An undated photo of a Russian 1960’s era November class nuclear attack submarine similar to the K-159 which sank in the Barents Sea on Saturday morning. The ageing submarine sank during a storm as it was being towed into port for scrapping and upto eight service men were feared killed, the Defence Ministry said. (EDITORIAL USE ONLY). REUTERS/Ho WAW/CRB – RTR2BEE

K129 was one of six Soviet Project 629A submarines that were deployed in 15th Submarine Squadron in the Pacific Ocean during the cold war. Project 629A submarines were classified as ballistic missile submarines and carried with them nuclear warheads. K129 was based out of Rybachiy Naval Base in the Russian Kamchatka Peninsula. K129 was first launched in May, 1959 and was in commission until its wreckage in 1968 by unknown causes.

K129 was recovered by the United States in 1974 under a covert CIA operation named Project Azorian. The legacy of the ship as well its wreckage remain an important part of Cold War legacy. To this day, details about the submarines wreckage, its mission, and subsequent excavation by the United States remain largely a mystery despite speculation that the CIA is withholding information regarding the submarine.

In this project, we explored the history of Soviet submarines and their role in Cold War domination as well as the important case study of K129 and what its excavation and legacy can tell us about Cold War maritime history.

About the Authors

Jack Bartlett

Jack is a first year student from Washinton, DC at Carleton College. He plans to major in Cognitive Science and Theater, and is interested in Project Azorian as an element of Cold War history and as a CIA mission.

Nick McGlashan

Nick is a first year student from Berkeley, California at Carleton College. He does not know what he wants to major in, but he was interested in the technical aspects of Project Azorian.

Andrew Rose

Andrew is a first year student from New York City, New York at Carleton College. He plans to major in History and French, and primarily focused on the history and political context of K129‘s history as part of the Soviet Navy.