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Translating War: An Annotated Bibliography of Translated Works by Stuart Britton

Updated: Apr 7, 2023


A Sample of Stuart's Translations


Military professionals in the English-speaking world should know the name Stuart Britton. Stuart, the translator and editor of more than thirty books, has provided keys to a treasure trove of breathtaking Soviet military memoirs, groundbreaking Russian-language military histories, and other works that tremendously deepen our understanding of the Russian and Soviet military experience. Indeed, the follies and failures of the Russian Army in Ukraine today find many parallels in Stuart’s translations.


Stuart's work has been cited in numerous scholarly and popular books and has been consulted by wargame designers. It has also been used for decision-forcing cases at the U.S. Marine Corps’ Basic School, and as part of British Army staff rides in Ukraine, Estonia, Poland, and Germany.


More than two years ago, Stuart was diagnosed with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. We are deeply saddened to share that the disease has progressed rapidly, and Stuart has been forced to stop working.


To celebrate Stuart’s life and his profound contributions to the field of military history and the profession of arms, the Warfighting Society presents an annotated bibliography of his work.

All book summaries and cover images come from the associated book's page on Amazon.


We encourage you to consider purchasing Stuart’s works. Some are available on Kindle for as little as $2.99. The Warfighting Society receives no money or kickbacks for any sales. We share Stuart's translations because they deserve wider attention and would greatly benefit members of the Warfighting Society. Whether you want to bust through the myths of the Battle of Kursk, vicariously experience anti-tank warfare in Ukraine in 1944, or enrich your understanding of Soviet air operations in the Korean War, Stuart has a book for you.


Finally, if you want to learn more about Stuart and his stellar work, listen to his 2020 interview on Controversy and Clarity: https://bit.ly/3Y3zcQD.


-The Warfighting Society


From Stalingrad to Pillau: A Red Army Artillery Officer Remembers the Great Patriotic War (Modern War Studies) Hardcover – Illustrated, March 3, 2008

by Isaak Kobylyanskiy (Author), Stuart Britton (Editor)



Strange sounds resembling the remote rumble of distant thunder were audible. Everybody understood: it was the echo of the battle for Stalingrad…A heavy rain began falling. Stalingrad's outskirts provided Isaak Kobylyanskiy, a 19-year-old ethnic Jew from Ukraine, with his first exposure to combat and initiated his long odyssey in the Great Patriotic War against Germany. It would be more than three years before he was finally reunited with his family and his sweetheart, Vera, the schoolmate he had promised to marry. Kobylyanskiy started the war as a 76-mm infantry support gun crew commander for the 300th Rifle Division (and its later incarnations) and celebrated V-E Day as a battery commander. He took part in actions ranging from Stalingrad to the tip of the Zemland Peninsula at Pillau. His combat journey was a long process of exhausting marches punctuated by harrowing moments of intense combat. From the liberation of Sevastopol, through Lithuania's countryside, to the final storming of Knigsberg's heavy fortifications, Kobylyanskiy's memoir sweeps across the great expanses of the Eastern Front. His narrative is packed with dramatic details—including revealing depictions of forgotten or ignored aspects of certain battles—and insights into the daily life of the Soviet army: the relentless marches to locate and engage the enemy, the prejudicial treatment of female soldiers, and the plight of Soviet civilians. Kobylyanskiy also discusses the role of military political officers (and his own conflicted views on communism), clarifies the place of Jews in the Red Army and discusses how his reaction to anti-Semitic utterances added a sense of responsibility to his fighting, and frames his account with personal glimpses into the stifling repression of Stalinist society, including the brutal collectivization program and resulting famine in Ukraine. But he balances such memories with warm recollections of some of his comrades and especially with an affecting portrait of his courtship of Vera, which sustained him in battle, and concludes with an emotional coda: their wedding ceremony in a war-ravaged but recovering Kiev. By turns vivid, reflective, intense, and entertaining, Kobylyanskiy's narrative charts one warrior's epic journey and joins a select group of memoirs that deepen our understanding of what it was like for Russian soldiers on the Eastern Front.


Panzer Destroyer: Memoirs of a Red Army Tank Commander Paperback – November 16, 2018

Vasiliy Krysov (Author) and Stuart Britton (Editor and Translator)



The day after Vasiliy Krysov finished school, on 22 June 1941, Germany attacked the Soviet Union and provoked a war of unparalleled extent and cruelty. For the next three years, as a tank commander, Krysov fought against the German panzers in some of the most intense and destructive armoured engagements in history including those at Stalingrad, Kursk and Knigsberg. This is the remarkable story of his war. As the commander of a heavy tank, a self-propelled gun - a tank destroyer - and a T-34, he fought his way westward across Russia, the Ukraine and Poland against a skilful and determined enemy which had previously never known defeat. The ruthlessness of this long and bitter campaign is vividly depicted in his narrative, as is the enormous scale and complexity of the fighting. Honestly, and with an extraordinary clarity of recall, he describes confrontations with German Tiger and Panther tanks and deadly anti-tank guns. He was wounded four times, his crewmen and his commanding officers were killed, but he was fated to survive and record his experience of combat. His memoirs give a compelling insight into the reality of tank warfare on the Eastern Front.


Guns Against the Reich: Memoirs of an Artillery Officer on the Eastern Front

By Petr Mikhin (Author), Bair Irincheev (Translator), and Stuart Britton (English Text)



In three years of war on the Eastern Front—from the desperate defense of Moscow, through the epic struggles at Stalingrad and Kursk to the final offensives in central Europe—artillery-man Petr Mikhin experienced the full horror of battle. In this vivid memoir he recalls distant but deadly duels with German guns, close-quarter hand-to-hand combat, and murderous mortar and tank attacks, and he remembers the pity of defeat and the grief that accompanied victories that cost thousands of lives. He was wounded and shell-shocked, he saw his comrades killed and was nearly captured, and he was threatened with the disgrace of a court martial. For years he lived with the constant strain of combat and the ever-present possibility of death. Mikhin recalls his experiences with a candor and an immediacy that brings the war on the Eastern Front—a war of immense scale and intensity—dramatically to life.


800 Days on the Eastern Front: A Russian Soldier Remembers World War II (Modern War Studies) Paperback – January 20, 2017

by Nikolai Litvin (Author), Stuart Britton (Translator and Editor)



During his 800 days of war, Nikolai Litvin fought at the front lines in the ferocious tank battles at Kursk, was wounded three times, and witnessed unspeakable brutalities against prisoners and civilians. But he survived to pen this brief but powerful memoir of his wartime experiences. Barely out of his teens, Litvin served for three years in the Red Army on the killing fields of the Eastern Front. His memoir presents an unadorned, candid narrative of the common soldier's lot in Stalin's army. Unlike the memoirs of Russian officers—usually preoccupied with large military operations and political concerns—this narrative offers a true ground-level view of World War II's deadliest theater. It puts a begrimed human face on the enormous toll of casualties and provides a rare perspective on battles that were instrumental in the defeat of the German army. Litvin's varied roles, ranging from antitank gunner at Kursk to heavy machine gunner in a penal battalion to staff driver for the 352nd Rifle Division, offer unique perspectives on the Red Army in World War II as it fought from the Ukraine deep into the German heartland. Litvin documents such significant battles as Operation Kutuzov, Operation Bagration, and the German counterattack on the Narev, while also providing unique personal observations on fording the Dnepr River under enemy fire, the rape of German women by Russian troops, and literally seeing his life pass before his eyes as he watched a Stuka's bomb fall directly on his position. And, because part of his duties involved chauffeuring Red Army generals, he also presents revealing glimpses into their personalities and behaviors. Originally written in 1962, with events still fresh in his mind, Litvin's memoir lay unpublished and unseen until translator Stuart Britton and a Russian colleague approached him about publishing it in English. Britton interviewed Litvin to flesh out the details of his original recollection and annotated the resulting work to provide historical context for the campaigns and battles in which he participated. Remarkably free of Soviet-era propaganda, this gem of a memoir provides a view of the war never seen by western readers, including photographs from Litvin's personal collection. An invaluable historical document, as well as a remarkable testament of survival, Litvin's memoir offers unique and penetrating insights into the Soviet wartime experience unavailable in any other source.

