Cover image for October fury
October fury
Huchthausen, Peter A., 1939-
Publication Information:
Hoboken, N.J. : J. Wiley & Sons, [2002]

Physical Description:
v, 281 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm
Electronic Access:
Table of contents
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
E841 .H83 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

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Huchthausen knows the hidden history of the Cuban missile crisis . . . October Fury contains startling revelations.

Drama on the high seas as the world holds its breath

It was the most spectacular display of brinkmanship in the Cold War era. In October 1962, President Kennedy risked inciting a nuclear war to prevent the Soviet Union from establishing missile bases in Cuba. The risk, however, was far greater than Kennedy realized.

October Fury uncovers startling new information about the Cuban missile crisis and the potentially calamitous confrontation between U.S. Navy destroyers and Soviet submarines in the Atlantic. Peter Huchthausen, who served as a junior ensign aboard one of the destroyers, reveals that a single shot fired by any U.S. warship could have led to an immediate nuclear response from the Soviet submarines.

This riveting account re-creates those desperate days of confrontation from both the American and Russian points of view and discloses detailed information about Soviet operational plans and the secret orders given to submarine commanders. It provides an engrossing, behind-the-scenes look at the technical and tactical functions of two great navies along with stunning portraits of the officers and sailors on both sides who were determined to do their duty even in the most extreme circumstances.

As absorbing and detailed as a Tom Clancy novel, this real-life suspense thriller is destined to become a classic of naval literature.

Author Notes

Captain Peter A. Huchthausen, U.S. Navy (Retired), served as Electronics Materials Officer and a watch officer aboard the USS Blandy when it took part in the blockade of Cuba in 1962, mere months after his graduation from the U.S. Naval Academy. In a distinguished career, Captain Huchthausen served as a Soviet naval analyst and as a naval attache in Yugoslavia, Romania, and Moscow, where he met Russian submariners who had been involved in the Cuban encounter at sea. He is now a consultant and writer living in Maine

Reviews 2

Booklist Review

While shepherding to publication K^-19 [BKL Jl 01], which recounts a Soviet nuclear submarine accident in 1961, former U.S. Navy officer Huchthausen was also finishing this account of his part in the Cuban missile crisis of 1962. As interesting as his role was on an antisubmarine destroyer enforcing Kennedy's blockade, what's more intriguing is Huchthausen's reconstruction of the missions of Soviet submarines sent to support Khrushchev's scheme. Based on the author's interviews with the principal Soviet officers, Huchthausen's narrative imparts the claustrophobic feeling characteristic of submarine stories, with the added tension of a possible nuclear war and, on the Soviet captain's part, uncertainty during the crisis about whether a war had in fact started. Pinged by sonar, sweating in the heat, receiving fragmentary information from headquarters, the submerged submariners were further stressed by the limitations of their diesel-powered boats, which had to surface periodically. Huchthausen ably captures these experiences, as well as the irascible personality of his own captain. A sailor's-eye view of the missile drama. --Gilbert Taylor

Publisher's Weekly Review

In the fall of 1962, Huchthausen (Hostile Waters) was a junior navy officer on the USS Blandy, a Forrest Sherman class destroyer; he and his fellow crew members were center stage during the Cuban missile crisis as they confronted Soviet submarines and merchant ships off the coast of Cuba. The submarines were equipped with nuclear-tipped torpedoes and had been given secret orders to use those new and virtually untested weapons if American forces attacked them or if American submarine-hunting destroyers forced them to the surface. That set of circumstances came very close to leading to an exchange of tactical nuclear weapons-an event that likely would have sparked nuclear war between the United States and the Soviet Union. Huchthausen details the story of what happened in those waters in this riveting account, based on his own experience and extensive interviews he conducted with former Soviet submariners and his former shipmates. Through reconstructed dialogue (and plenty of naval technospeak), he reveals that nuclear war was averted primarily by the heroic actions of three of the players in the high seas drama: Comdr. Edward G. Kelley, the Blandy's quixotic but experienced commanding officer; Capt. Nikolai Shumkov, who courageously and conscientiously commanded one of the four Soviet subs in Cuban waters; and Rear Adm. Leonid F. Rybalko, another veteran naval officer who, from his base in Moscow, countermanded dangerous orders from his superiors and paved the way for a peaceful denouement of the tense confrontation at sea. Nicely balanced between operational and analytical material, this account should satisfy action-seeking lay readers and buffs. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Table of Contents

Prefacep. v
Prologuep. 1
Part I. Cuba Librep. 7
Operation Anadyrp. 7
Destroyer USS Blandyp. 31
The Art of Antisubmarine Warfarep. 36
Operation Kama Departurep. 46
October Furyp. 76
Part II. Spies and Diplomatsp. 114
Part III. Russian Roulettep. 131
Atlantic Datump. 155
Carrier Randolph Finds Savitsky's B-59p. 168
Cecil vs. Dubivko in B-36p. 174
Blandy vs. Shumkov in B-130p. 189
Part IV. Hide-and-Seekp. 220
Soviet Shell Gamep. 220
Ketov Evades in B-4p. 233
Part V. Endgamep. 240
Kola Homecomingp. 240
Newport Farewellp. 261
Notesp. 269
Bibliographyp. 271
Indexp. 275