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The Red Army Handbook 1939-1945 Paperback – 26 Jun 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 256 pages
  • Publisher: The History Press Ltd; New Ed edition (26 Jun. 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0750932090
  • ISBN-13: 978-0750932097
  • Product Dimensions: 24.8 x 20.8 x 1.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 731,826 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Steven J.Zaloga has written over seventy books on military history, specialising in Russian and Soviet military subjects. Leland S. Ness served as a Pentagon correspondent for international Defense Review and now publishes a newsletter for the ground defence industry. He is also a consultant in armour technology in the USA and Europe. Both authors live in the USA.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Lector espanol on 12 July 2006
Format: Paperback
The book comprises very detailed information about the different branches of the Red Army in IIWW, including not just the TOE's of the standard infantry or armour units but also less well-known paratroopers, ski, engineers, etc.

I found extremely useful for wargamers (like me) the detailed breakdown provided for these units (including number of men divided between officers, NCos or rank and file, SMGs, mortars, etc), the comments about the evolution of the units organisation through the war years.

Also remarkable the authors' rich comments about the different armour types, stating strenghts and weaknesses and the evolution of the armour doctrine through this period.

Note of caution: I'm not an expert and therefore cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided in the book. Having said that, one of the co-authors (Steven Zaloga) is a highly reputed and well known military expert on Soviet Army IIWW, with several dozens of publications over the past years. That should provide at least some comfort to readers about the quality of the book.

Bottom-line, 15 pounds seems to me good value for money specially compared to the standard Osprey's books on the matter.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Bor on 25 Mar. 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've bought this book years ago and I use it very regularly. I have more army handbooks, but these remain in the cupboard most of the time. This title is different, and that is because of its approach. The first part of the book deals with the organization of the Red Army, and the second gives you descriptions and illustrations of the weapons that were used.

One of the difficulties with the Red Army is that its wartime organization remains vague. Large formations are usually mentioned in accounts of the war and they're identified in most maps. But particulary small formations are never mentioned in detail. Until I received this book I didn't know what the strength of a Soviet squad was, or what the organization of a Soviet infantry company looked like. This title tries to cover all that and more. For almost every level of organization of every type of Unit, mister Zaloga gives you the breakdown in officers, nco's and men, and their weapons (handweapons, but heavy weapons like tanks and artillery as well). The fact that you get the organizational breakdown down to section level is superb. This makes this book extremely useful.

In addition to this the book has at least one picture of all of the important weapons systems that were used by the Soviets during the war. This includes the initial period of the war, so you'll find pictures of a T-28 and a BA-10. The pictures include infantry weapons and artillery pieces as well. The only drawback is that the book doens't cover the supporting arms like signals and medics.

Because of all this I think this book rightly deserves five stars and is highly recommended to anyone interested in the Soviet army of WW2.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4 reviews
45 of 46 people found the following review helpful
A-#1 new book on the Red Army of the Great Patriotic War 18 Nov. 1999
By Nancy Gray - Published on
Format: Hardcover
An excellent new book on the Red Army. This volume contains detailed information on the TO&E (Tables of Organization and Equipment) for Soviet ground forces in the Second World War. The focus of the book is very tight; the changing Soviet unit organization, and Soviet army weapons. Don't look here for tactical doctrine or operational history! I do wish that there was more discussion of Lend-Lease weapons and vehicles, particularly in terms of delivery quantities and dates, and more on Soviet radios and soft-skinned transport vehicles. Nevertheless, a must-have item for Red Army affectionadoes.
17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
Wow! I've wanted this info for a long time. 1 May 2001
By Steve Barrett - Published on
Format: Hardcover
The Red Army Handbook 1939-1945 fills a number of gaps in my knowledge of Soviet units. The only other source I've had for this data is the "War in the East" study done by the staff of Strategy and Tactics Magazine. The Handbook provides info on the Red Army similar to the War Department's "Handbook on German Military Forces", but without limiting the scope of information to the latter half of WWII. I can't emphasize the presence of TO&E info from '39-'41 enough, which the histories have hinted at, but no book I've found (before now) detailed. The knowledge I've gained from the Red Army Handbook has enhanced my (re-)readings of the various histories of the Soviet-Nazi conflict. I consider the Red Army Handbook a vital and essential addition to my library.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
A Must Have for Eastern Front Researchers 8 July 2008
By Andreas Biermann - Published on
Format: Paperback
Stephen Zaloga is an expert on the Red Army, and a superb model-maker. He has extensively written on both topics, and produced TV programmes as well. Leland Ness is a defense expert and Pentagon advisor.

`The Red Army Handbook' is a very dry, but immensely informative and useful account of the organisational and technical development of the main arms of the Red Army from 1939 to 1945. It is clear that the authors have a superb grasp of the topic, and their writing style is fully appropriate to the matter - matter-of-fact. The narrative is not just covering the theoretical organisation, but also includes realistic issues, such as the manpower shortage in the Red Army towards the end of the war, and how it was being dealt with.

The book is divided into two sections, each divided into chapters. The first section deals with the organisational development, charting the evolution of organisational structure of Red Army formation types in great detail, using tables of organisation and strength, together with numerous, very well selected pictures, and a narrative explaining the reasons for changes and how they appeared. Arms covered are infantry, armour, artillery, cavalry, and airborne/special forces.

The second section is dealing with the armament of the Red Army, specifically tanks, infantry weapons, and artillery (`The Red God of War'), and contains invaluable information such as production and loss statistics for tanks, and detailed information on specific weapon systems, again superbly illustrated.

The book also contains an index and a bibliography. Zaloga and Ness should be commended for their use of wide-ranging sources.

As a scenario designer for the computer wargame "Combat Mission - Barbarossa to Berlin", and as a very interested student of the war between Germany and the Soviet Union, I find this book an invaluable reference. It beats Nafziger's books on German unit organisations hands-down in accessibility. A task no doubt made easier by the more rational organisation the Red Army had, compared to the Wehrmacht. Whether you are a wargamer or interested in the evolution of the Red Army from `Giant on Clayfeet' to the most formidable fighting force to emerge from World War 2, this book is a must buy.
How Russia Won 23 July 2013
By Tony Marquise Jr. - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The Red Army Handbook does not describe the battles that Russia fought with Germany in World war II. It is about how Russia organized and eauiped its land combat forces to win this war. It has numerious tables that show the number and organization of each kind of unit in combat with Germany and how these units changed through the war. There are also chapters describing each type of weapon the Russian Army used. I givr this book my highest recommendation. I also recommend the reader get Stalin's Keys to Victory by Walter S Dunn, Jr. , which covers much the same information and reaches some different conclusions from Steven Zaloga. I feel both volumes together give the reader the best possible overview of the machine that destroyed Hitler's Germany.
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