RED ARMY'S DO IT YOURSELF, NAZI BASHING GUERRILLA WARFARE MANUAL: THE PARTIZAN'S HANDBOOK, UPDATED A
Author: Lester Grau & Michael Gress
Publisher: Casemate Publishing, May 2011
This 1943 3rd edition is the last-&-best Red Army manual used to train partisans to fight the Nazi invader. Its usefulness outlived World War II. It was later used to train ?third-world? guerrillas in their wars of national liberation in the 1950s?70s and even the Fedayeen guerrillas who fought U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. Illustrations & drawings; 6x9 inches, 288 pgs.
A selection of the Military Book Club.
This 1943 third edition of The Partisan?s Companion is the last-&-best Red Army manual used to train partisans to fight the Nazi invader. Its usefulness outlived World War II. It was later used to train ?third-world? guerrillas in their wars of national liberation in the 1950s?70s & even the Fedayeen guerrillas who fought U.S. & coalition forces in Iraq. Once upon a time, the Boy Scout Manual concentrated almost exclusively on camping, field craft & first aid. The Partisan?s Companion adds guns, demolitions, hand-to-hand combat, assorted mayhem & multiple forms of Nazi-bashing. It is like the old Boy Scout Manual on steroids.
When Germany invaded the Soviet Union, the Red Army was hard pressed to cope with the ?invincible? Wehrmacht. The initial partisan resistance efforts also had problems. No locals were welcome, & the only guerrillas recognized by Moscow were surrounded Red Army units & units of loyal party members who were sent into unfamiliar territory to battle the Nazis. The initial training manual was a reprint from the Russian Civil War, & most of these units were wiped out. Finally the Soviets began recruiting partisans from the local community?but with Red Army officers & secret police agents. The partisan effort improved.
By 1943, it was obvious that Germany was losing the war. The partisan ranks grew as did the training requirements for the partisan commanders. The 1943 edition of the Partisan?s Companion helped quickly train new guerrillas to a common standard. Besides field craft, it covers partisan tactics, German counter-guerrilla tactics, demolitions, German & Soviet weapons, scouting, camouflage, anti-tank warfare & anti-aircraft defense for squad & platoon-level instruction. It contains the Soviet lessons of two bitter years of war & provides a good look at the tactics & training of a mature partisan force. The partisans moved & lived clandestinely, harassed the enemy, & supported the Red Army through reconnaissance & attacks on the German supply lines. They were also the agents of Soviet power & vengeance in the occupied regions. Soviet historians credit the partisans with tying down ten percent of the German army & with killing almost a million enemy soldiers. They clearly frustrated German logistics & forced the Germans to periodically sideline divisions to hunt the partisans. The partisans, & this third edition, were clearly part of the eventual Soviet victory over Germany.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Les Grau is a retired US Army officer who fought guerrillas in South Vietnam?& left on a stretcher. Consequently, his appreciation for guerrilla tactics came early in his career. The Army later taught him Russian, & his tours of duty included frequent trips to the Soviet Union & elsewhere. He has is the author of three books on the Soviet-Afghan War, including The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War (with Ali Jalali).
Mike (Misha) Gress grew up in the wilds of Siberia where everyone's dad, including his own, was a veteran of the fight against the Nazis. He joined the Soviet Army & served in the infantry (motorized rifle) forces, & afterward produced The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought & Lost with Les Grau.