Soviet Army

from Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Red Army flag.svg
Soviet Army
(Sowjetskaya Armija)
Red army conscript has insignia.jpg

Cap emblem for conscripts - 1973
active February 26, 1946 to December 25, 1993
Country Soviet UnionSoviet Union Soviet Union
Armed forces Armed Forces of the Soviet Union
Armed forces
Strength (entire armed forces)
1955: 5,763,000 men
1960: 3,623,000 men
Insinuation Ministry of Defense / General Staff
Best - known commander in chief
u. a. Zhukov , Konev , Rokossovsky , Voroshilov , Tukhachevsky , Budyonny , Baghramjan and Ustinov

Soviet Army ( Russian Советская Армия (СА) / Sowjetskaja Armija ) was the official name for most of the armed forces of the Soviet Union from 1946 to 1991. Until 1946 it was called the Red Army .

According to their own understanding, the Soviet Army was the most important armed power organ in the Soviet Union. During the Cold War, it was part and main force of the Warsaw Pact and thus of the Eastern Bloc . It included the four branches of the armed forces Strategic Missile Forces , troops of air defense , ground forces and air forces of the USSR .

During the Hungarian uprising in 1956 and the Prague Spring in 1968, the Soviet Army took over the function of securing the rule of the Communist Party in allied Eastern Bloc states. During the Afghan war from 1979 to 1989 she was confronted with the task of supporting the local satellite state against an Islamist guerrilla movement supported by the West .


Forerunner of the Soviet Army was that of under Decree Council of People's Commissars of 15 January 1918 after the voluntary principle, from May 1918 replaced by the conscription , established Red Army of workers and peasants (in short: Red Army (RA)). It celebrated the founding day on February 23, 1918, on which, according to legend, the young army is said to have brought the troops of the German Eastern Army to a standstill at Narva and Pskow on their advance against St. Petersburg .


The Ministry of Defense of the USSR, headed by the "Minister of Defense", was responsible for all matters relating to national defense, as well as the establishment and management of the Soviet Army. The general staff as well as the main and central administration of the armed forces were subordinate to him. The chief of the general staff was also the first deputy of the minister.


Red Army soldiers in Germany on a leisure excursion in 1948

General development

The strategies and tactics tried and tested in World War II shaped and determined the military doctrine of the Soviet Army until the end of the Cold War and the Soviet Union. Even in the age of nuclear arsenals, strong and outnumbered conventional shock armies , mainly equipped with tanks, were to decide the war on the territory of the enemy by means of concentrated advances, with particular importance attached to the coordination of ground and air forces. For this purpose , the group of Soviet armed forces stationed in the Soviet occupation zone or GDR had several powerful armies at their disposal, which represented potential opponents for the opposing NATO formations. For the first time since 1946, the army and the navy were organized under a People's Commissariat or Ministry for the Armed Forces of the USSR . Episode remained a renewed separation between 1950 and 1953 in a war ministry and a ministry for the naval war fleet of the USSR . After Stalin's death in the spring of 1953, the two were finally merged into the Ministry of Defense of the USSR . The General Staff, the actual and most important management body, was called the General Staff of the Armed Forces of the USSR from spring 1946 .

After the war, the leadership of the fronts was disbanded and partially converted into military districts. The demobilization was completed in 1948, of more than eleven million men in 1945 just under three million remained. In the first post-war years, the armed forces began to adapt to the conditions of the "revolution in the military", the Soviet language for the new armament phase characterized by rapid technical progress. There was a comprehensive motorization, mechanization and combat enhancement of the Soviet army. The air forces were switched to the newly developed jet aircraft .

Troop contingents stationed abroad

The majority of them (400,000 - 500,000 men) were in the GDR, followed by Czechoslovakia (80,000), Hungary (more than 60,000) and Poland (under 50,000).

Strength of the army

Military parade in honor of the Great October Socialist Revolution on November 7, 1983

In 1950 the Soviet Army was the numerically strongest army in the world. It counted 170 infantry, 35 tank and 58 artillery divisions with a peacetime strength of nearly four and a half million soldiers. The reserve potential of the Soviet Army, including the ideological-paramilitary formations of the working people, is said to have been almost 30 million men. By 1955, the active Soviet armed forces had grown to around 5.7 million men. The official dissolution of the Soviet cavalry took place at the end of 1953.

