Soviet Navy

The Soviet Navy (Russian: Военно-морской флот СССР (ВМФ), romanizedVoyenno-morskoy flot SSSR (VMF), lit. 'Military Maritime Fleet of the USSR') was the naval arm of the Soviet Armed Forces. Often referred to as the Red Fleet, the Soviet Navy was a large part of the Soviet Union's strategic plan in the event of a conflict with opposing super power, the United States, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), or another conflict related to the Warsaw Pact of Eastern Europe. The influence of the Soviet Navy played a large role in the Cold War (1945-1991), as the majority of conflicts centered on naval forces.

The Soviet Navy was divided into four major fleets: the Northern, Pacific, Black Sea, and Baltic Fleets; under separate command was the Leningrad Naval Base. The Caspian Flotilla was a smaller force operating in the land-locked Caspian Sea. Main components of the Soviet Navy included Soviet Naval Aviation, Naval Infantry (Soviet Marines), and Coastal Artillery.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in 1991, Russia inherited the largest part of the Soviet Navy and reformed it into the Russian Navy, with smaller parts becoming the basis for navies of the newly independent post-Soviet states.

Soviet Navy
Военно-морской флот СССР
Voyenno-morskoy flot SSSR
Naval Ensign of the Soviet Union (1950–1991)
Naval ensign of the Soviet Union
DisbandedDecember 1991
Country Soviet Union
Size467,000 personnel (1984)[1]
1,053 ships (1990)
1,172 aircraft (1990)
1 aircraft carriers
2 helicopter carriers
3 battlecruisers
30 cruisers
45 destroyers
113 frigates
124 corvettes
63 ballistic missile submarines
72 cruise missile submarine
64 nuclear attack submarine
63 conventional attack submarine
9 auxiliary submarines
35 amphibious warfare ships
425 patrol boats
Part ofSoviet Armed Forces
Nickname(s)Red Fleet
EngagementsRussian Revolution
Russian Civil War
Polish–Soviet War
Soviet–Japanese Border Wars
Invasion of Poland
Winter War (Finland)
Continuation War
World War II (Great Patriotic War)
Soviet invasion of Manchuria
Vietnam War
1966 Soviet submarine global circumnavigation
Cold War
Fleet Admiral Vladimir N. Chernavin (last to command the navy)
Fleet Admiral Sergey Gorshkov
Fleet Admiral Nikolay Kuznetsov
Vice Admiral Aleksandr Nemits
Vice Admiral Yevgeny Berens
Fleet Admiral Vasili Altfater
Admiral Ivan Yumashev
Naval jack
Naval Jack of the Soviet Union
Guards Red Banner naval ensign
USSR, Naval 1950 redban guards

Early history

Russian Civil War (1917–1922)

Aurora 1903
Aurora was unofficially the first Soviet Navy vessel, after it mutinied against the provisional democratic Russian government of Alexander Kerensky in the second 1917 Russian Revolution in October/November.

The Soviet Navy was based on a republican naval force formed from the remnants of the Imperial Russian Navy, which had been almost completely destroyed in the two Revolutions of 1917 (February and October/November) during World War I (1914–1918), the following Russian Civil War (1917–1922), and the Kronstadt rebellion in 1921. During the revolutionary period, Russian sailors deserted their ships at will and generally neglected their duties. The officers were dispersed (some were killed by the Red Terror, some joined the "White" (anti-communist) opposing armies, and others simply resigned) and most of the sailors walked off and left their ships. Work stopped in the shipyards, where uncompleted ships deteriorated rapidly.

The Black Sea Fleet fared no better than the Baltic. The Bolshevik (Communist) revolution entirely disrupted its personnel, with mass murders of officers; the ships were allowed to decay to unserviceability. At the end of April 1918, Imperial German troops moved along the Black Sea coast and entered Crimea and started to advance towards the Sevastopol naval base. The more effective ships were moved from Sevastopol to Novorossiysk where, after an ultimatum from Germany, they were scuttled by Vladimir Lenin's order. The ships remaining in Sevastopol were captured by the Germans and then, after the later Armistice of 11 November 1918 on the Western Front which ended the War, additional Russian ships were confiscated by the British. On 1 April 1919, during the ensuing Russian Civil War when Red Army forces captured Crimea, the British Royal Navy squadron had to withdraw, but before leaving they damaged all the remaining battleships and sank thirteen new submarines. When the opposing Czarist White Army captured Crimea in 1919, it rescued and reconditioned a few units. At the end of the civil war, Wrangel's fleet, a White flotilla, moved south through the Black Sea, Dardanelles straits and the Aegean Sea to the Mediterranean Sea to Bizerta in French Tunisia on the North Africa coast, where it was interned.

The first ship of the revolutionary navy could be considered the rebellious Imperial Russian cruiser Aurora, built 1900, whose crew joined the communist Bolsheviks. Sailors of the Baltic fleet supplied the fighting force of the Bolsheviks led by Vladimir Lenin and Leon Trotsky during the October Revolution of November 1917 against the democratic provisional government of Alexander Kerensky established after the earlier first revolution of February against the Czar. Some imperial vessels continued to serve after the revolution, albeit with different names.

