By David Stone

This booklet brings to gentle Russia's undeservedly-obscure army earlier, rectifying the tendency of yankee and Western army historians to overlook the Russian part of items. Russia, as either a Western and non-Western society, demanding situations our considering Western army superiority. Russia has continuously struggled with backwardness compared to extra constructed powers, at a few occasions extra effectively than others. The imperatives of survival in a aggressive foreign setting have, additionally, produced in Russian society a excessive measure of militarization. whereas together with operational and tactical element that appeals to army heritage lovers, this publication concurrently integrates army heritage into the wider subject matters of Russian background and attracts comparisons to advancements in Europe. The e-book additionally demanding situations outdated assumptions concerning the Russian army. Russian army heritage can't be summed up easily in one inventory word, no matter if perennial incompetence or luck merely via stolid, stoic safeguard; it additionally indicates a number of examples of awesome offensive successes.

Stone strains Russia's interesting army historical past, and its lengthy fight to grasp Western army expertise with out Western social and political associations. It covers the army dimensions of the emergence of Muscovy, the disastrous reign of Ivan the negative, and the following construction of the recent Romanov dynasty. It bargains with Russia's emergence as an outstanding energy lower than Peter the good and culminating within the defeat of Napoleon. After that triumph, the e-book argues, Russia's social and financial stagnation undermined its huge, immense army strength and taken catastrophic defeat within the Crimean struggle. The ebook then covers imperial Russia's lengthy fight to reform its army computer, with combined ends up in the Russo-Japanese warfare and global struggle I. The Russian Revolution created a brand new Soviet Russia, yet this publication exhibits the continuity throughout that divide. The Soviet Union's interwar concepts and its harrowing event in international warfare II owed a lot to imperial Russian precedents. A superpower after the struggle, the Soviet Union's army may possibly used to be bought on the rate of constant fiscal backwardness. sarcastically, the very militarization meant to supply defense as a substitute destroyed the Soviet Union, leaving a brand new Russia in the back of the West economically. simply as there has been loads of continuity after 1917, this ebook demonstrates how the hot Russian army has inherited a lot of its present difficulties from its Soviet predecessor. the cost that Russia has paid for its persevered life as a superb energy, hence, is the overpowering militarization of its society and economic climate, a state of affairs it keeps to fight with.

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Additional resources for A Military History of Russia: From Ivan the Terrible to the War in Chechnya (Praeger Security International)

Example text

The cossacks, a term derived from the Turkish word for “wanderer” or “freebooter,” were a heterogeneous community along Muscovy’s southern borders, living in democratic and communal settlements in the no-man’s-land of the empty steppe, what Russians called the “wild field” between settled Muscovite territory and areas under the control of the Crimean Tatars. In addition to an important community of cossacks along the Dnepr River in what is now Ukraine, other groups of cossacks formed farther east, particularly along the Don River.

At the same time, Muscovy began systematically developing its domestic production of metals and weapons, a process that continued through the rest of the century and beyond. In addition, Mikhail’s government upgraded Moscow’s army through the creation of “new-style” regiments along European lines, beginning the long process of adopting Western norms of organization and equipment to bring Russia’s military to Western standards. In 1630 and 1631, Filaret hired thousands of foreign mercenaries, recruiting officers throughout western and central Europe.

Though he failed to take it, his army remained intact in the heart of Muscovy. With both sides near exhaustion, Poland and Muscovy reached agreement at Deulino in December 1618 to end hostilities. Not a perpetual peace but a 14-1/2-year truce, their accord ceded large sections of western Muscovy, including Smolensk, to Poland. It provided for the return of Muscovite prisoners in Polish hands, including Filaret Romanov. Filaret returned after nearly a decade in Polish captivity to take over government on behalf of his son the tsar.

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