Submarine! (Bluejacket Books)

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9781591140580: Submarine! (Bluejacket Books)

Welcomed as the first book about American submarines in World War II to be written by a man who actually fought them, this compelling personal account of the war beneath the sea firmly established Edward L. Beach's reputation as a writer in the early 1950s. Given the survival rate of those in the silent service, it is a story many submariners did not live to tell. In fact, most of the crew of Beach's boat, the USS Trigger, were lost soon after he left for another assignment. A veteran of twelve war patrols, Beach's luck held out, and he authentically recaptures the moments of elation, desperation, and numbing fear that were part of the daily lives of these warriors as they hunted down the enemy in the Pacific.

Beach helped sink the Trigger's first ships and survived more than his share of exploding depth charges from avenging warships. In the book, he weaves the story of his own boat with equally thrilling tales of other battle-hardened submarines and the brave and determined men who fought them against the Japanese. Beach's readers share in the destruction of five destroyers in four days and join in the deadliest game of all--stalking other submarines. They also come to understand the terror and uncertainty of being at the other end of the pursuit, silently sweating out depth-charge poundings in a leaking boat. For an authentic account of what went on under the waves, this book remains one of the very best.

Les informations fournies dans la section « Synopsis » peuvent faire référence à une autre édition de ce titre.

About the Author :

Edward L. Beach graduated from the US Navy's submarine school in December 1941, two weeks after Pearl Harbor. He commanded submarines in the Pacific throughout the rest of the war. His first novel, Run Silent Run Deep, became an immediate bestseller, and was later made into a Hollywood blockbuster.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved. :

Chapter One: Trigger

My story begins on January 1, 1942. Two and a half years out of the Naval Academy, and fresh out of Submarine School, I reported to Mare Island Navy Yard for "duty in connection with fitting out USS Trigger (SS237), and on board when commissioned." Before presenting myself at the office of the commandant I drove down to the submarine outfitting docks looking for my future home. There she was, a great black conning tower sticking up over the edge of the dock, with a huge white 237 painted on her side. A swarm of dusty nondescript men were buzzing around her, and wood scaffolding, welding lines, hoses, temporary ventilation lines, and other miscellaneous gear hung haphazardly about.

"There's my new home," I thought, "wonder if I'm looking at my coffin." To me, she certainly wasn't impressive, beautiful, or anything at all but an ugly chunk of steel. "No life, no spirit, no character," I thought.

I remembered my old "four piper" destroyer, which I had left three months before after two years of steaming up and down and across the Atlantic on Neutrality Patrol. She was old -- launched within a week of the day I was born -- and ungainly, but she was a lovely thing to me. I knew and loved every part of her. I'd cussed at, slaved over, and stolen for her, and when orders arrived for me to report to Submarine School I'd sent back a dispatch saying I wished to remain where I was. But the Bureau of Navigation had insufficient applications for Submarine School and had decided to draft a few. One of the draftees was Ensign Beach, and here I was.

As I turned my back on number 237, I did not know that two and a half of the most crowded and thrilling years of my life were to be spent with her. She was to become the ruler of my life, and the most beautiful and responsive creature I had ever known; a hard, exacting mistress, but loyal, generous, and courageous. All ships have souls, and all sailors know it, but it takes a while to learn to commune with one. It took me a long time, for Trigger had to find her own soul, too, but in the end she was my ship, and nobody else's. I never became her skipper, but I spent nearly a year as her exec, and when finally I left her I was the last "plank owner" left -- except for Wilson, the colored mess attendant. Having three times failed to cajole Wilson into taking a transfer and a rest, I finally booted him off ahead of me, with the remark that nobody was going to be able to say he'd been aboard longer than I. Five hours after I left, good old competent Wilson was back aboard. He is the only man alive who can say he served with Trigger from her birth to just before her death.

On January 30, 1942, Lieutenant Commander J. H. Lewis read his orders, and put submarine number 237 in commission. From that moment Trigger was a member of the United States Fleet. In no other type of ship is it so vital that all hands know their jobs and be constantly alert. A submarine operates in three dimensions, and her very ability to float, submerge, or surface is an expression of the will and effort of her personnel. Neptune is her medium, her friend, her protector, and she embraces the sea eagerly at every opportunity -- carefully, with wholesome respect. You never hear a submariner speak of the sea as his enemy, for subconsciously he recognizes this peculiar relationship. He uses the sea and knows its properties. The effect of bright warm sunlight on it, for example, interests him greatly. The type of bottom, far down though it may be, affects him and what he does. The temperature of the water, the depth, and the amount of marine life -- all are of consuming importance. All sailors -- submarine or surface -- know one great experience in common. They have a certain feeling of identity with their ships, and in extreme cases may even be said to be possessed by them. In analyzing the submariner you are invariably struck by these two traits: the sense of loyalty to his ship, and an indefinable oneness with, and deep understanding of, the sea.

