Stalin and the Soviet-Finnish War, 1939-1940

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Evgeniĭ Nikolaevich Kulʹkov, Oleg Aleksandrovich Rzheshevskiĭ, Harold Shukman
F. Cass, 2002 - History - 301 pages
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From 14-17 April 1940, a meeting was held in the Kremlin to examine and analyze the performance of the Red Army in the recent Soviet-Finnish War. The participants were all the army commanders who had taken part in the campaign, and some members of the Politburo, notably Stalin, Molotov and Voroshilov. This book is an English translation of the verbatim record held in the Russian State Socio-Political History Archives in Moscow. Marshals Kliment Voroshilov and Grigory Kulik co-chaired the sessions, but it was Stalin who guided the proceedings. Forty-six regimental, divisional, corps, army and front commanders, and senior Red Army officials delivered their reports and engaged in debate. Stalin gave a long speech at the closing of the last session in which he expounded his views on all aspects of military policy. This unique document is the sole verbatim record of a secret meeting at which fundamental issues of military policy and the state of the armed forces were discussed, and a programme of further military construction chartered. The report reveals the atmosphere of Soviet summits, as well as the mentality of senior figures. It conveys a real picture of the war through the eyes of the responsible participants, from political leaders to commanders of military units. The materials of the meeting are a valuable source for the study of the history of the Soviet Union and international relations during a time of complex diplomatic manoeuvring. They clarify the mechanisms of decision-making by Soviet leaders at the onset of the World War II, and depict specific features of the dictatorial autocracy which overwhelmingly determined the life of the Soviet Union and the Soviet Armed Forces.--Publisher description.

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About the author (2002)

The Editor of the" Encyclopedia," Harold Shukman, is University Lecturer in Modern Russian History at the University of Oxford and a Fellow of St Antony's College. His books include "Lenin and the Russian Revolution" and "Lenin's Path to Power." He has edited and translated the memoirs of Andrei Gromyko, novels by Anatoly Rybakov, as well as plays by Isaac Babel and Evgeny Shvarts, biographies of Stalin and Lenin by Dmitri Volkogonov, and most recently he edited a collection of articles on Stalin's generals. He is the General Editor of Longman's multi-volume "History of Russia.

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