Through the Maelstrom: A Red Army Soldier's War on the Eastern Front, 1942-1945 (Modern War Studies) Paperback – March 27, 2015

by Boris Gorbachevsky (Author), Stuart Britton (Translator and Editor), Foreward by David M. Glantz



Summary: The monumental battles of World War II's Eastern Front—Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk—are etched into the historical record. But there is another, hidden history of that war that has too often been ignored in official accounts. Boris Gorbachevsky was a junior officer in the 31st Army who first saw front-line duty as a rifleman in the 30th Army. Through the Maelstrom recounts his three harrowing years on some of the war's grimmest but forgotten battlefields: the campaign for Rzhev, the bloody struggle to retake Belorussia, and the bitter final fighting in East Prussia. As he traces his experiences from his initial training, through the maelstrom, to final victory, he provides one of the richest and most detailed memoirs of life and warfare on the Eastern Front. Gorbachevsky's panoramic account takes us from infantry specialist school to the front lines to rear services areas and his whirlwind romances in wartime Moscow. He recalls the shriek of Katiusha rockets flying overhead toward the enemy and the unforgettable howl of Stukas divebombing Soviet tanks. And he conveys horrors of brutal fighting not recorded previously in English, including his own participation in a human wave assault that decimated his regiment at Rzhev, with piles of corpses growing the closer they got to the German trenches. Gorbachevsky also records the sufferings of the starving citizens of Leningrad, the savage execution of a Russian scout who turned in false information, the killing of an innocent German trying to welcome the Soviet troops, and a chilling campfire discussion by four Russian soldiers as they compared notes about the women they'd raped. His memoir brims with rich descriptions of daily army life, the challenges of maintaining morale, and relationships between soldiers. It also includes candid exposés of the many problems the Red Army faced: the influence of political officers, the stubbornness of senior commanders, the attrition through desertions, and the initial months of occupation in postwar Germany. Through the Maelstrom features the swiftly moving narrative and rich dialogue associated with the grand style of great Russian literature. Ultimately, it provides a fitting and final testament to soldiers who fought and died in anonymity.


Panzer Killers: Anti-tank Warfare on the Eastern Front Hardcover – April 19, 2013

by Artem Drabkin (Author), Stuart Britton (Translator)



What was it like to confront the German panzer armies as an anti-tank gunner on the Eastern Front during the Second World War? How could you hope overcome of one of the best-equipped, well-trained and tenacious armored forces of the time? And how did the Red Army’s tactics and skills develop over the course of the war in order to counter the threat posed by the elite troops of the Wehrmacht? The vivid personal narratives of Red Army anti-tank men selected for this book give a fascinating insight into these questions – and into the first-hand experience of anti-tank warfare seventy years ago. Their testimony reveals how lethal, rapid, small-scale actions - gun against tank – were fought, and it shows how such isolated actions determined the outcome of the massive offensives and counter-offensives that characterized the struggle on the Eastern Front. Panzer Killers is a valuable addition to the series of graphic eyewitness accounts of every aspect of the Red Army’s war on the Eastern Front published by Pen & Sword.


Marshal K.K. Rokossovsky: The Red Army's Gentleman Commander Kindle Edition, March 19, 2015 by Boris Sokolov (Author), Stuart Britton (Translator and Editor)



The author Boris Sokolov offers this first objective and intriguing biography of Marshal Konstantin Konstantinovich Rokossovsky, who is widely considered one of the Red Army's top commanders in the Second World War. Yet even though he brilliantly served the harsh Stalinist system, Rokossovsky himself became a victim of it with his arrest, beatings and imprisonment between 1937 and 1940. The author analyzes all of Rokossovsky's military operations, in both the Russian Civil War and the Second World War, paying particular attention to the problem of establishing the real casualties suffered by both armies in the main battles where Rokossovsky took part, as well as on the Eastern Front as a whole. Rokossovsky played a prominent role in the battles for Smolensk, Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk, Belorussia, Poland, East Prussia and Pomerania. While praising Rokossovsky's masterful generalship, the author does not shy away from criticizing the nature of Soviet military art and strategy, in which the guiding principle was "at all costs" and little value was placed on holding down casualties. This discussion extends to the painful topic of the many atrocities against civilians perpetrated by Soviet soldiers, including Rokossovsky's own troops. A highly private man, Rokossovsky disliked discussing his personal life. With the help of family records and interviews, including the original, uncensored draft of the Marshal's memoirs, the author reveals the numerous dualities in Rokossovsky's life. Despite his imprisonment and beatings he endured, Rokossovsky never wavered in his loyalty to Stalin, yet also never betrayed his colleagues. Though a Stalinist, he was also a gentleman widely admired for his courtesy and chivalry. A dedicated family man, women were drawn to him, and he took a 'campaign wife' during the war. Though born in 1894 in Poland, Rokossovsky maintained that he was really born in Russia in 1896. This Polish/Russian duality in Rokossovsky's identity hampered his career and became particularly acute during the Warsaw uprising in 1944 and his later service as Poland's Defense Minister. Thus, the author ably portrays a fascinating man and commander, who became a marshal of two countries, yet who was not fully embraced by either.


The Tanks of Operation Barbarossa: Soviet versus German Armour on the Eastern Front Paperback – July 23, 2021

by Boris Kavalerchik (Author) and Stuart Britton (editor and translator)



When the Germans invaded the Soviet Union in 1941 the Red Army had four times as many tanks as the Wehrmacht and their tanks were seemingly superior, yet the Wehrmacht won the border battles with extraordinary ease the Red Armys tank force was pushed aside and for the most part annihilated. How was this victory achieved, and were the Soviet tanks really as well designed as is often believed? These are the basic questions Boris Kavalerchik answers in this absorbing study of the tanks and the tank tactics of the two armies that confronted each other at the start of the war on the Eastern Front. Drawing on technical and operational documents from Russian archives, many of which were classified until recently and are unknown to Western readers, he compares the strengths and weakness of the tanks and the different ways in which they were used by the opposing armies. His work will be essential reading for military historians who are interested in the development of armoured warfare and in this aspect of the struggle on the Eastern Front.


