All Hands Down: The True Story of the Soviet Attack on the USS Scorpion

Front Cover
Simon and Schuster, Jul 28, 2009 - History - 352 pages
2 Reviews
Forty years ago, in May 1968, the submarine USS Scorpion sank in mysterious circumstances with a loss of ninety-nine lives. The tragedy occurred during the height of the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union, and it followed by only weeks the sinking of a Soviet sub near Hawaii. Now in All Hands Down, drawing on hundreds of hours of interviews, many with exclusive sources in the naval and intelligence communities, as well as recently declassified United States and Soviet intelligence files, Kenneth Sewell and Jerome Preisler explain what really happened to Scorpion.

In January 1968, a U.S. intelligence ship, USS Pueblo, was seized by North Korea. Among other items, the North Koreans confiscated a valuable cryptographic unit that was capable of deciphering the Navy's top-secret codes. Unknown to the Navy, a traitor named John Walker had begun supplying the Navy's codes to the KGB. Once the KGB acquired the crypto unit from the North Koreans, the Russians were able to read highly classified naval communications.

In March, a Soviet sub, K-129, mysteriously sank near Hawaii, hundreds of miles from its normal station in the Pacific. Soviet naval leaders mistakenly believed that a U.S. submarine was to blame for the loss, and they planned revenge. A trap was set: several Soviet vessels were gathered in the Atlantic, acting suspiciously. It would be only a matter of time before a U.S. sub was sent to investigate. That sub was Scorpion. Using the top-secret codes and the deciphering machine, the Soviets could intercept and decode communication between the Navy and Scorpion, the final element in carrying out the planned attack.

All Hands Down shows how the Soviet plan was executed and explains why the truth of the attack has been officially denied for forty years. Sewell and Preisler debunk various official explanations for the tragedy and bring to life the personal stories of some of the men who were lost when Scorpion went to the bottom. This true story, finally told after exhaustive research, is more exciting than any novel.
 

What people are saying - Write a review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - Laurie.Schultz - LibraryThing

I thought this book was very well researched. I had no idea that the time frame was also associated with the Pueblo and John Walker..... Do I believe that our government would hide the truth from the families of these sailors and the nation? Yes, I do. Read full review

ALL HANDS DOWN: The True Story of the Soviet Attack on the USS Scorpion

User Review  - Jane Doe - Kirkus

Convincing argument that the 1968 sinking of the nuclear submarine USS Scorpion, long considered an accident, was the result of a Soviet attack.Although not the first to level this accusation, Navy ... Read full review

Contents

Abyss
1
gorshkovs gun
15
off to Poke the beAr
43
bAited
111
Pier 22
145
brAndywine
162
lost
202
trAPPed And killed
242
boAts wAke
271
ePilogue
287
Acknowledgments
293
index
329
Copyright

Other editions - View all

Common terms and phrases

About the author (2009)

Kenneth R. Sewell is a nuclear engineer and a U.S. Navy veteran who spent five years aboard the USS Parche, a fast attack submarine that was the Navy's most decorated ship. Parche conducted a number of special operations, some of which were revealed in Blind Man's Bluff. Since leaving the Navy, Mr. Sewell has held both Department of Defense and Department of Energy security clearances. In researching Red Star Rogue, Mr. Sewell had access to recently declassified intelligence files in the U.S. and Soviet military archives that were opened after 1991, among other sources. A New York Times bestseller, Red Star Rogue has been optioned for film by Warner Brothers.

Jerome Preisler is the author of more than twenty books, including the bestselling Tom Clancy's Power Plays series. He is also a baseball commentator whose work appears on the New York Yankees' YES Network Online.

Bibliographic information