(Now in paperback)
‘Hunter Killers’ tells the incredible, true inside story of the Cold War beneath the waves.
Venturing under the ice, penetrating sun-drenched anchorages with only a few feet to spare and standing watch over enough explosive power to destroy Mankind, the men in this story have kept their silence.
Now it can be told. British submarine captains who lived their lives in the shadows speak out for the first time, along with some of those who served with them.
‘Hunter Killers’ presents a gripping series of adventures, in which vivid personalities deal with life-or-death situations.
An epic story, it encompasses the span of the Cold War’s maritime face-off between the Soviet Union and NATO. It plunges us into scrapes and tangles from the English Channel to the Arctic where a determined foe did not hesitate to unleash depth charges and try to ram British submarines.
There are roller-coaster rides in the dark and dangerous ocean, aboard some of the most powerful fighting machines ever invented. We discover the forgotten role Royal Navy submarines played in the Cuban Missile Crisis while also learning the truth behind collisions with ‘icebergs’ – in reality crashes involving British and Soviet vessels.
From so-called pirates to warrior scientists, the cast of this remarkable drama endures hardship, stares death in the face and weathers a cruel sea. Britain’s submariners finally crack the Kremlin’s seemingly impenetrable façade through refusing to yield in the hidden, secret battle that is finally unveiled in this book.
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Published: 21 Aug 2014
‘The book is a triumph of writing and of history. It is good history with the pace and slick writing of a Cold War techno-thriller. It is a very hard book to put down and is a joy to read. We travel from outer space to the depths of the oceans - from Cold War strategizing to the claustrophobia and stench of a submarine three weeks at sea. A sense of tension grips each chapter and Ballantyne offers a series of disconcerting revelations about the near misses of the Cold War maritime game. And like all good books the author ends with a cliff-hanger.’
Dr G. H. Bennett, Plymouth University
This book is a “must-read” for naval enthusiasts and historians, it will probably become required reading even for serving personnel. There is no better book on the submarine aspects of the Cold War.’
‘Iain Ballantyne’s new book “Hunter Killers” is a true story of men, submarines, great nations and unforgiving seas. The impeccably-researched, swiftly-paced yarn follows a small band of Royal Navy submarine officers serving aboard a succession of increasingly sophisticated undersea vessels on the chilly front lines of the Cold War.’
David Axe on Medium.com
‘This excellent book goes some way to giving long overdue recognition to our submariners for their brave and vital role in helping to win the Cold War. It is an exciting, thought provoking and very instructive book.’
John Roberts, ‘Scuttlebutt’, the magazine of the National Museum of the Royal Navy.
‘I’ve found no other book that delves so comprehensively into the underwater battle space during those tense years.’
Nautical novelist of note Julian Stockwin on julianstockwin.com
‘Iain Ballantyne has written a hands-on history of British Cold War submarine activity that reads like a thriller. “Hunter Killers” will fill in many gaps in the knowledge of even ex-submariners, and will be a revelation for readers with only a casual acquaintance with the under-sea world. This is a must-read for historians and, indeed, anybody who wants to delve into the fascinating, dangerous world of Cold War submarines. Highly recommended.’
Award winning author Robert W. Mackay writing on www.robertwmackay.ca