The reviewer /is the Chief International Affairs Officer of Philippine Coast Guard Auxilimy District Palawan. He holds a BS degree in Architecture from Palawan State University. He is with the Class of 1999-B Philippine Coast Guard Auxiliary Officers Indoctrination Course and Class of 1997 Basic Naval Reserve Officer Training Course. His interest is Naval and Maritime and Military History.
S even years ago, two different submarines from different time frames captured world attention: the CSS HUNLEY and the RFS KURSK. The former dating back for over a century was finally found and raised while the latter suffered a fatal accident in the Barents Sea culminating in its sinking with all hands aboard.
In this heavily illustrated account of lost and found submarines, In Great Waters author Spencer Dunmore tells the story of these tragic accidents and their subsequent recovery operations. The book is divided into eight chapters respectively. It begins with an introduction by world known Oceanographer, author and Naval Reserve Officer Dr. Robert Ballard.
The opening chapter narrates the development of the submarine from David Bushnell’s TURTLE and Robert Fulton’s NAUTILUS. It would then take readers into the transformation of the Submarine as a weapon of war. This segment solely focuses on the Confederate States Ship HUNLEY from its beginnings, the attack on the USS HOUSA TONIC to the day it was raised off the South Carolina Coasts.
By the 1870’s, several improvements and designs were developed, from George Garret’s RESURGAM, Simon Lakes’s ARGONAUT 1 to John Holland’s design. The advent of World War One put the submarine into a deadly weapon of war by the Germans. The peace that followed covers the loss, rescue, and resurrection of USS SQUALUS (SS-192) and HMS THETIS (N25) in 1939. The submarine rescue equipment developed during the time from the Momsen Lung to the Mcann Rescue Chamber and its operational use are well described. Both submarines would be refurbished, re-commissioned and take part in World War Two as USS SAILFISH and HMS THUNDERBOLT.
The lethality of the craft was again proven by the Allied and Axis navies from the Atlantic to the Pacific, from the Mediterranean to the Indian Ocean during the Second World War. Subsequent submarine actions covered in this section are the attack on the Aircraft Carrier HMS COURAGEOUS to Operation Drumbeat to the surrender of the U-boats in I 945. Four pages are devoted to the discovery of the Japanese submarine 1-52. Developments of Anti-Submarine Weapons and advances on German Submarine Design on the latter days of the war are also discussed.
The loss, search and discovery of USS SCORPION (SSN-589) form the core of Chapter Seven. The author covers the subject from the day the vessel lost contact to the latest evidence of what might have caused the torpedo warhead explosion. The penultimate chapter captures the saga of the Russian Submarine KURSK during its fatal accident in August 2000. Here, Mr. Dunmore narrates the days of the submarine tragedy from the day of the two massive explosions to its raising in 200 I . The illustrations on how the submarine was raised is of importance.
The book is well written and researched. Noteworthy are the vignettes of informational from HMAS AE2, to the actions of the USS WAHOO (SS-238) and USS TANG (SS-306) in the Pacific during World War Two to the sinking of the USS THRESHER (SSN-593) and the recovery of the bridge of Israeli Navy Submarine DAKAR in 2000 which was lost in the Med in 1968.
In assessment, apart from its coverage, Lost Subs provides an overview of submarine development and submarine warfare history. The book’s gem is its vast array of photos (some of which were never published before). The underwater images, paintings, diagrams and cutaway illustrations by notable artists are impressive. A bibliography and website list of submarines and submarine associations supplements the book. Lost Subs is a valuable addition in the library of anyone interested in naval and submarine history. The book is recommended.
RADM Milton P. Alexich, USN (Ret.)
Mr. Ansel C. Braseth
CDR William R. lber, USN (Ret.)
Mr. Tommy C. Jones, Jr.
CAPT William L. Norris, USN (Ret.)
PO Dewey R. Carpenter, USN
MM2(SS) Kenneth E. Duell, USN (Ret.)
Mr. Robert J. Hallford
Mr. Victor C. Hulina
VADM Dennis A. Jones, USN (Ret.)
Mr. Joseph Buff
ADM Archie Clemins, USN (Ret.)
RADM Larry R. Marsh, USN (Ret.)
CAPT Willis A. Matson, USN (Ret.)
CAPT Robert M. Morrison, USN (Ret.)
RADM John B. Padgett, ill, USN (Ret.)
CDR Craig L. Etka, USN (Ret.)
CDR William H. Carson, II, USN (Ret.)
CAPT. Stephen E. Martin, USN(Ret)
CAPT. Charles B. Reigner, USN (Ret.)