the alfmeister

a figment of reality's imagination

Book Review…Red November by W. Craig Reed


In the vein of “Hunt for Red October”,
a good non-fiction parallel.

In a new addition to my blog, I will post some reviews of books I have read…I try to read a book a week (sans Finch from “The Office” whether it be Asterix, history, bios, fiction or otherwise… my preference is towards historical references, especially covering the World Wars (esp. naval), music, sport, and humour. On the sidebar of my blog there is a link to which is a Facebook for Bookworms and I do review some of the better (and worst) books there.

So, Red November is my most recent accomplishment. This is a great read that may have some artistic license to it, but that does not detract from the overall roller-coaster ride of the book, nor likely makes the story seem too fantastical. The involvement of the author (and his father) into submarine history helps lend some weight to this book.

From the early beginnings of ASW (Anti-Submarine Warfare) during WWII to The Cold War covert ops, this book does stray a little off the beaten track but drags you right back in with eyewitness accounts of those who served on US and Russian subs on their missions to have the ascendancy in nuclear destruction…and in some chapters (Cuban Missile Crisis, Ivy Bells) you just begin to realise how close the world was to coming to an end. The stories of the raising of a lost Russian sub, and the US obsession of photographing a Victor III ‘pod’ and it’s consequence stand out for me.

This makes Clancey’s “Hunt for Red October” seem so accurate, when even as a serving Officer of the Navy, I rubbished a lot of the ‘facts’ of the movie.

A must for any warfare boffin, or conspiracy theorist…but whether you have any knowledge into naval goings-on or not, this book will be an easy read as some of the terms and acronyms (the military is full of them!) do not have you wondering what the hell is going on.

I give this book a 4 out of 5.

Russian Project 641 ( NATO designation “Foxtrot”) submarine – it is
amazing how close we came to world obliteration due to the actions of
four such vessels during the Cuban Missile Crisis in the ’60s

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