Military Review

Moustached fighters of besieged Leningrad

1942 year, Leningrad. The blockade city steadfastly holds on with all its might. But, besides the fascists, it was precipitated by lice and rats. And if it was possible to fight the first, and quite successfully, the second ones turned out to be a real disaster. Sometimes, on the same street, the townspeople saw whole columns of rodents; there is a known case when a tram got off the rails because of them.

Moustached fighters of besieged Leningrad

Of course, people fought with rats: they poisoned them, tried to scare and shoot them. But the efforts were in vain. Rodents were crushed by trucks and even tanksbut it also did not bring success: tailed creatures safely ran away, and there were also those who deftly climbed on wheels and tracks and rode astride cars. They were not even afraid of the constant bombing, fire, the rumble of aircraft. The recollection of the townswoman Kira Loginova has survived: “The darkness of rats, in long lines headed by their leaders, moved along the Shlisserburg tract (now Obukhovskaya defense avenue) directly to the mill, where they ground flour for the whole city. It was an organized, smart and cruel enemy. ”...

Remains of food supplies ruthlessly destroyed by these pests. In addition, the threat of epidemics has become a terrible reality.

Leningraders ate almost all cats and dogs in the first months of the blockade. In the markets, this meat was very expensive. True, there were those families that saved their Murzik and Barsik, but now this number of cats was not enough to defeat the thousand hordes of rats.

It became clear that we need live cat help from outside. And then in April 1943 of the year a resolution was passed signed by the chairman of the Lensovet about the need "to discharge from the Yaroslavl region and deliver smoky cats to Leningrad." Why precisely smoky? In those years, they were considered the best rat catcher.

Yaroslavl completed a strategic order. They caught homeless cats on the streets, and many gave up their pets to fight rats. And here arrived in Leningrad four waggons.

From the memoirs of Antonina Alexandrovna Karpova, a native Leningradka: “The news that cats are being delivered to the city today has instantly spread all over. People gathered in huge crowds at the station, there was a terrible crush. Many came to the platform in whole groups (mostly, they were families or neighbors) and tried to disperse throughout its length. They hoped that at least one of the group would manage to take a cat.

And then came the composition. Surprisingly: four carriages of cats broke apart literally in half an hour! But how happy were the people of Leningrad going home. It seemed that these were not ordinary cats, but fighters of our Red Army. Some powerful reinforcement. And even the day it seemed that the Victory was already close. "...

However, many townspeople did not have enough cats. Now they were sold on the market at a fabulous price equal to about ten loaves of bread. For reference: the kitten cost 500 rubles, and the janitor’s salary was 120 rubles.

Sadly, a significant part of Murzik and Barsikov died in the fight against rats. However, even with heavy losses, they managed to drive the rodents away from food stores. The terrible misfortune did not recede, but its forces were greatly reduced.

Yaroslavl cat army defended Leningrad until the blockade was lifted. And when the ring was broken, another “mustached mobilization” took place, because the rats had to be driven out completely. Now the tailed warriors have written them out for Siberia itself especially for the Hermitage and other museums and palaces.

Siberians responded to the call with the same zeal as Yaroslavl. The very first volunteer was a black and white cat nicknamed Cupid. The hostess brought him to the assembly point and handed the guard with a farewell "to fight the hated enemies." In total, over five thousand cats and cats from Tyumen, Irkutsk and Omsk arrived in the city on the Neva.

Now, by common forces, Leningrad was finally saved from rats.

From the memoirs of Antonina Alexandrovna Karpova: “Our neighbor got a Siberian cat, who was named Bars. At first, Leopard was very afraid of loud noises, it was felt that he had suffered the fear during the journey. At such moments he rushed headlong to a new mistress. She soothed the cat, stroked it. And gradually Bars was filled with a new family with great respect and love. Every day he went fishing and returned with loot. At first they were rats we hated. And then Bars contrived somewhere to get sparrows, and there were no birds in the city during the siege. Amazing: the cat brought them alive! Sparrows neighbors slowly released.

Not once did Leopard take anything from the table. He ate what he got on the hunt himself and what the new owners treated him with. But the food never begged. It seemed that the cat understood that he had come to the city, where people experienced the terrible agony of hunger "...

Famous and amazing история about a red-hearing cat who settled with an anti-aircraft battery near Leningrad and very accurately predicted enemy raids aviation. The soldiers said that the cat did not react at all to the approach of Soviet technology. As a reward for the service, the battery commander put the cat up to a special contentment and even allocated a fighter to look after the tailed warrior.

And in the Hermitage "served" the cat, who discovered the old, but the current bomb. The mustache-striped, finding the danger, softened so loudly that the museum staff came running up to the noise and, seeing what was the matter, called the miners.

