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Publisher's Summary

December 7, 1941 - America is attacked by the Japanese and dragged into a worldwide struggle for power unlike anything ever seen on Earth.

While the United States and the Navy reel from the devastation of Pearl Harbor, the Nazis begin a brutal campaign within sight of the shores of the nation. U-boats prowl the American coast from Maine to the Gulf of Mexico, sinking shipping seemingly unopposed!

Now, one young and untested captain is given an experimental new submarine and sent on a top-secret mission. The German operation "Drumbeat" is well under way, and it's up to Lt. Commander Arthur Turner and the crew of the USS Bull Shark to draw a thin blue line.

Somewhere off our shores, a secret Nazi ship lurks. This disguised enemy vessel is directing the U-boat attacks and she must be stopped. Can Captain Turner and his untried boat and crew sink the Nazi plan before Germany cripples the American war effort in the Atlantic?

Exciting combat, deadly intrigue and a desperate struggle for power bring Turner and the Nazis together in an explosive and very personal contest that can have only one victor!

©2021 Scott W Cook (P)2021 Scott W Cook

What listeners say about Operation: Snare Drum

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  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Couldn’t get past the narration

I’m sure it’s a great story, but I couldn’t get past the horrific narration. The dialogue was already a little elementary, but the accents the narrator used made every character sound like a country bumpkin or a stoned surfer dude.

2 people found this helpful

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A gripping book

Operation Snaredrum. This submarine book grabbed me in the first pages and held me till the last. sentence.
A good vs bad guys tale.
I received a free copy of this audio book at my own request and voluntarily left this honest review.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Brilliant and Riveting

Fabulous storytelling and exhaustive attention to naval details by the author. A nonstop joy to anyone who loves this genre. Dave Alexander is one of the best narrators of any audible books, reminds me of a Mike Rowe with multiple personalities.

1 person found this helpful

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Compelling and exciting

What a great story! What I really enjoyed, aside from the obvious fun of nail-biting submarine combat, was that the story looked at a more obscure part of WW2. It also involved a personal story and was more than just a submarine going around torpedoing Japanese ships - which is great fun, too!

The author takes some dramatic license here and there and weaves a compelling, thrilling and exciting tale with great description, good character development and a narrator who really brings the world of 1942 to life. I highly recommend this book.

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was this written for a second grader?

if you actually have any interest in WW2 submarines, do NOT buy this book. The narration is absolutely horrible but isn't even close to how bad the story is. The characters are written as though they have an IQ of 2.5 and have the mannerisms of teenagers. Then we move on to the events. No submarine commander in WW2 would even think of wasting 4 torpedoes on a 200' mine layer.

it's too childish even for children. And if it were written for children, why so much language?

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The story is ridiculous

The book represents an immature vision of people and situations. The story is best left for preteens who might believe that adults would actually act like this. Cardboard characters.

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Great idea! (but a circular run)

I know how much work goes into something like this and how important good reviews can be, so I genuinely want to be a cheerleader.. but holy cats. The submarine service is fertile ground for intense drama, so this is going to be one of those things that might be enjoyed by someone with a passing interest in WWII. If you are just a bit well-versed on the topic, though, probably not so much. The weird anachronisms are frustrating. The author does a fine job with some things; his explanation of the problems with torpedo exploders is rather good. That is unbalanced, though by random weirdness. For example - for reasons I cannot begin to fathom, he found it necessary to equip this c.1942 US fleet submarine with a snorkel. (?!?) Timeline liberties for the purpose of historical fiction? Fine - understood. But that one was just weird, and really served no purpose in the plot other than perhaps to annoy WWII history geeks.

As for the narration... somewhere there must be a memo or email, a practical joke unfortunately taken seriously, in which a producer declared that all characters were to be voiced as over-the-top cartoons. I sincerely hope that any Japanese characters in subsequent books are not given the same treatment that Germans were in this one. If you haven't experienced it yet, just think of Mel Brooks doing his best farcical Hitler schtick.) That can't have been Dave Alexander's idea. Very distracting, and coupled with the occasional historical faceplant, makes it hard to get into the story, much less take it seriously.

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  • S. Morris
  • 01-24-22

Nit Picking

As I often seem to do, I stumbled upon this book when it was listed in the recommended section based on books I've read. As someone who has had a long time interest in submarines, I jumped at the book after checking out the sample. I'd also discovered Craig DiLouie's excellent Crash Dive series of books in the same way here on Audible, which is a series I recommend for those like me with an interest in the genre.