In 1955 the first Soviet nuclear war regulation came out. Similar to the United States, it was believed at the time that the introduction of these novel weapons of mass destruction would enable significant savings on the scale of conventional military power. In the Soviet case, a certain rocket euphoria had an effect from the mid-1950s onwards, due to the company's current lead . Under Khrushchev , the Soviet military was reduced to fewer than four million men by 1960 due to these framework conditions. The associated dismissal of tens of thousands of officers, however, already resulted in noticeable resentment. A characteristic of those years was the reallocation of resources to create the new strategic missile forces . From the beginning of the 1960s, the Soviet Union again relied on vehement rearmament, which should basically continue to be pursued until its end. The Soviet Union initially made great efforts to establish a nuclear strategic parity in the arms race against the USA . In addition to stationary ICBMs associations were also the nuclear medium-range missiles equipped units of the several hundred thousand strong "Strategic Missile Forces" of the Soviet army. This also included the mobile system known in the West as the SS-20 , the stationing of which motivated NATO's 1979 double resolution.

Some contradicting figures were circulating about the size of the Soviet armed forces and the Soviet army; For much of the 1960s and 1970s, it was assumed that there were just under four million soldiers. In Western publications from the again tense 1980s it was stated that the Soviet military had a total strength of well over five million people. Criticism was also voiced against such information. In the interest of highlighting the Soviet threat potential, which is politically desirable in the USA, for example, own intelligence analyzes apparently also included vacant positions in the actual strength. In addition, opinions differed as to whether certain formations such as construction or railroad troops and other paramilitary elements should now be taken into account or not.

Arms inventory of the Soviet Army 1965-1991
Weapon type 1965 1970 1975 1980 1985 1990 1991
tank 38000 42000 50000 52600 41700 54400
Artillery , grenade launchers , rocket launchers 21000 26100 29900 50200 64200 64200
strategic anti-aircraft missiles 9800 9500 10,000 9600 8650 8650
Armored personnel carriers 30000 38000 62000 70000 86000 86000
Army helicopter 800 1550 2000 4300 4500 4500
Air Force fighters 2850 3550 5000 5900 4335 4905
Fighter bomber 895 825 518 500 390 410
Large surface vessels 221 236 289 289 227 218
Hunting submarines 240 265 257 203 242 221
Strategic bombers 118 157 157 157 160 128 100
land-based ICBMs 281 1472 1469 1338 1371 1378 1006
land-based nuclear warheads 281 1472 2169 5362 6813 6938 6106
Strategic submarines 25th 44 73 85 78 60 55
sea-based ICBMs 75 317 771 990 980 908 832
sea-based nuclear warheads 72 287 828 1558 2264 2900 2792
Nuclear warheads in total 882 2327 3565 7488 9997 11252 10164


Together with associations of the MWD / MGB and the border troops of the USSR , the Red Army / Soviet Army fought armed separatists in the Ukraine and the Baltic states from 1945 to the 1950s. Several thousand members of the army died in these internal operations.

Invasion of Hungary in 1956, Czechoslovakia in 1968

The most significant foreign operations of the Soviet Army between 1945 and 1979 were the two interventions of 1956 in Hungary and 1968 in Czechoslovakia . The crackdown on the “Prague Spring” was the largest military undertaking in Europe after World War II. According to NATO, it was well planned and carried out from a purely military point of view. Weaknesses became apparent in the "staying power" of the units, which was due to the underdeveloped logistics and supply of the Soviet army compared to Western units. In addition, Czechoslovak railway workers directed supply trains to sidings in civil disobedience . Soviet and Eastern Bloc army divisions comprised only about two-thirds of the personnel strength of western divisions, but had a significantly higher proportion of soldiers with combat duties.

Asia and overseas

At the Korean War , Soviet military personnel took part only in a very limited extent, especially pilots of the Air Force. Used covertly on the North Korean side, they tried out the new types of jet-powered fighters in combat operations.

The Operation Anadyr in 1962 was probably the most complex operation ever carried out by the Soviet forces, although less staff were involved as in the major intervention to crush the resistance movements in the fraternal socialist countries.

