History 02/01/20 What did the Soviet soldiers, not to fall under the fire of their
So-called friendly fire (a calque from English. “friendly firе”) has always been a headache of the two armies. Especially acutely this question in the era of automatic weapons, machine guns and a powerful long-range artillery. So, the gunners at the beginning of the twentieth century often did not see the purpose in their eyes, the shooting led, focusing on the coordinates or the transmitted telephone messages spotters, directly observing the target. There were times when friendly fire was assumed deliberately caused it, being surrounded by enemies and sacrificing himself for the sake of victory. But usually, friendly fire was a tragic accident. In conditions of poor visibility or at night, in the heat of battle, when the soldiers are experiencing severe stress and inattentive, friendly fire inevitably leads to casualties.
However, the command of the warring parties has always sought to minimize these losses, perhaps the most embarrassing and psychologically difficult. Cases of “Friendly fire” caused damage to the red army in the first day of the war. The famous Soviet pilot, ACE Alexander Ivanovich Pokryshkin was described in the book “to Know yourself in battle” case of friendly fire that happened to him: the first plane that he shot down on 22 June 1941, was Soviet light bomber su-2. Pokryshkin did not have time because of the sun to consider the plane that got in his way. In the beginning of the war there were other cases of friendly fire in the sky. But eventually such incidents became less, as pilots were forced to diligently study the silhouettes of different models of your own and enemy aircraft — even if not visible identifying marks on the plane body, by its shape, it was clear whose it was.
a Similar story happened with the tank. Not knowing the silhouettes of the tanks, the soldiers could open fire. Okay, if a tank is captured (such IPused infrequently), but it happened that he did not know the outlines of their tanks, just made allies and purchased from them by the Soviet command. One such case happened in 1943: gunners of the red army destroyed 3 of their medium tanks, imported under lend-lease (“Matilda”). And the tanks opened fire on those gunners. As a result, in addition to technology, in vain were killed and 10 people. Besides learning the knowledge of silhouettes of tanks (in the Soviet Union, in addition to English, “Matilda” was the American “Sherman”), sailors, pilots and tank crews was a way to avoid friendly fire: time to apply the “Morse code” in radio communication or signal lamps encrypted signal “I — a”. In most cases the tankers had time to do it and avoided a tragic misunderstanding.
it was not easy for the infantry and artillery, especially when in a collision with the allies in 1944-45., took them for Germans. It is described Pochtarev A. N. in the book “Friendly” attack American allies.” In poor visibility needed to quickly navigate the terrain, to determine where your stationed, and where the enemies are. Sometimes to recognize her was impossible or very problematic. This was especially important at night and in the offensive — occur often at dawn, still in a haze, in the dark. The most common way to show the red army artillery that you own flares of recognition. Ammunition for signal pistols could be red, yellow, green and white light, and combined red-green. The combustion of the illuminating charge was evident for 7 km. As a rule, the signal of “here, don’t shoot” was given a series of shots fired signal cartridges green lights (one green signal meant “open fire”, some red — “cease fire”; the yellow cartridges were given to call for help). In addition, the red army could give the signal “then its” (in the absence of other means) with red leaves and small red flags the signal is this way byl is particularly common in the first months of the war, then become increasingly used more sophisticated means of communication and recognition. Red, white or yellow army signal flags sometimes still use today — they allow you to submit a variety of commands to the infantry, artillery and transport.
How many people died during the great Patriotic war from friendly fire, is not precisely known, but, in General, by using flags, flares, radio communication and training of the personnel of the red army managed to avoid major incidents that could lead to mass casualties. Serious cases are relatively few. This problem is virtually unsolvable, and “friendly fire” will cause the armies of the world damage as long as the army exists.
© Russian Seven
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