'The Ministry of Defence does not comment upon submarine operations' is the standard response to enquiries about the most secretive and mysterious of Britain's armed forces, the Royal Navy Submarine Service. The Silent Deep is the first authoritative history of the Submarine Service from the end of the Second World War to the present. It gives the most complete account yet published of the development of Britain's submarine fleet, its capabilities, its weapons, its infrastructure, its operations and above all - from the testimony of many submariners and the first-hand witness of the authors - what life is like on board for the denizens of the silent deep.
Dramatic episodes are revealed for the first time: how HMS Warspite gathered intelligence against the Soviet Navy's latest ballistic-missile-carrying submarine in the late 1960s; how HMS Sovereign made what is probably the longest-ever trail of a Soviet (or Russian) submarine in 1978; how HMS Trafalgar followed an exceptionally quiet Soviet 'Victor III', probably commanded by a Captain known as 'the Prince of Darkness', in 1986. It also includes the first full account of submarine activities during the Falklands War. But it was not all victories: confrontations with Soviet submarines led to collisions, and the extent of losses to UK and NATO submarine technology from Cold War spy scandals are also made more plain here than ever before.
In 1990 the Cold War ended - but not for the Submarine Service. Since June 1969, it has been the last line of national defence, with the awesome responsibility of carrying Britain's nuclear deterrent. The story from Polaris to Trident - and now 'Successor' - is a central theme of the book. Today's Russia is, once again, deploying submarines off the UK's shores. As Britain continues to develop and renew its submarine fleet and submarine-carried nuclear deterrent, The Silent Deep provides an essential historical perspective.
The ‘must read’ book for anyone interested in Royal Navy submarine operations since WWII. Superbly written by two master historians, the book is powerful, commanding and constantly fascinating with a light and easy to read tone. Written with unprecedented access to classified documents, naval archives, serving and retired personnel, The Silent Deep is the definitive history of the Royal Navy’s Submarine Service. If you served in submarines, worked with submarines or ever wondered what submarines did; this book is for you.
'Spellbinding ... unprecedented" The Times
Riveting, definitive, a tour de force' Spectator
'The definitive work for future generations to wonder at' Admiral Lord West