From Library Journal
The stark contrasts between the current American-Afghan war and the traumatic events of the Soviet conflict that ended more than a decade ago are dramatically apparent in this book. Translator and editor Grau (Lt. Colonel, U.S. Army, ret.; The Bear Went Over the Mountain: Soviet Combat Tactics in Afghanistan) had help deciphering the Russian General Staff papers from Gress, a Soviet migr who served in the Soviet army. The main body of the book is about Soviet army and air force tactics, operations, and armaments. At the end of each section, Grau offers "editor's comments" to explain and draw perspective on the accounts from the Russian General Staff. Several recurring themes are that the Soviets/Russians have not given accurate statistics on the war, the Soviet military had thoroughly penetrated the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan before the invasion, and the Marxist-Leninist framework kept the generals from making a proper assessment of their task. Although of some historical interest, this book is ponderous with details and is not a light read. Recommended for public libraries with Soviet history collections and academic libraries. Harry Willems, Southeast Kansas Lib. Syst., Iola
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
"This superb translation will generate widespread and unprecedented interest in the subject. Offering a candid view of a war that played a significant role in the ultimate demise of the Soviet Union, this book presents analysis absolutely vital to Western policymakers, as well as to political, diplomatic, and military historians, and anyone interested in Russian and Soviet history. It also provides insights regarding current and future Russian struggles in ethnic conflicts both at and within their borders, struggles that could potentially destroy the Russian Federation." DAVID M. GLANTZ, COAUTHOR OF THE BATTLE OF KURSK "Provides a treasure trove of information and analysis." WILLIAM E. ODOM, AUTHOR OF THE COLLAPSE OF THE SOVIET MILITARY AND ON INTERNAL WAR