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The Death of the USS Thresher: The Story Behind History's Deadliest Submarine Disaster
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The Death of the USS Thresher: The Story Behind History's Deadliest Submarine Disaster

3.72  ·  Rating details ·  131 Ratings  ·  16 Reviews
A must-read for submarine buffs! On the morning of April 10, 1963, the world's most advanced submarine was on a test dive off the New England coast when she sent a message to a support ship a thousand feet above her on the surface: experiencing minor problem . . . have positive angle . . . attempting to blow . . . . Then came the sounds of air under pressure and a garbled ...more
Paperback, 224 pages
Published December 1st 2017 by Lyons Press (first published 2001)
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I am something of a Titanic nut. You might know this, since I can’t stop myself mentioning it all the time. I have been interested in the lost liner since I was five, the year she was found on the Atlantic seafloor. That means 31 years of loving that ship. There is a very short list of things that I’ve loved for that long. And it’s been a good relationship. Still, that’s three decades. Now, I’m not exactly at Peak Titanic, but it occurred to me recently that there might be other shipwrecks in th ...more
Aug 25, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Thresher came alive in 1963. It was to be a short life. Manufactured from the new “stronger steel—the so-called HY-80 steel which could withstand the pressure of 80,000 pounds per square inch before it would start pulling apart. With a submarine hull built for deeper operation the Navy would get a bonus with the Thresher. Because of her hull strength, in shallow waters she would be able to withstand greater shocks from enemy weapons.” The decision to emphasise depth was controversial. Rickov ...more
I was a little disappointed in this book; I expected more, I guess. So often you seldom really learn about the crew. I want to know the men who gave their lives, as well as the technical stuff. I thought there was too much repetition and too much speculation. My Dad lost a buddy on the Thresher and worked for the investigation team. He usually won't talk about it, but in the right conditions he will, and he once told me that the Thresher almost made it to the surface; I don't know what data that ...more
Good but strangely light. I did enjoy the more technical aspects covered by Polmar and thought the concluding chapter on other submarine accidents was well done.
Aug 12, 2010 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: history, submarine
I was somewhat disappointed in this book, due to my high expectations. I expected more information about events in the many years since this tragic event. Some people may not be aware that this book is an updated version of a book originally written in 1964, just a short time after the sinking of the Thresher. The original book would have been written with the more limited information available in that time, so I expected more about the subsequent implications of sinking on the design and constr ...more
Christopher Obert
Jan 22, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: read-2013
April 10, 2013 is the 50th anniversary of the sinking of the US nuclear submarine USS Thresher. This incident is the worst submarine accident in history with 129 men going down with the ship. My family and I have an undocumented connection with this tragedy and I was very interested in learning more of the story. I found this book to be a great place to start my research. The book gives the background on the ship and its crew. It tells of the nature of submarine testing and the events that lead ...more
Feb 21, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
During a recent trip to the USS Albacore I saw this book in the giftshop. They were honoring USS Thresher. The book sounded very interesting from the summary and I purchased it. I found the book to be interesting, however I didn't really care for the authors writing style. The sections seemed segmented and didn't flow together well. Also many sentences I had to reread as they were unclear at first look. However there was clearly a lot of research done and presented an interesting story, not only ...more
Being interested in all things technical, I picked this book up after reading one on Project Azorian. I found the language of the book awkward to read in some places and tedious in others but the latter was often due to the desire of the author to be as accurate as possible which one has to accept reading such a book. What I did not quite understand is why a different theory on the sinking of the USS Thresher which has (it seems) some merit (easily to be found on the internet) was not mentioned ...more
Brenda Anderson
Sep 25, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First learned about the tragedy of the USS Thresher on the History Channel. Immediately wanted to know more about the 129 souls lost, but learned very little about their personal stories. Would still recommend it to anyone wanting to learn more about those who selflessly serve our country and by their deaths, create a safer and more secure military for us.
Dec 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is the tragic story of the USS Thresher loss on April 10,1963 with 129 personnel on board 222 miles off the coast of Cape Cod Massachusetts at a depth of 8400 feet. This is a hard look at at the chain of events and speculation of what may have happened. If you are interested in learning more about this event this is the best place to start.
Cindy T
Jun 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
excellent.....I knew men on that sub.
Jim Noyes
Feb 11, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
First real news event, along with JFK assasination, that I remember. Good info. Very pragmatic analysis
Russ Long
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Jonathan S Bugbee
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Michael Dreimiller
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Keith Budzynski
Apr 19, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After the recent anniversary (April 10, 2017) of this tragic event, I decided to pick this book up at the library. Having served on one of the USS Thresher's sister ships in the early 90's until its decommission, there was always talk of the loss and what could have happened. This book provided a good overview of the story and helped fill in some of the gaps that i was not aware of. The book was updated in 2001 which can make the book a little awkward; the extra chapters tacked on to the end. Ov ...more
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Norman Polmar is an analyst, consultant, and author specializing in naval, aviation, and science and technology issues.
More about Norman Polmar