Red November: Inside the Secret U. S. - Soviet Submarine War [NOOK Book]

Overview

Few know how close the world has come to annihilation better than the warriors who served America during the tense, forty-six-year struggle known as the Cold War. Yet for decades their work has remained shrouded in secrecy. Now, in this riveting new history, W. Craig Reed, a former U.S. Navy diver and fast-attack submariner, provides an eye-opening, pulse-pounding narrative of the underwater struggles and espionage operations between the United States and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that ...

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Red November: Inside the Secret U. S. - Soviet Submarine War

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Overview

Few know how close the world has come to annihilation better than the warriors who served America during the tense, forty-six-year struggle known as the Cold War. Yet for decades their work has remained shrouded in secrecy. Now, in this riveting new history, W. Craig Reed, a former U.S. Navy diver and fast-attack submariner, provides an eye-opening, pulse-pounding narrative of the underwater struggles and espionage operations between the United States and the former Union of Soviet Socialist Republics that brought us to the brink of nuclear war several times.

Red November is filled with new revelations and never-before-reported stories that take you deep beneath the surface and into the action during the entire Cold War period from 1945 through 1992. Reed served aboard submarines involved in espionage operations, and his father was a top naval intelligence specialist intimately involved in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Reed is one of the first authors to obtain in-depth interviews with dozens of navy divers, espionage operatives, submariners, and government officials on both sides (including several Soviet submarine captains), who describe the most daring and decorated missions of the conflict, including the top-secret Ivy Bells, Boresight, Bulls Eye, and Holystone operations. Other events, whose full details have not been made public until now, include:

  • The harrowing underwater cat-and-mouse chase in October 1962 that almost resulted in the firing of nuclear-tipped torpedoes by Soviet Foxtrot subs and could have started World War III
  • The alarming collision between the submarine USS Drum and a Soviet Victor III–class sub (an incident the author experienced firsthand), the American boat's remarkable escape, and the all-out effort by enemy forces to hunt her down in 1981
  • The role the author's father played in developing a highly classified, state-of-the-art system for detecting enemy subs that was instrumental in helping President Kennedy force Premier Khrushchev to back down at the height of the Cuban Missile Crisis
  • And the storm and resulting engine failure that trapped the USS Seawolf on the sea bottom during an espionage mission in Soviet waters that nearly took the lives of 190 sailors in 1981

Transcending traditional submarine, espionage, and Cold War accounts with its level of detail and first-person perspective, Red November is an up-close examination of one of the most dangerous periods in world history and an intimate look at the lives of those who participated in our country's longest and most expensive underwater war.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Reed's personal experience as a navy recon diver, submarine weapons technician, and special ops photographer informs every page of this exhaustive and fascinating account of submarine technology and warfare from the end of WWII through the cold war. The author's father, William J. Reed, a navy communications specialist, helped develop the hardware that made possible long distance frequency direction finding that allowed listening stations to pinpoint the far away locations of ships or submarines. These HFDF stations, called "Huff Duffs," were instrumental in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. Reed presents a vast cast of interesting characters and a daunting array of scientific technology, but manages to keep the material understandable, fresh, and exciting as befits a book devoted to the underwater world of high stakes submarine warfare. Decades-long gag orders keep participants from revealing really up-to-date secrets, though it's chilling to learn that from 1995 to 2005 the Chinese navy has launched 31 nuclear submarines.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Booklist
“This history of the cold war beneath the sea reads very much like a thriller.... For serious submarine buffs, a feast.”
George Friedman
“This is an astonishing and important book…. Red November is a book that anyone with an interest in espionage or clandestine naval operations should read.”
David Morrell
Red November is palpably gripping and packs the excitement of a real-life thriller. I felt like I was literally on-board a submarine in the middle of a hair-raising mission and on the brink of World War III.”
James Rollins
“If Tom Clancy had turned The Hunt for Red October into a nonfiction thriller, W. Craig Reed’s Red November might be the result…. Not to be missed!”
Steve Berry
Red November delivers the real life feel and fears of submariners who risked their lives to keep the peace. Smart, detailed, and highly entertaining, this is a story everyone should read.”
Barry Eisler
Red November is a terrific, real-life thriller, filled with larger than life warriors, technological wizardry, undersea games of chicken, and a civilian world perched unknowing on the brink of push-button nuclear destruction.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061992544
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/4/2010
  • Sold by: HARPERCOLLINS
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 416
  • Sales rank: 116,794
  • File size: 3 MB