The Soviet Navy, established as the "Workers' and Peasants' Red Fleet" (Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянский Красный флот, Raboche-Krest'yansky Krasny Flot or RKKF) by a 1918 decree of the new Council of People's Commissars, installed as a temporary Russian revolutionary government, was less than service-ready during the interwar years of 1918 to 1941.

As the country's attentions were largely directed internally, the Navy did not have much funding or training. An indicator of its reputation was that the Soviets were not invited to participate in negotiations for the Washington Naval Treaty of 1921–1922, which limited the size and capabilities of the most powerful navies - British, American, Japanese, French, Italian. The greater part of the old fleet was sold by the Soviet government to post-war Germany for scrap. In the Baltic Sea there remained only three much-neglected battleships, two cruisers, some ten destroyers, and a few submarines. Despite this state of affairs, the Baltic Fleet remained a significant naval formation, and the Black Sea Fleet also provided a basis for expansion. There also existed some thirty minor-waterways combat flotillas.

Interwar period (1922–1941)

During the 1930s, as the industrialization of the Soviet Union proceeded, plans were made to expand the Soviet Navy into one of the most powerful in the world. Approved by the Labour and Defence Council in 1926, the Naval Shipbuilding Program included plans to construct twelve submarines; the first six were to become known as the Dekabrist class.[2] Beginning 4 November 1926, Technical Bureau Nº 4 (formerly the Submarine Department, and still secret), under the leadership of B.M. Malinin, managed the submarine construction works at the Baltic Shipyard.[2] In subsequent years, 133 submarines were built to designs developed during Malinin's management. Additional developments included the formation of the Pacific Fleet in 1932 and the Northern Fleet in 1933.[3] The forces were to be built around a core of powerful Sovetsky Soyuz-class battleships. This building program was only in its initial stages by the time the German invasion forced its suspension in 1941.

The Soviet Navy had some minor action in the Winter War against Finland in 1939–1940, on the Baltic Sea. It was limited mainly to cruisers and battleships fighting artillery duels with Finnish forts.

World War II: The Great Patriotic War (1941–1945)

Building a Soviet fleet was a national priority, but many senior officers were killed in Stalinist purges in the late 1930s.[4] The naval share of the national armaments budget fell from 11.5% in 1941 to 6.6% in 1944.[5]

When Nazi Germany invaded in June 1941 and initially captured millions of soldiers, many sailors and naval guns were detached to reinforce the Red Army; these reassigned naval forces had especially significant roles on land in the battles for Odessa, Sevastopol, Stalingrad, Novorossiysk, Tuapse, and Leningrad. The Baltic fleet was blockaded in Leningrad and Kronstadt by minefields, but the submarines escaped. The surface fleet fought with the anti-aircraft defence of the city and bombarded German positions.[6]

The U.S. and Britain through the Lend Lease program gave the USSR several of their ships with a total displacement of 810,000 tons.[7]

Marinaurss cappello
Soviet souvenir naval cap

The composition of the Soviet fleets in 1941 included:[8]

  • 3 battleships,
  • 7 cruisers (including 4 modern Kirov-class heavy cruisers),
  • 59 destroyers (including 46 modern Gnevny-class and Soobrazitelny-class destroyers),
  • 218 submarines,
  • 269 torpedo boats,
  • 22 patrol vessels,
  • 88 minesweepers,
  • 77 submarine-chasers,
  • and a range of other smaller vessels.

In various stages of completion were another 219 vessels including 3 battleships, 2 heavy and 7 light cruisers, 45 destroyers, and 91 submarines.

Included in the totals above are some pre-World War I ships (Novik-class destroyers, some of the cruisers, and all the battleships), some modern ships built in the USSR and Europe (like the Italian-built destroyer Tashkent[9] and the partially completed German cruiser Lützow). During the war, many of the vessels on the slips in Leningrad and Nikolayev were destroyed (mainly by aircraft and mines), but the Soviet Navy received captured Romanian destroyers and Lend-Lease small craft from the U.S., as well as the old Royal Navy battleship HMS Royal Sovereign (renamed Arkhangelsk) and the United States Navy cruiser USS Milwaukee (renamed Murmansk) in exchange for the Soviet part of the captured Italian navy.

In the Baltic Sea, after Tallinn's capture, surface ships were blockaded in Leningrad and Kronstadt by minefields, where they participated with the anti-aircraft defense of the city and bombarded German positions. One example of Soviet resourcefulness was the battleship Marat, an aging pre-World War I ship sunk at anchor in Kronstadt's harbor by German Stukas in 1941. For the rest of the war, the non-submerged part of the ship remained in use as a grounded battery. Submarines, although suffering great losses due to German and Finnish anti-submarine actions, had a major role in the war at sea by disrupting Axis navigation in the Baltic Sea.