In 1969, units of the Soviet Army and the border troops fought briefly with the Chinese People's Liberation Army on the border river Ussuri in Siberia, which marked the climax of a crisis in the relations between the two great socialist powers that had been simmering since the early 1960s . Since the beginning of the decade, the Soviet Army had relocated many units and medium-range nuclear missiles to the border with China. In the friendly Mongolian People's Republic alone there were around 70,000 Soviet soldiers by the end of the Cold War.


Volga with CA marking

Since its inception, the Soviet armed forces have been closely linked to the Communist Party . Its members served as role models; they were seen as the embodiment of the ideological steadfastness of the armed forces. The party members within the army were organized into party groups from the lowest unit level onwards, even more tightly than in other areas of society. From the Second World War, the number of party members within the army increased steadily. The degree of organization increased with the level of rank - in the last decades of the Soviet Union, after all, almost all officers were members of the CPSU. Political officials belonged to the military councils. In the first decades, the party's power within the Soviet military was known as the political commissar , who in the heyday of Stalinism was on an equal footing with or even above the respective military leader. Even if the organization and powers of the “political organs” in the armed forces were changed several times (for example, the political officer at company level was abolished in 1955), the party's leadership and control function within the army remained unchallenged, the importance of constant party-communist agitation by the troops never stood in question. Because the Soviet military was clearly subordinate to the party, the leadership wanted to prevent dangers such as the formation of officer cliques or possible Bonapartism . The cold position of Marshal Zhukov was indicative of their caution in this regard. According to foreign assessments, the CPSU had its military well under control. The high proportion of officers in the total workforce was also due to the extensive organizational structure of the “party workers” within the army, which was actually foreign to the military. It was under the "Political Headquarters of the Army and Fleet". In the other Eastern Bloc armed forces, party-political indoctrination was organized along the lines of the Soviet model. From 1967 until the end of the Soviet Army, there were again “political representatives” at unit level (company, battery, etc.) alongside the respective military leaders. As far as the political and moral condition of the units was concerned, their importance should not be underestimated, because in some places they fulfilled the function of “support officers”.

Another special feature was the internal military intelligence structure , which was most recently subordinate to the Third Headquarters of the KGB . Each unit was monitored by covert KGB officers who used an informer system within the troops for their tasks. This resulted in a general climate of mistrust with corresponding negative consequences. In the final phase of the Soviet Union, with the increasing erosion of ideology, it was weakened by the fact that these organs became more easily corruptible and the pressure in this respect eased.

Typical systemic weaknesses such as careerism and a mentality aimed solely at “scapegoating” or the hushing up of problems were and remained typical of the Soviet armed forces, still promoted by the two special structures of the party and the secret service.

Difficulties starting in the 1960s

Soviet soldiers of various ethnicities

The creeping economic and social decline that began in the 1960s did not stop at the armed forces, which were largely made up of conscripts. In addition to the high number of conscripts, the Soviet military was characterized by a top-heavy leadership structure that could hardly be compared with that of Western armies. In 1978 a quarter of the total workforce was officer, and there was one general or admiral for every 700 men of all ranks. Since the 1970s, as at the top of the state and party, an increasing aging of the top management cadres of the Soviet Army and the Warsaw Pact has been evident. World War II veterans remained in service well beyond the age of 60. For example, Anatoly Gribkov , the chief of staff of the Warsaw Pact, was 71 in 1989. Defense Minister Dmitry Ustinov served until his death at the age of 76 in 1984.

From the 1970s onwards, the officer corps became more self-recruiting. In 1970, 54% of the generals were of rural origin. At the same time, captains and lieutenants were being recruited from families of officers who had often attended military schools. In the late 1980s, officer families made up the largest group of officer candidates. The officer corps was seen in Soviet society as both professional and associated with prestige. On the other hand, it developed into a self-contained caste after World War II. From the mid-1980s onwards, the standard of living of the officer corps deteriorated due to a lack of pay and a lack of available living space. During this time, 165,000 had to stay with civilians at their own expense due to the lack of officers' apartments. The social and health system that provided for the officers' families also fell into disrepair. In units within the Soviet Union, deficits in the supply of food and consumer goods developed. The decline in the standard of living fueled corruption and violations of service.

