Soviet Cruise Missile Submarines of the Cold War

Published on
Review Author(s)
Book Author(s)
Edward Hampshire; Illustrator: Adam Tooby
Other Publication Information
Soft Bound ; 7.3” x 9.8”, 48 pages
Product / Stock #
New Vanguard 260
Company: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Provided by: Osprey Publishing - Website: Visit Site
Product Picture

Edward Hampshire graduated from the University of Oxford in 1998 with a BA in History. He completed his Masters in War Studies / Naval History at King’s College in London in 2002 with a dissertation on the British Naval intervention in the Baltic, 1918-1920. Edward completed his Ph.D. in War Studies/ Naval History in 2009., with a thesis on British naval equipment of the 1960s. His focus is Cold War era navies and British defence policy since WWII. Dr. Hampshire has taught at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and has worked at the National Archives. He has been featured on television and radio, including the BBC, ITV, ABC, and NBC. Dr. Hampshire's previous book was published in 2013, East of Suez to the Eastern Atlantic, British Naval Policy 1964-70. He also co-authored British Intelligence: Secrets, Spies and Sources, published in 2008. Osprey published Soviet Cold War Guided Missile Cruisers (New Vanguard 242) in 2017. He has been a Senior Lecturer at the Royal Royal Military Academy Sandhurst since 2012.

Adam Tooby is a rising star in the field of aviation art, creating groundbreaking photo-realistic work. Moving away from traditional approaches to the subject matter, he uses computer technology to produce both technically accurate and visually dynamic images of some of the greatest military aircraft in history. His Warbirds section of his website features stunning images of aircraft in action, from the First World War to the recent conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, and from around the world, including the iconic Spitfire, the popular P-51 Mustang and the unusual Javelin. Some of the images have been produced exclusively for the book, while others have previously featured in aviation history publications and on the covers of Airfix boxes. With step-by-step sections, close-ups showing the incredible accuracy and detail of the art – down to rivets and bolts – as well as historical context, aviation enthusiasts, military historians and artists will be blown away.

This 48 page book contains two full page color paintings by Adam Tooby along with a substantial description. The first painting (and the cropped cover painting) is of a Echo II (Project 675) Launching a P6 Bazal’t Cruise Missile. The second painting depicts a Project 675 submarine (K-22) surfacing after colliding with the USS Voge in the Eastern Mediterranean on August 28, 1976. A two page color spread depicts a Project 651 (Juliett Class) submarine launching a P6 cruise missile. There are also eight side view color profiles of Russian cruise missile submarines. I counted 13 black and white pictures, 28 color photographs, and 27 tables that cover the specifications and other details.

Edward Hampshire kicks off with a discussion of the early forays into launching cruise missiles from WWII era Russian submarines than dives into the individual classes. Each section provides a view into the design, development, construction program, deployment, and any in-service modifications. Specification tables are included to address each class, along with construction timetables include that include each submarine, it’s builder and key dates (Laid Down, Launched, Commissioned). Most classes are include color side profiles by Mark Rolfe. The Soviet Union’s strategic emphasis was not on a carrier strike force, but largely on the cruise missile fleet to deliver any punch. This led to the design and development of some of the largest and fastest submarines in the world. The development of ballistic missile submarines led to a strategic shift in the cruise missile submarines to focus in on killing Allied carriers.

The sections include:

  • Acknowledgements
  • Author Note
  • Introduction
    • Soviet Naval Strategy and Cruise Missile Submarines
    • Approval, Design, and Construction [Page 07]
    • Submarine Design Bureaus and Shipyards
    • Design Bureaus [Table]
    • Shipyards [Table]
    • Submarine Classes [Table]
  • Weapon Systems and Sensors
    • Cruise Missile Systems
    • Cruise Missile Systems [Table]
    • Torpedoes
    • Torpedoes [Table]
    • Other Weapon Systems
    • Sonar
    • Sonar Systems [Table]
    • Radar and Electronic Systems [Table]
  • Early Cruise Missile Conversions
    • Design Development
    • Project 644 / Project 665 [Table]
    • Construction Programme
    • Project 611P / P-613 / 644 / 665 [Table]
    • Project 664D / 644-7 / 613AD / 06333 [Table]
  • Echo I and Echo II Classes (Projects 659 and 675)
    • Project P-627A / 653 [Table]
    • Echo II Launching a Bazal’t Cruise Missile [Painting]
    • Project 659 / 675 / 675MK [Table}
    • Construction Programme [Table]
    • In-Service Modifications
    • K-22 Surfaces After Colliding with USS Voge [Painting]
  • Juliett Class (Project 651)
    • Design Development [Page 24]
    • Project 651 / 683 [Table]
    • Construction Programme [Table]
    • In-Service Modifications
    • Project 651 (Juliett) Class [Color, Labeled Cutaway Illustration]
  • Papa Class (Project 661)
    • Design Development
    • Project 661 / 664 [Table]
    • Construction Programme [Table]
    • In-Service Modifications
  • Charlie I and Charlie II Classes (Projects 670 and 670M)
    • Design Development [Page 33]
    • Project 670 / 670M [Table]
    • Construction Programme [Table[
    • In-Service Modifications
  • Oscar I and Oscar II Classes (Projects 949 and 949A)
    • Design Development
    • Project 949 / 949A [Table]
    • Construction Programme [Table]
    • In-Service Modifications
  • Yankee Class Conversions and Yasen Class (Projects 667M, 667AT, and 885)
    • Design Development
    • Project 667M / 667AT / 885 [Table]
    • Conversion Programmes [Table]
    • Project 885
  • Operational service
    • Cruise Missile Submarine Disposition Late 1970 [Table]
    • Cruise Missile Submarine Disposition Late 1985 [Table]
    • Accidents [Page 44]
    • Accidents [Table]
    • Service Summaries [Table]
  • Bibliography
  • Index

Many of the above Submarine Classes are covered in 1/700 scale: Takara offers a Project 665 (Whiskey Long Bin). Easy Model offers a Project 949A as a finished model. OKB has a whole series of resin kits: Project 651 (Juliett); Project 659 (Echo I); Project 661 (Papa); Project 667M (Yankee Sidecar); Project 667AT (Yankee Notch); Project 670 (Charlie II); Project 670M (Charlie II); Project 675 (Echo II); Project 885 (Yasen). Hobby Boss offers an injected plastic kit of the Project 949 (Oscar II).

Some of the above Submarine Classes are covered in 1/350 scale: Mikro-Mir offers a Project 661 (Papa) in injected plastic. Pit Road offers a Project 665 (Whiskey Long Bin) resin kit. Polar Bear has a Project 670 (Charlie II kit; Hobby Boss offers a Project 885 (Yasen) in injection plastic. OMF produced a vacuform kit of the 949A (Oscar II), Zvezda and Hobby Boss both offer an injected plastic of the Project 949A in the form of K-141 “Kursk”.

I was quite pumped to see this book after building Mikro-Mir’s 1/350 Project 628 K-class submarine. Alas, it is not referenced here as it was only a paper proposal. That aside, I found this book to be very interesting as it aptly describes the Soviet strategic thinking. Of course if you like political intrigue, like I do, there is plenty to spare, following the timeline from the end of World War II, through the Cold War, to the collapse of the Soviet Union.. If you own one the previous releases in the New Vanguard series, you know what you are getting. If this is your initial entry into this series, you will be quite pleased.

My thanks to Osprey Publishing and IPMS/USA for the chance to review this great book.

Highly recommended!


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