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Silent Battleground (Submarine Classics by D.M. Ulmer) Paperback – October 10, 2008
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First , author D. M. Ulmer has the storyteller's gift of drawing the reader right into the story and making us a part of it. I felt like I was LIVING the story as a member of American and Russian submarine crews instead of reading it. The characters are portrayed as real human beings, not as afterthoughts put there to flesh out a war drama. The reader totally perceives the story through the characters' eyes.
On another level the book characterizes the subtleties of human nature under the stress of naval combat, like those that made THE CAINE MUTINY such an epic classic. The officers have conflicting viewpoints about tactics, weapons systems, and each other, but each is seeing only the part of the picture visible from his/her viewpoint.
It shows that the U.S. Navy, for all its accomplishments in maintaining the disciplines required to take nuclear submarines to war, is riven by the same factions of backbiting, personal animosity, and bureaucracies that are so much a part of every other organization. It shows how naval crews trained to make life-and-death decisions in split seconds during the stress of combat are as important as the technological capabilities of weapons systems.
The book also has several strategic messages. The first is that our Navy maybe overemphasizing its reliance surface fleets centered on fat targets like carriers that can be destroyed in an instant by missiles fired by enemy submarines or land based launchers. Another message is that the Navy, like any other organization, sometimes gets its priorities wrong.Read more ›
A few points for the author or other readers to consider:
As I read the book, something get pinging at me about the way it was written, something familiar, but I couldn't figure it out. Then it came to me- Mr. Ulmer uses dialogue and scenarios similar to the WWII dramas I watched as a kid. Very well written, with a good depth, but the dialogue and actions/thoughts kept striking me as somewhat dated. I could easily picture a younger Charles Heston in the role of the Denver's Weps Officer, with a brunette leading lady from the 50's. Not necessarily a negative, but it kept me from achieving that deeper level of immersion that I seek from this genre. I look for characters in the 1980's to speak and at like characters from the 1980's, not from Here To Eternity. Many times it seemed the characters were a heartbeat away from having a scotch and cigar to congratulate themselves on their masculine prowess in the military arts. Not the image I remember, but they may be very accurate of the time the author served in the 1950's-60's.
The ovall plot is well,done, a nice change from the typical "US Military Kicks Ass". Maybe Russians aren't as dumb as some in our military thought?
I would never choose to argue tactics with a veteran like Mr. Ulmer, he would be considered a subject matter expert by anyone. But could a Russian sub evade an ADCAP simply by surfacing? Isn't there a setting for max depth and max ceiling?
A limited exchange of unclear weapons is interesting, I wish the story delved further into this.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It was a good read. I do wish there was a bit more combat action between subs, but overall, it's a very good book.Published 4 months ago by Grillerbeast
was ok pace was off so it took me longer to read it but tech seemed right decent read recommendPublished 8 months ago by Kenneth Bokor
The character development is child like and shallow. The plot is slow moving and try as I might after 5 chapters I gave up. Stay clear.Published 11 months ago by Darren Goldsmith
Great read, I was a submariner and he does a great job in this book.Published 18 months ago by Mike