Fangs of the Lone Wolf: Chechen Tactics in the Russian-Chechen Wars, 1994-2009 (Dodge Billingsley with Dr. Lester Grau)

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Books on guerrilla war are seldom written from the tactical perspective and from the guerrilla’s perspective. Fangs of the Lone Wolf: is an exception. These are the stories of low-level guerrilla combat as told by the survivors. They cover fighting from the cities of Grozny and Argun to the villages of Bamut and Serzhen-yurt, and finally the hills, river valleys and mountains that make up so much of Chechnya. Dodge Billingsley, the primary author was embedded with Chechen guerrilla forces after the first war, so he knows the country, the culture, the key actors and the conflict. Yet, as a Western outsider, he is able to maintain perspective and objectivity. He traveled extensively to interview Chechen former combatants who are now in hiding or on the run from Russian retribution and justice. Commissioned by the USMC, the military professional will appreciate the book’s crisp narration, organization by type of combat, accurate color maps and insightful analysis and commentary. The book is organized into vignettes that provide insight on the nature of both Chechen and Russian tactics utilized during the two wars. The vignettes show the chronic problem of guerrilla logistics, the necessity of fighting positions, the value of the correct use of terrain and the price paid in individual discipline and unit cohesion when guerrillas are not bound by a military code and law. Guerrilla warfare is probably as old as man, but has been overshadowed by maneuver war by modern armies and recent developments in the technology of war. Fangs of the Lone Wolf provides a unique insight into what is becoming modern and future war.