Stroud, 1st ed., 1998. Ix + 230 pp., profusely illustrated with photo-ills., + charts. D.j., 27 x 20cm. FINE. Beginning with a review of the historical background of the Red Army in the years leading up to the outbreak of war in 1939, this book follows on with a discussion of the major themes in the development of Soviet forces during the 'Great Patriotic War' that ensued in 1941. The Red Army's organizational structures are examined, from high command down to divisional level and below, which helps Western readers to understand the differences between the terminology of the Soviet and common Western (British, US and German) armies. Soviet combat arms ' infantry, armour and mechanized forces ' cavalry, airborne and special forces and artillery ' are described from an organisational viewpoint. That is followed by a technical overview of the equipment ' infantry weapons, armoured vehicles and artillery, and support equipment. These sections are supplemented by informative data charts and throughout the rest of the book there are a wealth of archive photographs, charts and tables of organization. An indispensable reference.