By the way, in the Hermitage cats still live. There are about fifty of them, and everyone has a real passport with a photo and an honorary position as a specialist in the cleaning of museum cellars from rodents.

The article used the memoirs of the former director of the Lipetsk school No. XXUMX, Antonina Alexandrovna Karpova, who was born and raised in Leningrad.
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must to register.

I have an account? Sign in

  1. aszzz888
    aszzz888 7 October 2015 06: 47
    Good and touching article.
    Not for nothing, one of the theories is that cats used to rule the planet before. This is not entirely believed, but they definitely deserve our attention and good attitude towards them.

    The cat that lives with me sometimes seems smarter than some people, no offense to the human race.
    1. Vend
      Vend 7 October 2015 09: 51
      Well here is a wonderful story for the cartoon. And the children will be interested, and Ichtoria
      1. Dessa
        Dessa 7 October 2015 11: 14
        there is such a cartoon
        1. Vend
          Vend 7 October 2015 11: 32
          Quote: Dessa
          there is such a cartoon
          Well this is one mockery, not a cartoon. You can make a beautiful colorful meter, with catchy characters. So that children are delayed. Although the initiative is laudable.
    2. veteran66
      veteran66 7 October 2015 12: 53
      Quote: aszzz888
      Good and touching article.

      I read this twenty years ago, only there was talking about red cats, and when the wagon with the cats arrived at the station, no one dared to open it for a long time, it would have been such a scream from the wagon that it was just scary. They found a way out: we drove up to the car in a lorry and took off the bolt with a long pole and this bunch of hungry cats rushed into the city .... well, hereinafter)))
  2. Rigla
    Rigla 7 October 2015 06: 54
    I read it with interest, I think I'm not alone.
    1. Mareman Vasilich
      Mareman Vasilich 7 October 2015 09: 24
      Right This is a very interesting article. People in besieged Leningrad were so determined to fight that even cats and dogs felt these emotions and helped.
  3. Volga Cossack
    Volga Cossack 7 October 2015 07: 44
    Good article. even warmed up on the Soul! Thank!!!
  4. zoknyay82
    zoknyay82 7 October 2015 07: 45
    "Discharge from the Yaroslavl region and deliver smoked cats to Leningrad." Against the Yaroslavl kote, the disputes are correct, but there was information about the importation of the Kazan Pied Piper into the blockade — they are the very best. There was material about a Cat who fed seven captured rats, which saved him from starvation. Russia is such a country- if war- everyone gets up, even kote! :-)
  5. inkass_98
    inkass_98 7 October 2015 08: 34
    As a child, I read about how cats brought Rome Leningrad saved. And on the other hand - honor and praise to the sanitary and epidemiological services, which in a city without water and sewage did not allow epidemics. The same rats could drag such an epidemic of the plague that no shelling would be needed - how much does an exhausted body need ...
  6. parusnik
    parusnik 7 October 2015 09: 28
    about a ginger-hearing cat who settled with an anti-aircraft battery near Leningrad and very accurately predicted enemy air raids. All as one ... against the enemy ... even cats ... Thank you, more ...
  7. Georg Shep
    Georg Shep 7 October 2015 09: 53
    Cats - guys fighting and Peter appreciated it.
  8. The comment was deleted.
  9. Mazadrive
    Mazadrive 7 October 2015 10: 02
    I shed a tear ... soldier
  10. Gomunkul
    Gomunkul 7 October 2015 10: 12
    The recollection of the townswoman Kira Loginova has survived: “The darkness of rats, in long lines headed by their leaders, moved along the Shlisserburg tract (now Obukhovskaya defense avenue) directly to the mill, where flour was ground for the whole city. It was an organized, intelligent and cruel enemy. ”...
    Thanks to the author for the article, but such a description confused me and I decided to study the topic a little deeper, that's what I managed to find on the Internet, if someone becomes like me and I’m interested in the link to the whole article below:
    Everything was during the war, everything was eaten in the besieged Leningrad, including dogs, cats, birds, rats and people. This is a bitter truth, you need to know it, remember the feat of the city, there were stories to tell, but not fairy tales. The tale does not embellish anyone's merits, and there is simply nothing to embellish here - the beauty of Leningrad is the suffering of those who did not survive, those who survived in spite of everything, those who gave the city all their strength and thoughts to live. This bitter truth of Leningraders for a new generation. And, believe me, they, the survivors, are not ashamed, but do not write blockade stories mixed with the tales of Hoffmann and Selma Lagerlöf
  11. Russian jacket
    Russian jacket 7 October 2015 10: 13
    Even the cats fought .. And they are trying to take this country into a fright? ....
  12. anfreezer
    anfreezer 7 October 2015 10: 24
    Thank you for the article! I learned new things for myself ... hi
  13. Dessa
    Dessa 7 October 2015 10: 36
    No one has ever cited any evidence of this "cat assault from Yaroslavl" except for the same text copied since 2008. And they began to copy it after the release of the competitive cartoon - it is on YouTube. And nobody found the resolution of the Leningrad City Council.

