A chance encounter with Captain William Ruhe’s WAR IN THE BOATS, his reminisces of fighting aboard submarines in the Pacific during World War 2, inspired me to write CRASH DIVE and its upcoming sequel, SILENT RUNNING. During my research, I read a lot of submarine books, mostly nonfiction.
I also read a few fictional works, most recently RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP by Edward L. Beach, which inspired the 1958 film of the same title starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster, one my favorite actors.
The novel is touted as the American DAS BOOT, but I didn’t enjoy that particular novel nearly as much as I did the movie. RUN SILENT, RUN DEEP is a fantastic movie but the book is very different and far better. Beach (who sadly passed away in 2002 at the age of 84) fought in the Pacific for the entire war, and he knew his subject inside and out. Lucky for us, he was also a fantastic writer, writing a book that features great characterization, intense action, high stakes and a terrific villain in Bungo Pete.
I’m proud of CRASH DIVE, but Beach puts the rest of us to shame when it comes to writing about men and submarines. Highly recommended if you can find it, as it’s out of print. Some enterprising publisher really should buy the digital rights and bring it to Kindle.
In short, if you like submarine fiction, this one’s a must.