Odessa 1941-44: Defense, Occupation, Resistance and Liberation Hardcover – August 29, 2018

by Nikolai Ovcharenko (Author), Stuart Britton (Editor)



After a brief overview of the origins and development of the city of Odessa on the Black Sea Coast, author Nikolai Ovcharenko turns to its citizens’ ordeal during the Second World War. In the process, he describes the heroism of the city’s defenders and residents in the summer of 1941 on the land, sea and in the sky, when defending against insistent Romanian attacks. Exploiting the numerous estuaries on the Black Sea coastline, which served as natural defensive lines, under the weight of numerically superior Romanian forces, Odessa’s defenders successively, fell back into the city of Odessa itself. Once the situation became critical, a valiant counterattack in part with naval infantry gained valuable space and time for Odessa. Eventually, at a time when German forces had advanced far to the east and were approaching the critical naval base of Sebastopol in the Crimea, the decision was made to evacuate the remaining Soviet forces from Odessa. There ensued more than two years of occupation and underground resistance; the partisans and activists made use of the extensive catacombs underneath the city of Odessa. The occupiers scored successes against the underground movement, which Ovcharenko details in succeeding chapters using contemporary newspapers and interviews with surviving eyewitnesses, but were never able to stamp out resistance completely. Finally, in the spring of 1944, Odessa was liberated by forces of the advancing Third Ukrainian Front. Ovcharenko describes this offensive against forces of the resurrected German Sixth Army.


The Rzhev Slaughterhouse: The Red Army's Forgotten 15-month Campaign against Army Group Center, 1942-1943 Kindle Edition

by Svetlana Gerasimova (Author), Stuart Britton (Author, Translator)



Historians consider the Battle of Rzhev "one of the bloodiest in the history of the Great Patriotic War" and "Zhukov's greatest defeat". Veterans called this colossal battle, which continued for a total of 15 months, "the Rzhev slaughterhouse" or "the Massacre", while the German generals named this city "the cornerstone of the Eastern Front" and "the gateway to Berlin". By their territorial scale, number of participating troops, length and casualties, the military operations in the area of the Rzhev - Viaz'ma salient are not only comparable to the Stalingrad battle, but to a great extent surpass it. The total losses of the Red Army around Rzhev amounted to 2,000,000 men; the Wehrmacht's total losses are still unknown precisely to the present day. Why was one of the greatest battles of the Second World War consigned to oblivion in the Soviet Union? Why were the forces of the German Army Group Center in the Rzhev - Viaz'ma salient not encircled and destroyed? Whose fault is it that the German forces were able to withdraw from a pocket that was never fully sealed? Indeed, are there justifications for blaming this "lost victory" on G.K. Zhukov? In this book, which has been recognized in Russia as one of the best domestic studies of the Rzhev battle, answers to all these questions have been given. The author, Svetlana Gerasimova, has lived and worked amidst the still extant signs of this colossal battle, the tens of thousands of unmarked graves and the now silent bunkers and pillboxes, and has dedicated herself to the study of its history. Svetlana Aleksandrovna Gerasimova is a historian and museum official. After graduating from Leningrad State University with a history degree, she worked in the Urals as a middle school history teacher, before moving to Tver, where she taught a number of courses in history and local history, and about museum work and leading excursions in the Tver' School of Culture. She earned her Ph.D. in history from Tver State University in 2002. For more than 20 years, S.A. Gerasimova has been working in the Tver' State Consolidated Museum, and is the creator and co-creator of a many displays and exhibits in the branches of the Museum, and in municipal and institutional museums of the Tver' Oblast. Recent museum exhibits that she has created include "The Battle of Rzhev 1942-1943" and "The Fatal Forties … Toropets District in the Years of the Great Patriotic War." She has led approximately 20 historical and folklore-ethnographic expeditions in the area of Tver' Oblast and is the author of numerous articles in such journals as Voprosy istorii [Questions of History], Voenno-istoricheskii arkhiv [Military History Archive], Voenno-istoricheskii zhurnal [Journal of Military History] and Zhivaia starina [The Living Past], and of other publications. In 2009, she served as a featured consultant to a Russian NTV television documentary about the Battle of Rzhev, which quickly became controversial for its very frank discussion of the campaign.


The Siege of Brest 1941: A Legend of Red Army Resistance on the Eastern Front Hardcover – November 19, 2013

by Rostislav Aliev (Author), Stuart Britton (Translator)



On 22 June 1941, soon after 3am, the first German shells smashed into the Soviet frontier fortress of Brest – Hitler’s Operation Barbarossa had begun. Across a massive front stretching from the Baltic to the Black Sea, the Wehrmacht advanced, taking the Red Army by surprise, brushing aside the first stunned resistance, breaking through and taking thousands of prisoners, but the isolated stronghold of Brest held out. The defenders trapped and without hope of relief, put up a tenacious resistance against an entire German division as the Soviet front collapsed behind them. The Germans had allowed twelve hours to secure the area, but it took them nine days. The heroic defense of Brest has become one of the legends of the Second World War on the Eastern Front, an example of selfless Soviet heroism in the face of Nazi aggression. Rotislav Aliev, in this gripping narrative, describes the fighting in vivid detail, hour by hour, and he strips away the myths and exaggerations that have grown up around this famous story.


Konev's Golgotha: Operation Typhoon Strikes the Soviet Western Front, October 1941 Hardcover – August 5, 2016

by Michael Filippenkov (Author) and Stuart Britton (Author and Editor)



This book is a historical study of the events of October 1941 in the Viaz’ma pocket, based on documents found in the Russian Federation’s Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense, the German Bundesarchiv, and the US National Archives.


Mikhail Filippenkov describes the events that took place through the simultaneous, comparative analysis of Soviet and German combat reports according to time, and in the manner of reporting from the places of those events as they happened. The author writes about these events with chronological accuracy, not on the level of army headquarters and higher, but exclusively on the level of the combat units down to the division-level, and with concrete geographical reference to the combat maps of those times.


Particular attention is paid to the events that took place in the vicinity of Sychevka in Smolensk Oblast’, because what happened there has never been deeply researched or examined by anyone in Russia. Unfortunately, research must rely primarily on the combat reports and combat documents of the units of the Wehrmacht’s Panzergruppe 3., since almost no documents on the Soviet side have been preserved. They were either destroyed together with the units and formations trapped within the Viaz’ma pocket, or destroyed at an order from above to those units and formations which managed to escape encirclement more or less intact, in order to erase any record of the disaster.