A competent subordinate corps in NATO terms was practically non-existent. In the USSR, subaltern officers were usually already entrusted with tasks that were carried out by qualified non-commissioned officers in the West (e.g. tank commanders). There was a very narrow layer of long-serving, mostly technical specialists, the so-called Praporschtschiki (comparable to ensigns), alongside only a few Starschina (sergeants). The extensive rank group of sergeants had insufficient training compared to NATO non-commissioned officers. Sergeants represented a kind of corporal who were preselected from the conscripts who entered twice a year (for example DOSAAF activists). While the recruits had previously been called up once a year in autumn, the 1967 Conscription Act passed on to a six-monthly recruiting in spring and autumn. The period of service was reduced from three years to two years.

In general, more emphasis was placed on the proper care and maintenance of the technology than on the training, management and supervision of the staff. Elite groups in the groups abroad or airborne troops were comparatively well supplied. They were the special focus of the leadership, they were on a high level of readiness, were assigned better crew replacements and could devote themselves to combat training. In contrast, the broad mass of the other units were underprivileged. There soldiers often had to grow their own food such as beets and potatoes in order to improve the supply of the troops; entire units were assigned to the economy. Bottlenecks in coal production or when harvesting were to be remedied. Such temporary staff were common in all Warsaw Pact armed forces and, in view of the increasing economic problems, were seen more and more frequently from the mid-1970s.

There were other grievances, such as the practice that senior officers kept an extensive staff of personal servants who were also used, for example, for private construction projects. The frictional losses due to overall social and domestic military inadequacies (accidents), inner-Soviet animosities (nationality conflicts) and the resulting criminality (physical injuries, killings) can hardly be precisely quantified, but were certainly much higher than in western armed forces. There is the impression that the six-monthly recruiting, introduced in 1967/68, contributed significantly to the phenomenon of so-called Dedovshchina  - the harassment of younger recruits by senior conscripts.

Military districts

In 1945 there were more than 30 military districts; their number decreased to 16 districts by the mid-1970s, which existed until the end of the Soviet Union:

  • Leningrad Military District
  • Baltic military district
  • Belarusian Military District
  • Carpathian Military District
  • Odessa Military District
  • Transcaucasian Military District
  • Turkestan Military District
  • Central Asian Military District
  • Moscow Military District
  • Kiev Military District
  • North Caucasian Military District
  • Volga Military District
  • Ural military district
  • Siberian military district
  • Transbaikal Military District
  • Far Eastern Military District

Afghanistan war

Soviet special forces in Afghanistan, February 18, 1988

During the war in Afghanistan , the 40th Army of the Soviet Army ( limited contingent of Soviet troops in Afghanistan ) was confronted with a protracted, unfamiliar guerrilla war in impassable terrain . From 1979 to 1989, 642,000 Soviet military personnel served in Afghanistan. The number of soldiers deployed at any one time varied between 80,000 and 150,000 soldiers. The army lost around 15,000 people, including around 2,000 officers. There were also around 35,000 wounded, of which around 10,700 were war invalids. The Soviet Army bore the brunt of the fighting, with the allied Afghan army being 40,000 to 80,000. Around 412,000 soldiers became seriously ill during the deployment. Around a quarter of them from infectious hepatitis. The high number of cases of illness resulted in permanent staff shortages in the units in the country of between a quarter and a third.

With this conflict, the superpower Soviet Union faced further moral problems as well as severe material and personal wear and tear in its armed forces. It is true that the intervention troops were able to win almost every major battle against the resistance carried out by local and foreign forces and, thanks to their helicopter fleet, recorded great successes, especially in the first half of the war. In 1988, however, the political leadership decided to initiate the withdrawal of troops from the devastated country, which was completed at the beginning of 1989. The Afghan government continued to receive support from the Soviet Union, for example by flying in weapons and relief supplies. As a result, Afghanistan sank into years of bloody civil war .

The Soviet armed forces in the process of disintegration

In 1985, when Gorbachev came to power, the military-industrial complex accounted for 49% of the state budget, corresponding to 25% of the gross domestic product of the Soviet Union. Around 40% of industrial workers were employed in the armaments industry. The size of the Soviet armed forces was between 3.7 and 5 million soldiers in 1985, adding 570,000 border and special troops who were subordinate to the KGB and the Ministry of the Interior . The Soviet Army was in chaos after the implosion of the state on which it was sworn in. Initially, the authority of command passed from the Soviet Union to the CIS and later to the Russian Federation . As the " continuation state " of the Soviet Union, the Russian Federation took over the strategic military potential and the majority of the troops, which brought with it the problem of stationing Russian troops in the near foreign countries .

