American retired naval officer commented on the investigation of the death of the submarine USS Thresher
The US Navy nuclear submarine USS Thresher crashed on April 10, 1963 and sank in the Atlantic Ocean. According to published documents, and retired US Navy Captain James Bryan also draws attention to this, the activities of the US Navy in the 1960s did not match the rapid technological progress of those years. This is what led to a series of tragedies, failures and mistakes, including the death of the USS Thresher submarine.
Of course, the death of the submarine with 129 sailors on board was a great national tragedy. These are tears of family and friends and a serious blow to the national prestige and image of the American Navy during the Cold War. Moreover, the Thresher submarine was among the first in the new class of submarines. She was kind of the pride of the American underwater fleet those years, and therefore her death was doubly painful for the US Navy.
But the submarine had its drawbacks. For example, some systems on a submarine were outdated, never tested at great depths. According to the official version, the death of the submarine was caused by problems with electricity, which led to the shutdown of the nuclear reactor and the sinking of the submarine.
Now the US Navy, publishing previously classified materials about the loss of the boat, emphasizes its commitment to the principles of openness and transparency in dialogue with the public and with the families of the deceased sailors. US Navy spokesman Catherine Diener also spoke about this. She also told the press about her desire to publish another 4000 pages of documents and materials dedicated to the death of the American submarine.
Brian, who served as the commander of one of the US Navy submarines, agrees with the opinion that the sinking of the submarine was caused by a combination of events: the submarine was submerged too deeply under the water, there were problems with the qualifications of personnel in terms of working with new devices. As a result, the crew of the submarine could not quickly navigate and ensure the emergence of the boat. The main cooling pumps and the nuclear reactor stopped. At some point, the submarine gave a signal to the rescue ship. At this time, the submarine was almost 275 meters below the test depth.
According to the naval analyst Norman Friedman, who penned more than 30 books on naval topics, according to declassified documents, the test depth of the submarine was about 1300 feet (up to 400 m). But many of the security systems of submarines of that time were designed for operations at shallow depths and were not adequate in the current situation. The mindset of World War II, as Brian emphasizes, proved fatal to the crew of an American submarine.
In the 1960s, the US Navy was working at the limit of resource and personnel stress, as it was required to quickly deploy ballistic missile submarines to counter the Soviet threat. As a result, the submarines were constantly replenished with new officers and sailors who were new to the complex control systems of submarines.
As the American retired Navy officer noted, it was almost a military situation, and the deaths on the Thresher submarine can be considered, in his opinion, victims of the Cold War. By the way, the death of the submarine forced the US Navy to take a more responsible attitude to ensuring the safety of its other submarines.
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