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"Narkomovskie 100 grams": Weapon of victory or "green serpent", disorganizing the army
"Narkomovskie 100 grams": Weapon of victory or "green serpent", disorganizing the army

It is difficult to judge the benefits of the "People's Commissar" 100 grams now, but this topic is still being discussed. Some historians believe that alcohol helped to endure the hardships of trench life, others that it contributed to unnecessary sacrifices due to dulling the sense of danger. Still others are of the opinion that the practice of consuming alcohol in military conditions did not have a significant meaning and did not have any noticeable effect on the soldier's life.

War under degrees, or when and why they began to give alcohol to military personnel during the Second World War

Alcohol in the Soviet army was given out until 1945

The official affix on the issue of alcohol to the soldiers of the active army was issued on August 22, 1941. It was called "On the introduction of vodka for supply in the active Red Army" and entered into force on September 1, 1941.

The introduction of alcohol into the diet of soldiers and officers who were on the front line pursued several goals at once. Firstly, it was done to relieve psychological stress in conditions of constantly high stress. Secondly, to dull the fear of Soviet soldiers in front of the enemy confidently advancing at that time. Thirdly, alcohol was considered as an anesthetic before possible injury: in this case, it was supposed to prevent pain shock and reduce physical suffering before providing first aid to a soldier. In addition, the distribution of alcohol was organized to prevent hypothermia of the personnel when the cold weather set in.

"Cognac" Three Buryaka "- to whom and how many grams of front-line was due

The issuance of 100 grams was resumed for everyone who was on the front line and fought

The criteria by which vodka was dispensed were variable and were revised several times during the war. This was done to tighten the regulations for the distribution of alcohol, in order to prevent abuse in its distribution, as well as to avoid unreasonable drunkenness in the front-line units.

So, initially, the rank and file and the commanding staff on the front line received 100 g of vodka daily. In May 1942, the mass dispensing of alcohol was suspended - only distinguished fighters began to reward them. At the same time, the alcohol rate was increased to two hundred daily grams. Servicemen without special merit were allowed to pour 100 g of vodka only on the days of national and revolutionary holidays - this tradition remained until the end of the war.

Since November 1942, due to the onset of cold weather, 100 grams of alcohol per serviceman began to receive units that were at the front lines of the front. The reserve units, the services responsible for the strategic support of the army, as well as the wounded in hospitals, were entitled to 50 g of vodka a day. Where the weather conditions were less severe, vodka was replaced by wine: for example, on the Transcaucasian front, soldiers were entitled to 300 g of table or 200 g of fortified wine.

In addition to the official norm of alcohol, moonshine was also used at the front, which they managed to get from the local population. Usually it was exchanged for German trophies or soldiers' uniforms. In the front-line units, homemade alcohol was called “Three Beetroot cognac”, since most often the “fiery drink” was made from the most accessible root crop at that time - beets.

In the army, "there are no non-drinkers, but there are no drunkards either" - were the "People's Commissars' 100 grams" good or bad?

A well-known fragment of the film "Only old men go to battle", where the Grasshopper asks to replace the compote with his legal 100 grams for the downed plane

Each soldier had his own attitude to alcohol at the front. Someone treated it as an obligation - took it to relieve fatigue and increase fighting spirit. Some drank for pleasure during the rare hours of rest, to relax or to awaken an appetite. And someone looked at vodka and drank comrades with dislike because of an innate disgust for such doping. The latter nevertheless remained in the minority, since the bulk of soldiers and officers in a combat situation really needed alcohol simply for psychological reasons.

The relatives of the front-line soldiers, who knew how things were with the use of vodka in the army, in letters often expressed fears about getting used to it. To which they usually received an answer, the essence of which can be characterized by the words of political instructor D. A. Abaev. from his message to his wife: “There are no non-drinkers here, but there are no drinkers either. And if there are such, then they are punished according to the laws of wartime, up to deprivation of rank, trial and execution. " And these words did not distort the truth, since there was neither time nor opportunity to abuse vodka on the front lines. The situation was different in some rear areas. So, according to the memoirs of Major General P.L. Pecheritsa, he repeatedly encountered cases of drunkenness in the home front service apparatus, as well as in military hospitals, where sometimes employees ignored their duties, organizing collective feasts.

How alcohol came to be featured as rewards and gifts for military personnel

In the front-line environment, moonshine appeared under the name "Cognac" Three Buryaka "

During the course of the war, alcohol began to be used as a reward for courage shown in battle or work in combat conditions. As a veteran from Kazakhstan, Vasily Georgievich Kulnev, who commanded a fire division in wartime, once, having woken up at night, he was summoned to the headquarters dugout. There, after the "Red Star" was solemnly attached to the shirt, a whole glass of vodka was brought to the young fighter. Vasily, who until that time had always given his hundred grams to distinguished subordinates, after a short confusion, had to drink a glass in one gulp - it would be insulting to refuse such an offering.

The same reward was received by the military driver D.I. Malyshev, when, under enemy fire, he actively helped to disassemble and evacuate the Pe-2 bomber from Grodno. After the work done, he and the senior of the group were awarded glasses of vodka and were awarded gratitude from the company commander, but not always such gifts were of an official nature and were given for military merit - sometimes servicemen received them from friends with whom they were in close contact. In the diary of the said driver, there is an episode when, during a month of relationship with a local woman, he almost daily drank "gift" moonshine. Often, women yearning for a man's shoulder presented their acquaintances with military personnel with cigarettes, wine or a small flask of medical alcohol.

What is permissible in wartime, in peacetime, can turn into a real plague. Even the actors of the Soviet theater and cinema suffered from alcoholism, losing everything.

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