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The Navy Times Book of Submarines: A Political, Social, and Military History Paperback – August 1, 2001
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About the Author
Brayton Harris spent twenty-four years on active duty with the U.S. Navy, reaching the rank of Captain. He is the author of The Age of the Battleship: 1890-1922. His shorter pieces have appeared in numerous magazines including the Saturday Review, Army Times, and the Naval Institute Proceedings.
Walter J. Boyne is the bestselling author of Weapons of Desert Storm, Silver Wings, and Clash of Wings, among others.
Top customer reviews
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It covers the early history very well right up to WW1. Has quite a few quite interesting facts nothing though I felt of any major significance.
WW2 is sort of covered.
What particularly did annoy me is that the post war era, I felt this section was very short and badly covered. What there is almost all about the US, a little about Russia and almost nothing about anyone else.
However, my enjoyment of it was greatly diminished by the manner in which the author repeatedly heaps scorn upon the other books which apparently contain factual errors that are now finally being corrected in this volume. I rapidly tired of the author's superior attitude, and eventually found myself being annoyed by it.
But despite the fact that this book is quick to criticize other submarine books for being "riddled with errors," it suffers from the same defect itself! Many ship's names are misspelled (Thetis, Ramillies, Plantagenet, etc), gun calibers are quoted in an erroneous manner (I've never heard of a 3 inch / .50 caliber), Hitler's birthday is given incorrectly as 4/18, and numerous other words and names are misspelled. And these are only the ones that I recognized straight away; who knows if other facts are garbled. Perhaps this author too was "in a hurry" to go to press, and thus committed the same mistake of allowing errors to slip through. I realize that the items I listed are mostly of a minor nature, but for a book which makes such a big deal about the errors of others, they are inexcusable. The only other submarine book that I have read which contains the same density of defects is Peter Padfield's "War Beneath the Sea", but then Padfield doesn't assume any tones of superiority, so he is much easier to forgive.
In all, a useful addition to the submarine bookshelf, but flawed, mostly by the author's tiresome attitude.
This was a great story and I was unsure if I would find the history behind the submarine as interesting as its role in naval warfare but I did. The author tells a great story that never gets boring and keeps you reading page after page with interesting bits of information and first hand accounts of those involved. I found this book easy to read and it was a joy to lay back and read a few pages each night.
Covers submarines from very early origins (1580!) to present times. The book is weighted towards the pre-1945 era: about one third of the book covers pre-1914 developments with much of the rest covering the two world wars. There's relatively light coverage of the Cold War and present era - less than 50 pages.
Category: submarine history
Technical content: average