In the Black Sea, many ships were damaged by minefields and Axis aviation, but they helped defend naval bases and supply them while besieged, as well as later evacuating them. Heavy naval guns and courageous sailors helped defend port cities during long sieges by Axis armies. In the Arctic Ocean, Soviet Northern Fleet destroyers (Novik-class, Type 7, and Type 7U) and smaller craft participated with the anti-aircraft and anti-submarine defense of Allied convoys conducting Lend-Lease cargo shipping. In the Pacific Ocean, the Soviet Union was not at war with Japan before 1945, so some destroyers were transferred to the Northern Fleet.[6]

From the beginning of hostilities, Soviet Naval Aviation provided air support to naval and land operations involving the Soviet Navy. This service was responsible for the operation of shore-based floatplanes, long-range flying boats, catapult-launched and vessel-based planes, and land-based aircraft designated for naval use.

As post-war spoils, the Soviets received several Italian and Japanese warships and much German naval engineering and architectural documentation.

Cold War (1945–1991)

Soviet navy personnel (1982).JPEG
Soviet Navy enlisted personnel stand at attention (1982).

In February 1946, the Red Fleet was renamed and became known as the Soviet Navy (Russian: Советский Военно-Морской Флот, romanizedSovyetsky Voyenno-Morskoy Flot, lit. 'Soviet Military Maritime Fleet')[10]. After the war, the Soviets concluded that they needed a navy that could disrupt supply lines, and display a small naval presence to the developing world.[11] As the natural resources the Soviet Union needed were available on the Eurasian land mass, it did not need a navy to protect a large commercial fleet, as the western navies were configured to do.[11] Later, countering seaborne nuclear delivery systems became another significant objective of the navy, and an impetus for expansion.[11]

The Soviet Navy was structured around submarines and small, maneuverable, tactical vessels.[11] The Soviet shipbuilding program kept yards busy constructing submarines based upon World War II German Kriegsmarine designs, which were launched with great frequency during the immediate post-war years. Afterwards, through a combination of indigenous research and technology obtained through espionage from Nazi Germany and the Western nations, the Soviets gradually improved their submarine designs, though they initially lagged behind the western North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) countries by a decade or two.

The Soviets were quick to equip their surface fleet with missiles of various sorts. Indeed, it became a feature of Soviet design to place large missiles onto relatively small, but fast, missile boats, while in the West such an approach would never have been considered tactically feasible. The Soviet Navy did also possess several very large and well-armed guided-missile cruisers, like those of the Kirov and Slava classes. By the 1970s, Soviet submarine technology was in some respects more advanced than in the West, and several of their submarine types were considered superior to their American rivals.[12]

The 5th Operational Squadron (ru:5-я Средиземноморская эскадра кораблей ВМФ)[13] operated in the Mediterranean Sea. The squadron's main function was to prevent largescale naval ingress into the Black Sea, which could bypass the need for any invasion to be over the Eurasian land mass.[11] The flagship of the squadron was for a long period the Sverdlov class cruiser Zhdanov.

Carriers and aviation

Kiev 1985 DN-SN-86-00684r
Kiev, an aviation cruiser, and the rest of her class constituted an important component of the Soviet anti-submarine warfare system.

Large carriers were not needed to support the naval strategy of disrupting sea lines of communication.[11]

The Soviet Navy still had the mission of confronting Western submarines, creating a need for large surface vessels to carry anti-submarine helicopters. During 1968 and 1969 the Moskva-class helicopter carriers were first deployed, succeeded by the first of four aircraft-carrying cruisers of the Kiev class in 1973. Both of these types were capable of operating ASW helicopters, and the Kiev class also operated V/STOL aircraft (e.g., the Yak-38 'Forger'); they were designed to operate for fleet defense, primarily within range of land-based Soviet Naval Aviation aircraft.

During the 1970s the Soviets began Project 1153 Orel ('Eagle'), whose stated purpose was to create an aircraft carrier capable of basing fixed-wing fighter aircraft in defense of the deployed fleet. The project was canceled during the planning stages when strategic priorities shifted once more. It was during the 1980s that the Soviet Navy acquired its first true aircraft carrier, Tbilisi, subsequently renamed Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Kuznetsov,[14] which carries Sukhoi Su-33 'Flanker-D' and MiG-29 fighters, and Ka-27 helicopters. A distinctive feature of Soviet aircraft carriers has been their offensive missile armament (as well as long-range anti-aircraft warfare armament), again representing a fleet-defense operational concept, in distinction to the Western emphasis on shore-strike missions from distant deployment. A second carrier (pre-commissioning name Varyag) was under construction when the Soviet Union disintegrated in 1991. Construction stopped and the ship was sold later, incomplete, to the People's Republic of China by Ukraine, which inherited part of the old Soviet fleet after the break-up of the USSR. It was commissioned into the People's Liberation Army Navy in 2012 as the Liaoning.

