Blind Man's Bluff

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9780694521920: Blind Man's Bluff

No espionage missions have been kept more secret than those involving American submarines. Now, Blind Man's Bluff shows for the first time how the Navy sent submarines wired with self-destruct charges into the heart of Soviet seas to tap crucial underwater telephone cables. It unveils how the Navy's own negligence might have been responsible for the loss of the USS Scorpion, a submarine that disappeared, all hands lost, thirty years ago. It tells the complete story of the audacious attempt to steal a Soviet submarine with the help of eccentric billionaire Howard Hughes, and how it was doomed from the start. And it reveals how the Navy used the comforting notion of deep sea rescue vehicles to hide operations that were more James Bond than Jacques Cousteau.

Blind Man's Bluff contains an unforgettable array of characters, including the cowboy sub commander who brazenly outraced torpedoes and couldn't resist sneaking up to within feet of unaware enemy subs. It takes us inside clandestine Washington meetings where top submarine captains briefed presidents and where the espionage war was planned one sub and one dangerous encounter at a time. Stretching from the years immediately after World War II to the present-day operations of the Clinton Administration, it is an epic story of daring and deception. A magnificent achievement in investigative reporting, it feels like a spy thriller, but with one important difference'everything in it is true.

Read by Tony Roberts.

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Review:

Little is known--and less has been published--about American submarine espionage during the Cold War. These submerged sentinels silently monitored the Soviet Union's harbors, shadowed its subs, watched its missile tests, eavesdropped on its conversations, and even retrieved top-secret debris from the bottom of the sea. In an engaging mix of first-rate journalism and historical narrative, Sherry Sontag, Christopher Drew, and Annette Lawrence Drew describe what went on.

"Most of the stories in Blind Man's Bluff have never been told publicly," they write, "and none have ever been told in this level of detail." Among their revelations is the most complete accounting to date of the 1968 disappearance of the U.S.S. Scorpion; the story of how the Navy located a live hydrogen bomb lost by the Air Force; and a plot by the CIA and Howard Hughes to steal a Soviet sub. The most interesting chapter reveals how an American sub secretly tapped Soviet communications cables beneath the waves. Blind Man's Bluff is a compelling book about the courage, ingenuity, and patriotism of America's underwater spies. --John J. Miller

From the Author:

"We've spent our careers as investigative reporters, but this was by far our most challenging story. For one thing, naval investigative agents trailed us, actively discouraging sources from speaking. Still, over the course of five years of research, we eventually interviewed hundreds of men who had never spoken about what they'd done-not even to their wives and children. . . . We'll always remember just how relieved they were to sit down with us and finally tell someone, 'I did this. I was there, too.' They were silent heroes, and this book is their story."

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Tony Rioberts
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