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British Submarines: in the Cold War Era by Norman Friedman

Thorvic

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The follow up volume to British Submarines in Two World Wars to be published the 28th Feb 2021.

https://www.pen-and-sword.co.uk/British-Submarines-Hardback/p/18002

The Royal Navy’s greatest contribution to the Allied success in World War II was undoubtedly the defeat of the U-boat menace in the North Atlantic, a victory on which all other European campaigns depended. The underwater threat was the most serious naval challenge of the war so it was not surprising that captured German submarine technology became the focus of attention for the British submarine service after 1945. It was quick to test and adopt the schnorkel, streamlining, homing torpedoes and, less successfully, hydrogen-peroxide propulsion. Furthermore, in the course of the long Atlantic battle, the Royal Navy had become the world’s most effective anti-submarine force and was able to utilise this expertise to improve the efficiency of its own submarines.

However, in 1945 German submarine technology had also fallen into the hands of the Soviet Union and as the Cold War developed it became clear that a growing Russian submarine fleet would pose a new threat. Britain had to go to the US for its first nuclear propulsion technology, but the Royal Navy introduced the silencing technique which made British and US nuclear submarines viable anti-submarine assets, and it pioneered in the use of passive – silent – sonars in that role. Nuclear power also changed the role of some British submarines, which replaced bombers as the core element of British Cold War and post Cold War nuclear deterrence.

As in other books in this series, this one shows how a combination of evolving strategic and tactical requirements and new technology produced successive types of submarines. It it is based largely on unpublished and previously classified official documentation, and to the extent allowed by security restrictions, also tells the operational story – HMS Conqueror is still the only nuclear submarine to have sunk a warship in combat, but there are many less well known aspects of British submarine operations in the postwar era.

Although some of the Cold War activities of British submarines have come to light in recent years, this book will be the first comprehensive technical history of the submarines themselves, their design rationale, and the service which operated them
 

alberchico

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So when this book makes it to the U.S. it'll be a whopping 85 dollars. Yikes. I think I'll stick to my copy of The Silent Deep for now and wait for the reviews to see how good it is.
 
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Hood

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I'm pretty excited about this given how good the first volume was.
The Silent Deep was deep and touched on many areas, and actually touched more on the technical side than I imagined it would given the authors were not naval anoraks. But I suspect Friedman will have unearthed some interesting information on the evolution of the nuclear subs in particular and hopefully a good account of post-war sonar and torpedo development.
The price is steep, but Seaforth Press tend to be pricey but they are chunky hardbacks on high quality paper plus they use a lot of fold out pages in their latest books and I guess these are fairly niche publications in terms of making any returns on the production costs etc.
 

CNH

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That would be interesting because I am currently doing an MA in Naval History (distance learning!) at Portsmouth University. I have to do a project of 5000 words, and, I think, slightly to the bemusement of my tutor, I have chosen the topic of British research into nuclear propulsion for submarines. It is something virtually all the historians writing on the subject (historiography) neglect.

Pen and Sword strike me as somewhat opportunist publishers. They push something out, hope for lots of sales, and that's it. I'm slightly surprised that Friedman had to go to them, when I think there are some more rather reputable publishers out there.
 

Hood

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Sounds like an interesting topic to research. I am sure with your skills that you will easily accomplish your Masters.
When I did my MA on British military aircraft procurement, I was lucky that my supervisor was the only aviation fanatic in the department!
 

EwenS

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Pen and Sword strike me as somewhat opportunist publishers. They push something out, hope for lots of sales, and that's it. I'm slightly surprised that Friedman had to go to them, when I think there are some more rather reputable publishers out there.

It is published under their Seaforth Publishing imprint not the main Pen & Sword brand. Most of their heavyweight naval publishing is done under the Seaforth brand, including some of Friedman's previous publications.
 

merriman

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There's the usual coffee-table crap stuffed with illustrations you've already seen in other publications, accompanied by text of dubious weight (Palmar).

And there is the solid gold references founded on source material (Friedman). The footnotes, glossary, and appendixes alone are what will sell you on a publication authored by Friedman.

$85? Cheap at twice the price!

I have this and the other works in this field authored by Norman Friedman -- His submarine volumes are my go-to references when researching a model submarine project.

David
 

Pasoleati

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If I may interject: several books from Seaforth are co-published by USNI in the U. S. For customers paying in euros the Seaforth ones are substantially cheaper. Considering the extent of e.g. Friedman's British subs vol. 1, the price of the Seaforth edition is cheap. Just for comparison: I am reading now a book with 152 pages B5 format, substandard paper and only glued binding in softcover and digitally printed. Its price is 40 euros. Friedman can be had here for about 42 euros.
 

Cordy

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Another book of interest on the Royal Navy submarine service since 1945 "The Silent Deep" by Peter Hennessy & James Jinks published 2016 pp 825
 
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