Big Red PB Douglas C Waller Trident Nuclear Submarine 2002


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Big Red: The Three-Month Voyage of a Trident Nuclear Submarine Paperback
by Douglas C. Waller (Author)

The Trident nuclear submarine is the most complex war machine the United States Navy has ever produced, a $1.8 billion marvel crammed with more modern military technology than any other vessel in the world. It is an 18,750-ton steel monster, taller in length than the Washington Monument and wider than a three-lane highway at its center. Deep beneath the ocean, it can sail silently for months, prectically impossible to detect by the enemy. And the twenty-four ballistic missiles on board just one of these subs have enough strategic nuclear warheads to unleash twice the explosive energy detonated by all the conventional weapons in World War II.

Now, for the first time, veteran Time magazine correspondent Douglas C. Waller takes you on a tension-packed, three-month patrol deep in the Atlantic Ocean and inside one of these Tridents, the U.S.S. Nebraska. Granted more access to these awesome submarines than any journalist before, Waller penetrates one of the most secretive worlds in the U.S. Military.

The Cold War may be over, but the U.S. Navy still has Tridents lurking the oceans, always ready at a moment’s notice to unleash a nuclear holocaust. In chilling detail, Big Red reveals the top-secret procedures for starting World War II — the secret codes, the elaborate fail-safe mechanisms, the highly classified battle tactics for nuclear combat.

This book takes you into this closed society as a witness to secret rituals and life experience where submarines, underwater for months, hope never to unleash the destructive power they command.

Paperback: 464 pages
Publisher: HarperTorch

For so many young men, submarines are the things of fancy – objects of awe that create dreams. Many people are members of the Submarine corps, but for those of us that are not, we have to rely on people like Douglas Waller to help us understand all that goes on during a “regular” patrol.

Waller was granted uncommon access to spend a patrol on board the USS Nebraska (SSBN-739), and gives us a wonderful account of those three months.

Starting with the challenging departure from home port (this particular submarine is not based at a shore port like some ships; instead, it is based slightly inland, which requires travel down a lengthy channel before reaching the ocean), Waller engrosses the reader from page one.

I enjoyed the entire book – I felt as though Waller was giving me the opportunity to spend three months on patrol (although I did it in a few days, reading through the 400+ pages that he has written for us). I never once found myself wanting less – I do not think that he included any non-relevant information or extraneous details.

After reading this book, I have a better understanding of how tough the life of a submariner can be, and why these men demand our ultimate respect. Three months sitting underwater with virtually no human contact except for your shipmates must play havoc with a sailors’ psyche, but they all perform admirably.

I would highly recommend this book to anyone who has an interest in the United States Naval Submarine Corps.

Page edges have yellowed but doesn’t feel like it’s even been read. 0-380-82078-1.


Page edges have yellowed but doesn’t feel like it’s even been read.