- Hardcover: 305 pages
- Publisher: Hamish Hamilton Ltd; First Edition edition (September 1982)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0241108896
- ISBN-13: 978-0241108895
- Product Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 1 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 20 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,825,058 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Inside the Soviet Army Hardcover – September, 1982
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I also found interesting Suvorov's description of the Soviet Union's political structure, the "Bermuda Triangle" (The Army, The Party, & The KGB) as he calls it. He cites the well-known fact that a triangle is the strongest geometric shape known to man, and argues that this applies to politics as well. I kind of glossed over the middle of the book where he methodically describes each armed service (combat organization, strategy, equipment, etc.) in minute detail. Military historians will appreciate this, but I found it a bit tedious.
I really didn't see where the author gives that many controversial opinions. Occasionally he'll agree or disagree with the logic or effectiveness of a certain Soviet policy, but other than that, I didn't find too much of what he had to say as particularly controversial. My only concern is the question of reliability. Is he telling the truth? Now I have no reason to believe that he's not, but let's be honest, it is perfectly possible that a book like this could be written for reasons other than it's stated purpose. Overall though, this was well worth the read and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it to those interested in Soviet/Cold War history or military history in general.
I'd like to close with a quote, which I found particularly interesting. I suppose some could find this controversial, I don't:
"Hitler would not give his wholehearted support to...the leader of the Russian anti-Communist movement. With unbelievable shortsightedness, he embarked upon a bloodthirsty campaign of terror against the inhabitants or the territories occupied by his armies. Compared to the liberation and collectivization campaigns carried out by the Communists, the terror was relatively mild, but it deprived Hitler of any hope of winning the laurels of a champion of freedom.....If, if, if only someone had realized how the Russians loathe Communism. If only someone had tried to tap this reserve of hatred."
The author attempts to cover a lot of ground in this relatively short book, and he manages to cover the Soviet/Russian viewpoint (at least according to the author) on military matters, and why the Russians do some of the things they do. For instance, Suvorov relates that brand new weapons are always held in reserve, and shrouded in secrecy, and never deployed to the soldiers until its replacement is ready for large production (or in national emergency such as the German invasion in 1941). Moreover, Suvorov insists that certain critical upgrades of its equipment are again held back from the same equipment given to allies; for instance, a new tank might have a laser range finder and reactive armor but these features are simply ommitted to the same tank shipped to Syria or Iran (Suvorov says these exported tanks are sometimes referred to as the "monkey model").
It is these kinds of small and interesting details that make this book from 1982, still an interesting read today. One thing Suvorov never directly addresses is why Russian forces always seem to do so poorly in the initial stages of any war and only after massive losses, are the hard lessons of combat finally absorbed into Russian military tactics. To read Suvorov's description of the debacle of the invasion of Czechoslovakia (now Czech Republic) in 1968, and that Suvorov took part in as a tank corps officer, you wonder just how much NATO had to fear from the Russian Army at all -