No one has done more to prevent conflict – no one has made a greater sacrifice for the cause for Peace – than you, America’s proud submarine family. You stand tall among our heroes of the Cold War… Colin Powell


The hunter hunted : submarine versus submarine : encounters from World War I to the present Robert C. Stern London : Chatham, 2007 Hardcover. vi, 248 p., [16] p. of plates : ill., 1 map, 1 port. ; 24 cm. Includes bibliographical references and index. Clean, tight and strong binding with clean dust jacket. No highlighting, underlining or marginalia in text. VG/VG

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Submariners like to say that at sea there are only two kinds of vessel: submarines and targets. From their inception submarines have been hunters, and for much of their history they have been extremely difficult to counter, so it was inevitable that attempts would be made to use their hunting qualities against their own kind. This book chronicles some of the most significant of those clashes, from primitive beginnings to the dangerous, high-tech cat-and-mouse games of the Cold War era.

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At first submarines were little better than submersible torpedo-boats – and slow, half-blind ones at that – with weapons that could not operate in three-dimensions, so the early encounters occurred with the hunted party on the surface. Even then there were failures, mishaps and ‘friendly fire’ incidents, with mysteries surrounding the fate of some boats that remain unsolved to the present. It was not until 1945, when Venturer sank U864, that a submarine fell prey to another while both were submerged. This is still the only such confirmed sinking, but since 1945 there have been rumours of others, accidental victims of the ‘war by another name’ that characterised the tension between the West and the Soviet Union.

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The book concludes by investigating some of those for which evidence has leaked out. With individual chapters devoted to each incident, the book may be read as a series of dramatic narratives, but taken as a whole it amounts to a complete history of the submarine from an unusual and previously neglected angle.

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