“Compelling and visionary. DiMercurio’s characters run as deep as his submarines themselves!”
--Joe Buff, author of Crush Depth and Thunder in the Deep

"DiMercurio really knows his subs...his characters step right off the sub deck and onto his pages."
--Larry Bond

"A Master Rivaling Tom Clancy."
--Publishers Weekly

--San Francisco Examiner

--Associated Press

"Superb storytelling."
--Virginia-Pilot/Ledger Star


by Michael DiMercurio, [IMAGE]2006


[IMAGE] North Korea announced this week that they intend to conduct a nuclear test in the near future. Recent estimates show that the North Koreans have enough fissionable material to make a dozen moderate-yield nuclear bombs.

Naturally, Secretary of State Rice became frantic and planned to go somewhere to hold high level talks and discuss what to do about the North Koreans. This is the wrong face to show the world. Being rattled by the North Koreans is not how we should appear. In reality, the news would initially seem to be discouraging, but let’s look at the bright side of North Korea’s nuclear weapon program.

With nuclear weapons comes national responsibility and an emergence into greater national maturity. The model I’m thinking of involves China, the Soviet Union and later the Russian Federation. China and the Soviet Union were distrusted by the Americans from the time they obtained the bomb through the end of the century, but rather than make use of nuclear weapons to win global domination, both countries soberly backed off and grew up.

Is it possible that having nukes makes a nation join the modern age and turn away from wars of regional or global conflict? A cynic might say that America itself disproves the proposition, and state that our holding nuclear weapons hasn’t stopped us from an allegedly irresponsible war in Iraq. If we leave that data point out, however, America fits the mold. During the Korean War, we could have dropped nuclear weapons three through twelve on the Chinese. We didn’t. In the Bay of Pigs we could have neutralized Cuban forces with one nuke. We didn’t.

During Vietnam, serious consideration was given to using nukes on North Vietnam. At a Naval Academy lecture, I once asked a prominent POW, Admiral James Bond Stockdale, how he would have felt if he knew U.S. forces were dropping a hydrogen bomb on Hanoi. He wouldn’t take the question in front of the assembled Brigade of Midshipmen, but he called me aside afterward.

“What would we do if a hydrogen bomb were falling on Hanoi? We would have cheered it on,” he said quietly.

But did we drop the bomb? Nope. Cooler heads prevailed.

There’s no doubt about one thing: nuclear weapons force policy makers and warriors to think three chess moves ahead. And when they do, they realize that the use of nuclear weapons is “unthinkable” for a dozen reasons, including the fact that they are suicide weapons.

So in a bizarre way, having nukes forces a nation to become peaceful. The atom, a force for peace – and that’s not a Dr. Strangelove expression, it’s true.

That doesn’t apply to terrorists, unfortunately. Running a country forces leadership to be accountable, and for terrorists there is little accountability, and for suicide fighters, there is zero other than God or Allah.

To test the theory, would Hitler have used the bomb in 1939? I don’t think he would. He would have known that doing so would polarize the entire world against him, and assure his country’s swift destruction. In 1944, in desperation, Hitler would have deployed a nuke, but it would have been suicidal and he would have accepted going out while taking the maximum number of his enemies with him.

So it’s a good thing we discovered nuclear fire. We, as a global civilization, grew up.

But that’s not the real reason we were destined to invent the bomb. The bomb has two other peaceful uses. The first, to destroy incoming meteors and asteroids to avoid a global Katrina or worse, extinguish all mankind or even all life on earth. The second, to drill a dozen miles into the earth’s crust to molten magma, which is our post-oil, post-nuclear energy source, and is virtually unlimited.

Wow, peace in our time and a solution to the energy crisis, all in one neat radioactive package. Thank God for nuclear weapons.

Unless Osama gets one.



As hurricane Helen barrels in toward the Virginia coastline, the U.S. Navy’s Commander-in-Chief Atlantic Fleet orders all vessels to scramble to sea, including Burke Dillinger’s Hampton and Peter Vornado’s Texas.

But this is no mere storm evacuation.

There is something sinister going on in the eastern Atlantic. The Navy’s eyes are on the ballistic missile submarine force, the “boomer” submarines loaded to the gills with intercontinental nuclear warheads. And the French boomer submarine Le Vigilant has “gone bad,” hijacked by an Algerian terrorist with dreams of completing the circle of revenge and using French nuclear weapons on the French who killed his father.

As terrorist Issam Zauabri’s forces learn how to employ the nuclear missiles, Vornado’s Texas and Dillinger’s Hampton close in on the threat, but Issam knows how to use torpedoes as well as he does the missiles, and Le Vigilant is one of the quietest submarines ever built. Once the American subs are on the bottom, his attack can proceed on Paris, but since it was Americans who interfered, Issam will save one missile for New York…

“Compelling and visionary. DiMercurio’s characters run as deep as his submarines themselves!”

--Joe Buff, author of Straits Of Power, Tidal Rip, Crush Depth, Thunder in the Deep, And Deep Sound Channel.

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Michael DiMercurio
Princeton, New Jersey



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