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

Saturday, November 24, 2007

The Motti.

This is coolbert:

Here is a web site that tells you everything you need to know about the Finnish motti.

That tactic of the Finns peculiar [?] to the Winter War of 1940 that resulted in repeated catastrophic losses for the attacking Soviet forces.

Of particular interest is the series of entries from a diary of a Soviet officer [?] who found himself trapped with other Soviet soldiers in a besieged motti.

A lot of reference is made to eating horse meat, consuming horse soup, AND NOT BEING ABLE TO GO TO THE BATHROOM. Of course, when I say BATHROOM, there was no bathroom. Those trapped Soviet soldiers could not even "relieve" themselves with an ordinary bowel movement. Became constipated. This was and is a serious problem in winter warfare, especially under arctic conditions. Many troops are in the habit of constipating themselves as the very act of "relieving" yourself is painful and requires an arduous effort just to disrobe and find a convenient place "to go".

In a situation such as must have existed WITHIN the motti itself, the difficulty in finding a "place to go" were severely compounded. Pinned down constantly, beset by Finnish snipers, subject at any moment to attack, extreme cold, bad or non-existent diet, all of this contributed to constipate the Soviet troops, reducing their effectiveness that much more.

"Life in a Motti"

"In order to give some idea how the life in the Motti's (on the Soviet side) was, I [the author of the web site] decided to include some sections of a diary, found after the battles around East Lemetti . . . I have shortened the text considerably from the text I found in a Finnish source "Suomi Taisteli osa 2, p.146-151". Note also that this text is my "own" translation, which is most likely quite different, if compared to any possible more "official" translation. The diary was written on a notebook, so the actions after Feb 8th are unknown.

"February 2nd"

"7.00 am, southern sector. It's particularly cold this morning, nearly -35 °C. It will be a clear sky today. I woke and got up at 0500 hrs, being unable to sleep due to the cold . . . At the evening I sent the arrested and death sentenced Moltskov to ...(the word was too smeared to be read) . . .I haven't shit since Jan 25th."

"February 4th"

"I ate some thin soup, which had a scent of beans. I drank it mixed with tea. It's the food like this, what is responsible to the fact that I haven't been able to shit for days."

"February 6th"

I filled myself with tea, and had to run out to "relieve" myself . . . My health is deteriorating. Dinner is still 2 hours away, so I'm going to get some sleep. I managed to shit today."

A number of years ago, the U.S. Army published a cartoon-like Winter Warfare manual for troops that might find themselves in the Arctic environment. Gave a lot of good tips for surviving and thriving in the winter of the far north. ONE OF THESE TIPS WAS - - "KEEP IN REGULAR!!" Meaning bowel movement on a regular basis!




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