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Over the Abyss Mass Market Paperback – March 1, 1995


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Editorial Reviews

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THE ONLY ACCOUNT IN ENGLISH ABOUT LRRPs IN THE USSR
Colonel I. G. Starinov, who began as a mere private in the Red Army and went on to become Russia's top demolitions expert, is a rare eyewitness to the entire history of the Soviet regime and one of the few to survive disagreeing with Stalin's military decisions. From partisan operations in the Russian Civil War through training and fighting with Spanish guerrillas against Franco, to using the first radio-detonated mine to kill a German general, Starinov narrates events never before revealed in the West.
Caught by accident right at the border when the Germans attacked in WWII, Starinov went on to play a crucial role in the creation and training of a virtual partisan army. By wreaking havoc with the German railroad supply lines, these guerrillas were crucial to Soviet success at the front.
Now in his nineties, Starinov survived warfare and even more terrifying political purges to provide this personal, firsthand look of the some of the greatest dramas in history.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 10 pages
  • Publisher: Ballantine Books (March 1, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804109524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804109529
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4.2 x 7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 7.2 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,788,714 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By David W. Nicholas on March 13, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a very good partial autobiography of Starinov, gleaned from several books he wrote and one his wife authored, translated and filled out by Suggs, who does a creditable job with the text and his interludes hanging things together where there are gaps. Starinov was apparently one of the Soviet Union's experts on booby traps and mine warfare during much of the thirties and forties. The first half of the book covers the period pre-WW2, the second half the war. In the first half, the author participates in the Russian Civil War, teaches classes in sabotage in the Soviet Union's military schools, serves in the Spanish Civil War, and gets wounded in the Winter War with Finland. The second half is an account of the author's service in WW2, which largely consisted of training personnel who were sent to act as partisans behind German lines. The author's specialty seems to have been destroying trains with mines, and he developed several for this purpose. Overall it's a good book, with much interesting information on the Soviet high command's culture in the 30's and 40's. The only failing of the book is that the lurid cover tells you of the author's participation in LRRP warfare (the term LRRP is used twice) when in fact the author was rarely in combat (and never during WW2) and was mostly concerned with things other than reconnaisance anyway. The cover also says he served in WW1, which is incorrect. If you can accept this one annoyance, the book is quite good, and full of information not elsewhere available.
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By El Cutachero on January 6, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The phrase is apt because the narrator author has had more lives than the black cat and has seen more than the usual man's share of danger. And he appears to have had all the moves just like the legendary Catwoman.
Starting out as a common soldier in the Bolshevik Army of 1918, he went on to survive the Spanish Civil War, the Stalin purges, and partisan operations in WW II behind the German lines.
This is a fascination memoir and well deserves a place in the collection of the Special Ops aficianado or in the collection of the adventure novel reader. Well worth having.
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By Glenn on March 29, 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
A good description about how it was to serve under Stalin. Exiting and fascinating. a very good story and it raises some questions about how the soviet really thougt.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Authors perspective is unique view of a dynamic phase of European history. The style is a bit lacking but the content was very engaging.
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