Today marks the remembrance of a fateful day in world history – The bombing of Hiroshima in 1945. The lives of every person on earth were changed forever by the use of such a horrendous weapon. Even today, the shadow of nuclear weapons still falls over the human race as more and more countries become armed with weapons even more powerful and destructive. As a former Cold Warrior that served on ballistic missile submarines, I can assure you that I am very aware of the potential for disaster that these weapons represent in the wrong hands.
The mayor of Hiroshima has asked all of us to remember the event and dedicate ourselves to eliminating all nuclear weapons. While I share the ideals of a world free from this darkness, I also am reminded that the weapon would never have been developed if another kind of darkness had not existed, The forces of the Axis performed atrocities upon innocent men, women and children and their leaders intentionally lied and misrepresented their positions for many decades before war became inevitable. I study the historical evidence from both sides and it is clearly evident that many choices were made that influenced the decision to use such a weapon.
We will probably never see the end of the nuclear weapon. Even now, dark forces around the globe are plotting the destruction of their fellow man in the name of religion or a misplaced ideology. Instead of holding up the destruction of Hiroshima as an example of something that should never happen again, I prefer to hold it up as a warning to all men with evil in their hearts. I want them to understand that a determined people is capable of the unthinkable in defeating an aggressor.
While we pray for peace, we will always be on guard against those who promote war as a means to achieve their ends. The world should not be fooled by the current government’s passivity. Like the seasons, government’s change. But the American heart does not. Think long and hard before you decide to test us.
One of the early posts from the Blog.
Submarines operate for extended periods of time under the ocean. This ability gives them the advantage of stealth in performing her missions. Since even the most modern submarine requires people to operate it, providing the basics of life while submerged has always been a challenge.
Think about those World War 2 movies where the Destroyer had forced the U-boat to the bottom. The destroyer captain could be patient since all he had to do was ride around on top and wait for the air on the inside of the submarine to become so horrible it could no longer sustain life. At some point, the boat would have to come to the surface.
When the idea of using nuclear submarines as launching platforms became a reality, something different needed to be done. So the Treadwell corporation proposed building a new type of “Oxygen Generator” that would ensure a high rate of…
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This is a constant reminder to all submariners that there truly are no routine days at sea. God rest their souls
MOSCOW (AP) — Russia is to beef up its military forces all the way from its western border to the Pacific islands amid ongoing strains with the West, the military said Friday.
Perhaps Putin and his Comrades should remember the last time they tried to use coercive measures to blackmail the world into submission.
Here’s a little reminder:
Stand by for action, its going to heat up all over again.
SUBSAFE is a quality assurance program of the United States Navy designed to maintain the safety of the nuclear submarine fleet; specifically, to provide maximum reasonable assurance that subs’ hulls will stay watertight, and that they can recover from unanticipated flooding.
SUBSAFE covers all systems exposed to sea pressure or critical to flooding recovery. All work done and all materials used on those systems are tightly controlled to ensure the material used in their assembly as well as the methods of assembly, maintenance, and testing are correct. They require certification with traceable quality evidence. These measures increase the cost of submarine construction and maintenance.
SUBSAFE addresses only flooding; mission assurance is not a concern, simply a side benefit. Other safety programs and organizations regulate such things as fire safety, weapons systems safety, and nuclear reactor systems safety.
From 1915 to 1963, the United States Navy lost 16 submarines to non-combat related causes. Since SUBSAFE began in 1963, only one submarine, the non-SUBSAFE-certified USS Scorpion (SSN-589), has been lost.
On 10 April 1963, while on a deep test dive about 200 miles off the northeast coast of the United States, USS Thresher (SSN-593) was lost with all hands. The loss of the lead ship of a new, fast, quiet, deep-diving class of submarines led the Navy to re-evaluate the methods used to build its submarines. A “Thresher Design Appraisal Board” determined that, although the basic design of the Thresher class was sound, measures should be taken to improve the condition of the hull and the ability of submarines to control and recover from flooding casualties.
