Power Shift is the first comprehensive account of the US Navy's Submarine Force transition from diesel to nuclear power. It represented the biggest, most costly and disruptive technological change in naval history. This was all done against the backdrop of intense Cold War operations where US submarines played a critical role in maintaining the peace. The story is told by the people who were part of the power shift. From seamen to admirals they tell the stories of how the technological and cultural changes affected them.

Availability estimated to be late March 2006
Some Excerpts from Power Shift

Chapter: Are You Crazy?

"I saw the submariners, the way they stood aloof and silent, watching their pig boat with loving eyes. They are alone in the Navy. I admired the PT boat boys. And I often wondered how the aviators had the courage to go out day after day and I forgave their boasting. But the submariners! In the entire fleet they stand apart!"
James Michener - Tales of the South Pacific

Hanging in my office is a WWII recruiting poster of a sailor, white hat cocked back and an understandable grin on his face with a beautiful ruby lipped brunette reminiscent of a 1940s movie star, in his arms. Back then the dolphins were embroidered on the lower right sleeve which cannot be seen in the poster, so what distinguishes him as a submariner is the war patrol pin the gorgeous brunette is fondling admiringly. The artist's tongue was, no doubt, firmly touching the inside of his cheek. Neither I nor any shipmate ever got within a heevie throw of anyone looking like her. Across the bottom it says, ˝He volunteered for submarine service.ţ The implication seems to be that while you had about a one in four chance of dying with all your shipmates, you'd at least do well with the ladies if you got back! I can't help smiling every time I look at it...

[download entire chapter in pdf format ~100K]

Chapter: Ditty Bag

Enemy submarines are to be called U-boats. The term ´submarine' is to be reserved for Allied underwater vessels. U-boats are those dastardly villains who sink our ships, while submarines are those gallant and noble craft which sinks theirs."
Winston S. Churchill PM

I wrote a book, along with two of my brothers called SPINDRIFT Ă Stories from the U.S. Sea Services. My portion, naturally, was about diesel submarines with chapters named Watches, Heavy Seas, The Loop's Too Big! (about movies at sea), First Do No Harm (about medicine on a diesel boat) and several others. My problem was that I had things to say about life on a diesel boat which fit none of the chapter themes and which were too short to warrant a chapter. These interviews also have anecdotes, interesting comments and facts which are hard to pigeonhole, and which fit none of the chapter themes in this book directly. My solution with SPINDRIFT was to create a chapter called Ditty Bag. Every Navy man reading this needs no further explanation, but for those who never heard the name, a ditty bag was where you kept your ´stuff' aboard ship. Every sailor for 500 years had one. I am confident the Navy still issues one to every recruit today. The Webster's dictionary on my desk defines it as, "a small bag used esp. by sailors to hold sewing implements, toiletries etc." Well, that's what they think. The far more authoritative 1950 edition of my Blue Jackets' Manual says, "A small bag or box used by sailors to stow personal articles."

[download entire chapter in pdf format ~180K]