Thursday, March 20, 2014

New military history research: The modern Russian military, The 1948 Arab-Israeli War and Syria during WWI

The Journal of Slavic Military Studies provides a number of articles on recent Russian military history.

Dmitry Adamsky tackles the problem of regional nuclear deterrence.   Adamsky argues that Russian policy, thinking and actual capabilities about its nuclear forces have not meshed well over the last two decades.  He believes several nuclear initiatives have been completely disconnected from official Russian policy.

Roger N. McDermott discusses Russia’s military transformation over the last 20 years.  McDermott argues that Russia has done a poor job of defining what its force structure should be and pursuing its goals.
 January 3, 1992 - Three soldiers from the Soviet army's Tamanskaya Division, an Azerbaijani, a Mongolian and a Russian, stand beside one another to show the ethnic diversity of their army.

The Journal of Israeli History provides an analysis by Kobi Peled of the historical records of the 1948 Arab-Israeli War.  Peled examines how oral history can support or contradict written documents.  Peled focuses on the Arab village Fassuta that was occupied by Jewish forces.  Peled examines the Israeli documentation of the occupation and compares that to collected Palestinian oral histories of the occupation to determine why that village was not badly damaged when so many others were.

1948 - Volunteers in combat during the Arab-Israeli War of 1948. From left to right: Mohammad Attura, Abdel Hamid Sarraj, and Abdel Salam al-Ujayli.

Middle Eastern Studies presents an article by Andrew Patrick about the First World War.  Patrick examines the very positive attitude that the elites of Greater Syria had for American forces during the war.  These Syrians expressed gratitude for the global good the US was doing, however, Patrick believes that these strong expressions were exaggerated in the historical record and looks to correct the historical record about Middle Eastern attitudes during the war.  
 WWI - Seaplanes Bombing the Customs House, Beyrout
  Four Royal Naval Air Service seaplanes are in the sky in the upper right, having dropped bombs that are exploding in the lower right, damaging wooden buildings. There are ships in the harbor, including one that has partially sunk.

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