Soon after the launch of this second Kuznetsov-class ship, the Soviet Navy began the construction of an improved aircraft carrier design, Ulyanovsk, which was to have been slightly larger than the Kuznetsov class and nuclear-powered. The project was terminated, and what little structure had been initiated in the building ways was scrapped.

In part to perform the functions usual to carrier-borne aircraft, the Soviet Navy deployed large numbers of strategic bombers in a maritime role, with the Aviatsiya Voenno-Morskogo Flota (AV-MF, or Naval Aviation service). Strategic bombers like the Tupolev Tu-16 'Badger' and Tu-22M 'Backfire' were deployed with high-speed anti-shipping missiles. Previously believed to be interceptors of NATO supply convoys traveling the sea lines of communication across the North Atlantic Ocean between Europe and North America, the primary role of these aircraft was to protect the Soviet mainland from attacks by U.S. carrier task forces.[15]


Whiskey Twin Cylinder submarine
A Whiskey Twin Cylinder class guided missile submarine, an important platform for launching anti-ship strikes.

Due to the USSR's geographic position, submarines were considered the capital ships of the Navy. It was submarines that could penetrate attempts at blockade, either in the constrained waters of the Baltic and Black Seas or in the remote reaches of the USSR's western Arctic. Surface ships were clearly much easier to find and attack. The USSR had entered World War II with more submarines than Germany, but geography and the speed of the German attack precluded it from effectively using its more numerous fleet to its advantage. Because of its opinion that "quantity had a quality of its own" and the insistence of Fleet Admiral Gorshkov, the Soviet Navy continued to operate many first-generation missile submarines, built in the early 1960s, until the end of the Cold War in 1991.

In some respects, including speed and reactor technology, Soviet submarines achieved unique successes, but for most of the era lagged their Western counterparts in overall capability. In addition to their relatively high speeds and great operating depths they were difficult Anti-submarine warfare (ASW) targets to destroy because of their multiple compartments, their large reserve buoyancy, and especially their double-hulled design.[16] Their principal shortcomings were insufficient noise damping (American boats were quieter) and primitive sonar technology. Acoustics was a particularly interesting type of information that the Soviets sought about the West's submarine-production methods, and the long-active John Anthony Walker spy ring may have made a major contribution to their knowledge of such.[16]

The Soviet Navy possessed numerous purpose-built guided missile submarines, such as the Oscar-class submarine, as well as many ballistic missile and attack submarines; their Typhoon-class submarine are the world's largest submarines. While Western navies assumed that the Soviet attack submarine force was designed for interception of NATO convoys, the Soviet leadership prepared their submarines for such a mission.[17] The force also targeted American aircraft carrier battle groups.

Over the years Soviet submarines suffered a number of accidents, most notably on several nuclear boats. The most famous incidents include the Yankee-class submarine K-219, and the Mike-class submarine Komsomolets, both lost to fire, and the far more menacing nuclear reactor leak on the Hotel-class submarine K-19, narrowly averted by her captain. Inadequate nuclear safety, poor damage control, and quality-control issues during construction (particularly on the earlier submarines) were typical causes of accidents. On several occasions there were alleged collisions with American submarines. None of these, however, has been confirmed officially by the U.S. Navy.


After the dissolution of the USSR and the end of the Cold War, the Soviet Navy, like other branches of Armed Forces, eventually lost some of its units to former Soviet Republics, and was left without funding.


Typhoon-class submarine is the largest class of submarine ever built.

Soviet Navy in 1990:[18]

63 ballistic missile submarines
6 Project 941 (Typhoon-class) submarine
40 Project 667B (Delta-class) submarine
12 Project 667A (Yankee-class) submarine
5 Project 658 (Hotel-class) submarine
72 cruise missile submarines
6 Oscar-class submarine
6 Yankee Notch submarine
14 Charlie-class submarine
30 Echo-class submarine
16 Juliett-class submarine
64 nuclear attack submarines
5 Akula-class submarine
2 Sierra-class submarine
1 Alfa-class submarine
46 Victor-class submarine
6 November-class submarine
3 Yankee SSN submarine
63 conventional attack submarines
18 Kilo-class submarine
20 Tango-class submarine
25 Foxtrot-class submarine
9 auxiliary submarine
1 Beluga-class submarine
1 Lima-class submarine
2 India-class submarine
4 Bravo-class submarine
1 Losos-class submarine
7 aircraft carriers / helicopter carriers
1 Kuznetsov-class aircraft carrier
4 Kiev-class aircraft carrier
2 Moskva-class helicopter carrier
3 battlecruisers
Kirov-class battlecruiser
Kirov-class battlecruiser is a class of nuclear-powered warship.
3 Kirov-class battlecruiser
30 cruisers
3 Slava-class cruiser
7 Kara-class cruiser
4 Kresta I-class cruiser
10 Kresta II-class cruiser
4 Kynda-class cruiser
2 Sverdlov-class cruiser
45 destroyers
11 Sovremennyy-class destroyer
11 Udaloy-class destroyer
18 Kashin-class destroyer
3 Kanin-class destroyer
2 Kildin-class destroyer
113 frigates
32 Krivak-class frigate
1 Koni-class frigate
18 Mirka-class frigate
31 Petya-class frigate
31 Riga-class frigate
124 corvettes
10 Parchim-class corvette
36 Nanuchka-class corvette
78 Grisha-class corvette
35 amphibious warfare ships
2 Ivan Rogov-class landing ship
19 Ropucha-class landing ship
14 Alligator-class landing ship
6 Polnocny-class landing ship
≈425 patrol boats

