Academic journal article Military Review

The Russian Way of War: Operational Art, 1904-1940

Academic journal article Military Review

The Russian Way of War: Operational Art, 1904-1940

Article excerpt

THE RUSSIAN WAY OF WAR: Operational Art, 1904-1940, Richard W. Harrison, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, 2001, 351 pages, $39.95.

In The Russian Way of War, Department of Defense investigator Richard W. Harrison explores the intellectual development of Russian military thought. The book opens on the 1905 Russo-Japanese War and concludes with an analysis of activities that occurred on the eve of Operation Barbarossa in 1941. Some might consider that studying Russian and Soviet doctrine is passe, but the reality is that many developing nations embraced Soviet doctrine, and others, such as the People's Republic of China, absorbed copious amounts of Russian military hardware. Although Russia's political landscape has changed, its military is still formidable. Embedded in parts of this book are descriptions that are the antecedents to Iraqi and Yugoslav military styles of operations.

Beginning as early as 1920, Generals V.K. Triandafalov and M.N. Tukhachevskii wrote prolifically on the need to mechanize the Soviet cavalry. Hardened by their experiences of trench warfare, they envisioned a multidimensional battlefield employing rapid-moving infantry supported by air forces and static artillery.

Soviet military thinkers were tuned into the importance of destroying centers of gravity and the enemy's ability to sustain war. …

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