Learning From Foreign Wars

Russian Military Thinking 1859–73

Gudrun Persson

Learning from Foreign Wars examines how the Russian army interpreted the wars in Europe between 1859 and 1871, and the American Civil War. This was a time marked by rapid change - political, social, economic and technological.
Publication date:
February 2010
Publisher :
Helion and Company
Language:
English
Illustration :
10 Illustrations
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ISBN : 9781906033613
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Overview
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• A fresh study on how the influence of the defining combats between 1859-71 influenced the Russian Army and Russian society as a whole

Learning from Foreign Wars examines how the Russian army interpreted the wars in Europe between 1859 and 1871, and the American Civil War. This was a time marked by rapid change - political, social, economic and technological. By raising the question of learning from foreign wars the author attempts to fill a gap in the historiography of the Russian army.

The army was one of the pillars on which the Russian regime built its power, and it was crucial for the survival of the regime both in domestic and foreign affairs. The reactions and thinking of the military at a time of rapid change, therefore, reveal a lot about the regime's ability to adjust, develop, and ultimately survive. Furthermore, the influence of foreign wars on Russian strategic war planning is analysed with the use of the first Russian war plan of 1873 and the proceedings from the strategic conference, chaired by Alexander II, in 1873. The influence of foreign wars on the General Staff officer education is also investigated.

This book is largely based on extensive research in Russian archives. Special attention is given to the military attachés and, thus, the author fills a gap in the historiography of the Russian army. The Russian military attachéreports from the European Great Powers 1859-71 and the observer reports from the different theatres of war are also examined, with extensive use made of the military press and contemporary military literature with regard to the wars.

About the Author
Gudrun Persson is a lecturer at Stockholm University, specialising in Russian reform periods and focusing on military reforms. She has published several books and articles on these subjects.

REVIEWS

In writing of Russian efforts to learn from others, the author shows an excellent command of her subject ... One of the major contributions of the work is its extensive bibliography, which will in itself remain a valuable guide to historians of nineteenth-century Russian military history ... An extremely valuable contribution to the field.
Slavic Review

Persson has provided a valuable study of the Russian military as a learning institution at a critical juncture in its history.
The Russian Review

...a useful new addition to the literature on the late Imperial Russian army.
Canadian Slavonic Papers