Air Force Washington, D. Nevertheless, they would not have made that particular argument in favor of the new thinking unless they also believed it. Such a model would explain the outcome of this doctrinal dispute, but it could not explain the ABM case.
Central Intelligence Agency, Military Thought , no. Marshal Bagramyan, the commander of Rear Services, for example, expressed optimism about the prospects for ABM, whereas Marshal Moskalenko, the inspector general and former PVO officer , was more pessimistic. Neither stand clearly accords with any bureaucratic interest. See Bagramyan , I. For definitions of different kinds of learning, see Tetlock , Philip E. John , ed. Responsibility for any errors, of course, rests entirely with the author.
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Demchak, Chris C. Journal of Public Policy, Vol. Umbach, Frank The role and influence of the military establishment in Russia's foreign and security policies in the Yeltsin Era. In addition, the Germans had been the first to introduce an operational jet fighter. The British and Americans had made important strides in this important technology during the war and they would quickly exploit their advantage. By contrast, Soviet wartime research and development had given little place or emphasis to these technical innovations, although foreign aircraft designs had been monitored and studied throughout the war.
The Soviets in grappled with a sort of technological riptide, an altered reality for which they were ill prepared. Consequently, the Soviet Union's pursuit of victory, if impressive in its epic proportions, had bought military vulnerability in its wake. The rapid tempo of weapons development often made whole categories of weapons obsolescent, even at peak moments of effectiveness.
The technological gap with the Americans quickly became apparent as the Cold War took shape in the last decade of Stalin's rule. For the Soviets, the Cold War reinforced the perception of military vulnerability and the urgent need to modernize the Soviet Air Force. The old Imperial Russian Air Force had deployed the world's first long-range bomber squadron at Yablonna, near Warsaw, in September This unique airplane could stay aloft for missions of six hours or more.
The Il'lya Muromets proved to be an effective platform for bombing, aerial observation, and photography. Always heavily armed, the Il'lya Muromets became a formidable flying fortress. Only one of these bombers was downed by enemy fighters during the entire war.
Soviet Military Intelligence in War (Soviet Russian Military Theory and Practice)
The Bolsheviks, triumphant in the Russian Revolution, displayed a real enthusiasm for air power. They organized the Red Air Fleet, which played a dramatic, if marginal, role during the Russian Civil War that followed in the wake of the Bolshevik coup. During the s, the new Soviet military establishment began a debate on the nature of air power. The quest to adapt military doctrine to Marxism-Leninism dominated and distorted Soviet military thinking and planning.
For example, Douhet became a familiar figure to Soviet military theorists, in particular to Jan Alksnis, the Soviet Air Commander in the s. Douhet's writings were first translated into Russian in The Soviet pre-war fascination with large aircraft expressed an older tradition going back to Igor Sikorsky's designs.
Russian Strategy – Russia Military Analysis
The need to design aircraft with long-range flying capabilities reflected Russia's enormous geography, a nation with eleven time zones. For a brief period, Douhet attracted many disciples within the Soviet air establishment. By the early s, the Soviets began the manufacture of large bombers, first the twin-engine TB-1 and then the four-engine TB Flotillas of these lumbering giants appeared at air shows and military maneuvers.
They gave full expression to the evolving interest of the Soviets in strategic bombing. Lapchinskiy, one of the Soviet Union's most prolific air theorists of the interwar period, also indicated a keen interest in the potential striking power of the bomber in any future war. Emblematic of this trend was the eight-engine, ton Maxim Gorky, which flew over Red Square on May Day and participated in several highly orchestrated air shows.
The Maxim Gorky suggested that the Soviets were a major air power and possessed the means for long-range bombing. Two transpolar flights to the United States in also impressed the West with Soviet advances in long-range aviation. The Soviet emphasis on large aircraft and, in particular, the design of long-range bombers, proved to be shortlived. Stalin's purge of the military of the late s signaled vast changes.
The purges brought repression and the arrest of many aircraft designers. For reasons that remain obscure, the purge process in its final stages targeted many aviation leaders, civil and military.
The arrest and execution of Jan Alksnis eliminated the long-range bomber's most visible defender. Andrei Tupolev and many of his associates escaped death, but their arrest and humiliation confirmed the fact that the Soviet Union's brief flirtation with the bomber was over. The dramatic shift away from long-range bombers, however, cannot be explained only by the purges.
The Spanish war demonstrated that fighters and ground attack aircraft were more effective than the slow, lumbering bombers of the period.
The introduction of late-model German fighters such as the Messerschmitt BFE altered the course of the conflict, exposing the inferior character of Soviet aircraft technology and air combat tactics. Spain proved to be a crucible for learning, a grim episode that helped to shape Soviet war planning in positive ways. In , Stalin ordered the reorganization of the Soviet Air Force. Soviet aviation production goals now called for a whole new generation of aircraft.
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Long-range bomber aviation persisted, but on a reduced scale. This shift, in part, was explained later as a reaffirmation of combined arms warfare. As this idea was understood in , the Soviets stressed the centrality of the ground forces. This meant that air power was subordinate to all defensive and offensive ground operations. The air force became explicitly a tactical air arm. Bombers persisted, but only to enhance tactical air operations. Even so-called Long-Range Bomber units, reorganized as the 18th Air army, preformed essentially tactical support missions during the course of the war.
Several overarching trends in Soviet aeronautical development shaped the post-war years. They are worth noting, if briefly:. The quest to build a new long-range bomber became a high priority in the post-war years. Parallel work in jets and rockets proceeded as well. Building offensive weapons anticipated the acquisition of nuclear weapons that became a reality for the Soviets in The Tupolev Tu-4 become the first genuine Soviet long-range bomber.
The Tu-4 was a copy of the American B The story of the Tu-4 has fascinated students of Soviet aviation for decades. The story began in late when three Bs landed near Vladivostok while participating in air strikes over Japan. The crews and aircraft were interned. Subsequently, the crews were returned, but not the advanced bombers. The acquisition of the Bs, at the time the most technically advanced bomber in the world, provided the Soviets with a rare opportunity to study and to replicate a proven long-range bomber.
The fate of the interned American Bs remains a mystery. Stalin ordered a Soviet version to be produced within a year, and gave Tupolev complete access to the Soviet Union's engineering and material resources for this high priority project. Thousands of draftsmen, engineers, and technical specialists were mobilized to work on the high-priority project. It became one of the most extraordinary examples of reverse engineering in aeronautical history. The technical problems were complex and immense.