The Soviet Army – Books – Russia’s War by Richard Overy

Title:Russia’s War
Author:Richard Overy
Publication Date:August 1998
Number of pages:432

Review by Anthony Winning:

Richard Overy’s work on Russia’s involment in the Second World War is a recommended one. He not merely examines the period in which the war occured, but examines Europe and Russia in the period leading upto the outbreak of war. With this insight he then seeks to explain much of what happened during the war as part of the continuation of social and political considerations before the war broke out. This gives Russia’s War more scope and weight than other books on the subject.

Overy was also able to get exclusive access to archives that had been previously unaccessable, to produce new evidence that suggests that the Red Army was not merely a mass that overwhelmed the Germans, nor that German defeat was the result of logistic over-stretch and strategic bungling. This has also allowed him to more accurately assess the Russian leadership, showing the good with the bad. This is a valuable insight considering how Soviet Propoganda has twisted history and diffused the truth.

His work is well balanced and written. He offers a fair portrayal of the situation on the Eastern Front, analysing the leadership of the Soviet Union as well as their military actions. He strikes a good balance between detail and examining the bigger picture.