Soviet Strategic and Civil Defence

  • David R. Jones


Before the twentieth-century, Russian defence planners usually included their country’s vast expanses, along with carefully sited fortress systems, among their strategic considerations. But glimmerings of a real concept of ‘strategic defence’ in the modern sense only appear after aircraft had demonstrated a potential for long-range operations during World War II. After M. V. Frunze and others had demonstrated the ‘unity of front and rear’ in the age of total industrial war, Soviet military thinkers (such as A. Lapchinskii, Ya. Alksnis and V. Novitskii) briefly debated defensive issues that verged on strategic in nature. Even so, a decline of Soviet interest in long-range aviation during the mid-1930s brought a simultaneous decline in such issues as well. Although both active (anti-aircraft artillery, interceptors) and passive (civil defence) air defence measures were implemented during 1941–5, J. V. Stalin only grappled seriously with the strategic problem when faced with the threat of American long-range bombing after World War II.


Civil Defence Soviet Leadership Cruise Missile Strategic Defense Initiative Strategic Defence 
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© Carl G. Jacobsen 1990

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  • David R. Jones

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