SUBSAFE certification is carried out in four areas; Design, Material, Fabrication, & Testing. The exact procedures are documented in the initial design & construction for new submarines, while undergoing routine maintenance in naval depots, and in the fleet maintenance manual for operating submarines. During each step, quality evidence is collected, reviewed, approved, and stored for the life of the submarine. This process is reinforced with external and internal audits.
The war in the Pacific was spread over a vast ocean. The Japanese started the war with many advantages due to the surprise attacks at Pearl Harbor and their use of naval air in overcoming the allied naval forces. One of the strengths that the United States was able to use very early on was its submarine forces. The S boats of the pre war era soon gave way to much more sophisticated fleet boats with longer ranges and better weapons systems. By 1944, American shipyards were building submarines that would prove to be more than a match for anything the Japanese could muster to defeat them.
Specifications: Displacement, Surfaced 1,526 t., Submerged 2,401 t.; Length 311′ 8″; Beam 27′ 3″; Draft 15′ 3″; Speed, Surfaced 20.25 kts, Submerged 8.75 kts; Cruising Range, 11,000 miles surfaced at 10 kts; Submerged Endurance, 48 hours at 2 kts; Operating Depth, 400 ft; Complement 6 Officers 60 Enlisted; Armament, ten 21″ torpedo tubes, six forward, four aft, 24 torpedoes, one 5″/25 deck gun, one single 40mm gun mount, one single 20mm gun mount, two .50 cal. machine guns; Patrol Endurance 75 days; Propulsion, diesel-electric reduction gear, four Fairbanks-Morse diesel engines, 5,400 HP, Fuel Capacity, 116,000 gal., four Elliot Motor Co. electric main motors with 2,740 shp, two 126-cell main storage batteries, two propellers.
USS Threadfin was a was the only vessel of the United States Navy to be named for the threadfin, any of a family of fishes related to the mullets and distinguished by filamentous rays on the lower part of the pectoral fin. Her original name was the Sole but the name was changed on 24 September 1942 to Threadfin.
Threadfin was laid down on 18 March 1944 at the Portsmouth Navy Yard in Kittery, Maine. She was launched on 26 June 1944 sponsored by Mrs. Frank G. Fox, and commissioned on 30 August 1944 with Commander John J. Foote in command.
Training and trials out of Portsmouth followed her final completion late in September. After transiting the Panama Canal in mid-November, the submarine reached Pearl Harbor early in December and conducted intensive training in preparation for her first war patrol.
Threadfin received her baptism under fire on January #0, 1945 on her first war patrol off the coast of Honshu. She was depth charged by several Japanese PC’s. The first close charges were received while she was running at 300 foot depth and that impact caused serious leak in cross-connection piping between compensating line and motor cooling system in motor room. Salt water spray barely missed energized her control cubicle bus bars which would have proved catastrophic. A bucket brigade was formed to keep water the level in the bilges below the main motors. The boat sank and bottomed in 450 feet of water for the remainder of attack and the ruptured line was blanked. No other damage was sustained. The ship remained on patrol.
Following a month there for refit and training, Threadfin embarked upon her second war patrol on 14 March. She initially joined a coordinated attack group composed of herself, and submarines Sea Dog (SS-401) and Trigger (SS-237). During her five-day tour with that wolf pack, Threadfin made two attacks on enemy shipping. On the afternoon of 28 March, she came across two Japanese destroyer escort-type warships and apparently dispatched one with a single hit from a spread of six… torpedoes. The stricken warship’s screws stopped while her colleague’s depth charge attack deprived Threadfin of definite knowledge of the ultimate result. That evening, the submarine tangled with a convoy composed of two small trawlers and four luggers. During the ensuing surface gun engagement, the submarine inflicted serious damage on two of the luggers, moderate damage on the trawlers, and minor damage on the remaining pair of luggers. Though disconcerting, the Japanese return fire proved ineffectual.
