SOVIET UNION: Inferno at Sea

For years, Western military experts have speculated that the Soviet Union was having problems with its 5,200-ton Kashin-class missile destroyers (comparable to the U.S. Navy's Forrest Sherman-class guided-missile destroyer). Last week Turkey's semiofficial Anatolian News Agency reported that in mid-September a Kashin -class vessel caught fire, exploded and turned into a burning inferno while on Red Fleet patrol in the Black Sea. Despite a frantic Soviet rescue effort, at least 225 crewmen and missile technicians aboard died in the mishap. It was the most shocking peacetime sea disaster since the U.S. nuclear submarine Thresher sank in waters off Cape Cod,...

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