Welcome to Sunday Matinee, where we highlight classic car reviews or other longer videos we find on YouTube. Kick back and enjoy this blast from the past.

Soviet Russia's Red Fleet had rather humble beginnings. Depending on how one chooses to mark the birth of the Soviet Navy, it began in one of two inauspicious ways. It either began with mutiny or with a "Workers' and Peasants' Red Fleet" that was considered so inept, the leaders of the new government weren't even invited to the participate in the Washington Naval Treaty. In fact, the United States wouldn't even recognise the Soviets until 1933.

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Going into World War II, the Red Fleet wasn't a whole lot better. Not in ships and not in men. It had suffered a serious drain on experience and manpower due to officer purges, and was dependent on the allied forces to help provide ships. Its own internal budget had fallen significantly by the end of the war. This would change starting in 1946 when the Red Fleet officially became the Soviet Navy.

With the beginning of the Cold War and little need to protect a vast merchant marine like its western ideological opponents, the Soviet Navy focused on small, manoeuvrable, and tactical vessels. It was especially interested in the acquisition of a large submarine fleet. At first, it lagged behind the West, but it caught up quickly. Along with some very capable guided missile cruisers, this led to the rise of the Soviet Navy as a counter balance to the United States Navy.

At least, for a little while.

Video via TheBestFilmArchives/YouTube.