K-19 the Widowmaker: The Secret Story of The Soviet Nuclear Submarine

Overview

The Soviet nuclear submarine K-19 was the pride of the Soviet Navy, but on July 4, 1961, during its maiden voyage to the North Atlantic for war games, it suddenly and unexpectedly developed a serious leak in one of the reactors. In a race against time, the officers and crew worked desperately and brilliantly, under intense exposure to radiation, to improvise a coolant system, averting a Chernobyl-like nuclear disaster. The toll for their efforts was certain and devastating: Eight men died painful deaths from ...
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Overview

The Soviet nuclear submarine K-19 was the pride of the Soviet Navy, but on July 4, 1961, during its maiden voyage to the North Atlantic for war games, it suddenly and unexpectedly developed a serious leak in one of the reactors. In a race against time, the officers and crew worked desperately and brilliantly, under intense exposure to radiation, to improvise a coolant system, averting a Chernobyl-like nuclear disaster. The toll for their efforts was certain and devastating: Eight men died painful deaths from acute radiation poisoning within days of the accident, and the surviving crew returned home to await their unknowable fate.

Featuring a complete history of the actual events, with passages from the submarine captain's memoir, and rarely published historic images, K-19 places readers at the apex of the Cold War's brinkmanship between the USSR and the United States. It is the companion book to the upcoming National Geographic feature film about this gripping tragedy, K-19: The Widowmaker, starring Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson. Including information on the making of the film, with production stills, and cutaway drawings of the submarine, this powerful volume combines authoritative history and the magic of moviemaking to give the reader the real backstory to K-19.

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Editorial Reviews

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On July 4, 1961, the Soviet submarine K-19 was on its maiden voyage, en route to the North Atlantic for war games. The sleek nuclear submarine (the USSR's first) was considered a prime assignment for its talented crew. But K-19 never got beyond the Denmark Strait. At 4:07 a.m., the sub sent out a distress call. Rapidly, it became apparent that the ship was not only doomed but cradling a nuclear time bomb. K-19, The Widowmaker tells the story of a naval disaster that began with a little leak and the greater disaster that was, fortunately, averted.
Publishers Weekly
A companion to the feature film of the same name, K-19: The Widowmaker tells the hair-raising story of the Soviet submarine that nearly caused a nuclear meltdown in 1961. The sub developed a leak as it was heading toward the North Atlantic, and only the ingenious efforts of the crew eight of whom died within days from radiation poisoning staved off a global disaster. Author Peter Huchthausen, a retired U.S. Navy captain and former naval attach in Moscow (as well as a technical adviser on the film), recounts the fateful events and also describes the making of the film. (July) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780792264729
  • Publisher: National Geographic Society
  • Publication date: 6/4/2002
  • Series: National Geographic Series
  • Pages: 256
  • Product dimensions: 6.04 (w) x 9.00 (h) x 0.69 (d)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 18, 2002

    Interesting and informative

    This book is not purely based on the movie that is coming out. The story contains the failures and mistakes of the Russians while they were making submarines. The book talks about the diaster which the movie will be based on. However the book talks about other disasters and has a lot of the book from the subs commander's comments. It is a truly fascinating book.

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