As far as I know, in the USSR and now in Russia there is no generalized labor or allowance for organizing the life of servicemen of all military branches during the period of hostilities. But this is a whole science.
In the Field Statute, the combat statutes of the armed forces there are sections covering the material and technical support of the troops in battle, but such a thing as organizing the daily life of troops in a combat situation does not exactly appear.
As I was convinced from my combat experience, without a good organization of life for military personnel in a combat situation, only a narrow-minded person can count on successful performance of a combat task, because the organization of a domestic service in combat greatly affects the morale of military personnel in battle. Without this, a soldier during combat operations cannot restore the moral and physical strength expended. What kind of recuperation a soldier can count on if he instead of a healthy sleep while he is resting is harshly scratching himself to get rid of the itch.
The Great Patriotic War found me in the city of Smolensk in a small machine gun school. The cadets of the school have passed state exams, but the order of the USSR People's Commissar of Defense on assigning us the military rank of “lieutenant” has not yet entered the school.
In the first decade of July 1941, our school was evacuated to the city of Sarapul of the Udmurt ASSR. There we disembarked, on the third day we read the order of the Commander of the Ural Military District about assigning us the military rank of “lieutenant” and right on the fourth day we, 800 lieutenants, were immersed in teplushki, and the train headed at maximum speed to Moscow to form Moscow militia divisions .
From Moscow, I was sent to the 5 Division of the militia of the Frunzensky District of Moscow, where I served as platoon commander, then a company of 82-mm mortars. In the battles in the area of Spas-Demenska of the Kaluga region, the division was surrounded. Coming out of the encirclement, I was seconded to the Podolsk Infantry School, which was keeping the defense in the Ilyinsky fortified area west of Maloyaroslavets, and was assigned to the post of platoon commander of the cadets.
During the week, the cadets of the school repulsed the attacks of the enemy, and the school was also surrounded. Coming out of the encirclement, the composition of the school was sent to Ivanovo, and I was assigned to the 282 Infantry Regiment of the 19 th Voronezh Red Banner Infantry Division for the position of adjutant to the regiment commander. In a critical situation near Moscow, the 282 th infantry regiment was reassigned to the 18 th militia division of the Leningradsky district of Moscow and when our troops launched a counter-offensive as part of this division, it went on the r. Ruzu in the area of Ostashevo, where he occupied the defense.
In January, 1942, the 18-division of the Moscow national militia, transferred its defense zone to another unit, plunged into echelons and was transferred by rail through Moscow to the area of the town of Sukhinichi, Kaluga region. The train, in which the headquarters of the 282 rifle regiment followed, was stationed at Lyublino station on the outskirts of Moscow for four days in the first decade of January 1942. The commander of the regiment was Major Shcherbina Ivan Kuzmich.
In the echelon, the regiment commander set me the task of traveling to Moscow, finding the State Bank and returning two gold bars, which the soldiers seized from the retreating German marauders. They fled so quickly from Moscow under the blows of our troops that they threw the loot they had.
Before 1941, I didn’t have to go to Moscow, so it was difficult to navigate in the city. Nevertheless, I handed over the gold to the bank, received the relevant document at the bank, and I still had time.
The last time I washed in a bath and changed linen was in June of 1941, and naturally, half a year of using the same underwear without visiting the bath led to lice in my underwear.
I used the time remaining at my disposal, got to the Central Voentorg in Moscow and bought a pair of silk underwear there for myself. I heard that parasites are not found in silk underwear, but they overpowered me, and I did not know how to get rid of them. Returning to the train, I gave the regiment commander a receipt for gold and immediately changed into silk underwear, and threw mine under the car.
Of course, I didn’t complain to the regiment commander that louses were bothering me. This question did not arise, as it was believed that in the harshest conditions of the fighting to raise the issue of combating parasites is an inadmissible luxury and you can fall into the category of whiners.
The fighting conditions in the first years of the war, of course, were the hardest, because before the battle near Moscow we were retreating on all fronts, and during withdrawal it was simply impossible to organize a normal field service in the units conducting the fighting.
If I'm wrong, then they will correct me. But by field life service I mean the ability of troops in combat to build fortifications, heating and power points, rooms for rest and sleep of personnel, field and washing stations, including underground, field laundries, drainage chambers, cooking chambers linen and more. Without these so-called amenities, it is impossible to conduct successful combat operations.
Unfortunately, before the Great Patriotic War, these issues were almost not studied, at least in the military school where I studied. But there was not enough time for this either, since the training program was very tense, and such types of military operations as defense and especially withdrawal were studied fluently. Almost the best point of heating during the fighting was considered a fire. But when the parasites divorced in the underwear of the personnel, it was impossible to warm up by the fire, because at once their activity increased in the heat and they began to nibble their victim vigorously, and the victim needed to scratch vigorously to drown the itch. I personally, in order not to experience this itch, avoided heating near the fire.
During the retreat and offensive during the war, our division conducted military operations in a wooded area and did not make a fire. But I personally all winter 1941-1942. for sleep I often used a cell dug in the snow: I covered it with lapnik and asked the soldiers to shower me with snow, leaving one head open. In this position, I could sleep 1,5-2 hours, after which I jumped up and intensely engaged in various physical exercises. Fortunately, the Soviet government in preparing for war took good care of the excellent warm winter uniform. When it was thirty degrees below zero, I could sleep in the snow for up to two hours.
