The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Nov/Dec 2016


'Covert Shores - The Story of Naval Special Forces Missions and Mini-subs'

'Must have' book lifts veil of secrecy surrounding covert diving operations

This is a unique publication providing a comprehensive and authoritative review of swimmer delivery vehicles and associated covert diver operations. It covers the historical development right up to present-day equipment. Indeed it claims to be the first and only complete and documented insight into this little-known world.


The work documents:

  • Midget submarines.
  • Wet submarines (‘SDVs’).
  • Military canoes.
  • Mother submarines.
  • Covert and special mission submarines.
  • Explosive motorboats.
  • ...and other covert means of waterborne and underwater transport from the 1700s to the present. It will also tell the story of the technology and the units which made it count.


A non-exhaustive list of many of the elite units covered:

  • USA: OSS/CIA, UDT, SEALs and USN Submarine Force.
  • UK: Combined operations (including RMBPD, Det-385, SRU, COPP, SBS, SOE), SBS, RN Clearance Divers and RN Submarine Service.
  • Italy: Decima-MAS and COMSUBIN (Incursori).
  • France: Commando Hubert.
  • Germany: Kleinkampfverbände, Kampfschwimmers, KSK-18 (DDR) and cold war escapes.
  • Former Yugoslavia: 82 Maritime Unit and JRM submariners.
  • South Africa: 4 Reconnaissance Regiment.
  • Australia: SOA/Z-Force and RAN Clearance Divers.
  • Canada: RCN Clearance Divers.
  • Sweden: A-Dyk and X-Craft.
  • USSR/Russia: Naval Spetsnaz.
  • Israel: Flotilla-13.
  • Other: India, Pakistan, North Korea, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia and Iran.


As well as describing the eye-opening variety of submersible craft, the author has intermingled fascinating accounts of ingenuity, resourcefulness, experimentation and cunning of those involved in the design and operations of these expert craft.

The whole subject is shrouded in secrecy and clearly the production of this book was by no means an easy task. The author, H. I. Sutton, is to be congratulated for his resourcefulness in lifting this veil of secrecy and especially for the provision of a wealth of photographic supporting material. He has also fully exploited his considerable talent for illustration and has included much of his own superbly detailed artwork.

This is a "must have” book because you simply won’t find the information anywhere else!

Covert Shores; H I Sutton; 2nd edition; privately published; 2016; 274 pages; 8.5” x 11” full colour with over 100 original colour illustrations; soft cover; Amazon, US$49.90; author’s email:

John Bevan





Privacy Policy

Online Dispute Resolution