Article

Russian Military History

Reina Pennington

in Military History

ISBN: 9780199791279
Published online February 2012 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780199791279-0052
Russian Military History

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Russian and Soviet military history extends from the time of the Mongol invasions to the present. It presents a rich and varied tapestry of military experience that is well worth studying but is often neglected in most general works of military history. Aside from World War II, which has produced a bounty of military histories in the past few decades, most areas are badly understudied. Some themes include geographic context (immense, diverse, and multiethnic); the challenges of central control; efforts to modernize and Westernize; and conflict with neighbors including Sweden, Poland, the German states, Austria, the Ottomans, and the British. When the Bolsheviks came to power in the early 20th century, they dealt with many of these old issues plus the challenge of creating a new sort of army appropriate to a Communist state. The Bolshevik regime was born in civil war, and the Soviet Union was at least partly destroyed by the burdens of war—from the terrible economic and human costs of the Great Patriotic War to the long-term drain of the arms races of the Cold War. Both Russia and the Soviet Union can claim unique aspects of military experience, including the inclusion of women and large ethnic minorities. This entry focuses on wars, military institutions, and human experience in war and the military.

Article.  24956 words. 

Subjects: Military History ; Pre-20th Century Warfare ; First World War ; Second World War ; Post-WW2 Military History

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