Stalin's Lieutenants: A Study of Command under Duress

By William J. Spahr | Go to book overview

INTRODUCTION

This work patterns a study of the Soviet high command under Stalin on Douglas Southall Freeman's monumental study of the leadership of the Confederate Army of Northern Virginia during the American Civil War. Freeman Lee's Lieutenants: A Study in Command was published in three volumes in 1942-44. His purpose was to ensure that at least a score of able officers, who had fought under the command of Robert E. Lee and added to his fame, would not be forgotten. After Freeman completed his biography of Lee in 1934, he spent two years considering writing a biography of a soldier of "an earlier period." In the end he decided that he could not leave the period about which he had been writing for more than twenty years. As if to reinforce his decision to continue to write about the Civil War, Freeman observed that so modest a man as Lee would have lamented any presentation of his own services that might depreciate, even by silence, those of his comrades in arms.

Similarly, after completing a biography of Marshal Zhukov, Stalin's ablest military lieutenant, and after considering other projects, I concluded that there were commanders other than Zhukov whose service to the Soviet Army in World War II should be reexamined, especially under the light of glasnost (openness). Unlike Lee, Stalin was never seen on the front lines during the war, but it is safe to say that every Soviet soldier and officer knew who was in overall command of the Soviet Army. Stalin also differed from Lee in that he was not afflicted with the character trait of true modesty. It would not have bothered Stalin if his subordinates were forgotten. In his dress and public conduct, he made a pretense of being a simple man of

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Stalin's Lieutenants: A Study of Command under Duress
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Acknowledgments viii
  • Introduction 1
  • 1 - Forming an Army of a New Type 4
  • 2 - Stalin and Voroshilov Gain Military Experience 17
  • 3 - Egorov the Odd Man In 41
  • 4 - Tukhachevsky the Noble Revolutionary 62
  • 5 - The Soviet-Polish War, 1920 85
  • 6 - Stalin Routs Trotsky 109
  • 7 - The Army Develops a Brain 128
  • 8 - The Military Purges 164
  • 9 - Stalin and Voroshilov Prepare to Meet the Axis Threat 190
  • 10 - Timoshenko Tries to Answer the Finnish Wake-Up Call 227
  • 11 - Stalin's Lieutenants 247
  • Epilogue 291
  • Bibliography 299
  • Index 310
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