W. Baxter’s “Soviet Air Land Battle Tactics” from 1986 is a recommended read for any Cold War enthusiast. It offers an interesting insight into the thinking behind soviet tactics, and a wealth of examples of standard doctrine. The material in the book is gathered from published Soviet sources, military journals and other documents from the other side of the iron curtain.
Particularly interesting examples are the Soviet nomograms, simple charts officers and planner can use to solve complex calculations with a ruler and pencil. For example one chart can be used to determine how long it takes for meeting battle to start, if the enemy is advancing at 15 kmh and own forces at 20 kmh, and the enemy is not 68 km away. No need for complex computing machinery, when one can just issue a standard Soviet Space Agency pencil to the forces.
The tone of the book can be summarised as “don’t think the Soviets are mindless automata piling their troops into massive breakthrough attacks. Their doctrine and thinking emphasises manoeuvre, shock and surprise. Be prepared.”
I give this book Five red stars.