“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


# / A / B / C / D / E / F / G / H / I / J / K / L / M / N / O / P / Q / R / S / T / U / V / W / X / Y / Z


Cavitation -- -- Steam (water vapor) bubbles generated on the low pressure side of a screw blade. At depth, the bubbles migrate into the wake and experience static pressure of the deep and collapse, emitting a screaming noise. A dead giveaway that a submarine is accelerating. Surface ships always cavitate, since the water pressure is insufficient to keep bubbles from forming on the low pressure side of a prop blade.

Chicken Switches -- -- hydraulic control levers which, when operated, direct hydraulic oil to the hydraulically operated ball valves at the hull penetrations for a seawater piping system.

Clamshells -- -- The steel or fiberglass hinged plates that cover the top of the bridge cockpit when rigged for dive and are opened when rigged for surface. When shut, the top of the sail is completely smooth.

Clear Datum -- -- Tactical euphemism meaning run away.

C.O. (Commanding Officer) -- -- Official title of the captain of a Navy ship.

CommSat -- -- Communications satellite in a geosynchronous orbit that sends and relays Navy radio traffic.

Conn -- -- (1) The periscope stand in the control room where the officer of the deck controls the ship’s motion. (2) The duty of controlling the ship’s motion, as in, “the captain has the conn.”

Conning Tower -- -- No longer exists on modern nuclear subs. On diesel boats, the conning tower was a space inside the fin from which the periscope was manned, allowing a shorter periscope. Also the term for the fin itself, now called the sail.

Contact -- -- Another ship, detected by visual means, sonar or radar. A contact may be hostile or friendly.

Control Room -- -- (1) Submarine’s nerve center that includes the ship control consoles, firecontrol consoles, periscopes and navigation equipment. Russians call this the command post. (2) Nickname for author Michael DiMercurio’s office, in operations middle level of the house.

Course -- -- The direction a ship is going measured in true compass degrees. North is 000, east is 090, etc.

Critical -- -- The point that a nuclear reactor’s fission rate is constant without an external source of neutrons. The chain reaction keeps fissions continuing using only neutrons from fissions.

Michael DiMercurio
Princeton, New Jersey

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