• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

Examine the Evolution of Soviet doctrinal thinking during the Cold War.

Extracts from this document...


Examine the Evolution of Soviet doctrinal thinking during the Cold War. Soviet Military Doctrine is entirely based upon the Marxist-Leninist teachings, which include both the ideological and methodological basis for soviet military doctrine and soviet military science. In 1969 the General of the Army Semyon P. Ivanov commandant of the Academy of the General Staff gave periodization for military doctrine: * 1st period: 1917 - 1928 civil war to Industrialization * 2nd period: 1929 - 1941 industrialization to great patriotic war * 3rd period: 1941 - 1945 great patriotic war * 4th period: 1946 - 1953 end of war to death of Stalin * 5th period: 1960 - the dissolution of the USSR new military doctrine Military Doctrine, First Stage (1917-1928) A. A. Svethcin, best known for his book 'Strategiya' believed that the concept of doctrine should be limited to the tactical outlook. M. V. Frunze stating that the doctrine had two parts laid out the principals of the initial doctrine: political & technical. * 'The state must define the nature of overall, in particular, military policy beforehand, designate the possible objects of its military intentions in accordance with its policy, and develop and institute a definitive plan of action for the state as a whole, one that would take account of future confrontations and ensure their success by making prudent use of the nation's energy before they take place.' Frunze gave a definition of the unified military doctrine: * 'A teaching adopted by the army of a particular state establishing the nature of armed forces development, the methods of troop combat training, and the methods of troop management, based of the state's prevailing view on the nature of the military missions lying before it and the means for executing them, which are dependant on the class nature of the state and are defined by the level to which the country's productive forces have developed.' ...read more.


It was Marshal G.K. Zhukov who pressed for implementing the term, with all subsequent theoretical implications: * 'In restructuring soviet armed forces, we proceed from the fact that the methods and forms of future war will be different from all past wars in many ways. Future war will be characterized by the mass use of air forces, rocket weapons, and means of mass destruction such as atomic weapons. However, we proceed from the fact that the latest weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, do not reduce the decisive role of the ground armies, navies and aviation. Without strong ground forces, without strategic, long-range and frontal aviation and modern naval fleet, without well-organized co-operation between them, modern war cannot be waged' The Revolution in Military Affairs - according to soviet writings after the event, a revolution in military affairs took place in the soviet armed forces between 1953 and 1960 affecting all facets of the military. It continued until the end of the cold war until Gorbachev's introduction of perestroika. * Karl Marx's collaborator Friedrich Engels to describe the introduction of gunpowder used the term revolution in military affairs. The revolution in military affairs was mainly promoted by Marshal V.D. Sokolovsky. He was also the prime mover of bringing the USSR into the nuclear age and thus responsible for setting the stage for the next formulation of military doctrine. As a result of all the deliberations, a new military doctrine was formed. This new objective - development of new military concepts was the result of a directive from the Minister of Defense as well as of a military-science conference held in May 1957. Discussions on the role of nuclear weapons were conducted widely, both in military schools and in the field. A great number of papers were produced by prominent generals, admirals and officers on conducting nuclear war, especially on the beginning of such a war. ...read more.


the book does not directly deal with military doctrine, but rather with its implementation: 'military strategy occupies a subordinate position in regard to military doctrine. The latter determined the overall policy in principle, while military strategy, starting from this overall policy, develops and investigates concrete problems upon the nature of future war, the preparation of the country for war, the organization of the armed forces and the methods of conducting the war.' However, what is important is that there is not always a clear distinction between writings on military strategy and military doctrine. In certain cases military doctrine is called military science. What stand out in the evolution of the soviet doctrinal thinking is the repetition of the same concepts and ideas. Overall, however, Sokolovsky outlines the features generally found in the military doctrine: * Exclusion of inevitability of war, but not the exclusion of its possibility * The struggle for peace of the entire socialist camp * The unresolved economic and political contradictions of imperialism * The class struggle throughout the world * The aggressive course of the politics of world reaction - US monopolists * The intensified preparation for war by imperialist countries Therefore, the evolution of soviet doctrinal thinking was a process of immense complications where ideology and socialist principles, as well as cult personalities played a great role. The development of the industrial base, or its vital necessity produced the concerns with the nuclear, intercontinental war and vice versa. It is therefore, vital to consider the origins of soviet strategic and military thought in relation to state's connections with the opposing world and the ability of internal integration and industrial stimulation. Finally, the doctrine, or its principles were always subjective to the overall political and economic mood of the soviet state and the directions in which the society was shifting. Thus, one should be cautious in styling the evolution of the soviet military doctrine, as the concept itself is strongly blurred by the ideological dialectics of the socialist state. 4 ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree 1950-1999 section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree 1950-1999 essays

  1. What are the major factors that led to the end of the cold war?

    However, the USSR wasn't eager to keep a hold of the Soviet bloc both as it was a huge financial drain on the USSR's economy and there was no need for the 'buffer zone' between the USSR and Western Europe as relations between the two had greatly improved.

  2. Explain the origins of the Cold War.

    In the years following World Two, Communist parties in Europe were at their peak in popularity. In November 1946, the French Communist Party, won almost 30% of the vote, while in Greece Communist led guerrilla fighters provided from Yugoslavia and Bulgaria posed a considerable threat and eventually lead to a civil war breaking out.

  1. A study into how much John F. Kennedy was responsible for the ...

    without an external attack on American would have been ?contrary to our traditions and our international obligations.?[41] However Kennedy also knew after the Bay of Pigs it would be vital that he sent a message across that America was not be thought of us as weak against Communism.

  2. What would you consider the most decisive or influential forces to bring down apartheid ...

    and as such were constantly at odds with the ANC which opened Umkhonto we Sizwe, the specific armed forces aspect of the party (South Africa History Online, 1991).

  1. When and Why did British Decolonisation begin?

    nationalism, following the war, was one the key reasons for pushing Britain to decolonise. However, it must be noted that nationalism cannot be portrayed as a mass, united and sustained pushing against colonialism. Colonies were made up of many different ethnic groups and, therefore, a nationalist movement could not be

  2. Wars of counter-insurgency cannot be won - discuss.

    The Irish were subjected to internment without trial and search operations executed were based very loosely on intelligence and in turn led to the direct colossal failure of British counter-insurgency efforts. It therefore seemingly appears baffling how the doctrine and lessons of counter-insurgency continues to be ignored.

  1. Konrad Adeneur. Adenauer understood that rearmament was an essential step in his policy ...

    The close relations were a great help and enabled German rearmament as well as Germanys acceptance into NATO. It also enabled Germany to progress national interests without being viewed as aggressive by neighbouring countries. While Adenauer was a key figure in lifting Germany from war time devastation, the aid and contribution of his associates cannot be ignored.

  2. Analysis of Jean Hatzfeld's novel, The Antelope's Strategy: Living in Rwanda After the Genocide,

    However, when he received the presidential pardon and was released from prison, he no longer harbored fear or guilt for his crimes. Many other released Hutus also felt redeemed by being freed by the president. Tutsis believe that because the Hutus did not receive a proper punishment for their

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work