One of the best aspects of writing a book like this is expanding my own knowledge and understanding of how the Soviet and NATO military doctrines worked, from the divisional level to the level of the individual soldier. I tried to touch upon this in the first book of the “Tales of World War III” series with three short stories that looked at such a conflict from different scales. The reviews I read of the book showed that some people “got” what I was trying to do and some people didn’t, which is fine too.
The sources I’ve used for these books include games, magazines, and books. My current favorite book on this topic is Victor Suvarov’s “Inside the Soviet Army”, published in 1982. Suvarov was a high ranking armor officer in the Soviet army for many years and brought his extensive knowledge and experience to bear in this book.
Some of the interesting finds in this book include the routine bullying and harassment that new recruits faced from the conscripts who were more senior to them – not in rank but relative to how close they were to finishing their two-year service period. I had never read anything about this in the popular fiction about this time period so I decided to incorporate it into my newest book.
One of the main characters, Yuri Semenovich, is a conscript who has just been assigned to the 45th Motorized Rifle Division. His platoon is infested with severe bullying from the other more senior men around him. Terrorized by a gang of thugs, he decides to ride out the abuse as best as he can until the war is over. This decision has a series of consequences that transform the young Yuri over the course of one week. It become apparent that Yuri’s enemies are not only NATO troops but also the men who serve with him.
How will Yuri deal with being caught between the two of them?