Friday, January 13, 2006
The Soviet-Afghan War - How a Superpower Fought and Lost
The Soviet-Afghan War - How a Superpower Fought and Lost. The Russian General Staff's study of the war, translated and edited by Lester W. Grau and Michael A. Gress, is partially presented. Includes online text of introduction, editor preface and foreward.
The text is available in both html and pdf form. If you want to read the whole book you are going to have to buy it or borrow it from a library. However, the online content is interesting and enjoyed browsing it.
From the site:
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.