Catalogue


The Russian way of war : operational art, 1904-1940 /
Richard W. Harrison.
imprint
Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, c2001.
description
xi, 351 p. : maps
ISBN
070061074X (cloth : alk. paper)
format(s)
Book
Holdings
More Details
series title
imprint
Lawrence : University Press of Kansas, c2001.
isbn
070061074X (cloth : alk. paper)
catalogue key
4356880
 
Includes bibliographical references and index.
A Look Inside
About the Author
Author Affiliation
Richard W. Harrison is an independent researcher living in Moscow. He has previously worked at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow as an investigator with the Department of Defense's POW/MIA office
Full Text Reviews
Appeared in Choice on 2001-11-01:
Western European and American researchers have long regarded the study of operational art, the middle ground between strategy and tactics, as a uniquely Soviet approach to military readiness. Harrison adds that this approach was rooted in pre-Revolutionary Russian military culture. Although the chief Soviet influences--politicization of the officer corps, government-directed industrialization, and the Marxist-Leninist view of itself as an unprecedentedly dynamic social force--remain important to Harrison, Russia's physical geography and belated economic development assume a prominence not seen in earlier studies by J. Erickson and D. Glantz. Charged with the defense of a vast, sparsely populated expanse, Czarist officers--many of whom later joined the Red Army--first filled the doctrinal gap between tactics and strategy that Western theorists would not recognize until Operation Desert Storm. After 1917, the broad front offensives and deep operations prescribed by Triandafillov, Tukhachevsky, and other Soviet theorists followed naturally. Stalin's self-inflicted wounds do not escape the author's attention, yet the consequent disaster of June 1941 remains tantalizingly beyond the chronological scope of his book. A chapter on Operation Barbarossa and the collapse of Pavlov's West Front would have supplied the necessary counterpoint to earlier and later Russo-Soviet contributions. Upper-division undergraduate students and above. J. Daley Pittsburg State University
Reviews
This item was reviewed in:
Reference & Research Book News, August 2001
Choice, November 2001
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Summaries
Unpaid Annotation
In the first half of the twentieth century, both czarist Russia and its successor, the Soviet Union, were confronted with the problem of conducting military operations involving mass armies along broad fronts, a characteristic of modern war. Despite the ideological and technological differences between the two regimes, both strove toward a theory that became known as operational art -- that level of warfare that links strategic goals to actual combat engagements.From the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, through World War I, the civil war, and to the eve of World War II, modern operational art grew from theoretical speculations by a small group of officers to become a critical component of the Soviet art of war. In this first comprehensive treatment of the subject, Richard Harrison shows how this theory emerged and developed to become -- despite radically different political settings and levels of technology -- essential to the Red Army's victory over Germany in World War II.Tracking both continuity and divergence between the imperial and Red armies, Harrison analyzes, on the basis of theoretical writings and battlefield performance, the development of such operationally significant phenomena as the "front" (group of armies), consecutive operations, and the deep operation, which relied upon aircraft and mechanized formations to penetrate the kind of intractable defense systems that characterized so much of World War I.Drawing upon a wide range of sources, including memoirs, theoretical works, and materials from the Russian military archives (many presented here for the first time), Harrison traces the debates within the Russian and Soviet armies that engaged such theorists asNeznamov, Svechin, Triandafillov, and Isserson. The end result is an exemplary military intellectual history that helps illuminate a critical element in the "Russian way of war".
Main Description
In the first half of the twentieth century, both czarist Russia and its successor, the Soviet Union, were confronted with the problem of conducting military operations involving mass armies along the broad fronts, a characteristic of modern war. Despite the ideological and technological differences between the two regimes, both strove toward a theory which became known as operational art-that level of warfare that links strategic goals to actual combat engagements. From the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905, through World War I, the civil war, and to the eve of World War II, modern operational art grew from theoretical speculations by a small group of officers to become a critical component of the Soviet art of war. In this first comprehensive treatment of the subject, Richard Harrison shows how this theory emerged and developed to become-despite radically different political settings and levels of technology-essential to the Red Armys victory over Germany in World War II. Tracking both continuity and divergence between the imperial and Red armies, Harrison analyzes, on the basis of theoretical writings and battlefield performance, the development of such operationally significant phenomena as the "front" (group of armies), consecutive operations, and the deep operation, which relied upon aircraft and mechanized formations to penetrate the kind of intractable defense systems that characterized so much of World War I. Drawing upon a wide range of sources, including memoirs, theoretical works, and materials from the Russian military archives (many presented here for the first time), Harrison traces the debates within the Russian and Soviet armies that engaged such theorists as Neznamov, Svechin, Triandafillov, and Isserson. The end result is an exemplary military intellectual history that helps illuminate a critical element in the "Russian way of war."
Table of Contents
List of Tables and Mapsp. ix
Acknowledgmentsp. xi
Introductionp. 1
Twilight of Empire, 1904-1917p. 5
Wars Within and Without, 1918-1920p. 73
The Birth of a Theory, 1921-1929p. 119
Maturation, 1930-1936p. 169
The Road to War, 1937-1940p. 218
Conclusionp. 270
Notesp. 275
Bibliographyp. 305
Indexp. 339
Table of Contents provided by Syndetics. All Rights Reserved.

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