Italy and other European countries that were occupied by the Red Army

History 01/01/20 Italy and other European countries that were occupied by the Red Army

in Addition to Germany and Austria, the Soviet troops during the war were in the territories of several States of Western Europe, which is now almost forgotten.


actually, although Finland was an ally of Nazi Germany to its territory from the Second world war as part of the country, the Soviet troops almost did not come. Moscow armistice with Finland on 19 September 1944 was signed, when Finnish troops were still partially within the USSR established the Moscow Treaty of 12 March 1940, ended the “Winter war”. The main condition of the cease-fire agreement was for the Finns to withdraw its troops to the state border.

in addition, the Soviet troops occupied the region of Petsamo (Pechenga) in the far North of Finland and the Nickel settlement. This territory at the Paris peace Treaty of 1947 was officially incorporated into the USSR. Soviet troops also located on the Peninsula of Porkkala, given to the Soviet Union to the naval base, from which the USSR refused in 1956.


In Norway there was a large (about 200 thousand) group of the Wehrmacht under the designation: the 20th mountain army. From July 1941 she led the fighting on the approaches to Murmansk, threatening the only ice-free port of the Soviet Union in the open ocean.

In 1944, established the conditions for the transition of Soviet troops in the offensive in this area and the defeat of Nazi troops in the Arctic. Here, a narrow wedge went to the shore of the Barents sea territory of Finland (area of Pechenga), which under the terms of the Moscow agreement were transferred under the control of the Soviet Union, but it is at the moment occupied by German troops.

October 7, 1944, the 14th army of the Karelian front the beginning of the Petsamo-Kirkenes operation. On 15 October she captured the Pechenga, October 22 – Nickel and came to the border of Norway. On 25 October Soviet troops stormed the Eastern Norwegian town of Kirkenes. In the following days the Red Army occupied several towns in the Eastern part of the Norwegian province Finnmarken and 8 November stopped their advance at the river Tana. A further attack was strategically impractical.

13 may 2015 in the Norwegian newspaper “Aftenposten” published an article of Niels Morten Udgaard, who claimed that someone in the Soviet leadership hinted at the possibility of movement of the boundary with Norway to the West and inclusion in the USSR, the Eastern part of Finmarken. But these attempts have not met with the approval of Stalin.

the Deputy military commandant of the town turned out to be famous in the future scholar, historian, expert on the Sumerians, Igor Diakonov. In his memoirs he wrote that on September 22, 1945, Moscow gave the order for three days to withdraw Soviet troops from the occupied territories of Norway. Also was required to obtain from the Norwegian civil authorities a document stating that Norway is not USSR material claims. In this document it was noted that the Soviet troops on the territory of Norway saved the house from destruction by the Germans, and the inhabitants from forced evacuation, helped the local population in food supply, repair the roads and airfield.

the Relationship between the Norwegian population and the Soviet troops had a generally friendly. A family doctor Palmstrom even arranged at his own expense a small hospital for wounded Soviet soldiers. September 25, 1945, Soviet troops left the territory of Norway. In the following years in Kirkenes and Oslo was built monuments to Soviet soldiers-liberators. Unlike similar monuments in many countries of Eastern Europe, they are carefully preserved. Igor Diakonov in the early 1990s, was elected an honorary citizen of the city of Kirkenes.


4 may 1945, German troops in Denmark surrendered to the British. Commandant Gerhard von Campco Yestoplivno-Servisnaya Kompaniya Bornholm island, located far to the East in the Baltic sea, was ordered not to surrender to Soviet troops and to ensure the evacuation to the West of the large forces of the Wehrmacht. In these circumstances, the Soviet command decided to conduct a landing operation on Bornholm.

may 7 and 8 Soviet aircraft attacked German troops on the island bombings. On the morning of may 9 from the port of colberg came a detachment of torpedo boats with rifle company to accept the surrender of the garrison of Bornholm. This time the Germans did not resist, but tried to delay the procedure, hoping to gain time before the arrival of the British. However, the captain of the 2nd rank Shevtsov demanded surrender within two hours under the threat of application of another bombing. The island was captured more than 11 thousand Germans. The occupation of the island was part of the 132-th infantry corps in the amount of not more than 7700 people. 5 APR 1946 under contract with the government of Denmark Bornholm was cleared and handed over to the Danish authorities.

as a result of Soviet air strikes on the island on may 7-8 dead except for the German military, ten local residents, and nearly 3,000 were left homeless. It is also noted that relations between the Soviet troops and the local population were good. The rumors about atrocities allegedly committed by Soviet soldiers, not confirmed.


In the village of PALAISEAU in the outskirts of the southern Italian city of Bari from June to December 1944 were placed the base of the Soviet air force. It was created in accordance with the decision of t-bills from 17 June 1944 to assist the people’s liberation army of Yugoslavia (NOAYU) Marshal Tito. Soviet transport aircraft (license 47) have made regular raids from Soviet territory to deliver military supplies to the national liberation army, but the supply of fuel to return them is not enough. Therefore, in agreement with the allies busy in those parts of Italy were granted a place to land, refueling and maintenance of Soviet aircraft. In the aviation group of special purpose (AGON), consisted of 12 C-47, the same escort fighters Yak-9 with extended range and two connected “maize” Is 2.

the Officer AGON, Pavel Mikhailov, in his book of memoirs “one Hundred nights in the mountains of Yugoslavia”, published in 1975, has left some interesting sketches about the life of the only Soviet military units in Italy. In particular, the us military airbase was shocked suddenly appeared at the airport, the thirteenth aircraft — Po-2. Soviet pilots had to demonstrate that this aircraft flew secretly, and were delivered in disassembled form.

the Local population took a great interest in the “Russian military”. In our pilots deeply impressed by the ancient monuments of Bari. About them enthusiastically wrote and Konstantin Simonov, who visited the base in November 1944, and published an essay about her in the “red Star” dated 12 Dec. In December 1944, the AGON was relocated to Yugoslavia in connection with the liberation of a large part of its territory.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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