Naturally, this temperament is rare. The men who have it are hard-working, thorough, and idealistic. The submariner is always aware that an error during underwater operations jeopardizes everyone's life. Always present, too, is the realization that any slip, any mistake, is unworthy.

Because a ship, no matter how modern and fine, is only as good as her crew, the United States Navy concentrates on its men as the most important factor affecting over all efficiency. If they lack judgment and initiative, so does the ship. If they lack the indomitable spirit, the absolute determination to succeed, so will the inanimate steel. But if they possess these attributes, they and their ship are unbeatable.

The embodiment and personification of this perspective is the captain. His men and his ship reflect his will, and a properly organized crew operates with the unity of purpose of an ant colony. Whatever the state of the individual and of internal affairs, the composite exterior is smooth, unruffled; it acts under a single directive force -- a single brain -- the captain's. It is in tacit recognition of this basic understanding that a sailor, in speaking of a ship other than his own, frequently will use the pronoun "he" instead of "she."

Weeks and months of strenuous training and organization go into a new submarine before she is considered ready to venture against the enemy. All our crews are organized into three sections, each able to dive and surface the ship, fire torpedoes, and run all machinery -- in fact, operate the entire mechanism of the vessel. On patrol each section customarily stands watch for a period of four hours in rotation. While off watch the members of a section eat, sleep, make necessary repairs, and, if there is nothing else to do, read magazines, play cards, or write letters.

The progress of Trigger from building yard to Pearl Harbor is slow. First come the builders' trials, including the testing of all machinery to be sure that it operates as designed; then the first few dives, slowly and carefully; then more dives, gradually increasing the tempo of the operations. Finally, when the crew becomes quite expert in diving against time, try to catch them by surprise! Eleven seconds for all bridge personnel to get below and shut the hatch! By this time the vents are opened, and water is pouring into the tanks. Also by this time the engines are shut off; inboard and outboard exhaust valves are closed; motors are disconnected from the engines and connected to the batteries; the bow planes are rigged out; and the ship is half under water. In twenty seconds water pours around the bridge plating and covers the hatch, now tightly shut, through which, just a moment before, eight men had scrambled. Fifty seconds, and all that may be seen of the submarine is the top of the tall towerlike periscope support structure. Sixty seconds, and the ship is completely out of sight, cruising under water with possibly a little foam to mark the place where she disappeared. If you look hard enough you might notice a thin rod the size of a broom handle project vertically out of a wave for a moment and then disappear. Sixty seconds, and a ship displacing 1,800 tons, more than 300 feet long, rushing across the waves at a speed of 20 knots, has completely submerged. No time for error, no time to wait for the flash of genius to tell you what to do. Only by constant repetition of each tiny operation leading to accomplishment of the great operation is it possible to perform this tremendous feat.

Trigger's first test dive was in San Francisco Bay. After the first few weeks of tests in the shallow waters of the Bay, she left for San Diego, where she remained for a month completing her training. Then back to Mare Island for final loading for war.

Fill her up with torpedoes, diesel oil, food, and spare parts. Make any necessary repairs and take care of the many last-minute items which always come up. Then, one May afternoon about two o'clock, good-bye -- this is it! The admiral comes down to the dock, shakes hands with the skipper, wishes him good luck and good hunting. The ship backs into the Mare Island Slough, twists gracefully, and is gone, through Carquinez Straits, past Alcatraz, and under the Golden Gate Bridge. Trigger probably had a soul already, but we were too new to each other, too much taken up with the details of operating her complicated mechanism, to appreciate it.

No one who saw it will ever forget the awful vista of Pearl Harbor. Although we had been prepared for it, the sight of four of our great battleships lying crushed into the mud staggered us. That day I first sensed a more purposeful note in the gentle throb of the Trigger's diesels, but she was only a neophyte, just joining up, and almost apologetically nosed her way into her berth at the Submarine Base.

We expected to get additional training and indoctrination at Pearl Harbor -- such, we understood, was the normal routine for a new arrival. But all we received was an additional officer -- another ensign, Dick Garvey -- and next day Trigger was at sea again, bound for Midway to join a group of boats on station off that island. Things were tense in Pearl Harbor, and "strategic planning" was in an uproar -- although it seemed to know fairly well what it was doing. The Jap fleet was coming, that we knew, and maybe -- maybe -- we'd get a shot at it!

