Item #1499 Pod maskoi razoruzheniia [i.e. Under Mask of Disarmament]. A. Nikonov.
Pod maskoi razoruzheniia [i.e. Under Mask of Disarmament]
Pod maskoi razoruzheniia [i.e. Under Mask of Disarmament]

Pod maskoi razoruzheniia [i.e. Under Mask of Disarmament]

Moscow: Gosudarstvennoe izdatel’stvo otdel voennoi literatury, 1929. Item #1499

48 pp.: ill., tabl. 19x13 cm. In original illustrated wrappers. Rubbed, stamp of private library on title page otherwise very good and clean copy.
Second enlarged and revised edition.

The anonymous constructivist cover design consists of a background, partly in orange, with an impressive photomontage combining an image of military figures standing atop some armaments covered for transportation and a picture of a weapon uncovered and ready to fire. The composition runs freely across the front and back covers. The lettering design is in orange and blue, in harmony with the photographs and the background respectively.
This interesting book is one of the Soviet works arguing that western imperialism had resulted in the increase in military forces after World War I. It maintained that such circumstances required the Soviet people to “strengthen the defense of the world’s only proletarian state surrounded by imperialist predators”.
It is written by a military officer and de facto chief military analyst in the USSR, Alexander Nikonov (1893–1937). He headed the 3rd department of the Main Intelligence Directorate. It is considered the analytical center of the Intelligence Directorate which systematized, summarized and analyzed all incoming information and produced its assessment of events in other countries.
In the late 1920s, Nikonov co-authored, compiled and published two studies for the internal use of the top military leadership of the country: “Budushchaia voina” [Upcoming War] (1928; 80 copies) and “Podgotovka voiny protiv SSSR” [Preparing War against the USSR] (1929; 5,000 copies). The latter was printed under the pseudonym S. Dashin’skii. Both books contained information obtained by Soviet military intelligence, and presented assessments of external threats.
Alexander Nikonov was a close friend of a founder of Soviet military intelligence, Yan Berzin. Like Berzin, Nikonov was arrested and executed in 1937.
In this mass-circulation book, with its catchy design, Nikonov shared statistics about military forces in European countries and the USA up to 1929. He gave an overview of the increasing size of national armies, the quality and quantity of weaponry, and he gave attention to air forces and chemical weapons. The text is illustrated with photographs of the American navy during maneuvers, military propaganda on Navy Day, German all-terrain military vehicles and so on. Stressing the “scandalous” militarism of other countries, the author called on the Soviet people to support the same in the USSR. “The activity of our organization – Osoaviakhim [The Society for the Assistance of Defense, Aircraft and Chemical Construction] – must involve the entire working and peasant population of our country, all honest and Soviet-minded workers in science, technology and culture. The enemy is arming himself. The enemy is preparing new military ventures <...>. The best and most powerful foundation of our defense is industrialization of the country”.
The book was most likely withdrawn from circulation due to the execution of the author.
Not found in Worldcat.

Price: $950.00

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