At the end of the Second World War, it quickly dawned on the West that the defeat of one totalitarian enemy – Hitler’s Germany – had left another, our late ally turned potential foe: Soviet Russia. This official assessment of the Red Army’s strength and standing, published in 1949, is therefore of consuming interest to students of the Cold War. It comprises a history of the Red Army from its formation in 1918 after the Bolshevik Revolution to its triumph in the Second World War. Then follows a section on the army’s command and control structure; notes on its post-war re-organisation; and two long chapters on tactics – including such subjects as tanks, air support; night attacks and artillery. There are more chapters on weapons, equipment, conditions of service, supply and airborne operations. With charts of command structures, and photographs and diagrams of important weapons, this is as complete a snapshot of a potentially hostile enemy force as can be imagined.