Both the Forward by Michael DiMercurio and the Introduction by Neal Stevens will get your engines running at full speed ahead for what is to come when you turn the pages. Both had very inspirational and driving narratives that set the stage for what follows.
That leads us to the first story. Almost Successful by Mariano Sciaroni with J. Matthew Gillis. It is the story of the Argentine sub ARA San Luis which was the only naval vessel left at sea to battle the British fleet in the Falklands War after the battleship ARA General Belgrano was sunk. The story is riveting in the sense of what the crew had to endure, the problems that occurred, and what the British accomplished in just trying to destroy it.
Cinematic Sub Stuff by Bob ‘Dex’ Armstrong is to some extent a comparison of the movie stuff and what is “real life” within an operating submarine, along with some personal stories while on duty in a submarine.
Why Submarines Are Better Than Women by Mike Hemming can only be summed up in saying that you must read the 23 items to believe along with to fully appreciate it.
Der Drache ist Todt (The Dragon is Dead) by Grant “TarJack” Swinbourne is a somewhat large WWII story of a war patrol by German U-boat. Specifically U-56, commanded by a Leutnant-zur-See Gunther Kruse. The well told story will have your interest throughout each and every adventure.
Submarines from Containment to Preemption by Capt. Zeb Alford (ret.), USN, is another interesting article concerning the employment of submarine resources from one national policy started in 1945 by President Truman (Containment) to another one by President Bush for which was recently enacted (Preemption). A must read for any sub enthusiast.
Looking Back at Fast Attack by Jim Frantz, Chief Engineer, is the very good game development diary of the team that made the PC game Fast Attack one of the premier sub games in its time. The compromises, along with the challenges, met by the programmers and developers that made the game worthwhile.
The Krusanov Ultimatum by Andrew Glenn is a fictional account of an aging and senior Soviet missile boat commander and an attack submarine commander. The junior officer idolized the senior officer for many years, and which later on during patrol was ordered to sink the missile boat due to the Soviet leaders, which believes that the commander has gone mad. Think about the theatrical movie “The Hunt for Red October” and the story is similar but with some major plotline exceptions.
Puppies of the Pacific by Chris Weisensel appears to be fictional story of the sub USS Goldfish commanded by a Lt. Commander Fred Johnson. Its first patrol fresh out of construction to its first sinking, a cargo ship loaded with lifejackets, to sinking a convoy to its adventurous return to port.
Do You Believe in Miracles, Jake? by Alan Bradbury is the fictional account of a Jake Finley who was contacted by a priest concerning the recovery of a treasured sword which was lost during the later days of World War II. The treasure was supposedly transported by the German U-boat U-534 to another awaiting sub just before it was sunk. The story will keep you on your heels during the entire telling.
Growl, Tiger by Ron Gorence is also a fictional story concerning the SS Razorback and a crew member nicknamed “Baby Huey”. His exploits on shore leave will leave you breathless and smiling all the way through.
The Center of the World by Mike Hemming is an account of exploits told in somewhat of “mini-story” format on a submarine concerning movies that were shown during deployment, “the diving alarm ballet”, “fueling and lubing around”, along with a couple of others named “the last one” and “a cold wind blows”. Those stories will have you laughing and crying at the same time.
Silent Service: Specialized Submariner Speech from WWII to Present by Tammy L. Goss is probably what you already think is by the title alone. A very good summary of submarine language, along with how it is used, that has been tradition for many, many years.
A Sub and Crew Worthy of the Name Texas by Neal Stevens concerns the commissioning, the ceremony, along with some vital information concerning the USS Texas, one of the newest “Virginia Class” nuclear attack submarines.
Silent Hunter II Memoirs by Shawn Storc is a very interesting article concerning the developing and publishing of the the PC Game “Silent Hunter II”.
Tales from the Torpedo Room by Don Meadows is a very good collection of what I call “mini stories” that are varied and also very entertaining.
Now I am going to get to what I call “the cream of the crop” in stories contained within this year’s edition, as well as the largest (page count wise). The story is named The Diary of a U-boat Commander by Sir Stephen King-Hall, with an Introduction and Explanatory notes by Etienne. The story is of Lieutenant-zu-See Karl Von Schenk, a German naval submariner in WWI told to you via his personal journal that he maintained throughout his naval service. You will follow him as he becomes an executive officer on a mine laying U-boat to having his own command, and along the way romancing a woman that he could not have while stationed at his home port. This is a good war story, which is backed up by a grand love story. The story is not only very entertaining, time consuming for some, interesting to read, but also keeps your interest from start to finish.
And last, but not least, is the ending story contained in this remarkable submarine almanac. USS Casimir Pulaski (SSBN-633) The Story of a Cold War Warrior by Don Murphy is the authors accounts of the SSBN submarine specified in the title, along with the duties and responsibilities of subs just like her during the Cold War period. And I must say, even though it is the final story it continues the characteristic of it being a very motivating article and a valuable information tool for all who follow naval warfare.
The Subsim Roll-Call section is forum enthusiasts telling their particular story on how they found or discovered Subsim Review.
The Contributors section is a series of short biographies of all of the article/story authors mentioned previously. It should be noted that when you read the biographies of the contributors, there is a wealth of knowledge, along with years of military service, to reinforce their individual expertise in the subject matter and experience level as well.