Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Tuesday, January 20, 2004

This is coolbert: Follow-up to my previous post about the Red Armies penal battalions. Suvorov makes this extraordinary claim about the officers that are in the command staff of a penal battalion. The officers of the command staff would receive seven times the pay of an officer of the same rank in a conventional unit!! Not only that, but for each year of service in a penal battalion command staff, the officer would be credited with seven years of service toward pension!! These officers were NKVD (forerunner to the KGB). Called blue caps for the blue bands they wore on their visored caps (these are the guys shown in the movie "Enemy At The Gates")

In peacetime, in the old Soviet Union, condemned criminals were also put to good work in useful socialist duties. Suvorov makes claims that for westerners find hard to comprehend by our standards. Such as that in a typical year in the Soviet system, about two to three thousand persons were condemned to death. Of this number, about half were immediately executed. The rest were put to work on useful socialist labor projects. What were these projects? Cleaning the reactors of nuclear submarines, fitting the warheads on ICBM's, working in uranium mines, etc. Dirty, dangerous jobs that no one else wanted to do, but had to be done. And in the process, if the condemned have their hair and teeth fall out for some strange reason (radioactive poisoning), well, too bad. And a certain small percentage of the condemned are put to use in another useful activity, that of being a puppet. More on that later.



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