NONFICTION

Frogmen and Commandos

. 9781599353807. ea vol: 64p. (The Military Experience: In the Water). (bibliog. glossary. index. notes. photos.) Morgan Reynolds. Apr. 2016. Tr. $30.95.
COPY ISBN
RedReviewStarGr 6–8—Nardo has compiled another fine series in which he examines watercraft and the military men who work with them. Frogmen relates the history of the forerunners of today's U.S. Navy SEALs and SWCCs, the U.S. Navy's Special Warfare Combatant-craft Crew, and other combat divers. Strategies focuses mainly on submarines. Chapter 1 relates a little-known story about the Soviet B-59 sub that came close to detonating a nuclear missile during the Cuban missile crisis. The remainder of this text discusses deterrence through strength, conventional and ballistic missiles, and the use of subs in intelligence gathering and spying, as well as modern-day piracy, terrorism, water transport by drug cartels, and other illicit traffic. Submarines features the history and evolution of subs, including the various types and their capabilities, providing a good description of life aboard a sub, and the subs of the future, minus the classified information. The attention-grabbing first chapter of Torpedoes describes how, in March 2011, four UN-affiliated subs and two surface ships launched 221 missiles, thus reducing Muammar Gaddifi's antiaircraft, radar, and communication sites to rubble. This title also gives a good description of David Bushnell's 1776 sub. Each selection is profusely illustrated with full-page and double-page color photos supplied by the U.S. Navy. There are a few vintage black-and-whites. Perspective in these photos is excellent, highlighting the relative size of the craft as compared to the size of the men operating them.
VERDICT This naval series is the best to surface in some time. Make it a first purchase.

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