I joined the Army in 1979 and back then we were fully expecting to go to war with the Soviet Bear. We knew that we had better equipment, men, and training but they had more of everything, except aircraft carriers, and as so often been said “quantity has a quality all its own” The Soviet Army planned to overwhelm the US and NATO forces in Germany with swarms of armor regardless of the cost. It looks like the Soviet navy had the same idea.
…a young second lieutenant…fresh from the air college, asked the senior navigator of the regiment, an old major: “Sir, tell me why we have a detailed flight plan to the target over the vast ocean, but only a rough dot-and-dash line across Hokkaido Island on way back?”
“Son,” answered the major calmly, “if your crew manages to get the plane back out of the sky over the carrier by any means, on half a wing broken by a Phoenix (ed. note: the name of a missile carried by the US Navy’s F-14 fighters) and a screaming prayer, no matter whether it’s somewhere over Hokkaido or directly through the moon, it’ll be the greatest possible thing in your entire life!”