Life Aboard a Soviet Destroyer and a Soviet Submarine

by Sally W. Stoecker

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Presents two fictionalized accounts of life at sea — one aboard a Soviet destroyer, the other aboard a Soviet submarine — based on articles that appeared in the open literature on the Soviet navy between 1973 and 1982. The articles dealt with such universal problems as crew training (physical, psychological, political, and technological), ship design and weaponry, habitability (living quarters, diet), fleet support, damage control, and repair capabilities. Many of the weaknesses addressed in the destroyer section are also characteristics of submarine operations. The problems are exacerbated, however, by the confining quarters of the submarine. The Soviets cite as particular problems: the psychological burdens of underwater cruising associated with the proximity of the nuclear reactor to the electromechanical unit; the acoustical properties of the vessel; insufficient emotional and physical stimulation for the submarine's personnel; the absolute automony of the submarine many miles from base; and the unfavorable oceanic climatic conditions in which the Soviet fleet must cruise.

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