Secret Soldiers of the Revolution: Soviet Military Intelligence, 1918-1933

Secret Soldiers of the Revolution: Soviet Military Intelligence, 1918-1933

Secret Soldiers of the Revolution: Soviet Military Intelligence, 1918-1933

Secret Soldiers of the Revolution: Soviet Military Intelligence, 1918-1933

Synopsis

Leonard provides the first comprehensive history of the Red Army's Intelligence Directorate, known today as the GRU, from its inception during the Russian Civil War up to the rise of Nazi Germany in 1933. During these early years of Soviet Army intelligence, the GRU actively promoted Communism internationally through insurrection and partisan warfare. It also became deeply involved in espionage in Western Europe, the United States, and Asia.

Excerpt

The years between 1928 and 1933 were characterized by the consolidation of Stalin's power in the ussr and the continued expansion of the Red Army Intelligence Directorate's capabilities abroad. These developments were closely related. the Red Army had a vested interest in the creation in the Soviet Union of a large and sophisticated industrial base, for this was necessary for the transformation of the Soviet military into a modern force. Threat assessments prepared by the ru emphasized the importance of such a transformation in response to the growing imperialist threat. These views coincided with Stalin's, for he sought to transform the Soviet Union into a modern industrial society by carrying out a "revolution from above." He also hoped to make the ussr into a genuine workers' state by eliminating the independent peasantry. These goals were reflected in the planning and execution of the first Five Year Plan. the Fourth Department played a central role in this process not only by providing in its threat analysis an important justification for such a policy, but also by obtaining through espionage much needed technical information on everything from chemical manufacturing processes to sophisticated machine tools to the application of advanced metallurgical techniques used to rifle tank guns.

The international environment also saw profound changes. By 1932, much of the capitalist world had tumbled into a deep economic depression that created new opportunities and new dangers for Moscow. the depression brought an upsurge in admiration for the ussr by many in the West who regarded with amazement and awe the one state that seemed to have avoided the disaster. Soviet intelligence took advantage of this sympathy to recruit agents in the highest political, social, and cultural circles. Meanwhile, Japan's . . .

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