Contemporary fiction with a war-fighting theme demands an obliging enemy who tests one's strengths and virtues to their limits, but ultimately makes the right decisions--and the right mistakes--to secure a favorable outcome for the ``good guys.'' Western authors from Sir John Hackett to Tom Clancy have assigned that role to the Soviet Union. Peters, a Soviet analyst, Russian linguist and military intelligence officer, reverses the image in this brilliantly executed military procedural that tells the story of a future conventional war on the NATO central front entirely from a Soviet perspective. He eschews national policy, grand strategy, and high-tech gadgetry to focus on the mentalite of the modern Soviet soldier, from marshall to rifleman. Fusing knowledge of Soviet fighting techniques and Russian history, he presents credible military situations and characters who are archetypes rather than stereotypes. Readers will find here neither the military primitives described by Viktor Suvorov and Alexander Cockburn, nor the mirror-images based on U.S. models that dominate so much recent fiction. Peters's Red Army is by no means a perfect military instrument, but it knows how to fight. And it recognizes a fundamental truth: wars are won by the side making the fewest mistakes. In these pages, NATO becomes the obliging enemy whose errors of planning and execution contribute to a Soviet victory that is as well-deserved as it is hard-fought. Military Book Club main selection; Literary Guild and Doubl eday Book Club alternates. (May)
Reviewed on: 04/30/1989 Release date: 05/01/1989 Genre: Fiction
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