The Hunt for the Storozhevoy
...No,19 in the Europe @ War series from Helion & Co
Title: The Hunt for the Storozhevoy
Author: John Vimpany & David Boyd
Publisher: Helion & Co
The 1975 Soviet Navy Mutiny in the Baltic, and the inspiration behind the fictional film, The Hunt for Red October'. A 52-page soft-cover book, number 19 in the Europe @ War series from Helion & Co. As well as plenty of archive photos to illustrate the story plus 6-pages of coloured artwork with a map, profile of the ship and Soviet Naval uniforms.
A story I hadn't known before, this new book benefits from having had access to the SIGINT records from Sweden, as many of the Soviet records were destroyed at the time, in an effort to hush-up the whole affair. It tells the story of a mutiny on a Soviet Krivak I frigate, the Storozhevoy, when the mutineers amongst the crew imagined they could sail from Riga to Leningrad, and inspire a wider revolution amongst the Soviet Naval forces based there. The story relates the chase, which involved not only other Soviet Naval units, but also patrol aircraft and bombers from both Frontal Aviation and Naval Aviation. It highlights difficulties in finding the warship, at sea in the Baltic, the Soviet fears that the mutineers would turn the ship over to Sweden, and hence Western intelligence. Finding the ship proved to be a problem, though in the end they did, and attacks were made which resulted in innocent ships being hit thanks to mis-identification of the target and an authorisation issued for the launch of nuclear weapons to sink the vessel. It is a fascinating story and highlights a wide variety of issues with the Soviet military system, hence they tried to bury the story afterwards. Thankfully the Tu16 commander did not launch the nuclear weapon he had been ordered to fire, just before new orders went out cancelling the mission. Had a nuclear weapon actually been launched then the world would have had a very different story.
I hadn't known this story before I read this book, and I suspect I am not the only one. A Cold War era series of events that could have turned out very differently, and if you are a fan of the Red October book/film, I am confident you'll enjoy reading this real story, I know I did.
Thanks to Helion & Co for the review copy.