Why the red army in the great Patriotic war did not like to wear helmets

History 22/01/20 Why the red army in the great Patriotic war did not like to wear helmets

In tests conducted in 1942 by order of the state Committee of defense, it became clear that the Soviet soldier’s helmet is more bullet-proof in comparison with German trophies. However, contrary to the Statute, wore it not all red. Perhaps common in the army “contempt” to protective hat became one of the reasons higher than that of the Nazis, the loss of the red army in the great Patriotic war.

the Helmets of the great Patriotic

From the point of view of the military, “helmet” — the word vernacular. Usual in movies about the war green metal dome with a five-pointed star was officially called steel helmet SSH-39 and SSH-40. As can be seen already by the numbering corresponding to the samples was released in 1939 and 1940. They had differences mainly in the way of mounting of petulance.

the Helmet was made in besieged Leningrad, and (until 1942) at the metallurgical plant “Red October” in Stalingrad. During the war, manufacturing plants churned out 10 million helmets SSH-40. Given that only the Red army was mobilized 34 million people, of helmets was enough to provide if not all the infantry and artillery, at least advanced parts. However, many Soviet soldiers simply didn’t wear. This fact confirms, for example, visual analysis of the German front-line shots. The vast majority of red army soldiers killed whose bodies photographed the enemies, head either uncovered or covered with a cap, or a budenovka cap.

“the Attitude was dismissive”

Many of the soldiers helmets are not worn matter. WWII veteran Alexander Shumilin in the book of memoirs “Vanka-company commander” says that the war went without a helmet and have never regretted it, even when under fire. His instructor about this said, “Fools law does not apply, may substitute the head by a bullet”.

there was even a part where the wearing of helmets was seen as “cowardly”. The high command knew about this and did not hide his dissatisfaction.

“the helmets in the entire Soviet army’s attitude was dismissive. And the eighth of our division was not exception. Circling and skirting parts, including the front edge, I have not met a single person who would wear a helmet,” wrote General Peter Grigorenko, who fought on the 4th Ukrainian front.

Criticizing a “lack of discipline”, military commander refers to the military doctors, according to which 80% of those killed and died of wounds in the war was struck in the head. If they wore a helmet, it probably would have saved their lives.

However, the soldiers had reason to dislike the helmet. In the field they had caused a lot of inconvenience. Especially hard had intelligence.

“the Helmet rattled on his head, clinging knots, prevented to think and concentrate,” said Shumilin.

a Soviet helmet was heavy – it weighed 0.8 kg and with constant wearing neck began to hurt. Another disadvantage was probably that the SSH-40 required a lot of time for doffing and donning. Petulant of the three lobes had as many as 6 tuners (which were nicknamed “shestiletki”, while the model 1939 was called the “TriplePlay”). In addition, despite improvements, the design of the helmet left much to be desired, especially in the cold season. He recalled how the writer Vasil Bykov, one day he tried to wear a helmet on the hat, but failed to fit.

“Without the use of it! Drop it, Junior, goddammit,” said then bulls assistant platoon commander.

in the Summer, when there was major fighting in the Soviet helmet was too hot. In contrast to the German helmets SSH-40 had no holes for ventilation. Veterans remember that many pulled the helmet back on his head, or on the contrary, “on the nose”.

to Rectify the situation with the wearing of helmets could only persistence command. Petro Grigorenko to pOdate fighters example, I had many hours to personally hold the helmet on the front. Used it and strict penalties. By the way, in the same way, only even stricter, it was the Germans. In the Wehrmacht the appearance of a soldier on the front lines without a helmet was equivalent to self-harm, subsequent trial and punishment.

Timur Sagdiyev

© Russian Seven

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