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Scorpion Down: Sunk by the Soviets, Buried by the Pentagon: The Untold Story Ofthe USS Scorpionby Ed Offley
Synopses & Reviews
One Navy admiral called it “one of the greatest unsolved sea mysteries of our era.” To this day, the U.S. Navy officially describes it an inexplicable accident. For decades, the real story of the disaster has eluded journalists, historians, and the family members of the lost crew. But a small handful of Navy and government officials knew the truth from the very beginning: The sinking of the U.S.S. Scorpion and its crew of 99 men on May 22, 1968, was an act of war.
In this major work of historical reporting, Ed Offley reveals that the sinking of the U.S.S. Scorpion has never been a mystery, but rather a secret buried by the U.S. government in a frantic attempt to keep the Cold War from turning into a hot war. The Soviets had torpedoed the Scorpion in reprisal for the destruction of the Soviet missile sub K-129, which the Americans had sunk in the Pacific just ten weeks earlier. But why does the U.S. Navy continue to hide the real story of what happened on that fateful day in 1968? In Scorpion Down, military reporter Ed Offley tells the true story of the U.S.S. Scorpion for the first time and dramatically recounts a little-known episode that nearly brought about World War III. And he conclusively demonstrates that the Navy’s official account of the Scorpion incident-from the frantic open-ocean hunt for the wreckage to a court of inquiry’s final conclusions-is nothing more than a carefully constructed series of lies.
"The U.S.S. Scorpion SSN 589, a 99-man fast attack submarine, sank 400 miles southwest of the Azores on May 22, 1968, a time during the Cold War when the Soviet Navy was expanding and becoming more aggressive. The Navy's top secret court of inquiry, however, theorized that the Scorpion was sunk by its own hot-running torpedo, not an enemy vessel. In this thorough post-mortem, military beat reporter Offley challenges the Navy's official report-including details like when the wreckage was found and what the sub's mission had been-with a succinct charge: 'It was all a lie.' Offley believes the Scorpion was sunk by the Soviets, in retaliation for the loss of one of their subs two months prior. Using the U.S.S. Pueblo incident of January, 1968, in which key cryptography gear was lost, Offley connects the dots between the Navy, the John Walker spy ring, and Soviet intelligence to conclude that the Russians had access to all of the Navy's most secret communications, allowing them to ambush the Scorpion. Most of Offley's argument, while compelling, is based solely on interviews with former Navy personnel, and a lack of factual evidence weakens it. Still, this well-told narrative history holds much appeal for naval historians and conspiracy buffs." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
Book News Annotation:
Since its disappearance in 1968, the cause of the sinking of the Spipjack-class submarine, the USS Scorpion, has been shrouded in mystery, with most official Navy accounts pointing to some form of mechanical failure or accidental explosion in the torpedo room. Offley (military reporter for the News Herald in Panama City, Florida), however, has a darker story. Placing the operations of the Scorpion within the context of Cold War submarine rivalries, he makes the case that the vessel was sunk on purpose by a Soviet torpedo in apparent revenge for the loss of the Soviet submarine K129 some time earlier, which the Soviet navy believed was the responsibility of the Scorpion's sister sub, the USS Seawolf. He further argues that the US Navy covered up their original location of the sunk Scorpion, delaying its revelation for months in order to obscure the facts, and that it cooperated with the Soviets for decades in order to hide the truth. Annotation ©2007 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)
A rousing military history of the Battle of the Atlantic, when a high-seas showdown between the Allies and U-boat wolf packs determined the outcome of the Battle of the Atlantic, and made victory against Nazi Germany possible.
Blind Man's Bluff meets The Hunt for Red October in the shocking untold story of an American submarine torpedoed at the height of the Cold War--and the decades long cover-up that followed
One Navy admiral called it “one of the greatest unsolved sea mysteries of our era.” The U.S. Navy officially describes it an inexplicable accident. For decades, the real story of the disaster eluded journalists, historians, and the family members of the lost crew. But a small handful of Navy and government officials knew the truth: The sinking of the U.S.S. Scorpion on May 22, 1968, was an act of war. In Scorpion Down, military reporter Ed Offley reveals that the true cause of the Scorpion’s sinking was buried by the U.S. government in an attempt to keep the Cold War from turning hot. For five months, the families of the Scorpion crew waited while the Navy searched feverishly for the missing submarine. For the first time, Offley reveals that entire search was cover-up, devised to conceal that fact that the Scorpion had been torpedoed by the Soviets. In this gripping and controversial book, Offley takes the reader inside the shadowy world of the Cold War military, where rival superpowers fought secret battles far below the surface of the sea.
The United States experienced its most harrowing military disaster of World War II not in 1941 at Pearl Harbor but in the period from 1942 to 1943, in Atlantic coastal waters from Newfoundland to the Caribbean, and out on the vital North Atlantic convoy routes linking the embattled United Kingdom with its American and Canadian allies. Sinking merchant ships with impunity, German U-boats threatened the lifeline between North America and Great Britain, very nearly denying the Allies their springboard onto the European Continent—a loss that would have effectively cost the Allies the war against Nazi Germany.
In Turning the Tide, author Ed Offley tells the gripping story of how, during a twelve-week period in the spring of 1943, a handful of battle-hardened American, British, and Canadian sailors turned the tide in the North Atlantic. Using extensive archival research and interviews with key survivors, Offley places the reader at the heart of the most decisive maritime battle of World War II.
About the Author
Ed Offley has been a military reporting specialist since 1981 for online publications and newspapers, including The Ledger-Star, Norfolk, Va.; The Seattle Post-Intelligencer; Stripes.com; DefenseWatch, and The News Herald, Panama City, Fla. A graduate of the University of Virginia, Offley served in the U.S. Navy in Vietnam. He lives in Panama City Beach, Florida.
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