Images of War, United States Navy submarines 1900-2019, Rare Photographs From Wartime Archives

The very popular Images Of War Series usually deals with a weapon, a battle, a campaign, a war, but this new addition to the Series produces a history of more than a century for one of the most important weapons systems of recent history. The author has produced a remarkably comprehensive history of submarines in US Navy service with some outstanding images. – Most Highly Recommended.

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NAME: Images of War, United States Navy submarines 1900-2019, Rare Photographs 
From Wartime Archives 
FILE: R3040
AUTHOR: Michael Green
PUBLISHER: Pen & Sword
BINDING: soft back
PRICE: £16.99                                                                
GENRE: Non Fiction
SUBJECT: Naval arms race, WWI, World War I, World War 1, World War One, First 
World War, The Great War, WWII, World War II, World War 2, Second World War, 
Cold War, Korean War, Vietnam War, Gulf War, submarines, anti-submarine warfare, 
naval warfare, Battle Groups, nuclear power, ballistic missiles

ISBN: 1-52674-206-3

IMAGE: B3040.jpg
BUYNOW: tinyurl.com/sa2ymmy

PAGES: 234
LINKS: 
DESCRIPTION: The very popular Images Of War Series usually deals with a weapon, 
a battle, a campaign, a war, but this new addition to the Series produces a history of 
more than a century for one of the most important weapons systems of recent history. 
The author has produced a remarkably comprehensive history of submarines in 
US Navy service with some outstanding images. – Most Highly Recommended.

The idea of submarine warfare goes back through history to ancient times, including 
warriors using a snorkel to walk underwater and surprise an enemy. The 
demonstration of a vessel that could operate underwater goes back almost five 
hundred years, but it had to wait until the closing years of the Nineteenth Century 
before a viable weapons system could be produced. The main limiter was propulsion 
systems and a viable submarine required a power unit for travel on the surface at 
reasonable speed, and an electric motor with batteries to operate underwater. 

As early as WWI, the Royal Navy began work on a hunter-killer submarine to attack 
other submarines. The R Class featured a streamlined conning tower, no deck gun or 
other obstruction on deck and a minimum casing around the pressure hull. It had 
additional battery capacity and was intended to spend most of its time underwater, 
making virtually no noise and listening for enemy submarines. In the closing stages 
of WWII, Germany produced in very small quantities the Type 21 and Type 23 
U-Boats that also employed careful streamlining, large battery capacity and anti-
aircraft guns faired into the conning tower, able to sail at higher speeds under water
 than on the surface. With these exceptions, all submarines were essentially torpedo
 boats that travelled mainly on the surface and submerged only for brief periods where 
their best speed was walking pace.

It was only after WWII that nuclear power provided the means to build submarines 
that could sail around the world underwater without the need to refuel or surface. This 
was to pave the way to the marriage of submarine and ballistic missile to produce a 
vessel that competes with the aircraft carrier for the title of modern capital ship.

In this book the history of the US Navy submarine arm is traced, from the first Holland 
boats that were small, short ranged and lightly armed. From those first limited boats, 
development took on a very rapid pace and the author provides an extended 
introduction that is supported by images. The major development work was 
undertaken during WWI and by the end of the conflict, the US Navy was operating 
large submarines suitable for operation in the Atlantic and in the Pacific. As with most 
weapons, the inter-war years saw continuing development work, but very limited 
construction programs, as politicians severely limited funding for the military.

During the Second World War, the USN submarine force became extremely important 
in the Pacific with large ocean going submarines that cut supplies to Japan, operating 
in wolf packs and soon running out of targets. They also provided critical search and 
rescue operations that saved many downed aircrew, acted as forward radar pickets and 
on reconnaissance missions.

After WWII, many of these proven submarines underwent the GUPPY conversions 
that saw the deck guns removed, streamlined conning towers, or 'sails', cleaned up 
deck casings, more battery capacity and improved electronics to increase the time 
spent under water. That filled a gap, but the introduction of nuclear submarines 
revolutionized the US Navy. New power plants, new hull formats and new weapons 
produced real submarines that rarely come to the surface. They have required new 
tactics and created new opportunities although a modern nuclear submarine still uses 
the locomotive torpedo as its primary anti-ship/submarine weapon. To this weapon 
has been added cruise missiles that launch from the torpedo tubes and the specialist, 
ballistic weapon armed, strategic warfare submarine. 

The pace of development has been fast and this book beautifully captures this. The 
captions and extended captions support outstanding photographs and drawings, many 
in full colour, and both are supported very effectively by longer sections of text. This 
is a lot of book for the money and extremely well executed.