➳ [Reading] ➶ The Russian Way of War: Operational Art, 1904-1940 By Richard W. Harrison ➩ – Horse-zine.co.uk

10 thoughts on “The Russian Way of War: Operational Art, 1904-1940

  1. says:

    Richard Harrison s The Russian Way of War studies the development of Russian Soviet operational doctrine It starts with its origins in the Russo Japanese War Instead of a single decisive campaign keyed on a climactic battle for example, the Franco Prussia War , the Russo Japanese war had several army sized units engaged in prolonged fighting in the battles of Liaoyang and Mukden This led to the germination of the idea that there was a level of control between the strategic and the tactical where multiple army actions would take place.Harrison does a good study of the difficulty the Russians had in applying this concept during WWI where the level of control to be exercised over front commanders and the level they were supposed to exercise hampered Russian operations WWI also saw the first example of another feature of Russian operation doctrine with the Brusilov Offensive s plan of hitting along a wide sector of the front to keep the enemy from concentrating his defensive forces.One factor in the Brusilov offensive also manifested in the Russo Polish War, the failure to realize when an operation had exhausted itself The book covers the concept of the operation having a natural time limit based on resources In short, the growing size of armies had rendered it much harder to end a war with a single campaign, instead necessitating a series of operations The failure to realize that led to Russian over extension in the Brusilov offensive and the over extension of the Soviets when they went for Warsaw in 1920.The Soviet emphasis on the offensive and on deep penetration also drew from the particular circumstances of the Russian Civil War, with a low force to space ratio that was conducive to such penetrations and which made defense harder.With just under the first half of the book covering the precursors, the rest does a good job in covering the development of the theory, including the many rivalries and the impact of the Stalinist purges One of the main disputes was the role of defense and the book shows how defensive operations and theory was received a decidedly minority share of the attention Another key split was the extent to which a slow grinding of the enemy would be a factor relative to a strategy of seeking decisive offensive operations.A large part of the book covers the mechanization of the Soviet forces and the intensive, and very costly, industrial development that made it possible The book also covers the doctrine s addressing of the factors of depth as well as breadth specifically, the increasing depth of an enemy s defensive system and the need for penetrations deep enough to deal with that.Overall, a very solid overview I partly would have liked to see how this played out in WWII itself the book ends its coverage in 1940 but I can understand how that would be perhaps better treated as a separate book.

  2. says:

    Great overview of Russian military thought during this period Prompted by the massive land area in which she would fight, Russian military thinkers developed a school for operational art in 1931 The US experience didn t evolve toward that way of thinking until the 1980s Harrison s books is a great primer before reading the Russian thinkers themselves.

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The Russian Way of War: Operational Art, 1904-1940 download The Russian Way of War: Operational Art, 1904-1940, read online The Russian Way of War: Operational Art, 1904-1940, kindle ebook The Russian Way of War: Operational Art, 1904-1940, The Russian Way of War: Operational Art, 1904-1940 ee7255118feb In The First Half Of The Twentieth Century, Both Czarist Russia And Its Successor, The Soviet Union, Were Confronted With The Problem Of Conducting Military Operations Involving Mass Armies Along The Broad Fronts, A Characteristic Of Modern War Despite The Ideological And Technological Differences Between The Two Regimes, Both Strove Toward A Theory Which Became Known As Operational Art That Level Of Warfare That Links Strategic Goals To Actual Combat EngagementsFrom The Russo Japanese War Of , Through World War I, The Civil War, And To The Eve Of World War II, Modern Operational Art Grew From Theoretical Speculations By A Small Group Of Officers To Become A Critical Component Of The Soviet Art Of War In This First Comprehensive Treatment Of The Subject, Richard Harrison Shows How This Theory Emerged And Developed To Become Despite Radically Different Political Settings And Levels Of Technology Essential To The Red Army S Victory Over Germany In World War IITracking Both Continuity And Divergence Between The Imperial And Red Armies, Harrison Analyzes, On The Basis Of Theoretical Writings And Battlefield Performance, The Development Of Such Operationally Significant Phenomena As The Front Group Of Armies , Consecutive Operations, And The Deep Operation, Which Relied Upon Aircraft And Mechanized Formations To Penetrate The Kind Of Intractable Defense Systems That Characterized So Much Of World War IDrawing Upon A Wide Range Of Sources, Including Memoirs, Theoretical Works, And Materials From The Russian Military Archives Many Presented Here For The First Time , Harrison Traces The Debates Within The Russian And Soviet Armies That Engaged Such Theorists As Neznamov, Svechin, Triandafillov, And Isserson The End Result Is An Exemplary Military Intellectual History That Helps Illuminate A Critical Element In The Russian Way Of War