What the soldiers didn't love the military gravediggers

History 28/12/19 For what the red army did not love the military gravediggers

As you know, in war, anything can happen. Being in a constant state of stress for a long time, people unavoidably become superstitious. The fear of death or severe wounds poisons the soldiers and officers of primal terror. And the men begin to rely on the help of amulets and talismans, believe in various omens. They are grasping for any irrational the opportunity to deceive the notorious lady with the scythe.

In the team of gravediggers

during the Soviet-Finnish war of 1939-1940 the leadership of the red Army, it became clear – in military units, create special funeral because the dead were so many that comrades do not have time to give them the land properly. Order No. 138 of the people’s Commissar of defense S. K. Timoshenko on 15 March 1941, approved the “Regulation on the personal account of loss and burial of deceased personnel of the red army in time of war.” A well-known author-soldier Vladimir Osipovich Bogomolov wrote a documentary novel “Life washing, or you dreamed of me”, where he spoke as being one of the men of the 71st army in 1943, long served military gravedigger.

“the Soldiers from the funeral team, or as locals call them, “Pogrebinsky”, all with some grim-faced, taciturn, dressed like in the kitchen, in aprons, rubber gloves and boots, without masks, walk, crawl, turn over body of Dead… put two on the Cape, dragging to the edge and dump a tray cart, as logs, top cover with a tarp and driven to the cemetery for burial…” – such a sad picture was described by V. O. Bogomolov.

the Author noted that the work of gravediggers in the military leadership had a lot of complaints, often justified. On the battlefield regularly remained buried hundreds of corpses; the dead were buried as necessary: in the trenchesx, craters from exploding shells; the grave inscriptions were not provided; information about the victims is lost; and military awards soldiers disappeared without a trace, although it was supposed to be passed to relatives. The main reason of all these violations – a huge number of deaths, the funeral team just could not cope with its task. By the way, the gravediggers of many superstitious soldiers tried to ignore, not to become their “clients” after the battle.

Passport to the light

the Writer Konstantin Somov, in his book “War: Express life. 1941-1945” told about the funeral home will accept that existed among the soldiers of the red army. We are talking about the so-called “passport of death” which every soldier and officer had to carry. They indicated personal data of the person that is required after his death to make a positive identification and notification of relatives.

“I Must say that the first personal identification medallion appeared in the Russian army nearly a quarter of a century before the great Patriotic war – January 16, 1917… sign Neck was an amulet with inside blank size with a tram ticket,” wrote K. K. Somov.

In the red army that ominous thing called “soldier’s medallion”. It has varied over time. To replace the amulet first came a kind of pencil case that could be made of metal or wood, then plastic or hard rubber case, and sometimes used the empty rifle casing. Inside on a small paper the paper should contain information about the serviceman and his family.

But, despite the requirements of the Statute and the orders of commanders, the soldiers thought a very bad omen to carry a “passport of death”. This little thing was unnerving people, reminding about the likely imminent demise. So many fighters just throw away their medallions.

In the book “War: Express life. 1941-1945” contains the memoirs of a veteran of the great Patriotic Mansur Histologica Abdulina, served as a mortar man. He wrote: “Remember, on the way to the front… we were issued plastic patronchiki with a lid on the thread. Inside the ribbon, which I had to personally fill in his personal data, screw the tube tightly, so it did not get damp, and put in the pocket. “Passport of death” – so dubbed this tube between them. I do not know how anyone, but I have the passport threw away quietly, so no one saw, and in its place put in the pants your mascot.”

So did almost all the soldiers. Many enthusiasts of the search teams told K. K. Somov that they rarely find among the remains of the fallen soldiers a soldier’s medallions. But if there is, it is either empty or a blank questionnaire. Some people were hoping that if the “passport of death” net, the lady with the scythe will not be able to find them on the battlefield.

a Soldier’s superstition

a Specialist in military history Elena Senyavskaya Spartakovna considers a soldier’s superstition special form of domestic religiosity. Raised in atheistic Soviet society, people caught in stressful conditions, often bumped into mysticism. This researcher wrote in his book “the Psychology of war in the twentieth century. The historical experience of Russia.” For example, according to the military, immediately before the military operation, under the ban came from several actions:
wash, haircut and shave, as if to prepare to the light;
to wear clothing suitable for a funeral;
to give personal things to colleagues, as if they were you wouldn’t be needing.
write a letter to a native, resembling a farewell.
to be photographed to leave a long memory.
talking about the impending death and possible victims;
panic or swear.

in addition, the belongings of the deceased that he personally could give before his death, to carry it was considered bad luck. The soldiers feared that this “pull” to the light and a new owner after the previous one. Afghan soldiers and Soviet citizens, CLozhivshie other hot spots, adhered to all these superstitions, as soldiers of the great Patriotic war.

If the soldiers of the First world war and the ensuing Civil war was at heart the leaves with a special prayer-amulets, their sons in 1941-1945 believed that a bullet from the heart is able to take a photo of your girlfriend or a poem by Konstantin Simonov “Wait for me”, personally rewritten. This insightful literary work fighters of the great Patriotic attributed to a truly mystical effect. Many participants of the Afghan war, was hoping to save them from destruction may pictures of children and relatives.

part of the military culture

the Candidate of pedagogical Sciences Sergey Eduardovich Zverev is the author of the scientific article “Superstitions as a component of a military subculture,” which was published in the journal “Vestnik of Saint Petersburg state Institute of culture” (No 2 (19) for 2014). In it, the researcher noted that in war every man there is a deep soul-searching and religious people are facing a terrifying fact: sin is not punishable. Therefore, the change of the rational perception of reality come the mystical conclusions. S.E. Zverev suggested that this classification soldier’s superstitions:
faith in omens;
faith in destiny, in an unhappy date in the conspiracy of death;
animation of military equipment and weapons;
the belief in charms and amulets.

“the widespread military superstition is the stubborn commitment to military uniforms and equipment, visited with the fighter in a number of dangerous covers, of which managed to successfully get out,” wrote S.E. Zverev.

the Soldiers hoped that the “happy” machine, or Hiking with binoculars or a flask, or any other object will help to avoid death or injury and in the subsequent battles on the principle of analogy. Not accident aircraft, helicopters, tanks and artillery guns, Soviet soldiers were often given the names of their mothers or sweethearts. This technical animationkey gave the fighters confidence.

as a military mascot could be any subject: the first cartridge fountain pen, button, mouthpiece, etc. Sometimes these things were connected with the peaceful pre-war life, his profession or hobby. About the amulets didn’t tell anyone, because they were considered to lose their magical powers. For the superstitious soldier, the loss of the talisman meant a quick death, and his breakdown is a wound so severe, how badly were damaged amulet.

In the article “Superstition as a component of the military subculture” given the remarkable history that commemorate the great Patriotic war veteran George A. Kalinyak, who served in the 63rd guards rifle division. One of his comrades – a middle-aged grunt A. M. Zagorulko – the war carried a heavy iron working on charcoal. And this despite the military gear and uniforms that weighed too much.

Apparently, iron soldier was something more than useless in war thing. He had magic to ensure the return to civilian life, to his wife that they will iron things.

Origanum Tanatarova

© Russian Seven

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