From 1989 onwards, conscientious objection became a mass phenomenon in Latvia, Armenia and Georgia. In the entire Soviet Union, only 79% of conscripts showed up for service. Some of those who appeared deserted in the process. In 1990, only half of the three million conscripts were drafted. According to the Ministry of Defense, in July 1990 there were 536,000 draftees missing from the troops. In the course of economic reforms, the purchasing power of professional soldiers fell below 30% of the average wage of a working class family. Due to the restriction of the location-based social programs in 1991 around half of the officer's wives were unemployed. In addition to economic hardship, the military's prestige also suffered from the use of force against the population of independent republics.

The transition to the CIS army after the August coup

As a result of the failed coup in August 1991 , in which the Soviet Army campaigned for the preservation of the Soviet Union, the political agenda of the republics became radicalized. The declarations of independence of the Ukrainian SSR , and later the Moldovan SSR , the Georgian SSR , the Azerbaijani SSR and the Baltic republics also had direct consequences for the army. The aim of the General Staff was to keep the combined armed forces as long and complete as possible. However, in view of the fact that the Ministry of Defense of the USSR no longer had its own financial resources from 1992 onwards, this project had to be abandoned. At the first CIS summit in December 1991 it was agreed that the strategic armed forces would be placed under a single command of the CIS.

Deployment of the Soviet ICBMs in 1991
country ICBM / МБР
Russia Soviet Federal Socialist RepublicRussian SFSR Russian SFSR 1066
Ukraine Soviet Socialist RepublicUkrainian SSR Ukrainian SSR 176
Kazakhstan Soviet Socialist RepublicKazakh SSR Kazakh SSR 104
Belarus Soviet Socialist RepublicBelarusian SSR Belarusian SSR 54

Reform processes within the armed forces

The pressure to reform within the armed forces increased. In the peripheral republics, the army had to decide whether to side with the central government or with the republican governments striving for independence. This enabled the officers to exert strong political influence, as was the case with the 14th Army during the Transnistrian conflict . The preservation of the Union state was in the interests of the army in two respects, since it was sworn in on the Union as a whole and the collapse of the Soviet Union and the CPSU increasingly worsened the supply situation for the armed forces. The dissolution of the supreme command structures, which had controlled the armed forces until 1991, led to an increasing loss of control of the political and military leadership over the armed units, so that they increasingly came under the influence of local officers.

Formation of a Russian army

The Russian armed forces were the legal successor to the Soviet armed forces and in early 1992 found themselves in a state of organizational and psychological chaos in view of the catastrophic economic supply situation, the imminent return of 500,000 soldiers to Russian soil and the persistent negative sentiment towards the military.

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation tried, if possible, to acquire those parts of the hereditary material of the Soviet military potential that would secure Russia's long-term status as a world military power. This included, above all, control over nuclear weapons . On May 7, 1992 Boris Yeltsin initiated the creation of his own Russian army with around 1.5 million men from the legacy of the Soviet Army, which should take into account the changed security situation, the immense territorial reduction and the disintegration of Soviet territory in its new doctrine.

After the end of the Soviet Union

Military parade in Moscow's Red Square on September 18, 1990

After the end of the Soviet Union, the decline of the most powerful conventional armed force after the end of World War II was also evident in the general public, especially in the First Chechen War . The nationalist irregulars inflicted heavy defeats on the Russian armed forces, especially in the first battle for the capital Grozny . The Russian armed forces were poorly trained and poorly equipped, and the command of the troops was completely wrong. This ultimately culminated in a temporary retreat.

After the Yeltsin era , the Russian armed forces , which were formed from large parts of the Soviet Army, were of great importance to the political leadership of Russia, which wanted to legitimize their continuing claims to an international great power. An attempt is being made to initiate a renaissance through reforms and a higher military budget. The former greatness and glory of the Red Army are often invoked. However, the decline has so far only been halted in parts.

Symbols of the Soviet Army

Sleeve badge

Sleeve badges symbolized belonging to a branch of arms , special troops, service or use. The permission to carry was limited to the rank groups of NCOs, course officers and ensigns ( Praporschtschik / Mitschman ). Sleeve badges were worn as patches on the uniform coat, the exit or parade uniform, but also on certain field service uniforms (for example: border service uniform, deployment in Afghanistan, etc.). Special sleeve badges were worn on special clothing, such as the overalls of the tank crews or paratroopers .

