Host Iain Ballantyne and guest Dr Robert Farley reconvene for another podcast chat, this time looking at the sinking of the Russian Navy cruiser Moskva.
In addition to unpicking the event - for example, was the Black Sea Fleet flagship hit by Ukrainian missiles, or was she destroyed by an accidental explosion? – They assess the incident’s impact on the Russian Navy’s campaign.
The discussion includes how the Moskva may have opened herself up to attack and other topics such as comparisons with missile attacks in the 1982 Falklands War on British warships and in the 1991 Gulf War against an American battleship off Kuwait damage control (or lack of it) aboard the Russian warship; the sheer shock to the system for a Russian Navy lacking experience in high-intensity warfare.
Also, did the Moskva go down carrying nuclear weapons, creating a ‘broken arrow’ incident?
The arc of the wider conflict is considered. With the launch of the Kremlin’s bid to conquer the Donbas is the war nearing its end? Beyond the Black Sea is a major confrontation between the NATO and Russian naval forces shaping up, with the advent of a new Battle of the Atlantic? Aspects of naval history in the Black Sea are touched upon, including the strange (but true) stories of Tsarist battleships that became capital vessels of the Bolsheviks in 1917 before ending up in surprising places (and ownership).
Also discussed is the human cost of the Moskva’s destruction and how the aftermath bears similarities to the tragic loss of the submarine Kursk more than 20 years ago, at the beginning of Vladimir Putin’s reign as Russian leader.
• Iain Ballantyne is the Editor of WARSHIPS International Fleet Review magazine. For more details on the magazine http://bit.ly/wifrmag Follow it on Twitter @WarshipsIFR and on Facebook @WarshipsIFR • In addition to teaching at the Patterson School of Diplomacy and International Commerce at the University of Kentucky, Rob Farley writes extensively about an array of defense issues. They include airpower, sea power, and military innovation. He is a Senior Editor of ‘Lawyers, Guns and Money’ and manager of the LGM podcast. He's available on Twitter at @drfarls
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