The Viaz'ma Catastrophe, 1941: The Red Army's Disastrous Stand against Operation Typhoon Kindle Edition

by Lev Lopukhovsky (Author), Stuart Britton (Translator)



This book describes one of the most terrible tragedies of the Second World War and the events preceding it. The horrible miscalculations made by the Stavka of the Soviet Supreme High Command and the Front commands led in October 1941 to the deaths and imprisonment of hundreds of thousands of their own people. Until recently, the magnitude of the defeats suffered by the Red Army at Viaz'ma and Briansk were simply kept hushed up. For the first time, in this book a full picture of the combat operations that led to this tragedy are laid out in detail, using previously unknown or little-used documents. The author was driven to write this book after his long years of fruitless search to learn what happened to his father Colonel N.I. Lopukhovsky, the commander of the 120th Howitzer Artillery Regiment, who disappeared together with his unit in the maelstrom of Operation Typhoon. He became determined to break the official silence surrounding the military disaster on the approaches to Moscow in the autumn of 1941. In the present edition, the author additionally introduces documents from German military archives, which will doubtlessly interest not only scholars, but also students of the Eastern Front of the Second World War. Lopukhovsky substantiates his position on the matter of the true extent of the losses of the Red Army in men and equipment, which greatly exceeded the official data. In the Epilogue, he briefly discusses the searches he has conducted with the aim of revealing the circumstances surrounding the deaths of Soviet soldiers, who to this point have been listed among the missing-in-action - including his own father. The narrative is enhanced by numerous photographs, color maps and tables. Lev Nikolaevich Lopukhovsky graduated from the prestigious Frunze Military Academy in 1962 and spent the next ten years serving in the Soviet Union's Strategic Rocket forces, rising to the rank of colonel and a regiment commander, before transferring to a teaching position in the Frunze Military Academy in 1972 due to health reasons. Lopukhovsky is a professor with the Russian Federation's Academy of Military Sciences (2008), and has been a member of Russia's Union of Journalists since 2004. Since 1989 he has been engaged in the search for those defenders of the Fatherland who went missing-in-action in the Second World War, including his own father Colonel N.I. Lopukhovsky, who is now known to have been killed while breaking out of encirclement in October 1941. Motivated by his father's disappearance, he had previously taken up the intense study of the Viaz'ma defensive operation and wrote the initial manuscript of the present book. In 1980 this manuscript was rejected by military censors, because it contradicted official views. Lopukhovsky is the author of several other books about the war, including Prokhorovka bez grifa sekretnosti [Prokhorovka without the seal of secrecy] (2005), Pervye dni voiny [First days of the war] (2007) and is the co-author of Iiun' 1941: Zaprogrammirovannoe porazhenie [June 1941: A Programmed Defeat] (2010). For his active search work, he was awarded the civilian Order of the Silver Star.


Confronting Case Blue: Briansk Front's Attempt To Derail The German Drive To The Caucasus, July 1942Hardcover – May 4, 2017

by Igor' Sdvizhkov (Author), Stuart Britton (Translator and Editor)



The author, Igor’ Sdvizhkov, takes a close look at the attempt by the Briansk Front’s Operational Group Chibisov to collapse the northern shoulder of the German drive to the Caucasus - north-west of Voronezh - in July 1942. Using both previously classified Soviet documents and German documents, Sdvizhkov focuses in particular on General A.I. Liziukov’s role in the counteroffensive as commander of the 2nd Tank Corps after his 5th Tank Army was disbanded following failed counterattacks in early July. The Soviet attacks led to nine days of heavy see-saw fighting involving tens of thousands of men and hundreds of tanks and guns on both sides, and threatened to isolate the German forces holding Voronezh. Sdvizhkov also describes the German reaction to the initial penetration made by Operational Group Chibisov’s offensive: a counterattack primarily with the forces of the 9th Panzer Division, which at the time of the new Soviet offensive, was in a reserve position - serving as a fire brigade. The German riposte blunted the Soviet attacks and encircled elements of Operational Group Chibisov, and ultimately stabilized the tottering German front north-west of Voronezh for the time being. General Liziukov would go missing during the 2nd Tank Corps’ attack, and the author discusses why the Briansk Front and Operational Group Chibisov Command initially made little or no effort to find the General, Stalin’s suspicions surrounding General Liziukov’s disappearance and the results of the official wartime investigation of the matter. Sdvizhkov also addresses the numerous controversies that later ensued due to erroneous and/or misleading recollections, as well as the total inability to locate General Liziukov or his remains. Carefully examining the available evidence, Sdvizhkov offers a cogent and persuasive explanation of what happened.


Tomb of the Panzerwaffe: The Defeat of the Sixth SS Panzer Army in Hungary 1945 Kindle Edition by Aleksei Isaev (Author), Maksim Kolomiets (Author), Stuart Britton (Editor)



In March 1945 the German Wehrmacht undertook its final attempt to change the course of the war by launching a counteroffensive in the area of Lake Balaton, Hungary. Here, the best panzer forces of the Third Reich and the elite of the Panzerwaffe were assembled - the panzer divisions SS Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, Das Reich, Totenkopf, Wiking and others, staffed by ardent believers in Nazism and armed with the most up-to-date combat equipment, including up to 900 tanks and self-propelled guns. At the time, this was considered a secondary axis for the Red Army, and thus the troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front had to stop the German counteroffensive with their own forces and could not count upon reinforcements from the Stavka Reserve, which were needed for the decisive storming of Berlin. Relying upon their combat skill and rich combat experience, the Soviet troops carried out this task with honor, stopping the tidal wave of German armor and inflicting a decisive defeat and enormous, irreplaceable losses upon the enemy. The defeat of the Sixth SS Panzer Army became a genuine catastrophe for Germany, and Balaton became the tomb of the Panzerwaffe. In this book, penned by two leading Russian military historians, this major defeat suffered by the Wehrmacht has been described and analyzed for the first time using data from both Soviet and German archives. It focuses not only on Operation Spring Awakening, but also describes the preceding Konrad offensives conducted by the Germans in the effort to come to the aid of the encircled and desperate German and fascist Hungarian defenders of Budapest. This edition is lavishly illustrated with over a hundred rare photographs of destroyed or disabled German armor taken shortly after the battle by a Soviet inspection team, besides other photographs and specially commissioned color maps.


On the Precipice: Stalin, the Red Army Leadership and the Road to Stalingrad, 1931-1942 Hardcover – September 13, 2012

by Peter Mezhiritsky (Author), Stuart Britton (Translator)


Nominated for the 2013 PushkinHouse/Waterstone's Russian Book Prize. Like some astronomers, who discover cosmic objects not by direct observation, but by watching the deviations of known heavenly bodies from their calculated trajectories, Peter Mezhiritsky makes his findings in history through thoughtful reading and the comparison of historical sources. This book, a unique blend of prosaic literature and shrewd historic analysis, is dedicated to events in Soviet history in light of Marshal Zhukov's memoirs. Exhaustive knowledge of Soviet life, politics and censorship, including the phraseology in which Communist statesmen were allowed to narrate their biographical events, gave Peter Mezhiritsky sharp tools for the analysis of the Marshal's memoirs. The reader will learn about the abundance of awkward events that strangely and fortuitously occurred in good time for Stalin's rise to power, about the hidden connection between the purges, the Munich appeasement and the German occupation of Czechoslovakia, and about the real reason why it took so long to liquidate Paulus' Sixth Army at Stalingrad. The author presents a clear picture of the purges which promoted incompetent and poorly educated commanders (whose most prominent feature was their personal dedication to Stalin) to higher levels of command, leaving the Soviet Union poorly prepared for a war against the Wehrmacht military machine. The author offers alternative explanations for many prewar and wartime events. He was the first in Russia to acknowledge a German component to Zhukov's military education. The second part of the book is dedicated to the course of the Great Patriotic War, much of which is still little known to the vast majority of Western readers. While not fully justifying Zhukov's actions, the author also reveals the main reason for the bloody strategy chosen by Zhukov and the General Staff in the defensive period of the War. In general, the author shares and argues Marshal Vasilevsky's conviction - if there had been no purges, the war would not have occurred. The book became widely known to the Russian-reading public on both sides of the Atlantic, and in the last ten years its quotations have been used as an essential argument in almost all the debates about the WWII. The book is equally intended for scholars and regular readers, who are interested in Twentieth Century history.


