Thursday 23 March 2023

Audible Book: All Hands Down - USS Scorpion

I decided to go for a quicker and lighter Audible book (in length, though not necessary in topic), but keeping to the naval theme, this time more modern (Cold War), albeit in 1968 - the unofficial hypothesis of the loss of the USS Scorpion, to alleged Soviet action. Which is an attention grabbing headline if ever there was one. Allegedly the attack on the USS Scorpion was in retaliation to the earlier loss of K-129 near Hawaii in mysterious circumstances, the Soviet Sub being the later focus of the CIA backed Glomar Explorer expedition to recover [part] of it (see below, "All Hands Down" gave a very good picture of what it was like to serve on a US nuclear submarine and the lifestyle of the "dolphin" families had to endure - and you really did feel that the US Navy let the families down afterwards):  

Whether true or not is conjecture, though a compelling case was made, particularly with relevance to US serviceman turning traitor (John Anthony Walker) and passing on communication code cipher secrets to the Soviets and the capture of US communication equipment in North Korea (USS Pueblo). There was a huge window of opportunity for the Soviets to electronically eaves drop on US Naval Operations, with the US blissfully unaware that their communications were deeply compromised. What is also clear, was the the sixties and early seventies were a tense time of frequent Cold War Superpower confrontations, many of which had the potential to spark a general East-West war. From the Cuban missile crisis, the ongoing Berlin tensions, the Kennedy assassination, the ongoing Vietnam War and while general bipolar mistrust of the period. 

It is amazing the world survived in retrospect.

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