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It seems like a lesson worth reviewing again as American military intelligence has now shifted its focus to cyber surveillance. Much like the submarines of the Cold War, it is an enterprise highly shrouded in mystery likely conducted with the same level of bravado as these captains did decades ago. The authors of this book raise plenty of questions in the readers mind as to whether the high cost of submarine warfare was really justified, but stop short of drawing definite conclusions themselves.

Its golden age has certainly has passed, and now its fight is in many ways to remain relevant. I would recommend this book to readers interested in a very insightful analysis of Cold War era naval operations.


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Those looking for gripping storytelling would probably be better served sticking with Tom Clancy. View all 3 comments. These are some amazing stories. Secretly placing a 6 ton recording device on a Russian underwater cable just off the coast of Russia that can record a years worth of Russian military communications is just crazy. Jul 31, Jeffrey rated it it was ok.

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The anecdotes are a collection of amusing, horrifying, blood pumping, low grade jingoist bar room stories. And taken as that, it is a very enjoyable read and why it doesn't get only one star. I think that without the Prologue and Afterword I could taken the book for what it is. Unfortunately, the Prologue proclaims that after years and years of hard research the authors can finally and exclusively te Where to start Unfortunately, the Prologue proclaims that after years and years of hard research the authors can finally and exclusively tell the true story of these brave men.

The cover quotes and Epilogue back this up with their bragging about five hour signing sessions and short statements praising the book from other New York Times Bestselling Anecdote book authors.

Let me concentrate in particular on the story of the Scorpion. This is the one thread that carries throughout the rest of the book as the authors repeatedly congratulate themselves on finally ferreting out the truth of the matter. Except they have nothing. The source they base their thesis on has repeatedly complained about them misstating his thoughts, positions, and ideas on the matter. Documents declassified after the book was published directly contradicts assertions made by the authors. Much of the book relies on coincidences to provoke a sense of wonder and amazement. Those of you that have read my historical fiction reviews know that that technique is one of my biggest pet peeves in the genre.

Much of this is clearly purposeful, as the authors will mention two incidents within a sentence or paragraph but only tell you when one of the incidents happened.

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If you enjoy Tom Clancy , read this book, these authors clearly know a lot more of that they are talking about than him. If you want a more recent and better sourced perspective if probably just as biased , I have heard good things from like minded readers about John Pina Craven 's book The Silent War: Jun 10, Will rated it really liked it Recommends it for: The nonfiction rendering of the American Navy's submarine spying program of the Cold War years, Growing up on the east coast I had been around both fast attack and SSBN submarine veterans almost my entire adult life.

Of course, my two best subvet friends, an E-9 and a Captain, wouldn't tell me jack shit about any of the missions they had ever been on due to the year non-disclosure forms the Navy had them sign at the height of the cold war. While they bo The nonfiction rendering of the American Navy's submarine spying program of the Cold War years, While they both knew the good shit, the E-9 had been on numerous patrols on the Parche, which will probably go down in the annals of Naval lore as the most daring submarine that ever took on incredibly risky stealth missions in and around Murmansk and Vladivostok.

Finally one night at a social event, the E-9 decided to get me off his back by telling me about Blind Man's Bluff.

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I read it and instantly gained an appreciation for what the crew must have gone through during these clandestine missions, typically staged to intercept communication traffic. This is mandatory reading for a submarine junkie. Mar 12, Brooks rated it liked it. Excellent narrative of submarine warfar with a Tom Clancy touch. The sub world is filled with games of tag and chicken that were incredibly dangerous for the crews and world peace.

Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage by Sherry Sontag

In , the first US sub Gudgeon was forced to surface from being caught by the soviets in their traditional areas. Much of the book is about the Navies tapping of Soviet communication cables Excellent narrative of submarine warfar with a Tom Clancy touch. Much of the book is about the Navies tapping of Soviet communication cables under the sea. The boats sent to do this were equipment with self destruct charges in case they were caught.

They had huge tape devices that used induction to tap the cables. At one point a sub was stuck in a violent storm in shallow waters and almost destroyed. In another incident, a sub started to take on sand into the reactor cooling water as it sat on the bottom. The massive failure led to congressional investigation.

May 18, Peter Mcloughlin rated it really liked it Shelves: Nuclear submarines were a key part of cold war strategy. They guaranteed a credible deterrent for the policy of Mutual Assured Destruction. The crews of the U. They were critical to U. They also in addition to there deterrent capability were needed to spy the Soviet's coastli Nuclear submarines were a key part of cold war strategy. They also in addition to there deterrent capability were needed to spy the Soviet's coastline.

Really interesting history of one deadly aspect of the cold war. Mar 29, Michael rated it it was amazing. He arranged an interview for me after I got my OE Master's degree in As a result of that interview, my next nine years on active duty were the most thrilling of my life. This book relates only a fraction of the amazing ocean technology feats during those years. Feb 15, Nate rated it it was amazing. A great book about the many missions happening beneath the waves during the cold war.

