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Soviet Strategic and Civil Defence

  • David R. Jones

Abstract

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.

Keywords

Civil Defence Soviet Leadership Cruise Missile Strategic Defense Initiative Strategic Defence 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Notes

  1. 1.
    For background on the Soviet air defence system see the annual reviews in David R. Jones (ed.) The Soviet Armed Forces Review Annual (SAFRA), Gulf Breeze, FL, Academic International Press, 1977Google Scholar
  2. William F. and Harriet Fast. Scott, The Armed Forces of the USSR, Boulder, CO, Westview, 1979, pp. 147–53Google Scholar
  3. Michael J. Deane, Strategic Defence in Soviet Strategy, Washington, D.C., Advanced International Studies Institute, c. 1981.Google Scholar
  4. 2.
    The GO programme is described in detail in Leon Guoré, War Survival in Soviet Strategy. USSR Civil Defense, Washington, D.C., Center for Advanced International Studies, 1976Google Scholar
  5. 4.
    V. D. Sokolovskii, Voennaia strategiia, Moscow, Voenizdat, 1962, pp. 304–35.Google Scholar
  6. 5.
    A. Radzievskii (ed.), Slovar’ osnovnykh voennykh terminov, Moscow, Voenizdat, 1965, pp. 182–4.Google Scholar
  7. 8.
    A. A. Grechko, The Armed Forces of the Soviet State, 2nd edn, Washington, D.C., US GPO, 1979, p. 81.Google Scholar
  8. 9.
    I. I. Anureev, Oruzhie protivoraketnoi i protivokosmicheskoi oborony, Moscow, Voenizdat., 1971.Google Scholar
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  10. 11.
    S.A. Tiushkevich, Sovetskie vooruzhennye sily. Istoriia stroitel’stva, Moscow, Voenizdat, 1978, p. 457.Google Scholar
  11. 15.
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    S. F. Akhromeev et al., Voennyi entsiklopedicheskii slovar’, 2nd edn, Moscow, Voenizdat, 1986, pp. 595–6Google Scholar
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    Victor Kulikov, The Military Doctrine of the Warsaw Treaty Has a Defensive Character, Moscow, Novosti, 1988, p. 21.Google Scholar
  15. 24.
    For recent Soviet statements on the utility and conduct of civil defence see Akhromeev, Voennyi, p. 210; Babakov, Vooruzhennye, p. 253; and N. S. Vitrenko et al., Provedenie zaniatii po grazhdanskoi Oboroni, Moscow, ‘Vysshaya Shkola’, 1985.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Carl G. Jacobsen 1990

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  • David R. Jones

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