|The Silent Deep (Author's image)
As regular readers know by now, this blog is usually strictly devoted to events during the wartime years of 1939-45, so this particular article is going to break new ground as it deals with much more recent history including the Cold War and the Falklands Conflict amongst others. I've decided to break with precedent as the book in question is such an important and interesting piece of work about a group of men for whom I have the utmost respect and admiration - the men of the Royal Navy Submarine Service, or RNSS to use one of the many acronyms that appear in the book.
|Detail on the Royal Navy Submarine Memorial (Author's photo)
Following this disaster, the Royal Navy turned to their American allies for help in producing their own nuclear powered submarines, or SSNs to use another of the many acronyms in the book. Admiral Hyman Rickover was known as the 'Father of the Nuclear Submarine' and it was indeed largely down to his remarkable drive and single mindedness that the US navy had gotten the USS Nautilus into service in 1955, the same year that the Royal Navy finally abandoned their ill-fated HTP project. Rickover was rude, arrogant and an extremely unpleasant man to deal with but one who recognised the importance of encouraging the Royal Navy to join the 'Nuclear Club' and thus provided every assistance to them in achieving this aim, albeit sometimes a seemingly grudging assistance. However, he did form a close relationship with Lord Louis Mountbatten, at that point First Sea Lord, the professional head of the Royal Navy.