The Deadly Deep (Hardcover)

The Definitive History of Submarine Warfare

By Iain Ballantyne

Pegasus Books, 9781681778778, 752pp.

Publication Date: December 4, 2018

Other Editions of This Title:
Compact Disc (1/22/2019)
MP3 CD (1/22/2019)
Pre-Recorded Audio Player (2/22/2019)

List Price: 35.00*
* Individual store prices may vary.


The fascinating story of the submarine’s evolution from its ancient beginnings to its culmination as the deadliest vessel ever invented.

A fascinating and comprehensive account of how an initially ineffectual underwater boat—originally derided and loathed in equal measure—evolved into the most powerful and terrifying vessel ever invented—with enough destructive power to end all life on Earth.

Iain Ballantyne considers the key episodes of submarine warfare and vividly describes the stories of brave individuals who have risked their lives under the sea, often with fatal consequences. His analysis of underwater conflict begins with Archimedes discovering the Principle of Buoyancy. Our clandestine journey then moves through the centuries and focuses on prolific characters with deathly motives, including David Bushnell, who in 1775 in America devised the first combat submarine with the idea of attacking the British.

Today, nuclear-powered submarines are among the most complex, costly ships in existence. Armed with nuclear weapons, they have the ability to destroy millions of lives: they are the most powerful warships ever created. At the heart of this thrilling narrative lurks danger and power as we discover warfare's murkiest secrets.

About the Author

Iain Ballantyne has covered naval and military issues for prestigious publications published on behalf of NATO and the Royal Navy. Among other naval histories, he is the author of The Deadly Deep, also available from Pegasus Books. Iain lives in England.

Praise For The Deadly Deep: The Definitive History of Submarine Warfare

A comprehensive history of the submarine. With this overview of the revolutionary warship, Ballantyne ably introduces readers to a subject that boasts an immense bibliography. A great selection for any general interest collection.

Tells the story of undersea warfare entertainingly, without skimping on technical details. The book is full of entertaining and moving stories, especially of the British submariners. An indispensable book for anyone interested in naval history and a great read for everyone else.

Superbly told. Consistently fascinating.
— Ben Wilson, The Times (London)

Iain Ballantyne plunges you into the thick of the action. This
book surely confirms Iain Ballantyne’s position in the front
rank of contemporary naval historians.
— Captain John Roberts, Royal Navy, author of Safeguarding the Nations


A comprehensive, informative, and thoroughly enjoyable history of this lesser-known aspect of warfare. It should be on the bookshelf of every serious military historian and enthusiast.

A most enjoyable and inspiring read.
— Stuart Crawford, Cable Magazine

A brilliant deep dive into submarine warfare, from ancient Greek divers right up to our current nuclear fleet.

This formidable and addictive book.
— Major Gerry Bartlett

The author provides us with a global appraisal. Ballantyne skillfully narrates intriguing stories about submarine commanders, sailors, and their boats during their quasi-piratical wartime encounters; each is a fast-moving gem of a tale.