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Because of the ever increasing popularity and influence of Internet blogs and discussion boards, for this Winter 2005 Newsletter edition I'm going to devote the Useful Websites feature to offer a small selection of some of the best ones I know about that concentrate on submarines and naval affairs. These sites offer many valuable features, ranging from breaking news to product reviews, but I'm highlighting them here primarily because of their continual real-time postings on all sorts of topics, mainly by qualified submariners or (in one case) by U.S. Naval Academy graduates.

Please note that while in all cases the discussion boards are available for reading by the general public, the active participants in some cases may not exactly welcome postings by non-veterans! (It can't hurt to privately e-mail the moderator first and ask, to avoid being hazed or ignored on the board.) But reading the posting flow, by itself, will be a fun and interesting experience for all.

Apologies to any Web sites, blogs, discussion boads, etc., on submarine topics that aren't listed below, but alas space is limited. Most of the entities detailed here include compilations of links to lots of their peers, so surf away and enjoy yourself!

  • 1. Although primarily for serious submarine (and other naval) videogamers, this site has discussion boards that are definitely worth checking out periodically: http://www.subsim.com
  • 2. Moderated by retired submariner Ron Martini, the discussion board on this site can always be counted on for a lively discussion on many topics of wide interest to submarine fans -- and some of interest mainly to qualified submariners. Because the volume of postings is so high, and the archiving space is limited, it's best (if you're interested) to visit this site at least once every couple of days: http://www.rontini.com/cgi-bin/eboard40/index2.cgi?frames=no&board=main
  • 3. This blog is run by a retired submariner whose knowledge and personal connections are impressive. He's a very prolific creator of thought-provoking content, and his blog is definitely worth frequent visits for anyone interested in submarines and submariners. (Don't let the unusual blog title "The Stupid Shall Be Punished" put you off. There's nothing stupid about this blog, and the only things that get punished -- in the manner of all blog-style flaming -- usually more than deserve it!) http://bubbleheads.blogspot.com/
  • 4. Another Web site which includes many good features, and will give the submarine fan a vivid feel for the values and lifestyles of real submariners, is: http://www.submarinesailor.com/
  • 5. USNA-at-Large began as a discussion group for U.S. Naval Academy graduates, but now has an active "outreach" program for the general public, and in fact is in the process of incorporating as a Chapter 501(C)3 non-profit foundation. I was invited to join the group early in '05, and I participate in the form of receiving a Daily Digest of main items as an e-mail that arrives in my in-box each morning. Often this digest has provided some of the earliest, most detailed, and most accurate reporting on breaking submarine news, such as the disastrous fire aboard the diesel submarine Chicoutimi that the UK sold to Canada. Yes, the digest naturally includes lots of sports news that might be less compelling to those who didn't attend the Academy themselves, but it's easy to just skim over that and enjoy some of the lively and biting political commentary. For further information on joining this group, please contact the moderator John Howland, a submarine veteran himself, as revealed by his e-mail address, BlackfinSS322@aol.com. The URL if you want to check out the details of postings and responses is: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/USNA-At-Large/

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