Afghanistan: Preparing for the Bolshevik Incursion into Afghanistan and Attack on India, 1919-20 (Helion Studies in Military History 27)

Afghanistan: Preparing for the Bolshevik Incursion into Afghanistan and Attack on India, 1919-20 (Helion Studies in Military History 27)

By: Andrei Evgenievich Snesarev (author), Michael A. Gress (editor), Lester W. Grau (editor)Paperback

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In 1919, Afghanistan invaded British India and precipitated the short Third Anglo-Afghan War. Although this Anglo-Afghan War was more limited than the first two, it drove defeated Afghanistan toward Revolutionary Russia. The Kingdom of Afghanistan worried about Britain's intentions and so Afghanistan became the first country to recognize the new Bolshevik government. Relations improved to the point that In May 1921, the Kingdom of Afghanistan signed a treaty of friendship with the Soviet Union. The British perceived the recognition and the treaty as a threat to British India. There were fears that Britain would invade Afghanistan and the Workers and Peasants Red Army (RKKA) began preparations to aid Afghanistan. Britain was still actively aiding the hold-out elements of the White Army in the Russian civil war. The Soviet Union needed to finish their civil war and prepare to deal with Britain and the Soviet southern border. The most decisive way was to invade British India through Afghanistan. The second way was to prepare to counterattack a British invasion. The Soviets put their best regional scholar, General Andrei Snesarev, on the job. Snesarev's lectures in 1919 and 1920 were part of this preparation. Students of the Oriental Department of the RKKA Military Academy would lead the Soviet aid effort to Afghanistan. Snesarev's knowledge was critical and so his lectures were taken down by stenographers and then printed as a book. The expected British invasion did not materialize, but the thoroughness of Snesarev's works and his presentation of materials from a military specialist's point of view served the Soviet planners decades later during their invasion of Afghanistan in 1979. Snesarev's work still has relevance today. His book was not available to the Russian public until recently and has not been available in English until this printing. Snesarev's book presents the geography, terrain, climate, natural resources, ethnic groups, history, languages, government, law, bureaucracy, economy, taxation, military industry, military qualities of the people, organization of its armed forces, armament and equipment and a discussion of the recent Third Anglo-Afghan War. It ends with a detailed look at the strategic points of Afghanistan and its lines of communication. The book presents a good look at the region almost a century ago, yet is strangely current in this war-ravaged land.

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About Author

"Andrei Evgenievich Snesarev was a noted Tsarist general who remained with the Bolsheviks after the Russian Revolution. He was born in 1865. His career as an orientalist began with a lengthy tour of British India. He served throughout Central Asia and traveled throughout Afghanistan, the Pamirs, Tibet and Kashgar (Western China). During World War I, he commanded at regiment, brigade, division and corps level. During the Russian Civil War, Snesarev successfully defended the city of Tsaritsyn against White Army attacks, but ran afoul of the local political commissar-Josef Stalin. Only Lenin's intervention saved Snesarev from Stalin-this time. Snesarev trained Bolshevik officers for the invasion of British India, through Afghanistan. This book is the basis of that training. In 1924, Snesarev was appointed professor and senior instructor of geography and statistics at the Naval Academy. In 1926, he was appointed professor of oriental studies at the Military-Political Academy. Snesarev spoke 14 languages. In 1930, Snesarev was arrested in the Stalin purges and twice condemned to death by firing squad. In 1934, he was given an early release since he had contracted a serious disease. He died at home in 1937 after a lingering illness. " Andrei Evgenievich Snesarev was a noted Tsarist general who remained with the Bolsheviks after the Russian Revolution. He was born in 1865. His career as an orientalist began with a lengthy tour of British India. He served throughout Central Asia and traveled throughout Afghanistan, the Pamirs, Tibet and Kashgar (Western China). During World War I, he commanded at regiment, brigade, division and corps level. During the Russian Civil War, Snesarev successfully defended the city of Tsaritsyn against White Army attacks, but ran afoul of the local political commissar-Josef Stalin. Only Lenin's intervention saved Snesarev from Stalin-this time. Snesarev trained Bolshevik officers for the invasion of British India, through Afghanistan. This book is the basis of that training. In 1924, Snesarev was appointed professor and senior instructor of geography and statistics at the Naval Academy. In 1926, he was appointed professor of oriental studies at the Military-Political Academy. Snesarev spoke 14 languages. In 1930, Snesarev was arrested in the Stalin purges and twice condemned to death by firing squad. In 1934, he was given an early release since he had contracted a serious disease. He died at home in 1937 after a lingering illness. Dr Lester W. Grau is a retired US Army infantry officer who fought in South Vietnam and who served as a Russian-speaking Soviet Foreign Area Officer during the Cold War. Les served in a variety of command and staff positions with postings in Germany, the Netherlands, South Korea and Moscow. He is the author of six books on Afghanistan, a book on Chechnya, mountain combat and Soviet partisan combat. In addition, he has published over two hundred articles on Soviet and Russian tactics, Afghanistan, urban combat and geopolitical topics. He has been a frequent visitor to Central and Southern Asia and was a CENTCOM Fellow. He currently is a Senior Analyst at the Foreign Military Studies Office in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas where he researches foreign understandings of contemporary and future geopolitical issues.

Product Details

  • publication date: 09/10/2014
  • ISBN13: 9781909982031
  • Format: Paperback
  • Number Of Pages: 200
  • ID: 9781909982031
  • weight: 318
  • ISBN10: 1909982032

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