Gulf war). Perhaps such scenarios are now loking more likely. What is certain, however, ist he role played by British subs in the South Atlantic against the Argentinians during the Falklands war. The sinking of the General Belrano" and other important missions there are carefully unpacked. Is there a better read for such awesome vessels, which draws the reader in so he ends up feeling in need of shore leave?
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Informative and interesting at the same time, 25 Nov 2000
By A Customer
An excellent book, both for reference and simple pleasure-reading. It balances the hard facts of SSNs with interesting history, views of the future, and views on the sub community as a whole. Definitely recommended to anyone with a desire to learn more about this intriguing branch of the military.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars For anyone who wants to know about submarines of all navys, 5 Jan 2001
This book is about all submarines and their pasts this book takes you on a tour around and American Los Angles attack submarine and the British Trafalgar attack class. It also gives photos of the wepons in action. This book gives all submarines used by all well known submarine nations up untill 1990.
The does not however go into the reactors and how they work althogh it dose give russian submarine in good detail which is quite unusal for a book of this time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Submarine by Tom Clancy, 25 Jun 2013
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An excellent book describing every part of the sub in detail. Written by one of the best authors around Tom Clancy will not let you down .
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5.0 out of 5 stars Essential for submariners, 13 Feb 2011
At the time of writing, this book is now 18 years old, and it does show in some of the information contained within. However, once you look past that, it's a well written and extremely useful volume for anyone looking to get into the world of the submariner, either in the USN or the RN. Of particular note (and personal delight) is Tom Clancy stating that whilst the American submariners are respected for their numbers and technological superiority, the British are feared. As a prospective Warfare Officer (what Clancy refers to as a Seaman Officer) myself, I find that this little gem from one of the most openly patriotic American writers I've ever come across to be very pleasing.

If you're looking to get into the world of submariners, either as a personal interest in the inner workings of some of (at the time) most advanced war machines or as a prospective entrant (rating or officer), this book is well worth your money.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great introduction to submarines and submariners, 14 Jan 1999
By A Customer
Mr Clancy, using his extensive contacts amongst the USN and RN submariner communities, gives the non professional reader an insight into the very different world of submarines. Setting the format for the subsequent series, he gives an informative overview of the theories, weapons, technologies, and most importantly the men that constitute a modern SSN (no diesel boats here). The core of the book consists of a guided tour around two SSN's: the USS Miami, an American 688I , and HMS Triumph, a UK Trafalgar class boat.
Finally he rounds up with an analysis of possible employment scenarios, avoiding the mini story format that I reckon has marred his later works in this series, and a brief overview of the major classes of submarine employed around the world.
This is probably the closest the man in the street is going to get in understanding the men and machines of the submarine world.
(especially recommended for skimmers)
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Submarine: A Guided Tour Inside a Nuclear Warship
Submarine: A Guided Tour Inside a Nuclear Warship by Tom Clancy (Hardcover - Oct 1993)
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