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Virtual War in the Ice Jungle: ‘We don't know how to do this'

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The Cold War at sea expanded in many realms, including the frigid and treacherous waters of the Arctic Ocean. The US Navy pioneered these efforts with the visit of USS Nautilus to the North Pole in 1958. During the latter stages of the Cold War, however, Soviet naval strategists began to conceptualize the polar ice cap as a strategic asset for cloaking the operations of its nuclear missile submarines. As under-ice operations afforded the Soviet submarine fleet advantages of stealth, proximity to target and tighter lines of communications, both navies were forced to try to develop tactics for combat under these extremely complex and arduous conditions.

Keywords: ASW; Artic; Climate change; Submarine Warfare; submarine tactics; undersea warfare

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: Contemporary History Branch U.S. Naval History Center

Publication date: April 1, 2005


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