COVERT SHORES: The Story of Naval Special Forces Missions and Minisubs
COVERT SHORES details the world history of naval Special Forces, their missions and their specialist vehicles. Units covered include the US Navy’s SEALs, Britain’s Special Boat Service (SBS) and many more.
Until now, the underwater craft employed by the World’s Special Forces have been known only to a select few. Covert Shores is the first complete and documented insight into the little-known world of the mini-subs, Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs) and other underwater vehicles used by the U. S. Navy SEALs, Special Boat Service, Spetsnaz, COMSUBIN, Shayetet-13, Recce Commandos, Commando Hubert, Clearance Divers, Kampfschwimmers and many more.
Operating under a blanket of secrecy, these craft have remained hidden and unrecorded in a way that no other class of military vehicles has. Covert Shores reveals the craft, units, missions and tactics of this unseen world. Spanning from 1776 to the present day, and covering activities in many countries including US, Great Britain, Italy, Israel, Russia, France, Germany, Yugoslavia and Sweden, this book is filled with tales of the ingenuity, resourcefulness, experimentation and cunning of those involved in the design and operations of these expert craft. A must-read for all military enthusiasts.
274 pages 8.5"x11" full color with over 100 original color illustrations.
There’s been a lot written about underwater special operations – some of it very good, but too much mixes fanciful tales or speculation with familiar history. To be fair, it can be hard for a writer to decide where fiction replaces fact, especially when some of the real-life actions seemed to come straight out of Hollywood. Also, countries and military services do their best to keep their covert military activities actually covert.
Thus, a detailed, broad, and objective history of naval special forces is both as welcome as it is unexpected. Mr. Sutton has collected and organized a comprehensive history that covers the men, the hardware, and the operations from the beginning to the present day.
The hardware is exotic. He makes the connection between underwater vehicles and other little-understood specialized craft such as military canoes, explosive boats and even paddleboards.
His descriptions of the special warfare units provide new details of their composition and methods, and also show just how interconnected the special warfare community is.
A lot of the information in here is being published openly and unclassified for the first time. It is unique in subject matter, scope, and accuracy.
This second edition demonstrates Mr. Sutton’s efforts to keep up with current developments in a difficult subject. Luckily, he is both familiar with the topic and a good researcher. He's also a fine illustrator, with many excellent drawings and graphics to support the text. That means he gets all the credit for a valuable addition to naval literature.
This is a unique look at the shared history of the Naval Special Forces and in particular the craft they employ, from midget submarines, human torpedoes and canoes to the Swimmer Delivery Vehicles (SDVs) of today. There are no books which cover the topic in any detail or in its entirety until now.
The project employs primary research in archives and interviews with former frogmen/special forces, submariners and submarine designers/manufacturers as well as building on other works which tackle smaller parts of the topic. Many of the craft covered in this work are virtually unknown and at risk of being forgotten to History.
5 stars rating (Amazon)
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Facts can be more fanciful than fiction!
By Will Edwards on July 27, 2015
First off, the book is big :) Its letter-page size with small text and weighing in at nearly a kilo! I warn you as its a real page turner; for such a heavy factual book its actually surprisingly readable and you won't be able to put it down until you've finished it :D
I've been following the author's blog http://www.hisutton.com so was waiting expectantly for this book to go to print.
The author is a clearly a proper expert in the field. Everyone following the blog already knows this but its worth repeating. This book is head and shoulders above the usual popular kind of military book filling my bookshelf where a journalist tries to handle a technical subject that they don't grasp. The details and descriptions and commentary in the book really have the fun cynicism and dry whit missing in the gung-ho sensationalism usually found in books on special forces.
The breadth of the book is excellent too. It has the same first-time-public feel as that other great book Blind Mans Bluff. Details begins to dwindle only right up at the present day; the author clearly knows rather more than they are saying about the current state of affairs. I wish it was longer :) Seriously, it feels the author has rather more amusing tidbits to share. I'd like to know a lot more about the various characters introduced in the books, particularly the garden-shed-based sub designers, for example.
And the illustrations are absolutely FABULOUS! Absolutely first class. The author is an excellent artist too.
So, all in all, full marks! Absolutely the book we were all anticipating :)
4 Stars rating (Amazon)
This book was a revelation, I was alerted to ...
By Sallows on August 18, 2015
This book was a revelation, I was alerted to it on the secret projects website and I was hopeful that it would cover a gap in my knowledge. Whilst the print quality is not to the highest standard the scope of projects covered more than makes up for it. A fascinating read.
5 Stars rating (Amazon)
By Alan Ainslie on 19 Aug. 2015
A first - everyone has heard something about it, but here's the story
User 'ninjrk' on SecretProjects.co.uk/forum/
I have my copy and I'm impressed. Still reading my way through, this isn't a book that you want to skim through for the pictures.
It has been a long hard road and I owe a hug debt of gratitude to everybody who has helped in the research. And to those who played a part in the history but are not remembered.
The work documents:
- Midget submarines
- Wet submarines ('SDVs')
- Military canoes
- Mother submarines
- Covert/special mission submarines
- Explosive motorboats
- ...and other covert means of waterborne and underwater transport from the 1700s to the present. It will also tell the story of the technology and the units which made it count.
A non-exhaustive list of many of the elite units covered (bold highlights show where there are direct interviewees):
- USA: OSS/CIA, UDT, SEALs, USN Submarine Force
- UK: Combined operations (including RMBPD, Det-385, SRU, COPP, SBS, SOE), SBS, RN Clearance Divers, RN Submarine Service
- Italy: Decima-MAS, COMSUBIN (Incursori)
- France: Commando Hubert
- Germany: Kleinkampfverbände, Kampfschwimmers, KSK-18 (DDR), cold war escapes
- Former Yugoslavia: 82 Maritime Unit, JRM submariners
- South Africa: 4 Reconnaissance Regiment
- Australia: SOA/Z-Force, RAN Clearance Divers
- Canada: RCN Clearance Divers
- Sweden: A-Dyk, X-Craft
- USSR/Russia: Naval Spetsnaz
- Israel: Flotilla-13
- Other: India, Pakistan, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Iran