Soviet Naval Aviation

The regular Soviet naval aviation units were created in 1918. They participated in the Russian Civil War, cooperating with the ships and the army during the combats at Petrograd, on the Baltic Sea, the Black Sea, the Volga, the Kama River, Northern Dvina and on the Lake Onega. The newborn Soviet Naval Air Force consisted of only 76 obsolete hydroplanes. Scanty and technically imperfect, it was mostly used for resupplying the ships and the army.

In the second half of the 1920s, the Naval Aviation order of battle began to grow. It received new reconnaissance hydroplanes, bombers, and fighters. In the mid-1930s, the Soviets created the Naval Air Force in the Baltic Fleet, the Black Sea Fleet and the Soviet Pacific Fleet. The importance of naval aviation had grown significantly by 1938–1940, to become one of the main components of the Soviet Navy. By this time, the Soviets had created formations and units of the torpedo and bomb aviation.

Soviet Naval Infantry

Soviet naval infantry m43 uniform
Great Patriotic War Soviet Naval Infantry uniform

During World War II, about 350,000 Soviet sailors fought on land. At the beginning of the war, the navy had only one brigade of marines in the Baltic fleet, but began forming and training other battalions. These eventually were:

  • 6 naval infantry regiments (650 marines in two battalions)
  • 40 naval infantry brigades of 5–10 battalions, formed from surplus ships' crews. Five brigades were awarded Gvardy (Guards) status.
  • Numerous smaller units.

The military situation demanded the deployment of large numbers of marines on land fronts, so the Naval Infantry contributed to the defense of Moscow, Leningrad, Odessa, Sevastopol, Stalingrad, Novorossiysk, Kerch. The Naval Infantry conducted over 114 landings, most of which were carried out by platoons and companies. In general, however, Naval Infantry served as regular infantry, without any amphibious training. They conducted four major operations: two during the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula, one during the Caucasus Campaign and one as part of the Landing at Moonsund, in the Baltic. During the war, five brigades and two battalions of naval infantry were awarded Guards status. Nine brigades and six battalions were awarded decorations, and many were given honorary titles. The title Hero of the Soviet Union was bestowed on 122 members of naval infantry units.

The Soviet experience in amphibious warfare in World War II contributed to the development of Soviet combined arms operations. Many members of the Naval Infantry were parachute trained, conducting more drops and successful parachute operations, than the Soviet Airborne Troops (VDV).

The Naval Infantry was disbanded in 1947, with some units being transferred to the Coastal Defence Forces.

Soviet naval infantrymen DN-SN-86-00829
Soviet Naval Infantrymen in 1985.
Soviet naval infantrymen DN-SC-91-02252
Soviet Naval Infantrymen during a demonstration in 1990.

In 1961, the Naval Infantry was re-formed and became one of the active combat services of the Navy. Each Fleet was assigned a Marine unit of regiment (and later brigade) size. The Naval Infantry received amphibious versions of standard Armoured fighting vehicle, including tanks used by the Soviet Army.

By 1989, the Naval Infantry numbered 18,000 marines, organized into a Marine Division and 4 independent Marine brigades;

By the end of the Cold War, the Soviet Navy had over eighty landing ships, as well as two Ivan Rogov-class landing ships. The latter could transport one infantry battalion with 40 armoured vehicles and their landing craft. (One of the Rogov ships has since been retired.)

At 75 units, the Soviet Union had the world's largest inventory of combat air-cushion assault craft. In addition, many of the 2,500 vessels of the Soviet merchant fleet (Morflot) could off-load weapons and supplies during amphibious landings.

On November 18, 1990, on the eve of the Paris Summit where the Conventional Armed Forces in Europe (CFE) Treaty and the Vienna Document on Confidence and Security-Building Measures (CSBMs) were signed, Soviet data were presented under the so-called initial data exchange. This showed a rather sudden emergence of three so-called coastal defence divisions (including the 3rd at Klaipėda in the Baltic Military District, the 126th in the Odessa Military District and seemingly the 77th Guards Motor Rifle Division with the Northern Fleet), along with three artillery brigades/regiments, subordinate to the Soviet Navy, which had previously been unknown as such to NATO.[19] Much of the equipment, which was commonly understood to be treaty limited (TLE) was declared to be part of the naval infantry. The Soviet argument was that the CFE excluded all naval forces, including its permanently land-based components. The Soviet Government eventually became convinced that its position could not be maintained.

