Stalin's Reluctant Soldiers: A Social History of the Red Army, 1925-1941 (Modern War Studies)
Roger R. ReeseISBN: 0700607722;
Under Joseph Stalin's iron-fisted rule, the Soviet state tried to forge an army that would be both a shining example of proletarian power and an indomitable deterrent against fascist aggression. In reality, Roger Reese reveals, Stalin's grand military experiment failed miserably on both counts before it was finally rescued within the crucible of war. Reese greatly expands our understanding of the Red Army's evolution during the 1930s and its near decimation at the beginning of World War II. Counter to conventional views, he argues that the Stalinist state largely failed in its attempt to use military service as a means to indoctrinate its citizens, especially the peasantry. After 1928, the regime's recruits became increasingly disenchanted with Stalin's socialist enterprise-primarily due to the disheartening changes brought on by collectivization and dekulakization. In effect, these reluctant soldiers turned their backs on both the army and Communist Party leadership, neither of...
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