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Submarines: Sharks of Steel

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Title:Submarines: Sharks of Steel
Release Dates:1992
Running Time:192 minutes
Formats: VHS
Rated:
Starring:
Directed By:
Produced By:
Written By:
Reviewed By:    Buy it at Amazon.com

The miniseries Submarines: Sharks of Steel provided the first glance into the world of submarines. It was part of the opening that occurred after the end of the Cold War.

Director Scott Hicks did a fine job of presenting the tale, winning an Emmy. For just over three hours hours, one will have a passing acquaintance with the history of the submarine as it emerged from quaint curiosity to a lethal opportunistic assassin to the nuclear-powered predator that can deny the sea to anyone.

The first episode, The Hidden Threat, provides an outstanding overview of the history of the submarine and the present status. The series focused primarily on three boats: The USS Georgia (SSBN 729), an Ohio-class SSBN; the USS Topeka, a Los Angeles-class attack submarine; and an unidentified Typhoon-class sub, all of which were introduced in this episode.

The second episode, Submariners, focuses on the men. It is appropriate, and it does so in an honest and frank manner that not only shows the sacrifices these men make, but the qualities that make the submarines the naval predators they are.

The third episode, The Hunters and the Hunted, primarily focuses on World War II, when the submarine came of age as a co-equal partner. The overview given is pretty good, and there is even an intriguing theory about the sinking of the Indianapolis.

The fourth episode, In the Belly of the Beast, focuses on the training of submariners. The primary focus is on the American submarine School in Groton, and the British “Perisher” course. The sinking of the General Belgrano (the former USS Phoenix) is covered in this episode.

Combining this series with Tom Clancy’s Submarine and the book (and History Channel special) Blind Man’s Bluff will give a person a good idea of the history and development of submarines, and their operations. The cost will be high, as Sharks of Steel is not easily found, but the effort and price is definitely worth it. Amazon.com will occasionally have copies available for about $70. There is also a companion book by Vice Admiral Yogi Kaufman, USN (ret.), available for $45.

Buy it at Amazon.com

 



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