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Endurance and WarThe National Sources of Military Cohesion$
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Jasen J. Castillo

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804789103

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804789103.001.0001

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The Soviet Union, 1941

The Soviet Union, 1941

(p.141) 5 The Soviet Union, 1941
Endurance and War

Jasen J. Castillo

Stanford University Press

Chapter five examines the performance of the Soviet Armed Forces while defending its homeland against the German onslaught in 1941. Cohesion theory explains how and why Stalin's authoritarian army recovered from the shock of Germany's initial blow to launch a counterattack. A strong state composed of hard-core supporters kept the armed forces intact and fighting. Ideology, commitment to the defense of the Russian homeland, and a highly coercive state prevented organized opposition in the armed forces and at home. These factors explain why the Tsarist Russia's army collapsed in 1917 but why the Red Army did not under more dire circumstances. The chapter concludes by evaluating cohesion theory and comparing the Red Army's cohesion with Germany and France during the Second World War.

Keywords:   cohesion theory, military cohesion, Soviet Union, World War II, authoritarian military, Red Army

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