Stalin'S Secret Police

Stalin'S Secret Police : A History of the Cheka, Ogpu, Nkvd, Smersh & KGB: 1917-1991

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The infamous KGB of Cold War renown was the successor to a series of equally lethal state security agencies that date from the early days of the Russian Revolution: the Cheka, OGPU, NKVD and MVD. Stalin s Secret Police begins by describing the harsh state security used by the despotic Tsars from the time of Ivan the Terrible. The author then examines the Cheka, the first post-revolutionary organization charged with combating counter-revolution, whose methods were so ruthless that the early Bolshevik government abolished the organization in 1922. After taking control of the Communist Party in 1923, Stalin used the newly formed OGPU to implement mass deportations of the kulaks (wealthy peasants). Stalin's Secret Police then charts Stalin s use of the renamed NKVD to carry out the purges of the 1930s, where most of the Soviet dictator s political rivals were prosecuted in notorious show trials: millions were arrested and ended their lives in Gulags (forced-labor camps), while countless others were executed. But this was not the end of secret police terror: after World War II, many thousands of Cossacks and White Russians who had fought for the Nazis faced a similar fate. Following the death of Stalin in 1953, the final incarnation of the Soviet secret police, the KGB, became an agency for spreading Soviet influence throughout the world. Illustrated with 120 photographs, Stalin s Secret Police is a lively and accessible history of secret police oppression in the Soviet Union from 1917 to the early 1990s."
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Product details

  • Paperback | 192 pages
  • 187.96 x 238.76 x 12.7mm | 544.31g
  • London, United Kingdom
  • English
  • Reissue
  • 1782743170
  • 9781782743170
  • 1,445,873

Table of contents

Chapter One: Russia and Despotism
Russia has ancient links with despotism, such as Ivan the Terrible and Peter the Great. This chapter puts forward the notion that this heritage made Stalin's task of establishing a terror network easier.

Chapter Two: Early Bolshevik Terror
The repression of the Cheka, the organisation for battling counter-revolution, and Stalin's rise to power.

Chapter Three: Mass Starvation
Stalin's use of the OGPU and Red Army in mass collectivisation to establish 'Socialism in One Country', in which 10,000,000 peasants died.

Chapter Four: The Purges
Stalin's NKVD roots out the 'enemies of the state' in the purges of 1934-38, in which millions were sent to prisons and forced-labour camps.

Chapter Five: Deportations
The MGB and NKVD administered many mass deportations during the 1930s and early 1940s. This chapter looks this oppression of minority groups, such as the Tartars, Chechens and Kalmyks.

Chapter Six: World War II
The Red Army's role in the liquidation of Stalin's opponents as it liberated Eastern Europe from the Germans during and immediately after World War II.

Chapter Seven: The Iron Empire
Stalin's empire at its apogee: after World War II until his death. This chapter looks at the vast network of spies and informers, the secret police organisation and the host of prisons and forced-labour camp scattered throughout his empire.

Chapter Eight: The KGB
The establishment of the KGB in 1954 and its role and excesses as the largest secret police and espionage organisation in the world, links with Eastern European organisations like the STASI and the system in present-day Russia after communism.

Complete lists of the gulags
Organisation charts for the secret police
Casualty lists List of leading figures

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Review quote

I found the writing style concise and easy to read. The chapters are illustrated and also have reference boxes to explain certain bodies and organizations that existed throughout the history of the Soviet state ... the author does provide some excellent bibliographic references, most of which answer my questions in amazing detail. * Wargames, Soldiers, and Strategy 17/02/2016 *
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About Rupert Butler

Rupert Butler is an author and journalist who specialises in historical narratives on the origins of the Third Reich and on WWII. A contributor to many international newspapers and magazines, he is the author of a number of books, including SS-Leibstandarte, SS-Wiking, The Black Angels (on the Waffen-SS), and The Curse of the Death's Head (on the Totenkopf SS Division). Rupert Butler lives in London, UK.
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1 20% (2)
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