Read Red Army by Ralph Peters Online


In the heart of a European forest, a young private dreams of home and rock 'n roll. At command headquarters, a four-star general pursues a family tradition of military honor that reaches back centuries. They could be any two soldiers in the world. It could be any army - but it's not. The place is the East German border. The time is tomorrow - and the Soviet Army is about tIn the heart of a European forest, a young private dreams of home and rock 'n roll. At command headquarters, a four-star general pursues a family tradition of military honor that reaches back centuries. They could be any two soldiers in the world. It could be any army - but it's not. The place is the East German border. The time is tomorrow - and the Soviet Army is about to attack. . .While western leaders debate the use of nuclear weapons, the Soviet Army and its Warsaw Pact Allies crash across West Germany, exploiting the NATO armies' deadly lack of preperation. In a matter of days, refugees clog the roads and the cities are in shambles. The Soviet Army wages a brutal battle for Europe - even as the hidden rivalries and divided loyalties within its ranks begon to emerge.In this extraordinary. controversial novel, author Ralph Peters a U.S. Army intelligence officer specializing in the Soviet military - takes us inside an army of dozens of languages and ethnic backgrounds, into the belly of an armored personnel carrier, the cockpit of a MIG, and onto the bloody battlefield where sophisticated tanks duel like ancient, flame-spewing dragons.From Chief of Staff Chibisov, fighting his ethnic heritage, to the daring tank commander Bezarin, locked in an unforgettable duel of wits with a British division, from bitter veterans of Afghanistan to raw recruits, a host of vivid characters are swept up in the chaos and drama. Some will be heroes. Some will die, and others will have their souls scarred forever.As the HATO armies make their last, desparate stands - divided by Soviet maneuvers and their own political squabbling - Red Army thunders to a truly frightening climax.Told entirely from a Russian point of view, Red Army is a riveting tour de force. More than a portrait of high-tech modern warfare, it is a fascingating novel of human strengths and weaknesses - a chilling look at the one army in the world that may have the power to defeat us....

Title : Red Army
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780671676698
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 400 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Red Army Reviews

  • Dane Sørensen
    2019-04-22 14:05

    I loved this book from the first time I picked it up. In my teen years I read a lot of Tom Clancy so I was pretty well up to speed on 1980's weapon systems, and since I'd already ground through Red Storm Rising I thought I knew what I was in for here.I was mistaken.Red Army is not Red Storm Rising. In fact it's almost the anti-techno thriller, never getting bogged down in technology porn because sometimes a tank is just a tank. The focus is squarely, emphatically, on the characters, every one of whom is a real, relatable person who we want to see come out of this hellish experience alive. The story is driven by the impact of World War III on the minds and bodies of real people, and that's a very different kind of storytelling.Being told from the Soviet point of view, it is also mercifully free of flag-waving Americans and their corny "Helluva thing, Mike" dialogue that infest most novels of this type. Instead we get the carefully chosen words of our officer-and-a-gentleman General Malinsky, the man charged with planning a full-scale invasion of West Germany. We get the hopefulness of Bezarin, whose ruthless capability and naivete make him feel like someone we could actually meet in the real world. We also get more repulsive creatures like Starukhin, the bully with the command tent, whose personal hatred for the Jewish staff officer Chibisov corrupts everything they achieve together.It's a product of its time, having been written at the same time Rumsfeld was giving his infamous "They've been busy" speeches about the largely imagined power of the Soviet military. It was also unfortunate to be released in 1989, just as the Soviet Union was beginning its great breakup (although I think we're all glad it was never vindicated by history). And ultimately its blitzkrieg-on-steroids portrayal of Deep Operations was proven flawed by Desert Storm, where it turned out Clancy was right about the power and flexibility of modern defenses. But still... it's a vividly real picture of war in the (almost) modern era, contrasting the burning tanks and attrition of the fast-moving front with the traffic control disasters being faced by the high command, and at the climax, a chillingly sensible discussion of what to do if the battlefield goes nuclear.So if you're after another techno-thriller, this ain't it. But if you're after a moving, tragic story of the human cost of war, or maybe a slice of alternate history, Red Army is brilliant.

  • Belhor
    2019-04-23 15:16

    One of the best books I've read. I've never seen a military novel with such excellence. The movement of the forces, logistics and strategic - even tactical - details are astonishing and very realistic. Characters are also very well developed.

  • Anthony
    2019-04-14 14:05

    A gritty, yet enjoyable anti-war war novel. The story is told from the perspective of Soviet soldiers, from front commanders to artillerymen, tankers and infantrymen, and focuses on the logistical, psychological and moral struggles of in hypothetical war between USSR and NATO forces in Germany. While there are many passages describing front line fighting, the author also incorporates military organization, logistics and strategy in the book. Although the book was published in 1989, it wasn't too dated - the intricacies of post-WW2 warfare aren't really explored in contemporary war movies/games.

