Frankly, we are surprised by the number of questions that have come and continue to come to us. There are simple ones, and there are those that are surprising in their complexity. But once it happened, we will try to answer everything. It's a question of time.
This letter, a question in which not even a question, but a request, came from Israel, from Irina Kuperman.
"... a military photo. Four young men dressed in a motley civilian. They sit with gunpieces at the ready. Mom explained that they were 1941 Moscow militiamen of the year. And one of them (bottom left) is my great-uncle (mom's father's brother) Sheplesel (Shurik Isaakovich Weksler. He did not have time to start a family, have children, because he died in the same 41-ohm somewhere near Moscow. We know very little about Shepsel Isaakovich, and three more men in the photo, maybe someone will find out they have relatives in them. I'm sure no one should be forgotten. "
Irina, without knowing it, raised a crucial topic.
What is the people's militia? Before WWII, this term was used only in two cases: Minin and Pozharsky in the 1612 year and the militia of the 1812 year. The headman of one of the workshops of artisans and the Russian prince, who gathered the people to fight the invaders and ousted the hated Poles from Moscow. Yes, the old man, who, with the men from her village, raised the forks of the French.
The war opened a new page in stories people's militia. So what is it? Why did the Germans initially treat the Moscow and Leningrad militia with fastidious indifference, and then with great respect? Why did the soldiers of the regular units of the Red Army say with pride: "I am from the militia"?
Yes, simply because the militia is the last, the very last reserve. Reserve that can be used in combat. As units of non-combatant soldiers, as headquarters, as "walking" wounded. There is no one behind the militia! The militia will die, and the road to the enemy is free for many kilometers.
The basis for the creation of the national militia in Moscow was the "Ordinance on the voluntary mobilization of residents of Moscow and the region into the people's militia", adopted by the military council of the Moscow Military District 2 on July 1941. In just five days in the militia division, applications were made by almost 400 000 people. But this amount was not required. Yes, and with weapons at that time was a problem. It was because the militia took only physically healthy, those who could bring the greatest benefit at the front. For five days, 12 militia divisions were formed. 160 000 Muscovites and residents of the region stood in operation.
A huge problem for the militia was weapon. The fact is that more than half of the weapons that were in the arsenals of the Red Army were lost during the first months of the war. Some historians talk about 60%! That's why we see in the photograph of men armed with old revolvers. This is not youthful enthusiasm. This is the harsh truth of war.
Volunteers armed with everything that could shoot. Old written off weapons, trophy times of the First World War and the Civil War. Training weapons Osoaviahima. The guns of the end of the 19 century are mounted on horseback. One rifle for two or three men in the militia was the norm.
An even worse situation was with ammunition. Ammunition for a rifle rarely exceeded 15-20 rounds. I spoke with the militia who defended Moscow in the New Jerusalem area. One rifle per compartment and one cartridge holder for this rifle. The rest with sapper blades. And against tanks and motorcyclists with machine guns.
I want to move a little away from the topic of the article. Irina did not indicate who the grandfather was before the war. But this is important. It would be another option to find a "clue" in the search. The fact is that the divisions of the Moscow militia were formed not only according to the territorial, but also according to the "production" principle. I will give just some examples.
The 6 national militia division is "diplomatic." Formed in the Dzerzhinsky district of Moscow. As part of 163 diplomat and diplomatic service officer (a third of the staff of the Commissariat of Foreign Affairs of the USSR).
4 division of the national militia - "financial". Formed in the Kuibyshev district of Moscow. As part of the People's Commissariat of Finance and Light Industry.
There were also companies. Musical, writing, scientific. They united people of some professions in their ranks. The scientific company consisted of teachers and students of Moscow universities. Music - from musicians and students of the conservatory. Writing - from famous writers.
I personally was interested to know which of the writers in the first days of the war went to war. Do not write about the war, namely to fight.
Stepan Zlobin. The author of "Stepan Razin" and "Islands of the Buyan".
Reuben Fraerman. Author of the Wild Dog Dingo, or Tale of First Love.
George Storm. Translated "The Word of Igor's Regiment". Author of many historical works.
Pavel Blyakhin. The author of the "Red Devils" (based on which removed the "elusive avengers").
And there was also an OMSBON - a separate special purpose motorized rifle brigade, the backbone of which was both famous athletes and physical education students, members of the sports associations of the CDKA and Dynamo.
But back to the beginning of our conversation. To the question, more precisely, the request of Irina Kuperman.
I must say that she did a lot of what the search engines do in such cases, we will try to do something. Appeal to the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation did not produce results. Irina independently applied, as it turned out, to the program "Find Me". No result yet. That's why our help is needed. Even one percent, half a percent, one hundredth of a percent probability of winning is important. Take a look. Let your friends and family look at the photo. But what if...
Find a fighter from the militia divisions today is difficult. According to the documents. It is difficult because the registration of such fighters was awful. Yes, and many fought just one battle. I will specifically cite the fate of those divisions that defended Moscow. All 12 divisions of the national militia that were created first.
1-I division of the national militia (Leninsky district). Broken under Vyazma. Headquarters and rear units left the encirclement.
2-I division of the national militia (Stalin district). Completely perished under Vyazma.
4 Division I BUT (Kuibyshev district). Successfully came out of the boiler at Vyazma, but during the battles at Naro-Fominsk she lost 60% of personnel a week before. Subsequently became 84 CD.
5 Division I BUT (Frunze district). Completely perished in the area of Spas-Demenska.
6-division BUT (Dzerdzhinsky district). Completely perished in the environment under Vyazma.
7-division BUT (Bauman district). Almost completely crushed. The few entourage joined the 144 CD.
8-division BUT (Krasnopresnensky district). Completely perished in a cauldron near Vyazma.
9 Division I BUT (Kirovsky district). Almost completely perished in the environment. It turned out about 800 fighters.
13 Division I BUT (Rostokinsky district). Completely perished in the environment.
17-division BUT (Moskvoretsky district). Lost in the boiler to 80% personnel.
18-division BUT (Leningrad region). Subsequently became 11 Guards Rifle Division.
21 Division I BUT (Kievsky district). Subsequently became 77 Guards Rifle Division. As part of the division 68 Heroes of the Soviet Union and the only battalion of Glory in the Red and Soviet Army! All soldiers and officers of this battalion are awarded the Order of Glory for personal feats!
On my own behalf and on behalf of all the staff of the Military Review, I want to ask readers: let's help! Irina wrote the right words at the end of her asking question: "I’m sure no one should be forgotten."
If someone recognizes a familiar face in this photo, if someone has the same photo in an old album ... You know what to do.
No one should be forgotten, right?