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Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of Cold War Submarine Espionage (1998)

by Sherry Sontag, Christopher Drew

Other authors: Annette Lawrence Drew

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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1,690237,816 (3.9)12
This real-life "Hunt for Red October" is a story Naval Intelligence doesn't want you to know: the dramatic history of America's highly clandestine, dangerous, and sometimes deadly submarine espionage missions, from the Cold War thorough the Clinton administration.

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» See also 12 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 23 (next | show all)
This is a story about some of the missions US spy submarines conducted against the Soviet Union during the cold war. Starting in the 50s some clever US submariners started equipping submarines for underwater clandestine missions apart from the normal "look at ships and shoot at them". This included recovering wrecks of subs and missiles underwater and tapping underwater communication channels.

Sherry Sontag tells the story well and in an interesting fashion and it was well worth the time. If anything, it leaves me wanting more, but by the definition, this is not something you can read about on Wikipedia, and in fact, I'm not sure what sources made this book come true. Some of it seems very badly supported by public records. I still believe all that is said though. ( )
  bratell | Dec 25, 2020 |
Good solid account here, a fine example of a popular history. ( )
  goliathonline | Jul 7, 2020 |
Notes section at the end is well done, helpful for creating a further reading list. This book well written, but the language used to present the narrative is a little too 'fictionalized' for my taste. ( )
  sarcher | Jun 21, 2020 |
5669. Blind Man's Bluff The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage, by Sherry Sontag and Christopher Drew with Annette Lawrence Drew (read 15 Jan 2020) This book, published in 1998, is essentially the story of the Cold War so far as submarines were involved therein. It is mainly told from the American side, though there is data as to the Russians as well. It is quite an amazing account, though episodic. Four American submarines were lost in the Cold War, one of them being the Scorpion, the loss of which is carefully examined in one of the accounts in the book though why it was lost is only tentatively decided, Much time in the book is spent telling of placing of taps on Russian cables, which taps went on for years--though that they were especially useful is not shown. There are highly interesting episodes related, but a lot of detail was not overly absorbing in interest, at least to me. It is of course good to read of the amazing events of the late 1980's which ended with the dissolution of the USSR--said dissolution being one of the moist gratifying events in my lifetime. ( )
  Schmerguls | Jan 15, 2020 |
This book was a surprising delight to read. Selected for our March book club, I was dreading this book. I'm more of a literary or historical fiction buff and the idea of reading a non-fiction book about military submarines made me think that this was going to be a chore. Instead I found myself immersed in these tales of different submarine missions and especially the fate of the sailors aboard the subs. Sontag has done an amazing job of researching the history of the underwater war between the US and the Soviet Union. The stories are interspersed with quite a bit of science and detail -- pretty amazing, especially, since much of this information is probably classified. But her real skill is taking all this historic data and creating a tale filled with suspense and some very colorful characters. ( )
  jmoncton | Mar 19, 2019 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Sherry Sontagprimary authorall editionscalculated
Drew, Christophermain authorall editionsconfirmed
Drew, Annette Lawrencesecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Roberts, TonyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weltzien, Diane vonTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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After all, submarining has always been a game of blind man's bluff. - A top submarine admiral
And every man on board knew,
When the going got rough,
In this game of "Blind Man's Bluff,"
Somehow he'd pull her through.

Lyrics from "The Ballad of Whity Mack,"an ode to a submarine captain by Tommy Cox, submariner and spook
To the men who lived these tales, and especially to those who shared them with us.
First words
You gotta be nuts," Harris M. Austin Grumbled under his breath as he watched the ugliest-looking piece of junk he had ever seen pull into the British naval base in Londonderry, Northern Ireland.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This real-life "Hunt for Red October" is a story Naval Intelligence doesn't want you to know: the dramatic history of America's highly clandestine, dangerous, and sometimes deadly submarine espionage missions, from the Cold War thorough the Clinton administration.

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Book description

1. A Deadly Beginning

2. Whiskey A-Go-Go

3. Turn to the deep

4. Velvet Fist

5. Death of a Submarine

6. "The Ballad of Whitey Mack"

7. "Here She Comes..."

8. "Oshkosh B'Gosh"

9. The $500 Million Sand Castle

10. Triumph and Crisis

11. The Crown Jewels

12. Trust but Verify


Appendix A

Appendix B




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Average: (3.9)
1 4
1.5 1
2 7
2.5 2
3 50
3.5 10
4 111
4.5 14
5 54

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An edition of this book was published by PublicAffairs.

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An edition of this book was published by Recorded Books.

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