Several interesting pieces have just appeared in The Journal of Slavic Military Studies.
The history of the Red Army in the Civil War of 1918–1922, in its significant part, was a history of mass treason and desertion of thousands of former officers (military specialists). Among them there were hundreds of General Staff specialists, the real representatives of Soviet military elite, whose treason was extremely dangerous for the fate of Soviet Russia. The treasons were both individual and group when the whole Soviet staffs fled to the Whites. Among the defectors there were representatives of almost all staff and command levels including several army commanders. These specialists of high qualification with academic background were aware of Soviet war plans, mobilization questions, and other classified data and could issue harmful orders before their defection to the enemy and influence the situation on the front. This article describes the reasons, history, circumstances, and results of this process that remained widespread until the decisive victories of the Reds in 1920. According to the calculations by Andrey Ganin, based on the vast, previously unknown data from Russian archives, almost every third General Staff specialist deserted the Red Army during that war. In spite of this, Bolsheviks managed to unite the experience of the military professionals with the new administrative methods and ‘with iron and blood’ organized powerful and effective military force which finally gained victory in the Civil War.
Gary A. Dickson, ‘The Counterattack of the 7th Mechanized Corps, 5–9 July 1941′
The war between Germany and the Soviet Union witnessed some of the largest tank battles in history. Most accounts of the Russo-German war label the battle of Kursk, specifically the fighting around the village of Prokhorovka on 12 July 1943, as the largest tank battle in history. However, since the fall of the Soviet Union, more details have come out regarding other, lesser known, battles that involved even more tanks. One of these engagements was the counterattack by the Red Army’s 20th Army using two of the newly created mechanized corps. During the period 5–9 July 1941, the Soviet 5th and 7th mechanized corps launched a counterattack with over 1,000 tanks against elements of two German mobile corps around the village of Senno in what is now Belarus. Almost unknown in the West and virtually ignored in the Soviet Union, study of this battle sheds light on the condition of the Red Army in the first weeks of the war and on the lessons that influenced the future development of large-scale armored formations in the Red Army.
Martijn Laka, ‘Reflections on the Second World War in Europe’