By Gen. William E. Odom
During this booklet, a wonderful usa military officer and student lines the increase and fall of the Soviet army, arguing that it had a much higher influence on Soviet politics and monetary improvement than was once perceived within the West. Drawing on interviews with key actors within the Soviet Union earlier than, in the course of, and after its cave in in 1991, basic William E. Odom tells a riveting and critical tale.
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Additional info for Collapse of the Soviet Military
New programs could be introduced, but reducing weapons production and forces was unthinkable. Such was the system that Gorbachev had to use to implement his radically new military policies. < previous page page_37 next page > < previous page page_38 next page > Page 38 Three How the Military Was Manned The significance of national conscription . . has been passed over by modern political and historical scholars with incredible frivolity or incredible blindness. Lewis Mumford The unique way the Red Army manned its forces goes far in explaining how it won both the Russian civil war and World War II.
S. Army there were only 419 authorized generalofficer positions < previous page page_39 next page > < previous page page_40 next page > Page 40 in 1989, when the total force was 770,000, a ratio of about one general for every 1,835 personnel. S. Army. S. S. generals and admirals, compared with 7,600 in the Soviet military, almost a 1:8 ratio in the aggregate. S. 5, but that only brings down the comparative ratio of generals and admirals in the two militaries to about 1:3. For all officer ranks the ratio was slightly lower, but by any measure, the Soviet rank structure was extremely top-heavy.
The judiciary was not independent, primarily because the party held itself < previous page page_18 next page > < previous page page_19 next page > Page 19 above the law. A party member could not be tried by the courts until he was expelled from the party. This occasionally created special problems in imposing discipline within the military. The legislaturethe Supreme Sovietwas also devoid of independent influence on policy and resource allocations. Although it passed laws required to formalize rules for the state bureaucracy and individuals, it met only a few days each year to put its rubber stamp on legislation drafted in advance by executive branch officials.