This is the history of the Russian Army, from before Peter the Great to the present day, that is also an interlocking history of Russian social and political development. From individual retinues of the nobles, through hereditary soldiery of the and the conscription of serfs for life terms in the army, to the period of prussianization, reaction, and decline, with the widening gap between officers and men, the story goes onto extreme unpopularity of the profession of soldiering and the general unpopularity of World War I. Then the development of the Red Army throughout the Revolution and Civil Wars, under the five-year plans, the building up of a new officer class, and the alignment of the Army in close contact with the whole social and political structure of the Soviet. And finally how, with the regime well set, many of the old forms of the Imperial Army were re-introduced. A general account, of interest now, that points up the testing of the new Army under conditions of actual war.