Soviet Underground Submarine Base
April 22, 2006 2:05 PM   Subscribe

Until the collapse of the Soviet Union Balaklava was one of the most secret towns in Russia. 10km south east of Sevastopol on the Black Sea Coast, this small town was the home to a Nuclear Submarine Base. via BLDBLOG
posted by signal (20 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
This is way cool. Right out of a James Bond flick or a video game. Nice post signal.
posted by Eekacat at 2:10 PM on April 22, 2006

posted by at 2:16 PM on April 22, 2006

That looks like it could be a level in Half-Life II.
posted by killdevil at 2:17 PM on April 22, 2006

Ah, Balaclava, one of our most cherished military defeats!

posted by gdav at 2:42 PM on April 22, 2006

Very cool, signal, thanks.
posted by bru at 2:45 PM on April 22, 2006

Wow. I must go there.
posted by brundlefly at 2:48 PM on April 22, 2006

Glad you all like. It really does look like a FPS game level, huh? Makes you want to dive into the water looking for hard-to-get weapons.
posted by signal at 2:58 PM on April 22, 2006


No, balaclava:

posted by carter at 3:03 PM on April 22, 2006

The Wikipedia entry gives a nice overview of the town, history, and the sub base. And this site has many excellent photos of the region, which — being part of the Crimea — is quite picturesque.
Btw, Balaklava is in Ukraine, not Russia.
posted by rob511 at 3:45 PM on April 22, 2006

This is so unfair. i want to live in a secret submarine base town full of bunkers and hidden docks.

i bet the whole town is full of evil geniuses and mutated science projects.

i mean looking at these photos, you just know that somewhere in this town is a sub-basement full of Tesla coils and shit.
posted by quin at 4:07 PM on April 22, 2006

"That cult would never die until the stars came right again, and the secret priests would take the Russian Navy from its tomb to revive its submarines and resume their rule of earth. The place would be easy to know: the black cavern at the centre of all infinity, where officers work ravenously in ultimate chaos amid the tuneless piping of hideous ELF transmissions and the ceaseless bellowing of idiot Party officers, whose eternal ghosts shamble and gesture aimlessly through the dark musty corridors."
- H. P. Lovecraft, The Call of Balaklava

posted by rolypolyman at 4:59 PM on April 22, 2006

Well played, rolypolyman, well played.
posted by brundlefly at 6:13 PM on April 22, 2006

Cool photos, btw!
posted by carter at 7:03 PM on April 22, 2006

Yeah, that's typical Soviet Union.

They always had a knack of building deep.

You should see their subways.
posted by Relay at 8:17 PM on April 22, 2006

Wow, wow, I recognized the name of the town. I used to work for the Defense Dept (JSTPS), I used to plan strategic bombing missions with that site as a target. It's amazing to see these underground photos of what we planned to destroy.
posted by BillsR100 at 9:15 PM on April 22, 2006

Gee, Old Home Week for Mutual Assured Destruction. I'm all tingly.
posted by dhartung at 9:49 PM on April 22, 2006

A foxhole compared to what the Russians have been doing about 3000 feet under Yamantau Mountain:
Starting in the Brezhnev period, Russia has been pursuing construction of a massive underground facility at Yamantau Mountain and the city of Mezhgorye (formerly the settlements of Beloretsk-15 and Beloretsk-16). The complex, reportedly being built by tens of thousands of workers, is said to cover an area of up to 400 square miles, the size of the Washington area inside the Beltway.
More from the May 25, 2003 Washington Post, We Keep Building Nukes For All the Wrong Reasons:
Die-hard nuclear war planners actually have their eyes on targets in Russia and China, including missile silos and leadership bunkers. For these planners, the Cold War never ended. Their top two candidates in Russia are located inside the Yamantau and Kosvinsky [more here] mountains in the central and southern Urals. Both were huge construction projects begun in the late 1970s, when U.S. nuclear firepower took special aim at the Communist Party's leadership complex. Fearing a decapitating strike, the Soviets sent tens of thousands of workers to these remote sites, where U.S. spy satellites spotted them still toiling away in the late 1990s. Yamantau is expected to be operating soon.
And in the Summer 2004 issue of Parameters (the journal of the U.S. Army War College), The Death of Disarmament in Russia?:
Secret work on massive subterranean facilities may represent the greatest misuse of Russian funds. The largest, a complex with millions of square feet inside Yamantau Mountain in the southern Urals 850 miles east of Moscow, is served by a railroad and a modern highway, and at one point, a former US Strategic Command chief estimated, housed at least 20,000 workers in newly fashioned cities. Perhaps large enough to shelter 60,000 people for months on end, the facility is reportedly outfitted with a special air filtration system designed to withstand a nuclear, chemical, or biological attack as well as a nuclear weapon command and control center. Unnamed officials have speculated that Russia could also use it for illegal weapons production and storage. (Toward the end of the Cold War, the Soviet Union used secret underground bases in several Eastern European countries to conceal over 70 mobile-launched SS-23 Spider missiles in violation of the 1987 Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces Treaty, which required the destruction of all such weapons.)

...A separate facility at nearby Kosvinsky Mountain is believed to be a Russian version of the Cheyenne Mountain Operations Center, but, unlike the 1950s-era US command post, one capable of surviving a modern thermonuclear weapon assault. Back in Moscow, more leaked intelligence reveals, among other projects, a secret subway system designed to spirit Russian officials 40 miles out of the capital in the event of a nuclear war. In total, the Russian government may have as many as 200 additional deep underground sites in varying degrees of construction or modernization, all closed to US officials.
It may not be over until we're all underground, one way or another...
posted by cenoxo at 10:31 PM on April 22, 2006

So, we're losing the battle of underground bunkers?

Grab your shovel, private!
posted by Ynoxas at 6:23 AM on April 23, 2006

Wonderful post, thanks.
posted by languagehat at 6:28 AM on April 23, 2006

ynoxas: I believe the phrase you're looking for is "mineshaft gap."
posted by keswick at 11:36 AM on April 24, 2006

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