  • Liam
    2019-04-05 07:18

    I keep coming back to this book for some reason- when this was published in 1989, Ralph Peters was a serving officer of the U.S. Army, an Intelligence officer like my father and my 8th grade 'Language Exploration' teacher, Mr. Smith. The latter two were both graduates of the U.S. Army Language School at Monterey, California; my father was a Chinese linguist, and Mr. Smith was a Russian linguist & area specialist as Mr. Peters was. I am somewhat leery of Mr. Peters' current political outlook & activities, but when he wrote this book he was just developing into a promising young writer on Military Affairs. Many people, including myself, have often said that sometimes Fiction can give one a better understanding of historical events than History itself. In terms of understanding the officers & men who served in the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union during the 1970s & 1980s, I would recommend reading both 'Red Army' and also 'Feast Of Bones' by Daniel P. Bolger (another U.S. Army officer, a rough contemporary of Mr. Peters, who stayed in the service and got his second star last May). I myself have only a passing interest in Russia/Eastern Europe, but I feel that in order to understand 20th Century Military History one must have at least a passing familiarity with the structure and outlook of all major politico-military actors of those times. Fortunately, both this book and General Bolger's book referenced above are well written and engrossing stories in their own right, and would possibly make enjoyable reading even for someone with little or no interest in Military Affairs.

  • Russell Phillips
    2019-04-08 14:29

    When I first read this, the idea of the cold war turning hot and the Warsaw Pact invading western Europe was still a possibility. Now, of course, it's more alternative history than a possible future.It's very different reading it now, but it's still a good book, and still worth reading. As the author says, the book is "not about the hardware or even the mission, but about the men". That makes it unusual within the genre. I only once saw a piece of equipment named (an F-16), every other time they are given generic names or descriptions.This focus on men over machines, and particularly the author's decision to only tell the story from the Soviet point of view, make the book a very interesting read. It's interesting to see things from a Soviet point of view, and Peters has some intriguing ideas about how the Soviets would have done things.

  • Leo
    2019-04-22 07:05

    Ever wonder what WWIII would have been like from the Red Hordes perspective? I enjoyed this book and I think you will too.

  • Mieczyslaw Kasprzyk
    2019-03-28 09:28

    The Soviets invade West Germany in a lightning stroke. Brutal fighting ensues as the front gives way... The Soviets prove to be very successful in what is, after all, a conventional land war. In just three days the Rhine is in sight, can anything stop the Red Army? "War was only about winning. Killing the other one before he killed you."says one of the main characters of the book, and indeed it is about killing, putting pressure on your opponents, driving forward. It is also about ordinary soldiers fighting, thinking about their families back home and about staying alive. Death walks among them, indiscriminate and brutal.This is an interesting read but it also raises many questions. Why, for example, have the Soviets decided to attack anyway, what has driven them to this? Why are the allies, NATO, so ill-prepared? Surely there was a period of tension leading up to the event? The answer lies in the fact that the American author doesn't have much faith in NATO and feels that America is really a bit misguided to be committed to it. The American forces turn out to be the only real counter to the Soviet attack, efficient and destructive whilst their other allies prove to be slow, poorly-coordinated, and stereotyped.

  • David Garvin
    2019-03-25 07:14

    The story is very well-written; however, the author's prejudices against the non-American NATO allies is blatant. Having said that, this is a must-read for anyone interested in the "Cold-War-Turned-Hot" genre of the 1980s.

  • Milos
    2019-04-18 07:08

    One of my first true "all-English" books I read. I got it in my high school library (gee ... how come they stocked it?) ... must have been rare weirdo that actually read it back then ...It was amazing ... first immersion into the world of "what if" and alternate history. Interesting story and viewpoints of random "small people" soviet military personnel. Although I didn't quite liked that scene of wardrobe fitting ;) And yeah .... ending is of course US favorable ... with omnipresence of ghostly "all mighty" US Abrams tanks and troops. But still .... interesting insight. All in all a great read.

  • Odhran
    2019-04-11 14:12

    Possibly my favourite WWIII alt-history, because it's written from the side of the Soviets and doesn't rely on massive coincidences and chance in favour of NATO (both are very common, and quite annoying.)

  • Virdomarus
    2019-04-23 12:23

    Good in parts, great overview, good viginettes. Lacks character development.Descriptions of the sudden violence of war are very good, as is the accidental nature of civilian casualties.

