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Original Essays | September 15, 2014

Lois Leveen: IMG Forsooth Me Not: Shakespeare, Juliet, Her Nurse, and a Novel



There's this writer, William Shakespeare. Perhaps you've heard of him. He wrote this play, Romeo and Juliet. Maybe you've heard of it as well. It's... Continue »
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    Juliet's Nurse

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The Soviet-afghan War

by (federation)

The Soviet-afghan War Cover

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

The War in Afghanistan (1979-1989) has been called "the Soviet Union's Vietnam War," a conflict that pitted Soviet regulars against a relentless, elusive, and ultimately unbeatable Afghan guerrilla force (the mujahideen). The hit-and-run bloodletting across the war's decade tallied more than 25,000 dead Soviet soldiers plus a great many more casualties and further demoralized a USSR on the verge of disintegration.

In The Soviet-Afghan War the Russian general staff takes a close critical look at the Soviet military's disappointing performance in that war in an effort to better understand what happened and why and what lessons should be taken from it. Lester Grau and Michael Gress's expert English translation of the general staff's study offers the very first publication in any language of this important and illuminating work.

Surprisingly, this was a study the general staff never intended to write, initially viewing the war in Afghanistan as a dismal aberration in Russian military history. The history of the 1990s has, of course, completely demolished that belief, as evidenced by the Russian Army's subsequent engagements with guerrilla forces in Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, and elsewhere. As a result, Russian officers decided to take a much closer look at the Red Army's experiences in the Afghan War.

Their study presents the Russian view of how the war started, how it progressed, and how it ended; shows how a modern mechanized army organized and conducted a counter-guerrilla war; chronicles the major battles and operations; and provides valuable insights into Soviet tactics, strategy, doctrine, and organization across a wide array of military branches. The editors' incisive preface and commentary help contextualize the Russian view and alert the reader to blind spots in the general staff's thinking about the war.

This one-of-a-kind document provides a powerful case study on how yet another modern mechanized army imprudently relied upon the false promise of technology to defeat a determined guerrilla foe. Along the way, it vividly reveals the increasing disillusionment of Soviet soldiers, how that disillusion seeped back into Soviet society, and how it contributed to the collapse of the Soviet Union. The Red Army had fought their war to a military draw but that was not enough to stave off political defeat at home. The Soviet-Afghan War helps clarify how such a surprising demise could have materialized in the backyard of the Cold War's other great superpower.

Table of Contents

List of Illustrations

Foreword, Theodore C. Mataxis, Brigadier General (Retired)

Editors' Preface

Acknowledgments

General Staff Introduction

1. Phases and Course of the Conflict

2. Organization, Armament, and Training of the Limited Contingent of Soviet Forces and Government of Afghanistan Armed Forces

-Organization and Equipment of Soviet Forces

-Training of Soviet Forces

-Organization and Training of the Armed Forces of the DRA

3. Organization, Armament, and Tactics of the Mujahideen

4. Operational Art

5. Combined Arms Tactics

-Raids

-Cordons and Searches

-Ambushes

-Marches and Convoy Escorts

6. Combat Arms Branch Tactics

-Artillery

-Armored Forces

-Airborne and Air Assault Forces

-Army Aviation

7. Combat Support

-Reconnaissance

-Security

-Engineer Support

-Chemical Support

8. Combat Service Support

-Technical Support

-Ammunition Support

-Logistics Support

-Post Exchange, Housing, and Pay

-Medical Support

9. Conclusion

-Tactics

-Technology

-Morale

Appendix 1: 40th Army Order of Battle

Appendix 2: Soviet Artillery Planning

Notes

Glossary

Key to Map Symbols

About the Editors

Index

Product Details

ISBN:
9780700611867
Translator:
Grau, Lester W.
Translator:
Gress, Michael A.
Translator:
Grau, Lester W.
Translator:
Gress, Michael A.
Foreword by:
Mataxis, Theodore C.
Foreword:
Mataxis, Theodore C.
Author:
Grau, Lester W.
Author:
Gress, Michael A.
Foreword:
Mataxis, Theodore C.
Publisher:
University Press of Kansas
Location:
Lawrence
Subject:
History
Subject:
Afghanistan
Subject:
Asia - General
Subject:
Asia
Subject:
Soviet Union
Subject:
Military - Other
Subject:
Military policy
Subject:
Europe - Russia & the Former Soviet Union
Subject:
Soviet Union Military policy.
Subject:
Afghanistan History.
Subject:
World History-Asia
Subject:
Middle East
Copyright:
Series:
Modern War Studies
Series Volume:
72-67.
Publication Date:
20020231
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Yes
Pages:
392
Dimensions:
9.05x5.96x.81 in. 1.16 lbs.

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Related Subjects

History and Social Science » Asia » Afghanistan
History and Social Science » Military » General
History and Social Science » Military » General History
History and Social Science » Military » Recent Military History
History and Social Science » Military » Soviet and Russian
History and Social Science » Politics » Peace and War
History and Social Science » Russia » General Russian History
History and Social Science » World History » Asia » General
History and Social Science » World History » Middle East

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