Prelude to Stalingrad: The Red Army's Attempt to Derail the German Drive to the Caucasus in World War II Paperback – August 23, 2019

by Igor Sdvizhkov (Author), Stuart Britton (Translator)



In the summer of 1942, the Germans launched Case Blue, a strategic offensive into the Caucasus, a region rich in oil, birthplace of Stalin, and gateway to Iran and the Middle East, where the Germans could obtain more oil, cut off a vital corridor for Lend-Lease supplies to the Soviets, threaten the British Empire, and even perhaps link up with the Japanese (then advancing in Burma toward India). It was a pivotal moment of World War II, which history remembers primarily for the titanic clash at Stalingrad during the fall and early winter of 1942-43, but less well understood is the series of summer operations that led to and shaped that turning-point battle.


In Prelude to Stalingrad, Igor Sdvizhkov reconstructs the fighting in the northern sector of the Case Blue offensive, near the city of Voronezh. Using German documents as well as previously classified Soviet sources, Sdvizhkov zooms in on the nine days of see-saw fighting—involving tens of thousands of men and hundreds of tanks and guns on both sides—that threatened to derail the German offensive north of Stalingrad. In response to the withdrawals and mass surrenders on the Eastern Front during the war’s early months a year before, Stalin ordered that no ground be given up, that his armies fight instead of pulling back, ensuring that the fighting would be brutal. Ultimately unsuccessful in denying the Germans a bridgehead on the Don River, the Red Army inflicted heavy losses, eroding the Wehrmacht’s fighting power before it even reached Stalingrad.


The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk: Volume 1 Paperback – July 26, 2021

by Valeriy Zamulin (Author), Stuart Britton (Translator and Editor)



In this first volume of a projected two-volume set, Zamulin takes a close look at the condition of the German and Soviet forces following the winter campaign. Analyzing first the German side, the author demonstrates that the Germans were in a woeful condition, especially with respect to the number of serviceable armored vehicles and the lack of infantry. However, Hitler was determined to regain the initiative in the East, though some German commanders expressed concerns. Zamulin then looks at the German plans for the summer of 1943 and the process of rebuilding its forces. As he shows through data, the Germans struggled to replenish Army Group South and Model's Ninth Army in the north, and the latter was hampered almost right up to the launching of Operation Citadel by the need to conduct a major anti-partisan operation in woods and thickets in the German rear with panzer and infantry divisions earmarked for Citadel. Zamulin next examines the Soviet side, and discusses the planning for the summer campaign, including the decision to adopt a pre-meditated defense of the Kursk salient and to create a multi-echeloned system of defense (though incomplete in depth). The author demonstrates that the Red Army was able quickly to replenish its forces and also create a large mobile reserve, the Steppe Front. Thus, the delay in launching Citadel was not the fatal German error, and it would have failed even if launched earlier.

The Planning and Preparations for the Battle of Kursk: Volume 2 Paperback – March 31, 2023

by Valeriy Zamulin (Author), Stuart Britton (Translator and Editor)



Volume 2 is devoted to the preparation by Moscow of hostilities near Kursk in the spring and early summer of 1943 and consists of two parts. Part I analyzes the activities of the Stavka B of the Air Command, the General Staff of the Red Army, the command of the Central and Voronezh fronts to restore troops after the battles in the winter of 1942-1943 and their strengthening before the summer campaign. All events in the north and south of the Kursk Bulge are considered in parallel, in strict chronological sequence, which allows the author to provide a detailed account of the preparation for the Battle of Kursk. One of the most interesting and important sections of the first part is devoted to the analysis and assessment of the level of professional training of the senior and higher command levels of the Central and Voronezh fronts. The difficult situation in the leadership of the 70th and 48th armies of the Central Front, which developed in the spring of 1943, is examined in detail, as well as the socio-demographic data and professional qualities of the commanders of the rifle divisions that formed the basis of the fronts defending the Kursk arc. For the material for this section the author not only collected materials from Russian archives and museums, but also amongst the families of the officers throughout Russia and in the republics of the former USSR. This section also provides a significant array of recently declassified statistical data on the state of the formations of the three main branches of the armed forces (rifle, tank and artillery) of the Central and Voronezh fronts and their defense at the beginning of the battles. In the second part the author describes the Red Army’s planning in the area of the Kursk salient in late June - early July 1943, and also considers the major problems that arose for them during this period. This part links together material presented in both volumes. In it, for the first time, unknown documents of the contending forces, are discussed in detail. There is detailed coverage of the work carried out by the headquarters of the Central and Voronezh fronts in late June - early July to determine the date and time of the beginning of the offensive of the German troops, was analyzed. In the preparation of both parts of Volume 2 a complex array of recently declassified Soviet documents, including operational material of brigade or divisional headquarters were used, along with additional archival sources and memoirs of the participants. At the same time, in order to answer a number of important questions that have been actively discussed by Russian and Western historians in the postwar period, the author utilises a wide range of captured German sources from the US National Archives, which allow us to not only expand our understanding of those events, but to clarify a number of facts and details, and to provide a more balanced, reasonable assessment of the events that took place in the in the spring and early summer of 1943. The book includes an appendix with significant statistical material, summarized in tables, which will help the reader to better comprehend what is stated in the text of the book. In addition, it is illustrated by rare photographs collected in domestic and foreign archives, in museums and private collections.


Demolishing the Myth: The Tank Battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk, July 1943: An Operational Narrative Hardcover – Illustrated, July 19, 2011

by Valeriy Zamulin (Author), Stuart Britton (Translator)



A groundbreaking book when first published in Russia in 2005, now Valeriy Zamulin's study of the crucible of combat during the titanic clash at Kursk - the fighting at Prokhorovka - is available in English. A former staff member of the Prokhorovka Battlefield State Museum, Zamulin has dedicated years of his life to the study of the battle of Kursk, and especially the fighting on its southern flank involving the famous attack of the II SS Panzer Corps into the teeth of deeply-echeloned Red Army defenses. A product of five years of intense research into the once-secret Central Archives of the Russian Ministry of Defense, Zamulin lays out in enormous detail the plans and tactics of both sides, culminating in the famous and controversial clash at Prokhorovka on 12 July 1943. Zamulin skillfully weaves reminiscences of Red Army and Wehrmacht soldiers and officers into the narrative of the fighting, using in part files belonging to the Prokhorovka Battlefield State Museum. Zamulin has the advantage of living in Prokhorovka, so he has walked the ground of the battlefield many times and has an intimate knowledge of the terrain.


