History 02/01/20 “Red Ivan” and other nicknames, which are called the Germans of the red army

During the great Patriotic war each of the belligerents was up with each other different nicknames, usually with a contemptuous connotation. The soldiers called the Germans “Krauts” or “Huns”. The Germans, in turn, come up with offensive nicknames for the Soviet soldiers.

“Red Ivan”

the Most common nickname of the red army the Wehrmacht was “Ivan”. So called Russian soldiers, the Germans in the First world war. The German soldiers believed that the so-called almost all Russian polls. By the way, the differences between the Russian and other peoples of the Russian Empire, the Germans did not do so was called “Ivan” and Ukrainians Belarusians, and even representatives of non-Slavic ethnic groups.

In this regard, nothing has changed in the Great Patriotic war. Russian, Tatar, Evenk German soldier, not used to understand the diversity of nationalities living in the USSR, it is much easier to call all red the most common Russian name.

Other nicknames had ideological overtones, for example, the “Bolsheviks” (Bolschewiki). Bolsheviks “Fritz” called indiscriminately. Was the soldier in the CPSU (b), or were non-partisan fighters of the German army was not interested. If soldiers fighting for Soviet power, then he is by definition a Communist.

Another ideological nickname was “red”. Red is the color of the state flag of the USSR, the same color were the banners of military units.

Often the Germans called Soviet soldiers “Muscovites” (Moskowiter). The word was in Germany, familiar to her, it appeared, presumably in the XVI century. So the inhabitants of Muscovy was called the German merchants. At that time the word was totally neutral and was designated the territorial affiliation. During the great Patriotic war among the Nazis that the word “Muscovite”got a negative, contemptuous color.

“Russo” and “Rosso”

part in the operations on the Eastern front took and Italy. Benito Mussolini, in order to show commitment to the Alliance with the Germans gave the order to send large groups of the Italian army in the USSR. Initially, the unit was called expeditionary force and was later renamed the 8th army.

the Italians participated in the fighting in southeastern Ukraine, including in Odessa and Donbass, and then together with the 6th army of the Wehrmacht led the attack on Stalingrad. They were defeated in the course of the operation Soviet troops “Uranus”, which led to the encirclement and capitulation of the Germans and their allies.

the Italian soldiers called the Soviet “Russo” or “Rosso”. Like the Germans, the nationalities of the USSR, the Italians did not distinguish, therefore, called all Russian. In Italian “russo”.

Another nickname given to soldiers of the 8th army of the Soviet fighters — “Rosso”. “Il rosso” in Italian means red. The words are very similar, so was equally popular among Italian soldiers. However, since the 8th army side by side fighting the Germans in the course were “Ivans”.


Ally of Germany on the Eastern front and Finland. Finnish troops launched an offensive in late June 1941. Battles were fought in the polar regions, in Karelia, in addition, the Finnish army participated in the siege of Leningrad.

Soviet soldiers soldiers from the “land of a thousand lakes” called a contemptuous word “Ryussya”. On Russian it can be translated as “hare” or “rusachok”.

Originally, the word “Ryussya” was neutral. To acquire a negative connotation, it the beginning in connection with the policy of Russification of Finland, which held the Imperial administration at the turn of XIX and XX centuries. Finally the bad image the word acquired after the Russo-Finnish war. For the Finns “Ryussya” was a dirty and vicious word, signifying “Eastern barbarians.”

“Tibla” and “Tabla”

Despite the fact that Estonia is the beginning of the war was part of the Soviet Union, many Estonianscompeted in the German occupation forces. Thus, the special battalion “Ostland” conducted a punitive operation in Ukraine and Belarus. In January 1944, on the personal orders of Adolf Hitler was created 20th Estonian SS division, which was active in the battles with advancing units of the red army in the Baltic States.

the Estonian part of the occupying Soviet soldiers were given a derogatory nickname “Tibla” (“Table”), which meant the third grade. Historians believe that the word came from the Russian foul language.

According to some, it appeared during the civil war in Russia, when Estonians had to interact with “white”, then with the red army. In the Estonian language obscene phrase was transformed into the more familiar “tibla” and came into use.

Ivan Proshkin

© Russian Seven

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