Meet the Author

Born into a Navy family on the island of Guam, W. Craig Reed served as a U.S. Navy diver, submarine weapons technician, and special operations photographer deployed on nuclear fast-attack submarines. He lives in Silicon Valley, California.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 13 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 13 Customer Reviews
  • Posted October 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Re-Visiting the Cold War Era

    RED NOVEMBER has garnered both praise and criticism - praise as a source book to learn more about how the military managed the Cold War between the USSR and the USA from 1945 to 1992 and how much of what was happening was secret and withheld from the public, and criticism of the phrasing of the 'facts' presented in this thorough and well-documented volume. For this reader, having been part of the military action (Vietnam) that surfaced as a parcel of the 'threat of Communism', this novel, written by W. Craig Reed who likewise served in the military as a submarine weapons technician and special ops photographer from a first person account, reads more like a finely tuned thriller about espionage and the secrets that none of us knew as to how close we all came to nuclear annihilation.

    Reed writes well, his approach to the information shared in this book is mixed with just the right amount of soldier life and tales that provide respite form the intrigue that fills nearly every page. Another aspect of his writing that is positive is the choice to separate paragraphs by enough space to suggest the duplicity of action taking place: for example, while describing in detail what was happening in the naval maneuvers during the Cuban missile crisis he adds what Kennedy et al were thinking and saying at each stage of that terrifying threat. It works very well - very much like a screenplay written so that the viewer can get both sides of the incidents as they happen.

    Reed includes a good number of photographs, in both black and white and in color, of submarines inside and out, and some of the heroes behind the scenes - including his own father William J. Reed who was a central figure in decoding and designing submarine signals. The information reported in this book includes conversations Reed has discovered, or heard, or took part in, and this first hand account of incidents raises the terror level of discovering just how close we have come to nuclear war. Perhaps not all the data is 100% accurate: it is doubtful that any historical data is perfect. That is not to say that Reed does not captures the tenor and the terror of working in the submarine units, below water, out of sight, that gives this book the flavor of a fine novel or motion picture. We are fortunate to have this information to keep the future possibilities of the missteps of war always in the front of our minds. Grady Harp

    4 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    DO NOT BUY THIS BOOK!!!!!

    To be honest, this was a terrible book. If I could give it negative stars, I would. The innacuracies present in this book are glaring and they are in every part of this book. For example, the author writes that China has developed 30 nuclear submarines in the last ten years. China has only made about a dozen nuclear submarines since the '70s. This is only one error of the hundreds, if not thousands of inaccuracies. This book seems to have more erronious facts that true ones! The people who have written positive reviews of this book probably don't know enough about subs to review this book well. If you are looking for a good submarine book, I highly recommend any book by Norman Polmar, who writes interesting, informative and accurate books about submarines.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 19, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    If you Like Submarines.....

    Ever since the Charlton Heston film "Grey Lady Down" I have always been intrigued by tales of submarines. Whether fact or fiction, I am immediately hooked. "Red November" just fueled that particular fire.

    It is a history of the submarines role during the Cold War Era. The most fascinating aspect is to see the progression of the technology employed during this time. How the subs went from diesel power to nuclear power and the advantages gained from such progression.

    You are also given insight on the progressionb of the technology used to capture radio signals from the Soviet Navy, and the cat and mouse game that was played when the Soviets figured a way to hide the signals.

    This book is as thrilling as anything written in fiction. What makes it better is that the events are real!

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 23, 2012

    Interesting, but very technically detailed

    If you're a history buff and are interested in the Cold War, I recommend this book. The author gets really technical at times but overall it's worth the effort.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 11, 2012

    I think it interesting and has an enveloping continuity of intri

    I think it interesting and has an enveloping continuity of intrigue. Never mind if some of the detail are inaccurate. You couldn't prove it by me, but there does seem to exist some corroboration of the facts in other books such as Blind Man's Bluff. All in all it promises to be good. I qualify this because I haven't finished the Sample yet. Respectfully yours, Zootsuit

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 11, 2013

    Red november

    It has alout action I love.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 29, 2012

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    Posted January 28, 2012

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