August 7, 2005


Russian Sub Surfaces; All Seven Crew Alive (THE ASSOCIATED PRESS, 8/07/05)

Seven submarine crew members trapped for nearly three days under the Pacific Ocean were rescued Sunday after a British remote-controlled vehicle cut away the undersea cables that had snarled the vessel. [...]

Russian authorities had hoped that the British unmanned submersible could help free the sub and avoid losing a sub crew as they did with the Kursk nuclear submarine, which sank almost exactly five years ago, killing all 118 aboard.

In sharp contrast to the August 2000 Kursk disaster, when authorities held off asking for help until hope was nearly exhausted, Russian military officials quickly sought help from U.S. and British authorities.

Yet there are still folks who think they were a credible military rival in the Cold War.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 7, 2005 12:00 AM

They were a credible military rival!!! I was there and the intelligence we received (the old fashioned way with agents)clearly showed astonishing military capabilities. It fell apart in later years but early on quite capable in men and materiel.

Posted by: at August 7, 2005 1:07 AM

The CIA said so....

Posted by: oj at August 7, 2005 1:13 AM

Not to argue, oj, but do you think the Russians ever thought much about rescuing their service members? They sacrificed men like flies over their entire military history.

It would probably be more relevant to wonder whether the Russian soldiers would have laid down their lives as so much cannon fodder, as they did defeating Napoleon and Hitler, in order to defeat the nation that produced their favorite blue jeans.

Posted by: Randall Voth at August 7, 2005 3:54 AM


Yes, it's bad politics to let them die.

Posted by: oj at August 7, 2005 8:59 AM

Could they have conquered us militarily - no. Could that have killed 50 million of us - yes. And that makes a credible threat.

Unless you are willing to assert without evidence that every single nuclear missle owned by the Russians would have malfunctioned.

Posted by: Brandon at August 7, 2005 9:15 AM

Maybe now, but do you think their equipment was designed all those years ago with rescue in mind?

I guess what I am saying is it's one thing to be capable of sinking an enemy ship or submarine, but it is another to be able to rescue your own men. Russian history doesn't lead me to believe they cared (up until now -- but, even now, it may only be cynical politics).

Posted by: Randall Voth at August 7, 2005 9:20 AM

I don't think it matters what it was designed for--it was crap.

Posted by: oj at August 7, 2005 9:57 AM

Mr. Judd;

Well, no, it does matter what it was designed for. The Soviets took Stalin's "quantity has a quality all its own" to heart and designed their military around massiveness. Military units were considered expendable and so nothing had to be designed for durability or survivability, it just had to get to the battle and shoot for a while. The benefit of this was twofold: it let the Soviety build a lot of stuff and it required a lot lower technological base. One of the West's big mistakes was not realizing that this made comparing the number of divisions on both sides and apple and orange comparison.

Posted by: Annoying Old Guy at August 7, 2005 10:35 AM

Trying harder didn't matter, as witness how disastrous their sub and space programs were.

Posted by: oj at August 7, 2005 10:38 AM

And the Russians also eventually admitted that the cable was not from a fishing net, but from their own anti-sub sonar network. Maybe they are finally learning that the coverup is always worse than the original problem.

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at August 7, 2005 10:50 AM

[W]itness how disastrous their sub and space programs were.

Do you mean the space programme that for two years kept Russia as THE ONLY NATION ON EARTH capable of reaching the ISS, the space programme that launched the first satellite and the space race, the space programme that put the first man & the first woman into orbit, or the space programme that kept a space station operating for 15 years, far longer than any U.S. effort ?

NASA is much better funded, not of higher quality.

Prison shivs are of deplorable quality, but they perform all too well.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 8, 2005 7:53 AM


Germany was the only nation capable of reaching space. Russia just had its rockets. Read Red Star in Orbit to see what a fiasco the program was.

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 7:58 AM

Do you also wish to credit the Wright brothers for the Boeing 787 ?

The U.S. space programme was built around German technology too.

However, both the U.S. and Russia, as well as every other space-launch organization, public or private, has advanced far beyond the German start.

I'm focusing on undeniable Russian and Soviet accomplishments; you seem to want to deduct points for style.

Posted by: Michael Herdegen at August 8, 2005 8:16 AM

Who was the first Russian to walk on the Moon?

Posted by: oj at August 8, 2005 8:52 AM

Did the Germans invent the integrated circuit?

Posted by: jim hamlen at August 8, 2005 9:53 AM