Friday, February 28, 2014


This is coolbert:

Within the context of that most recent blog entry the Tom Clancy novel "SSN" most applicable in a way not so almost twenty years ago now.

And also a good time for a long-promised book review.

And as you might expect the Tom Clancy novel "SSN" is being reviewed.

A novel some might find dated but the scenario as outlined in the book even more pertinent that ever.


An almost exclusively undersea war fought using submarine forces.

First there was the PERSONNEL COMPUTER [PC] GAME [also called "SSN"] and then there was the novel.

Written by Tom Clancy of course IN COLLABORATION WITH THE RETIRED CAREER BRITISH SUBMARINE COMMANDER Captain Doug Littlejohns. With regard to accuracy and realism I might well assume that the PC game and book are more or less as authoritative as you are going to get.

From the back cover of the book:

"AMERICA IS AT WAR" [according to the book circa 1997]
"China has invaded the oil-rich Spratly Islands."
"The American response has been swift - - and deadly."
"And the Third World War has begun."

Again, a war fought almost exclusively under-water. That American Los Angeles class submarine USS Cheyenne versus almost the entire Chinese navy, submarines and surface vessels both.

That USS Cheyenne at that moment the top-of-the-line and most advanced variant of the class, equipped with all the "bells and whistles" and latest armaments.

In a nutshell "SSN" is highly recommended without qualification.


* One reservation I have is that Tom Clancy makes it sound all too easy.
> Cheyenne is ALWAYS able to detect and locate enemy submarines first.
> American torpedoes ALWAYS fire properly, run true, locate and destroy the enemy target.
> American missiles ALWAYS fire properly, run true, locate and destroy the enemy target.

* During an undersea war between America and China, if indeed such an event should actually transpire, the former is assured to have a lot of good allies, the latter is not. Allies to include:

> Philippines.
> Taiwan.
> Brunei.
> Malaysia.
> Vietnam.

* Submarine tenders [U.S.] absolutely vital to successful submarine warfare. In the book Cheyenne on a number of occasions able to re-arm and continue the mission without returning to home base.

Finally from an interview at the end of the book, Tom Clancy in conversation discussing Chinese claims to the Spratly Islands:

James Adams: "Tom, you talked briefly about the Spratlys. Tell me a bit more about them . . . What exactly is the status of those islands?"

Tom Clancy: "The Spratly Islands are kind of like a dead grandfather with a heck of a big estate. And everyone wants to claim to be the number-one heir. In fact, I think that China's territorial claim to the Spratlys is fictitious."

James Adams: "Tenuous at best."

Tom Clancy: "Especially given their location. But they're such inhospitable pieces of real estate that whoever can get there, plant a flag, and defend it is going to own them."

PLANT THE FLAG AND DEFEND AGAINST ALL COMERS! As it always has been, as it always will be!!


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