Saturday, September 26, 2009

The Ice Diaries by William R. Anderson

I just finished The Ice Diaries by William R. Anderson. This book goes into much greater detail than his earlier Nautilus 90 North in describing the adventures of submarine Nautilus diving under the ice to traverse the Arctic Ocean at the height of the Cold War, a voyage that required three attempts and proved to the world the U.S. Navy could pass at will between the Pacific and Atlantic along the exposed northern frontier of the Soviet Union, thus re-establishing American technical superiority in the wake of Sputnik. The politics of the Navy and the submarine service are reflected in the nature of undersea operations. For the submarine officer, a career is like a chess game, or like the discreet nature of undersea work itself. Transcending the sophisticated technical problems they are continually solving, submariners are involved in on-going and diverse analyses based upon the thinest of evidence and facts, for which they demonstrate a remarkable proficiency; a true form of art in its way.