Cover image for Stalin's ocean-going fleet : Soviet naval strategy and shipbuilding programmes, 1935-1953
Stalin's ocean-going fleet : Soviet naval strategy and shipbuilding programmes, 1935-1953
Rohwer, Jürgen.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; Portland, OR : F. Cass, [2001]

Physical Description:
xvi, 334 pages : illustrations ; 26 cm.
Introduction -- Historiography on the Soviet Navy -- The reconstitution phase, 1920-25 -- The Consolidation phase, 1925-32 -- The second five-year plan, 1933-37 -- The change to the big high seas and ocean-going fleet -- The third five-year plan -- The Second World War: the first two years -- The great patriotic war, 1941-45 -- From 1945 to the end of Stalin's regime -- Why did Stalin build his big ocean-going fleet? -- Appendices: Warships and submarines of the former Imperial Navy, serving in the RKKF/VMF ; Warships of the RKKF/VMF, laid down or ordered, 1926-45 ; Submarines of the RKKF/VMF, laid down or ordered, 1926-45 ; Lend-lease vessels in the VMF, 1941-53 ; Soviet warships and submarines lost, 1939-45 ; Warships and submarines, taken as war booty into the VMF, 1944-53 ; Warships of the VMF, laid down or ordered, 1945-53 ; Submarines of the VMF, laid down or ordered, 1945-53.
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VA573 .R54 2001 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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A study of the development of strategic concepts in Stalin's Navy, in the context of his foreign/defence policy, using original archival documents translated from the Russian.

Author Notes

Jurgen Rohwer served in the German Navy during 1942-45, and later obtained a PhD at the University of Hamburg in 1954. From 1959 to 1989 he was Director of the Library of Contemporary History at Stuttgart, and since 1970 he has been Honorary Professor at the University of Stuttgart. From 1958 to 1986 he was Editor-in-Chief of the leading journal Marine-Rundschau. From 1985 to 1991 he was Chairman of the German Committee for the History of the Second World War and from 1985 to 2000 he was a Vice-President of the International Commission on Military History. He is a member of numerous national and international organisations, including the US Naval Institute and the International Institute for Strategic Studies (London)
Mikhail S. Monakov is Captain First Rank, and Chief of the History Branch, Main Staff of the Russian Navy. He graduated from the Higher Naval College in 1971 and from the Higher Naval Officers' Course in 1976, and defended his dissertation in 1999. He is a member of the editorial board of the leading Russian journal Morskoi sbornik, and has published many articles on naval history, predominantly in Russian journals

Reviews 1

Choice Review

During the height of the Cold War, as the Soviets introduced their first-generation antisubmarine cruisers in 1962, Western historians debated whether the Kremlin ever intended to build conventional aircraft carriers as the Americans, British, and Japanese had done in the 1920s and 1930s. Distinguished German naval scholar Rohwer and chief Russian naval historian Monakov have provided a rare historical glimpse into the previously hidden history of Stalin's navy. Unlike earlier Soviet naval studies published during the Cold War, Rohwer and Monakov have mined formerly closed archival records to explain the strategic shift in Soviet naval development from the young school or coastal defense force to a true, blue-water navy, including plans for fast battleships and carriers. Stalin's stratagem never reached fruition owing to the outbreak of WW II. The authors go to considerable lengths to explain why Stalin was willing to abandon previously approved naval construction programs when the Soviet Union confronted challenges from Imperial Japan, Nazi Germany, and Stalin's own paranoid fears of enemies within the USSR. This book provides valuable insights for scholars into the formative years of the Soviet navy, and its publication is long overdue. Upper-division undergraduate students and above. C. C. Lovett Emporia State University

