The Partisan's Companion was produced by the Red Army to train partisans to fight the Nazi invader. Its usefulness outlived World War II, as it was later used to train Third World guerrillas in their wars of national liberation during the 1950s–70s, and even the Fedayeen guerrillas who fought US and coalition forces in Iraq.
By the end of 1942, it was obvious that Germany was losing the war. The partisan ranks grew as did the training requirements for partisan commanders. The 1942 edition of The Partisan's Companion helped quickly train new guerrillas to a common standard. Besides field craft, it covers partisan tactics, German counter-guerrilla tactics, demolitions, German and Soviet weapons, scouting, camouflage, anti-tank warfare and anti-aircraft defense for squad and platoon-level instruction. It contains the Soviet lessons of two bitter years of war and provides a good look at the tactics and training of a mature partisan force. The partisans moved and lived clandestinely, harassed the enemy, and supported the Red Army through reconnaissance and attacks on German supply lines. They clearly frustrated German logistics and forced the Germans to periodically sideline divisions for rear-area security. The partisans and their handbook were clearly part of the eventual Soviet victory over Germany. This pocket manual puts The Partisan's Companion in context, explaining its importance.