Examining the battle from primarily the Soviet side, Zamulin reveals the real costs and real achievements of the Red Army at Kursk, and especially Prokhorovka. He examines mistaken deployments and faulty decisions that hampered the Voronezh Front's efforts to contain the Fourth Panzer Army's assault, and the valiant, self-sacrificial fighting of the Red Army's soldiers and junior officers as they sought to slow the German advance, and then crush the II SS Panzer Corps with a heavy counterattack at Prokhorovka on 12 July. The combat on this day receives particular scrutiny, as Zamulin works to clarify the relative size of the contending forces, the actual area of this battle, and the costs suffered by both sides. The costs to General P. A. Rotmistrov's 5th Guards Tank Army and General A. S. Zhadov's 5th Guards Army as they slammed into 1st SS Panzer Grenadier Division Leibstandarte Adolf Hitler, 3rd SS Panzer Grenadier Division Totenkopf and a portion of 2nd SS Panzer Grenadier Division Das Reich were particularly devastating, and Zamulin examines the nuts and bolts of the counteroffensive to see why this was so.


Zamulin does not exclude the oft-overlooked efforts of Army Group Kempf's III Panzer Corps on the right-wing of the Fourth Panzer Army, as it sought to keep pace with the II SS Panzer Corps advance, and then breach the line of the Northern Donets River in order to link up with its left-hand neighbor in the region of Prokhorovka. Zamulin describes how the Soviet High Command and the Voronezh Front had to cobble together quickly a defense of this line with already battered units, but needed to reinforce it with fresh formations at the expense of the counterstroke at Prokhorovka.


Illustrated with numerous maps and photographs (including present-day views of the battlefield), and supplemented with extensive tables of data, Zamulin's book is an outstanding contribution to the growing literature on the battle of Kursk, and further demolishes many of the myths and legends that grew up around this battle.

The Battle of Kursk: Controversial and Neglected Aspects

by Valeriy Zamulin (Author), Stuart Britton (Translator)



In this book, noted historian of the Battle of Kursk Valeriy Zamulin, the author of multiple Russian-language books on the Battle of Kursk and Destroying the Myth: The Tank Battle at Prokhorovka, Kursk, July 1943: An Operational Narrative takes a fresh look at several controversial and neglected topics regarding the battle and its run-up. He starts with a detailed look at the Soviet and Russian historiography on the battle, showing how initially promising research was swamped by Party dogma and censorship during the Brezhnev area, before being resumed with the collapse of the Soviet Union. Zamulin then transitions to discussions of how the southern shoulder of the Kursk bulge was formed, preparations for the battle on both sides, and the size and composition of Model’s Ninth Army. He then examines such controversial topics as whether or not the II SS Panzer Corps was aware of the pending Soviet counterattack at Prokhorovka, and the effectiveness of the Soviet preemptive barrage that struck the German troops that were poised to attack. Zamulin also discusses whether or not General Vatutin, the Commander-in-Chief of Voronezh Front, erred when arranging his defenses. Zamulin also takes a look at how the myth of 1,500 tanks colliding on a narrow strip of farm fields became perpetuated in Soviet and foreign history books, when in fact it was impossible for the 5th Guards Tank Army’s tanks to attack in massive wave after wave due to the constrictions of the terrain. Zamulin also reveals incidents of the battle that were long kept “behind the curtain” by Soviet censorship. For example, the 183rd Rifle Division defending the Prokhorovka axis was repeatedly struck by friendly aircraft, and a Soviet tank counterattack overran the positions of one of its battalions. Zamulin discusses other cases of fratricide in the Voronezh Front, including the death of one of the 1st Tank Army’s foremost tank commanders in a friendly fire incident. In the process, he reveals that a wave of suicides swept through the junior command staff of the 5th Guards Tank Army immediately prior to the famous counteroffensive on 12 July 1943. All in all, Valeriy Zamulin with this collection of essays and articles, two of which have been reprinted from the Journal of Slavic Military History, makes a new contribution to our knowledge and understanding of this pivotal, epochal battle of the Second World War.


The Forgotten Battle of the Kursk Salient: 7th Guards Army’s Stand Against Army Detachment Kempf Kindle Edition

by Valeriy Zamulin (Author), Stuart Britton (Editor and Translator)



Using the Russian Ministry of Defense’s archives and Western sources, the author has produced a companion work to his masterful study of II SS Panzer Corps’ offensive and the culminating clash at Prokhorovka. He lays out the German and Soviet plans for the battle; the forces arrayed for it and the extensive Soviet defenses; and then goes through a meticulous examination of the course of the fighting, as III Panzer Corps suffered initial setbacks in its attempt to link up with the right flank of II SS Panzer Corps (then extemporized on the battlefield to get the offensive going and to complete the linkup), while the Soviet side fought valiantly to prevent this (according to the plan of the Voronezh Front Commander-in-Chief, N.F. Vatutin).


The Battle of Kursk 1943: The View Through the Camera Lens Paperback – April 15, 2023

by Valeriy Zamulin (Author), Stuart Britton (Editor and Translator)



The Battle of Kursk, despite the seven decades that have passed since the event, continues to attract great attention even today. The combat operations, which unfolded in the summer of 1943 in the center of the Eastern Front, by their scale, the forces drawn into them, and their military-political results, were a pivotal stage not only in the struggle of the Soviet people with the Nazi aggressors, but also in the Second World War as a whole. However, since the war, despite the enormous attention given to the fighting near Kursk, not a single book has been published, in which the photographs of Soviet war correspondents, taken directly on the battlefield, have been gathered, organized and presented for a broad audience of readers. This new photo study is unique - it consists of more than 500 photographs which capture images of the fighting, accompanied by expert commentary on them. It contains a collection of the best and at the same time little-known work of the leading Soviet war correspondents that covered the Battle of Kursk: V. Kinelovsky, P. Troshkin, F. Kislov, G. San’ko, E. Kopyt, I. Ozersky, O. Knorring and other outstanding photo journalists. The book also contains the work of a participant in those events, Lieutenant Colonel P. Gapochki, who was an adjutant to Lieutenant General N.S. Khrushchev, a member of the Voronezh Front’s Military Council. Through his duties, Gapochki managed to leave behind his personal impressions of the important and very difficult work of the top command echelon of an operating army, which to this point have been classified. Although Soviet photographs comprise the bulk of the book, it also includes a significant number of captured German photographs, as well as aerial reconnaissance photographs taken in the spring and summer of 1943. This gives a more objective image of those historical events. All of this invaluable material was found in the archives of eight Russian and foreign archives and museums, as well as in the family collections of veterans. This photo album will be of great interest to many readers with its rare and unique photographs, which have captured instances of the immortal heroism and valour, demonstrated by the soldiers and officers of the Red Army in one of the most significant battles of the preceding century. In the same way Valeriy Zamulin's book Demolishing the Myth broke new ground for an English-speaking audience, this photograph album should also open readers' eyes to a swathe of new Kursk material, much of it hitherto inaccessible.


