3rd November 1974

US and Soviet submarines crash in Scottish waters

An American nuclear submarine collided with a Soviet sub, which was waiting to tail it as it left the United States base at Holy Loch. The US berthed several of its submarines at the Scottish base between 1961 and 1992, and this was well known to the Soviets, who stationed their own vessels close by so they could keep watch on American activities.

Collision cabled to Washington

Henry Kissinger was the US secretary of state at the time, and the man who needed to be informed of the incident. He was therefore the man to whom national security advisor Brent Scowcroft sent a cable, informing him of the collision and the fact that both submarines had surfaced. The Soviet craft quickly submerged again and was lost.

The Guardian of 25 January 2017 noted that “the cable [which was released 43 years later] corroborates an until-now unconfirmed report on the incident in the Washington Post on 1 January 1975 by the investigative journalist Jack Anderson. He reported that the collision left a 9ft scratch on the side of the [American submarine] James Madison and that the two submarines came within inches of sinking one another.”



Other events that occured in November

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