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K 129: Une Bombe Atomi...
Kenneth Sewell
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K 129: Une Bombe Atomique Sur Pearl Harbor ?: Le Récit Inédit De La Tentative D'attaque Contre Les Usa Par Un Sous Marin Soviétique

3.72 of 5 stars 3.72  ·  rating details  ·  293 ratings  ·  47 reviews
One of the great secrets of the Cold War, hidden for decades, is revealed at last.
Early in 1968 a nuclear-armed Soviet submarine sank in the waters off Hawaii, hundreds of miles closer to American shores than it should have been. Compelling evidence, assembled here for the first time, strongly suggests that the sub, K-129, sank while attempting to fire a nuclear missile,
255 pages
Published 2006 by Marines éd. (first published January 1st 2001)
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David Becker
I thought this book was a good editor away from being a five star book, but there are a number of reasons why I like it.

First of all, assuming that this book is completely true and full of facts, it's a scary reality, and it's certainly plausible. Did this happen? Was all of society nearly snuffed out? Is this worth reading again with Pakistan's shaky society and North Korea's nuclear ambitions? In short, simply the prospect of what could have been is scary enough for me, and I found this part t
Joseph DiFrancesco
Red Star Rogue stayed its course to the very last page, anchoring me place with its un-floundering execution of this captivating, intrigue-rich analysis of the K-129 incident.

Okay, enough with the nautical play on words. Sewell did an outstanding job here. Anyone fond of Tom Clancy’s work, or all things thick with espionage and skullduggery will thoroughly enjoy this book. The author did his homework, and showed a healthy amount of analytical objectivity to answer reader’s questions before they
I had a hard time putting this book down once I started it. It has the feel of a fictional spy thriller, but only small details of the story are currently unverifiable and probably always will be. The apparent shake-up at the Kremlin says enough for me.
One sentence from John Craven's book "The Silent War" i.e. "there existed a possibility, small though it might be, that the skipper of this rogue submarine was attempting to launch or had actually launched a ballistic missile with a live warhead in the direction of Hawaii." is the basis of his doomsday premise. He take this conditional conjecture, throws in a cabal of high level KGB conspirators, and delivers an almost 300 page book. The central thesis behind his assertion of a rogue launch is h ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Dennis Bergendorf
Lots of problems with this book. Sewell and Richmond may be the kings of redundancy, with paragraph after paragraph making the same point--in only slightly modified language. 300 pages could have been condensed to 125 easily.
Then there are the questionable facts. A one-megaton warhead is NOT a low-yield device. The US did NOT have digital spy satellites that could spot a nuclear launch (those came in the 1970s). The Chinese nuclear "arsenal" was almost non-existent and the Chi-Coms had no boome
Endre Barath
I read this book since I was wondering what intrigued my father to read it....It is truly an amazing story, which was under the radar for the past 30+ years. It is very interesting in understanding some of the inner workings of the Intelligence Services. Now I have a Clear understanding why the Iron Curtain of Russia colapsed and why Pres. Richard M Nixon was able to develop a friendly relationship with China. If you want to know read this book.....Also if you want to know how close we came to W ...more
Don Weidinger
Mao when you open windows let in flies, March 1968 Pearl Harbor K129 300 miles out, while 17K/year Vietnam riots Scorpion sub down failing soviet economy 3 extra crew after shortened break plus 11 unknown, 3 blasts recorded, sharing failsafe technology since Eisenhower, protect against unintended use, 40 ships in search radioactive oil slick found by University that gained 2 research ships, singular action rogue as no other offensive or defensive, explosion caused skeletal remains, precise latit ...more
Susan Soderberg
I agree that this riveting story lacks good editing. I felt like each chapter was somehow dissociated with the others - regurgitating information already shared. But who needs sci-fi when (1) real people plan and implement such dastardly deeds and we - I lived in Hawaii - are protected by a simple fail-safe device; (2) technology offers untrammeled access to previously inaccessible unearthly locations; and (3) politicians, intelligence agencies and fear mongers rule?
Michael Gerald Dealino
I bought a hardcover copy of this book for just the equivalent of half a dollar at a bargain bookstore two years ago. While the events surrounding the motive of the submarine and its crew are mostly through educated guesswork, the beauty of the book is in the details on the submarine's recovery by the US. What a thrill to read!
Wow!!! In spite of many small errors, it was a well organized book detailing an AMAZING series of events. A ficticious version couldn't have been more dramatic! This should be required reading for every diplomat, politician, and military officer in all countries so that it doesn't happen again.
Mr. Sewell has wedded a number of conjectures to Soviet operational procedures and human-interest details to advance a frightening scenario that in 1968, a rogue Soviet submarine attempted to launch a nuclear missile at Pearl Harbor. The central thesis behind his assertion of a rogue launch is his claim that the sub went down at 163º W Longitude, 24º N Latitude. This is critical since the K-129 was armed with three SS-N-5 Serb missiles with a range of approximately 760 nautical miles. Pearl Harb ...more
Matthew Kresal
The sinking of the Soviet submarine K-129 and the CIA's subsequent attempts to recover it has long been of interest to me. So, having finally gotten the chance to read this book, I was intrigued by this new angle on what seemed a familiar incident. In fact if you think you know anything about this event then you might want to think again.

Red Star Rogue puts forward a compelling case that the event that sank K-129 was far more sinister then the public has ever been told. In fact authors Kenneth
Kamas Kirian
This is the (purported) true story of the sinking and salvage of a Soviet missile sub. Having read A Matter Of Risk: The Incredible Inside Story Of The Cia's Hughes Glomar Explorer Mission To Raise A Russian Submarine many years ago, and also having read about it in Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage I was interested in this story. I remember seeing promo's about the Hughes Glomar Explorer in science class when I was a kid and we talked about deep sea mining. The ...more
Nathaniel Irvin
This is a very engaging book; well, if you're into historical non-fiction about submarine warfare. I found it very interesting.