Table of Contents

David M. Glantz
List of Platesp. ix
List of Drawingsp. x
Forewordp. xi
Series Editor's Prefacep. xiii
List of Abbreviationsp. xv
1. Introductionp. 1
2. Historiography on the Soviet Navyp. 4
3. The Reconstitution Phase, 1920-25p. 6
Condition of the Soviet Navy after the Civil Warp. 6
Personnelp. 7
First Plans for a Reconstitution of the Navyp. 8
The RKKF and International and National Politicsp. 9
Changes in the Personnel Situationp. 11
Strategic Considerationsp. 12
Manoeuvresp. 13
The Restoration of Shipsp. 14
4. The Consolidation Phase, 1925-32p. 19
Stalin on his Way to Dictatorshipp. 19
New Discussions about Strategyp. 20
The Start of the First Shipbuilding Programmep. 24
Tanks or Battleships? What Fleet Do We Need?p. 24
The First Five-Year Plan (1928-32)p. 27
The 'Small War at Sea' Theoryp. 29
First Repressions of Leaders and Engineers Accused of Sabotagep. 30
Foreign Aid from Germanyp. 32
Foreign Aid from Italyp. 34
Shipbuilding in the First Five-Year Planp. 35
5. The Second Five-Year Plan, 1933-37p. 41
International Politics and Strategyp. 41
Shipbuilding and the Forced Industrialization Programmep. 42
Strategy and Shipbuilding Plansp. 43
Foreign Aid during the Second Five-Year Planp. 45
Submarine Building in the Second Five-Year Planp. 46
Medium Submarinesp. 46
Small Submarinesp. 48
Big Submarinesp. 48
Surface Ships in the Second Five-Year Planp. 49
Cruisersp. 49
Destroyer Leaders and Destroyersp. 51
Minesweepersp. 53
Motor Torpedo Boats and Other Small Vesselsp. 53
Reasons for Delays during the Second Five-Year Planp. 54
6. The Change to the Big High Seas and Ocean-Going Fleetp. 58
Stalin's Rolep. 58
International Situationp. 59
Domestic Policy and the Start of the Purgesp. 60
A New International Naval Arms Racep. 60
First Soviet Battleship Plansp. 62
The Spanish Civil Warp. 64
7. The Third Five-Year Planp. 69
The Great Purges against the Army and Navyp. 69
The Strategic Considerations in 1935-36p. 70
The Pacific Fleetp. 72
The Baltic Fleetp. 72
The Black Sea Fleetp. 73
The Northern Fleetp. 73
The Battleship Building Plans of 1936-37p. 74
Changes in Strategic Planning and New Purgesp. 77
New Leaders and a New Strategy in 1939p. 79
The Pacific Fleetp. 80
The Baltic Fleetp. 81
The Black Sea Fleetp. 83
The Northern Fleetp. 84
The River Flotillasp. 85
The Shipbuilding Organization in the Third Five-Year Planp. 85
Foreign Aid in Shipbuilding in the Third Five-Year Planp. 88
The State of the Soviet Fleets and the Shipbuilding Programme in the Summer of 1939p. 90
Old Ships and Submarinesp. 90
New Surface Shipsp. 90
Submarinesp. 92
New Battleships and Battlecruisersp. 94
Aircraft Carriersp. 97
Light Cruisersp. 98
Destroyer Leaders and Destroyersp. 99
Smaller Surface Combatantsp. 100
Operations and Tactics Reconsideredp. 102
8. The Second World War: The First Two Yearsp. 110
Soviet Foreign Policy in Spring and Summer 1939p. 110
The First Period of Soviet--German Co-operation 1939-40p. 111
Changes in the Strategic Situation, Autumn 1939--Summer 1940p. 114
Change from Co-operation to Confrontation, Autumn 1940p. 116
New Changes in the Soviet Naval Strategy in 1940p. 117
New Changes in the Shipbuilding Programmep. 119
Conferences on Operations and Tactics in October and December 1940p. 121
Hitler and the German Wehrmacht Prepare for 'Barbarossa'p. 127
The Debate about a Preventive or a Pre-emptive Attack in the Historiographyp. 130
Soviet Preparations for Warp. 131
The Soviet Navy at the Start of the Great Patriotic Warp. 135
9. The Great Patriotic War, 1941-45p. 144
The German Attackp. 144
Consequences for the Soviet Navy of the German Attack up to mid-1942p. 145
Planning and Design Processes during the War: Surface Ships and Vesselsp. 148
Battleships and Battlecruisersp. 150
Heavy and Light Cruisersp. 151
Aircraft Carriersp. 152
Destroyer Leaders and Destroyersp. 153
Patrol Ships and Minesweepersp. 154
Small Surface Combatantsp. 156
Building and Planning the Submarinesp. 158
Big Submarinesp. 158
Medium Submarinesp. 159
Small Submarinesp. 160
Special and Midget Submarinesp. 161
Lend-Lease Deliveries of Naval Vesselsp. 162
Lend-Lease Ships for the Northern Fleetp. 163
Lend-Lease Ships for the Pacific Fleetp. 165
War Booty Ships up to the End of the Warp. 167
Operations and Losses from mid-1942 to the End of the Warp. 168
Baltic Fleetp. 168
Black Sea Fleetp. 168
Northern Fleetp. 169
Pacific Fleetp. 170
The Soviet Fleets at the End of the War, September 1945p. 170
Baltic Fleetp. 170
Black Sea Fleetp. 171
Northern Fleetp. 172
Pacific Fleetp. 172
10. From 1945 to the End of Stalin's Regimep. 178
First Plans for the New Navyp. 178
The Soviet Diplomatic Offensive, 1944-45p. 179
Ships as Reparationp. 179
Return of the Lend-Lease Shipsp. 184
The Ten-Year Programme of 1945 (1946-55)p. 185
Experiences, Strategies and Industrial Capacitiesp. 188
Reorganization of the High Command and Purgesp. 190
New Discussions about Strategyp. 191
Completion of Ships from Pre-war Designsp. 192
New Surface Shipsp. 193
Battleshipsp. 194
Battlecruisers and Heavy Cruisersp. 195
Light Cruisersp. 197
Aircraft Carriersp. 199
Destroyersp. 201
Patrol Shipsp. 202
Minesweepersp. 203
Small Combatantsp. 204
Submarinesp. 204
Big Submarinesp. 205
Medium Submarinesp. 205
Small Submarinesp. 206
New Technologies and Changes in the Programmep. 209
Nuclear Power and Nuclear Weaponsp. 210
Cruise Missiles and Rocketsp. 210
Politics and Strategy, 1951-56p. 215
11. Why Did Stalin Build his Big Ocean-Going Fleet?p. 221
Appendicesp. 225
1. Warships and submarines of the former Imperial Navy, serving in the RKKF/VMFp. 226
2. Warships of the RKKF/VMF, laid down or odered, 1926-45p. 229
3. Submarines of the RKKF/VMF, laid down or ordered, 1926-45p. 243
4. Lend-Lease vessels in the VMF, 1941-53p. 257
5. Soviet warships and submarines lost, 1939-45p. 260
6. Warships and submarines, taken as war booty into the VMF, 1944-53p. 268
7. Warships of the VMF, laid down or ordered, 1945-53p. 276
8. Submarines of the VMF, laid down or ordered, 1945-53p. 283
Note on Soviet and Russian Sourcesp. 293
Bibliographyp. 299
Indexp. 315
Namesp. 315
Shipsp. 319
Projectsp. 331