Soviet Naval Doctrine and Policy 1956-1986 Book Three

Author: Herrick, Robert W.
Year:2003
Pages:580
ISBN:0-7734-6899-4
978-0-7734-6899-3
Price:319.95
This exhaustive study is a sequel to the author's earlier work, Soviet Naval Theory and Policy: Gorshkovs Inheritance (1917-1956) (Naval War College Press, 1988). It begins with a summary of that work, and a wealth of previously classified material has been exploited in preparing this and subsequent chapters. This included the restricted distribution issues from 1975-1980 of the journal of the Soviet Armed Forces General Staff, Voennaya mysl (Military Thought).
The scarlet thread that ran through the entire history of the Soviet Navy is that of the debate over the nature of 'command of the sea' and its significance for naval strategy. Entwined with that was a continuing debate as to the Navy's requirement for aircraft carriers as the indispensable ship type for executing whatever command-of-the-sea strategy was accepted at the moment. Always present was the Army's vehement opposition to the Navy being funded to construct any aircraft carriers whatsoever. This fascinating story is set out in the most complete detail possible from available sources. Having all the evidence on the record and available should prove to be a helpful point of departure for future students of the Russian Navy's theory and shipbuilding policy.

Reviews

"The scope of Dr. Herrick's work and the level of his historic scholarship are of epic proportions." Rear Admiral Thomas Brooks, former Director of Naval Intelligence

"Dr. Robert W. Herrick shows in this thoroughly detailed new book the arguments with which Admiral Gorshkov managed to change the Soviet Navy from the coastal force with a coastal mind-set that he inherited to the ocean-going fleet with, perhaps, an ocean-going mentality that he handed over to his successor. From hitherto ignored or unavailable unclassified or declassified Soviet materials, this work reveals the battles fought among officers over the theory and practice of naval warfare, especially as it had been (and how individual officers, including Gorshkov, thought it ought to be) conducted by the Soviet Union ... For many years those outside Russia who had been professionally concerned about, or who were just interested in, that countrys navy and its purposes have been in debt to Robert W. Herrick. With this book, their indebtedness is extended many years more." - Frank Uhlig, Jr. Editor Emeritus, Naval War College

"An impressive, almost overwhelming treatise on Soviet naval development and thinking during the 29 years of Admiral S. G. Gorshkov's tenure as head of the navy. Dr. Herrick's writing, arguments, and notes are superb, and even when one holds an opposing view, Dr. Herrick's reasoning and logic are worthy of note. This work is important and his thesis will stand as the basis for future discussion of all aspects of naval development, from the revolution of 1917 to the delivery of the Tbilisi." - Norman Polmar, prominent specialist on Russian and Soviet navies

"Commander Herrick's monumental three-book series on Soviet naval strategic planning, and how it was translated into the creation of the modern Soviet navy by Admiral Sergey Grigoriyevich Gorshkov, is the most detailed account in English of Soviet naval planning during the many wars of the twentieth century. For anyone wanting a clear view into the thinking of Russian naval planners, this series offers explanations and summaries of articles, books, and translations, some of which were not available to English-speaking readers until recently. The value of this series is that it provides access to a wide range of sources describing the Soviet Navy's thinking over a seventy-year period. These books should be part of every military library." - The Journal of Military History

Table of Contents

Table of contents (main headings):
Foreword
Preface by Frank Uhlig, Jr.
Introduction
1. Summary of Soviet Naval Theory and Policy (1917-1956)
2. The Khrushchev Period (1956-1964)
3. The Early Brezhnev Period (1965-1971)
4. Soviet Naval Theory and Policy in the Seventies
5. Gorshkov's Last Five Years as Navy Commander in Chief (1981-1985)
6. Command-of-the-Sea Theories and Aircraft Carriers to Implement Them
Conclusion
Bibliography; Index