Sewell presents a somewhat radical theory about the well-known K-129 incident. I had read about this book from articles about K-129 that say that Sewell's theory is nonsense and the work of a crackpot. I think that's an unfair characterization of Sewell. Right or wrong, he presents a very well-researched, well-argued position. There are places where his reasoning does no
This is one of those books that should be at the top of all reading list in any American Government class. If this event, as depicted in the book, is accurate as the author presents then 1968 has another notch of one of the worst years for this nation. Imagine a failed attempt to drag the volatile, deceptive, concoting Johnson Administration (Gulf of Tonkin, USS Liberty, Warren Commission,...) into a nuclear war with the Chinese or worst into a nuclear world conflict and there you have the base ...more
Kenneth Sewell and Clint Richmond (the authors) share an amazing amount of information about the rogue nuclear-powered Russian sub K129 that almost launched a nuclear attack on Pearl Harbor in 1968. Using a plethora of available facts--many only recently released--they are not afraid to draw logical conclusions and weave a daunting picture of what might have been had the attack succeeded. Though we can't know (no videos, journals, captain's log remain--the sub's carcass is lost deep beneath the ...more
Gregory Lamb
The best part about this book is that the events occurred and were kept a secret for so long. Now that the information is out there, it is largely unknown that in 1968 the world was closer to Nuclear War than during the Cuban Missile Crisis. That is the reason for three rather than two stars.

Now for the bad part about this book. I didn't like the way it was presented. It wasn't well organized, so it seemed like I was reading an extremely detailed account that repeated itself frequently from pass
A Smith
Focusing on the mysterious K-129 Soviet diesel electric submarine capable of launching three nuclear ICBMs - that was mysteriously lost with all hands without carrying out its unknown orders.

Was if a rogue boat capable of starting a war? Was it just dilapidated Soviet material that was destined to die on it's own mission because of the age and quality of the old boat? Or was it hit by a reckless USN ship shadowing it?

The more you read about the Cold War, the more you'll realize it was far scari
Fascinating and all too believable story of a failed first strike attempt on Pearl Harbor. Starting the book I thought it would be a lurid conspiracy theory, but he makes his case pretty well.
This is a very interesting sea story that turns into a rather complex conspiracy theory (and who doesn't love a good conspiracy theory?). Basically the story is that elements of the GRU plotted to launch a nuclear strike on Pearl Harbor using an old sub that was similar enough to a Chinese diesel-electric, hoping the US would retaliate against China with the full might of their 60's nuclear arsenal, thereby eliminating a chief rival. The actions of the US after discovering the wreck (the attack ...more
I really wanted to enjoy this book...I am a huge fan of Tom Clancy and I loved Blind Man's Bluff, but I just couldn't. Part of it is that it isn't very well written; the narrative wanders and repeats itself quite a bit. The bigger reason though is that it's almost all conjecture. There's almost no hard evidence provided to support the theory the author has. Because of that, it fails to rise to the standard of a piece of history. Unfortunately, since it's poorly written, it doesn't stand up to Cl ...more
An interesting story piecing together various pieces of military intelligence to indicate that a Soviet nuclear sub was taken over by rogue elements and attempted to launch a nuclear missle at Pearl Harbor. I'm not sure it's true - to my mind, it is short on facts and long on speculation. Also - a bit repetitive and non-linear in its telling of the tale. Could've used an editor to streamline the narrative a bit.

But a nice, thrilling read. Could make a good movie...oh wait...Red October is alread
The authors have done an excellent job of covering the Soviet submarine attempt to launch a nuclear missile toward Pearl Harbor in March 1968. Through interviews and research they lay out the full story in as complete as possible due to the tight security that the CIA maintains over the incident. I recommend this book which reads like a spy novel but is deadly real. If you read this book but are unsure if the K-129 incident was true, check out Blind Man's Bluff and The Silent War for further inf ...more
Informative and frightening
Mark Cooper
[Book] Super creepy 'cause it actually happened! Author's proposed factual account of a rogue USSR sub that was probably commandeered by KGB ultra-communist agents. This sub was taken to within 700 miles of Honolulu where it attempted to fire a nuclear missile, but as the missile launched its engines exploded in the tube, sinking the sub. This is the story of the captain & crew as well as the author's description of probable events concerning the evidence of this near nuclear first-strike.
The first third of the book, where the author details what happened to the rogue sub that tried to nuke Pearl Harbor, is interesting. The 2nd and 3rd parts are much less so and have the added demerit of being repetitive. Hundreds of pages detailing the minutia of how the submarine was discovered/retrieved/covered up are already dry enough without the author restating facts and events that were laid out a few pages earlier.

Read the first third, skim the rest.
It took a long time, and lots of repetition, to get to the beginning of any action. It took a long time, and lots of repetition to get through the events. It took a long time, and lots of repetition, to get through the aftermath of the events.

This book is seriously in need of an editor, it should not have passed the first stage of editing. It needs to be less than half of its length, since it is so obviously padded.
This is good yarn about how Generation "Y" almost never had a chance to come into existence. Also a good story about how poorly governments function when faced wtih a "true" crisis. Makes one wonder what "We, the People" don't know about what ELSE happened on 9/11/2001 that the U.S. government has decided we don't need to know for several more decades. This book would make an excellent action/suspense movie some day.
Keith Budzynski
History, conjecture, and conspiracy theory.
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