The Military History of the Soviet Union

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The Military History of the Soviet Union brings together contributions from distinguished 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, 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

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
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 (
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780230108394
  • Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
  • Publication date: 11/15/2010
  • Pages: 336
  • Sales rank: 819,540
  • Product dimensions: 5.50 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 1.10 (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

Introduction—Frederick W. Kagan & Robin Higham
Part I: The Formation of the Soviet Army and Navy
• The Russian Civil Wars, 1917-1921—David Jones
• The Russo-Polish War—Robert Ponichtera & David Stone
• Ideology and the Rise of the Red Army, 1917-1929—David Stone
• Industry and the Rise of the Red Army, 1929-1941—David Stone
• The Rise and Fall of Soviet Operational Art, 1917-1941—Frederick W. Kagan
• Dress Rehearsals, 1937-1941—Mary Habeck
• The Great Patriotic War, Barbarossa to Stalingrad—John Erickson
• The Great Patriotic War, Rediscovering Operational Art—Frederick W. Kagan
• The Red Air Force—Mark O’Neill
• The Russian/Soviet Navy, 1900-1945—Chris Lovett
Part II: The Soviet Army and Navy in the Cold War and Beyond
• The Cold War, the Nuclear Revolution—Stephen Zaloga
• The Cold War on the Ground, 1945-1979—Mark O’Neill
• The Soviet Cold War Navy—Chris Lovett
• Cold War Defeat: Afganistan—Scott McMichael
• The Soviet Army in Civil Disturbances, 1988-1991—Stephen Blank
• The Russian Armed Forces in a Democratic Russia: Conclusions and Prospects—William E. Odom

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