Admiral Gorshkov

The Man Who Challenged the U.S. Navy

Hardcover $8.39
Book: Cover Type


Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Sergei G. Gorshkov was the product of a tradition unlike those of his Western contemporaries. He had a unique background of revolution, civil war, world wars, and the forceful implementation of an all-controlling communist dictatorship. Out of this background of violence and overwhelming transformation came a man with a vivid appreciation of the role and value of navies, but with his own unique ideas about the kind of navy that the Soviet Union required and the role that navy should play in Soviet military and national strategy.

Western naval observers have persisted in attempting to define Admiral Gorshkov in Western naval terms. Many of these observers have been baffled when they found that the man and his actions simply did not fit conventional narratives. This book lays out the tradition, background, experiences, and thinking of the man as they relate to the development of the Soviet Navy that Gorshkov commanded for almost three decades and that was able to directly challenge the maritime dominance of the United States—a traditional sea power. His influence persists to this day, as the Russian Navy that is at sea in the twenty-first century is, to a significant degree, based on the fleet that Admiral Gorshkov built.

About the Author

Editorial Reviews

"This book is a must-read for today's naval analysts." —Deutsches Maritimes Kompetenz Netz
“Finding a book that would do him justice is not easy, but Polmar, Brooks and Fedoroff pulled it off.” —Virtual Mirage
"Today's burgeoning field of 'adversary analytics' seeks to divine what's driving Xi, Kim, Khamenei and – of course – Putin. Its practitioners will find this work of inestimable value. Three long-time leading analysts show how it's done in their magisterial unpacking of Soviet naval leader Sergei Gorshkov's thinking and career." —Captain (retired) Peter M. Swartz, senior CNA strategy analyst and former Cold War US Navy strategist
"For most of the last half of the Twentieth Century Admiral Sergey Georgiyevich Gorshkov personified the principal challenge to the hegemony of the United States Navy on the high seas. This informative and well-written book tells in great, but never boring, detail how Gorshkov almost single-handedly grew the Soviet Navy into the potent challenger it became." —Robert F. Dunn, VADM USN (Ret), Past President, Naval Historical Foundation and air wing commander and operations officer U.S. Sixth Fleet during several Soviet confrontations
"This Triumvirate of Soviet Navy experts join forces to describe a legendary adversary Admiral during the Cold War. For the first time, Polmar, Fedoroff and Brooks explain and explore Gorshkov's revolutionary high-seas operations and forward employment of nuclear submarines. Timely, powerful, and relevant!" —Admiral James G. Foggo III, USN Commander, U.S. Naval Forces Europe and Africa
"Admiral Gorshkov is a major contribution to modern naval and Cold War history. The three expert authors have combined deep research in Russian language sources and declassified U.S. intelligence analyses into a book that will stand as a major source on the Soviet Navy and its long-time commander for decades to come." —David Alan Rosenberg is a professional historian and defense analyst who co-authored the Naval Institute book The Admirals' Advantage, U.S. Navy Operational Intelligence in World War II and the Cold War
Admiral Gorshkov is a fascinating portrait of a man who was the U.S. navy’s most dangerous 20th century adversary.” —The Daily News
“This is an important book which deserves attention by higher military education institutions as an example of leadership against internal political opposition through championing technology while identifying a singular maritime threat to the nation.” —Australian Naval Institute
“An essential read for all those considering how the Global West might yet bring Russia in from the Cold.” —The NAVY
“Authors Norman Polmar, Thomas A. Brooks and George E. Fedoroff provide a valuable service by writing a book that chronicles the life and work of the prominent Soviet admiral.... Admiral Gorshkov is a well-researched and interesting book about a man and a navy that challenged the supremacy of the U.S. Navy during the Cold War.” —The Washington Times
“This is a must-have volume for anyone who studied the USSR, or for those who are interested in the resurgence of Mr. Putin’s Russian Navy, and the story of the man who originally conceived and built it. Highly recommended.” —Naval Intelligence Professionals