The balls of steel these guys had is without doubt. The lengths that they had to go to gather information is almost unheard of in these days of online espionage. The stories are funny, tense, and keep you on the edge of your seat. Apr 06, Stephen Phillips rated it it was amazing Shelves: Many chapters of the Cold War were unseen and unknown to the general public.

Among the most secret operations were those conducted undersea by the U. The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage , Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew tell tales derived from interviewing submariners that include technological marvels and unparalleled courage. Before reading this book, most have a perception of the submarine force consisting of two main missions, at Many chapters of the Cold War were unseen and unknown to the general public.

Dec 07, Catherine rated it it was amazing. Non-fiction, very well researched. It is not dry and is a page turner.


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  • The book is able to explain the nature of the brotherhood of the submariners through stories where our submariners are caught up in the loss of Soviet subs The development of the US and Soviet fleets is tracked as are the accidents, incidents, and tragedies. The researchers have done a phenomenol job of digging deeply into the stories to pull out d Non-fiction, very well researched. The researchers have done a phenomenol job of digging deeply into the stories to pull out details that put the reader inside the action.

    Knowing that it happened and has been verified makes it all the more thrilling. I remember watching the loss of a sub on black and white TV. Whether it was the Thresher or one of the Soviets, I am not sure. I remember watching Walter Cronkite gave us hourly reports as sounds were heard and when the ceased. This book calls that all to memory and brings it all to life. For anyone who has been on a sub or who has any interest in them, this is a must read. I was so desparate to keep reading the book although it had ended that I read the appendices and some were quite informative.

    May 21, David Griffiths rated it it was amazing. I used to tease my brother that if submarines ever proved themselves, we would through a couple in the hanger bay the deck below the flight deck on a carier. He would respond by telling me that I wouldn't be so cocky if I knew what submarines were really about. But, if you really want to know, read Blind Man's Bluff. I thought the flight deck was the most exciting and the most dangerous place a man could be. I was wro I used to tease my brother that if submarines ever proved themselves, we would through a couple in the hanger bay the deck below the flight deck on a carier.

    Imagine the courage it would take to go into the Sea of Okhotsk between a Soviet submarine base and the command of the Soviet Pacific Fleet, sink to the bottom, attach a device to an underwater cable, and listen to the inner most secrets of the Soviet navy during the cold war. Mar 01, Fiona Marsden rated it really liked it.

    This is a nice reunion romance with a classic evil Other Woman causing trouble. Ran and Rena has a brief romance two years ago and then he left. Now he's turned up in the coastal town in Queensland where Rena has taken refuge. He is teaching a class and Rena is shocked to realize he is blind. Ran is bitter because the girl he loved ran out on him. He doesn't recognize Rena and she is using a different name so he is at a disadvantage. Ran has a secretary who is in control of his life and means to k This is a nice reunion romance with a classic evil Other Woman causing trouble.

    Ran has a secretary who is in control of his life and means to keep it that way. Overall this is a nice little story.

    Lots of misunderstandings and the evil OW doing her best to keep them apart. John Haggerty rated it really liked it Mar 20, Rubina rated it it was amazing Jan 30, Michele Oyamata rated it really liked it Sep 02, Lisa Roy rated it liked it Dec 23, Prescilla rated it it was ok Feb 13, Barbara Lucero rated it it was amazing Nov 27, Lisa rated it it was ok Jan 20, Hnou rated it really liked it Dec 04, Valkyrja rated it it was amazing Dec 30, Barbara Hoffmann rated it it was ok Aug 02, Tanya rated it it was amazing Apr 28, Melinda rated it it was ok Oct 06, Adyani rated it liked it Dec 16, Sidra rated it liked it Dec 16, Beck Santa rated it really liked it Aug 03, Maria rated it it was ok Nov 24, Ann Nichols added it May 19, Tammy Brown added it Aug 18, Cheri added it Oct 10, Monique added it Nov 25, Paula marked it as to-read Mar 19, No espionage missions have been kept more secret than those involving American submarines.

    Now, Blind Man's Bluff shows for the first time how the Navy sent submarines wired with self-destruct charges into the heart of Soviet seas to tap crucial underwater telephone cables. It unveils how the Navy's own negligence might have been responsible for the loss of the USS Scorpion, a submarine that disappeared, all hands lost, thirty years ago. It tells the complete story of the audacious attempt to steal a Soviet submarine with the help of eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, and how it was doomed from the start.

    And it reveals how the Navy used the comforting notion of deep sea rescue vehicles to hide operations that were more James Bond than Jacques Cousteau. Blind Man's Bluff contains an unforgettable array of characters, including the cowboy sub commander who brazenly outraced torpedoes and couldn't resist sneaking up to within feet of unaware enemy subs.

    It takes us inside clandestine Washington meetings where top submarine captains briefed presidents and where the espionage war was planned one sub and one dangerous encounter at a time.


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    • Stretching from the years immediately after World War II to the present-day operations of the Clinton Administration, it is an epic story of daring and deception. A magnificent achievement in investigative reporting, it feels like a spy thriller, but with one important difference--everything in it is true. Thanks for signing up! We've emailed you instructions for claiming your free e-book. Tell us more about what you like to read so we can send you the best offers and opportunities.

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