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Posted on Dec 24, 2006 in Books and Movies, Front Page Features

Armored Units of the Russian Civil War – Book Review

By Richard N Story

armored.jpgBook Review: Armored Units of the Russian Civil War: Red Army
New Vanguard series number 95 Osprey Publishing, 2006, Paperback.

The Russian Civil War is perhaps one of the least studied conflicts of the 20th century. Generally it is either studied as part of a larger study of the Soviet Union prior to the Second World War or as the End Game for the Russians in the First World War. Prior to receiving the book for review this reviewer’s knowledge of the Russian Civil War was very shallow and formed primarily either by propaganda type history or by popular media such as the movie Doctor Zhivago. The scope and depth of use of the armored car, tank and armored train in the civil war was much greater than previously thought. Osprey Publishing company used its Vanguard line to highlight the role of the various vehicles used by the Red Army in the Russian Civil War.


The Vanguard line of Osprey Publishing is limited to subjects of a technical nature. This ranges from tanks, armored cars, ships, artillery pieces and in this book the armored trains of the civil war. As with all Osprey books Armored Units of the Russian Civil War: Red Army is profusely illustrated with photos and art depicting the subject matter. The book is thoroughly researched and is the first to attempt to list every armored train used by the Red Army. There is only one map in the book and that is the western part of Tsarist Russia and its railroad network. Perhaps the only flaw in the entire book is that is supposed to be a complementary book to: Vanguard 83 Armored Units of the Russian Civil War: White and Allied. While in no way to be considered ‘half a book’; the purchase of Vanguard 83 fills out and completes the history of armor in the Russian Civil War. In fact this reviewer so liked the Red Army book that he went and purchased the White Army and Allied book to complete the set and complete the big picture of the Russian Civil War. While each book is only 48 pages long; the attention to detail is first rate and with a list price of $15.95 each; it is well worth the price. If you are interested in the Russian Civil War and the formative years of the Red Army, this book is highly recommended. As the Russian Civil War is perhaps the most critical period between the wars it would be remiss to not to have this book on your bookshelf.

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