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Hyman G. Rickover was not long removed from his Jewish roots in Poland when he graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy in After a respectable career.
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- Rickover: Father of the Nuclear Navy by Thomas B. Allen
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Naval Academy at Annapolis, Md. Accounts of his years at Annapolis stress that he was a loner, perhaps because of anti-Semitism, but more likely because he preferred to concentrate on his studies. He studied electrical engineering at Columbia University M.
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From to , he was assigned to the submarine service. Rickover hoped to receive command of a submarine. Instead, he did a two-year tour at a naval facility in Philadelphia, after which he served two years in engineering on the battleship New Mexico. In Rickover was promoted to lieutenant commander and given command of the antiquated minesweeper Finch. His hard-driving ways seem to have caused resentment, and he was relieved after three months.
Rickover: Father of the Nuclear Navy by Thomas B. Allen
Line officers were trained to command ships, being rotated to a variety of duties at sea and on shore to familiarize them with many aspects of the navy. In contrast, an EDO officer could design, maintain, modernize, and repair ships but could not command one. In he was assigned to Washington, D. His acceptance as an engineering duty officer in removed him from consideration for any further commands. In and he held posts in Okinawa and in San Francisco. Following the war, Rickover was one of a group of naval officers sent to the Clinton Laboratories, later known as Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Tennessee, to study nuclear engineering in When the Clinton School closed down in , Rickover was reassigned to the Bureau of Ships, but also managed an assignment with the newly formed Atomic Energy Commission in its Division of Reactor Development.
In the years just after World War II then a captain, Rickover became convinced that the Navy had to have nuclear-powered ships and had to begin with submarines. He began formulating these ideas after he was assigned in to study atomic energy in Oak Ridge, Tenn.
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The Navy was not enthusiastic about his ideas about atomic submarines. Rickover was called back to Washington and given an atomic energy advisory post. Rickover bypassed channels and went directly to Adm. Nimitz, the Chief of Naval Operations, to enlist his support for the atomic submarine. The idea of a nuclear-powered submarine had been batted around within the navy since His immediate superior, Admiral Earle Mills, was in favor of it, as were others.
In Rickover was sent as one of a team of engineering officers to Oak Ridge, Tennessee, to learn about nuclear technology. Rickover then received two choice assignments: These dual posts gave Rickover a great deal of autonomy in that he could initiate action from either his naval billet or from his post in the civilian-run AEC chain of authority.
He gathered around him a group of bright and loyal officers who worked diligently to overcome the myriad problems in harnessing a nuclear reactor for shipboard power. By , Rickover was using his industry connections to advance research initiatives.
Rickover: Father of the Nuclear Navy
Two competing concepts for cooling nuclear submarine reactors were available, cooling by pressurized water and by liquid metal. Rickover wanted to try both of them, so he arranged with Westinghouse in to investigate the pressurized water approach, and with General Electric in to pursue a liquid sodium approach. The vessel was the first submarine to complete a submerged transit to the North Pole on 3 August Because her nuclear propulsion allowed her to remain submerged far longer than diesel-electric submarines, she broke many records in her first years of operation, and traveled to locations previously beyond the limits of submarines.
In operation, she revealed a number of limitations in her design and construction. This information was used to improve subsequent submarines. Nautilus was decommissioned in and designated a National Historic Landmark in The submarine has been preserved as a museum of submarine history in Groton, Connecticut , where the vessel receives some , visitors a year.
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The Nautilus employed the pressurized water method of reactor cooling. He wrote several books criticizing what he considered its shortcomings and calling for standards of excellence like those he had always imposed upon himself.
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He was also responsible for the establishment of the first large-scale all-civilian atomic power plant, at Shippingport, Pa. The plant supplies power for residents of Pittsburgh. Rickover had an abrasive personality. He cared little for protocol, tradition or what other people thought of him, so long as he could do his job. He was detested by his enemies. Want to Read Currently Reading Read. Refresh and try again. Open Preview See a Problem? Thanks for telling us about the problem.
Return to Book Page. Preview — Rickover by Thomas B. Father of the Nuclear Navy 3. Rickover was not long removed from his Jewish roots in Poland when he graduated from the U.
Naval Academy in After a respectable career spent mostly in unglamorous submarine and engineering billets, he took command of the U. Navy's nuclear propulsion program and revived his career. He retired - involuntarily - some thirty years later in early He wa Hyman G. He was not only the architect of the nuclear Navy but also its builder. In the process, he erected a network of power and influence that rivaled those who were elected to high office and that protected him from them when his controversial methods became objectionable or, as critics would suggest, undermined the nation's vital interests.
Allen and Norman Polmar, whose full length biography of Rickover in manuscript in was consulted by the Reagan Administration during the decision to remove him from active duty, are eminently qualified to write an essential treatment of the controversial genius of Admiral Rickover. Hardcover , pages. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Rickover , please sign up.
Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Contains a few entertaining quotes and anecdotes as well as a brief, informative section about the beginning of the naval nuclear power program, but otherwise doesn't contain much anybody acquainted with the program is unlikely to know. I'm interested to read the larger bio that this was distilled from. Dec 29, Jbaker rated it liked it. Knew most of it. Didn't have the details about Regan meeting.