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U.S. Submarines Through 1945: An Illustrated Design History Hardcover – January, 1995


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 379 pages
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press (January 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1557502633
  • ISBN-13: 978-1557502636
  • Product Dimensions: 11.3 x 8.6 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.9 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #178,621 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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See all 20 customer reviews
Author Friedman deftly blends both technical and political information.
"mchapman@neaccess.net"
Not only is it detailed and fully illustrated, it contains excellent tables comparing performance, size, etc. of various American submarine classes.
Patrick Dunhill
I would only recommend this book if you are very interested in naval history and having a nautical vocabulary is some what a must.
Tristan

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By "mchapman@neaccess.net" on December 30, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Despite the review that claims this isn't a sub-buff book -- it is! Packed with details rarely seen, this tome is sure to fascinate. I received a copy a couple of Christmas's back, and spent the next hour on the couch, absolutely fascinated. Author Friedman deftly blends both technical and political information. You learn about the systems that created the ships. Indispensible for the sub buff and historian.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Claudio Bompadre on April 15, 2001
Format: Hardcover
If this is not the definitive book, it must come pretty close. As one of the most respected naval analyst, the author covers the birth and development of submersible ships and submarines with minute details from their inceptions to the II WW latest types.
The text is extraordinarily well researched, reflecting its scholar-like approach to the subject; nevertheless it is an easy and relaxing read, expecially if you take into account the deep level of accuracy and precise reconstruction of historical events. Specific aspects of submarine technology are carefully dissected: the naval yard organization, the US Navy Bureaus capacity and their (obviously) rivalry in design competence, the development of powerplants and hulls. A particular attention is dedicated to submarine perfomances evolution, how they were estimated conducting tradeoff studies and inspecting foreign submarines and equipment. In a well orchestrated narration, the book provides a detailed insight into technical and political machinations of subs building programs, explaining the different (to tell the truth I should say conflicting) opinions of political leadership, Staff strategic conceptions for the Arm, service Bureaus technical management and , last but not the least, the real requisites of Commanding Officers, the ultimate users ( and the one that took the risks in combat). A true gem in the volume is the data provided in appendices.They cover mainly submarine propulsion and periscope development: since they are vital technologies, shaping the sub operative capability and seagoing perfomance, full studies are presented giving a clear picture of design and manifacturing practices as demanded by the Navy. Weapons, fire control, sonars, tactics, instruments and systems innovations are also covered.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Paul F. Austin on November 26, 1998
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Like Friedman's other books on US warship design, his description of the play between evolving doctrine, organizational imperatives and technical issues to arrive at each class of submarine gives the reader insight not just in what a ship became but also _why_ a ship became. I was a plank owner (original crew) of a SSN-637 class submarine in the early seventies. It was fasinating to see _why_ my ship was built and what her predecessors and successors became. Being interested in Naval Science without being a professional practitioner, Friedman's book hits just the right level of technical detail. This is _not_ a buff book. It is a serious effort to document the design evolution of (mostly) nuclear submarines.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Dunhill on December 2, 1999
Format: Hardcover
This is an excellent book for the serious student of submarine history. It is perhaps the most authoritative reference book on the subject of post WWII submarines. Not only is it detailed and fully illustrated, it contains excellent tables comparing performance, size, etc. of various American submarine classes. One of its most valuable features is its descriptions of the performance characteristics of each generation of submarine and descriptions of how the designers of each successive generation attempted to improve performance. It explores, in depth, the characteristics of various generations of submarine devices, most notably sonar. It is fully footnoted and the footnotes often contain remarkable bits of info.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By caw@wizard.net on October 16, 1998
Format: Hardcover
This is an exceptionally good book, perhaps THE reference book on U.S. submarines in the post-War era. Very detailed and accurate, it covers not only final designs, but how each design evolved over time -- including designs that never made it off the drawing board. If you're in to submarines, you MUST own this book.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Luis Arellano III on February 13, 2006
Format: Hardcover
If you were never intimate with a submarine, this might be little more than a quick browse, but if you were, and want to understand the evolution of U.S. submarines in the covered era, you will find this book hard to put aside. A previous reviewer (who found sonar details too dull) refuses to cherry-pick and evidently demands a pithy payload out of every paragraph. I agree that a handful of passages contain non-contemporary references that could be better dated, but the book discusses many complex ideas and those complaints are simply petty. Other minor suggestions: I would have enjoyed more comparison to Soviet subs and the names to go with a few Naval bigwigs who were referenced by title only.

I was a sonar technician on board a Polaris SSBN in the 1960's. I became immediately engrossed when I dove straight to Chapter 11 (Strategic Submarines, of course). After reading to the end, I went back to Chapter 1 and was pleased to savor something on nearly every remaining page in spite of a few dull moments.

Anyone on board during the Cold War remembers that classified matters enjoyed limited promulgation (there's a word I haven't used for a long time). This book paints in a lot of the big picture. Better yet, it is nice to see many previously unmentionable issues in print.

Having also served on a Guppy IIA boat, I gained a new appreciation for U.S. efforts to implement the snorkel and to bring to fruition the German-conceived "closed cycle" (hydrogen peroxide) power plant. (Only one such boat was actually put in service.) There are photos of several rarely seen screw designs and, as you would expect, frequent discussion of silencing.
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