Foxtrot Sub b39

One of the results of the collapse of the Soviet Union was the wholesale distribution of former Soviet weapons around the world. In fact, the Russians sold an old Foxtrot class diesel electric submarine to private interests in Canada, who subsequently sold it to the San Diego Maritime Museum.

The Foxtrot class was a refinement of German U-Boats developed (but not deployed) at the end of World War II. Built in large numbers, the Foxtrots were the early backbone of the Cold War submarine fleet, until generally replaced by early Soviet Cold War nuclear subs.

The b39 now sits pierside along the Embarcadero, open to visitors, and is  a very interesting display of early 1950s state of the art.




Forward ‘Torpedo Room with six 21” tubes.




Diving controls


Fire control /Torpedo Director Computer


Main passageway looking forward


Main passageway looking aft into engine room


Pantry- Unlike US subs, Soviet sailors generally received a glass of wine a day, usually with the evening meal




Two of the three diesel main engines. Actually, those are the valve covers. The pistons and blocks are below decks.


Third diesel engine. The engines power electric motors for motive power on the surface, and charge banks of batteries for submerged power.




After torpedo room with four tubes.


Crew bunks in the after torpedo room. With 56 enlisted sailors aboard, there were only 27 bunks, meaning everyone had to “hot bunk” while aboard. Officers had far more comfortable accommodations, if still quite austere by Western standards.


Your humble scribe on an interior communications phone.

7 thoughts on “Foxtrot Sub b39”

  1. Saw her in Seattle in 2003! She is in much better shape than she was then. Great pics!

  2. How often did they have to replace the crews, after the first crew was wiped out by having thier food cooked in a galvinized tub?

  3. What amazed me on the Foxtrot was the equipment in the middle of the control room. To see the others in the control room you had to move around the central equipment bay. That set up had to slow down the attack sequence.

  4. Chased those sumbitches all over the world… Thankfully they didn’t quite do things as well as we did…

Comments are closed.