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Silent Running: My Years on a World War II Attack Submarine | [James F. Calvert]

Silent Running: My Years on a World War II Attack Submarine

In this riveting personal account, an authentic American hero relives the perils and triumphs of eight harrowing patrols aboard one of America's most successful World War II submarines. Courageous deeds and terror-filled moments - as well as the endless hard work of maintaining and operating a combat sub - are vividly recalled in Calvert's candid portrait.
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Publisher's Summary

In this riveting personal account, an authentic American hero relives the perils and triumphs of eight harrowing patrols aboard one of America's most successful World War II submarines. Courageous deeds and terror-filled moments - as well as the endless hard work of maintaining and operating a combat sub - are vividly recalled in Calvert's candid portrait. From rigorous training and shakedown cruises off the coast of New England to tense patrols within shouting distance of Japan's major cities, the progress of the newly commissioned USS Jack parallels Calvert's own growth from callow ensign to charter member of one of the sharpest attack teams in the fleet. Silent Running is more than a masterful collection of war stories. The greatest drama takes place within Jim Calvert himself, as his values, his training, and his courage are put to test daily, both at sea and ashore. He must come to terms with a forbidden love, overcome fear and self-doubt, cope with the loss of comrades, and face the constant reality that each and every day at sea might be his last. Jim Calvert has created one of the most remarkable World War II memoirs to date.

©:1995 by James F. Calvert, Vice Admiral, USN (Ret.); (P)1997 by Blackstone Audiobooks

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (344 )
5 star
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4.3 (108 )
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3.9 (106 )
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Performance
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  •  
    julie RALEIGH, NC, United States 07-10-03
    julie RALEIGH, NC, United States 07-10-03 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A fascinating view of WW2 Sub Warfare"

    Any fan of Tom Clancy's fictional sub tales will like this historical audio book of our submarine forces in WW2. The combination of technical information, wartime action, and insights into the human factor of life on a WW2 Sub made this book an enjoyable choice. The 10 hour unabridged size was also nice if you like unabridged formats - it did not drag or feel too long, but rather was hard to "put down". I would highly recommend this audiobook!

    19 of 19 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Darien, , CT, USA 09-01-03
    Tim Darien, , CT, USA 09-01-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great Read"

    He was a small cog in the great machinery of WW II but he had a front row seat, which he shares with us. This book gives a glimpse of what the war was like at the point of action. It is not only tremendously enlightening it is very entertaining. If you have an interest in naval military history as told from an individual combatant?s perspective, you should consider this book.

    9 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Lecanto, FL, USA 09-01-04
    Ron Lecanto, FL, USA 09-01-04
    HELPFUL VOTES
    189
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    "Great Book, Bad Recording"

    This is an excellent biographical tale of life aboard a second world war submarine in the Pacific theater of operations. It tells the tale of a crew growing together as a fighting unit through the eyes of a junior officer. That is one drawback as even junior officers live a guilded life compared to a seaman, but that is a minor complaint. What is annoying is the uneven recording quality. It is quite evident that the narrator had to redo numerous portions of the book and the dubbed in portions sound as if the used a steel drum as a studio. This is an unneeded distraction in an otherwise fine book.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Terry Kells, Co MeathIreland 08-20-03
    Terry Kells, Co MeathIreland 08-20-03
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Engrossing wartime memoir"

    Reaching the end of Silent Running, I was sorry that the Second World War hadn't gone on for another couple of years so that Jim Calvert would have a few more sea stories to tell. It's an excellent read: informative, detailed, and yet highly personal. Calvert pulls no punches when analysing his own actions during the war, both in the submarine and out of it, and it's refreshing to find a war memoir where the author doesn't consider that he won the war single-handedly. I can't recommend Silent Running highly enough.

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Honoraville, AL, United States 02-18-04
    Ron Honoraville, AL, United States 02-18-04
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    "Very Interesting and Captive"

    This is one of the best books I have ever received from Audible. If you are interested in the WWII era Navy this book is a must have. After listening to this book I found myself watching Das Boot to see the struggles the German submariners had against our anti-submarine forces. I was excited every day on the 45 minute drive to/from work that I would get to hear more about the USS Jack. Excellent book.

    6 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Frank Laguna Beach, USA 11-29-07
    Frank Laguna Beach, USA 11-29-07 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amateur sound recording"

    This is an excellent story and really takes you back in time to illuminate the bravery and ingenuity of these submariners .One problem I have had with this and other Blackstone audio books is that bravery is also required on the part of the listener to survive the disgraceful lack of respect for the end users ears.Throughout the recording there was echo and what seemed like tape print thru as well as voices in a room next door! I haven't even mentioned the readers lisp ....Simply not good enough for an audible download.I have read other reviewers complain about the Blackstone audio low standard of recording. What a shame.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Wolfpacker Memphis, TN 06-07-06
    Wolfpacker Memphis, TN 06-07-06 Member Since 2005

    Curtis

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Experience the submarine life firsthand"

    I thought this was a great book. I disagree with one reviewer on the narrator; I thought the narrator did a fine job. The story is both exciting and personal. This ranks right up there with my other favorite WW II listens: The Phantom Major, The Last Stand of the Tin Can Sailors, and Shadow Divers (quasi-WW II.)

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dave WI, USA 12-06-04
    Dave WI, USA 12-06-04 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Good history"

    Some titles are historical and dry. This one is entertaining, insightful, and will make you laugh at times. After a while, you get to know the crews, the routine, the tests of submarine life in and out of the sub. Didn't like some of the weak recording at times, but definitely a very good listen!

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    KMH 09-20-04
    KMH 09-20-04 Member Since 2001
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    "Fascinating"

    This story is more entertaining than any fictional story aboard a sub.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Edward Sedalia, CO, USA 04-28-04
    Edward Sedalia, CO, USA 04-28-04
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    "Tremendous, informative, loved it!"

    I have read a number of books on submirines from the WWII days and more modern. This was one of the best. While the audio level could have been a little louder, the quality of the voice, the presentation and the content of the book itself is wonderful. The material was informative, exciting, heart warming, terrifying and just plain fun to listen to.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
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  • G
    Pire sur SeicheFrance
    2/24/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "an easy listen with lots of drama"

    Five war patrols over three years are presented, with all the drama of creeping up on and sinking Japanese ships. Each engagement is described in quite a lot of detail, but it's always clear what's going on and the excitement of the situation comes across well. Almost everything in the book focuses on pre-combat training and then the combat itself. Little is said about life on board a submarine when not in battle. There is even less mention of the death and destruction of war.

    The writer is a squeaky-clean all American hero, almost unreal is his skill, self-discipline and soundness of character. A true poster-boy for life as a navy officer. I found myself regretting having been born fifty years too late and not being American! How easy it must be to be duped into believing in the righteousness of the military when you read a book like this. Don't expect any soul-searching or self-doubt. That said, Mr Calvert comes across as a very pleasant man. Of course, he would hardly present himself in a poor light.

    Overall, half a credit well spent (there was a two for one offer)!

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
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