INDEPENDENT NEWS

Bias In Russian Submarine Reports

Published: Thu 17 Aug 2000 02:59 PM
It's difficult not to conclude that the press reports on the Kursk sinking are heavily biased against the Russians and Russian Navy.
It was interesting reading US newpaper reports on the sinking of the USS Scorpion. Transpose Kursk for Scorpion and Russia for US and the reports might be confused for those we're reading now!
Consider the following:
Example: HOUSTON CHRONICLE, EDITION 2 STAR, PUBLICATION DATE 05/21/95, DAY
SUN, SECTION A, PAGE 19
HEADLINE Sub sank in 1968 after skimpy last overhaul/USS Scorpion was lost with all on board
BYLINE STEPHEN JOHNSON
Unable to maintain its nuclear submarines during Cold War-era Soviet naval expansion, the U.S. Navy drastically reduced the USS Scorpion's overhaul work before the submarine's mysterious sinking with 99 crewmen. At the time, Navy officers were concerned about ````acute political embarrassment'' over the Navy's serious difficulties in keeping its submarine force at sea, according to documents declassified at the Houston Chronicle's request.
Armed with nuclear-tipped torpedoes, the Scorpion sank in the mid-Atlantic on May 22, 1968, six months after it received the briefest and cheapest nuclear submarine overhaul in Navy history.
The Scorpion departed Norfolk, Va., on Feb. 15, 1968, and was lost at sea 97 days later. Its destruction occurred only five days before its scheduled return to Norfolk.
Though the Navy announced at the time that the submarine had a regular overhaul, documents obtained through the Freedom of Information Act reveal the Navy's troubled maintenance system was incapable of providing work needed by the submarine.
Navy correspondence shows: Because the Navy was concerned that 1960s nuclear submarines spent nearly half their service life being repaired, the Scorpion was picked to become the subject of a reduced overhaul experiment.
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The Kursk was lucky enough to founder at a depth where rescue was more than a faint possibility. She sank in appalling weather and ocean floor conditions, and rests in an attitude making contact with rescue craft extremely difficult. The situation is appalling for the men and their families. I doubt whether the Amercian or the Brits, going by their past record, would've handled the situation any better than the Russians.
---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --------------------------------------------- For more information about the Scorpion, see http://www.txoilgas.com/589-news.html
Regards
Michael Peck

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