Grayson Lewis

Afghanistan: The Great Disgraceful War

This short clip from the recent video-game “Metal Gear Solid 5” provides succinct background info on the causes of the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan. After the heroic triumph of the Soviet Union in defending itself from Axis onslaught in World War Two, there wasn’t another major military conflict that it committed to fighting for almost forty … Continue reading Afghanistan: The Great Disgraceful War

Red vs. Blue: the organizational structures of Cold War allegiances

The complex series of alliances, both military and economic, were a facet of the bipolar, conflicting nature of the Cold War. Featured (clockwise from top left) are the logos of NATO, Comecon, the Warsaw Pact, and the OECD. It’s the late 1960’s, and the Iron Curtain has long since fallen, not just across Europe, but … Continue reading Red vs. Blue: the organizational structures of Cold War allegiances

Setting up the Chess Game: The Siege of Berlin and the Cold War

This video from the best-selling Call of Duty video game series, visually portrays the hopeless situation of the German military in the face of the conquering Red Army in 1945. The end of World War Two for Nazi Germany came swiftly, but not, in any sense, painlessly. The suffering of the Soviet people and the … Continue reading Setting up the Chess Game: The Siege of Berlin and the Cold War

Rotting out the Whole Structure: The Great Terror (’36-’38) and the Red Army

The deep and far reaching purges of Soviet society that occurred from 1936 to 1938 affected all facets of the state, not least of those being the military. The Great Terror, as these purges were called, was a campaign to destroy what was seen by the highest of Soviet elites as a vast right-wing conspiracy within … Continue reading Rotting out the Whole Structure: The Great Terror (’36-’38) and the Red Army

The Sovietization of Central Asia: A Daunting Project

Upon the assumption by the Bolsheviks of the reigns of power,  the new rulers quickly realized that the “Sovietization” of Russia was not their only project. Many other non-Russian areas of the former czarist empire also had to be brought under socialism, particularly Central Asia, one of the poorest and most backwards regions of the … Continue reading The Sovietization of Central Asia: A Daunting Project

National Identity and its Role in the 1905 Revolution

The Russian Empire, like many Eastern European empires, was a multi-ethnic one. With at least a dozen different minority groups in Europe, and many more in Asia, the Russian czar could be said to have governed over a more diverse territory than any state save for Britain. And with ethnic diversity comes socio-political unrest, and … Continue reading National Identity and its Role in the 1905 Revolution

The bleak state of the Russian Military before the Revolution

The Russian Empire was a state that always had need of a strong,  modernized, and disciplined military… which it rarely ever had. Throughout its history, Imperial Russia had to be constantly wary of its hostile neighbors to the West (Poland, Sweden, and Austria,) the South (the Ottoman Empire,) and eventually the East (Japan.) Unlike Britain, … Continue reading The bleak state of the Russian Military before the Revolution