Stealth at Sea: The History of the Submarine

Vat Dan Van Der, Author, Dan Van der Vat, Author, Dan Van Der Vat, Author Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) $30 (374p) ISBN 978-0-395-65242-8
The first workable prototype--the Fenian Ram--of an underwater warship was designed by Irishman John Holland in 1882. By the turn of the century, the U.S., Britain and especially Germany began to equip their navies with submarines. The submarine became infamous in 1915, when a German U-20 sank the luxury liner Lusitania off the Irish coast--with a tremendous loss of life--an attack that eventually brought the U.S. into WWI. The submarine also necessitated new means to subvert it: convoys, rudimentary sonar, depth charges and ships outfitted with seaplanes. Van der Vat's coverage of the WWII period focuses on innovative German Admiral Donitz's U-boat ``wolf packs''; the Allies relying on convoys; and the successes of the U.S. and Japanese in submarine warfare against each other. The post-WWII era concentrates on Admiral Hyman Rickover and the first nuclear-powered sub, the U.S.S. Nautilus, and its trip to the North Pole. The cold war period looks at the technological advances made by Soviet and U.S. subs that became capable of firing ICBMs from any ocean. Van der Vat (The Grand Scuttle) has written a comprehensive volume that will delight submarine buffs. Photos. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 04/03/1995
Release date: 04/01/1995
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