Military Review

How the Red Army and the Wehrmacht purified water during the Great Patriotic War

46

During the movement of units and subdivisions of the Red Army, water supply was carried out from those sources that were available in the area. It could be a city water supply system, it could be village wells, or it could be rivers, streams or lakes.


In the latter case, special importance was attached to sanitary control. Military hygienists had to determine the quality of the water, choose the methods of its purification and disinfection, and apply them in practice. Separately, it was necessary to work out the issues of supplying troops with water on the march, as well as during the defense of positions.

Water purification in the Red Army


First of all, water sources were examined for the presence of causative agents of dangerous diseases - tularemia, dysentery, typhoid fever. If there was a risk of water contamination, it was necessary to be especially careful with its disinfection. Moreover, under war conditions, any source of water has always been considered dubious. Boiling and chlorination of water was carried out without fail, and in places of long-term deployment of troops - centralized purification, as well as desalination in those places where there was only salt water, in accordance with the Instruction on desalination of water by freezing.

Where there were no wells with drinking water, the Red Army men dug them from scratch. For example, only during the battles for the liberation of the Kuban 29 wells were cut and 591 wells were dug.

How was drinking water disinfected? Potassium permanganate, hydrogen peroxide and a number of other compounds were commonly used, as well as substances that improve the taste of water after chlorination. In particular, citric acid and tartaric acid were added to the water with the addition of flavors available at that time. The Main Sanitary Directorate of the RKKA also developed special rules for supplying troops with water on the march, since it was established that a trained person loses from 2 to 3 kg of water during a long march. Naturally, it was required to recover the lost fluid. Additional wells were created using special metal barrels without a bottom, which were carefully guarded to avoid attempts at poisoning by the enemy.

During hostilities in winter, the Red Army was advised to use snow to obtain water, as well as to make ice holes in water bodies, and the ice holes were specially insulated by erecting huts above them, covering them with felt and straw. In some cases, pieces of ice were cut out, which were then thawed and the melt water was already consumed as drinking water.

How the Red Army and the Wehrmacht purified water during the Great Patriotic War

How did the Germans do


The German army has boiled water without fail since the First World War. But, of course, the Wehrmacht soldiers still could not wait for the water to boil and cool ...

Therefore, the German medical services organized the supply of each unit at the level of a company or battery with water disinfectants based on bleach and antichlorine (hydrogen peroxide and carbamide). To disinfect a liter of water, one tube of chlorine was poured, and after 10 minutes - one tube of antichlorine. Then the water was infused for a couple of minutes and became drinkable.

In the occupied territories, the enemy used drinking water from wells and water pipes. At the same time, for their part, the enemy units also tried to pay serious attention to the protection of water supply facilities so as not to lose drinking water.
Author:
Photos used:
photo.i.ua; https://wwii.space
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  1. Insurgent
    Insurgent 16 December 2020 09: 02
    +11
    The German medical services organized the supply of water disinfectants based on bleach and antichlorine (hydrogen peroxide and carbamide) to each unit of the company or battery level. To disinfect a liter of water, one tube of chlorine was poured, and after 10 minutes - one tube of antichlorine. Then the water was infused for another couple of minutes and became drinkable.

    I read it and decided to look on the network for such a chemical method of disinfection (water purification) and this is what I came across:

    Purification of water by liquid

    Another one of the popular methods. Although I’m not aware of the usual use of this method in everyday life, I’ll all mention him as an “emergency” - such prescriptions are like yoda or at any time. Peroxide of water discharges water from protozoa (lamblia and cryptospidia), bacteria, viruses. Method of application: add one page spoon (with strong contamination - 2 tablespoons) per liter of water, let it stand for about an hour. To purify the water from the residue of peroxide (to accelerate its decomposition), it is necessary to add a steam of activated charcoal to the water. Instead of hydrogen peroxide, you can use a hydroperitic tablet. Dosage - 2-Z tablets per 1 liter of water. When the tablet is dispensed in water, a solution of hydrogen peroxide is obtained, which, in its turn, is dispensed into water and an active agent - water. When the hydropeter falls into the water, it also adds carbamide - not a particularly harmful substance that carries a slightly salty taste in water. Carbamide is used as a food additive, and has an acceptable concentration of 2-Z grams per liter.

    The article is inaccurate. It turns out urea is not part of the active drug described in the article, but is obtained as a result of the process of disinfection with peroxide.
    1. NDR-791
      NDR-791 16 December 2020 09: 20
      +14
      We had a case in the Western Sayan. On the rise, a terrible bad weather covered just below the forest border, we had to wait. We found a small stream and stood there. And they quietly used some water until the evening. And at night it happened to everyone "three meters against the wind" wassat In the morning we realized that it was from the water. I walked along the stream, it turned out to be 200 meters to the source. From under a large stone, a large beast flows out and right in the channel (it has been lying for a long time, it is no longer recognizable, but it looks like a badger). Probably who drove the predatory, and from the same stone welled up. Since then, everyone has a duty to aquatabs. Not God knows what protection, but better than nothing.
      1. Insurgent
        Insurgent 16 December 2020 09: 26
        +9
        Quote: NDR-791
        Since then, everyone has a duty to aquatabs.

