The Liberators (Suvorov)

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The Liberators by Viktor Suvorov (original Russian title: Освободитель) is a partly autobiographical description of life in the Soviet Army during the 1960s and 1970s. Told through anecdote, it provides insight into the brutality of a military machine where soldiers are treated with no regard whatsoever.

The scenes include the organized sadism of the glasshouse, a massive “military exercise” put on purely to impress foreigners, and an eyewitness description of the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia. Daily life is dominated by the endless struggle of middle-ranking officers to impress their superiors, a struggle which does nothing whatever for military effectiveness or discipline but depends entirely on cunning and deceit.

The Liberators does not attempt to discuss Soviet doctrine, organization or equipment in any formal way; this is left to another book, Inside the Soviet Army. It does, however, provide an absorbing personal account for non-specialist readership.

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