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Who did the Soviets recruit in their Army?

Discussion in 'Eastern Europe' started by Mauser1947, Mar 25, 2016.

  1. Mauser1947

    Mauser1947 New Member

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    I was curious about conscription in the Soviet Army. Were certain minorities exempt from being conscripted in the Soviet Army like Yakutians and other far east Russian minorities and also, did the Russians recruit people from other countries like Pols and Belarusians in their OWN Russian military?
     
  2. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    Belorussians were NOT people of an other country,as Bielorussia was a part of the SU .And,minorities (wrong term) were not exemt .
     
  3. Mauser1947

    Mauser1947 New Member

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    So did the Russians recruit troops into the Russian Army from other countries?
     
  4. Sheldrake

    Sheldrake Member

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    The Soviet Union was desperate for manpower, but certain groups may have been excluded from armed serv ice. The Volga Germans were rounded up and sent to Siberia. Whether that was before or after their young men had been drafted into the army I donlt know, but their service may not have been where they had access to arms.. It did not save them from being drafted. Every member of the USSR served the state but service in NKVD labour columns or in some Gulag may not have been what you meant..
     
  5. LJAd

    LJAd Well-Known Member

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    They mobilised all those who lived in the Soviet Union and when they liberated /reoccupied the territories they had annexed in 1939/1940, able male men in these territories were called up .
     
  6. Mauser1947

    Mauser1947 New Member

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    Did the Russians have certain battalions for some of its eastern asian troops?

    I've seen pictures of some asian looking troops fighting with ethnic looking Russians but did the Soviets have "asian only" fighting groups?
     
  7. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    Who did the Red Army recruit? In wartime, everybody who had a pulse. As they advanced westwards across Eastern Europe the Soviets often simply grabbed every able-bodied male they could find and shoved them into uniform, whether they were Soviet citizens or not. The Germans called such on-the-spot conscripts "booty soldiers." Large numbers of men volunteered from the Gulag (at least the Red Army fed you), and quite a few seem to have been accepted for service. This was especially true of those Red Army officers who had survived the purges of the late 30s, many of whom had 'second starts' to their careers in 1941. (Marshal Rokossovsky was one of them.) Many Poles were let out either to join Anders' army or to serve in Communist Polish units.

    I do not know how or if the Red Army organized its units ethnically according to its standard mobilization plan. Like the Germans and other powers the Soviets had a system of regional military districts to feed recruits to the army, and of course those districts varied in ethnic composition. I have read that many of the Soviet troops who defended the Caucasus in 1942 were natives to that region, and of course the units that came west for the 1941 counteroffensive were referred to as 'Siberians.' Whether that meant they were actually natives of Siberia or not is unclear to me.
     
  8. Mauser1947

    Mauser1947 New Member

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    Interesting. So I guess since like you said, most of those troops defending the Caucasus were probably the native muslims to the region, it is possible Siberians and other mongoloid ethnic groups in those regions possibly had their own divisions
     
  9. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    I don't know for certain how the Soviet recruiting system worked or was supposed to work, I am just giving impressions from my reading about the Eastern Front. What we really need on this thread is a serious Red Army expert, which I certainly am not. Your question is a good one.
     
  10. Highway70

    Highway70 Member

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    The Soviets "recruited" Koreans from labor camps. They had been members of the Japanese Kwantung Army who were captured in Manchuria during during the battles of Khalkkhin Gol, a short war between the Soviet Union and Japan in 1939. Some of them were later captured by the Germans and forced to serve in the German Army.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Yang_Kyoungjong
     
  11. Diesera

    Diesera New Member

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    If you are curious how Central Asians lived and how they reaction to soviet union
    You should read the Edward A Allworth
    book on the truth about soviet union's nationalistic policies
    I haven't read this book yet it might be not about world war 2 primarily.
     
  12. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    There were no special units based of ethnicity. Everyone in the Soviet Union served the state. Ethnic Jews, Muslims and Orthodox Christians all served together side by side.

    The case was very different when speaking of the NKVD later the KGB.... Don't expect to find very many "minorities" among those ranks.
     
  13. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    I suspect that in at least some cases there were units that were at least mostly of the same ethnicity but that was a consequence of other selection criteria rather than a desired result. For instance if you are recruiting in an area it's easier to keep everyone together than it is to spread them out over a bunch of units and places. Furthermore with all the languages in use in the USSR putting people from the same area (and likely the same ethnicity) together would have meant that there was a better chance that they had a language in common. Pre war the Soviets may have tried to breakup concentration of various ethnicities but once the German invasion got well underway that concern took a back I suspect.
     
  14. Sloniksp

    Sloniksp Ставка

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    Language was never a barrier. If you did not speak Russian in the Soviet Union that was "your" fault and would not be given any special treatment.

    Regardless of your native tongue, virtually all spoke Russian. Russian was the primary language and till this day remains in places like Kazakstan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan etc. It was not uncommon for someone from the distant republics to be in the same unit as those from Leningrad, Siberia or Vladivastok. All served together regardless of background.
     
  15. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    Language is almost always a barrier. It's bad enough when you bring together disparate groups who speak the same language. That's one of the functions of basic training getting everyone speaking the same "language". Russian may have been the official language but from what I've read many of those from remote regions weren't particularly fluent in it at that time. A group of people from the same area who speak the same language especially the same dialects and using the same slang, idioms, and such will be more cohesive than a group that doesn't have that advantage. Indeed it's been argued that one of the reasons that the US Army didn't perform better compared to the Germans and the British was the tendency of the latter two to form units and give them replacements from the same geographical area. Now whether or not this was a factor in how the Red Army formed units is another question. I suspect the efficiency of keeping recruits from the same area together would have been of greater import.
     
  16. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    First, it is very doubtful that the US Army did not perform at least comparably to the British and the Germans. Second, the US Army did in theory build at least some of its units on a territorial basis, those being the units of the US National Guard. That regional identity was diluted from an early stage as draftees from out of the home areas were brought in, but precisely the same thing happened to the British and German armies. Even in 1939-40 the British found that they had to fill gaps in units with men from outside the home areas, and by 1944 or so all units were heavily diluted. In the course of 1944 the German regional recruiting system, which was already weakening under the pressure of urgent need to replace casualties, collapsed completely. The same process went on in the Australian Army, and no doubt in most others during the course of the war. I am not an expert on the Eastern Front, but I would be surprised if the Soviets did not experience something similar.
     
  17. lwd

    lwd Ace

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    The area of performance I was talking about was the integration of replacements into the units and I've read in a number of reports that the US replacement system was flawed and that the British and German territorial replacement system (at least while intact) tended to work better. I'm not sure how much of a difference this made. I have read that the survival rate of replacements in combat units was not very good but I haven't seen comparative numbers.
     

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