“This is a 304-page book with more than 150 unique photographs! This is definitely one of the best history books ... so far and the definitive source for the phenomenal transformation of the Soviet Navy to a global power!” —Naval Analyses
Admiral Gorshkov, a volume in the Naval Institute Press ‘Blue and Gold’ series, is likely to be of great interest to readers who are modern naval wargamers, naval officers, defense professionals or analysts focused on Russia.” —StrategyPage
“The book provides an exceptionally clear window into the Soviet naval war during World War II through Gorshkov’s operations in the Black Sea.” —History: Reviews of New Books
“The book includes a useful summary of Russian naval developments up to 2015. It has excellent maps, topical photographs clearly presented on glossy paper, a useful bibliography, and two minimalist indices. It has been produced to publisher’s usual high standards of sturdy binding and handy size. The writing style is straightforward and the text is refreshingly free of acronyms and jargon. Based on post-Soviet Russian sources as well as the formidable background knowledge of the authors, Admiral Gorshkov can be recommended as a summary of S.G. Gorshkov’s career and a wide-ranging, if unanalytical, overview of the Soviet and Russian navies from the late 1920s to roughly 2015.” —The Northern Mariner/Le marin du nord
“This work by Polmar (a prolific naval author), Thomas (a retired USN Rear Admiral), and Fedoroff (an intelligence officer specialising in the Soviet / Russian Navy) is the first booklength treatment of its subject for a number of years, and it is a welcome addition to the literature.” —The Naval Review
“This biography of Admiral of the Fleet of the Soviet Union Sergei G. Gorshkov — by three U.S. experts of the Soviet navy of the Cold War period — portrays the most significant admiral in Soviet history — who for almost three decades built a navy to break free from Russia’s land-power mentality and challenge the U.S. Navy’s dominance of the high seas…. The authors used their extensive personal contacts within the Soviet navy over the years to give the reader insight into Gorshkov’s background and career.” —Seapower
“A brilliant, narrative based on careful analysis Russian-Soviet history from a maritime perspective from the time of the First World War until the end of the Soviet Union…. The book is a stimulating story, full Insights and absolutely worth reading.” —MarineForum
“A timely biography, Admiral Gorshkov: The Man Who Challenged the U.S. Navy, is based on extensive English and Russian sources, providing a detailed narrative of Gorshikov’s career and impact. A major achievement of the biography is how it adeptly analyzes the internal dynamic of Soviet maritime power modernization.” —China International Strategy Review
“The book is indispensable for anyone who deals with questions of maritime strategy of the 20th century, the development of the Soviet fleet, and the confrontation with the West. It is written by three recognized experts and contains content that was previously unavailable in the West.” —Truppendienst
“An important historical figure by any standard, Gorshkov fully de-serves this excellent biography. Those with an interest in history, international relations, and naval strategy will find Admiral Gorshkov: The Man Who Challenged the U.S. Navy excellent reading.” —Marine Corps History
“[We] strongly recommend this biography of Admiral Gorshkov, who led the Soviet Navy for over two decades of the Cold War.” —Michigan War Studies Review
“Written by one former member and one current member of the U.S. intelligence community and one U.S. civilian defence analyst, the three authors of Admiral Gorshkov: The Man who Challenged the U.S. Navy have done a superb job with this biography of the architect of the Soviet Union’s naval forces and eventual Fleet Admiral of the Soviet Union, Sergey Gorshkov. The collaborative work of Norman Polmar, Thomas A. Brooks and George E. Federoff is a readable, informative work that tells the story of a son of academic parents who went on to take command of the Soviet Navy in mid-January 1956, holding onto his command until December 1985, a total of twenty-nine years…. This book [is] recommended to anyone with an interest in Cold War history and twentieth-century naval affairs. It is written in an understandable manner and is well edited. It moves quickly from point to point in Gorshkov’s life, allowing the reader to gain a full understanding of the man, his career, and his accomplishments.” —Canadian Military History
"An easy read and compelling work, Admiral Gorshkov is a welcome addition to biographies of great naval leaders, builders, and thinkers." — Naval War College