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Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"
Old 01-04-2006, 09:29 AM   #1
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Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"

Jarhead, this question merits a separate thread...

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Originally Posted by Jarhead*
Speaking of Subs, have you seen the movie "Hunt for Red October?"

If you saw the movie, or read the book, would be interested in hearing your take on the authenticity of the technology. (Most of the movie was shot in the two opposing Subs).
Eh, you touched a nerve. You know about the military movie competition, right? The Marines started the trash talk (as usual) with John Wayne in "The Sands of Iwo Jima". Navy's surface warriors responded with John Wayne, Patricia Neal, Kirk Douglas, Henry Fonda, & too many others to mention "In Harm's Way." The Army tried to take the lead with John Wayne in "The Green Berets". Even the USAF managed a respectable entry with Gene Hackman & Danny Glover in "BAT 21". Late to the game, the naval aviators upped the ante with Tom Cruise & Kelly McGillis in "Top Gun."

Arrogantly expecting a last-minute slam-dunk win, the nukes came back with-- Alec Baldwin & Sean Connery?!!? "Red October" killed submarine recruiting faster than "Das Boot".

What's even more embarrassing is that the nukes were there from the beginning. A friend of mine, Reed Popovich, was part of the production just before he left active duty. He was on shore duty in San Diego, demoralized by submarine life and wondering if he should stay in to be an XO, when he was asked to give a tour of the submarine piers. He met three scruffy guys in ballcaps, jeans, & sneakers who turned out to be the director & producers. He had to explain everything submarines do-- several times-- and then spent most of the next six months on temporary duty providing technical advice. He's a tall, skinny guy with dark hair. His big scene is on a surface ship, walking over to a console & donning headphones, then directing the helicopter's weapons drop. (Unfortunately the wardrobe people insisted that he'd look better on camera uniformed as a post-command O-5 instead of an enlisted aircraft controller. Military audiences still laugh uproariously at the idea when they see this scene.) Reed was even called back for post-production reshoot to clarify some dialog-- they politely explained that he was more affordable than James Earl Jones. Reed was treated by the movie people so well, had so much fun teaching, and learned from them how employable military officers are that he resigned that year. Despite the occasional 49-cent residuals payment, he's spent the last 15 years explaining complicated military computer systems to their users. He's eagerly anticipating his eligibility for golf's Senior Tour and would be happy to shoot a round the next time you're in San Diego.

The technology is about as accurate as Hollywood ever gets it. I remember being particularly impressed by the anti-torpedo torpedo (wish we had one) and by James Earl Jones being allowed to touch a control panel. (It's a little-known clause in the UCMJ that if a flag officer touches ANY of your gear then you're allowed to smack his hand away.) The entire submarine force wishes control wires were reliable enough that we could destroy torpedoes on command so easily, and every submarine torpedoman "machinist's mate (weapons)" drools when they fantasize about disabling their exploder arming safeties. Every weapons officer wants a sonar technician like Jonesy. Speaking of fantasy, the concept that a MK46 helicopter-dropped "antisubmarine" torpedo can hit ANYTHING has yet to be demonstrated to the submarine force's satisfaction. No submariner thinking rationally would ever discharge a firearm belowdecks but it's not a military movie without them. Oh, and Jack Ryan would have drowned long before any of the crew figured out how to operate the escape trunk to let him onboard. But otherwise the director did a good job.

The producers considerably modernized the Russian submarine's control room to make it look more threatening. The Russians lacked computing power then and relied heavily on mechanical systems & rudimentary video displays. The typical Russian control room was even dimmer, dingier, & dirtier than its U.S. counterpart. The U.S. sonar room displays were technically accurate (& unclassified) but at the last minute the production staff decided to make them simpler & more audience-friendly.

I liked the shot of the Russian sailors singing as they started their patrol. We used to sing amusing songs as we pulled away from the pier, too...

I don't know if you've heard the story behind Clancy's book, but it was his fourth or fifth attempt. He'd spent years in Maryland selling insurance by day and playing war games by night before he started writing, and book after book was rejected. He'd been dismissed by every publisher in the western world before the U.S. Naval Institute, in a moment of self-admitted lunacy, decided to publish their first non-fiction book in over a century of existence. They gave away free copies to just about every Navy guy in the DC area in hopes of spurring sales. President Reagan's military aide gave him a copy on a plane trip. When the plane landed and Reagan walked toward the car, the press wanted to know what he was carrying. He held up the book, said "It's a good read!" and the rest is history. Clancy was so desperate to be published that he'd signed away future book rights to USNI for a pittance, and he spent years in legal wrangling to break free so that he could go to a "real" publisher. However he still says nice things about the Navy.
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Re: Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"
Old 01-04-2006, 10:42 AM   #2
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Re: Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nords



T I remember being particularly impressed by the anti-torpedo torpedo (wish we had one) and by James Earl Jones being allowed to touch a control panel. (It's a little-known clause in the UCMJ that if a flag officer touches ANY of your gear then you're allowed to smack his hand away.) T
Damn, don't remember that part of the UCMJ.

Oh, and Top Gun is a real hoot. Just a recruiting movie courtesy of Hollywood.
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Re: Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"
Old 01-04-2006, 10:50 AM   #3
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Re: Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"

Yep. DW stopped going to any flying movie with me years ago. Got tired of me mumbling "Bull Puckey!" under my breath or laughing out loud at ludicrous scenes like the inverted cockpit-to-cockpit finger wave in Top Gun.