Our chance came suddenly. A dispatch addressed for action Trigger said: MAIN JAP LANDING EFFORTEXPECTED JUNE SIXTH X CLOSE MIDWAY AND PATROLSUBMERGED TWO MILESOFF SHORE BEARING ZERO SIX ZERO. All night long we raced through the darkness, and shortly before dawn sighted the lights of Midway, dead ahead. With just an hour to go before daylight would force us to submerge, we had to cut the eastern reef much too close for comfort, and suddenly, catastrophically, with a horrible, shattering smash, Trigger ran head- on into a submerged coral wall! Her bow shot skyward. Her sturdy hull screamed with pain as she crashed and pounde...

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Edward L. Beach
Edité par Naval Institute Press, United States (2012)
ISBN 10 : 1591140587 ISBN 13 : 9781591140580
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Description du livre Naval Institute Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Welcomed as the first book about American submarines in World War II to be written by a man who actually fought them, this compelling personal account of the war beneath the sea firmly established Edward L. Beach s reputation as a writer in the early 1950s. Given the survival rate of those in the silent service, it is a story many submariners did not live to tell. In fact, most of the crew of Beach s boat, the USS Trigger, were lost soon after he left for another assignment. A veteran of twelve war patrols, Beach s luck held out, and he authentically recaptures the moments of elation, desperation, and numbing fear that were part of the daily lives of these warriors as they hunted down the enemy in the Pacific. Beach helped sink the Trigger s first ships and survived more than his share of exploding depth charges from avenging warships. In the book, he weaves the story of his own boat with equally thrilling tales of other battle-hardened submarines and the brave and determined men who fought them against the Japanese. Beach s readers share in the destruction of five destroyers in four days and join in the deadliest game of all--stalking other submarines. They also come to understand the terror and uncertainty of being at the other end of the pursuit, silently sweating out depth-charge poundings in a leaking boat. For an authentic account of what went on under the waves, this book remains one of the very best. N° de réf. du libraire AAN9781591140580

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Edward L. Beach
Edité par Naval Institute Press, United States (2012)
ISBN 10 : 1591140587 ISBN 13 : 9781591140580
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Description du livre Naval Institute Press, United States, 2012. Paperback. État : New. Language: English . Brand New Book. Welcomed as the first book about American submarines in World War II to be written by a man who actually fought them, this compelling personal account of the war beneath the sea firmly established Edward L. Beach s reputation as a writer in the early 1950s. Given the survival rate of those in the silent service, it is a story many submariners did not live to tell. In fact, most of the crew of Beach s boat, the USS Trigger, were lost soon after he left for another assignment. A veteran of twelve war patrols, Beach s luck held out, and he authentically recaptures the moments of elation, desperation, and numbing fear that were part of the daily lives of these warriors as they hunted down the enemy in the Pacific. Beach helped sink the Trigger s first ships and survived more than his share of exploding depth charges from avenging warships. In the book, he weaves the story of his own boat with equally thrilling tales of other battle-hardened submarines and the brave and determined men who fought them against the Japanese. Beach s readers share in the destruction of five destroyers in four days and join in the deadliest game of all--stalking other submarines. They also come to understand the terror and uncertainty of being at the other end of the pursuit, silently sweating out depth-charge poundings in a leaking boat. For an authentic account of what went on under the waves, this book remains one of the very best. N° de réf. du libraire AAN9781591140580

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Description du livre Naval Institute Press. Paperback. État : new. BRAND NEW, Submarine, Edward L. Beach, Welcomed as the first book about American submarines in World War II to be written by a man who actually fought them, this compelling personal account of the war beneath the sea firmly established Edward L. Beach's reputation as a writer in the early 1950s. Given the survival rate of those in the silent service, it is a story many submariners did not live to tell. In fact, most of the crew of Beach's boat, the USS Trigger, were lost soon after he left for another assignment. A veteran of twelve war patrols, Beach's luck held out, and he authentically recaptures the moments of elation, desperation, and numbing fear that were part of the daily lives of these warriors as they hunted down the enemy in the Pacific. Beach helped sink the Trigger's first ships and survived more than his share of exploding depth charges from avenging warships. In the book, he weaves the story of his own boat with equally thrilling tales of other battle-hardened submarines and the brave and determined men who fought them against the Japanese. Beach's readers share in the destruction of five destroyers in four days and join in the deadliest game of all--stalking other submarines. They also come to understand the terror and uncertainty of being at the other end of the pursuit, silently sweating out depth-charge poundings in a leaking boat. For an authentic account of what went on under the waves, this book remains one of the very best. N° de réf. du libraire B9781591140580

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