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Stalking the Red Bear

The True Story of a U.S. Cold War Submarine's Covert Operations Against the Soviet Union
Narrated by: Charlie Thurston
Length: 7 hrs and 4 mins
Categories: History, 20th Century

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Summary

Stalking the Red Bear, for the first time ever, describes the action principally from the perspective of a commanding officer of a nuclear submarine during the Cold War - the one man aboard a sub who makes the critical decisions - taking us closer to the Soviet target than any work on submarine espionage has ever done before.

This is the untold story of a covert submarine espionage operation against the Soviet Union during the Cold War as experienced by the commanding officer of an active submarine. Few individuals outside the intelligence and submarine communities knew anything about these top-secret missions.

Cloaking itself in virtual invisibility to avoid detection, the USS Blackfin went sub vs. sub deep within Soviet-controlled waters north of the Arctic Circle, where the risks were extraordinarily high and anything could happen. Listeners will know what it was like to carry out a covert mission aboard a nuke and experience the sights, sounds, and dangers unique to submarining.

©2009 Peter Sasgen (P)2017 Tantor

Critic reviews

"An exciting and realistic journey deep into the cold black waters of covert submarine espionage during the Cold War era." (Kenneth Sewell, New York Times best-selling author)

What members say

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Interesting Listening.

A "factional" look at, cat and mouse, US cold-war sea patrols in the Barents Sea.

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining story overall

Good story overall, though if you've read other books on the topic then there is not much new in here. The tone and performance felt a bit monotone.
Good but not worth the price of a credit.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

This is 27 million hours too short!

If you have any interest in this aort of stuff, I imagine you will become riveted by this book just as I did. Its like a real life Tom Clancy novel with lots of detail on submarine operations, crews, families, technology on both NATO and Soviet boats etc. etc. etc.
The book started a little bit slowly, but I then became hooked and could have listened to hours and hours of this. It's a shame it's only 7 hours worth but maybe the author will write more one day?!
Superb narration also. Some of the best I have heard in fact.

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Interesting insights

Getting a narrative view into an area of history not covered by others was an interesting distraction from what could have otherwise been a dry account. Disappointed that the appendices were not included as they promised to add more detail to specific events

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Profile Image for James B. Cookinham
  • James B. Cookinham
  • 26-01-18

How it really was on Fast Attack Subs in the 1970’s

I was a Submarine Officer on a Fast Attack Sub at the time of this book and everything in the book rings true to me. Many times in books about submarines the story is exaggerated to make the story more exciting. That does not work for me the first untruth I read ruins the book for me and this book is most truthful.

It seems to me the author must have had a super relationship with an x-sub captain and the story rings as the facts and not some wild story. If you are interested in what it felt like to be on a Fast Attack Nuclear Submarine during the Cold War this book is for you.

Great job by the author!!

10 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Boom Depleter
  • 17-03-18

Excellent (a bit brief) book about submarine ops

This was amazing. I am slowly working my way through all the major Cold War submarine ops books and this just happened to be toward the end of my list, simply due to it's short length. I almost didn't buy it at all due to this. I'm glad I changed my mind. This was a brilliant retelling of Holy Stone sub ops with nice technical detail and storytelling.

I really love how much of this book takes place on submarines and not from a boardroom or from the polished brass & teak furnished quarterdeck of an admiral's Carrier. Many exciting scenarios and vingettes about a brave type of warrior.

Great read, great listen, fantastic narrator, I loved this one.

5 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • smb072
  • 31-03-19

This Old Squid is Impressed

1.5 hours into this book and I'm looking at the time remaining to make sure it's sufficient to satiate my remaining hunger. Bravo foxtrot zulu, Peter Sasgen and Charlie Thurston!! Reader, if you're interested in submarine warfare even slightly, don't hesitate. Buy this book immediately.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bill J.
  • 24-01-19

a peak into US Cold War sub doctrine

While it starts off at a slow gait, there is a reason. This book is a reflection of our submarine protocols during the Cold War. Long preparation to ensure a good finish. The orator was gave the air of authority this subject needed.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 16-11-18

Great book! Recreates harrowing missions!

Thoroughly enjoyed this book. Very insightful and descriptive of such an important aspect of the Cold War. The chess game we were playing with the Russians is something not enough people today are enlightened about. Read this book!

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Keith
  • 28-06-18

Good performer, lack luster story

I want to start out saying the performance was great, but there just wasn't any substance to the story. Well, actually no. It was only substance. It makes for a decent read, but it doesn't seem to be telling story. Everything is routine, no sense of pressure, and no conflict of any kind. And while the Russian point of view was interesting, it served no real purpose. The two subs never even interact with each other. And finally, the story just kinda stops abruptly.

TL;DR: Not a bad book, but definitely not a good one. Know what you are getting into.

1 person found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Bernadette
  • 31-05-18

Husband loved this book!

My husband who is a retired Naval Captain, loved this book. He has Parkinsons. Reading has become difficult for him. The audio version kept him entertained for hours.

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  • slc5037
  • 02-01-18

Brought back a lot if memiries<br />

I am glad that the story of the American Cold War submariner is finally being told. Thank you to all who served during this time and endured the long stints at sea under some pretty harsh and stressful conditions.

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  • Old66stang
  • 05-07-17

A peak into a submarine's life.

This book gives some insight as events and things that could have happened during the cold war between Russia and the US under the Sea.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicholas
  • 02-07-17

Dull Dull Dull

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

This book is a collection of dry facts strung together with little or no story telling skill.

What could Peter Sasgen have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

Read David McCullough. He knows how to weave facts and history into a page turner.

What do you think the narrator could have done better?

The poor narrator did a great job with dreadful material.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

None.