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Admiral Gorshkov: The Man Who Challenged the U.S. Navy (Blue & Gold) Hardcover – March 15, 2019
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"The book is indispensable for anyone who deals with questions of maritime strategy of the 20th century, the development of the Soviet fleet, and the confrontation with the West. It is written by three recognized experts and contains content that was previously unavailable in the West." --Truppendienst
"The book includes a useful summary of Russian naval developments up to 2015. It has excellent maps, topical photographs clearly presented on glossy paper, a useful bibliography, and two minimalist indices. It has been produced to publisher's usual high standards of sturdy binding and handy size. The writing style is straightforward and the text is refreshingly free of acronyms and jargon. Based on post-Soviet Russian sources as well as the formidable background knowledge of the authors, Admiral Gorshkov can be recommended as a summary of S.G. Gorshkov's career and a wide-ranging, if unanalytical, overview of the Soviet and Russian navies from the late 1920s to roughly 2015." --The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord
"Admiral Gorshkov, a volume in the Naval Institute Press 'Blue and Gold' series, is likely to be of great interest to readers who are modern naval wargamers, naval officers, defense professionals or analysts focused on Russia." --StrategyPage
"[We] strongly recommend this biography of Admiral Gorshkov, who led the Soviet Navy for over two decades of the Cold War." --Michigan War Studies Review
"This is a must-have volume for anyone who studied the USSR, or for those who are interested in the resurgence of Mr. Putin's Russian Navy, and the story of the man who originally conceived and built it. Highly recommended." --Naval Intelligence Professionals
"This is a 304-page book with more than 150 unique photographs! This is definitely one of the best history books ... so far and the definitive source for the phenomenal transformation of the Soviet Navy to a global power!" --Naval Analyses
"Admiral Gorshkov is a fascinating portrait of a man who was the U.S. navy's most dangerous 20th century adversary." --The Daily News
"The book provides an exceptionally clear window into the Soviet naval war during World War II through Gorshkov's operations in the Black Sea." --History: Reviews of New Books
"An important historical figure by any standard, Gorshkov fully de-serves this excellent biography. Those with an interest in history, international relations, and naval strategy will find Admiral Gorshkov: The Man Who Challenged the U.S. Navy excellent reading." --Marine Corps History
"This biography of Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Sergei G. Gorshkov -- by three U.S. experts of the Soviet navy of the Cold War period -- portrays the most significant admiral in Soviet history -- who for almost three decades built a navy to break free from Russia's land-power mentality and challenge the U.S. Navy's dominance of the high seas…. The authors used their extensive personal contacts within the Soviet navy over the years to give the reader insight into Gorshkov's background and career." --Seapower
"This is an important book which deserves attention by higher military education institutions as an example of leadership against internal political opposition through championing technology while identifying a singular maritime threat to the nation." --Australian Naval Institute
"Authors Norman Polmar, Thomas A. Brooks and George E. Fedoroff provide a valuable service by writing a book that chronicles the life and work of the prominent Soviet admiral.... Admiral Gorshkov is a well-researched and interesting book about a man and a navy that challenged the supremacy of the U.S. Navy during the Cold War."" --The Washington Times
"A brilliant, narrative based on careful analysis Russian-Soviet history from a maritime perspective from the time of the First World War until the end of the Soviet Union…. The book is a stimulating story, full Insights and absolutely worth reading." --MarineForum
"Finding a book that would do him justice is not easy, but Polmar, Brooks and Fedoroff pulled it off." --Virtual Mirage
"This work by Polmar (a prolific naval author), Thomas (a retired USN Rear Admiral), and Fedoroff (an intelligence officer specialising in the Soviet / Russian Navy) is the first booklength treatment of its subject for a number of years, and it is a welcome addition to the literature." --The Naval Review
"An essential read for all those considering how the Global West might yet bring Russia in from the Cold." --The NAVY
"This book is a must-read for today's naval analysts." --Deutsches Maritimes Kompetenz Netz
"This examination of the role played by Admiral Sergei Gorshkov in the development of the Soviet Navy (1956-83) is an essential work for anyone hoping to interpret Vladimir Putin's contemporary naval adventures into the North Atlantic, Syria, as well as the Sea of Azov. It is a must read for Russian experts, historians and strategists alike." --Thomas Fedyszyn, Professor Emeritus, U.S. Naval War College, Senior Consultant, Russian Maritime Studies Institute
"Admiral Gorshkov is a major contribution to modern naval and Cold War history. The three expert authors have combined deep research in Russian language sources and declassified U.S. intelligence analyses into a book that will stand as a major source on the Soviet Navy and its long-time commander for decades to come." --David Alan Rosenberg is a professional historian and defense analyst who co-authored the Naval Institute book The Admirals' Advantage, U.S. Navy Operational Intelligence in World War II and the Cold War
