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Soviet troops at Smolensk, Russia, 1 Jul 1941; note PPSh-41 and Mosin-Nagant weapons

Caption   Soviet troops at Smolensk, Russia, 1 Jul 1941; note PPSh-41 and Mosin-Nagant weapons ww2dbase
Source    ww2dbaseRussian International News Agency
Identification Code   2415
More on...   
Operation Barbarossa   Main article  Photos  Maps  
Mosin-Nagant   Main article  Photos  
PPSh-41   Main article  Photos  
Added By C. Peter Chen
Added Date 22 May 2012

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Licensing  Creative Commons

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Visitor Submitted Comments

1. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
27 May 2012 07:33:26 PM

SOLDIERS OF THE RED ARMY DEFEND YOUR BELOVED MOTHERLAND! DESTROY THE HATED FASCIST INVADERS... Let's see what Ivan has been issued, looks like the standard M35 Gymnasterka that was a shirt type tunic, long sleeve with two chest pockets w/buttons and collar, rank worn on the shoulders the shirt was worn outside the trousers. The trousers were the same color as the tunic and tucked into the boots or puttees worn w/short boots. Ivan has been issued the M40 Steel helmet it gave good protection to the head, the side and neck. The basic helmet was painted green, and was painted white during the winter some units even had the red star in the center. Ammunition was carried in five round clips in leather pouches for the bolt action Mosin-Nagant rifle in 7.62mm some troops would also carry additional ammo in bandoilers, he would carry a canteen, grenade pouch and entrenching tool (shovel) to civilians did you know, that the Soviet soldier was also issued a gas mask. One soldier carries a PPSh-41 sub-machine gun in 7.62 the weapon could use both the 71 round drum magazine, or 35 round stick magazine, this round was shorter than the full-power round of the standard infantry issue Mosin-Nagant bolt-action rifle, he also carries a bayonet. ONE COULD GET SHOT BY THE GERMANS, OR SHOT IN THE BACK BY THE NKVD: Life for the average Ivan was rough at the front soldiers had to fight the Germans in front of him, and pushing him forward, if necessary was the NKVD behind him, to make them fight 500,000 troops served with the NKVD throughout the war, they were there to make sure the front-line troops continued their attacks against the Germans they also stopped deserters and shot at units that were gong to retreat. ITS EITHER BE SHOT, GO TO THE GULAG OR THE PUNISHMENT UNIT: The Red Army had it punishment battalions it was a special unit to deal with soldiers who for different reasons went foul of the army. Retreating, Deserting without being shot, Crimes, ex-POW's who were captured by the Germans and fell once again into Soviet hands. Inmates in the gulags could volunteer take your chances die at the front, or die in the gulags if your lucky you'll survive. Service in the punishment units were based on the sentence given out at the soldiers court martial. Following his service if he survived the soldier was sent back to his original unit and his crime was paid for, he could once again ware any medals he had been awarded. If he was wounded, his term in the punishment unit could be a remission or full forgiveness. HAZARDOUS TO YOUR HEALTH: Everybody went to the punishment units former Officers, Political Officers and Commanding Officers. The next group was made up of Former NCOs and Privates. Service in such units were very dangerous, units carried out attacks against German positions, that regular army units failed to take, drawing enemy fire, any rear guard action during authorized retreats many were used to clear minefields it has also been reported that men went into battle without weapons, or picked one up from dead comrades or enemy troops. Its been estimated that over 500,000 men were sent to these punishment units how many really survived we'll never really know.
2. Commenter identity confirmed Bill says:
21 Oct 2012 03:07:34 PM

ORDER NO.227 "NOT A STEP BACK!" STALIN! This order forbid troops from retreating without orders. The NKVD was always behind you, or on your flank, to make sure you advance... Conscripts had no choice to what branch of the military they would be assigned to, or what job they would be doing many didn't know until they reported to their assigned units. Did you know that 80% of Russian males born in 1923, didn't survive WWII. Even Life Magazine had "Ivan the Soviet Soldier" on the cover of the February 1945 edition... price of the magazine was ten cents.

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