Selected Submarine Memoirs & Auto Biographies

The submarine has influenced more than just the outcome of the wars of the 20th Century. It has become an object of fascination for those drawn to the allure and mystique surrounding the Silent Service. Popular culture has both canonized and damned the submarine and their crews. However, it cannot be denied that the submarine has played a major role in both film and print since its inception 100 years ago. The following is a selection of prominent books on submarines, submarine history, and the men who made and fought them.

Memoirs and Autobiographies

Beach, Edward L., Salt and Steel: Reflections of a Submariner (Naval Institute Press, 1999). Autobiographical essays and reflections.

Beach, Edward L., Around the World Submerged: The Voyage of the Triton (Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 1962).

Beach, Edward L., Submarine! (Holt, 1952). Memoir of service aboard Trigger (SS-237).

Calvert, James F., Silent Running: My Years on a World War II Attack Submarine (J. Wiley & Sons, 1997; paper). Memoir of service aboard Jack (SS-259) and Haddo (SS-255).

Connor, Claude C., Nothing Friendly in the Vicinity: My Patrols in the Submarine USS Guardfish in WWII (Savas Publishing, 1999). WWII memoir.

Dunham, Roger C., Spy Sub: A Top Secret Mission to the Bottom of the Sea (Onyx Books, 1997; paper). A former officer recounts a once-secret operation of Halibut (SSGN/SSN-587) during the Cold War. Along the way, he changes some facts and details to protect classified information.

Fluckey, Eugene B., Thunder Below! The USS Barb Revolutionizes Submarine Warfare in World War II (Illinois, 1992; paper). WWII memoir by the captain of Barb (SS-220).

Galantin, I. J., Take Her Deep! A Submarine against Japan in World War II (Pocket Books, 1992; paper). WWII memoir by the commander of Halibut (SS-232).

Galantin, I. J., Submarine Admiral: From Battlewagons to Ballistic Missiles (Illinois, 1997; paper). Autobiography of a four-star admiral who retired in 1970.

Lockwood, Charles A., Down to the Sea in Subs (Norton, 1967).

Lockwood, Charles A., Sink 'Em All: Submarine Warfare in the Pacific (Dutton, 1951).

O'Kane, Richard H., Clear the Bridge! The War Patrols of the U.S.S. Tang (Presidio, 1997; paper). Classic memoir of a WWII submarine commander.

O'Kane, Richard H., Wahoo: The Patrols of America's Most Famous World War II Submarine (Presidio, 1996; paper). WWII memoir of a submarine executive officer.

Ruhe, William J., War in the Boats: My World War II Submarine Battles (Brassey's, 1996; paper). Memoir by a submarine officer, based on his wartime journal.

Russel, Dale., Hell Above, Deep Water Below (Bayocean Enterprises, 1995). Memoir of a WWII submariner.

Schratz, Paul R., Submarine Commander: A Story of World War II and Korea (Kentucky, 2000; paper). Memoir.

Sims, William Snowden, The Victory at Sea Classics of Naval Literature Series (Naval Institute Press, 1984). An account of U.S. naval operations during World War I, by the commander of the U.S. naval forces in European waters. First published in 1920.

Sterling, Forest J., Wake of the Wahoo: The Heroic Story of America's Most Daring WWII Submarine, U.S.S. Wahoo (R.A. Cline, 1999; paper). Account of the WWII exploits of the celebrated but ill-fated Wahoo (SS-238), by a surviving member of the crew (who left the boat 45 minutes before it sailed on its final patrol).