Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces (MIT Press) Hardcover – November 1, 2001
Discover Memorable Fiction Books
AbeBooks.com, an Amazon Company, recommends a unique list of must-read books. Learn More on AbeBooks.com.
Customers who viewed this item also viewed
What other items do customers buy after viewing this item?
This is certainly the best recent book in this field due to its depth of research and solid scholarship. The book will be a critical resource for scholars and policymakers because of its exceptionally detailed, carefully documented, and thorough analysis of the Soviet/Russian nuclear complex and weapons.(Bradley A. Thayer, Department of Political Science, University of Minnesota, Duluth)
No previous volume matches this book in comprehensive detail not only on the Russian nuclear forces themselves but also on the course of their development and the development of their supporting infrastructure.(Celeste A. Wallander, Director and Senior Fellow, Russia and Eurasia Program, Center for Strategic and International Studies, Washington, DC)
A veritable treasure trove of information for all students of Russian nuclear weapons and strategic policy questions.(Sidney D. Drell, Professor Emeritus, Stanford University)
An extremely useful volume.(Wolfgang K. H. Panofsky, Director Emeritus, Stanford Linear Accelerator Center, Stanford University)
About the Author
Pavel Podvig is a Research Fellow at the Center for Arms Control Studies at the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
Top customer reviews
• Chapter 3: The Nuclear Weapons Production Complex. This chapter discusses the development of the various nuclear weapons laboratories and production facilities at Arzamas, Chelyabinsk, Sverdlovsk, Penza, Tomsk, Krasnoyarsk and others. There is also discussion of the various government ministries, State Committees, Scientific Research Institutes (NIIs), and Design Bureaus (KBs) associated with the nuclear weapons industry.
• Chapter 4: Strategic Rocket Forces. This chapter discusses the development of the various government ministries, State Committees, Scientific Research Institutes (NIIs), and Design Bureaus (KBs) associated with the ballistic missile, rocket engine, guidance system, and space launching rocket industry. There are also extensive discussions of the development of the numerous Soviet ballistic missiles and tabulations of the missile dimensions, weights, and performance characteristics.
• Chapter 5: Naval strategic Nuclear Forces. This chapter discusses the development of the various government ministries, Scientific Research Institutes (NIIs), and Design Bureaus (KBs) associated with the submarine and submarine launched ballistic missile (SLBM) industry. There are also extensive discussions of the development of the numerous Soviet submarine launched ballistic missiles and tabulations of the missile dimensions, weights, and performance characteristics. Even more interesting, I thought, were the discussions of the development and designs of the associated submarines, both conventional and nuclear powered (Zulu through Typhoon).
• Chapter 6: Strategic Aviation. This chapter discusses the development of the various government ministries, Scientific Research Institutes (NIIs), and Experimental Design Bureaus (OKBs) associated with the long-range bomber and turbojet engine and turboprop engine projects. There are also extensive tabulations of the bomber dimensions, weights, and performance characteristics.
Other chapters cover subjects such as the several strategic arms limitation and reduction treaties and nuclear weapons limitation treaties between the US and the USSR. What I found especially interesting were the Soviet viewpoints on the effects of these various treaties and how they came about.
For a really great story of the Soviet ballistic missile and space launching rocket development, I highly recommend the 4-volume book series “Rockets and People” by Boris Chertok.
For a detailed story of the development of the first modern Soviet long-range bomber, I suggest “Tupolev Tu-4: The First Soviet Strategic Bomber” by Yefim Gordon et. al (2014). It tells in detail the Soviet effort to copy the design of the Boeing B-29 and then mass-produce it.
For an additional much more detailed story of the development of the Soviet anti-aircraft and ABM missile systems, I recommend the book “Intercept 1961 – The Birth of Soviet Missile Defense” by Gruntman (2015). It is an excellent account of the development of those missile systems from the 1940s and 1950s through the 1980s. It’s a detailed history of the entire background to what the Soviets did to accomplish that item. There is also extensive technical discussion of how the Soviets solved the theoretical, research, and engineering problems involved in developing the necessary missiles, tracking and scanning radars, communication systems, and computer systems. There is also much information on what the Americans knew about all this by means of radio and telemetry eavesdropping from secret bases in Turkey, Iran, and Pakistan. The book contains numerous photos from American U-2 overflights from 1956 - 1960 and from the early spy satellites such as Corona and Big Bird. There is also information on related Soviet ICBM and IRBM missile programs and their associated organization leaders such as Yangel and Cholomei.
And for a really good book on the magnitude and national economic influence of the Soviet military industrial complex (MIC), I suggest reading the book “The Price of the Past -- Russia’s Struggle with the Legacy of a Militarized Economy” by Gaddy (1996). It describes the history of the Soviet military industry from the 1930s through the eventual collapse of the USSR in the 1980s and 1990s. There is considerable detail on the function of the Military Industrial Committee (VPK) and it's subordinate industrial ministries. The best part of the book is the discussion on how the military industry (which included the space and rocket programs) really accomplished its function and the economic consequences. Essentially, it plundered the civilian economic sector with impunity. Massive forced subsidies and hidden costs were just part of the game. The book provides plenty of statistics on the extent of the MIC in terms of labor, investment, and influence of the MIC on the Soviet economy and the society in general.
Now - 40 years later, this text has given me an opportunity to see just what I was really facing across the North Pole, and what my likely targets would have been for my trusty W-53(9 MT)/Mark 6 RV warhead. I believe the current phrase would be "OMG"!
I have NEVER seen such a massive amount of detail on the Soviet Nuclear Program packed into the 690 pages of one relatively cheap and unclassified book. Want to know the details of every Soviet Nuclear test from 1947 through 1988 ? They're here - 86 pages worth . Want to know where the Soviet ICBMs were designed and built ? - check pages 159/170. Curious about how many SLBM submarines (by type) were in the Soviet fleet any year ? Table 5-1 will tell you. Want to know what the Soviets actually called their missiles(Hint -they did not use NATO code names...), production details, drawings, etc.? Here , you will find out the answers in mind-numbing detail. And on and on.
Now, the information in the text is current only as of 2001, so don't look for what has happened recently. But if you are looking for a rock-solid reference on what the former Bad Guys had and did that directly threatened the US as a Nation for the 50 years of the Cold War ,this is it.
Perhaps the finest recommendation as to the worth of this test is that the KGB is recently alleged to have confiscated all Russian-language copies of the text, destroyed the computer print discs and tried to arrest several of the Russian conributors!
Podvig's effort is to be highly commended, as he has compiled an impressive amount of research, much of it relating to the technical side, though good write-ups and historical overviews are included. From R&D to production and finally deployment, every Soviet/Russian ICBM, SLBM and Strategic Bomber system is discussed in extensive technical detail, including such well researched and hard to find details such as Circular Error Probability of all Russian strategic systems.
The book is a heavy volume containing nearly 700 pages, none of it filler, so you can imagine the sheer amount of information in this volume for anyone interested in attaining a deeper understanding of the subject. Given the price, it really is a no-brainer. Furthermore Pavel Podvig maintains a frequently updated and detailed web site which continually adds newer information, essentially making this a "living research" project on the subject. You can locate his site here:
Seems Amazon edits out any links in reviews, so to try again Podvig's site can be found at russianforces.org
Once again, for the incredibly low price this book is offered at, you have nothing to lose, and a wealth of knowledge to gain.
Disclaimer: I am in no way affiliated with Mr. Podvig, aside from being someone who has been won over by his dedication and research to the subject at hand.