Book Review: Raising the Red Banner: The Pictoral History of Stalin's Fleet 1920-1945


by Richard Worth and Vladimir Yakubov

Stroud, Eng.: History Press / Chicago: International Publishers' Group, Trafalgar Square, 2009. Pp. 224. Illus., tables, appends. $39.95. ISBN: 1862274509

A look at the Soviet Navy from its formation through the end of World War II.

Books on the Red Army from its formation through the end of the Great Patriotic War are numerous, but those on the Red Banner Fleet are quite rare, which makes Raising the Red Banner a very welcome work indeed.  The authors, respectively a Soviet-born U.S. Navy veteran and a noted naval historian, have put together a outline history of the ships of the Russian Navy from the Revolution through 1945, including their roles in the Great Patriotic War.  For each type of major warship (battleships, cruisers, destroyers, and submarines) individual classes and the vessels that belonged to them are discussed, usually in some detail.  Coverage includes the origins of the class, its design, technical information, and observations on the operational performance of the design.  For each individual vessel, we get an outline of its service career, with an emphasis on wartime activities.  The treatment includes vessels never built and experimental types.  There is also brief discussion of smaller warships, major auxiliaries, vessels acquired from other countries, and ordnance.  Lavishly illustrated, most of the remarkably good illustrations have never been published before, and some are quite informative.

Raising the Red Banner is a valuable work for anyone interested in navies or the Second World War at
Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

Buy it at



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