During the Russian frosts, Hitler's warriors in their form felt uncomfortable.
For the first time at the front between fights, I bathed in a peasant bath at the end of February 1942 years in the village. Stoves Lyudinovsky District of the Kaluga region, when he was in the position of chief of staff of the battalion 27-th Guards Rifle Regiment 11-th Guards Rifle Division (formerly 18-th militia division ). When I entered the bathhouse and stripped down to the linen, I saw that large holes were worn on my elbows and knees in my silk underwear, and there were a large number of lice, so I still do not believe that they are not found in silk underwear.
Since that time, neither the soldiers of our regiment, nor I personally have experienced more similar troubles.
Colonel Lebedintsev in one of the issues of the Duel newspaper claims that in the regiment in which he fought, the personnel got rid of lice only thanks to the captured German powder “dust”, without which they would have seized the regiment. It may be true, it's hard for me to judge, but I have not heard about this “dust” all the war.
However, I knew and saw very well that during our offensive, the personnel of the units avoided occupying German dugouts, as they used straw or hay, which contained many parasites, including lice, as bedding. If their “dust” saved even the subordinates of Colonel Lebedintsev from parasites, then why did he not act in German dugouts? Why did the German soldiers captured by us, these insects called "partisan"? The conclusion is that the insects are very annoying to the Germans. But the Nazi troops had a huge two-year experience of conducting combat operations in Europe, but they could not generalize it and establish a proper service for the troops in field conditions.
In the 16 Army of the Western Front, commanded by Lieutenant-General Rokosovskiy K.K., in which I fought, they took a different path in the fight against parasites. Here, the German "dust" did not trust. Emphasis was placed on the implementation of the statutes of the Armed Forces and on exactingness to commanders of all levels in carrying out their duties in a combat situation. The army commander demanded that all units and activities of the field life of the troops in a combat situation be organized, no matter how difficult it was.
A strict demand was established with commanders who did not care about their subordinates and about the service in the units and subunits. The entire medical service of the army, except for the care of the wounded and sick, was mobilized to combat parasites. Lice, I do not know by whom, were encoded form N20. Where this form was found, they were strictly asked from all those responsible for the struggle, without making allowances for the difficulties of the situation. The demand was the same as for the fulfillment of the combat mission, and no one could indulge anyone.
Washing stations, baths, degassing and roasting chambers, including those in the ground, have become the same elements in the battle formation of troops, as well as protective structures.
Since February 1942, the discovery of the N20 form in the unit has been equated to an emergency. And the parasites were defeated.
From September 1942 of the year to the beginning of February, 1943 of the year, our 11-I Guards Rifle Division defended south of the Zhizdra River at the turn of Gretnya, Vostia, Ulyanovsk District, Kaluga Region. In the neutral zone between our and German trenches there were sheaves of mown wheat, in which a mass of mice divorced. Tularemia broke out from the mice, which caused tumors of the perineum and armpits and permanently put the soldiers out of action.
In order to protect against the peddlers of this infection, it was necessary to observe preventive measures, first of all, to exclude contact of mice with personnel, for which dugouts were digging ditches to the depth and width of the small demining blade with vertical walls, lids were made around the well roviki The products of the soldiers were kept only in kettles, closed with lids, in dugouts products were also stored in boxes closed with lids. The mice that fell in the roars were burned. Interviews were conducted with personnel to combat tularemia. For the greater vigilance of the servicemen, they were intimidated by the fact that a person who had been ill with tularemia might lose the ability as a man. The implementation of all these activities was constantly monitored by medical personnel, starting with the army and ending with the battalion.
Such work has yielded positive results. In the battalion headed by me there was not a single case of tularemia, and the form of N20 was completely forgotten. Her discovery was already a shame.
A lot of trouble for commanders of all levels brought on the front such a disease as "night blindness". This disease manifests itself by the fact that a person who has become ill with it has very weak eyesight as the sun goes down. This disease originated in winter from a lack of vitamin C, which is abundant in fresh fruits, vegetables, and greens. For most of the servicemen, their eyesight remained normal, and it was possible to observe cases when at night one soldier led a chain of several people holding onto their greatcoats (coats) in front of them.
To combat this disease, we used spruce branches and pines, which were insisted in hot water and before eating a soldier (sergeant) had to drink a mug of this infusion, which tastes unpleasant. Since some soldiers tried to evade the use of infusion, then this was strictly followed by cooks and commanders of all degrees.
The norm and tobacco were usually not given out according to the norm, as they came in bags, and they put open bags on food outlets and each soldier collected himself as needed. But a lot of this smoke remained and was exchanged among the local population for onions and garlic, which were issued to non-smokers.
All these measures also relate to the organization of the life of servicemen in a combat situation.
I ended the war as the commander of the 27 Guards Rifle Regiment of the 11 Guards Rifle Division and always tried to organize the life of servicemen during combat operations in the way it was developed and justified in practice during the initial period of the Great Patriotic War.
In Soviet troops, the life of military personnel was improved during the fighting, which was a great contribution to our Victory, and in German fascist troops it collapsed, the morale of the troops fell, which eventually led to the defeat of Nazi Germany.