Rising Tide

Rising Tide: The Untold Story Of The Russian Submarines That Fought The Cold War

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New submarine book: Rising Tide, the Untold Story of the Russian Submarines that Fought the Cold War by Gary Weir and Walter Boyne. Weir is a historian at the US Naval Historical center, and Boyne is a former director of the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum.

The book is an attempt to chronicle Soviet military strategy for submarine warfare from about the end of World War II through the end of the Cold War and how it affected both Soviet and US policies during that time. There is some interesting material based on interviews with retired Soviet submariners, but overall, I felt the book was average — not a lot of depth, and it couldn’t quite figure out what story it wanted to tell, so it kept moving back and forth from technical to personal to political, and never really doing any of them true justice.

One of the stronger aspects of the book is discussing the problems inherent in working within the Soviet system, where quality control was many times questionable (and attempting to work in an environment that was, at best, unforgiving to flaws). A detailed discussion of the Kursk disaster also is intereting, but didn’t shed any real new information to me, and I don’t claim to have studied the incident seriously.

I useful and readable book, but it could have been much better. Not up to the quality of, say, Blind Man’s Bluff, which covers much of the same material from the American standpoint. But definitely readable. give it 3 out of 5.