People Of The Abyss

Writer Andrew Smith goes deep into the lives and adventures of submariners across the generations as he encounters the People of the Abyss.


01Sleeping With The Fish2006030320061002

Smith finds his bunk is a palette in the 'bomb shack' just inches from the deadly 'fish' - or torpedoes.

For five days he struggles to adapt to the cramped physical and emotional world with its strange routines and constant drills.

But this is not a just a journey through the present day HMS Torbay.

Veterans from her illustrious Second World War predecessor offer a glimpse into the very different conditions and pressures of previous generations of submariners.


The combination of the ballistic missile and the nuclear-powered submarine changed everything - warfare, the balance of world power and of course submarining.

For the duration of the Cold War, the real front line stretched across millions of miles of dark water.

Former Soviet, British and American commanders and crew reveal the unique pressures, intense boredom and underwater strategy that required them to remain hidden or hunted.

03 LASTHidden Depths2006031720061004

The ocean depths are the final frontier where submariners have cloaked their activities for decades.

Top secret spy missions, dangerous games of cat and mouse and deep voyages of discovery that few could ever talk about.

Billions of dollars, thousands of lives and the security of nations were at stake.

Now, as the Cold War under the waves recedes, the military and the scientific community combine to illuminate the abyss.