“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


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Baffles -- -- A “cone of silence” astern of most submarines where sonar reception is hindered by engines, turbines, screws and other mechanical equipment located in the aft end of the submarine.

Ballast tank -- -- Tank that is used solely to hold seawater ballast, weight that allows a ship to sink, or when blown, allows a ship to be light enough to surface.

Ballistic -- -- (1) To travel by a path guided only by gravitation and velocity rather than propulsion. A ballistic missile is one that has an initial rocket guidance that, when the engine shuts down, simply “falls” the rest of the way to the target on a ballistic trajectory. (2) Condition of the ship’s engineer when he sees how dirty the engineroom has become.

Battleshort -- -- A condition in which the nuclear reactor’s safety interlocks are removed. Used only in a severe emergency or in battle, when an accidental reactor shutdown is more dangerous to the ship due to loss of propulsion than the potential risk of a reactor meltdown. Only the captain can order battleshort.

Beam -- -- Width of a ship at its widest point

Bearing -- -- Direction to a contact, expressed in degrees. A contact to the north is at 000; to the east, 090, etc.

Broadband -- -- Noise containing all frequencies, white noise, such as heard in radio static, rainfall, or a waterfall. Broadband detection range is high for surface ships, which are noisy, and low for submarines, less than five miles, due to submarine quiet designs.

Blow -- -- Process of blowing high pressure air into the Main Ballast Tanks, forcing out the water.

Blue/Gold crew -- -- A two crew ship (such as a boomer) has one crew at sea operating the ship while the other crew is at home resting and training. During a refit or “upkeep” both crews work together, then the off-going crew goes home and the oncoming crew takes the boat back to sea.

Blue Nose -- -- Title given to those who have crossed the Arctic Circle.

Bomb -- -- Nickname for the oxygen generator, since it makes oxygen from electrolysis of seawater, in which oxygen and hydrogen are in close proximity and can cause a “rapid unintentional energy release” (polite term for an explosion).

Bomb shop -- -- British submariner’s term for a submarine’s torpedo room.

Bombers -- -- British slang for boomer.

Boomers -- -- American slang for strategic missile submarines, aka FMBs (fleet ballistic missile submarines) or SSBNs (submersible ship nuclear ballistic).

Bottom bounce -- -- Description of sonar waves that have been sent to the ocean bottom, and have bounced back. A “bottom bounce contact” is one that is received by the ship’s sonar gear after the incoming signal has arrived via bouncing on the seafloor.

Breech door -- -- A torpedo tube’s inner door.

Bridge -- -- Small space at the top of submarine’s sail used for the officer of the deck to conn the submarine. The height allows the best view of the surroundings of the ship.

Bridge Access Trunk -- -- Tunnel from the interior of the submarine to the bridge.

Bubblehead -- -- Derogatory slang for submariner, used by Airdales (aviators) and skimmer pukes (surface warfare sailors).

Buoyancy -- -- A force that acts in the opposite direction as gravity upon objects that are less dense than their surroundings. Buoyant forces are caused by unbalanced pressure effects on the surfaces of a submerged object, and the pressure forces are caused by gravity pulling down the liquid of submergence.

Michael DiMercurio
Princeton, New Jersey

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