Silent Steel

Silent Steel

The Mysterious Death of the Nuclear Attack Sub USS Scorpion

Book - 2006
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Praise for Silent Steel

"The magnitude of the tragedy of the USS Scorpion is matched only by the depth of the mystery surrounding her loss. Stephen Johnson has done a remarkable job of shining new light on this dark moment in U.S. submarine history."
--Sherry Sontag, coauthor of Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage

"What happened to the USS Scorpion? The question has vexed submariners for almost four decades. Now, with meticulous research and incredible attention to detail, Stephen Johnson examines and dissects one of the most tragic and mysterious submarine accidents in U.S. Navy history."
--Douglas Waller, author of Big Red: Inside the Secret World of a Trident Nuclear Submarine

"Stephen Johnson has crafted a forensic masterpiece that leads the reader back through time to unravel the gnawing enigma of the tragic 1968 loss of the nuclear attack submarine USS Scorpion. Sifting through a maze of conflicting theories, he meticulously lays out a tale of undersea detectives searching for conclusive evidence to one of the most baffling mysteries of the cruel sea."
--Rear Admiral Thomas Evans, author, analyst specializing in submarine history and operations, and former officer on the Scorpion

"The manuscript arrived with yesterday's afternoon mail. I finished reading it by nightfall. It's that good! Thoroughly researched, impeccably documented, with an appealing and literate style, Silent Steel should become essential reading for submarine enthusiasts and for anyone else who enjoys an engaging and informative yarn."
--A. J. Hill, author of Under Pressure: The Final Voyage of Submarine S-Five
Publisher: Hoboken, N.J. : John Wiley, c2006
ISBN: 9780471267379
Call Number: 359.9383 J6375s
Characteristics: xi, 292 p. : ill. ; 25 cm

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Jun 22, 2015

This is a superb story about the US Navy submarine program of the 60s and the men who served onboard the USS Scorpion just before and during her last deployment. The author interviews many persons of the US Navy inside and out. Of interest to me are the transcripts and proceedings presented by the author of the several hearings held after the Scorpion's sinking. The details provided by the author with regard to possible outcomes that lead to the sinking are all discussed...from crew morale, long hours, exercise drills, unreported problems of equipment to the submarine squadron, delayed repairs and maintenance of the sub in the shipyard, maintenance history, problematic systems, program delays with the SUBSAFE program (the result of the sinking of the USS Thresher in the early 60s). I was most impressed with the concerted search effort and approach to locating the USS Scorpion. I conclude that the USS Scorpion did not sink from her own torpedo. I was a sailor in the US Navy and found this book to authentic. A must read book for those interested in naval history. This books serves as a reminder of how dangerous duty onboard a submarine really is and shall always be.

May 24, 2011

Silent Steel is an exceptionally well-researched, and well-written history of the events leading up to and resulting investigation of the loss of USS Scorpion- a long-debated issue in US Navy history. One of three books written recently, with extremely different conclusions, Silent Steel's presentation of in-depth and difficult to dispute data certainly puts extreme doubt to many theories; others rely on coincidences, unnamed sources, hearsay, 'lost' tapes, etc. while Silent Steel presents material from named scientists, engineers and experts as well as a detailed history. Anyone interested in military or maritime history will find this book fascinating. It's technical and seems almost excessive in its detail sometimes, but that serves to really underline the seemingly certain disproval of many theories and claims regarding the sinking. Highly recommended.


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