Stalin’s Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army from Kursk to Berlin: Volume 1 - January 1943 - June 1944 Paperback – March 8, 2022

by Igor Nebolsin (Author) and Stuart Britton (Translator and Editor)



This is the first detailed combat history of any Soviet unit available in the English language known to the author. The 2nd Tank Army was not an ordinary force; by 1945 it was an elite Guards formation which played a decisive role in the Soviet offensive operations of that year and whose tanks were the first to enter Berlin's streets. The Army commander, Colonel-General Semen Bogdanov, became a Marshal of Armored Troops and was promoted to the position of Chief Commander of all armored and tank units of the USSR shortly after the war, and remained in this position until 1953. 2nd Guards Tank Army remained in Germany until 1993, a period of 48 years. It is the only Soviet Tank Army of the war that still exists today, now named 2nd Guards Army. This study is based on the rarely available operational documents of the Army from the Central Archives of the Russian Defense Ministry and provides an analysis of every battle it fought in World War II. This includes Operation Citadel North (Kursk), Sevsk, Cherkassy, Tyrgul-Frumos and Jassy, Warsaw, Vistula-Oder, Pomerania (including Sonnenwende) and Berlin. What also differentiates this book is that it was created in cooperation with the senior army general (Anatoly Shvebig) who was an active participant in all the Army's engagements. Another unique point is that the combat operations are covered from both sides in a scope and scale that has never previously been attempted. The day by day coverage of events, honest views of the Army's commanders, full statistical data (including unit strengths, movements, and casualties for each operation from both Russian and German points of view), and the 'human element' based on the exciting firsthand reminiscences of Soviet tank officers all make this study an incredibly valuable source of information on tank battles fought on the Eastern Front 1943-1945. According to Major-General Anatoly Svebig, deputy commander of 12th Guards Tank Corps within the 2nd Guards Tank Army, this is the best study on any Soviet unit he has ever seen in his long life! Volume 1 focuses on the first half of the Army's service in the Great Patriotic War. 2nd Tank Army was created in January 1943. In spring and summer of 1943 it was engaged in the fierce battles at Sevsk and Kursk. Combat experience was heavily paid for in blood. The Army played a critical role in containing a strike of the German III. Panzerkorps in February 1944, aimed at rescuing units in the Cherkassy pocket. In March-April 1944 2nd GTA carried out a deep raid to Uman and was amongst the first Russian units that crossed the Romanian border. In May-June 1944 Army was engaged in combats at Tyrgul Frumos and Jassy against strong German armored forces belonging to 'Grossdeutschland' and 24. Panzer-Division. The text is fully supported by specially commissioned color maps and an extensive selection of photographs, many from private collections in Russia. Volume 2 will provide a detailed record of the Army for the remainder of World War II, including its elevation to Guards status later in 1944.


Stalin’s Favorite: The Combat History of the 2nd Guards Tank Army from Kursk to Berlin: Volume 2 - From Lublin to Berlin July 1944 - May 1945 Hardcover – November 10, 2016

by Igor Nebolsin (Author), Stuart Britton (Editor and Translator)



The author Igor Nebolsin continues with his detailed chronology of the 2nd Guards Tank Army's combat operations. This volume includes the hard fighting outside of Warsaw in the summer of 1944; the 1st Belorussian Fronts winter offensive in the Vistula Oder operation and the ensuing combat in Pomerania; and the final assault on Berlin, when the 2nd Guards Tank Army enveloped the German capital from the north and entered the city from north and west, fighting its way to the Tiergarten Park in the heart of Berlin. The author also briefly discusses the 2nd Guards Tank Army's subsequent history as part of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, its eventual disbanding in 1997, and its reconstitution four years later on 4 September 2001. As with the first volume, the author s study is based upon the Army's operational documents from the Central Archives of the Russian Defense Ministry and recollections of its veterans, and received the active cooperation of Major-General Anatoly Shvebig, who was formerly a deputy commander of the 2nd Guards Tank Army s 12th Guards Tank Corps. It includes objective after-action reports from the Army's commander General Bogdanov and its subordinate formation commanders. Of note in this volume are General Bogdanov's recommendations for a tank army's table of organization and equipment and its proper use in combat operations, written shortly after the war ended. Illustrated with numerous images and supplemented with detailed tables, this volume completes the exhaustive study of the 2nd Guards Tank Army, Stalin's favorite.


Tank Battles in East Prussia and Poland 1944-1945: Vilkavishkis, Gumbinnen/Nemmersdorf, Elbing, Wormditt/Frauenburg, Kielce/Lisow Paperback, December 15 2021 by Igor Nebolsin (Author), I.V. Lebedeva (Editor), and Stuart Britton (Translator)



This new study by Igor Nebolsin covers, in remarkable detail, a number of forgotten and overlooked armored engagements on the Eastern Front during the final year of the war, based firmly on Soviet and German archival records.


After defeating German Group Army Centre in Belorussia (Operation Bagration) in the first days of August 1944 the Red Army rapidly approached East Prussia. Here, near the borders of the Third Reich in the area of Vilkavishkis heavy tank combats broke out. German Panzer-Grenadier Division Großdeutschland engaged the Soviet 33rd Army, reinforced by the 2nd Guards Tank Corps and separate Anti-tank artillery Brigades and Regiments, in fierce and extensive combat. Based on the archival documents from both sides and other sources Igor Nebolsin provides a meticulous analysis of this battle and challenges myths created by some German authors.


By mid-October 1944 the Soviet 3rd Belorussian Front was ready to invade East Prussia. 2nd Guards Tank Corps committed to the main axis of attack developed an operational breakthrough in the direction of Gumbinnen and soon captured an important crossing over the Angerapp River at Nemmersdorf. For two days Soviet units were engaged in severe fighting against Fallschirm-Panzer-Division Hermann Göring, 5th Panzer Division and the Führer-Begleit-Brigade. Combat in East Prussia were notable, even by Eastern Front standards, for their severity, mercilessness and heavy losses in personnel and material for both sides.


In January 1945 the Red Army managed to break the strong German defense in East Prussia and swiftly reached the Baltic, cutting off East Prussia from Germany. 5th Guards Tank Army played a decisive role in this breakthrough. At the final stage of this operation the Army contained a desperate attempt of the German 4th Army to escape from East Prussia to Germany in tank engagements at Wormditt and Frauenburg.


This book also covers tank battles near Kielce, Poland in January 1945 where XXIV Panzer Korps (16th Panzer Division, 17th Panzer Division, 20th Panzer-Grenadier Division, 424th Schwere-Panzer-Abteilung) was engaged in an engagement lasting three days against forces of the Soviet 4th Guards Tank Army.


The day-by-day coverage of events, honest views of the Soviet and German commanders, statistical data from both Russian and German viewpoints, and the 'human element' based on the exciting first-hand reminiscences of Soviet tank officers all make this study an incredibly valuable source of information. The text is fully supported by specially-commissioned color maps and an extensive selection of photographs, many from private collections.


