Ice Station Zebra

Discussion in 'OFF-Topic / Misc.' started by Graeme, Jan 8, 2008.

  1. Graeme

    Graeme Well-Known Member

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    [​IMG]

    Came across a second hand copy of the movie Ice Station Zebra on DVD on the weekend. One of my favourite Cold War movies.

    Some submarine questions regarding this movie…

    In the movie, the ‘nuclear’ submarine is the called the SS Tigerfish. Here’s how it looked in the movie.

    [​IMG]

    In reality it’s the SS Ronquil (SS.396). A Balao class submarine.
    When I googled the Ronquil I got this, which looks nothing like the movie character..

    [​IMG]

    I thought that it may have been ‘dressed up’ for the movie part, however, the powerful internet has informed me that this was the result of the ‘GUPPY IIA’ conversion programme of 1952-54. This conversion involved cutting the hull in half, and inserting an extra section to give much greater battery capacity for high underwater speed. At the same time the conning tower with its AA platforms was replaced by a streamlined slender ‘sail’ or fin.

    An old book I have states that…
    “Only the welded-hull Balao and Tench Classes were chosen for the conversion.”

    If not welded, how else would you put a submarine together?

    In the movie, Tigerfish breaks the Polar ice cap (a tense moment in the movie).

    Were all post-war American submarines capable of this? Did the US Navy ever lose a submarine attempting this?

    Like a lot of other submarine movies, the Tigerfish sinks below the maximum safe depth (as a result of Russian sabotage-another tense moment) but survives!

    Same book…
    “On February 11, 1969, Chopper, accidentally dived to 1000ft in the Caribbean (her safe diving depth was 412ft). She recovered from her dive but on her return to Key West she was decommissioned."

    Are all submarines, that at any point in their life exceed their maximum safe depth immediately decommissioned?


    I should Google, but what does the SS stand for?
     
  2. Njaco

    Njaco The Pop-Tart Whisperer
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    Graeme, if I remember it was thin ice that she broke through (except for the last part saving Rock and the crew - always wondered how they knew exactly where they were, surface wise) and they searched for those spots. Was that able to happen?

    As a side note, I believe Howard Hughes loved this movie so much he used to watch it constantly.
     
  3. FLYBOYJ

    FLYBOYJ "THE GREAT GAZOO"
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    Great flick!
     
  4. syscom3

    syscom3 Pacific Historian

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    I bet the stress of the "deep" dive was so great, it would have meant a top to bottom inspection and recertification.

    It might have cost more to do that than it was worth for an obsolete design.
     
  5. comiso90

    comiso90 Active Member

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    OOPs! that is a hell of a difference! Did he confuse meters with feet?

    I always heard "SS" stood for "Steam Ship". The "SS" moniker was so entrenched, it never got dropped.
     
  6. ccheese

    ccheese Member In Perpetuity
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    The ship is the USS whatever and her designation is SS-123, SS is a
    designation for submarine, just like BB is Battleship, DE is Destroyer Escort.
    YO is Yard Oiler, CV/A/S/N is aircraft carrier, etc....

    In this particular case, the USS Ronquil (SS-396) is correct usage.

    Charles
     
  7. Wayne Little

    Wayne Little Well-Known Member

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    Im with you Flyboyj, great movie!
     
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