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The H. L. Hunley: The Secret Hope of the Confederacy Hardcover – September 30, 2008
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From Publishers Weekly
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Top Customer Reviews
Too often in the study of history one will come across a well-researched book devoid of a good narrative or, in return, a great story with little to no actual research. Chaffin deftly combines both and creates that rarest of Civil War books, a well-researched book that is also well written and will appeal to a broad audience of both layman and academics. There is something for everyone in this fine work. Combining history, myth and memory, as well as recent archeological work, Chaffin's book will be the starting point for study of the doomed ship.
It is a must-read for Civil War historians' ands adds invaluably to our knowledge of the defense of Charleston in the waning period of the war. This book will also please students and readers interested in maritime history and the study of unconventional warfare.
There were submarines before; Leonardo da Vinci himself said he had designed one, but uncharacteristically did not show anyone else the design, he said, "because of the evil nature of men who would practice assassinations at the bottom of the sea..." Chaffin reviews the history of submarines, with the _Hunley_ being far more advanced than any that had gone before.Read more ›
The "H.L. Hunley" was actually the third submarine constructed by a group of Southern patriots who wanted to produce underwater boats that could effectively break the Federal blockade of southern ports. The first two failed, eventually sinking, before actual engagement was made with Union ships. Fortunately the crew members escaped with their lives, but the mishaps raised questions about the idea and slowed the flow of additional funds for future attempts.
The three developers of the "H.L. Hunley," and the two boats preceding her, were intrepid and strong-willed, never straying from their goal. Horace Hunley was probably the most tenacious and productive, continually pursuing financial backing and political support from a Confederate government that was always short of money. It was his single-mindedness that got his name attached to the last submarine boat manufactured by the group and the chance to command it during one of its trial voyages. It cost him his life.
The "Hunley" had its share of misfortunes during its development. Five of the eight crewmen perished when the "Hunley" sank during a trial run in August 1863, apparently from an open hatch. The boat was raised, only to sink again in October 1863 because of operational error.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very repetitive book. I consider it a juvenile attempt to make money from the Civil War disaster.Published 1 month ago by Jim Passauer
In researching H. L. Hunley, came across this book authored by Dr. Tom Chaffin. Prior had read several other Hunley books and found them lacking. I can honestly say The H. L. Read morePublished 4 months ago by joseph m indovina
Well written portrayal of a historic event, well documented and thorough.Published 7 months ago by Gordon W McNeal
Nicely written history of the legendary craft and the people associated with it.Published 8 months ago by JimmyLong
I got this book after touring the CSS Hunley exhibit in Charlston. I wish I'd read this first. I would have understood the exhibit better had I done so. Read morePublished 11 months ago by David McRae
This is a great recap of the complete story from concept and development of the Confederate Sub during the Civil War to the discovery and recovery of the vessel after being sunk in... Read morePublished 12 months ago by David Shelton