"This Triumvirate of Soviet Navy experts join forces to describe a legendary adversary Admiral during the Cold War. For the first time, Polmar, Fedoroff and Brooks explain and explore Gorshkov's revolutionary high-seas operations and forward employment of nuclear submarines. Timely, powerful, and relevant!" --Admiral James G. Foggo III, USN Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa
"For most of the last half of the Twentieth Century Admiral Sergey Georgiyevich Gorshkov personified the principal challenge to the hegemony of the United States Navy on the high seas. This informative and well-written book tells in great, but never boring, detail how Gorshkov almost single-handedly grew the Soviet Navy into the potent challenger it became." --Robert F. Dunn, VADM USN (Ret), Past President, Naval Historical Foundation and air wing commander and operations officer U.S. Sixth Fleet during several Soviet confrontations
"Today's burgeoning field of 'adversary analytics' seeks to divine what's driving Xi, Kim, Khamenei and -- of course -- Putin. Its practitioners will find this work of inestimable value. Three long-time leading analysts show how it's done in their magisterial unpacking of Soviet naval leader Sergei Gorshkov's thinking and career." --Captain (retired) Peter M. Swartz, senior CNA strategy analyst and former Cold War US Navy strategist
About the Author
Thomas A. Brooks retired from the U.S. Navy as a Rear Admiral. Brooks was a career intelligence officer, serving in assignments afloat and ashore, including in Vietnam. He served as Director of Naval Intelligence from 1988 to 1991. Upon retirement from the Navy, Admiral Brooks began a second career with AT&T, holding a senior position with the firm until 2001. Subsequently he was a faculty member at the National Defense Intelligence College for nine years, where he taught courses on intelligence history, warning, and industry-intelligence relationships. He has written extensively on intelligence-related subjects.
George E. Fedoroff is the Senior Intelligence Officer for Russia matters within the Office of Naval Intelligence, where he has worked since 1971. He has visited the Soviet Union/Russia on numerous occasions: Since 1976 he has been a member of the U.S. Navy delegation to annual U.S.-Soviet/Russian Navy Incidents at Sea Agreement compliance reviews, and from 1991 through 2013 he participated in the annual multi-national meetings and at-sea exercises involving the Russian Navy. Fluent in Russian, he has acted as interpreter for the chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, and participated in visit exchanges between senior U.S. and Soviet/Russian naval officials, numerous ship visits, meetings, and symposia on naval issues.
- Publisher : Naval Institute Press; Illustrated edition (March 15, 2019)
- Language : English
- Hardcover : 304 pages
- ISBN-10 : 1682473309
- ISBN-13 : 978-1682473306
- Item Weight : 1.38 pounds
- Dimensions : 6.25 x 1 x 9 inches
- Best Sellers Rank: #1,388,698 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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nation's shores. However, in a period covering little more than a decade Gorshkov transformed the navy into a first class, ocean-going fleet.
The path was not easy. It was strewn with obstacles. Firstly, in Soviet military thinking navy played a subordinate role to the army. This stemmed from Soviet experience in World War II. Navy’s job was to protect army’s vulnerable coastal flanks and defend the country’s coast lines from enemy’s amphibious landings. The post war Soviet leadership did not envisage an independent role for the navy.
Khrushchev was against Soviet Union having a large ocean-going fleet which he considered expensive to maintain. He approved a modest naval program. Emphasis was on the defense of homeland. The US navy aircraft carriers carrying nuclear strike aircraft operating from the Mediterranean Sea, Sea of Japan, the North Sea posed a formidable danger. They could easily reach targets in the Soviet Union. The idea was to intercept and engage before they reach the striking distance of Soviet Union.
The authors say US naval strategy/doctrine during Cold War had two objectives: nuclear strike on Soviet Union with aircraft carriers, cruise missile submarines later ballistic missile submarines; second protection of sea communication between Western Europe against interdiction by the Soviet submarines. The US naval strategists anticipated a third battle of Atlantic. The authors, however, have dismissed this notion.
According to them, the Soviet naval strategy was purely defensive designed to counter the US navy’s offensive capabilities: anti-carrier, anti- SSBN, foiling amphibious assaults, and of course protecting the seaward flanks of the Soviet army. This was essential for retaining the support of army generals and marshals.
The first decision was to counter Western aircraft carriers with anti-ship cruise missiles ( Shaddock SSN-3) fired from aircraft, surface ships and submarines. To get more details on this take a dip into the book. The second was to acquire sea-based deterrence. Soviet began deploying strategic missile firing subs. These were forward deployed to compensate for the inadequacies in the land-based ICBMs.