A proclamation of the Soviet government on July 14, 1991, which was later adopted by its successor states, provided that all "treaty-limited equipment" (tanks, artillery and armored vehicles) assigned to naval infantry or coastal defense forces, would count against the total treaty entitlement.

Heads of the Soviet Naval Forces

Commanders of Naval Forces of the RSFSR ("KoMorSi")

Commanders-in-Chief of the Naval Forces of the USSR ("NaMorSi") (from 1 January 1924)

People's Commissars for the USSR Navy ("NarKom VMF USSR") (from 1938)

Commanders-in-Chief of the Soviet Navy ("GlavKom VMF") (from 1943)

See also


  1. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 4 September 2015. Retrieved 25 November 2015.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  2. ^ a b Periods of Activities (1926–1941), Online (Accessed 5/24/2008) Archived 8 February 2008 at the Wayback Machine, SOE CDB ME "Rubin" Archived 16 September 2007 at the Wayback Machine, Russia, Saint-Petersburg
  3. ^ Hill, Alexander (2007). "The birth of the Soviet Northern Fleet 1937–42". The Journal of Slavic Military Studies. 16 (2).
  4. ^ Jürgen Rohwer and Mikhail S. Monakov, Stalin's Ocean-going Fleet: Soviet Naval Strategy and Shipbuilding Programmes, 1935–1953 (Psychology Press, 2001)
  5. ^ Mark Harrison, "The Volume of Soviet Munitions Output, 1937–1945: A Reevaluation," Journal of Economic History (1990) 50#3 pp. 569–589 at p 582
  6. ^ a b Sergeĭ Georgievich Gorshkov, Red Star Rising at Sea (Annapolis: Naval Institute Press, 1974)
  7. ^ Boris V. Sokolov, "The role of lend-lease in Soviet military efforts, 1941–1945," Journal of Slavic Military Studies (1994) 7#3 pp: 567–586.
  8. ^ Conway's All the World's Fighting Ships 1922–1946
  9. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 16 May 2006. Retrieved 30 September 2006.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link) reference
  10. ^ "Красный Флот (Советский Военно-Морской Флот) 1943-1955 гг". Archived from the original on 14 July 2011.
  11. ^ a b c d e f Congressional Research Service (October 1976). "Soviet Oceans Development". 94th Congress, 2nd session. U.S. Government Printing Office. 69-315 WASHINGTON : 1976. Retrieved 23 April 2013.
  12. ^ J.E. Moore, "The Modern Soviet Navy", in: Soviet War Power, ed. R. Bonds (Corgi 1982)
  13. ^ Michael Holm, 5th Operational Squadron Archived 25 May 2013 at the Wayback Machine, accessed 16 February 2012
  14. ^ "The Self-Designing High-Reliability Organization: Aircraft Carrier Flight Operations at Sea Archived 17 August 2000 at the Wayback Machine." Rochlin, G. I.; La Porte, T. R.; Roberts, K. H. Footnote 39. Naval War College Review. Autumn, 1987, Vol. LI, No. 3.
  15. ^ Tokarev, Maksim (2014). "Kamikazes: The Soviet Legacy". Naval War College Review. 67 (1): 9.
  16. ^ a b Norman Polmar, Guide to the Soviet Navy, Fourth Edition (1986), United States Naval Institute, Annapolis Maryland, ISBN 0-87021-240-0
  17. ^ Polmar, Norman; Whitman, Edward (2016). Hunters and Killers: Volume 2: Anti-Submarine Warfare from 1943. Annapolis: Naval Institute Press. pp. 85–88. ISBN 978-1-61251-897-8.
  18. ^ "Soviet Navy Ships - 1945-1990 - Cold War". Archived from the original on 27 May 2014.
  19. ^ IISS Military Balance 1991–1992, p.30–31
  20. ^ Military ranks were abolished in 1918–1935.
  21. ^ a b A naval rank from 1935.
  22. ^ Fleet Flag-officer 2nd Rank from 17 January 1938, Admiral (June 1940), Admiral of the Fleet (February 1944), Rear Admiral (1948), Admiral of the Fleet (1953), Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union (March 1955), Vice-Admiral (February 1956), Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union (1988, posthumous).


External links

Akula-class submarine

The Akula class, Soviet designation Project 971 Shchuka-B (Russian: Щука-Б, 'Shchuka' meaning "pike", NATO reporting name Akula) are series of nuclear-powered attack submarines (SSNs) first deployed by the Soviet Navy in 1986. There are four sub-classes or flights of Shchuka-B, consisting of the original seven Project 971 boats (codenamed Akula I), commissioned between 1984 and 1990; six Project 971Is (Improved Akulas), commissioned between 1991 and 2009; one Project 971U (Akula II), commissioned in 1995; and one Project 971M (Akula III), commissioned in 2001. The Russians call all of the submarines Shchuka-B, regardless of modifications.Some confusion may exist as the name Akula (Russian: Акула, meaning "shark" in Russian) was used by the Soviets for a different class of submarines, the Project 941, which is known in the West as the Typhoon class. By contrast, the Project 971 (the subject of this article) was named Shchuka-B by the Soviets but given designation Akula by the West after the name of the lead ship, K-284.

