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This was a fascinating look at the development and execution of national strategy in Russia up until WW I. Beginning with the rule of Nicholas II, it is clear that Russia was unable to link ends, ways and means. There were no clear strategic goals, and this was amply demonstrated in the run up to the Russo-Japanese War. Another interesting aspect of this book is how personalities, and later the entire ruling class, significantly affected the implementation of both foreign and domestic policy. ...more
Probably one of my most favorite historical books ever. The political and strategic details of Russian wars and the leadership decisions behind them are amazing. The book discusses all wars and leaders from 1600 until WWI and why Russian leaders chose to stay out of some wars going on in Europe, the reasons for choosing the side to enter on in the conflict, when to enter the conflict, and why the troops/strategies succeeded in working or failed.