“Whiskey On The Rocks” or “The Swedish Komsomol Member”

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28 years ago in November 1981 the international scandal “with Soviet submarine” inflamed. Going already in surface position Submarine №137 was not marked by any Swedish radar.

On the night of 14/15, October, 1981, Soviet diesel submarine №137, was making a usual training voyage in the Baltic Sea. Owing to failure of navigating devices and errors in place definition, it ran off the course in low visibility and took the ground at a southeast extremity of Sweden… Besides, Swedes informed Americans that on the board of the submarine were tactical nuclear weapons, and it made the situation only more complicated.

In the morning of the 7th of November the submarine turned back to its base.

S-363 is Soviet average torpedo diesel engine-electric submarine. For the incident in territorial maritime belt of Sweden it received the ironic name «The Swedish Komsomol Member».

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Only in the morning, about 10 a.m. a lonely fisherman saw the submarine. The picture shocked him, and he immediately jerked back. It seems that his message caused considerable shock, because in 40 minutes there was a military boat. It was a great political and economic fail.

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Fortunately the battle was avoided. Moscow and Stockholm agreed that the Swedes may interrogate officers of the submarine, but may not examine it. After that the submarine was taken away in neutral waters.

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The political officer onboard, Capt. Vasilij Besedin

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Since then, people the the West ironically nicknamed S-363 “Whisky on the Rocks”. Here it is necessary to explain that Soviet classification «S» is related to NATO classification “WHISKEY”. So the casuistry appears: «Whisky on The Rocks» is also the name of a popular cocktail.

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In the morning of the 7th ofNovember the submarine turned back to its base.

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via flb.ru

17 thoughts on ““Whiskey On The Rocks” or “The Swedish Komsomol Member””

  1. “Political Officer”…..Ha!… That’s funny. You guys crack me up with that old soviet stuff. More like official bribe taker for one.

  2. Not mentioned is that the sub was right into Sweden’s largest naval base and had made several precise turns to avoid all the islands in the narrow archipelago.

  3. “Soviet classification «S» is related to NATO classification “WHISKEY” ”

    whiskey is the nato name for project 613 subs, the S has nothing to do with it.

    nice article by the way.

  4. Sorry for my english…

    My Grandparents Lived in The city near where that incident happened. In fact te sub Was running on it´s diesel engines the whole night trying to get free from the ground but failed and was formally captured later in the dawn by The marines after the repport from the fisherman. The speculations about nuclear weapons was partically based on mesuring of abnormal radioactivity outside on the hull, because the Swedish Marines (and the Coastguards) was forbidden to take the risk of creating a international diplomatic crisis against Russia by bordering the sub by force without contacting the Swedish gouvernment and they (The gouvernment)was later contacted the russians about the incident so the sub was as i know never investigated in detail, but probably deffinitly contained nuclear weapons or something similar. As i know.

  5. Navigation error but ass! Go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swedish_submarine_incidents

    You will see the Swedes were trying to blow up the Soviet subs that were spying on them for 30 years!

  6. The reason it was suspected that the submarine carried nuclear devices onboard is due to the fact that RADIOACTIVE isotopes & elevated decay was discovered when making tests.

    There’s two sides of this story, but considering russian “propaganda” to downplay incidents to not lose face…

    Well, think for yourself.

  7. This incident sparked an interesting period for those of dependants of NATO forces deployed to Norway. When word got out we had Air Raid drills for two days in a row. School was for all purposes cancelled as we spent both days in the shelters and then left out to go home at the end of the day. My mom remembers that getting the call about after hours use of the shelter and that if a nuclear exchange were to happen should have about 1 hour to get the family to the shelter at the school.

  8. Hi. Im from sweden and the reason why the swedish government proclaimed that the submarine was carrying nuclear missiles was that one of the army boats docked to the sub was equipped with geiger readers and it gave strong readings. There was actually quite a fuzz about it when it leaked out.

  9. The Russians and Swedes between them seem to have made a pretty good job of handling the incident, at least in the diplomatic sense; it did not make any sort of impact internationally that I remember. Western outrage must have been a bit tongue in cheek; no doubt the Swedes had subs staking out the Russian Baltic bases as well!. Perhaps they still do…

    All Soviet vessels carried a ‘political officer’, or ‘kommissar’, including their merchant vessels. My father, who was a ship’s pilot working out of Cardiff in the 60s and 70s, frequently piloted Soviet Russian ships carrying timber into the port, commercial activity seeming being unaffected by the Cold War. He presumed these guys were at least connected to the KGB, and their job was to deal with any kind of incident in non-Soviet ports that might have a political or diplomatic element. To call them bribe takers seems a little unwarranted.

    They would occasionally present him with a bottle of ‘Russian Standard’ vodka, not generally available in the West in those days, in the (unsolicited) form of a ‘tip’. This was not particularly unusual; ships of all nations indulged in the practice. It suited me, as he did not like vodka , but I did! My liking for ‘Russian Standard’ has lasted to this day.


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