Wednesday, October 02, 2013

Tom Clancy's Submarine Legacy

Thomas Leo "Tom" Clancy, Jr. (April 12, 1947 – October 1, 2013) - American. Celebrated thriller author best known for his technically detailed espionage and military science storylines that are set during and in the aftermath of the Cold War.  Books from his "Jack Ryan" series were successful box office hits throughout the '90s and early 2000s — each a box office success.

Communism was set back in 1991, when the USSR was formally dissolved. The eventual demise of the Soviet Union had been anticipated well before the United States inherited the putative title as the world's only superpower. In anticipation of someday having to deal with that dubious and largely unwanted military status the U.S. had begun many steps and plans to downplay its superiority.  

Politicians characterized the demise of the USSR as a "peace dividend" for the United States.  Submariners, once considered members of an elite navy force (e.g. in Navy 1970 recruiting brochure) were relegated to just another facet of naval service with introduction of complimentary Surface Warfare Pins approved for wear by 1980. 
No longer could the navy recruit the rare breed of volunteers for its demanding submarines under an elite banner. 
Extreme Creatures - by Juan Caruso D.

Who suffer no attrition upon news their kind are sunk,
Who endure sunless weeks on end in want of their own bunk.

Disturbed from precious sleep by those dreaded, alarming sounds,
When the latest hazard has sprung out of its nearby bounds.

Sacrifices are certain for these devoted volunteers,
Qualifications demanded by a jury of their peers.

In clear illustration of “24-7’s” meaning,
There is no phoning home during silent submarining.

Tom Clancy's Legacy

 In 1990, Clancy's The Hunt for Red October (with Sean Connery, Alec Baldwin, and Scott Glenn) became one of the top grossing films of the year, and the top submarine movie of all time with a worldwide Box Office of $200.5 million and 7.6 IMDB stars out of 10.

Quite a few young men and women who had watched ' Red October have since begun careers in the Navy's submarine service. A few countries in which ' Red October  played never had a submarine in their navies. Now more do.  ' Red October brought the awesome prestige and unusual excitement of the silent service to the attention of a formerly clueless youth who generally had no familiarity with WW2 submarine contributions from the winners' side or the secretive Cold War from either side.  (Das Boot  -1981, merited an awesome 8.4 IMDB stars, but it only portrayed the darker, WW2 side of German U-boats). 

Thanks to Tom Clancy's 1986 book and the ensuing ' Red October movie (heavily assisted by Navy equipment and technical assistance) recruiting submarine volunteers was suddenly not so difficult as it had almost become.  Rest in peace, Mr. Clancy, you did well for your country, and much better for subs than this Fire Brigade! (vigili del fuoco):
Submarines are always silent and strange.

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