Good submarine books which cover the history of the development and deployment of boats are few. Great ones are fewer. Some of the great ones are Friedman’s Illustrated Design History (2 Volumes), Alden’s “The Fleet Submarine in the United States Navy and Clay Blair’s “Silent Victory”. I would like to introduce you to a book which will sit on my book-shelf equal to those mentioned above. Mr. Bill Lightfoot’s “Beneath the Surface” is the story of submarines built in Seattle and Vancouver from 1909 to 1918. It is published by Cordillera Books out of Vancouver and is available from outlets stateside.
This book conveys the history of the boats, their builders and their deployments. Not only are the boats themselves described in detail, but their engines, radios, periscopes and sonars. The research is impeccable, the detail complete and the explanations clear.
This is not a dry technical history. It is the story of the early part of our Force, the beginnings of the Submarine Force of our Canadian brethren and the boats destined for Russia in the early days of WWI. It is told with a dry good humor that submariners the world over would recognize and appreciate.
I don’t often feel compelled to review or to tout a particular submarine book, but this one is a most excellent addition to a collection of submarine books and a fun read. See Mr. Lightfoot’s website http://beneaththesurface.biz/ for information on purchasing.