Another 29/12/19 “… the Animals have even the weapons are not issued”: how he served in the Soviet construction battalion

According to a memo to the Minister of defence of the USSR Georgy Zhukov and the chief of the General staff Vasily Sokolovsky sent to the CPSU Central Committee to the second half of 50-ies in the military construction units of the defense Ministry served more than 700 thousand soldiers more than officers and soldiers in the UK Armed forces.

to War – restored

Gennady Plotkin and Alexander Ruban in the magazine “Sergeant” write about the history of the units of military engineers. The modern name they have attained in 1964 by a special USSR Council of Ministers before that there was the status of “workers of the military construction teams”.

Prototypes of the Soviet battalion had been even before the formation of the USSR in the early 20-ies. It was not only the battalions and regiments, but the whole labor army, which in the intervals between battles with the whites “rebuilding the economy of the country.”

In the form in which they existed prior to the 90-ies, the construction battalions were formed in 1943 with the establishment of the Main Directorate of the defense construction of the red Army. During the great Patriotic war it became clear that better data units to transfer to self-financing. This principle lasted until the dissolution of the military construction units of the Ministry of defense of the Russian Federation in 2006.

“the Beasts, which even the weapons are not issued”

the Battalion was a unique unit of the Ministry of defense of the USSR, where conscripts at the same time and served and worked. The stroybatovets to the personal account accrued salary, and for 2 years could add a significant amount. Some were leaving for the vet in the car, and such cases were not uncommon.

in addition, the service in the construction battalion, distinguished by the fact that weapons conscripts virtually had. Machine to them fell into the hands of the only times on the adoption of the military oath. Gglavnoy task of a soldier of the battalion was to work on construction sites – both military and civilian use. About strabatute in this sense are composed of anecdotes about the kind of troops, where he served as “… all animals, which even the weapons are not issued…” and “… shovel replaces the machine…”.

the Hazing and fraternities

In the military construction units (GUS) in droves flourished hazing, fraternity – in a construction battalion is often called the youth from the North Caucasus, republics of Central Asia, and often these soldiers did not know the Russian language, but sought to establish their own rules, grouped on a national basis. In addition, in a certain period in the construction battalion began to call upon previously convicted or those with a fait accompli – either the army or jail. Criminal self-organization of such units forced back in the mid 50-ies to adopt the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, which read: performance of the (then so) the GUS shall bear criminal liability for crimes on a par with the servicemen of the defense Ministry and they will be judged by a military Tribunal.

Crimes committed strabotomy, there were many soldiers VSO working on sites outside military units, had more opportunities to leave the unit without permission, to sell stolen materials, and to buy alcohol, etc. For example, in 1958 the then Minister of defense Rodion Malinovsky in his order wrote that one work of VSO with assault hacked to death a civilian truck driver. Convicted by the verdict of the military Tribunal and shot.

Zhukov wanted to remove them

Georgy Zhukov, as defense Minister, in his memo to the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1956 reported that the presence of GUS – neither more nor less contrary to the Constitution of the USSR, because the serviceman must serve in arms, not to work hard on construction sites. In this document pointed to the low productivity of strabatute, poor material and technical support of VSO and do ne very discipline in these parts – an epidemic of absenteeism, mass drinking and fights that often had to stop with the use of the police.

Zhukov and Sokolovsky chief of staff petitioned for the dissolution of the VSO. But eventually “disbanded” (relieved from their posts) themselves – Zhukov was dismissed from his post as defense Minister the following year after writing the memo, Sokolovsko – in April 1960. The battalion also experienced a variety of military reform in the Soviet Union and the Russian Federation, in which the military-construction units ceased to exist only in the first half of zero.

Nicholas Syromyatnikov

© Russian Seven

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