This real-life thriller inspired Tom Clancy's famous novel The Hunt for Red October. It chronicles a mutiny aboard one of the Soviets' most advanced warships, the destroyer Storozhevoy (Sentry in English), led by the ship's political officer, Valery Sablin, who intended to launch a revolution and overthrow the government. Word of the 1975 mutiny was suppressed by the Soviets, but an American naval officer studying at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California, named Gregory Young managed to piece the story together. In 1982 Clancy came across Young's report of the incident and wrote the fictionalized account that launched his career.
One of the Cold War's most dramatic tales, the Sentry mutiny and the events that preceded and followed it have never before been told in detail. With the help of recently declassified KGB documents and Sablin family papers, Young and Russian linguist Nate Braden offer readers a full account of events as they unfolded. In telling the story, the authors shed light on the many myths of the Cold War, including the Soviet Union's military and economic capabilities.
Once poised for a brilliant future in the Soviet Navy, Sablin had been entrusted with indoctrinating his crew in Communist Party principles. But the disillusioned idealist had to make an agonizing choice between working within the system and destroying it. His candid, rational pleas to begin a new Russian revolution convinced half the Sentry officers and all the sailors to seize control of the ship and sail to Leningrad and overthrow Leonid Brezhnev. The ending to this true story, however, is far less rosy than Clancy's fiction. The Sentry never reached its destination, and the KGB executed Sablin. The authors hope the publication of their book will encourage the Russian government to open Sablin's entire files and provide answers to remaining questions regarding his fate.
Gregory D. Young retired from the U.S. Navy after twenty-four years that were divided between flying P-3s and academic pursuits.
Nate Braden is a former U.S. Marine who specialties as an intelligence officer included Russian linguist. He is the founder and owner of America and the World, Inc., an online publishing company in Denver.