Book Review: Architect of Soviet Victory in World War II: The Life and Theories of G.S. Isserson


by Richard W. Harrison

Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010. Pp. viii, 403. Illus., notes, biblio., index. $49.95 paper. ISBN: 0786448970

In his foreword to Architect of Soviet Victory in World War II, Col. David Glantz, the noted American specialist on Russo-Soviet military theory and history, notes that Col. Georgii Isserson was among the “most brilliant” thinkers in the Red Army, and that he and his work are almost completely unknown in the West.

Harrison, himself a seasoned student of the Soviet armed forces, and author of The Russian Way of War: Operational Art, 1904-1940 , does an excellent job of introducing us to Isserson (1898-1976) and his contributions to the development of Sovciet “deep battle” theory.  Isserson rose from Tsarist conscript to Red Army commander and theoretician.  Then, running afoul of the complex internal politics of the Stalin-era, he spent a decade in the GULAG, and so missed the war in which his contributions to Russian operational art, such as deep battle, helped pave the way for victory. 

An essential read for anyone interested in World War II on the Eastern Front, the history of operational art, and Russo-Soviet war-fighting concepts.


Reviewer: A. A. Nofi, Review Editor   

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