Now that I’ve got your attention, it’s March 17th, another St. Patrick’s day. It’s also National Submarine Day. Comparatively speaking, a 5th century saint, who folklore erroneously claims responsible for the absence of snakes in Ireland, and a $2.4 billion nuclear ballistic, Virginia Class submarine have nothing in common. Unless, of course, there are snakes on a submarine and St. Patrick intervenes and saves everyone. So far, there is no such movie. However, there are a couple of movies about snakes on a sub: Fer-de-Lance, 1974 and Silent Venom, 2009. Both are on YouTube.
Everyone is familiar with old St. Patty. He’s one of three patron saints of Ireland and today celebrates the anniversary of his death. Traditional cuisine for the occasion is corned beef and cabbage (and onions, potatoes and carrots). It’s also known as New England boiled dinner (it’s easy in the crockpot). Eat your meal with a Guinness stout or make it a half and half and watch the only movie I could find about the life of this celebrated saint: St. Patrick: The Irish Legend, 2000. It’s also on YouTube, and is available for streaming on Amazon (rental fee required even if you are a Prime member). If you like films about subs, I suggest the classics: Up Periscope, 1959 and Run Silent, Run Deep, 1958. If you want a comedy, try Down Periscope,1996 and the best, Operation Petticoat, 1959. Want something completely different? Das Boat, 1981, is an excellent German WWII drama.
It’s unknown who started National Submarine Day 15 years ago. It’s unclear why, but we can imagine that a hell of a lot of tax money has gone in to building our subs, and subs played a huge role in WWII. To this day, the diving nuclear reactors at sea, along with their ballistic missiles with nuclear warheads are ever vigilant, ready to strike like a venomous snake. The crews of these subs should be acknowledged for their service. I grew up in Connecticut, just a short distance from the Naval Sub Base in New London. It’s in Groton, just across the river from there, where many of the subs are built. When I was 15 I went on a dependent’s cruise on a submarine for the day. We weren’t allowed on nuclear subs so the cruise was on a WWII Diesel sub, the USS Tench. The old subs were tiny in comparison. We submerged for a few hours. What a blast.
Did you know? Not all nuclear submarines are ballistic subs– they don’t all carry nuclear missiles.