G.S. Isserson and the War of the Future

Key Writings of a Soviet Military Theorist

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About the Book

Georgii Samoilovich Isserson (1898–1976) was one of the most prescient and prolific authors on military art in the years preceding World War II. His theories greatly influenced the Red Army’s conduct of operations and were instrumental in achieving victory over Germany. This book gathers together for the first time English translations of Isserson’s most influential works, including some that are still classified. His writings on the preparation and conduct of the deep offensive operation—the deployment of tanks, mechanized infantry, air power and airborne troops to penetrate deeply echeloned defenses—also serve as a primer on how to construct a position to defeat such an attack. His well argued defense of the deep operation based on an examination of recent wars and his reminiscences about the people and events that shaped Soviet military theory in the 1930s are included.

About the Author(s)

Richard W. Harrison lives in Boiling Springs, Pennsylvania. A former investigator with the Department of Defense’s POW/MIA office in Moscow and an independent researcher, Harrison has also taught Russian history and military history at the college and university level.

Bibliographic Details

G.S. Isserson
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 332
Bibliographic Info: notes, index
Copyright Date: 2016
pISBN: 978-1-4766-6236-7
eISBN: 978-1-4766-2390-0
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Table of Contents


Foreword by Lieutenant General

Paul K. Van Riper, USMC (Ret.)  1

Preface by Richard W. Harrison  6

About the Translation  9

A Short Biography of G.S. Isserson  10

One—The Evolution of Operational Art (1932)  15

Two—“The Fundamentals of the Deep Operation” (1933)  73

Three—“The Fundamentals of the Defensive Operation” (1938)  155

Four—“The Fundamentals of Conducting Operations” (1939)  211

Five—The New Forms of Struggle (1940)  235

Six—“The Development of the Theory of Soviet Operational Art in the 1930s” (1965)  285

Chapter Notes  309

Index  321


Book Reviews & Awards

“Harrison has over the last two decades made major contributions to the study of the Russian/Soviet way of war…this book belongs on the respective shelves of all professional officers”—The Russian Review.