A nice historical work prepared by the naval history expert Thomas Walkowiak. The book contains real pictures of the submarines serving in the United States Navy Fleer at the time of the Second World War. This one is expected to be of great interest to the professional naval historians and people who just like history and want to know a bit more about the USN role played in the World War Two.

The photographs presented within the volume have been supplemented by the professional and very interesting narrative from the author, providing required technical details of the submarines, some information on their armament, historical background, battles they participated in etc. Have a look and you will definitely find so much of the information related to the American underwater fleet of the WWII times you never had before.

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I am an armchair submariner, but well aware that my admiration for these men runs the risk of lapsing into romantic mythologising. Despite attempting to maintain objective neutrality, I am continually struck by the widely held perception that submariners are a race apart from other naval seafarers. Viewed as heroes or villains subject to which side they are on (sometimes indeed regarded as villains by the senior officers of their own side), it is perhaps understandable that submariners have a reputation for independence of thought and action, and sheer downright bloody-mindedness.

The nature of their job encourages these traits. They are faced by threats from hostile forces: both man-made and elemental. Safe operation relies on every crew member doing their job, and for a crew to work effectively as a team requires a considerable degree of trust, tolerance and mutual respect. Survival depends on it. Max Horton, arguably the greatest British submariner, once said with characteristic bluntness, 'There is no margin for mistakes in submarines, you are either alive or dead. It is a remarkable feature of human existence that former enemies, veterans of past wars, meet later in a spirit of reconciliation and friendship. This should give hope for the future, but these men grow older and time is on no-one's side.

Those of us of a younger generation are then left with a void of lost knowledge and, by extension, lost understanding. The sudden death of my friend Karl Wahnig, a former U-boat crewman, brought home this painful reality. Yet the ancients believed a person never died if they were never forgotten. With that in mind, this book aims to be both testimony and tribute to the submariners of all nations, but is dedicated especially to the memory of those still missing; to those who are still on patrol.

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In 1944 Portsmouth Navy Yard launched three submarines and a fourth shortly thereafter. Prior to this, no shipyard had ever accomplished either feat. Those three first submarines, called Ronquil, Redfish, and Razorback were delivered at 1:00 PM and the Scabbard fish slid down building way into the Piscataqua River at 2:30 PM.

These four submarines would be included in the record-setting thirty-two submarines that the yard completed in 1944. No american shipyard has ever built so many submarines during one year, this is where the name of this study is coming from.

Prior to that triple launching. Fred White, the shipyard's master rigger, had concerns about floating three 1.800-ton submarines off their blocks at the same time. Three above mentioned submarines were jammed into the dry dock with little separation, and White and his line handlers were the ones responsible for ensuring that the submarines did not damage each other as they floated free of the blocks...

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