Skip to Main Content

Spies of the Deep

The Untold Truth About the Most Terrifying Incident in Submarine Naval History and How Putin Used The Tragedy To Ignite a New Cold War

Published by Permuted Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

Readers’ Favorite Bronze Medal Winner for Best Military Non-Fiction Book of the Year

Twenty years after the most terrifying submarine disaster in naval history, the untold story about why the Russians buried the truth and how Vladimir Putin used the incident to ignite a new Cold War finally comes to light.

A decade after the Cold War and just a few months after Vladimir Putin came to power, a violent explosion sent the Russian submarine Kursk to the bottom of the Barents Sea. The Russians claimed an outdated torpedo caused the incident and refused help from the West while twenty-three survivors died before they could be rescued. When Russian naval officers revealed evidence of a collision with a U.S. spy sub, Putin squelched the allegations and fired the officers. In Spies of the Deep, the New York Times bestselling author of Red November shatters the lies told by both Russian and U.S. officials and exposes several shocking truths. Included are never-before-revealed facts and firsthand accounts from deep sea rescue divers, U.S. submariners, government officials, Russian naval officers, and expert witnesses. Not to mention unveiled evidence of a secret deal between Putin and U.S. President Bill Clinton to avert a nuclear war. Discover how the Kursk propelled Putin to power and how he used its demise to muzzle oligarchs, wrest control of energy firms, rebuild Russia’s military, and dominate Arctic resources and sea routes.

Spies of the Deep explores how the Kursk incident will be remembered as a pivotal historical event that propelled the world’s superpowers into another, far more dangerous Cold War, sparked conflicts in the Arctic, and fueled a resource war that could create an economic nightmare not seen since the Great Depression. Are U.S. and NATO navies already too far behind to deal with new threats from Russia, China, North Korea, and Iran, and if so, how might that impact each of us?

About The Author

W. (William) Craig Reed is the New York Times bestselling author of Red November: Inside the U.S.–Soviet Submarine War and Spies of the Deep: The Untold Truth About the Most Terrifying Incident in Submarine Naval History. Reed is a former U.S. Navy Diver and submariner, and the co-founder of the award-winning Us4Warriors Veteran’s Foundation. Reed earned commendations for completing secret missions during the Cold War, several in concert with U.S. Navy SEAL Team One.

Product Details

Raves and Reviews

“Underwater espionage is not a topic that receives much public attention due to its highly classified nature, so Spies of the Deep will come as a revelation to many readers. W. Craig Reed, himself an experienced submariner and diver, describes a world of intrigue, danger, advanced technology, and events that have the potential to bring about a global nuclear conflict. It was the apparent testing of a secret rocket-powered torpedo that is believed to have led to an incident aboard the Russian nuclear submarine Kursk in August 2000, in which all 118 men on board perished. The book describes in fascinating detail the events that led up to the loss of the Kursk, the attempts to rescue the doomed crew, and the international recriminations that followed. The Kursk had been involved in a large-scale naval exercise, monitored by NATO member submarines, which led to allegations that one of these had inadvertently collided with the Kursk. Either this or a malfunction with the torpedo itself had triggered two massive explosions which destroyed the forward part of the vessel. The reluctance of the Russians to accept Western assistance with rescue attempts is debated, while new, more powerful, and sinister weapons are described. The Kursk incident illustrates the unhealthy rivalry between the superpowers, while the resulting arms race has the potential to destroy the world and its economy.

“W. Craig Reed writes from a position of expert knowledge and describes clandestine submarine missions in a style that is informative and entertaining. The complexities and hazards of deepwater diving are explored, as well as operations in the ice-cold seas of the Arctic region. The Kursk incident raised serious questions about American involvement and the evidence is reviewed, together with the alleged cover-up that followed. The role of the Russian President Vladimir Putin is prominent, along with his stated ambitions of restoring Russian military might to attain global dominance. Spies of the Deep is a masterful dissection of power politics and global trade routes. The comments on the economy are unusual in a military publication and are particularly welcome. Apart from the traditional rivals, China, North Korea, and Iran have joined the mix. Each of these players has nuclear capability and all are flexing their military muscles. For Russia, the economic prize will be control over the mineral, oil, and gas-rich Barents Sea. The meticulous research is documented at the end of the book, which is superbly illustrated with numerous photographs. The insights provide a chilling reminder of the delicate balance of world power and the serious consequences of national ambitions. It is a compelling read and highly recommended.”

– 5-Star Review by Leonard William Smuts for Readers’ Favorite

"W. Craig Reed's Spies of the Deep is a chilling—downright terrifying—dive into the current global crisis. It looks at where we've been as a world power and the dagger's edge upon which we're all balanced. The book shines a light into the dark machinations of politicians and the military—both here and in Russia and China—and how clandestine operations are ratcheting up tensions to the point of global economic collapse, even nuclear war. If you want to understand the threat at our very doorstep, pick up this book and prepare to be shocked and enlightened."

– James Rollins, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Crucible

"W. Craig Reed's Spies of the Deep is even more engaging than his award-winning Red November. Reed is a former U.S. Navy submariner and diver, so all of his books are well-researched, accurate, and read like bestselling Tom Clancy thrillers. I thoroughly enjoyed it!"

– Andrew Peterson, Bestselling Author of Hired to Kill

Spies of the Deep exposes Vladimir Putin’s frightening plan to dominate world resources and how the Kursk tragedy propelled him to power. This nonfiction book reads like a Tom Clancy thriller that you can’t put down.”

– Malcolm Boyes, former producer of Entertainment Tonight

“W. Craig Reed’s Spies of the Deep is timely and chilling, given Putin’s plans to stay in power for life and the brewing conflicts with Russia, China, Iran, and North Korea. This nonfiction book is as terrifying as any Tom Clancy novel.”

– Grant Blackwood, #1 New York Times Bestselling Author of Tom Clancy’s Duty and Honor

Resources and Downloads

High Resolution Images