Frunze: The Soviet Clausewitz 1885–1925 by Walter Darnell Jacobs

By Walter Darnell Jacobs

Along the names of such giants of Soviet background as Brezhnev, Khrush­ chev, Kirov, Kosygin, Lenin, Stalin, and Trotsky, the identify of Mikhail Vasil'evich Fronze could appear to be misplaced. inspite of a such a lot impres­ sive flowering of Western scholarship on a variety of points of the Soviet Union, the determine of Fronze is still quite undeveloped. it's, actually, fairly attainable to provide a historical past of the Soviet Union within which he's not 1 pointed out. it's been performed a number of occasions. The Western overlook of Fronze isn't really duplicated in works produced within the Soviet Union. There, Frunze is sort of always taken care of as an enormous determine and is popularly considered as one of many nice strategists of the early days of the Soviet republic. He holds, to boot, a excessive position within the ranks of the "Old Bolsheviks. " How are those constrasts among the Western and the Soviet scholarly positions to be defined? a number of elements account for the excessive place occupied by way of Frunze in Soviet historiography. He used to be an army hero. He had a protracted list of revolution­ ary task. He died at an early age and didn't get entangled within the purges and different excesses of Stalin's later profession. in brief, Frunze's brief, energetic lifestyles and his contributions to the revolution suitable him nearly preferably to the function of historic hero. Western students have ignored him, most likely, for a couple of purposes.

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His innovation, if it exists, consists of combining the two - the Marxist basis and the unified military doctrine. At the same time, it should be remarked that anyone attempting to gain support for a particular military doctrine from a group of communists would stress that doctrine's basis and background in Marxism. Such may have been the motivations of Frunze. He was calling for a thorough re-examination of concepts of military doctrine. Under those circumstances, it is unlikely that he would have neglected to make at least a ceremonial bow in the direction of Marx and Engels.

19 Frunze admitted later, much later, that the theses for the Tenth Party Congress may have had "a certain vagueness, inexactness, and lack of understanding in formulation,'''20 but his efforts after the adjournment of the congress were directed toward the improvement of the formulation and not at all to a change in their content. After the Tenth Party Congress, Gusev did not display great enthusiasm 17 This phrase is, of course, not original with Frunze. It has been used many times. See, for example, Boris Shaposhnikov, Mozg armii (Moscow and Leningrad: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel'stvo, 1927-1929).

Deutscher, Stalin: A Political Biography (New York and LondOn: Oxford University Press, 1949), p. 173 and p. 297. 10 It may be ironic, or simply the facts of life in revolutions or out. that these same problems trouble the Soviet leaders today, over a half century after the seizure of power in November, 1917. 30 THE DEBATE plan of promotion for political workers be established so as to attract the best possible type of person to this work. The political apparatus, however, should be insured its integrity by its independence from military rule.

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