A russian scientist wanted to develop a new superweapon : Time travel, will be like if one Kirov class cruiser modernization return in 1942, what they will do, how their technology will affect history

This question was more or less answered in the first few books of John Schettler’s novel series titled ‘Kirov’ which sees a refitted Kirov class battlecruiser end up in 1940 after an accident blows it from 2021. Soon enough it found itself having a disagreement with the nearby British fleet and battle soon ensued, with Kirov emerging the victor, and the British battleships battered and bruised, yet still standing strong. The destroyers and cruisers didn’t do so well.

As in the book, the Kirov would certainly take advantage of being able to hit from afar, fighting like an aircraft carrier, launching its lances out of gun-range of the antiquated ships. However, the battleships have one thing going for them.

As technology progressed and missiles gradually became the new go-to ship armament, countermeasures were developed. The solution? Make the missile faster, but at a cost of power. This point is brought up when the Kirov’s SSM’s prove to have a minimum effect on the British battleship’s armor. They were built during a time to use sheer steel plating to defend against shells of up to 16 inch caliber, much more powerful then most SSM’s today. The solution the Kirov’s crew came up with was to manually reprogram the missiles to get rid of the sea-skimming part of its voyage that was meant to nullify ECM’s that weren’t even around, and simply plunge right through the (weaker) deck armor.

But I want a different result from the book, not with the cold war configuration, Kirov will be a modernized battleship in 2020 with Zircon or P800 missiles, S400 air defense....

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    $\begingroup$ Not to mention the inability for any GPS based systems to work in the ww2 era due to lack of the GPS satalite network. $\endgroup$
    – Hyfnae
    Feb 12, 2020 at 9:14
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    $\begingroup$ It might be worth reading John Birmingham's Axis of Time which puts a whole fleet of modern warships into the middle of WWII. $\endgroup$
    – Jontia
    Feb 12, 2020 at 9:17
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    $\begingroup$ @Erik You're thinking of the movie The Final Countdown. No they didn't. The movie precedes the Birmingham books by at least a decade, maybe more. $\endgroup$
    – a4android
    Feb 12, 2020 at 12:32
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    $\begingroup$ Yes what exactly is the question here? $\endgroup$
    – Slarty
    Feb 12, 2020 at 12:43
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    $\begingroup$ There's a WHOLE bunch of historical physiology at play here that you can't just ignore. First of all, as soon as the crew of that ship realized where and when they were, their first order of business would be taking action against Germany to prevent Hitler from ever kicking off Operation Barbarossa. Second of all, there's a real question whether they would have ANY interest in supporting the Soviet GOVERNMENT at all. It's not like they would have a good opinion of Stalin. $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2020 at 14:17

1 Answer 1


What will they do?

First, this ship will be confused if they end up in 1942 on accident. As Hyfnae notes in the comments, their primary method of navigation will no longer function. After this, they're likely to try to establish where they are, and will do this at night fall by the stars. From there, they'll use paper charts to try to navigate back to Russia to find out what happened and why they suddenly can't talk to anyone.

The answer will be clear to them should they bump into another ship, or worse, a U-Boat, as they will realize they're in the middle of WWII. Why is there a swastika on that old looking ship?

If they ended up in WWII on purpose, then I assume they will have had the foresight to bring paper charts, at which point they will do whatever it is they set out to do.

How will they change history?

By far the biggest change is the nuclear powered nature of the ship. No WWII era ships had this, and this sort of design can be used to influence the creation of nuclear bombs. If Russia has the bomb in '43 (give them a year for the reverse engineering), then they could end the European Theater of war before D-Day, simply by nuking the Nazis to oblivion.

If they share this tech with the allies (as the agreement said they should, and which the US broke) then they prevent the Cold War. The US gave no reason for Russia to fear it, (by developing nukes and keeping it secret from the allies) and Russia gave the US no reason to fear in kind (by sharing the weapon which allows the US to get its revenge on Japan).

The result is that the US and Russia become the de-facto joint rulers of the world, with the US likely overlooking some of the more unsightly aspects of Stalin's regime. Also, we may never have gone to the moon, as we had no one to race there. Cars and other products would be much different (in the US, it was law that products should be well built, so that they last the entire Nuclear Fallout. If no one cares about Fallout, this law is never written).

TL;DR: The ship doesn't change much itself, it's nuclear engine is a gamechanger

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    $\begingroup$ Reverse engineering the radars, electronics and the engines on the Kirov's helicopters would turn the Soviet Union into a world technology leader in all KINDS of civilian areas as well. by 1960 the USSR could hold the kind of position as the king of high-tech that Japan enjoyed in the real timeline. $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2020 at 14:08
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    $\begingroup$ The USA took several years to mine and refine enough uranium for it's couple bombs, at enormous cost. Seems doubtful that Stalin's regime could collect enough fissile material in one year. Stretching that timeline by a similar few years seems more plausible. $\endgroup$
    – user535733
    Feb 12, 2020 at 14:40
  • $\begingroup$ Can I get a link to more about that law requiring well built cars that would last the Fallout? It is the first I have heard about that. $\endgroup$
    – Willk
    Feb 12, 2020 at 14:46
  • $\begingroup$ +1 for a link to the law. Also, could you please provide a link to the agreement to share all military technology with allies? $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2020 at 15:58
  • $\begingroup$ the nuclear powered nature of the ship. ... this sort of design can be used to influence the creation of nuclear bombs No they can't. The USSR was given the first nuclear weapon designs by spies (Fuchs and other) and could not give resources to start the engineering until the war ended. Having the Kirov's reactor would be no help at all in comparison to the spy information they had in real life. $\endgroup$ Feb 12, 2020 at 16:04

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