Customer Review

Reviewed in the United States on December 2, 2019
An excellent introduction to the modern Post-Tsarist Russian navy. The volume is highly readable, has helpful maps and photos that illustrate the text without getting in the way of the story, and names the central players in the development of now-Russia's naval strategy. At the center of the story is the central character, Admiral Sergey Gorshkov, whose naval career began in 1927 and concluded in 1985. The story is replete with the names and dispositions of the central players, both politically and militarily, during this extended period of Russia's transition societal and military transitions. This would be a solid introduction to the entire topic of the Russian navy and should be read before attempting Gorshkov's primary works and the many journal articles which he either authored, co-authored or inspired.

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.
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