The Magazine for Underwater Professionals

Jan/Feb 2017

BOOK REVIEWS

Lifting the curtain on Soviet combat divers

Soviet Combat Divers in World War II

For the very first time, we can now see how Soviet combat divers operated and view the equipment they used during the period between the 1930s up to the end of World War II.


The initial formation of the military diving services, including reconnaissance and sabotage units of the Soviet Navy and Red Army, are described in detail. Considerable space is devoted to the training of divers during the war years and includes underwater exploration, sabotage, mine clearance, emergency rescue, diving support landings and river crossings. Soviet combat operations are described from the Baltic Sea to the Black Sea.


The book is highly illustrated and details of the Soviet diving gear, weapons and equipment are revealed for the first time. It is a privileged opportunity to see the military diving operations behind the ‘Iron Curtain’ which have been denied to the West until now. The author has approached the subjects from the divers’ point of view, stating “The book is devoted to diving operations and to the divers themselves, and not to the organisations”.


The author, Dr Pavel Borovikov, began his diving activities in 1958 as a scuba diver and today is renowned as an expert in salvage and offshore underwater work. He joined the Academy of Sciences in 1966 as technical director of the Academy’s Man-in-the-Sea programme. He presently runs a private consultancy company in Moscow and is a member of the Historical Diving Societies in both Russia and UK. He is the author of several books devoted to the history of Russian diving.


Soviet Combat Divers in World War II, by Dr Pavel Borovikov; published by Schiffer Publishing Ltd, USA, 2016; ISBN 978-0-7643-5190-7; hard cover; fully illustrated with B/W photographs; 192 pages; US$34.99.
John Bevan

 

 

 

 

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