Universally praised for its powerfully authentic depiction of submarine warfare, Run Silent, Run Deep was an immediate success when published in 1955 and shot to the top of best-seller lists nationwide. In 1958, Hollywood adapted the novel for the big screen starring Clark Gable and Burt Lancaster. The New York Timessaid of the novel, "If ever a book had a ring of reality, this is it . . . combat passages rank with the most exciting written about any branch of the service." The Saturday Review called the book "a classic," and many reviewers compared its author to such greats as C. S. Forester and Erich Remarque. Today these accolades still ring true for Edward L. Beach's gripping first novel of American submariners confronting a formidable Japanese navy in a vicious battle to control the Pacific. Beach's taut and dramatic narrative, told with the intimacy of a confession, deals with two strong-headed men, Edward Richardson, the commander of the USS Walrus, and his executive officer, Jim Bledsoe. Bound together by wartime duty, the two are divided by jealousy, pride, and love for a beautiful woman. But long after the details of this famous novel fade from memory, what remains with us is a startling realization of the way it was, really was, in the silent service during World War II.
Unlike many war novels, here is a story that deals with war from the perspective of command. With fidelity, Beach creates the anguish, agony, and triumphs of command decisions. Commander Richardson embodies all that is fine and human in an excellent naval officer. This is a monument, not to the misfits and the mistakes, but to those men who rose to greatness under the sometimes unbearable tensions of action.