Friday, February 2, 2007

From Tsarist General to Red Army Commander by M. Bonch-Bruyevich

An interesting Memoir about a General Staff officer for the Tsarist Army and then for the Red Army. During the first years of World War I he worked as chief of staff for various fronts and also in counter-espionage. I was surprised to learn how many spies there were in Russia at the time, German, Austrian, etc. And worst of all they were some of the best known foreigners, serving in the highest circles of society at the time. Many times their arrests were forbidden by the Tsar or Tsarina or others in high positions. His thoughts about Rasputin and their meetings are interesting as are his interactions with Sydney Reilly. How he helped create the Red Army and employed former officers within its ranks helps the reader to understand how the Red Army was successful in its civil war against so many interventionists from abroad and from within. Overall an interesting read and worth having to understand the situation Russia found herself in before the Revolution, during, and after.

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