I had the opportunity today to meet Ken Sewell, the author of Red Star Rogue at a book signing in New London, CT. This new book is a "must read" for everyone interested in submarines. Ken has assembled copious data that points toward a small internal clique within the Soviet Union (led by Mikhail Suslov) trying to deliberately provoke nuclear war between the US & Red China in 1968. The crew of the K-129, a Golf II class SSB, was abruptly shuffled and she was sent out to sea very quickly after completing her last patrol. An 11 man "Special Team" also boarded the submarine. The mission, hidden from the vast majority of the crew, was to simulate a Golf I submarine that the Chinese had obtained from the USSR in the early '60's, and launch a 1 megaton nuclear warhead to airburst over Pearl Harbor. This would be the trigger for a US retaliatory attack on China, and the USSR would sweep in, conquering China and setting up a hegemony in Asia.
The launch failed, sinking the submarine. In addition, the SOSUS hydrophone net had tracked the submarine all along from the point it left port(which meant the deception would have failed). After locating and inspecting the K-129 wreck covertly with the USS Halibut, the decision was made to build the Glomar Explorer, and raise the submarine. Portrayed as a failure(deliberately by the CIA), this operation was actually a great success. The vital parts of the submarine were recovered, and the evidence for the attempt at precipitating a war was presented to Leonid Brezhnev, triggering an internal crisis within the Soviet leadership.
This is NOT a novel. In March of 1968, the world came very close to being a very different place, and the balance of power could easily have shifted drastically against the US. I urge you to pick up this book. It actually needs to be read as broadly by the general public as was "Blind Man's Bluff". Ken will be appearing in the near future on "Nightline" with Ted Koppel to discuss his research and the book. Ken was able to get files from within the former USSR, and interviewed many key people. He has uncovered much not previously known about the incident and the US follow up with the K-129 recovery.
On a personal note, Ken was very gracious and remembered the K-129 article copy I had sent him from the Sept., 2002 SCR. I now have two copies, one inscribed to me and one for my son who helped in writing the article. Ken introduced me to one of his shipmates off of Parche, and we spoke awhile about some of their experiences.