Friday, May 22, 2009

The Great Patriotic War

WW II is known in Russia as the Great Patriotic War. Regardless of what we were taught in school, the Western Front was simply a side show. The war was about and fought in the Soviet Union with a front stretching from Leningrad (St Petersberg) to the Caucusus. Hitler's aim was to kill one-third, enslave one-third and drive the remaining third of the Untermensch (sub-humans) back behind the Urals. The Soviet Union lost some 20 million people in the course of the war. Soldiers and civilians.

Of course the greatest proportion of soldier dead would be young men, leaving a major problem for young women. After the war, millions of soldiers had to be resettled. There were families without men and men without families. Including many injured in the war. So the following story...

Truckloads of former soldiers are taken to villages to find new homes and families.
Officer: Who will take Oleg here? He lost his arms in a tank fire at Kursk.
Masha: I will take him. He was a brave soldier. I will be his wife and love him and look after him.
Officer: Who will take Sasha? He lost his legs at Stanlingrad.
Natasha: I will take him. He was a brave soldier. I will be his wife and love him and look after him.
Officer: Who will take Volodya? He is perfectly healthy but lost his private parts in a grenade attack on his trench at Moscow.... No one?
Women: Who wants to be married to an invalid?

2 comments:

  1. Now I see why the Russian people have survived so long. If it wasn't for humor they'd have been gone a long time ago.

    I hear the basic training in the Russian army is brutal. If you can survive basic training going to war is like a vacation.

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  2. That is correct. The death rate among new inductees is high from suicide and from their treatment, both by officers and other soldiers. I don't know why. The Kremlin is trying to change it but a culture is not easy to transform.

    They would like to go to a professional army or even a 50:50 like Turkey has, rather than all conscripts.

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