Blind Man’s Bluff by Sherry Sontag, Christopher Drew and Annette Lawrence Drew is a retelling of true events and stories that happened after World War II regarding convert missions submarines took to get an advantage over the Soviet Union. This book was recommended by a co-worker and immediately it sparked something in me. Not only am I a big fan of fictional novels by Tom Clancy but The Hunt for Red October is actually one of my favorite movies! While I”m no military or history buff, I love reading about real life events in the past that changed the course of history as we know it today. While I’ve been on a binge on learning historic events thousands of years ago, Blind Man’s Bluff put things much closer to my era.
Each chapter in Blind Man’s Bluff takes us on a journey through the submarine’s use in the Navy for legal and sometimes illegal missions to gain an upper-hand on the Russians. From the beginning days of submarines having to prove their worth in Navy operations to having the President of the United States having been directly involved, each story is crafted to retell what men of the Navy had to endure back in the days of submarine spying. Everything from having to abandon a submarine to successfully trailing a Russian submarine for weeks undetected, it’s all there. There were many ups and downs throughout the course of these stories ranging from having successfully gathered intelligence data of test missile launches by the Russians to having to fight for the budget in Congress to keep submarines from getting docked feels like it came straight out of a movie and then some.
Many people may not find submarines all that exciting at first. When compared to fighter jets being able to travel at the speed of sound, having a bloated machine weighing thousands of tons traveling at molasses speeds in comparison might not appeal to many. But it’s that exact same argument that makes things equally impressive. Being able to weigh that much while being as long as a football field or more, you’d think it would be impossible to make that beast quiet enough to not get noticed when traveling underwater. Yet that’s exactly the brilliant minds of the military did. You’d think that it’d be impossible for something this big to go thousands of meters under the ocean but again, that’s exactly the feat they’ve accomplished. If you like cat and mouse type novels or games, submarine warfare should be right up your alley. The thought of these men in these stories putting their lives at risk and to not even know what for most of the time is not something many people can do. Worst yet, they’re asked to be separated from their families and loved ones for many consecutive months of the year and forced to not say anything about what they’re doing or where they are going.
Blind Man’s Bluff read like a regular spy novel. The authors did a great job of retelling the events in a way that did not bore the readers. I’m sure a lot of research and NDA’s were broken to cover the stories told in this book. What was so eye opening after having read this book is not the submarines itself but Russia and the Soviet Union of the past. I’ve read a lot of their involvement in regards to World War II and the ending of it but shockingly, I’ve never pursued anything after that. It would seem that the Iron Curtain and the Cold War had a huge undertaking in history that affected millions of people around the world. This is definitely something I am going to follow up on when I have time and I’m so glad reading Blind Man’s Bluff awakened me to it.