Choice of sleeve badges

Dissolution of the Soviet Army

As early as the end of 1991, parts of the Soviet Army were relocated to the territory of the RSFSR . The troops stationed in Ukraine and Belarus were transferred to national armed forces. The professional soldiers were given the option to remain in the Soviet Army or join the national armed forces.

After the dissolution of the Soviet Union in December 1991, the last structures of the Soviet Army were decommissioned by 1993. Legal successors were the armed forces of the Russian Federation . The armed forces deployed on the territories of the former Soviet republics in question generally remained at their respective locations, were restructured and were henceforth associations of national armed forces.

By 1994, the armed forces stationed abroad, such as the western group of troops in Germany, were repatriated and largely disbanded. With a few exceptions, the professional soldiers were released. Soldiers in top jobs were not exempt from this either. All soldiers who had contacts with the Western military alliance during the withdrawal negotiations were released in principle.

See also

Web links

Wiktionary: Soviet Army  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. Attachment No. 1 to Order No. 250 of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR from 1973 regarding the way of wearing the uniform. Part III. - How to wear uniform components. Chapter 1 - Headgear. Archived under credit: May 30, 2013.
  2. ^ Sándor Radó (arrangement): World Handbook. International political and economic almanac . Corvina, Budapest 1962. p. 1120.
  3. ^ See decree of the Council of People's Commissars on the establishment of the Red Army of Workers and Peasants , January 15, July / January 28, 1918 greg. January 1918, information under key documents on Russian and Soviet history at .
  4. Collective of the military academy "Friedrich Engels" of the National People's Army (ed.): German Military Lexicon . Military publishing house of the German Democratic Republic, Berlin 1973, 2nd edition, p. 356.
  5. ^ Dictionary of German military history, 1st edition (Liz. 5, P189 / 84, LSV: 0547, B-No. 746 635 0), Military Publishing House of the GDR (VEB) - Berlin, 1985, p. 931.
  6. Nikolaus Eck: The Red War Power threatens and armies ... In: Die Zeit , March 9, 1950.
  7. Torsten Diedrich / Rüdiger Wenzke : The camouflaged army. History of the barracked people's police of the GDR 1952–1956. Berlin 2001, p. 99 ff .; Siegfried Fischer / Otfried Nassauer: Satans fist. The nuclear legacy of the Soviet Union. Berlin 1992, p. 133ff .; William E. Odom: The Collapse of the Soviet Military. Yale University Press 1998, p. 39 ff.
  8. E.g. Friedrich Wiener: The armies of the Warsaw Pact states. Vienna 1974, pp. 20, 21, 99.
  9. E.g. Armed Forces 1985/86. The "Military Balance" of the International Institute for Strategic Studies, London. Koblenz 1986, p. 62.
  10. E.g. Erwin Müller: Armaments Policy and Armaments Dynamics: Case USA. Baden-Baden 1985, p. 76.
  11. Christopher Davis: The Defense Sector in the Economy of a Declining Superpower: Soviet Union and Russia, 1965-2000 . In: Defense and Peace Economics . Volume 13, No. 3. Online
  12. ^ Friedrich Wiener: The armies of the Warsaw Pact states. 6th edition, Vienna 1974, p. 45.
  13. ^ Roland Vogt : Forms of resistance in the CSSR as a response to the intervention of the Warsaw Pact troops on August 21, 1968 . In: Soziale Defense , Vol. 3 (1971), Issue 9/10, pp. 60–70, here p. 69.
  14. ^ Raymond L. Garthoff: Soviet strategy in the atomic age. Düsseldorf 1959, p. 48.
  15. ^ Roger R. Reese: The Soviet Military Experience. New York, 2000, pp. 143-148
  16. Soviet Union - Compulsory military service (DRV)
  17. ^ Roger R. Reese: The Soviet Military Experience. New York, 2000, pp. 166f
  18. ^ Roger R. Reese: The Soviet Military Experience. New York, 2000, p. 143
  19. ^ Roger R. Reese: The Soviet Military Experience. New York, 2000, pp. 174f