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Re: Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"
Old 01-04-2006, 11:31 AM   #4
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Re: Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"

Time to pick on you Nords, dont get mad.

Quote:
The technology is about as accurate as Hollywood ever gets it. I remember being particularly impressed by the anti-torpedo torpedo (wish we had one)
I saw the movie about 4 times. There was no anti-torpedo, torpedo used in the movie. Maybe it was because, as you say.... one doesn't exist.

Quote:
and by James Earl Jones being allowed to touch a control panel. (It's a little-known clause in the UCMJ that if a flag officer touches ANY of your gear then you're allowed to smack his hand away.)
Is the key words there, "allowed to" (meaning wont necessarily do it if he feels said person is important enough to mess with his keyboard and knows the ramifications of what he's doing).

Quote:
Speaking of fantasy, the concept that a MK46 helicopter-dropped "antisubmarine" torpedo can hit ANYTHING has yet to be demonstrated to the submarine force's satisfaction.
It is my understanding that this not only would work effectively, it is also the preferred way of eliminating a sub, as opposed to getting a ship in close enough to engage it with its own torpedos or ASROCs. (since if a ship is close enough to do that, then the enemy sub is close enough to fire back at the ship).

If i may add, I dont think our modern nukes have actually been detonated anywhere either, but i think its relatively safe to say, they work.

Quote:
No submariner thinking rationally would ever discharge a firearm belowdecks but it's not a military movie without them.
The character doing this in the movie struck you as rational?

It was definitely stressed, and not overlooked in the movie, that doing so was very dangerous. If its completely out of the question, then why do they have side arms on-board the in the first place?

Quote:
Oh, and Jack Ryan would have drowned long before any of the crew figured out how to operate the escape trunk to let him onboard.
A trained submarine crew doesnt know how to work their own escape trunk? If this is not true, let me at least pretend a sub crew knows how to operate their sub.

Quote:
The typical Russian control room was even dimmer, dingier, & dirtier than its U.S. counterpart.
Both the Alpa and the Typhoon looked a lot "dimmer, dingier, and dirtier (and darker, if i may add that)" than the Los Angeles did when i watched the movie.

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Re: Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"
Old 01-04-2006, 08:26 PM   #5
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Re: Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"

Quote:
Originally Posted by azanon
Time to pick on you Nords, dont get mad.
http://early-retirement.org/forums/i...73575#msg73575

Quote:
Originally Posted by yakers
Damn, don't remember that part of the UCMJ.
Here's another one.

When the submarine Prospective Commanding Officers bring their latest class to town, they draft a couple "volunteer" submarine crews for tactics competition in the approach & attack simulators.* We lowly crew provided some of the operators (and the expertise on our special-purpose gear) while the PCOs took care of the big jobs.* It's great training and you get to see leaders you may have to wish you could serve with.

The PCOs (a dozen O-5s) do this for nine months and have a big "You made it!" party at the end.* To pay for that party, they have a penalty system that funds a kitty.* You put in a dime for each wrong answer on a test, a quarter for every profane word uttered in front of the PCO Instructor (a senior O-6), a nickel for every incorrect setting on the torpedos, and so on.* However each of these prima donnas highly-trained warfare experts tends to be of the opinion that they're a shining star of brilliance surrounded by dysfunctional idiots.* They don't exactly suffer each other with tolerance.* We volunteer crew usually tried to stay out of the kill radius while learning the latest tactics.

One PCO was operating a computer system designed to determine a target's course, speed, & range.* The panel had a dozen different knobs on it and he was having a little trouble with his solution.* "Helpful" PCOs kept leaning over his shoulder to turn a knob and steer him toward what they felt was the correct answer, and pretty soon that workstation looked like a PCO octopus.* Exasperated, the first PCO announced in a loud voice "The next @$$hole to put his hand on my panel is going to get bitten!!"* Every one of the PCOs backed off... but the PCO Instructor promptly strolled over to the panel, leisurely reached over the student's shoulder, and tweaked a knob.

Without looking at the leathery skin of the offender's arm, the PCO student bit it.

The PCO Instructor paid a $20 profanity donation... but the PCO student paid a $100 "biting the PCO Instructor" fine.* He did get his command, however.
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Re: Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"
Old 01-05-2006, 07:29 AM   #6
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Re: Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"

Oh yeah, you're also the one that started going into depth about a service academy, and demonstrated in the process that you didn't have a clue about them. The last thing i would have done, if i were you, would have been to link that and remind everyone about it.

Nords, before you criticise a movie like Red October, maybe consider watching it, or at least paying attention when you do. The movie was outstanding, and most of the "flaws" you listed didn't even exist.
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Re: Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"
Old 01-05-2006, 07:37 AM   #7
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Re: Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"

You want an inaccurate, recent sub movie to pick on Nords? Watch U571. Now that one you can have fun with. You have WW2 subs shooting torpedos at enemy subs.... i got a real chuckle out of that.
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Re: Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"
Old 01-05-2006, 09:50 AM   #8
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Re: Jarhead's question on "Hunt for Red October"

Quote:
Originally Posted by azanon
Oh yeah, you're also the one that started going into depth about a service academy, and demonstrated in the process that you didn't have a clue about them.* The last thing i would have done, if i were you, would have been to link that and remind everyone about it.

Nords, before you criticise a movie like Red October, maybe consider watching it, or at least paying attention when you do.* The movie was outstanding, and most of the "flaws" you listed didn't even exist.
I agree; excellent moive, I should watch it again.

JG
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