BOOK REVIEW | Cold War Submarines – The Design and Construction of US and Soviet Submarines

By Norman Polmar and KJ Moore 

It may be hard to believe that it is now nearly thirty years since the end of “the” Cold War. Of course, it may well be said that a new Cold War has crept up on us over the last two or three years. The recent behaviour of presidents Xi, Putin and Trump provide us with some ominous indications of that kind.

The previous Cold War played out as threat and counter-threat of “mutually assured destruction” which continued until the Soviet Union retired economically exhausted to the point of practical implosion. The threats were largely nuclear based both in terms of weaponry and delivery vehicles, mostly submarines. Of those, as this informative summary describes, some were very impressive vessels indeed.

Norman Polmar is well known to readers of this website, KJ Moore probably less so. However, between them, the authors have produced an excellent and very comprehensive history of the technical developments in submarines that were inspired by the Cold War.

In terms of size, speed, diving depth, endurance and lethality, submarine design and construction advanced dramatically throughout the Cold War. So did their weaponry. The authors, in this re-printed edition of a 2004 book provide us with an excellent overview of those developments.

Available from Potomac Books, University of Nebraska Press, USA.


Neil Baird

Co-founder and former Editor-in-Chief of Baird Maritime and Work Boat World magazine, Neil has travelled the length and breadth of this planet in over 40 years in the business. He knows the global work boat industry better than anyone.