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By 1920 the Red Army fielded an overwhelming array of armored cars and armored trains, while tank detachments had begun forming in earnest. These armored units played an important part in consolidating the newly won Bolshevik empire in the early 1920s; as a consequence of the fact that railways were the strategic arteries that essentially controlled Russia, armored trains have never played such a significant role in military history as they did in the Russian Civil War. This title details their management, construction and repair, personnel and training and combat on all fronts, as well as discussing Trotsky's armored train, in which he conducted 36 tours.
The Czech Legion was not just a single military unit, but a volunteer army that fielded up to 100,000 troops on the Allied side on all three main fronts in World War I (1914-1918). Since only the defeat of Austro-Hungary and Germany offered any hope of Czech national independence, they were amongst the most motivated and steadfast of the Allied forces in France, the Italian Alps and Russia. In one of the most colorful and extraordinary episodes of the 20th century they fought their way across Russia in the aftermath of the Bolshevik Revolution, captured the Russian national gold reserves in Kazan, and used this as a bargaining chip to force the Bolsheviks to allow them to return home, in an epic journey closely followed by the Western press. The Legion played a central part in the foundation of the Czechoslovakian nation with the leaders of independent Czechoslovakia - Masaryk, Benes and Stefanik - all emerging from the Legion's ranks. Today the Legion is recognized as the founding fathers of Czech nationhood and are idolized by the US Czech community as a result.
The Russian Civil War was the most important event of its kind in the 20th century. It changed the lives of over half a billion people and dramatically shaped the political, human and economic geography of Europe, the Far East and Central Asia. Over a tempestuous four-year period the Communist Red Army and the loosely formed, anti-Bolshevist White Army battled in a war that would totally transform the vast Eurasian heartland and lead to Communist revolutions worldwide as well as the Cold War. David Bullock offers a fresh perspective on this conflict, examining the forces of both sides, the intervention of non-Russian forces, including American, Canadian, British, and Japanese troops, and the involvement of female soldiers and partisans. The military story of massed infantry and cavalry actions, mechanized warfare with tanks, armored cars and trains, and air combat, all along rapidly shifting fronts, is told against the incredible backdrop of political and social revolution. It is an account that is interwoven with tragedy - 30 million people died during the Civil War - and the author skillfully places the battles in the context of human suffering as he explores the cruel sacrifice of a huge population on the altar of political power. The absorbing text includes dramatic first-hand accounts, and is vividly illustrated with carefully selected previously unpublished photographs. This new insight into history's most significant civil war, which began 90 years ago, will be welcomed by all students of history seeking a compact account of the conflict that brought into being a new superpower - the USSR - and its threatening ideology.
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