“The exact number of collisions that had occurred between Soviet and American submarines was a closely guarded secret; that there had been such collisions was not. One characteristically Russian tactic for forcing Americans to keep their distance was a stylized turn called the Crazy Ivan in the U.S. Navy.”

The Hunt for Red October, Tom Clancy

When the American submarine USS Dallas found Red October, they began to follow the Russian sub as quietly as possible. Rather than backing away, the captain opted to stay close. Every few hours, Red October would begin a full turn, dubbed by the U.S. Navy the Crazy Ivan. Captain Mancuso of the Dallas stayed close to Red October so that the Russian sonar could not pick up them up. In one of the turns, the two subs were only about a hundred fifty years from each other. A very dangerous position. And a very exciting part of the book!

I decided during this description of the Crazy Ivan that I needed to become familiar with naval directional terms. While these terms had been used several times before, I could better understand a Crazy Ivan by knowing the terms for myself.

Bow – the forward end of a vessel or airship

Stern – the after part of a vessel; the back or rear of anything

Aft – at, close to, or toward the stern of a ship or tail of an aircraft

Starboard – the right-hand side of or direction from a vessel or aircraft, facing forward

Port – the left-hand side of or a vessel or aircraft, facing forward