  • Sindre
    2019-04-18 14:18

    Another "what if" book, detailing a conventional war between the Warzaw Pact and NATO in the 1980s. Unlike any other similar book, this one is unique in that the events are viewed solely from a Soviet perspective, and eventually ends with a Soviet victory. That makes it a fresh breath of air in these circles, given the large amount of "victorious West" novels out there. Furthermore, it has a different writing style than ex. "Red Storm Rising", as it is more about the experiences of different soldiers rather than the overall picture.That said, this book takes it way too far. The NATO countries are depicted as being hopelessly incompetent, crossing into ridiculous on a few occasions. They constantly bicker among themselves, consistently making the wrong strategic and tactical decisions, are outfought and outmaneuvered by the Soviets in every instance and are completely lacking in initiative. Of course, this excludes the Americans, and the book is absolutely littered with remarks by the Soviets, who are all afraid of the "hardcore American supermen with their incredibly powerful superweapons" on their southern flank. The book culminates with the Americans nearly winning the war singlehandedly for NATO with a massive counterattack, before West Germany suddenly, and for no reason, lay down their arms in a unilateral ceasefire.The book is well written and the premise is very interesting, but I almost feel like it is the result of "white man's guilt", trying to correct the overwhelming amount of pro-NATO novels, some of whom borders jingoism. The way he portrays the US Army as some sort of supermen, while their allied brothers-in-arms are the most useless and incompetent amateurs you can imgagine, is just hopeless hopeless hopeless. Biased as fuck, plain and simple.

  • Raymond Thomas
    2019-03-24 11:09

    Easily one of the best written and researched books of all the World War Three scenarios. Ralph Peters is very clear about the reasons why he is writing his book as a way to bring to life the many things he learned while studying the habits, theories, and lives of Soviet military officers. Furthermore, like many of the other books this too is a call to arms for the countries of NATO, though instead of making the point made by countless others, he seems to express concern at the political weaknesses of the Western alliance.The massive casualties depicted by Mr. Peters seem to be realistic in nature given the huge increase in speed that Peters envisioned (something that was rather telling vindicated by the actions of NATO in the First Persian Gulf War). One thing I do take some issue with is the Soviet "mastery" of the mass information that is characterized by modern warfare, particularly when Peters seems to imply that Soviet planning might even give the Soviets an upper hand over the Allied efforts to decipher battlefield information. Furthermore, I think the ending of the book (with the capitulation of the West German government) to be quite implausible. The men of West Germany, while they may have been weary after three major wars in their country in less than 100 years, surely wouldn't have given up the ghost to a system that was so clearly demoralizing and destroying East Germany.

  • Mikkel
    2019-04-15 10:16

    A worthwhile read!An excellent in-depth account of the war that never happened from the point-of-view of the Red Army. Ralph Peters takes the reader through a range of personal accounts of the war presenting both military-technical as well as cultural-personal aspects of a Warsaw Pact invasion on the European central front. Peters eloquently portraits the moral, mental, and physical aspects from the point-of-view of the front commander down to the individual motor-rifleman tagging along in his BMP. At the same time Ralph Peters drives home an excellent point about NATO cohesion and doctrinal challenges - which are as relevant today as back then.At the macro level the book demonstrates easily digestible insights into Soviet military-science and the execution of deep battle as envisioned by Tukhachevsky. For a deeper insight into the execution of maneuver warfare the reader is suggested to consult: Leonhard, Robert R. The Art of Maneuver: Maneuver-Warfare Theory and Airland Battle. Novato, CA: Presidio Press, 1994. In addition, a brief google search will reveal a range of excellent cold-war documents on both Soviet deep battle and the situation on the European central front in the 1980's.

  • Andrew
    2019-04-02 10:28

    It's hard to judge this book fairly. Red Army was originally published in 1989, as Soviet Communism and it's Warsaw Pact satellites were falling apart. The idea of a Soviet invasion of the West in the late '80s/early '90s seems even more absurd knowing what we know 25+ years later. Still, this book is at least well written, and does carry some resonance.In his author's note, Ralph Peters says that his main goal in this book is to give us an impression of the men that constitute the Soviet Army. His wide cast of characters, from different backgrounds, in different service branches and at different levels of command, and his pleasant readable prose do a good job at achieving that objective. With tensions once again rising between the West and Russia, the story (and also Peters' warning about NATO) seem a little more relevant as well.For all that though, the plot is hopelessly dated. The world it inhabits was quickly vanishing when this book was published, and the military and political landscapes (though shaped by this past world) no longer resemble it much. It reads ok as an alternate history, but it still pushes credibility even as that.

