Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Friday, March 28, 2008

You May Be Rich!

Back in 2003, the "Complete Idiot's Guide to Submarines" came out; I remember seeing copies of it in the NEX book section, but decided not to get it -- I figured I wasn't an Idiot when it came to submarining. (I did thumb through it, however, and was amused by the chapter on "Phoning the Eng at home", having just come off my "bonus" 2nd Eng tour.)

It turns out I actually was an idiot when I didn't buy the book; it's now out of print, and the cheapest used copy readily available on the 'net is priced at $424.99. And it's just not an Amazon pricing algorithm thing; other web-based booksellers all have it in the $450+ range. So, if you have a copy hanging around at home, you have the makings for a couple of really fancy restaurant dinners for the family! (And if you see a copy in your local used bookstore, you should snag it up and eBay it.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I can't believe NAVSEA isn't all over their weenie butts for the reactor sections (Amazon has a couple pages posted). It doesn't need to be classified to be NNPI. There's a REASON we don't want "idiots" knowing this stuff.

3/28/2008 11:33 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah...see chapter one, page five:

"USS Hampton, SSN 767, NavSea-Confidential NOFORN"

Huh. Really? Not any more...

3/28/2008 2:05 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

AARRrrGGGG!!! I almost bought a copy! *&%$#@!

3/28/2008 5:52 PM

Blogger Jay said...

bubblehead - I want this book. I have alerted my mom, retired from many years in university libraries, to use her connections and get me one. Will let you know how that goes.

3/28/2008 6:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I snagged one from the JO's head off the Honolulu. Wasn't gonna let them use it for gettin there phins. I still got it boxed up at the moment. I bet I could buy a good whore with it!!

3/28/2008 10:02 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I bought this off amazon a few years back after reading the snippets posted there. Being a Hampton plankowner, I thought it was neat that the book features my usetacity. Plus it has more information about the aft end of a nuc boat than I've seen anywhere outside of an RPM. I wondered how the DiMercurio managed to get it cleared for publication.

3/28/2008 11:29 PM

Blogger Chap said...

Heh. I bought four copies. I find it funny they're so expensive. Came in real handylike when trying to explain what I did for a living to air force types.

I do not now have all four copies, and there's a moral to the story: never lend a book to an admiral. They never give them back, ever.

You may well want to pick up a copy of this and its color supplement afore it goes out of print, too...

3/28/2008 11:43 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

We kept a copy on the Conn and in maneuvering...for some reason the maneuvering copy got more use?!

3/29/2008 9:59 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I read some of the preview and I agree with what some previous posters said. There is some rather detailed stuff about the aft end of the boat in there. However I noticed a few particular errors. I wonder if they were intentional by the author or if the author was never actually allowed back there and just gave a generic account to make it seem like a complete "tour" (didn't the forward say the author was a former submariner, so maybe just recalling from memory?). I think those "NOFORN" pictures are just marked as such to make them look authentic. I've seen similar diagrams in most sub reference books.

3/29/2008 5:39 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You know, when I first joined the silent service (in '89) it was still that. Aside from Clancy's fiction (and it's ALL fiction - he's an insurance salesman, after all), there were NO books about submarines that took place after WW2.

That's how we liked it.

The only advantage a sub has, both in port and at sea, is the fact that no one knows anything about us. Heck, I've met people who weren't even aware we still had submarines.

Now we've got ex-submariners writing crap like this book, and what's the justification? Certainly the public does not have a need to know, so we can only assume they wrote it just to make a buck.

Like the first poster said, the stuff back aft is particularly disturbing. NNPI, both classified and unclassified, is still controlled by federal regulations. Read 5511.32c, compare it against what's posted on, and explain to me why this jackass isn't in jail.

3/30/2008 11:34 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Heck, I've met people who weren't even aware we still had submarines."

The taxpayers and congress do not like to pay for "nothing". During my last 24 years in the sub force, we have learned that public relations can have good effect on our bottom line. Tours, VIP cruises, etc. serve a purpose and like it or not, it's all about the bottom line.

3/30/2008 5:45 PM

Blogger Chap said...

Good point--what's the use if the enemy knows all this stuff but the guy who pays for it knows nothing?

Recommended goal: Assess risk correctly and manage release of information rather than try to hide it *all* from the people who really own it.

3/30/2008 10:09 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

You can discuss the mission of the sub and give all the VIP tours you want without the need to discuss ANYTHING back aft.

Your average citizen has little to no impact on military spending (how many of them wanted to spend $350 billion on Iraq so far?) and government VIPs have a clearance and a need to know. This book was all about making some money, nothing more.

When Walker did that, we didn't call him an "author"...

3/31/2008 8:14 AM

Blogger oxillini said...

Any chance this is out of print because someone had a "talk" with the author? Even if I had a copy of this, I'd be hesitant to sell it lest it eventually find it's way to someone seeking this level of detail.

3/31/2008 11:16 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

kgwWow... I have an original copy of 16160 in my library that I thought was worth something. Didn't realize my copy of this little paperback puts it to shame price-wise...

3/31/2008 4:34 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

When the book The Hunt for Red October first came out, the same complaints regarding submarine secrecy violations were bandied about by submarine force weanies who wear their top-knot a little too tight.

True fact (as they say): the cited O-6 "Technical Advisor" for the film version of The Hunt... was the very same O-6 who opined in one of the issues of The Naval Submarine League at the time that, quote: "Any submarine officer could have written that book, and any submarine officer would have gone to jail for having done so."

So...whatever. Huff and puff as much as you want, but I very much doubt that anyone's house is going to get blown down over some line diagrams and other NNPI that, quoth The Matrix, is: "major boring shit."

3/31/2008 4:41 PM

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9/21/2012 3:26 PM


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