        In 2016, I had to drink rainwater collected from the hangar roof. There was no way to boil, they disinfected them with pills from dry rations, defended a little, and drank.
        Slightly bleached, but nothing. No one died from the water.
        1. NDR-791
          NDR-791 16 December 2020 10: 02
          +7
          Yeah, this is he ration aquatabs. And it's better to pan with bleach than to sit under a bush laughing
      2. Dkuznecov
        Dkuznecov 18 December 2020 23: 04
        0
        Wolverine, what may still lie there ..
    2. Alex koch
      Alex koch 16 December 2020 10: 27
      +8
      Everything is correct in the article, hydroperite is a clathrate of hydrogen peroxide with carbamide, when dissolved in water, a solution of hydrogen peroxide and carbamide is obtained, in fact, in your quote it says:
      Quote: Insurgent
      When the hydropeter falls into the water, it also adds carbamide - not a particularly harmful substance that carries a slightly salty taste in water
    3. astepanov
      astepanov 16 December 2020 17: 52
      +1
      Quote: Insurgent
      It turns out that carbamide is not part of the active drug described in the article, but is obtained as a result of the process of disinfection with peroxide.

      Nothing like this. It is very difficult to carry hydrogen peroxide with you: it is an unstable substance that quickly decomposes into water and oxygen. Concentrated hydrogen peroxide ("perhydrol") causes unpleasant burns. But hydrogen peroxide forms a stable complex with urea (carbamide). The pharmacy name of the complex is hydroperite. Here it is very stable and convenient for water disinfection. And it is still sold in every pharmacy. As a child, I amused myself by doing an initiating explosive with it ... And, by the way, when peroxide decomposes, atomic hydrogen is not formed, except in concentrated sulfuric acid.
  2. A. Privalov
    A. Privalov 16 December 2020 09: 16
    +11
    In a number of museums dedicated to WW2 I have come across German tablets for disinfecting and purifying water. It was a metal tube with pills and instructions on it. It was necessary to dissolve 0,5 tablets in a liter of water, wait 10 minutes and drain from the sediment.
    1. vvvjak
      vvvjak 16 December 2020 09: 51
      +10
      Quote: A. Privalov
      It was a metal tube with pills and instructions on it.



      Chloramine. In childhood, such tubes were found (those that are aluminum and without inscriptions).
      1. A. Privalov
        A. Privalov 16 December 2020 11: 05
        +7
        Quote: vvvjak
        Chloramine. In childhood, such tubes were found (those that are aluminum and without inscriptions).

        Yes, perhaps, these are exactly the same in "clips" as gazyry 6 pieces.
    2. svp67
      svp67 16 December 2020 17: 49
      +2
      Quote: A. Privalov
      In a number of museums dedicated to WW2 I have come across German tablets for disinfecting and purifying water.

      They were given to every soldier, in case there is no centralized water supply.
  3. Nikolaevich I
    Nikolaevich I 16 December 2020 09: 26
    +6
    And in fact ... I had to read in books "about the war" about how water was disinfected in the Red Army! The stories mentioned some tablets (it seems, containing iodine ...). There were mentions of other methods and means, but I remember them very vaguely ...
    1. The leader of the Redskins
      The leader of the Redskins 16 December 2020 09: 47
      +6
      And I often read (and it was mentioned in the films) that we drank some rusty water (swamp and so on) and let's drive it all night long to the wind!
      1. NDR-791
        NDR-791 16 December 2020 10: 06
        +9
        The trick is that filtering is easy, but this is not enough. The bacteria are not filtered; they must be finished to death. And this is boiling mostly. But at an altitude of 3000, the boiling point is already 90C, and higher it is even lower and they survive. Therefore, the chemistry in the mountains rules, although it is smelly, but you get used to it.
        1. The leader of the Redskins
          The leader of the Redskins 16 December 2020 10: 24
          0
          And chemistry is not always at hand ... And it is not always possible to boil ...
          A work colleague told me - they brought a veteran to the outpost. At lunchtime, my grandfather was that years old, his chest was in orders, like an iconostasis, but sclerosis was already making itself felt.
          He began to tell:
          ... - We held on that day as much as we could, but in the evening, the adversary drove us into the Bug. We are standing up to our neck in water, the heat ... But I feel thirsty! ...
          laughing
          1. Nyrobsky
            Nyrobsky 16 December 2020 10: 50
            +9
            Quote: Leader of the Redskins
            He began to tell:
            ... - We held on that day as much as we could, but in the evening, the adversary drove us into the Bug. We are standing up to our neck in water, the heat ... But I feel thirsty! ...

