Photographer's Note

Most of the time that I served in the Portuguese Navy corvette NRP Afonso Cerqueira, in 1987-89, I did the SAR service (Search And Rescue), since Portugal has no Coast Guard nor civilian department to do that job (see my previous posts of this series).
But we did also the more military patrolling of the Portuguese territorial waters. Those were the last years of the Cold War* [next photo]: the Berlin Wall [other photo] fell by the end of 1989, the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991.
Portugal didn't participated in World War II, but it was a founding member of NATO and a faithful ally of the USA. So, during the Cold War, among other duties we had to control, monitor and report all Soviet warships maneuvering through our area of the North Atlantic. Usually they crossed our seas on the way to or from their bases in the far North and in the Black Sea.
Often we were resting in our base and the crew got sudden orders to depart for another monitoring of a Soviet warship that was about to enter and cross our area of patrolling. It was always a boring mission, especially with the slow moving submarines; no great action, as the rules of engagement (ROE) were strictly enforced, lest we provoked some diplomatic incident. For exemple, it was absolutely avoided the aiming or moving weapons toward the Soviet warships or even switch fire control radars on.
These two poor quality pictures of the same Soviet submarine were taken through the lenses of a visual aiming device of the Portuguese corvette. The black field around the pictures is a fake frame that I created to present the pictures. I had difficulty to choose the primary post, therefore you have in the workshops a black-and-white version and a larger picture without frame (big size view).
For a complete view of the corvette: Click here. [I'm not sure where the photos were taken, somewhere offshore mainland Portugal, therefore I put the location Lisbon. Scanned from paper prints.]
* - For info about the Cold War, see e.g. The Cold War Museum or the Wikipedia article.

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Additional Photos by Francisco Santos (xuaxo) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4896 W: 319 N: 4862] (6854)
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