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Inside the Soviet Union's Plan to Crush American Carriers During World War Iii

Kyle Mizokami

Key point: Moscow planned to use its bombers, fighters, submarines, and anti-ship missiles to sink America's aircraft carriers. Although it would have been difficult, the Soviet Union planned to throw everything they had at the problem.

In the event of World War II, the Soviet Union planned to go after the U.S. Navy’s fleet of aircraft carriers in a big way. The carriers were a flexible and powerful weapon that could operate at the peripheries of Soviet power, doing everything from supporting land operations to launching nuclear strikes. The Soviet Navy and Air Force built battlecruisers, cruisers, submarines and bombers armed with formidable anti-ship missiles to destroy these America’s carriers and ensure victory in Western Europe.

During the Cold War, the United States Navy maintained a large and robust carrier fleet. In 1984 it operated thirteen carriers, a mix of conventional and nuclear-powered ships with air wings upwards of 85 aircraft. The carrier of 1984 fielded a diverse air wing, including the F-14 Tomcat fleet interceptor, F/A-18 Hornet multirole fighter, A-6 Intruder bomber, A-7 Corsair attack aircraft, and a variety of anti-submarine and support planes.

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