Craig Reed’s Red November: Inside the Secret U.S.-Soviet Submarine War is a hell of a book. Both the author and his father served as U.S. submariners, and he knows his stuff on the U.S. side. But the reason it’s so damned fascinating is the extensive coverage of Soviet operations during the Cold War, based on only recently declassified sources.
The politics is a bit thin, but that doesn’t hurt the book; it’s a periscope view of the field. It’s the science that is so fascinating to me — the many troubles involved in locating an enemy sub, for instance, and the way that technology has developed to make it possible. I found it utterly fascinating.
One thing I would have liked was more coverage of the nuclear technology involved in subs. That wasn’t really the author’s focus, but I would have liked to consider it more in the context of the other submarine technology as it developed throughout the Cold War.
Great book. I enjoyed it a lot.