    From the history of the cat monument (which is given as an illustration to the post). The cat monument in St. Petersburg was erected on Malaya Sadovaya on January 25, 2000 at the initiative of the St. Petersburg businessman Ilya Botka. It was originally called the "Good Cat" Monument. A little later, a "friend" for the Good Cat appeared at the next house. They began to be called Elisha and Vasilisa. Much later, after 2008, when a cartoon about the Yaroslavl cats was released, they began to write in the annotations to these monuments that it was a monument to the Yaroslavl cats or just the blockade cats. This is how urban legends are born.
  14. Dessa
    Dessa 7 October 2015 10: 55
    Get well. The question about the unknown “four-legged savior of gray color, which was brought in a special train to the besieged Leningrad” was raised at one time in one of the games “What? Where? When?" And during the spring school holidays of 2003, the All-Russian Festival of video and animation films made by schoolchildren was held in St. Petersburg. And the first place at the festival was given to a cartoon created by young Yaroslavl animators, which was called: "The Tale of how Yaroslavl cats saved Leningrad." And it told how patriotic cats during the war in orderly columns traveled from Yaroslavl to Leningrad to save the city from the invasion of rats. And the red-haired and mustachioed leader Vaska remained in the city on the Neva for permanent residence. So in the minds of young Yaroslavl lives and thrives the legend of savior cats.
    In fact, the rat invasion in Leningrad has been fought for more than one year. In his memoirs, Fyodor Isaakovich Mashansky, head of the city department of Leningrad in 1942–1944, writes that hordes of rats became one of the worst disasters in the winter of 1941/42. Especially suffering from them were starving children and old people. Of course, no cats or dogs were left in the city by this time - those who had not died and left had been eaten. Rats not only destroyed the already scarce food supplies, they were also potential carriers of the plague - carriers of plague fleas. Rats were caught, they even tried to poison, but soon these attempts were abandoned - so as not to poison people (they also ate rats if they managed to catch them). And then the sanitary doctors used the well-known method: captured rats were infected with rat typhus, which is dangerous only for animals, and released into the population. In general, the work of the medical and sanitary services of besieged Leningrad deserves special attention: in history there are many examples when fortresses
    and cities handed over because of epidemics. Leningrad managed to avoid this.
    1. Sofia
      7 October 2015 11: 06
      You are not right in everything. The story of the Yaroslavl cats became known to me not from the Internet; there I only found confirmation of this. She was told to me, first of all, by Antonina Alexandrovna Karpova, who for a long time worked as a director at the Lipetsk school 29, and the main Leningradka herself. And I wrote separately about her text. Therefore, the story of a mustache landing is not a legend. The work of the sanitary services of Leningrad really deserves special attention, but cats cannot be discounted. You should have seen Karpov crying (Eliseeva, when she was a girl), when she talked about how they met the train with the cats ...
      1. Dessa
        Dessa 7 October 2015 11: 23
        Do not be offended only, but "a decree signed by the chairman of the Leningrad City Council on the need to" write out smoky cats from the Yaroslavl region and deliver to Leningrad "- that's where it comes from?
        Kotov was imported after the blockade, and dogs were imported - gradually, not by trains, of course, but in large quantities. Anyone who has ever seen at least 70 cats together at one time can imagine what a train of cats is, how to care for them, how to accompany them. It is simply not possible. Here is just a legend - real facts, embellished and simplified.
        1. Sofia
          7 October 2015 13: 08
          No, what is there to be offended that you are. I can’t say anything more about the resolution, but there really was a wagon of cats. Why a respected person, a teacher, a historian, by the way, would I lie?
    2. Nikolaevich I
      Nikolaevich I 7 October 2015 13: 09
      Quote: Dessa
      In general, the work of the medical and sanitary services of besieged Leningrad deserves special attention: in history there are many examples when fortresses
      and cities handed over because of epidemics. Leningrad managed to avoid this.

