U.S. Naval Intelligence

1945 - 1989

S - Z

Schindler, John R. A Dangerous Business: The U.S. Navy and National Reconnaissance during the Cold War. Ft. George G. Meade, MD: National Security Agency, Center for Cryptologic History, 2004. Available at:

This brochure was published by NSA "to celebrate the dedication of the U.S. Navy memorial at National Vigilance Park.... [It] outlines the history of Naval aerial reconnaissance during the Cold War, and commemorates the many veterans of that long, secret struggle, especially the sailors ... who gave their lives."

Smith, Esmond D. "The Security Dilemma." Naval Intelligence Professional Quarterly 5, no. 3 (1989): 13-16.

Sontag, Sherry, and Christopher Drew, with Annette Lawrence Drew. Blind Man's Bluff: The Untold Story of American Submarine Espionage. New York: Public Affairs, 1998.

Jonkers, AFIO WIN 39 (14 Oct. 1998), sees this as "an early-Tom Clancy-like adventure novel masquerading as history." The "line between fact and fiction, truth and speculation, exaggeration or deception," is "unrecognizable and unknown.... [R]ead it as a superb historical novel.... Highly recommended." Broad, NYT, 8 Nov. 1998, says that this book "recounts in rich detail, going far beyond earlier sketchy accounts," one of the Cold War's most successful spying operations. "Ingenious cable taps," placed in such places as the Sea of Okhotsk and the Barents Sea, "produced a torrent of intelligence data."

According to Bates, NIPQ 14.4, the authors of this book use the type of documentation ("Anonymous") favored by investigative journalists, which "allows them to weave fact, speculation, and fiction into a story that then takes on an aura of authenticity, but is next to impossible to verify." For Raviv, Washington Post, 30 Nov. 1998, this book "is filled with specifics, notably new details of incidents previously leaked, but thankfully not presented in the dry techno-speak of many military histories. This one is very human and easy to read." Carpenter, IJI&C 12.2, says that Blind Man's Bluff is "a unique story" that makes for "fascinating reading."

Friedman, Proceedings 125.2 (Feb. 1999), finds the book a "somewhat unsatisfactory" product that "cannot be considered complete," given that the documentation remains classified. Many of its "details are often thin, and the book is padded with irrelevancies." Nonetheless, Blind Man's Bluff shows that the submarine service "did something important and worthwhile during the Cold War." Sontag and Drew respond to Friedman's comments in "Comment and Discussion," Proceedings 125.6 (Jun. 1999), 24.

The book is both "boosted and panned" by Anderson, Intelligencer 10.1. He finds "the style, the florid writing, the exaggeration, and poor choice of words objectionable.... Nevertheless, it is a readable, lively book and puts a lot of new information in the public domain" about sensitive operations. Warren, CIRA Newsletter 23.5, notes that the telling of the "Soviet side of the story is not as exhaustive as that of the Americans, but it is almost as compelling." See also, Richard J. Newman, "Tales from the Sea Floor," U.S. News & World Report, 23 Nov. 1998, 44.

Taylor, Rufus L. [VADM/USN]

Taylor held several significant positions, including Director, Naval Intelligence, 1963-1966; Deputy Director, Defense Intelligence Agency, 1966; and Deputy Director, Central Intelligence Agency, 1966-1969.

1. "Command and the Intelligence Process." U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings 86, no. 8 (Aug. 1960): 27-39.

2. "The Importance of Intelligence to the Nation and the Navy." Navy 9 (Sep. 1966): 18-23. [Calder]

3. "An Oral History: Remembrances of VADM Rufus L. Taylor." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 6, no. 2 (Spring 1990): 1-6.

Thamm, Gerhardt.

1. "It Was All About ALFA." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 18, no. 4 (Oct. 2002): 9-12.

The author discusses the years-long effort by Naval Intelligence Support Center (NISC) analysts (aided by CIA analysts) to piece together the enigma of the Soviet ALFA class SSN -- and to get that analysis accepted.

2. "Unraveling a Cold War Mystery -- The ALFA SSN: Challenging Paradigms, Finding New Truths, 1969-79." Studies in Intelligence 52, no. 3 (Sep. 2008): 17-24. [Originally published in a classified Studies in Intelligence 37, no. 3 (Fall 1993). Declassified "with slight redactions in 2007.] "The ALFA SSN: Challenging Paradigms, Finding New Truths, 1969-79." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 25, no. 1 (Jan. 2009): 21-25.

The author describes the long road to acceptance that the Soviets had broken the mold with their ALFA class submarine.

Tunander, Ola. The Secret War against Sweden: US and British Submarine Deception in the 1980s. Naval Policy and History, 21. London: Cass, 2004.

Tuthill, Don. "Operational Planning, Pre-Pueblo." Naval Intelligence Professionals Quarterly 10, no. 1 (Winter 1994): 9-10.

Vyborny, Lee, and Don Davis. Dark Waters: An Insider’s Account of the NR-1, the Cold War’s Undercover Nuclear Sub. New York: New American Library, 2003.

Murray, NWCR 56.4, notes that "Vyborny was a new-construction plank-owner and member of the first commissioning crew of the U.S. Navy's small nuclear-powered submarine NR-1.... Overall, the book well rewards its readers, but unevenly." The authors' depiction of the routine when operating NR-1 is "masterful." But, "[a]s good as their depictions of the ordinary are, Vyborny and David convey the dangers of NR-1's unusual and exceptional missions and experiences in a less forceful and riveting manner." Nonetheless, this "insider account of how NR-1's first crews built and operated their ship fully pays back the reader's investment."

Wilhelm, Peter G. "Cutting Edge Work at the Naval Research Laboratory." In Beyond Expectations -- Building an American National Reconnaissance Capability: Recollections of the Pioneers and Founders of National Reconnaissance, ed. Robert A. McDonald, 155-161. Bethesda, MD: American Society for Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing, 2002.

Woodward, Bob. "Pentagon to Abolish Secret Spy Unit." Washington Post, 18 May 1977, A1, A5.

Return to Navy Table of Contents