Russian World War II Dictionary: A Russian-English Glossary of Special Terms, Expressions and Soldiers' Slang Kindle Edition

by Stuart Britton (Author), Isaak Kobylyanskiy (Author)



The Great Patriotic War (GPW) of the Soviet people against Nazi Germany, known in the West as the Eastern Front of WWII, continues to attract a number of military historians from different countries around the world. The frontline veterans' reminiscences occupy a prominent place among most important documents of that time. In contrast to official documents, these recollections reproduce the so-called truth of the foxholes, the genuine spirit of the war. Along with their honesty, the WWII veterans' reminiscences are full of idiomatic expressions, specialized terms and abbreviations peculiar to that war. Regardless of their language, the memoirs reproduce the wartime vocabulary of the authors' nationalities, and reading them can be a difficult task for uninformed readers. Consequently, special dictionaries appeared in print and later on Internet websites. Unlike most of the Allied countries, no war jargon/slang dictionary has been published in Russia. This glossary is intended to begin to fill that gap. Several sources of the Red Army serviceman's slang were peculiar to the Soviet experience. The upheaval of the 1917 October Revolution and following Civil War, and the fundamental changes wrought by the political and social reforms and campaigns in the 1920s-1930s affected the Russian vocabulary substantially. The fact that the overwhelming majority of Red Army soldiers and officers came from rural households, and brought their local idioms and expressions into the trenches, also enriched the war vocabulary. Another set of figurative expressions arose because of Stalin's terrible purges of the 1930s, when people created euphemisms to avoid saying words like search, arrest and execution. Such expressions came into general circulation and contributed to Russian wartime slang. Some words also appeared under the harsh conditions of the USSR far rear, where civilians struggled under conditions of hard labor and malnutrition. Lend-lease items entered the soldiers' parlance, often in the form of nicknames. Finally, any army has its traditions and slogans, many of which were revived in the Red Army during WW II. All of the aforementioned sources and others contributed to the Russian wartime vocabulary. The authors began this glossary as a translators' aid, but now they believe it will also be of interest to military historians and linguists who work with original Russian military sources, especially of the Second World War period.


Red Devils over the Yalu: A Chronicle of Soviet Aerial Operations in the Korean War 1950-53 (Helion Studies in Military History Book 26) Kindle Edition

by Igor Seidov (Author) and Stuart Britton (Editor and Translator)



The Korean War (1950-1953) was the first - and only - full-scale air war in the jet age. It was in the skies of North Korea where Soviet and American pilots came together in fierce aerial clashes. The best pilots of the opposing systems, the most powerful air forces, and the most up-to-date aircraft in the world in this period of history came together in pitched air battles. The analysis of the air war showed that the powerful United States Air Force and its allies were unable to achieve complete superiority in the air and were unable to fulfill all the tasks they'd been given. Soviet pilots and Soviet jet fighters, which were in no way inferior to their opponents and in certain respects were even superior to them, was the reason for this. The combat experience and new tactical aerial combat tactics, which were tested for the first time in the skies of Korea, have been eagerly studied and applied by modern air forces around the world today. This book fully discusses the Soviet participation in the Korean War and presents a view of this war from the opposite side, which is still not well known in the West from the multitude of publications by Western historians. The reason for this, of course, is the fact that Soviet records pertaining to the Korean War were for a long time highly classified, since Soviet air units were fighting in the skies of North Korea "incognito", so to speak or even more so to write about this was strictly forbidden in the Soviet Union right up to its ultimate collapse. The given work is in essence the first major work in the post-Soviet era. First published in a small edition in Russian in 1998, it was republished in Russia in 2007. For the first time, the Western reader can become acquainted with the most detailed and informative work existing on the course of the air war from the Soviet side, now in English language. The work rests primarily on the recollections of veterans of this war on the so-called 'Red' side - Soviet fighter pilots, who took direct part in this war on the side of North Korea. Their stories have been supplemented with an enormous amount of archival documents, as well as the work of Western historians. The author presents a literal day-by-day chronicle of the aerial combats and combat work of Soviet fighter regiments in the period between 1950 and 1953, and dedicates this work to all the men on both sides who fought and died in the Korean air war.


MiG Menace Over Korea: Nikolai Sutiagin, Top Ace Soviet of the Korean War Hardcover – Illustrated, February 23, 2011

by Yuri Sutiagin (Author), Igor Seidov (Author), Stuart Britton (Translator and Editor)



Nikolai Vasil'evich Sutiagin, the top-scoring Soviet air ace of the Korean War, flew his MiG-15 in lethal dogfights against American Sabres and Australian Meteors. He is credited with at least 22 'kills'. Yet the full story of his extraordinary achievements has never been told. Only now, with the opening of Russian archives, can an authoritative account of his wartime exploits be written. The authors use official records, the reminiscences of Sutiagin's comrades and his wife's diary to reconstruct in vivid detail the career of one of the great fighter pilots.


Peter the Great's Revenge: The Russian Siege of Narva in 1704 (Century of the Soldier) Paperback – February 7, 2019

by Boris Megorsky (Author) and Stuart Britton (Translator)



Narva and Ivangorod – the two fortresses on both sides of Narova River – comprise a nowadays-unique fortification ensemble that has gone through many historical periods of the Baltic region. Narva gained world fame after two battles in early 1700s during the epic struggle between the Kingdom of SE - Sweden and an alliance of northern powers sponsored by Tsar Peter the Great of Russia – the Great Northern War 1700-1721. First attacked in 1700, its Vauban style bastions were saved by a daring strike on the besieging Russians given by young King Charles XII who came to relieve the town. Four years later Narva saw another full scale three-months-long siege packed with sallies, bombardments, trench combat and peaked by general storm - something rare in a period when governors preferred to surrender before assault.


Military campaigns in the Baroque age across Europe were far more fortress-oriented - field battles were few while sieges were many. Even then, Narva’s two sieges are extraordinary as they provide samples of nearly all possible siege tactics typical to the period but rarely applied to one and the same town. Telling the story of these 1700 and 1704 events thus gives us a chance to speak about the mechanism of fortification warfare, about everyday life of the besieger and the besieged, about morale, military customs of that time, and about broader context of the resolute struggle between Tsar Peter and King Charles.


While writing about Narva’s sieges there are a number of plots to be covered. Lines of circumvallation – their perception in contemporary military thought and their use and fate in the 1700 campaign. Besiegers strive to obtain information via deserters and captives and the most unusual way to do so – a trick or stratagem, with the staging of a mock battle between Russian greencoats and bluecoats pretending to be Swedish relief force. Artillery was probably the most important arm to any siege and it is worth looking into such matters like technology of breaching the walls, use of bombardment against the town buildings, or addiction to a specialty weapon - hand mortars. Work and life in trenches under fire was typical experience to soldiers of the time. Sallies made by the garrison attempted to slow down their foe’s work, with varying success. Communication between the besieging army commander and governor is explored, along with the special role in it of drummers and trumpeters. When it comes to the final and rare stage of the siege – the general storm – aspects to be researched include the way assault columns were composed, controversy on selecting hour of attack, the amazing size of scaling ladders, and the behavior of troops prior to and during the action. The inevitable consequence of a storm, the plundering of the town, raises question about period military laws on this subject. In conclusion the text will conclude with the further story of the town and the fate of several high and low ranking personalities – it will too give additional info on how war was waged in those years.


The book is based on day-to-day journals, relations, personal accounts and correspondence from Russian, Swedish and impartial sources – both published and archival.


The book is accompanied with numerous contemporary illustrations – prints depicting specifically Russian and Swedish military scenes as well as engravings from various European sources that visualize typical scenes of siege warfare – and artworks by modern artists.


Books Not Included/Out of Print

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The Eastern Front of WW II has been a historical passion of mine ever since my first visit to Leningrad and Moscow on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the October Revolution in 1977 when I was a high school senior. I've been fortunate to own and read most of the Britton translations listed here on the Soviet experiences and am thankful for that perspective so long overdue. Can't recommend them enough!

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