Operation: Snare Drum is set around early 1942. The author points out that he has taken some licence with events at that time, so I was prepared for this and settled into the book. Overall, it's not a bad story. however, for someone like me, it's somewhat marred by the technical errors that riddle the narrative. Most casual readers interested in a good old fashioned tale of daring do on the high seas during the second World war will likely enjoy this. For me though, I couldn't help nit picking. The strange thing is that Scott Cook clearly did quite a bit of research. He described equipment and procedures gleamed from his studying of the silent service, but despite getting so much right, he also gets so much wrong. There is a litany of errors peppered throughout the story, most of which will likely not be noticed by the casual reader, but to geeks such as me, it degrades the credibility of the story. The first thing that stuck out to me was the employment of a snorkel system on this early war U.S fleet submarine. As far as I am aware, it was the Germans who used this system and not until around late 1944. The author seems unaware that snorkelling at periscope depth, or snorkel depth to be more accurate, restricts the speed of the submarine to around 6 knots. Any faster and the snorkel mast is at risk of bending and breaking. There is a section in the story where our hero, Captain Turner, has his submarine, Bull Shark, running submerged using the snorkel at 16 knots! This would rip the thing away and likely flood the boat! Similarly, Cook has done the same with the periscope, having it poking up while the submarine is running at full speed submerged. While snorkelling and running on diesel engines, the author has the submarine able to detect, via SONAR, enemy vessels. The sound of the loud diesel engines would preclude use of such sound detection systems.

Cook also likes to have his submarines "sit motionless" at periscope depth. He fails to understand that lack of forward motion tends to result in the submarine losing depth control. No submarine of that era had the sophisticated hovering system used by modern submarines in order to achieve this.

The inaccuracies start early in the book with the Tautog undergoing a Japanese depth charge attack while the submarine was at 100 feet. According to the story, the Japanese set their charges to explode "several hundred feet deeper". Japanese early war doctrine saw them set their depth charges rather shallow, between 100 and 200 feet as they believed U.S submarines were unable to dive any deeper. Had Cook done more thorough research, he would've known this and, in most cases, the facts of submarine warfare and operation would've placed more restrictions on his narrative. However, this would've made things more interesting and given our heroes less lee way.

In another strange error, I'm sure Cook had the Bull Shark's periscope sticking some 27 feet out of the water while running at periscope depth! besides not believing this was even possible, you might as well hang a flag off the top of the scope if you could elevate it that high out of the water. A periscope is to be used as stealthily as possible.

Oddly, Cook depicted two of the German "Milk Cow" supply u-boats, but their hull numbers were wrong. He was almost right, he had U-457 and U-458, when the actual Milk Cows began at U-459. I know, a rather obscure thing to know, but the author could've easily have determined the correct boats here with such excellent resources as uboat.net. I can only conclude that Scot Cook chose to deliberately do this given he was so close to the correct numbers.

The story had some silly and rather implausible plot points too. It's difficult to go into any detail without spoiling the story for those wanting to read it, but let's just say that an enemy collaborator as well as the plan involving returning a captured POW was rather silly and hare brained. These plot points could've been written very differently and so much better. Further, in the latter stages of the story during the climactic end game battle, the Bull Shark suffers a bad casualty as the lingo goes, a flooding event that would, in my humble opinion, would've sunk the submarine. let's just say that something very similar was depicted in the classic film, Ice Station Zebra, and that larger and faster submarine lost depth control, sending it plunging into the depths.

The story was ably narrated, albeit rather too enthusiastically for my tastes, by Dave Alexander. I noted some production issues with the somewhat loud delivery where popping when words with the letter B or P were spoken. This largely disappeared once into the story, but it was present in the early stages. Alexander's energy when delivering dialogue as well as the way Turner's lines were written robbed the story of the gravitas a commanding officer should have. The near constant joviality reminded me of those war movies produced during and soon after the war which were largely for propaganda purposes and painted a gung-ho and overly casual attitude towards the business of war and commanding a war ship. Alexander's voice came across as almost cartoonish at times it was so energetic. Had he toned this down, I think it would've been better. He has a pleasant voice, but tends to speak rather loudly as if narrating for the hard of hearing. Having said that, Alexander is adept at rendering various regional American accents and does it very well. However, one of the most grating aspects of his narration was the awful German accents he used when reading dialogue from the antagonists. In particular, his Klaus Breckman, an ardent Nazi, was just awful on the ear. It was comically over the top and lent him the air of the twirling moustache caricature.
Captain Hardigan's deep voice came across sounding more Russian than German I thought. I wished he hadn't tried to use German accents at all. After all, most of the time we hear the Germans, they're talking amongst themselves and so no need to use the terrible accents. Again, it only serves to further give the story a comic feel.

Although the aforementioned DiLouie's Crash Dive series isn't without it's technical errors, they are far fewer and his portrayal of the key characters is far better in my opinion. Operation: Snare Drum is an okay story, but I am not entirely sure I will get the second book in this series, Leviathan Rising, for fear of the same issues described above. I love it that Cook has dived into this exciting and under supplied genre, but I just wish he'd been a bit more careful about elements in this story. If you're not a submarine nerd like me, then you'll likely enjoy this. Cook writes exciting action set pieces, so there's enough to like here.