Fate of a Soviet Officer, Senior Lieutenant Zubarev

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Jeff Leach
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Fate of a Soviet Officer, Senior Lieutenant Zubarev

Post by Jeff Leach » 03 Sep 2019 19:12

I can across the following sentence and could use some help desiphering it

Раненых: спеднего v (ч-2) Старший лейтенант ЗУБАРЕВ КП-М 528СП по причине трусости (ЦАМО ф.943 оп.1 д.5 лл.18 (point г2.))

its say (I think), 'Wounded: Senior Lieutenant Zubarev of the 528th Rifle Regiment convicted of cowardice'. Uncertain what (ч-2) or КП-М means. Why is he listed under 'wounded'?

Lieutenant Zubarev was arrested a few days earlier when he fled the field of battle and the gun platoon under his command lost all his weapon. This was during the Brandenburgers failed surprise attack on the railroad bridge at Mogilev-Polod'skij (07 July 1941). When looking up the reference for the above statement, I noticed it was Ivan Ivanovič Starčak of the 1st battalion 664th Rifle Regiment (both regiments from the 130th Rifle Division) who was arrested for fleeing the battle and losing his guns (ЦАМО ф.943 оп.1 д.5 лл.31 (point 3.)). Given that this was the only combat in the area and that the 1st battalion 664th Rifle Regiment was guarding the south end railroad bridge and the 528th Rifle Regiment was guarding the north end. Senior Lieutenant Zubarev was most likely also involved in the battle.

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Re: Fate of a Soviet Officer, Senior Lieutenant Zubarev

Post by Art » 03 Sep 2019 19:19

Could you post an original document or a link to it?

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Re: Fate of a Soviet Officer, Senior Lieutenant Zubarev

Post by Jeff Leach » 03 Sep 2019 19:43

I have looked through the records of the 55th Rifle Corps and 130th Rifle Division (also no records) and haven't found any other mention. Reports of officers being sent to military tribunals are not all that rare (but by no means common). Cowardice is the most common charge but I did see one case where a soldier, who didn't understand Russian, killed his commanding officer instead of going into combat.

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Re: Fate of a Soviet Officer, Senior Lieutenant Zubarev

Post by Art » 03 Sep 2019 20:04

From obd-memorial.ru jr.lieutenant Pyotr Petrovich Zubarev (b.1916), commander of a rifle company/528 Rifle Regiment is listed as missing in action on 21.08.1941. I would be rather unlikely to have two officers with the same surname in this regiment, so I believe he is our guy.

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Re: Fate of a Soviet Officer, Senior Lieutenant Zubarev

Post by Art » 03 Sep 2019 20:09

Ivan Ivanovich Starchak (b.1921), deputy battery commander in the 215 Anti-tank Battalion/130 Rifle Division is also listed as missing in action in September 1941.

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Re: Fate of a Soviet Officer, Senior Lieutenant Zubarev

Post by Jeff Leach » 04 Sep 2019 09:00

I find it interesting that both officers (especially Starchak) survived the charges against them. Perhaps, the charges against them were found to be exaggerated/untrue. Other primary sources (mainly prisoner reports) and many secondary sources make Soviet military justice sound really draconian. One prisoner report claimed that the 14th Rifle Corps had executed 1000+ soldiers by July 1941 (hopefully a very exaggerated number).

Are there any Russian books or articles that give a balanced view of Soviet military justice during WWII?

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Re: Fate of a Soviet Officer, Senior Lieutenant Zubarev

Post by Art » 04 Sep 2019 12:56

Most part of sentences were de facto conditional and didn't mean actual executions or jail terms.
viewtopic.php?p=2152006#p2152006
So yes, a man could be sentenced by a tribunal, but return to his unit. Or probably the charges were dropped without actual hearings.

I would take interrogation of POWs with much grain of salt. According to a list submitted by a military tribunal of the 9 Army it sentenced 218 men to death or actual jail terms from 22.6 to 31.12.41. Military tribunal of the 35 Rifle Corps - 39 until mid-July, military tribunal of the 48 Rifle Corps - 179 until mid-August. Military tribunals of divisions were not yet established in July IIRC. Can't find a list for the 14 Rifle Corps, but its unlikely that numbers would be different from other tribunals.

On a grand scale Soviet military tribunals sentenced well over 100 000 military personnel (there are precise general stats, but they don't differentiate between military personnel and civilians) until the end of 1941. But at least a half of sentences were conditional, as explained above.

For a book on the subject see Zvyagintsev:
https://www.ozon.ru/context/detail/id/2696917/
It was available online, as I remember.

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