Soviet Naval Doctrine and Policy 1956-1986

Author: Herrick, Robert W.
Year:2003
Pages:444
ISBN:0-7734-6897-8
978-0-7734-6897-9
Price:259.95
This exhaustive study is a sequel to the authors 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 Navys 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 Armys 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 Navys theory and shipbuilding policy.

Reviews

The scope of Herricks 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&.reveal 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. In so doing it clarifies what Gorshkov, his allies and his opponents really aimed at and accomplished for the Soviet Union at the peak of the despotisms great, and seemingly permanent, power. Moreover, for both historians and naval officers, it constitutes a convenient source, perhaps the only convenient source ever, in which can be found the arguments, assertions, claims, positions attacked and defended in the great debates over what should be the purposes of the Soviet Navy and what should be the main instruments of war with which it should attempt to carry out those purposes. 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. Gorshkovs tenure as head of the navy&.Herricks writing, arguments, and notes are superb, and even when one holds an opposing view, Herricks reasoning and logic are worthy of note&. Herricks 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

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. Gorshkovs 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