22 Comments

  1. Guerrilla warfare in Soviet territories and parts of Eastern Europe occupied by the Germans was widespread, unrelenting and brutal, with little quarter given or asked by both sides. Even today here in the West, these campaigns, and their very human stories, have not received as much historical attention as they deserve.

  2. Great photo. We have three K98s and a Mosin (maybe an M38 from its length), but what’s that gal in the center got? It’s got an odd little bayonet lug.

    Also on the left and right tovarischka are stick grenades. These are RGD-33s which were designed by Degtyaryev of DP/DPM, DP-39, DShK fame.

    • The center rifle looks like a Belgian Mauser 1889.

      My first thought was that it could be a Gewehr 1888, but these have the bayonet lug on the side, as well as a bigger space between the barrel rings. Then again, Turkey did a lot of modifications to them, so I guess it isn’t impossible that it could be a modified 1888.

  3. As much as subjects are armaments, it is hard to avoid in-appropriate (oh, those fore-fronts….) comment. I wonder if they wore these smiles during the action!

    Noo chtozh devochki, noozhno vayevat’!

  4. I wonder how many of them went to the wall when they weren’t useful anymore. Uncle Joe had a bad habit of treating yesterday’s heroes as today’s enemies.

  5. Soviet propoganda shots are ubiquitous. My personal favourite is one of a ZIS 3 antitank gun operating out on the naked steppe…no camo, no earthworks, no nothing!…just a target for the Wehrmacht or Luftwaffe.
    Guerilla fighters with clean clothes? I don’t think there was much resistance in the Crimea after Manstein swept it clean in 1942.

    • Interesting observations.

      However, if I may say so, not all the photographs one sees were part of this ubiquitous landscape. Some that were passed by the propaganda censors actually depicted the reality on the ground for what it was, while other photographs are candid portrayals that, for one reason or the other, evaded the State’s approval process.

      While it is true that many guerillas live and work in conditions that are extremely difficult, it is not true that just because a guerilla appears in clean and reasonably intact clothing that he/she cannot be bona fide. Like most people, guerillas of any stripe would prefer to stay clean and be properly dressed if they can manage it, and it is safe to say that a good many of them, at least during more recent wars, have been able to do this to some degree, depending on time and circumstances.

    • While there are many who would agree with you, there are just as many other equally-qualified gun users who would respectfully disagree.

    • A good reason to use a Mosin was to allow the use of the 7.62×25 pistol bullet to create a ‘cat sneeze’ round. They pulled the bullet from the 7.62x54r cartridge and dumped the powder. That bullet was replaced by a 7.62×25 bullet and a fast burning powder.

      Made for a quiet gun when desired.

    • Guerillas, past and present, dress in whatever is available and appropriate, often including parts of both their ally’s and the enemy’s garb and gear. Therefore, it would not be surprising if the women in the photograph above were dressed in mostly Russian-type uniforms and headgear, but were still bona fide guerillas and not part of the regular Soviet Army.

  6. I agree 100%

    “Thomas Kerr

    July 20, 2013 at 11:13 am · Reply

    Soviet propaganda shots are ubiquitous. My personal favorite is one of a ZIS 3 antitank gun operating out on the naked steppe…no camo, no earthworks, no nothing!…just a target for the Wehrmacht or Luftwaffe.
    Guerilla fighters with clean clothes? I don’t think there was much resistance in the Crimea after Manstein swept it clean in 1942
    .

  7. French resistance did not exist, is a myth. Throughout the war is true that there were plenty of French people revolted against the Nazis, but were arrested immediately after committing his first action. As in all the occupied territories. The Allies signed a treaty that for any military mission in a territory had to be exiled government permission that territory. Train and sponsor groups and even military operations are banned by all the allied governments, justifying it all the Nazis could avenge in the population. The only army that fought against the Nazis really was the Red Army, also communists, trade unionists and republicans in each country, the Zionist army, and four people from each country who really had the ideals of defeating the worst genocide in history. Only when they saw that the Red Army was about to defeat Hitler ran like rabbits to get to Berlin. For nearly four years of war prohibited Was the war in the Western Europe.
    Sorry my English.

  8. About the ”myth” and the ”non-fighters”:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maquis_%28World_War_II%29

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Maquis_des_Gli%C3%A8res

    – “On mainland France itself, in the wake of the D-Day landings in Normandy in June 1944, the FFI and the communist fighting groups FTP, theoretically unified under the command of General Pierre Kœnig,fought alongside the Allies to free the rest of France. Several color-coded plans were co-ordinated for sabotage, most importantly Plan Vert (Green) for railways, Plan Bleu (Blue) for power installations and Plan Violet (Purple) for telecommunications. To complement these missions, smaller plans were drafted: Plan Rouge (Red) for German ammunition depots, Plan Jaune (Yellow) for German command posts, Plan Noir (Black) for German fuel depots and Plan Tortue (Tortoise) for road traffic. Their paralysis of German infrastructure is widely thought to have been very effective.”

    (from: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/French_Resistance#Sabotage )

    I use wikipedia A) because I’m away of more serious sources and I have no much time to devote to this, b) to prove that even something as basic and simplistic as Wiki have some information about this subject.

    Resistance movements and partisans movements are not the same thing and of course I’m not saying that partisans in France or Northern Italy have the same effectivity on allied victory that those of the Balkans and eastern Soviet Union, areas much more adequate to this type of fighting and with people who have small wars fighting in their culture…

    • Dear Flak,
      Do not be ashamed to cite wikipedia. It is NOT simplistic and basic and several independent studies have shown that it is more accurate than Britannica etc. If in doubt, click a small tag in the upper right frame of the article labelled ‘history’. If the history is only 5 or 6 deep. beware. But if the history contains 50 or so revisions, well the article is probably pretty right.

      That said, the ‘pretty right’ is the ‘accepted’ wisdom and is usually right – oh 95% of the time.
      But it is fun to explore alternative sites. For instance, I suspect that you might find different answers for the first self loading rifle. A Wiki article which I have just skimmed doesn’t even mention the Mexican Mondragon. For that we have sites like forgotten weapons!

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