5th Operational Squadron
Fifth Eskadra bases, 1973.
The 5th Mediterranean squadron of warships, or Fifth Eskadra, was a flotilla of ships of the Soviet Navy. It was intended for combat missions in the Mediterranean Sea during the Cold War between the USSR and the Western Bloc. The squadron's main combat adversary was the U.S. Sixth Fleet. It was disbanded on 31 December 1992.
The Soviet Navy in the first half of the 1960s had not yet been able to create a force that could effectively cripple the Sixth Fleet. The Black Sea Fleet force deployed in the Mediterranean, did not have the required strength, and the attention of the Soviet Navy's leaders was drawn to the potential of first diesel electric, and then nuclear submarines to stealthily track and, with nuclear weapons, subsequently destroy aircraft carriers.
Up to May 1965, the Soviet Navy attempted to carry out its task in Mediterranean Sea by creating a so-called mixed subdivision formed from ships of the Northern Fleet and the Baltic Fleet under the command of Captain 1st Rank EI and OP Volobuyeva Grumbkova. This force included submarines, destroyers and supply vessels. In May 1965, the first mixed squadron was formed from the hydrographic, support vessels, attack cruisers and submarines of the Black Sea Fleet in the Mediterranean Sea, under the command of 20th Water Region Division Captain 1st Rank Igor N. Molodtsova.
The question of creating a staff and a temporary operational squadron in the Mediterranean, was raised repeatedly by Admiral Sergei Gorshkov, Chief of the Navy. However, the General Staff did not approve the idea. Contrary to custom, Gorshkov continued to harass the Ministry of Defence with persistent requests for the creation of "... the organization that can hardly be found", not bothered by the fact that it caused irritation to the Chief of the General Staff. The Commander used to do that every suitable occasion, but "up to a certain time the requests of the Commander for the establishment of regular Mediterranean squadron to officers of the General Staff met with failure, or silence."
The Six Day War of 1967 was a factor in accelerating the creation of the Mediterranean squadron. In June 1967, the Politburo decided to create a Mediterranean squadron. In accordance with this decision, the establishment of the squadron was ordered by the Order of the Navy Commander № 0195, dated 14 June 1967. Rear Admiral Boris Petrov took command, and took over command of all the forces that were present on 14 July 1967 in the Mediterranean.
As of 2014, the Russian government is trying to re-establish a fleet in the Mediterranean using a combination of ships from the Black Sea Fleet and Northern Fleet. Until 2015, this seems unlikely as the Black Sea Fleet won't procure a new Mistral-class amphibious assault ship and Krivak V class frigates until late 2015.
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- Касатонов, И. В. (2009). Сорок лет 30-й дивизии Черноморского флота: через все эпохи и потрясения. М.: Вагриус. p 49
- Монаков М. С. (2008). Главком (Жизнь и деятельность Адмирала флота Советского Союза С. Г. Горшкова). Библиотека клуба адмиралов. М.: Кучково поле. p. 535. ISBN 978-5-9950-0008-2.
- Монаков М. С. (2008). Главком (Жизнь и деятельность Адмирала флота Советского Союза С. Г. Горшкова). Библиотека клуба адмиралов. М.: Кучково поле. p. 535, 536. ISBN 978-5-9950-0008-2.
- Zaborsky V. (13 October 2006). "Soviet Mediterranean Squadron". Independent Military.
- Валентин Селиванов (1 January 2004). "Пятая эскадра". www.zavtra.ru. Archived from the original on 8 April 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
- Заборский В. В. (13 October 2006). "Советская Средиземноморская эскадра". Independent Military Review/Независимое военное обозрение. Archived from the original on 8 April 2012. Retrieved 6 October 2009.
- Michael Holm, 5th Operational Squadron, accessed January 2013