            What's so funny about that? Grandfather says - HEAT !!! So the summer is in full swing, the water is blooming and how to drink it without boiling, if you don’t let a fire down your neck in water. In addition, this is a war zone and in this Bug there is probably more than one corpse floating around. You can, of course, drink, and then you can fall on the cross.
            1. The leader of the Redskins
              The leader of the Redskins 16 December 2020 10: 53
              -10%
              Your logic is strange. Here, perhaps, you live your last minutes, the enemy is somewhere on the shore, you are thirsty, and you think about the blooming water and possible diarrhea ?!
              1. Nyrobsky
                Nyrobsky 16 December 2020 12: 33
                +5
                Quote: Leader of the Redskins
                Your logic is strange. Here, perhaps, you live your last minutes, the enemy is somewhere on the shore, you are thirsty, and you think about the blooming water and possible diarrhea ?!

                Diarrhea is not an ally to maneuver.
              2. garri-lin
                garri-lin 16 December 2020 16: 30
                +1
                If the water is completely rotten, then diarrhea will not get off. So it will twist what you ask to finish.
      2. pmkemcity
        pmkemcity 16 December 2020 10: 39
        +8
        Quote: Leader of the Redskins
        And I often read (and it was mentioned in the films) that we drank some rusty water (swamp and so on) and let's drive it all night long to the wind!

        And the chef came up with dinner. A little pearl barley, a little oak bark, A little road dust, a little swamp mud. The soldier will not die hungry.
        1. zenion
          zenion 16 December 2020 18: 53
          0
          I forgot about the fustricians.
          1. pmkemcity
            pmkemcity 17 December 2020 05: 19
            +1
            Quote: zenion
            I forgot about the fustricians.

            Wustrice is a noble food! Only for the generals, for the broth!
      3. Nikolaevich I
        Nikolaevich I 16 December 2020 10: 54
        +3
        Quote: Leader of the Redskins
        drank some rusty water (swamp and so on)

        Physical education hello! hi Duc, anything happened! As the saying goes ... "there are griefs in life ... instead of bread, eat cookies!" request
  4. beeper
    beeper 16 December 2020 10: 06
    +6
    Dad told, and other veterans (who are from the advanced units) of the Second World War, that when the Germans retreated, they often poisoned wells, blew up or filled up with corpses.
    In my mother's native village, in the Ukrainian southern steppe, the retreating Hitlerites threw up the only well with the corpses of people and animals mixed with rifles, torn pieces of iron and sharp glass.
    And the swampy stream flowing through the whole village, after the fierce autumn-winter battles with multiple transitions "from hand to hand", was bombed, littered with corpses, filled with sewage, burnt oil and fuel from stuck and knocked out equipment ...
    1. Reviews
      Reviews 16 December 2020 10: 08
      +10
      Quote: pishchak
      Dad told, and other veterans (who are from the advanced units) of the Second World War, that when the Germans retreated, they often poisoned wells, blew up or filled up with corpses.

      It has been in use since time immemorial.
      1. zenion
        zenion 16 December 2020 18: 55
        +1
        Moreover, mines and bundles of grenades were thrown into the wells. There was something to clean up after the war. There were frontline soldiers who passed intact after the war, they died while cleaning wells.
  5. tasha
    tasha 16 December 2020 10: 06
    +7
    In the book about military vehicles, there is a phrase: “Thus, during the Great Patriotic War, the Red Army used water treatment plants (so-called autofilters) ASF-500 and drilling rigs AVB-100, which were mounted on the chassis of ZIS-5 or ZIS-6 vehicles. "

    But, unfortunately, no data was found about them.
    1. NDR-791
      NDR-791 16 December 2020 10: 35
      +8
      But, unfortunately, no data was found about them.
      ASF-5000. The full text is too long, here is the link: https://vk.com/wall-6221102_10010
      And a photo:
      1. tasha
        tasha 16 December 2020 10: 40
        +8
        Thank you very much!
        This is a typo in the book about cars: ASF - 500. She wanders from site to site. Funny ...

        Correct name: AFS - Automotive Filter Station.