Further Soviets were drawn into active defense against American SLBMs which lurked in the vicinity to Soviet waters. This was done by development and acquisition of reconnaissance/surveillance platforms for timely and accurate detection of American subs for and launching torpedoes against them. Research was on to make the oceans transparent so that submarines lose their ability to hide.
In 1972 Delta class (Strategic missile firing) submarines began to enter service. This was followed by more powerful Typhoon class. They carried missiles which had a nautical range of more than 4000 miles. This meant the subs could remain in the Soviet waters (Barents Sea , Kamchatka in the Sea of Okhotsk) and even under Polar ice caps and bring the entire continental United States within its strike radius.
The Soviet SSBNs will operate within the range of shore-based and carrier-based air support and could protect former from prowling Western SSNs and ASW aircraft. This capability also nullified the US ASW doctrine which called for intercepting Soviet missile firing subs while passing from home waters to launch positions of the American west and east coasts.
Simultaneously, the Soviet navy acquired power projection capabilities. The navy became an instrument of state policy. These were the lessons drawn from Suez crisis (1956, Cuban missile crisis 1961-62) . As a part of this program revictualling, logistical support facilities were established in Third world countries of East Asia, Africa, Middle East. For instance, Cam Ranh Bay in Vietnam was once a major Soviet naval base. So too were Djibouti in the Red Sea coast near Gulf of Aden, Latakia in the Mediterranean coast of Syria.
What has been missing from their narrative, Gorshkov created a big Soviet merchant fleet. These were configured to execute military missions. Some 4000 vessels were employed in providing logistical support and for gathering intelligence. Soviet Union also had a big oceanographic fleet for collecting information on lurking spots and to measure ocean depths and currents. These had military applications. In his book ‘Sea Power of the State Gorshkov has argued that sea power of a nation is not merely naval forces. It also includes fishing, merchant marine and oceanographic research vessels.
By 1970 Soviet Union had had 385 submarines, 2 aircraft carriers, hundreds of different surface ships making it the second largest in the world. The Red vessels which had once clung to the coast line ranged far and out on to the oceans. It reached America’s backyard and established permanent presence in the Mediterranean.
Concurrently , OKEAN exercises were held in 1970 which had been regular feature for 5 years consecutively. This involved 84 surface ships ,80 submarines several hundred aircraft and intelligence-gathering ships. Naval aircraft were engaged in simulated strike missions against warships in the Atlantic and the Pacific. The whole complex naval maneuvers were controlled from Gorshkov’s HQs in Moscow.
During the exercise TU-95 BEAR naval reconnaissance aircraft took off from bases of the Northern Fleet flew non-stop around Norway overflying Soviet vessels operating in the Iceland-Faroes gap went south to land in Cuba, a journey of 5000 miles. This was the first time a Soviet aircraft was landing outside the Soviet bloc.
Gorshkov imbued the Soviet navy with an aggressive spirit. It began boldly stalking the American vessels particularly aircraft carriers. There were some close brushes with the units of the US 6th Fleet in the Mediterranean during the Yom Kippur war in 1973.
The increase in Soviet combat power came at a bad time for the United States with latter involved in a seemingly endless conflict in the jungles of Vietnam. The US navy was exhausted and demoralized. In an interview to the Washington Post in 1975 Admiral Elmo R. Zumwalt, the former CNO made a stunning admission ‘’ the US navy could even lose a war against Gorshkov fleet. The Soviet admiral won a grudging admiration from his foes.
Finally, I discuss Gorshkov’s association with India. He was friend of my country having visited several times. The Soviets helped India modernize her naval forces. Earlier this country had turned to the Western powers which were indifferent to India’s needs.
Visakhapatnam naval base was established with Soviet help. India acquired Foxtrot class subs, Petya class corvettes, Osa class missile boats from the Soviet Union. The later India used successfully in bombarding Karachi harbor and destroy Pakistani shipping in the brief war fought between the two in 1971. Gorshkov was impressed by the unorthodox tactics applied by the Indians.
Finally, it needs to be said Gorshkov did not live long to see the Soviet empire collapsing and the navy he painstakingly built disintegrating. That would have been a tragedy.
The authors write with an authoritative style that is informative. The volume notes the various types of naval vessels and describe how these vessels enhanced the navy’s mission and overall development. They give us a ringside seat to the political tensions as Kremlin leadership seesawed between Stalin’s desire for a world-class ocean-going navy and the later fiscal and political realities which for several decades continued to see the navy primarily in a support role to the Russian Army. Only in the last thirty years of his career, with the advent of nuclear power and the navy’s primary research on hull design for submarines that began to hold nuclear weapons, was Gorskhov able to gradually move the navy into the position of being Russia’s foremost ambassador to the world. Gorskhov created a naval force that now has both a diplomatic as well as a military mission that is independent of the army.