The Great Bear at War

The Russian and Soviet Army, 1917–Present

The Great Bear at War cover


A history of the Red Army, Soviet Army and Russian Army in 100 years of conflict.

From the chaos of the civil war to the political manoeuvring of the Cold War, Russia's armed forces have shaped the future not only of Russia but of countless other countries around the globe.

The Great Bear at War: The Russian and Soviet Army, 1917–Present explores the development and struggles of Soviet and Russian armed forces across the numerous conflicts which mark its history. It charts the great historical events that have defined the Red/Russian Army, especially World War II and the Cold War, but also the post-communist insurgencies and wars in which the Russian military has redeveloped its outlook and mission. The post-Soviet development of the Russian military into a modern force is explored in detail, including its controversial campaigns in Chechnya (1999–2009), Georgia (2008), and Ukraine (from 2014).

Sewn into the narrative are details about the equipment, uniforms, training, service conditions and weaponry of the Soviet/Russian soldiers, bringing personal experience and technological context to the broader history. At a time when the world is closely focused upon Russian military behaviour, The Great Bear at War is both timely and fascinating.

Table of Contents


Chapter 1 The Emergence of the Red Army, 1917–39
Chapter 2 Defining Moment 1939–45
Chapter 3 Cold War Army
Chapter 4 Descent into Defeat: Afghanistan 1979–89
Chapter 5 New World Order and the Chechnya Disaster 1989–1996
Chapter 6 Resurgence, 1996–Present

Bibliography and further reading

Product details

Published Nov 28 2019
Format Ebook (PDF)
Edition 1st
Extent 384
ISBN 9781472836540
Imprint Osprey Publishing
Illustrations Fully illustrated in colour and black and white, with eye-catching colour maps throughout.
Series General Military
Short code GNM
Publisher Bloomsbury Publishing

About the contributors


Chris McNab

Chris McNab is an author and editor specializing i…


Mark Galeotti

Mark Galeotti is a scholar of Russian security aff…


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