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Silent and Unseen: On Patrol in Three Cold War Attack Submarines

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by Alfred McLaren
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Silent and Unseen: On Patrol in Three Cold War Attack Submarines by Alfred McLaren

In Silent and Unseen, veteran submarine commander Captain Alfred S. McLaren describes in riveting detail the more significant events that occurred early in the Cold War during his seven years, 1958-1965, onboard three attack submarines: the USS Greenfish (SS-351), USS Seadragon (SSN-584), and USS Skipjack (SSN-585). Through myriad stories and anecdotes, his book focuses on the development of attack-boat tactics and under-ice exploration techniques.

The commanding officers that a young submarine officer serves with will determine how well prepared he will be to assume his own command years later. This was particularly true in attack submarines, during the early high-risk years of the Cold War. They were continually at sea, and each reconnaissance and intelligence collection mission was of potentially great, and sometimes extraordinary, value to the government of the United States of America. The missions more often than not required closing of the potential enemy to collect the intelligence desired, generally within weapons range. But, unlike a war patrol, the U.S. attack boat had to remain completely undetected; then withdraw as silently and unseen as it approached.

Greenfish was one of the most successful Pacific diesel submarines when McLaren served aboard her as a watch and weapons officer during an era when she and other diesel boats executed all Cold War missions and overseas deployments. McLaren then reported to Seadragon in time to serve as a watch officer, as she became the first nuclear submarine to transit from the Atlantic to the Pacific via the Arctic Ocean. En route, she examined the underside of icebergs, conducted the first underwater survey and passage through the Northwest Passage, and surfaced at the North Pole. He subsequently served as diving officer, an engineering department division officer and as weapons officer during a series of Cold War missions and a lengthy Western Pacific deployment. Silent and Unseen concludes with a recounting of the author's experiences as diving officer, navigator, and chief engineer onboard what was then world's fastest and most advanced submarine, USS Skipjack (SSN-585) during the Cuban Missile Crisis, two Cold War missions, and the very intensive and exciting period of new tactical and weapons development which followed to counter a rapidly emerging Soviet nuclear submarine threat

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Ebook Details
Pages: 256
Size: 16.1 MB
Publisher: Naval Institute Press
Date published:   2015
ISBN: 9781612518466 (DRM-EPUB)

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