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Soviet Cold War Guided Missile Cruisers

Soviet Cold War Guided Missile Cruisers Book Review

By David L. Veres

Date of Review February 2017 Title Soviet Cold War Guided Missile Cruisers
Author Edward Hampshire Publisher Osprey Publishing
Published 2017 ISBN 9781472817402
Format 48 pages, softbound MSRP (USD) $18.00


Guided missile cruisers proved the pride of the Soviet Navy's Cold War surface fleet – and formidable Western foes.

Now Edward Hampshire tells the terrific tale in Soviet Cold War Guided Missile Cruisers  – number 242 in Osprey's perennially popular "New Vanguard" range.

Contents follow the publisher's proven prescription. After introductory notes on post-WWII Soviet naval strategy and cruiser programs, Hampshire outlines weapons systems and sensors – both surface-to-surface and surface-to-air missiles, including supporting technologies.

Coverage then chronologically courses through the book's principal subjects:

  • Early Guided Missile Cruiser Designs
  • Kynda Class (Project 58)
  • Kresta I Class (Project 1134)
  • Kresta II Class (Project 1134A)
  • Kara Class (Project 1134B)
  • Kirov class (Project 1144)
  • Slava class (Project 1164)

Sections outline design, development, construction and modifications. An "Operational Service" chapter charts Soviet Cold War home ports, deployments and operations, and fates after the Soviet Union's 1991 collapse.

Photos, extended captions and selected bibliography support author Hampshire's admirably indexed effort. Helpful tables recap individual classes and weapons systems. Color profiles and action paintings offer plenty of artistic action. And a cut-away spread of the Kirov – my personal favorite – confirms the power of this formidable warship.


My sincere thanks to Osprey Publishing for this review sample!