“Destroy the Enemy in Hand-to-Hand Combat” was the official Red Army close combat manual during the Second World War. It was published in 1941, shortly after Nazi Germany invaded the Soviet Union. This would have been the very manual used to train the troops that fought -- and defeated -- the Nazis at Stalingrad and in Berlin, in fierce hand-to-hand and house-to-house combat. This, despite the superiority of German technology and firepower. Now this book is available to you, with all its original illustrations, in this lovingly formatted electronic edition. The text was translated from the original Russian by author, translator and graduate student of history Boris Karpa, with the utmost care taken to preserve the meaning of the original text, without taking away its unique character. This manual, however, is more than a historical curiosity. Though the average American gun owner is certainly a better shot and has better equipment than a Soviet conscript, very little emphasis in our culture is placed on hand-to-hand combat skills, even though most self-defense situations occur at point-blank range. If you are serious about the ideas of self-defense and emergency preparedness, “Destroy the Enemy in Hand-to-Hand Combat” may have something to teach you.
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Boris Karpa is a writer and translator. He is currently working on a Ph.D. in History at the University of Tel Aviv.
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