page contents

Regulus: The First Nuclear Missile Submarines

Regulus: The First Nuclear Missile Submarines
Item# pf-dvd-reg

Product Description

Narrated by Roy Scheider

As Seen On Discovery Channel Europe and History Channel Canada!

Regulus: The First Nuclear Missile Submarines documents a nearly-forgotten era of U.S. Navy history and the birth of a vital part of the nuclear triad – a submarine capable of launching a nuclear missile. Using never-before-seen footage, Regulus: The First Nuclear Missile Submarines takes the viewer back to the days just after WWII when the U.S. Navy began top-secret tests with modified German V-1 "buzz bombs". The goal was to develop a submarine-launched guided missile and, eventually, to develop a missile capable of carrying a nuclear warhead. The tests would lead to the development of the Regulus, a nuclear-capable, air-breathing cruise missile that flew like a jet aircraft. Tested in secrecy at Edwards Air Force Base and Pt. Mugu, California, the Regulus represented an early cruise missile and, as the Cold War began, a strategic game-changer.

The Regulus would eventually be deployed aboard U.S. Navy cruisers and five guided missile submarines ("SSGs") - USS Tunny, USS Halibut, USS Grayback, USS Barbero and USS Growler. These subs would undertake the first missile deterrent patrols in the history of the Navy and the Cold War. Patrolling the stormy waters of the Northern Pacific, the Regulus submarine crews endured long patrols, often with the Soviet Navy in depth charge range. They were the leading edge of America’s nuclear deterrent, and as one of the skippers of Growler recalls in the film, if the Cold War had become a hot one a Regulus warhead would have been the first one to detonate in a thermonuclear exchange! This is the story of the Regulus and the men who made the guided missile submarine a reality.

Featuring declassified digitally re-mastered footage, much of it seen here for the first time. This special edition DVD also includes the original 50-minute long TV program featuring historian David Stumpf and numerous Cold War veterans including submarine commanders William Gunn and Robert Owens. It also includes nearly 20 minutes of additional footage in the form of bonus video segments. These include The Navy Gets the Bird, which documents the difficulties experienced by Navy personnel as they attempted to make the Regulus missile operational. This section features rare footage of the Regulus cruisers (which included USS Helena, USS Macon, USS Los Angeles, and USS Toledo). Another bonus segment The Regulus Assault Mission, contains interviews with the Navy pilots tasked with flying the Regulus into harm's way and detonating its nuclear warhead – a probable one-way mission whose consequences few wished to contemplate.

Sherry Sontag, a co-author of the bestselling "Blind Man's Bluff", has praised the film and said "the footage is terrific!" and Captain Grayson Merrill, the "Father of Point Mugu", has called this video "a must see!"