According to defense analyst Norman Polmar, the launch of the first submarine in 1985, "shook everyone [in the West] up", as Western intelligence agencies had not expected the Soviet Union to produce such a boat for another ten years.

Charlie-class submarine

The Project 670 Skat submarine (NATO classification Charlie class) was a nuclear-powered cruise missile submarine built for the Soviet Navy and later operated by the Russian Navy. All Charlie I/II-class submarines are decommissioned. One Charlie-class submarine was used for testing an Oniks missile. Charlie I and its successor Charlie II-class submarines are designed by the Lazurit Central Design Bureau of Gorky.

Dahlak Archipelago

The Dahlak Archipelago (Arabic: أرخبيل دهلك‎, Ge'ez: ዳህላክ) is an island group located in the Red Sea near Massawa, Eritrea. It consists of two large and 124 small islands. The pearl fisheries of the archipelago have been famous since Roman times and still produce a substantial number of pearls.

Kronshtadt-class submarine chaser

Project 122bis (NATO codename Kronshtadt class) submarine chasers were a Soviet design which were exported throughout the communist bloc in the 1950s. The first ship, BO-270, was built at Zelenodolsk in 1945-1947 and a total of 227 were built for Soviet Navy (175) and border guard until 1955. As well as this, twenty Project 357 (Libau class) despatch vessels were built on the same hull, but were lightly armed.

List of Russian admirals

This list of Russian admirals includes the admirals of all ranks, serving in the Russian Imperial Navy, the Soviet Navy and the modern Russian Navy.

See also the categories Category:Imperial Russian Navy admirals and Category:Soviet admirals.

List of Soviet and Russian submarine classes

Submarines in the Soviet Navy were developed by numbered "projects", which were sometimes but not always given names. During the

Cold War, NATO nations referred to these classes by NATO reporting names, based on intelligence data, which did not always correspond perfectly with the projects. See:

List of NATO reporting names for ballistic missile submarines

List of NATO reporting names for guided missile submarines

List of NATO reporting names for hunter-killer and experimental submarinesThe NATO reporting names were based on the British (and later American) habit of naming submarines with a letter of the alphabet indicating the class, followed by a serial number of that class. The names are the radiotelephonic alphabet call sign of a letter of the alphabet. For security purposes, the "pennant numbers" of Soviet submarines were not sequential, any more than those of Soviet surface vessels were.

Most Russian (and Soviet) submarines had no "personal" name, but were only known by a number, prefixed by letters identifying the boat's type at a higher level than her class. Those letters included:

К (K): крейсерская (kreyserskaya, "cruiser")

ТК (TK): тяжелая крейсерская (tyazholaya kreyserskaya, "heavy cruiser")

Б (B): большая (bolshaya, "large")

С (S): средняя (srednyaya, "medium")

М (M): малая (malaya, "small")Any of those prefixes could have С (S) added to the end, standing for специальная (spetsialnaya) and meaning "designed for special missions":

New weapon, engines and armament testing

Submarines for long-range radio communications

Target submarines for anti-submarine training

Rescue service submarines

Covert operations

List of ships of the Soviet Navy

This is a list of ships and classes of the Soviet Navy.

MT-class minesweeper

The MT class were a group of coastal minesweepers built for the Soviet Navy in the 1943-1945. The Soviet designation was Project 253L.

Oscar-class submarine

The Oscar class, Soviet designations Project 949 Granit and Project 949A Antey, (NATO reporting names Oscar I and Oscar II respectively), are cruise missile submarines (SSGNs) designed in the Soviet Union for the Soviet Navy. They are currently in service with the Russian Navy with some of the vessels planned to be modernized into the Project 949AM to extend their service life and increase combat capabilities.

The Project 949 submarines were the largest cruise missile submarines in service until the Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines were converted to carry cruise missiles in 2007. They are the fourth largest class of submarines in displacement and length. Only the Soviet Typhoon-class, Russian Borei-class and the American Ohio-class ballistic missile submarines (SSBNs) are larger.


Petropavlovsk-Kamchatsky (Russian: Петропа́вловск-Камча́тский, tr. Petropavlovsk-Kamchatskiy, IPA: [pʲɪtrɐˈpavləfsk kɐmˈtɕatskʲɪj] (listen)) is a city and the administrative, industrial, scientific, and cultural center of Kamchatka Krai, Russia. Population: 179,780 (2010 Census); 198,028 (2002 Census); 268,747 (1989 Census).It was previously known as Petropavlovsk (until 1924).

