Friday night movie: Run Silent, Run Deep (1958)

Here’s tonight’s movie:

IMDB rating: [7.2/10]


The World War II U.S. Navy submarine commander P.J. Richardson (Clark Gable) has an obsession with the Japanese destroyer that had sunk his previous boat and three others in the Bungo Straits. He persuades the Navy Board to give him a new submarine command with the provision that his executive officer, or “exec”, be someone who has just returned from active sea patrol. He is single-mindedly training the crew of his new boat, the USS Nerka, to return to the Bungo Straits and sink the destroyer, captained by a crafty ex-submariner, now destroyer captain, nicknamed Bungo Pete. Richardson’s executive officer, Lieutenant Jim Bledsoe (Burt Lancaster), is worried about the safety of his boat and his crew. Bledsoe also is seething with resentment at Richardson and the Navy management for denying him command of the boat which he believes should rightfully have been his.

The new submarine used in the movie is a Balao class diesel submarine.

A Balao class diesel-electric submarine
A Balao class diesel-electric submarine

SS Balao specifications:

Length: 312′
Beam: 27′
Speed: 20-1/4 knots (surfaced); 8-3/4 knots (submerged)
Diving Depth: 400′ (test depth); 600′ (emergency)
Range: 20,000 miles
Endurance: 75 days
Crew: 10 (officers); 70 (enlisted)
Deck Gun: 1 3″/50-calibre, or 1 4″/50-calibre, or 1 5″/25-calibre
Anti-Aircraft Weapons: 1 or 2-20mm Oerlikons, or 2-40mm Bofors, or 1-20mm and 1-40mm
Torpedoes: 10-21″ torpedo tubes (6 bow, 4 stern); 24 Mark-14 torpedoes; Mark III Torpedo Data Computer
Radar: Short range SD air detection radar; SJ surface search radar; ST periscope radar
Sonar: JP hydrophone, upper deck; JK/QC, QB Sonar under bow

As everyone knows, I have an interest in all things military, including submarine warfare. One of the first games I ever played was Gato by Spectrum Holobyte, on my old Apple Macintosh. A good newer game to play is Silent Hunter IV and Dangerous Waters. For something more macro, I recommend Harpoon.

Happy Friday!

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