Come aboard and step into the exciting world of submarines. Learn the transformation from crude containers designed to keep the water out to the nuclear powered steel underwater sharks of today. Striking from below, the submarine has struck fear into the hearts of sailors for over one hundred years. Now, take a four-part journey into the silent ranks of one of the world's deadliest weapons. Each episode of Sharks of Steel takes viewers inside the world of the submarine and the submariners who serve aboard them. Used as weapons for over a hundred years, it was during the world wars when submarines found their purpose as commerce raiders by sinking enemy shipping. Later, when nuclear weaponry came of age, submarines became an integral part of naval force. Capable of electronically picking your pocket or destroying an enemy's submarines, these sleek, nuclear powered sharks of steel are currently at front line of defense. With stealth and quiet submarines accomplish their missions around the sometimes hostile world while surviving deep underwater.
SUBMARINERS offers a "day in the life" of a submariner and profiles the amazing teamwork constantly performed, particularly in the nuclear sub, where safety is of vital importance. On a modern nuclear submarine, the distinction between night and day becomes a blur. Isolation, confinement, lack of privacy and intense pressure mark an endless cycle of six hour shifts. It is a world punctuated by constant attack readiness drills, tracking exercises and system checks. A world in which man no longer simply operates the weapon, he lives inside it, plotting the solutions and piloting the vessel on the most secretive of all military missions. Gone are the days of the "sewer pipe sailors." Today's submariner is a specialist who knows the rhythm of his machine and the teamwork required to defeat their common threats. He is either alive or dead. It is this dark truth that has inspired fascination, fear and ultimate respect for what the submariner must endure.
IN THE BELLY OF THE BEAST reveals a history of submarines and a basic overview of submariner emergency and weapons training in the United States, Russia and the United Kingdom. With the first breach of a submarine's double hull at depth, water spikes like like a metal rod crushing everything in it's path. An electrical fire means certain death in less than sixty seconds. The slightest error in judgment could result in grounding, propulsion failure or worse... a reactor meltdown. And one wrong move during a hot engagement gives the enemy the only shot he'll ever need. Unless each scenario is handled with the highest degree of professionalism and training, the ship and all hands will be lost. For commanding officer and the enlisted man, this is the brutal reality of the service. Operating on the vanguard of technology, there is no margin for error. Ocean floors are littered with the wreckage of those who failed... duty demands only the fittest survive.
THE HUNTERS AND THE HUNTED outlines the true history of the submarine and wartime strategies with the assistance of well-known German U-Boat commanders, their British counterparts and American veterans. As early as the Civil War, a new breed of predator appeared in the seas and in one frightening instant forever changed the balance of world power. The submarine, by pure function of design and simplicity in purpose, evolved into the most terrifying weapon of mass destruction ever seen. Obeying only the tenants of surprise and stealth, submarine warfare in both World Wars was by necessity a ruthless endeavor. Now there were only two kinds of ships: subs and targets. German U-boat wolf packs nearly strangled a nation, U.S. submarines sank 1/3 of the Japanese Navy. And Japan's suicide subs threatened to make the Pacific Fleet obsolete. Inspiring fear from the moment of their creation, no one could have predicted just how deadly these machines ultimately would prove to be.
THE HIDDEN THREAT serves as an introduction to the submarine and the life the submariner leads. Riding the razor thin edge of mutually assured destruction, U.S. and Russian nuclear submarine forces wage a secret war. It's a deadly game of cat and mouse, hidden from the scrutiny of the outside world. No satellite or laser imaging system can track them. Their own governments never know exactly where they are. And once on patrol, the "silent service" is accountable to no one but themselves and their singular mission. These are the massive SSBN "Boomers" and their SSN class "Hunter-Killer" shadows-—missile and fast attack platforms capable of unleashing unimaginable devastation. When the launch sequence begins, only a precarious fail safe system or an enemy's torpedo can stop them. Shrouded in secrecy, few have ever understood the risks of this strategic defense... until now.