A new book by a former USN enlisted spook from the USS Parche. It`s about the K 129 Golf II submarine that sank off Hawaii in 1968. In it, he states that the sub sank only 350 miles Northwest of Pearl Harbor. He states that the sub was a rogue that was commandeerd or subverted by a KGB special operations unit (osnaz). They were supposed to launch a nuclear strike against Pearl Harbor from a location and range to make the US think one of the 2 chinese Golf I subs launched the attack. The sub actually surfaced to launch its missiles as a Golf I would. When the KGB agents attempted to launch the weapon( a 1 megaton single warhead missile), they apparently used a faulty fail safe code. The failsafe device in the missile malfunctioned, and instead of destroying the warhead in flight it detonated the plastic explosives in the plutonium warhead on launch. This ignited the volatile liquid fuels of the soviet missile. The missile exploded in the launch tube venting through the launch hatch and the bottom of the sub`s hull (OOPS)! It got worse for the Russkies. The second missile symathetically detonated in the second (middle) launch tube. It also helped rupture the hull`s poorly welded low quality steel hull of the 8 year old diesel boat. The only crewman on the sail was cooked instantly. With the hull ruptured in several places and the keel broken, the sub sank like a stone.
Now the scary part. A USAF missile warning satellite and the USN sosus net both detected the sub. The satellite noticed the flares from the attempted launch. But when there was no trail indicating a missile in flight, the USAF blew it off! The USN heard the explosions of the missile failures, and the sub sinking. But due to their computer software and the lack of any further contact they took no further action!
The crap didn`t hit the fan until the sub failed to make 2 routine position reports to headquarters in Kamchatka. The sub staff did`t realize the golf failed to check in for several days after its` first scheduled report. They tried several more times before notifying the sub force commander. When he was told the sub had been out of contact for 3 weeks, he went nuts. He notified the soviet pacfleet commander in Vladivostok and a major search was under taken. At this point warning bells finally went off in the USN.
Not to give away the whole book, but what follows makes some events of the later cold war fall into place. You also really come to appreciate Richard Nixon`s management of international relations. He was one Machivellian SOB!
Available at Barnes & Noble for about $20.