Bessarabians in the Soviet Army

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Jeff Leach
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Bessarabians in the Soviet Army

Post by Jeff Leach » 08 Oct 2019 08:49

I came across an interesting statement in a combat report from the 90th Rifle Regiment (95th Rifle Division)

На основании приказа командира корпуса от 08.07.41 за № 193/Ш о переходе в наступление с утра 08.07.41, ввиду опаздания получения этого приказа было решено 90th Rifle Regiment перейти в наступление с 14:00 08.07.41 с садачей: прикрываясь небольшой группой из бронемашин, танкеток вдоль шоссейной дороги от ВЫКОВЕЦ на НИСПОРЕНь охватывать пр-ка с флангов, двигающегося по шоссейной дороге НИСПОРЕНь, ВЫКОВЕЦ и 90th Rifle Regiment был отдан частный боевой приказ No. 15 от 08.07.41, но вследствие того, что полк не был еще освобожден от бессарабцев, командиру 90 СП майор ПЛАНИДИНА было разрешено наступления начать в 17:00 08.07.41.

...
бессарабцев, которые только вносили неорганизованность, панику и в отдельных случаях прямую измену.
...

ЦАМО ф.228 оп.701 д.237 лл.33-47 (found in the war diary of the 9th Army)

Roughly in English, "Corps Order No. 193/Š of 08 July, ordered the regiment to go over to the offensive during the morning of 08 July. The attack was postponed until 14:00 because the order was delayed in arriving at the regiment. The regiment was ordered to attack down the Bucovaţ – Nisporenii road, with small groups of armored cars and tanketts stationed along road to prevent enemy flanking maneuvers. The regimental commander, Major Planidin, was allowed to delay the attack until 17:00 because the regiment hadn’t finished removing Bessarabians from its units.

...
Bessarabians, who only caused disorganization, panic and in some cases acted treasonously.
..."

I was aware that the Soviet army forceably conscripted Bessarabians into the army after the war started and that these were placed in the rear area units (what I have seen it appears to be that units passing through an area would forceably conscripted farmers and their panje wagons along their route). I was unaware that the Bessarbians already in combat units were removed and placed elsewhere. This shouldn't be all that surprising because I have seen mentions in Soviet documents that the Bessarabians were quick to desert.

Does anyone have more information on this subject or know of any articles on the subject.

The comment about placing small groups of armored cars and tankettes (from the division reconnaissance battalion) along the route of advance to protect against enemy flanking actions is also interesting.

Art
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Re: Bessarabians in the Soviet Army

Post by Art » 08 Oct 2019 15:06

Some local initiative, most probably. See also the war diary of the 90 Rifle Division for additional details
I was aware that the Soviet army forceably conscripted Bessarabians
"voluntary conscription" is a sort of oxymoron. Here the same universal rules were applied as to other Soviet citizens. Military service was obligatory, deviators were punishable by law etc.
what I have seen it appears to be that units passing through an area would forceably conscripted farmers and their panje wagons along their route
Employment of civil labor and draft horses or wagons for military purposes was different from permanent mobilization and men and horses into the army. It was entirely legal in areas where military law was enacted. Worth to mention that already on 28 June the South Front ordered formation of about 100 civil labor battalions or them about 30 in Moldavia:
https://pamyat-naroda.ru/documents/view/?id=455034265

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