Threadfin went on to gain one more War Patrol Star and lived on well after the war. She participated in the Cuban Missile Crisis in 1962 and was later transferred to the Turkish Navy.
The men of the Silent Service truly made an impact on the outcome of the War in the Pacific by sinking more tonnage per capita than any other ship type. Their continued service during the Cold War ensured that the threat of communist aggression was always held in check. Each of those brave men deserve our nation’s gratitude.
If you ever lived on one, this will make you homesick. If you never lived on one, it might make you jealous. In the beginning scenes one of my colleagues Mark Keef is featured in a submarine missile launch. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qj6VaV6-d6Y Enjoy
Freedom for millions of people and wars without end were almost guaranteed when President Roosevelt completed his trip to Yalta and came home . In a joint session to the Congress on March 1 1945, President Roosevelt reported informally about the results of the recent Conference at Yalta. While brushing off the prickly questions of the future of both Poland and Yugoslavia, he made these statements about the results he had achieved in regards to gaining Soviet cooperation:
“At the Crimea Conference, the Americans made a proposal on this subject which, after full discussion was, I am glad to say, unanimously adopted by the other two Nations.
It is not yet possible to announce the terms of that agreement publicly, but it will be in a very short time.
When the conclusions reached with respect to voting in the Security Council are made known, I think and I hope that you will find them a fair solution of this complicated and difficult problem. They are founded in justice, and will go far to assure international cooperation in the maintenance of peace.
A conference of all the United Nations of the world will meet in San Francisco on April 25, 1945. There, we all hope, and confidently expect, to execute a definite charter of organization under which the peace of the world will be preserved and the forces of aggression permanently outlawed.”
That “fair solution” of course would set the stage for every single conflict in the world since 1945: Granting the Soviet Union (and later Russia) a permanent veto power in the Security Council. This power was and is still exercised regularly on every major global conflict with a strict application that favors Russian interests. This betrayal of freedom cast a horrible shadow over the Eastern Europe countries for generations and still plays out on the world stage. Stalin flanked both Roosevelt and Churchill and by the time the world saw the maneuver for what it was, it was too late.
One of the most fateful parts of his speech indicated the depth of the deception which was played out by the Soviets. That very deception is still in play around the same countries to this very day.
Roosevelt: “We met in the Crimea, determined to settle this matter of liberated areas. Things that might happen that we cannot foresee at this moment might happen suddenly—unexpectedly—next week or next month. And I am happy to confirm to the Congress that we did arrive at a settlement—and, incidentally, a unanimous settlement.
The three most powerful Nations have agreed that the political and economic problems of any area liberated from Nazi conquest, or of any former Axis satellite, are a joint responsibility of all three Governments. They will join together, during the temporary period of instability—after hostilities—to help the people of any liberated area, or of any former satellite state, to solve their own problems through firmly established democratic processes.”
This lie was the single biggest contributor to the Cold War which followed. Stalin had no intention of allowing the former countries to seek their own destiny. He wanted power, land and peoples to rule in his new world order. The very same lands he betrayed in his pact with Hitler now found themselves given over to his evil desires.
Roosevelt: “The final decisions in these areas are going to be made jointly; and therefore they will often be a result of give-and-take compromise. The United States will not always have its way a hundred percent- nor will Russia nor Great Britain. We shall not always have ideal answers- solutions to complicated international problems, even though we are determined continuously to strive toward that ideal. But I am sure that under the agreements reached at Yalta, there will be a more stable political Europe than ever before.
Of course, once there has been a free expression of the people’s will in any country, our immediate responsibility ends- with the exception only of such action as may be agreed on in the International Security Organization that we hope to set up.”
As theleansubmariner approaches 500 posts, I thought it fitting to post another great video of the boats that made up much of my career as well as others in the early days of nuclear Cold War submarines.
The 41 for Freedom boats represented a large part of a concerted effort to offer a countermeasure to Soviet intentions.
God Bless all of the men who served in this historic endeavor. You truly made a difference!