History 19/02/20 Which German units were the most dangerous “melee” for the Soviet fighters
the Germans, confident of the undeniable advantages of firearms, even could not think that it is not always able to help out. Often, the outcomes of the struggles had to deal with in melee, where soldiers of the Wehrmacht were not ready.
German troops To the Russian ability to master the art of unarmed combat was no less surprised than the stubborn resistance that they faced, crossing the Soviet border. Although it could have been foreseen. The red Army already in the first years after its creation, serious attention was paid to the physical fitness of the soldiers and, in particular, held classes in gymnastics and knife fight.
In 1938, was issued a “Guidance on preparation for fighting”, which referred to the need for comprehensive training of fighters. Soldiers must equally successfully to overcome obstacles to traverse rugged terrain and to use melee weapons. Great attention in the red Army was given a variety of physical exercises that develop muscle reaction, coordination and speed of thinking. Techniques from the Arsenal of Boxing and Sambo practiced along with the skills of bayonet fighting.
After the Soviet-Finnish war was released new manuals on fighting in various conditions, for example, in the trenches. Understand features of owning a bayonet, knife, and entrenching shovel, as well as the specifics of the fight unarmed against an armed infantryman firearm or bladed weapon.
hand to Hand combat in the red Army has become an integral element of any attack. The Handbook of major-General A. A. Tarasov, “Destroy the enemy in melee” was written: “to quickly close with the enemy to destroy it with a grenade and bayonet, so will carry less losses from enemy fire, every bthe it should be able to technically and tactically correct move and dexterous to overcome any natural and artificial obstacle”.
that’s why in the manuals it was possible to find such a scheme of warfare: for 50 meters before the enemy infantry stops shooting, over 25 meters fill up with grenades, and the approach of finish cold steel.
Despite the heavy scrub of the first months of the great Patriotic war in the ranks of the red army, their desire to fight to the last using any available funds greatly diminished German arrogance. It quickly became clear that the skill of melee combat Soviet soldiers are markedly superior to the soldiers of the Wehrmacht.
Statistics show that the red army in the second world war initiated the melee about 70% of cases. The Germans have always been trying to avoid the rapprochement with Soviet soldiers as a result of the melee was often not in their favor. “Who in the melee is not fought with the Russian, he did not see the war” – this phrase, uttered by one of the officers of the Wehrmacht, it became airborne.
the Dedication and the fury with which the Russian threw a hand-to-hand, truly scared of the Germans. In one of the memoirs of the Soviet veteran described case, in the face of “big crest raised on a bayonet Fritz and threw him like a fish with trench”. And such cases have been recorded a lot. To get rid of the fear the Germans often before the battle, resorted to alcohol, but this made them more vulnerable in melee.
Much more difficult for our military personnel had encounters with mountain infantry units of the Wehrmacht, whose soldiers stood out against other German soldiers physical strength, endurance and preparation for combat operations in difficult conditions. The Viktor Leonov, a former commander of the 181st special reconnaissance-sabotage detachment of North fleet, in his book “face to Face” told us that the red army revealed the vulnerability of the German “jaegers”. They went on the Fritz with this you despiseheating, a smile that those suspected some sort of trick and began to get nervous. According to Leonov, this gave our significant advantage, as the enemy is conceived could not withstand the pressure on the psyche.
the first Lie
Instructions for red army soldiers fighting was that an experienced opponent will seek to attack first, so you need to always be ready to fight off his weapon and immediately attack with a bayonet. In addition, it focuses on the fact that the enemy you need as quickly as possible to hit in a sensitive place otherwise the fighter much risk of being killed.
a Famous saying of a Russian General Mikhail Dragomirov, even after more than half a century was just what we needed. The commander instructed that “when using bladed weapons eye, certainly more important than the conduct of the fire: there infidelity or error in determining the distance to the target leads to the loss bullet, it can lead to loss of life.”
General A. A. Tarasov, in his textbook called to remember the traditions of the past and own a bayonet “Suvorov”. One of the main components of success was covert warfare. He in particular wrote, if the enemy is protected, you need feint to get him to open up and deliver a decisive stab with a bayonet.
One of the most effective methods of unarmed combat were considered otlivy that were used to reflect attack of the enemy, and to free up space to strike. Atbuy recommended to carry out some hands without appreciable rotation of the body, which is not allowed to reveal himself to the enemy. Often, the red army used the tactic of capture of the free hand weapon of the enemy and the subsequent sharp blow with the blade in the neck or face.
an Unexpected weapon
One of the most popular means of unarmed combat for soldiers of the red Army became a regular sapper shovel. She could hide behind as a shield, to repel the attack of the enemy and to inflict a deadly slashing blow. Veterans note that a good command of sapper lopatoi the red army, which before the war were employed in the construction and agriculture – all those who often kept an axe.
“Otlivy and blows with a shovel to produce quick, together and sharp. Simultaneously with the seizure of left hand rifles weapons you get too close and hit with a shovel on the head to the right or to the left” – read the manual on unarmed combat.
Shovel were often more effective and certainly more maneuverable weapon than a rifle with a bayonet. Especially if it was about fighting in the trenches or close corridors of the destroyed buildings.
the Germans puzzled stated that it did not expect to meet the fighters with garden equipment. “Today I saw the Russian beat our soldiers with shovels, why are we here? They are beasts,” wrote one of the German soldiers home. Well-sharpened shovel was a very formidable weapon: the funeral of the German team have often found their fighters with chopped limbs and cut skulls.
a Shovel is also a strong psychological weapon. After the first melee clashes on the Eastern front for the German army quickly spread rumors that if the Russians are ready to fight even shovels, they are really not afraid of anything.
© Russian Seven
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