      Well said! And rightly so! hi soldier
  15. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 7 October 2015 11: 10
    Thank you very much for the article, Sophia !!! I really liked it, like your other articles.
  16. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 7 October 2015 11: 40
    Cats, as pets and as deities are in the paintings of many great artists!
    Cats were considered Holy Animals by: Orthodox; Muslims; Buddhists; Ancient
    Egyptians, Aztecs, Mayans and even early Catholics !!! Protestants baptize cats living in Protestant families and believe that this alone is for furry meows --- an automatic "pass" to Paradise!
    And how the genius of beautiful women and the black cats (that is, the most genetically strong) staged a medieval geyrope, then soon 1/3 of the population died of the plague! Moreover, the peak fell on 1666 !!! New Testament, in the Revelation of John the Theologian ??? And not about the whole world, but only about Europe ???
    Also read that the Ancient Greeks secretly exported Cats from Egypt under the threat of death !!!
  17. Unclean
    Unclean 7 October 2015 12: 17
    This story about a mustached army was told to us at school. Already takes a soul. Correctly one Fritz said about us: how can we fight with them, even if their children are at war. The bastard didn’t know that the Cats also fought with the enemy. I would have found out, as if I had shot myself. Know ours!
  18. 31rus
    31rus 7 October 2015 12: 27
    An interesting and instructive article, thanks!
  19. Free wind
    Free wind 7 October 2015 14: 47
    Interesting of course. But from the memoirs of the Soviet writer Vadim Shefner, not a quote of course. After being wounded in about 45-46, I don’t remember exactly, he visited the Leningrad Zoo, in a glazed aviary, there was a cat, the inscription read, a domestic cat, children invariably crowded around this aviary and looked at this once ordinary animal. after 1949 this cage disappeared from the zoo. They probably imported the kitty, but of course they could not cope with the rats. There are of course amazing stories about siege cats.
  20. Reptiloid
    Reptiloid 7 October 2015 15: 56
    I believe that Cats are unearthly, magical creatures. There is a saying "Cats have 9 lives." Maybe this is so, but the fact remains: cat lives are much shorter than human lives.
    Soon already 2 years since my smart, beautiful black cat left, he was such a good friend!
  21. Anatoly_1959
    Anatoly_1959 7 October 2015 16: 45
    Sorry, I don’t understand something: we ate cats and dogs, and countless rats continued to walk freely around the city. But this is meat! No worse than the squirrels that I personally ate. I can’t believe that when every calorie was a salvation no one hunted rats, which, judging by the descriptions, directly ran into barbecue. By the way, now it is quite ordinary food in Asia and Latin America.
  22. TOR2
    TOR2 7 October 2015 20: 48
    Throughout history, cats have always been treated well in our country, which cannot be said about Gayrope. In 1699. cats began to be identified with witches for their silent movement, love of night walks, glowing eyes. Wise heroes exterminated 90% of all cats and the result was not long in coming. Several terrible epidemics caused by the invasion of rats and mice have thoroughly "wiped out" the old continent. Having come to their senses, cats began to be massively imported from all over the world. In England, they even issued a decree on the basis of which all ships must have at least 2 cats. Otherwise, the captain of a civilian vessel would face a large fine and a military penalty.
  23. akm8226
    akm8226 7 October 2015 23: 43
    Just in tears. There is a story about the cat Vaska.
  24. akm8226
    akm8226 7 October 2015 23: 45
    My grandmother always said that she and my mother survived a heavy blockade and hunger only thanks to our cat Vaska. “If not for this red-headed bully, ... my daughter and I would have starved to death like many others.”

    Every day Vaska went hunting and dragged mice or even a big fat rat. Grandma gutted the mice and cooked a stew of them. And from the rat turned out to be a good goulash. At the same time, the cat always sat nearby and waited for food, and at night all three lay under one blanket and he warmed them with his heat. He felt the bombing much earlier than the air raid was announced, he began to spin and meow plaintively, his grandmother managed to collect things, water, mother, a cat and run out of the house. When they fled to the shelter, they dragged him along as a member of the family and watched as if they would take him away and eat him.

    The hunger was terrible. Vaska was hungry like everyone and skinny. All winter until spring, my grandmother collected crumbs for birds, and from spring they went hunting with a cat. Grandmother rained crumbs and sat in ambush with Vaska, his jump was always surprisingly accurate and quick. Vaska was starving with us and he did not have enough strength to hold the bird. He grabbed a bird, and grandmother ran out of the bushes and helped him. So from spring to autumn they also ate birds.

    When the blockade was lifted and more food appeared, and even after the war, the grandmother always gave the cat the best piece. I caressed it tenderly, saying - you are our breadwinner.

    Vaska died in 1949, his grandmother buried him in a cemetery, and so that the grave would not be trampled, she put a cross and wrote Vasily Bugrov. Then, next to the cat, my mother put my grandmother, and then I buried my mother there too.

    So all three are lying behind one fence, as once in the war under one blanket.
    1. Mista_dj
      Mista_dj 13 October 2015 22: 43
      I'm in shock ...
      Thanks you!
  25. Vivat
    Vivat 10 October 2015 10: 29
    Thank you so much! Some kind of bright article turned out, even shed a tear.
  26. Mista_dj
    Mista_dj 13 October 2015 22: 42
    Of course, since childhood I heard a lot about the blockade, but the article is also in kamenty: the stories of the survivors of the blockade are in general, something beyond, beyond understanding ...
    Thanks for the article, plused from the heart!