This is the first American ballistic missile nuclear submarine, the USS George Washington. She was commissioned in 1959 and test-fired a series of Polaris IRBMs in 1960. She then loaded out a full compliment of 16 missiles and began her patrols.
This is a Soviet Yankee-class SSBN. They carried sixteen missiles and went into service in 1968.
You might have noticed that the two submarines look almost identical.
This is no shit:
There is a reason why the two submarines look very much alike. In 1963, Revell Models produced a model of the USS George Washington class submarine. This is a reissue of those models.
As you can see, the models were cutaway and detailed on the interior. The original models had either a swing-away solid side or a clear plastic side.
Five years is about right to design, build and commission a submarine.
As the story goes, when the Revell model was first sent to the stores, the Soviet embassy in Washington sent their people out to buy every one they could find. The models were sent by diplomatic courier back to Moscow.
The Navy was not at all amused. An investigation was started to determine who had sold the plans for the George Washington class to Revell. That person was very quietly arrested, quietly tried, and sent to prison for a very long time.
I never heard the name of the man who supposedly sold the plans to Revell. Rumor had it that it was a fairly senior officer close to retirement, but that might have been an exagerration. When I heard the story, more than 20 years later, I was firmly assured that the man who sold the plans was still in prison and that the only way he was ever going to leave prison was in a wooden box.
Now maybe this is all just a sea-story. The individual who told it to me was rather intoxicated at the time. I wasn't exactly sober when I heard it. It could all be just an alcohol-inspired story dreamed up by two drunken naval officers in a bar at a BOQ or an O-Club. You won't find any mention of this in Wickipedia, Wickileaks or the Google (until now). It's a completely unsubstantiated story with no facts to back it up.
It could be true. It could just be a story. I make no claim either way.