Project Hula

Project Hula was a program during World War II in which the United States transferred naval vessels to the Soviet Union in anticipation of the Soviets eventually joining the war against Japan, specifically in preparation for planned Soviet invasions of southern Sakhalin and the Kuril islands. Based at Cold Bay in the Territory of Alaska, the project was active during the spring and summer of 1945. It was the largest and most ambitious transfer program of World War II.

Tacoma-class frigate

The Tacoma class of patrol frigates served in the United States Navy during World War II and the Korean War. Originally classified as a gunboat (PG), they were reclassified as a patrol frigate (PF) on 15 April 1943. The class is named for its lead ship, Tacoma, a Maritime Commission (MARCOM) S2-S2-AQ1 design, which in turn was named for the city of Tacoma, Washington. Twenty-one ships were transferred to the British Royal Navy, in which they were known as Colony-class frigates, and twenty-eight ships were transferred under Lend-Lease to the Soviet Navy, where they were designated as a storozhevoi korabl ("escort ship"), during World War II. All Tacoma-class ships in US service during World War II were manned by United States Coast Guard crews. Tacoma-class ships were transferred to the United States Coast Guard and various navies post-World War II.

Typhoon-class submarine

The Project 941 or Akula (Russian: Акула, lit. 'Shark') class submarine (NATO reporting name: Typhoon) is a type of nuclear-powered ballistic missile submarine deployed by the Soviet Navy in the 1980s. With a submerged displacement of 48,000 tonnes, the Typhoons are the largest submarines ever built, able to accommodate comfortable living facilities for the crew when submerged for months on end. The source of the NATO reporting name remains unclear, although it is often claimed to be related to the use of the word "typhoon" ("тайфун") by General Secretary Leonid Brezhnev of the Communist Party in a 1974 speech while describing a new type of nuclear ballistic missile submarine, as a reaction to the United States Navy's new Ohio-class submarine.The Russian Navy cancelled its Typhoon modernisation program in March 2012, stating that modernising one Typhoon would be as expensive as building two new Borei-class submarines. With the announcement that Russia has eliminated the last SS-N-20 Sturgeon SLBMs in September 2012, the remaining Typhoons have reached the end of service.

USS Gallup (PF-47)

The second USS Gallup (PF-47), a Tacoma-class frigate in commission from 1944 to 1945 and from 1950 to 1951, was the first ship of the United States Navy to be named for Gallup, New Mexico. She also served in the Soviet Navy as EK-22 and in the Royal Thai Navy as HTMS Prasae (PF 2).

USS Glendale (PF-36)

USS Glendale (PF-36), a Tacoma-class patrol frigate, was the only ship of the United States Navy to be named for Glendale, California. In commission in the US Navy from 1943 to 1945, and from 1950 to 1951, she also served in the Soviet Navy as EK-6 from 1945 to 1949 and in the Royal Thai Navy as Tachin (PF-1) from 1951 to 2000.

USS Mirth (AM-265)

USS Mirth (AM-265) was an Admirable-class minesweeper built for the United States Navy during World War II and in commission from 1944 to 1945. In 1945, she was transferred to the Soviet Union and served in the Soviet Navy after that as T-277. The Soviets converted her into a naval trawler in 1948 and renamed her Musson.

USS Tacoma (PF-3)

USS Tacoma (PG-111/PF-3), the lead ship of the Tacoma-class patrol frigates. The third ship of the United States Navy to be named for Tacoma, Washington, she was in commission from 1943 to 1945, and from 1949 to 1951. She also served in the Soviet Navy as EK-11 and in the Republic of Korea Navy as ROKS Taedong (PF-63).

Vetrovoye Air Base

Vetrovoye (also Sopochny Southwest) is a former Soviet Naval air base on Iturup, Russia located 66 km (41 mi) northeast of Burevestnik (Tennei before 1945). The airfield was built in the early or mid-1960s, following a directive by Defense Minister Rodion Malinovsky that every American aircraft carrier between Midway Island and the Kuril Ridge be photographed by Soviet Tupolev Tu-16R reconnaissance aircraft. At the time, Soviet Naval air assets for this region were based on Sakhalin Island. The project was commissioned by Soviet Navy commander in chief Sergey Gorshkov and completed in the mid-1960s, at which point the 50th Aviation Cavalry Regiment was relocated from Sakhalin to Vetrovoye.

At the end of the Cold War the airfield fell into disuse, and Google Earth high-resolution imagery shows the airfield to be in poor condition. The outline of the runways and tarmac is still visible from satellite imagery.

Vladimir Voronin (captain)

Vladimir Ivanovich Voronin (Russian: Владимир Иванович Воронин; October 17, 1890 – October 18, 1952)

was a Soviet Navy captain, born in Sumsky Posad, in the present Republic of Karelia, Russia. In 1932 he commanded the expedition of the Soviet icebreaker Alexander Sibiryakov which made the first successful crossing of the Northern Sea Route in a single navigation without wintering. This voyage was organized by the All-Union Arctic Institute (presently known as the Arctic and Antarctic Research Institute).


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