The publication of this volume, the second in a two-part putevoditel' or archival guidebook set, completes a project jointly undertaken by East View Publications and the Central State Archive of the Soviet Army (now the Russian State Military Archive, or RGVA) just over two years ago. During this time RGVA has been transformed from one of the former Soviet Union's most inaccessible and impenetrable archives into a model of openness, providing free access to all researchers - Russian and foreign. We at East View are proud to have played a part in this transformation process.
The Russia of early 1993 finds itself facing many of the same problems which confronted the young Soviet state in the 1920s. Ethnic turmoil, unrest - if not civil war - on the periphery as well as in the center, sharp debates about the role of the uniformed military and economic chaos are but some of the issues which find continuity in past and present. If ever an archive held keys to a better understanding of the current situation, surely it must be the Russian State Military Archive.
This second volume follows the same form and conventions as the first volume. It begins with large sections devoted to the bulk of RGVA's holdings: documents on the directorates and staffs of rifle and cavalry formations and units. The next section, Section 10, is devoted to separate and independent units of the Red Army, such as artillery, engineering and signal troops. Section 11 sheds light on the RGVA's massive holdings on Red Army special forces, such as border troops, internal troops and chemical warfare units. The next section covers the directorates and staffs of fortified regions and fortresses, and Section 13 addresses military academies and institutes. The final section is devoted to RGVA's extensive holdings on the military organs of the little-known Far Eastern Republic, a buffer state of Bolshevik creation which existed from 1920 to 1921.
Volume Two concludes with a number of appendices: an index of the distribution of military divisions among armies; a list of the territorial structure of Soviet military districts with a chronology for each district; a bibliography of all works published on the basis of RGVA's [TsGASA's] holdings; and finally, a comprehensive subject index to the entire two-volume putevoditel'.
As publishers East View wishes to extend special thanks and appreciation to a number of people. Deserving of special credit are Mikhail V. Stegantsev and Liudmila V. Dvoinykh, the chief (now retired) and deputy chief, respectively, of the Russian State Military Archive. Their decision to work with East View Publications on this publication project - a momentous and bold undertaking in an extremely conservative community- -has paved the way for a number of similar projects involving other Russian archives and Western organizations. We are confident that their independence and assertiveness will long stand as an example of how Russian archives should be administered.
Other major contributors to the preparation of this volume include: Vladimir Strezhnev, who typeset the enormous manuscript; Yuri Usachev and German Baichurin, who coordinated the typing of the manuscript and the shuffling of it among a number of people; Tamara Kariaeva and the staff of archivists at TsGASA who carefully reviewed the typeset manuscript for spelling, accuracy and style; and Sergei Stelmashenok for the jacket design.
This two-volume set is the culmination of literally decades of man-years (or more accurately, woman-years) of meticulous cataloging, research and writing. Curiously, perhaps, the author-compilers of this putevoditel' have chosen not to dedicate this work to anyone. Consequently, the publisher feels somewhat compelled to take the unorthodox step of offering a dedication of our own choosing. Thus, we would move to dedicate this archival guidebook set to its creators, the women and men who have devoted their professional lives to cataloging and administering the Russian State Military Archive, which surely ranks as one of the most bountiful repositories of soon-to-be discovered Russian and Soviet history. May the historians of the world appreciate your toils.
Kent D. Lee
Publisher and President
East View Publications
Volume two of a two-volume guidebook to the Central Soviet Army Archive. The Central State Archive of the Soviet Army (now the Russian State Military Archive) contains some of the most important and sensitive documents relating to the early history of the Soviet state with some 2,000,000 documents in almost 33,000 record groups documenting the years 1917-1941 for the Soviet military.
This volume begins with large sections devoted to the bulk of the Archive’s holdings: documents on the directorates and staffs of rifle and cavalry formations and units. The next section is devoted to separate and independent units of the Red Army, such as artillery, engineering and signal troops. Subsequent sections detail the Archive’s holdings on Red Army special forces, such as border troops, internal troops and chemical warfare units; the directorates and staffs of fortified regions and fortresses; military academies and institutes, and the military organs of the Far Eastern Republic.
Volume two includes an index of the distribution of military divisions among armies; a list of the territorial structure of Soviet military districts; a bibliography of all works published on the basis of the Archive’s holdings, and a comprehensive subject index to the entire two-volume putevoditel’.