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Sub: An Oral History of US Navy Submarines Paperback – April 1, 2008


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Mark Roberts is the author of over a dozen works of fiction and nonfiction. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Berkley Trade (April 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0425219526
  • ISBN-13: 978-0425219522
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 1.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,332,596 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

1.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Matt Anderson on April 23, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Mr. Roberts's book started out with great promise and a great premise however multiple misspellings and erroneous facts quickly dashed all hopes for the book. It is obvious that this book was not well proofread or many of these mistakes would have been caught. One example is that on page 195 he referenced Secretary of the Navy Nimitz however Fleet Admiral Nimitz was never the Secretary of the Navy and was dead at that moment in the narration. Mr. Roberts also lets his political views get in the way of his narration and attacks President Carter and any other official with whom he disagrees with and uses incorrect information by saying President Carter had commanded a submarine. Carter was qualified for command a step for him to be an officer qualified in submarines. Mr. Roberts opinions mars the purpose of an oral history collection which is to let the participants own words describe their recollections of history.

Another point of confusion is when the author makes it seem as though one of the paticipants in this oral history served from World War II on war patrols and retired in April of 2005 after participating in Operation Iraqi Freedom from active duty in the Navy. It seems obvious that this man must have been a consultant to the Navy as a civilian contractor after retiring much earlier from active duty but Mr. Roberts doesn't say that this man was a civilian employee for the Navy leaving the reader with the idea that this man had a sixty plus year career in the Navy on active duty.

Also there are many misspellings such as the Kanoupus (USS Canopus AS-9 is the correct spelling) to saying the Sailfish used to be the Whalen which in reality the Sailfish was the resurrected USS Squalus ((read Peter Mass' excellent The Terrible Hours for the Squalus' story)).
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By James Hercules Sutton on September 1, 2007
Format: Hardcover
The book contains oral history from those who served on U.S. Navy submarines from just before WWII to the present. Interviews seem to have been taped and transcribed. Sailors interviewed add details to stories about famous boats (Wahoo); they also add tidbits, such as the fact that submariners on leave couldn't get the smell of diesel fuel from their skin; that training for propulsion officers on nuclear subs was conducted in Ames, Iowa; and that some officers were committed to developing enlisted men and changing their lives for the better.

The book contains many transcription errors. Chief Robert A. Brown is quoted as saying that he was from Tiffin, Iowa and went to school in "Coreville, Iowa, which is seven miles from Rapid City" (p. 118). There are no such places. He must have said "Coralville" and "Iowa City" and had his words garbled. Another error locates Weewak, New Guinea at "400 degrees South and 144 degrees East" (p. 62), in outer space. This book wasn't edited properly.

The compiler adds his take on naval history at the start of each interview. This adds little, and some is questionable. Roberts would have better served himself and his book if he had commented less and interviewed more. Maybe it was his editor's idea.

He, or his editor, were compelled to edit statements from sailors with bracketted grammatical corrections that clarify nothing and add little more than an assertion of superiority. This is unnecessary and bad form.

Stories from sailors are worth reading, but are too few to do justice to service in U. S. submarines. Consequently, this book will mean most to those who served on boats or who have read many books about them.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Richard F. Church on January 9, 2011
Format: Paperback
As retired USNR CAPT, I found this book at my library yesterday whose title peaked my interest. I was on active duty for 8 years. Completed SubSchool, served on three diesel boats in the late 50's and early 60's in San Diego and Pearl Harbor. Qualified for Command of Submarines in 1963. With that background, I feel qualified to make a few comments. Never have a seen so many typo and factual errors in the first few pages alone. Some of the highlights or lowlights. LCDR Kreiss's 62 years of service for openers. He's commissioned from the ranks in '43 and retires apparently still an LCDR in 2005. In the first chapter, the author tells of Joe McGrievy going from Seaman Recruit to Commander in 46 years, interesting since by McGrievy's narrative he was 18 in 1936, making him 71 in '89 when he retired. References to non existant boats, Pardo and Toffey. These from LCDR Kreiss (the 62 year man who supposedly made war patrols and was still firing Tomahawks in Desert Storm) Kreiss tells of service on the Batfish or Catfish depending on which page you're on whose CO is Walter Stahl or Snow but actually was Walt Small, later Commmander Submarines Pacific in the late 60's. In essence, Don't bother!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By none on June 24, 2010
Format: Paperback
The book is full of errors. It is supposed to be submarine sailors telling their own stories. Stan Nicholls states "We surfaced and manned the five-inch thirty-eight. Submarine never carried 5"38's. Early boats had a long barrel 5"-51, and by war's end they all had 5" 25's. A Thomas Innocente writes from his 1962 sub school days "We took our sea school on old fleet boats from the 1920's and 30's. All pre war submarines were decommissioned at the end of world war II. The boats in New London in the 60's were all Gato,Balao,and Tench class. A Lieutenant Commander named Chris Kreiss writes "they had experimental equipment for making fresh water called a Kleinschmidt. A Kleinschmidt is a instrument used to test purity of the battery water, not make water. If LCDR Kreiss said this he should turn in his dolphins. There are many misidentified photo's. Page 200 caption says The USS Sturgeon (SS 637) (should be SSN), and the boat in the photo is the USS Parche not the Sturgeon. A Harry Jacob Jefferson is quoted as saying the mess deck on the USS Sablefish was in the after engine room. The mess deck on all diesel electric submarines in the US Navy is in the after battery. A Wade Thode says "the 636's andn 637' all had bow planes. But by the late seventies and partway through the eighties, they were moved to sail planes..All the 637 class submarines were built with Sail planes. The only boats built with bow planes that had them moved to the sail were the three Barbel class boats that were diesel electric with tear drop hulls like the nukes. Photo on Page 252 says USS Ohio (SSBN 726) the photo is of a Washington class
SSBN not an Ohio class. Chris Kreiss also mentions a boat named Prado. We had no sub by that name.
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