From Publishers Weekly
In his outstanding institutional and doctrinal history of the Russian army from the military reforms following the Crimean War to the outbreak of war in 1914, Menning, a U.S. Army analyst, discusses how the army prepared itself to fight in an era of dramatic technological, social and political change. He convincingly argues that the Russian army's ultimate failure involved linkages: its parts never meshed into a coherent whole. To illustrate his case, he analyzes the Russo-Turkish (1878-1879) and Russo-Japanese (1904-1905) wars. Masterpieces of conception and execution, these studies highlight the structural weaknesses of the late Tsarist empire, as well as the army's continued reliance on Napoleonic models. The accelerating pace and widening scale of modern military operations, he maintains, created insoluble dilemmas for soldiers trained to trust willpower and cold steel as the keys to victory. Illustrations not seen by PW.
Copyright 1992 Cahners Business Information, Inc.
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"... this is an impressively researched book that examines not only military affairs but also issues concerning diplomacy, economy and technology... well written and tightly organised[,] it is a pleasure to read." --The Russian Review "Satisfying and substantive, this book represents a sophisticated contribution to an important topic." --American Historical Review " ... outstanding institutional and doctrinal history of the Russian army from the military reforms following the Crimean War to the outbreak of war in 1914 ... " --Publishers Weekly " ... genuinely significant, barrier-breaking ... brilliant, classically written ... This superb, timely and timeless book will be the foundation upon which all future books on this fascinating, too-little-explored subject will build." --Military Review " ... brilliant synthesis of the evolution of the Russian army in a critical half century." --The Journal of Military History "Menning provides the definitive English-language account of military thought, army organisation, and combat experience of late Imperial Russia. His multifaceted work is also a model of how military historians should look at the development of the armed forces of any country." -- War in History "I can recommend no better guide to understanding the contours of today's Russian military crisis than this book about that institution's grandparent... This is a startlingly timely work of history." -- Military Review "... brilliant synthesis of the evolution of the Russian army in a critical half century." -- Journal of Military History "Satisfying and substantive, this book represents a sophisticated contribution to an important topic." -- Slavic Review "This book is military history as it should be written. A must read for any scholar or amateur interested in late-nineteenth century military history, it is an important book in the context of the new Balkan tragedy as well as in that of the Russian army's current search for a new direction." -- European Studies Journal