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Rising Tide: The Untold Story of the Russian Submarines that Fought the Cold War Paperback – October 5, 2004

3.8 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews


A superb account. -- Peter Huchthausen, author of October Fury

An important book. -- New York Times bestselling author, Larry Bond

Gripping. -- New Scientist

About the Author

Gary E. Weir is a Historian of Science and Technology at the U.S. Naval Historical Center, and Adjunct Professor of History, University of Maryland.

Walter J. Boyne, former director of the National Air and Space Museum of the Smithsonian Institution, retired from the U.S. Air Force in 1974 as a Colonel. He is a New York Times bestselling author.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: NAL Trade (October 5, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451213017
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451213013
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,694,502 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By David Traill VINE VOICE on April 16, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I picked up this book having read many books on submarines and submarine warfare, in addition to many Cold-War histories. The end result from having read this book was that I came out wanting more information, since if one looked at the book on the outside, one would expect a bit more than was delivered.
With 304 pages offered, I had hoped for most of that to be centered upon the experiences of the Soviet submarine fleet as it grew into a force that caused the West no shortage of concern. However, the amount of material on the Soviet submarine service was understandably limited, and depended heavily upon only a few people who had significant experience at the end of the Cold War, as opposed to the beginning and turbulent middle. What seemed like the last third comes in the form of an unusually informative analysis of Soviet naval doctrine as seen by Admiral Gorshkov, and a primer on the many individual sumarine varieties that were fielded by the Soviets during the Cold War.
There were a few semi-lengthy stories about specific incidents, but it repeated what can be found in many other books, including the far more revealing Blind Man's Bluff. It did not have the detail about the daily lives of the crew and challenges such as was found aboard U.S. subs in Big Red. It did have some discussion on the poor construction of the boats and the political interests outweighing sound employment of these critical naval assets, but it didn't dwell too long there.
The value of this book is that is one of very few references on the Soviet submarine service, but it is not authoritative enough that it can be consulted often. Still, it does add to the growing list of available sources on the "other side" of the Cold War, and thus sheds just a little more insight.
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Format: Hardcover
When I first started on the book I found that it captured my interest right away. The authors had a confidence that came through in the writing that made you believe everything they were saying. The book attempts to tell the story of the Soviet Unions submarine fleet from its start pre World War Two through the cold war. In order to do this they used both written works and a number of interviews with former sailors that where there when the action was going on. For the most part they cover the interesting events like crashes or major exercises or events. They spend time on the Cuban missile crises that provided me with some interesting and before unknown details about what the Soviets were doing with their subs during the event.

The problem I had with the book is that that the authors did not good a very good job of covering any aspect of the book. They almost did not touch on the life of a navy man in the USSR or how they got into the subs. They also did a poor job at covering in any detail USSR verses USA cold war action. The events that they covered the most outside of the Cuban missile crises had a distinct USA tint to the reporting. The details of the crashes was not in any sort of order, it seemed like they threw them in here and there. Plus the detail of the crashes was somewhat lacking. They did not do any of the events justice. The book ends with a review of the Krusk event and again they did report some interesting info from the Russian side, but it was diminished by the overall skimming of the story.

Overall I thought the book was just average. The writing was good and the authors come across like they know what they are talking about. A number of the stories are interesting, it is just that as a full history it is lacking.
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Format: Hardcover
Rising Tide is a fairly decent book about the activites of the Soviets during the Cold War, sort of a "Blind Man's Bluff" from the other side. The author undoubtedly had a significantly more difficult time researching this subject, due in part of continuted secrecy of the Red Navy, the overall breakdown of the Soviet/Russian navy, and the sources which he used (which were primarily oral histories from those Soviet Sailors involved.) In spite of these limitations, the book does provide a fairly interesting insight as to how the Soviet submariners viewed the cold war.
However, there are several shortcomings that stand out. First, the organization of the book, at times is appaling. in the first few chapters of the book, the authors often try to make the book more interesting by telling some historical anecdote that distracts from the overall theme of the chapter. For example, the retelling the story of the accident on K-19 falls in the "Uncertain Nuclear Begginning" but probably would have been better off in "Death in Depts" chapter. Furthermore, the author tries to fill in space by providing American and German histories and achievements as comparisons. Unfortunately, many of these histories take way too much time and detract from the Soviet theme of book. Many of these anecdotes easily could have been reorganized and placed into different chapters to give the book a better flow.
Additionally, while the stories from the submariners are interesting, the book offers little of the technical history behind the creation of the submarines and the nuclear reactors.
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