  • Eliot Boden
    2019-03-24 08:22

    I read this in high school, probably after I discovered Tom Clancy and was really into military thrillers. I still remember this book years later because it wasn't just cut-and-dry battle plans or over-the-top descriptions of planes, tanks, and bombs. The book focuses on a Warsaw Pact invasion of West Germany through the eyes of some memorable characters (mostly on the Soviet side from what I remember), like the inexperienced commander suffering from some illness (cowardice?). The book in the end was fairly anti-war, unlike most of the genre. Worth a second look.

  • David
    2019-04-04 12:30

    This book follows the lives of a few Soviet soldiers as they wage war across West Germany. It is written entirely from their point of view as they race across northern West Germany to meet their objectives. I found the book interesting and at times riveting as the various soldiers reacted to the realities of war. The writing style of Ralph Peters tends to be a narrative rather than actual dialog between characters, whcih at times is very dry. IMOHO, if there was more dialog between the characters, it would have made for a more exciting read.

  • Daniel
    2019-04-07 07:18

    This is a great novel. It brings together the action of a Third World War novel with the detailed account of personal stories. I read this book slowly and thought a lot and really savored it. Books like this really bring out the truth and horrible nature of war on an individual level. War is not great. I greatly appreciate the talents of the author to bring all the great aspects of this book into one great moving force.

  • Jordan G.
    2019-04-13 09:16

    Enjoyed this more than Red Storm Rising, which was much wider in scope but had too many pointless side-plots. Like RSR, based on the (probably correct) premise that the main Soviet conventional attack into West Germany would have been on the Braunschweig/Hannover axis, rather than into the teeth of the Americans in the Fulda Gap. Extremely minor quibble: there aren't any skyscrapers in Hameln that a helicopter could crash into.

  • Andrew
    2019-03-24 15:06

    A very solid entry in the technothriller genre which takes the unique approach of looking at a war between NATO and the Warsaw Pact from the Soviet-side. An easier read due to the lack of too much technobabble and also the less-than-rounded characters, contrasted with other contemporary writers and their works, it is a useful antidote to the incessant 'west wins' finale of so many books from the genre/period.

  • Bas Kreuger
    2019-03-29 14:09

    As the cover says, Tom Clancy seen from the other side. Although there is some truth in that line, Tom Clancy always had the Allies (and specially the US) win big time at the end of his books, Peters has a more balanced view of the Soviet capabilities and NATO.Focusing more on the men than on their machines, he paints a believable picture of a WP attack on the West.If you like Clancy, Larry Bond ea, try this one too for it unique perspective and smooth style.

  • Aditya Pareek
    2019-03-30 14:28

    Col. Ralph Peters was the only man on this planet with balls enough to portray a WWIII where Sovetski soyuz wins. Hats off to the most visible American foreign and military policy commentator.The tank battles in his prose , deep in west germany would always echo in my head."LOAD SABOT, AIM, FIRE".

  • Kurore García
    2019-04-19 12:19

    It's a very good book, I've never read a book or something like it. This book gets you closer to the people of the Red Army showing you the stories of each command line and the differences between them, something more human than just the faceless red army just as said the writer.

  • Tim Vos
    2019-04-21 13:01

    Surprisingly good Alternate History fiction. A bit Soviet-wanky, especially considering it was published during the Cold War. Good, realistic dialogue and it really shows the effect war can have on soldiers, especially since technology has mostly made infantry redundant.

  • Ben B
    2019-03-24 07:23

    As with many of my books, this has lost much of its luster since the Cold War ended. Although it bills itself as nonfiction, this book is apparently not at all reliable as such. Still, it gave an interesting take on the Soviet mindset.

  • Iain
    2019-04-17 15:06

    I enjoyed this "Soviet view" of WWIII but found the ending rather unsatisfactory. I went from wanting to read other books by the author to not being sure that I did. I suspect I will give one of his works set in the ACW a read because when Red Army was good, it was good.

  • Steve
    2019-04-12 07:12

    Probably the best alt-history book about WWIII that I've read. Posits a future where the Soviet military did far better than anyone anticipated. Well-written and gives a view of the enemy that is mostly lacking in books of this type.

  • Michael
    2019-03-30 11:25

    This novel did an excellent job of discussing the personalities and motivations of a diverse group of characters during a fictional invasion of West Germany. In terms of understanding the potential impact and destruction of armored warfare it is one of the best I have read.

  • Lei
    2019-04-05 12:01

    A good glimpse into the what-if of flashpoint Germany ignites. But finished a bit short from the kind of epic struggle I was hoping for. But anyway I doubt any cold war book would have a grand ending.

  • Mitchell
    2019-04-08 08:21

    Not bad piece of technical prose. How good the analysis is, I don't know. Peters has certainly proven himself to be an unusually inept advisor on Fox News in recent years, even compared to the rest of their crazy train.