The Red Army's Do-it-Yourself, Nazi-Bashing Guerrilla Warfare Manual

The Partisan's Companion

This 1943 third edition of the Спитик Партизана [The Partisan's Companion] is the last-and-best Red Army manual used to train partisans to fight the Nazi invader. Once upon a time, the Boy Scout Manual concentrated almost exclusively on camping, field craft and first aid. The Partisan's Companion adds guns, demolitions, hand-to-hand combat, assor
Date Published :
May 2011
Publisher :
Casemate
Editor :
Lester Grau, Michael Gress
Language:
English
Illustration :
illustrations, drawings
Format Available    QuantityPrice
Paperback
ISBN : 9781612000091
Pages : 288
Dimensions : 9 X 6 inches
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+
Available
$18.95

Overview
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A selection of the Military Book Club.

This third edition of the The Partisan’s Companion is the last-and-best Red Army manual used to train partisans to fight the Nazi invader. Its usefulness outlived World War II. It was later used to train “third-world” guerrillas in their wars of national liberation in the 1950s–70s and even the Fedayeen guerrillas who fought U.S. and coalition forces in Iraq. Once upon a time, the Boy Scout Manual concentrated almost exclusively on camping, field craft and first aid. The Partisan’s Companion adds guns, demolitions, hand-to-hand combat, assorted mayhem and multiple forms of Nazi-bashing. It is like the old Boy Scout Manual on steroids.

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union, the Red Army was hard pressed to cope with the “invincible” Wehrmacht. The initial partisan resistance efforts also had problems. No locals were welcome, and the only guerrillas recognized by Moscow were surrounded Red Army units and units of loyal party members who were sent into unfamiliar territory to battle the Nazis. The initial training manual was a reprint from the Russian Civil War, and most of these units were wiped out. Finally the Soviets began recruiting partisans from the local community—but with Red Army officers and secret police agents. The partisan effort improved.

By the end of 1942, it was obvious that Germany was losing the war. The partisan ranks grew as did the training requirements for the partisan commanders. The 1942 edition of the Partisan’s Companion helped quickly train new guerrillas to a common standard. Besides field craft, it covers partisan tactics, German counter-guerrilla tactics, demolitions, German and Soviet weapons, scouting, camouflage, anti-tank warfare and anti-aircraft defense for squad and platoon-level instruction. It contains the Soviet lessons of two bitter years of war and provides a good look at the tactics and training of a mature partisan force. The partisans moved and lived clandestinely, harassed the enemy, and supported the Red Army through reconnaissance and attacks on the German supply lines. They were also the agents of Soviet power and vengeance in the occupied regions. Soviet historians credit the partisans with tying down ten percent of the German army and with killing almost a million enemy soldiers. They clearly frustrated German logistics and forced the Germans to periodically sideline divisions to hunt the partisans. The partisans, and this third edition, were clearly part of the eventual Soviet victory over Germany.

Les Grau is a retired US Army officer who fought guerrillas in South Vietnam—and left on a stretcher. Consequently, his appreciation for guerrilla tactics came early in his career. The Army later taught him Russian, and his tours of duty included frequent trips to the Soviet Union and elsewhere. He has is the author of three books on the Soviet-Afghan War, including The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War (with Ali Jalali). Mike (Misha) Gress grew up in the wilds of Siberia where everyone's dad, including his own, was a veteran of the fight against the Nazis. He joined the Soviet Army and served in the infantry (motorized rifle) forces, and afterward produced The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost with Les Grau.

About The Author
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Les Grau is a retired US Army officer who fought guerrillas in South Vietnam—and left on a stretcher. Consequently, his appreciation for guerrilla tactics came early in his career. The Army later taught him Russian, and his tours of duty included frequent trips to the Soviet Union and elsewhere. He has is the author of three books on the Soviet-Afghan War, including The Other Side of the Mountain: Mujahideen Tactics in the Soviet-Afghan War (with Ali Jalali). Mike (Misha) Gress grew up in the wilds of Siberia where everyone's dad, including his own, was a veteran of the fight against the Nazis. He joined the Soviet Army and served in the infantry (motorized rifle) forces, and afterward produced The Soviet-Afghan War: How a Superpower Fought and Lost with Les Grau.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
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Foreword by David M. Glantz
Preface

THE PARTISAN’S COMPANION
XXV Anniversary of the Great October Socialist Revolution
On Partisan Warfare by M.I. Kalinin
ORDER of the Peoples’ Commission of Defense by J. Stalin

Chapter I. Fundamental Partisan Tactics
Chapter Ii. How The Fascists Attempt To Fight The Partisans
Chapter Iii Explosives And Demolition
Chapter Iv. Combat Weapons
Chapter V. Revolver And Pistol
Chapter Vi. Be Able To Use The Enemy’s Weapons
Chapter Vii. Reconnaissance
Chapter Viii. Camouflage
Chapter Ix. How To Fight Enemy Aviation
Chapter X. Anti-Chemical Protection
Chapter Xi. Hand-To-Hand Combat
Chapter Xii. Rendering First Aid
Chapter Xiii. March And Bivouac
Chapter Xiv. How To Store Food
Chapter Xv. Life In The Snow

Chapter Notes

REVIEWS
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“From a historical view, all the chapters are interesting, and many provide information useful to outdoors minded men and women…an interesting and useful manual…”

- Gun Week

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