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The Last Sentry

The True Story that Inspired The Hunt for Red October

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Providing inspiration for Tom Clancy's The Hunt for Red October, the 1975 mutiny aboard the Soviet destroyer Storozhevoy (translated Sentry) aimed at nothing less than the overthrow of Leonid Brezhnev and the Soviet government. Valery Sablin, a brilliant young political officer, seized control of the ship by convincing half the officers and all of the sailors to sail to Leningrad, where they would launch a new Russian Revolution. Suppressed in the Soviet Union for fifteen years, Young (the first American to uncover the mutiny twenty years ago) and Braden finally tell the untold story relying on recently declassified KGB documents as well as the Sablin family's papers. It is a gripping account of a disillusioned idealist forced to make the agonizing choice between working within or destroying the system he is sworn to protect.

From Publishers Weekly

May 02, 2005 – Although it bears only a passing resemblance to the Tom Clancy thriller, this account of a mutiny aboard the Russian destroyer Storozhevoy offers a revealing look at Soviet decrepitude, circa 1975. The hero of the story is the mutiny's leader, Valery Sablin, a political officer charged with inculcating Marxist-Leninist principles in the ship's crew. A humane and idealistic man, Sablin took said principles all too seriously, and decided to seize the ship as a platform for launching a revolution that would redeem Communism from the corrupt reality of the Soviet system. The authors' starry-eyed profile suggests that Sablin may be "the freest man in the Soviet Union," but his rebellion seems little more than a quixotic farce that was snuffed out in a few hours; he apparently intended to sail to international waters and then demand that the Soviet authorities give him daily television and radio air time to broadcast revolutionary manifestos. What's more interesting is that he managed to persuade most of the ship's crew, in the course of a couple of fiery speeches, to go along with this scheme, an accomplishment that speaks volumes about the latent discontent with Communism. Ex-Navy officer and political scientist Young and ex-marine and online publisher Braden explore this conundrum by probing conditions in the Soviet military and by offering a sketchy rehash of Soviet history that sometimes reads like a primer for naval cadets. Still, their well-researched reconstruction of this astonishing incident reveals some of the brittleness of the Soviet Union's totalitarian facade. 30 illus.

Customer Reviews

Excellent surprise

This is an outstanding book, for those interested in the real motivations and the real horror of the Soviet experience in the cold war. Fans of the "Red October" narrative of Soviet defectors will be disappointed, but the real story of a real ship and crew trying to fight back against an oppressive regime is even more impressive.
It will come to the surprise of many in the west, that the mutiny aboard a Soviet warship was NOT to defect- as Western observers might imagine- rather the ship mutinied in an attempt to steam to Leningrad and raise the red flag of revolution, in the tradition of the battleship Potemkin.
Finally, for those interested in the actual workings of the Soviet maybe in the Soviet Armed Forces there is a lot here.

The Last Sentry
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  • $28.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Military
  • Published: Oct 15, 2013
  • Publisher: Naval Institute Press
  • Seller: The Perseus Books Group, LLC
  • Print Length: 284 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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