        Dear author! We'll give you a lot of interesting stuff here in the comments (and a lot of great material using the link in the previous comment). Maybe you will undertake to write an article about water purification during the war .. Let's just say, more and better? wink
    2. serg.shishkov2015
      serg.shishkov2015 16 December 2020 12: 23
      +6
      the book * Cars of the Red Army 1918-1945 *, it contains not only these,
      but also about earlier drilling rigs, on the AMO F-15 chassis
      1. tasha
        tasha 16 December 2020 12: 41
        +4
        I don't have one. I have Gogolev L.D. "Soldier cars" is a typo in it.
        1. serg.shishkov2015
          serg.shishkov2015 16 December 2020 12: 48
          +5
          And I have this one! one of the first good luck books!
  6. tasha
    tasha 16 December 2020 10: 20
    +5
    I also found it (obviously, the translation, therefore "Germanic"):

    The German army was equipped with knapsack filters equipped with asbestos-cellulose filter plates, passing through which water taken from rivers, streams, ponds, wells
    and other sources contaminated and containing microbes were clarified and disinfected. The duration of operation of one charge of filter plates (8 pcs.) Depended on water pollution: in turbid waters, they worked for 2-3 hours; with clear water, passed only for disinfection, - 10-12 hours. Therefore, it was recommended to pre-clarify the water by settling with coagulation ...
    The German water treatment plant, which was transported on a truck, was serviced by 3-4 specialists. Installation capacity 1000–1200 l / h
    1. tasha
      tasha 16 December 2020 14: 04
      +7
      Knapsack filtering device for drinking water of the Wehrmacht
  7. tasha
    tasha 16 December 2020 10: 30
    +6
    The hydrotechnical companies of the Red Army used VFS-1000, a transportable filter station. Chlorine, activated carbon, nepheline coagulant, sand and gravel were used to purify and filter water in the station.
  8. Blacksmith 55
    Blacksmith 55 16 December 2020 10: 44
    +4
    Who has not read "Bayazet" Pikul, I advise. It describes how the Russians got water, with what difficulty and risk. And what did the use of unclean water lead to?
  9. serg.shishkov2015
    serg.shishkov2015 16 December 2020 12: 27
    +4
    In 1989 and 1990 field practice in the Pustynsky reserve, from the benefits of civilization only electricity, but water from an artesian well !! Lucky! Self-tested - high quality!
  10. APASUS
    APASUS 16 December 2020 12: 58
    +6
    At the service, we were also given pills for disinfecting water, the horror of what kind of water is smelly and not tasty. I somehow did not use 3500-4000 m in the mountains and almost died, twisted in 10-12 hours. into the water a little.
  11. iouris
    iouris 16 December 2020 13: 17
    +6
    Water is no less important than the Iskander.
  12. depressant
    depressant 16 December 2020 15: 53
    +6
    The article turned out to be useful to me. I have not been drinking tap water for a long time - it is often rusty. But even if it is clean, it will stand in 5-liter cylinders, and such a rusty sediment! The only case when there was really clean water was not this, but last New Year. There is still a half balloon, and like a tear. For the sake of curiosity, I'm waiting: when will the sediment appear. I use only boiled. First, I chill in glass jars, then bottle it and put it in the refrigerator. And in the banks there is sediment, so such that every other time you have to scrape it off the walls ...
    You say citric acid? I was very interested in freezing.
    1. Undecim
      Undecim 16 December 2020 16: 23
      +6
      Put on a filter and drink to your health.
    2. garri-lin
      garri-lin 16 December 2020 16: 35
      +3
      Invest in a reverse osmosis system. Clean water is a guarantee of health.
    3. Avior
      Avior 17 December 2020 01: 41
      +3
      need a filter. inexpensive and solves the problem
  13. A. Privalov
    A. Privalov 16 December 2020 18: 08
    +5
    Science does not stand still. This is how easy it has become to purify water these days. There are credits. You can set a translation into Russian.
  14. WayKheThuo
    WayKheThuo 16 December 2020 20: 50
    +6
    Indeed, how many nuances, especially for a person living in peacetime, war reveals.
    A seemingly simple thing is water. But no - it is far from so simple, especially when several hundred tired, hungry and exhausted soldiers from the long march will gather.
    The article is interesting, I read it with pleasure.
    Thank you, Author.
  15. YOUR.
    YOUR. 8 March 2021 17: 49
    0
    After the "business trip" to Chechnya, I thought that I would not be able to eat canned meat for the rest of my life. However, nothing happened. But I still hate the smell of bleach. Bleach was in the first, second and compote. Particularly appreciated was one and a half pot of drinking water, which was given out in the base area for two days, or for a day on the road. And they took water from a pump station nearby, after filling a bucket (maybe less, but it seemed to me that way) of bleach into the tank. At least I never sat "on the stream".
    But earlier in Tajikistan, the whole battalion was crap, without exception, with a difference of 3-5 days. Provided that they drank the same water as the locals. The locals said that the reason is a different composition of salts in the local water. Were treated with pomegranate fruits. Dried peel and white membranes were boiled, on the edge you can eat whole pomegranate with seeds, except for the peel, which was then dried. It helps worse and the anus then goes "to the explosion" :)