The Soviet-Afghan War: how a superpower fought and lost

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University Press of Kansas, 2002 - History - 364 pages
12 Reviews
The War in Afghanistan (1979-1989) has been called "the Soviet Union's Vietnam War, " a conflict that pitted Soviet regulars against a relentless, elusive, and ultimately unbeatable Afghan guerrilla force (the mujahideen). The hit-and-run bloodletting across the war's decade tallied more than 25,000 dead Soviet soldiers plus a great many more casualties and further demoralized a USSR on the verge of disintegration.In The Soviet-Afghan War the Russian general staff takes a close critical look at the Soviet military's disappointing performance in that war in an effort to better understand what happened and why and what lessons should be taken from it. Lester Grau and Michael Gress's expert English translation of the general staff's study offers the very first publication in any language of this important and illuminating work.Surprisingly, this was a study the general staff never intended to write, initially viewing the war in Afghanistan as a dismal aberration in Russian military history. The history of the 1990s has, of course, completely demolished that belief, as evidenced by the Russian Army's subsequent engagements with guerrilla forces in Chechnya, Azerbaijan, Tadjikistan, Turkmenistan, and elsewhere. As a result, Russian officers decided to take a much closer look at the Red Army's experiences in the Afghan War.Their study presents the Russian view of how the war started, how it progressed, and how it ended; shows how a modern mechanized army organized and conducted a counter-guerrilla war; chronicles the major battles and operations; and provides valuable insights into Soviet tactics, strategy, doctrine, and organization across a wide array of military branches. Theeditors' incisive preface and commentary help contextualize the Russian view and alert the reader to blind spots in the general staff's thinking about the war.This one-of-a-kind document provides a powerful case study on how

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User Review  - Luftwaffe_Flak - LibraryThing

Sadly abit dry, to be expected though since its simply the direct translation of the Soviet High Commands write up of their participation and the break down of support structures during the Soviet ... Read full review

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Libro interessante soprattutto nella parte iniziale; essendo però un collage di testi di persone diverse (tutti ufficiali russi) ci sono spesso ripetizioni e la qualità non è costante. Di sicuro la cosa più interessante è l'analisi occidentale a confronto con quella sovietica: il testo originale è riccamente commentato, e sono evidenziate molte inesattezze e omissioni. Consigliato solo agli appassionati di storia militare moderna. 

Contents

Phases and Course of the Conflict
17
Organization Armament and Training of the Limited Contingent of Soviet
35
Organization Armament and Tactics of the Mujahideen
55
Copyright

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