Military History of the Soviet Union / Edition 1

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The Military History of the Soviet Union brings together contributions from distinguish scholars to provide an introduction to the history of all the Soviet armed forces from 1917 to 1991. Its sixteen chapters cover the Bolsheviks' survival at the end of the First World War; the struggles against the White Armies and the Poles; the Leninist, Trotskyite, and Stalinist reconstructions that created the Red Army, the Red Air Force, and the Five-Year Plans; and the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945, a victory that vastly overshadowed dismal adventures in Spain and Finland. Robin Higham and Frederick W. Kagan also highlight the many facets of the USSR's strategy as a superpower in the long Cold War, including the rise of the Soviet Navy after the great Patriotic War, the disaster in Afghanistan, and the collapse of the Soviet Union.

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Editorial Reviews

Presents sixteen essays, a few written in a florid style typical of some military historians, addressing the history of the Soviet armed forces from 1917 to 1991. The first part, focusing on the formation of the Soviet army and navy, includes such topics as the Russo-Polish war, the rise and fall of Soviet operational art, and the Russian/Soviet navy. The Soviet army and navy in the Cold War and beyond are also covered. Chapters address Soviet/Russian strategic nuclear forces, the Soviet-Afghan war, and contemporary Russia in historical perspective, among other topics. Annotation c. Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (
From the Publisher
"...a handy one-volume military history of the Soviet Union that will delight enthusiasts and assist instructors."—Dr. Matthew R. Schwonek, Air and Space Power Jourbanal
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780312293987
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 2/28/2002
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 336
  • Product dimensions: 5.54 (w) x 8.54 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Robin Higham is a Professor Emeritus of History at Kansas State University.
Frederick W. Kagan is a Resident Scholar with the American Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC.

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Table of Contents

About the Contributors
1 Introduction 1
Pt. I The Formation of the Soviet Army and Navy
2 The Russian Civil War, 1917-1921 13
3 The Russo-Polish War 35
4 Ideology and the Rise of the Red Army, 1921-1929 51
5 Industry and the Soviet Army, 1928-1941 65
6 The Rise and Fall of Soviet Operational Art, 1917-1941 79
7 Dress Rehearsals, 1937-1941 93
8 The Great Patriotic War: Barbarossa to Stalingrad 109
9 The Great Patriotic War: Rediscovering Operational Art 137
10 The Soviet Air Force, 1917-1991 153
11 The Russian/Soviet Navy, 1900-1945 169
Pt. II The Soviet Army and Navy in the Cold War and Beyond
12 Soviet/Russian Strategic Nuclear Forces, 1945-2000 199
13 The Cold War on the Ground, 1945-1981 221
14 The Soviet Cold War Navy 237
15 The Soviet-Afghan War 259
16 The Soviet Army in Civil Disturbances, 1988-1991 275
17 The Military and the State: Contemporary Russia in Historical Perspective 299
Index 319
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