Cover image for Under pressure : the final voyage of Submarine S-5
Under pressure : the final voyage of Submarine S-5
Hill, A. J. (Alvin Joseph)
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
New York : New American Library, [2002]

Physical Description:
239 pages, 8 unnumbered pages of plates : illustrations ; 22 cm
General Note:
Includes index.
Personal Subject:
Corporate Subject:
Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
VA65.S15 H54 2002C Adult Non-Fiction Non-Fiction Area

On Order



In 1920, one of the American Navy's new-but-untested submarines, the S-Five, was stranded 180 feet beneath the Atlantic. Her electrical system, radio and one of her drive motors were rendered inoperable. She had only forty hours of oxygen left-and her batteries were giving off an asphyxiating cloud of chlorine gas. How the S-Five's indomitable captain and brave crew worked in near-darkness to save themselves with nothing but hand tools made naval history. An amazing tale of courage, endurance and incredible resourcefulness, Under Pressureis that most remarkable of books-a true story more dramatic than fiction.

Reviews 1

Booklist Review

In 1920 U.S.S. S-5, practicing crash dives off the Atlantic coast, sank due to a combination of negligence and poor mechanical design. Fortunately, it went down in relatively shallow water. Unfortunately, the compressed air remaining in the vessel was sufficient to raise only the submarine's stern to the surface. The crew then began a daylong struggle to endure foul air and unnaturally tilted quarters until they could cut a hole in the exposed stern. From there they signaled a passing ship, whose engineers cut another hole through which the crew was rescued. S-5 is still where it sank, but her ingenious captain, aptly nicknamed "Savvy," went on to acquire four stars, a rating this book also deserves. The nightmares inflicted on her crew by the "latest thing in American submarines" will make readers doff their hats in tribute to the early submariners, who went down under the sea in ships that didn't always come up. --Roland Green

Table of Contents

Prologuep. 1
1 The Beginningp. 5
2 Crash Dive!p. 27
3 On the Bottomp. 47
4 Strategiesp. 63
5 Savvyp. 78
6 Vertical Worldp. 93
7 The E-Twop. 103
8 Second Windp. 121
9 Drillingp. 134
10 The Alanthusp. 153
11 The Goethalsp. 167
12 Aftermathp. 186
Epilogue: The S-Fivep. 215
Appendix A Nautical Lexiconp. 217
Appendix B Ratings and Ranks in the Navyp. 221
Afterword: Author's Notep. 223
Indexp. 227