The Bear Went Over the Mountain is a collection of vignettes written by Soviet junior officers describing their experiences fighting the Mujahideen guerrillas. The material was originally collected and published by the Frunze Combined Arms Staff College to serve as a text on combat against a guerrilla force in mountain-desert terrain. It was originally intended for internal use only and as such provides examples of both good and bad military practice. The hard lessons learned are not specifically 'Russian' in nature and many of the same mistakes and successes would apply equally to the American Army in Vietnam. Indeed, the knowledge gained from these reports should also apply to future conflicts involving civil war, guerrilla forces and rugged terrain.
This is not a history of the Soviet-Afghan War, but rather a series of snapshots of combat as seen by young platoon leaders, company commanders, battalion commanders and military advisers. It is an intimate look at the boring, brutal business of counterinsurgency punctuated by moments of heady excitement and terror.
Colonel Grau, the editor and translator, has added his own commentary to produce a useful guide for commanders to meet the challenges of this kind of war and to help keep his fellow soldiers alive. This book will also be of interest to the historian and general reader, who will discover that advances in technology have had little impact on this kind of war, and that many of the same tactics the British Army used on the Northwest Frontier still apply today.