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Silent Killers: Submarines and Underwater Warfare (General Military) Hardcover – June 21, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 9 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

“Silent Killers will serve as an entertaining reference work for those who seek the fuller history of this undersea endeavor.” ―Ryder Miller, San Francisco Book Review

“From wooden to iron and steel hulls, to hand-cranked propulsion, this [book] traces the evolution of the submarine and its continuing importance in military strategy, making for a top pick for any military history holding.” ―The Midwest Book Review (September 2011)

“...Silent Killers is a unique look back into an underwater realm few have ever seen. It is truly a remarkable work on all fronts.” ―Ron Fortier, New York Journal of Books (June 2011)

About the Author

Dr. Delgado is currently the Director of the Maritime Heritage Program at NOAA, formerly the President and CEO of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, and was the Executive Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum in Vancouver, British Columbia for 15 years. Previously, he was the head of the U.S. government's maritime preservation program and was the maritime historian for the U.S. National Park Service. Dr. Delgado co-hosted The Sea Hunters along with best-selling author Clive Cussler, from 2001 to 2006.
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Product Details

  • Series: General Military
  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Osprey Publishing; 1St Edition edition (June 21, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1849083657
  • ISBN-13: 978-1849083652
  • Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1 x 9.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #920,769 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This book is full of people stories that bring the human side of the development of the submarine to life. I found the book to be a compelling, well written tour through history made interesting by personal touches and insight. While there are necessary technical details, this is not an exhaustive by the numbers book on every measurement, ton, gun or torpedo. It adds to story told by previous books by going into details about how these submarines fit into their times, who the inventors were, what their trials and tribulations were, and all of this is not only laid out in words but in a wonderful selection of images. Make no mistake, this is not a coffee table book, but a well-illustrated and well written reference that is also a delight to read. I was also pleased to see the last chapter, which is a thoughtful essay on how submarines and submarine warfare are part of popular culture, as well as how submarines are memorialized and preserved, and, not surprising given the author's profession, a section on the archaeology of submarines. I highly recommend the book!
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Format: Hardcover
This book does an excellent job of showing the attempt to invent and build machines to navigate under water.It covers the earliest attempts over the centuries and up to the magnificent machines we now have for military purposes, as well as for research,discovery,rescue and savage.The waters that cover 2/3 of the earth's surface have always challenged man's initiative ,inventiveness,curiosity in spite of the dangers which are as challenging ,if not more so than outer space.
The book is extremely well researched,well organized,well written and profusely illustrated with a plethora of photographs and illustrations;both in color and B&W.
Although the book emphasizes the military uses of submarines in The Civil War,WWI and WWII and shows the impact on naval operations;it also covers the underwater machines built purely for scientiific and salvage purposes.Granted,the military force that have the most advanced weapons and training of the forces to use them;always has the advantage.Therefore,the greatest technical advances tend to occur in wartime;and this has been true with submarines.This book not only covers the history of submarines of the several large countries that have built and used the most submarines;it covers the history of submarines in several other countries.
In all respects this is an excellent book that will impress anyone who has an interest in the history,design,construction,of Submarines for both military and peaceful purposes.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
An excellent book for information about the development and origin of submarines, from the earliest experimentation to the very modern submarine. An excellent book to keep in your library for historical referrence. Easy reading with a treasure of historical facts and documention, but not dry or boring at all. An excellent book with factual information. Lots of photos from the earliest to the modern.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a book on underwater warfare tactics or wartime history, this is not the book. If you are interested in the development of submarines over the past couple of hundred years, then this is a very good reference source. It is well documented and covers the events in a number of different countries around the world. A most enjoyable read.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Researched with such incredible depth and detail, it's unimagineable to me how a book can provide so little actual insight and understanding over so many pages. This is the kind of history that turns people way from history: dry recitation of fact after fact with minimal analysis and no sense of the "story" behind the incredible men and machines. Organized chronologically, the book pays lots of attention to length and tonnage of every boat. It notes clearly the obstacles that developers of submarines had to overcome - range, depth, fresh air, type of engines, cooling for the crew, armaments, etc. - but if it ever actually explains how any of these were resolved, it's in passing deference to more dates and lengths and tonnages. For example, the special design of mine-laying subs is referenced dozens of times, yet never explained. Same with the Momsen Lung, air purificaiton and even the periscope and snorkel.
At many points, I questioned whether the author even understood what he was talking about. Mid-book, Delgado refers to the changeout of one submarine's 18-inch torpedo tubes for LONGER 21-inch tubes (I'm pretty sure that would be the diameter, not the length). He explains the development of the diesel-electric drive in an independent clause within a larger sentence.
All of this is delivered in a tiresome and repetitive writing style.
If you want to know the length and tonnage of a particular class of submarine from the late 1700s through present day, go ahead and buy this book. If you want to learn how each technological hurdle was overcome; how submarine warfare strategy was developed and changed the globe; about the poeple who coped with the frightening conditions of life on the crew, then find another book. This one will only disappoint you.
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