WASHINGTON (NNS) -- "For those of us who reached maturity in a world without a unified Germany, and who recall exactly how it felt to live with the tensions of the Cold War, the Soviet Union loomed large and far away, but disturbingly able to reach our homes with the ultimate horror of nuclear weapons."
So begins the new book "Rising Tide, The Untold Story Of The Russian Submarines That Fought The Cold War," co-authored by Naval Historical Center (NHC) historian Dr. Gary E. Weir, and former director of the National Air and Space Museum, Walter J. Boyne.
During the Cold War, American and Soviet submarines were engaged in a deadly silent game of cat-and-mouse throughout the world's oceans.
It recounts Soviet successes such as top-secret missions off the American coast. This includes a story of a spy-ship that monitored missile tests off the coast of Florida and even collected its debris while in view of the U.S. Navy.
Along with Soviet triumphs are also its failures, including the horrendous nuclear accident Aboard submarine K-19, later nick-named "Hiroshima," and the subject of a recent motion picture.
Not only is the Soviet submarine story told, but also the stories of their crews. "You will get a chance to look inside that brotherhood, guided by many of its leading members. Here you will find that firsthand world of a Soviet submariner: life, death, survival and duty in the Earth's most amazing and mysterious environment," Weir writes.
Deaths were common for Soviet submarine crews, and the ocean claimed "many of their number. The Soviet leadership constantly took political and technological risks to stay abreast of the United States, while front line Soviet submarine crews and their families frequently paid dearly for ill-considering gambling," concludes Weir.
"Rising Tide" is the first book to document the story of the Soviet submarine service during that time. Using the newest available materials from the Soviet Archives and numerous interviews with Russian naval officers, captains and admirals, a story emerges of one of the most dangerous times in the world.
Weir has worked for the NHC 16 years and is currently the head of its Contemporary History Branch. This branch investigates, analyzes and interprets the Navy's 20th century War I experience for the Navy and the American people through the research, writing and publication of histories.
He has also written several NHC books on submarines and the sea, including "Forged in War: The Naval-Industrial Complex and Submarine Construction, 1940-1960," winner of the Roosevelt Prize in Naval History, and "An Ocean In Common: American Naval Officers, Scientists and the Ocean Environment," 2002 recipient of the Organization of America's Historian Richard W. Leopold Prize.
"Rising Tide" by Gary E. Weir and Walter Boyne is available from both online and retail booksellers.
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