Soviet Construction Troops.

Discussions on all aspects of the USSR, from the Russian Civil War till the end of the Great Patriotic War and the war against Japan. Hosted by Art.
Eric13051966
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Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by Eric13051966 » 03 Mar 2020 20:42

Good day.😙

Is there something known about Soviet Construction
Forces or other work Troops in WW2.
What i know is that there are special staff at army and
Front level and there are bataillons.
How about civilians and captured Prisners?.
About the organisation and what was there Strenght.


With Regards,
Kay😥

Art
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Re: Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by Art » 03 Mar 2020 22:42

Many different elements could be involved in construction of some kind. You're better to describe a particular point of interest: where, when, who.

Eric13051966
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Re: Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by Eric13051966 » 04 Mar 2020 04:16

Hi,

What of type of construction units where there and there strenght.
The organization of construction units.


With Regards,
Kay.

Art
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Re: Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by Art » 04 Mar 2020 11:51

Again, some sort of clarification is needed: what type of construction. Barracks, depots and other military infrastructure, fortifications, roads, bridges, signal lines, railroads, airfields? There were handled by different bodies with varying organization and could involve military, civilian and intermediate workforce and also inmates. The whole story throughout 30-40s is to vast too describe it briefly, so exact period of interest of interest would be helpful.

If you talk about "special staff at army and Front level" then they were busy mostly with fortification construction. Some brief account can be found in "Colossus reborn" by David Glantz.

Eric13051966
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Re: Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by Eric13051966 » 04 Mar 2020 21:09

The one working on the ditches and fortifications for the period 1941-43.How where they organized?
Every information is welcome.

Art
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Re: Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by Art » 05 Mar 2020 16:49

It is easier to start from an end. In the 2nd half of 1942 - 1943 construction of fortified positions in rear areas was managed by Main Directorate of Defense Construction (GUOS) subordinated to the Red Army's Commander of Engineers. This directorate controlled several tens of UOS (Defense Construction HQs). Some of them were operationally subordinated to fronts and some were directly subordinated to the GUOS. Each UOS controlled several smaller staffs called UVPS (Military Field Construction HQs), in addition there were also separate UVPS. Those were staffs whose task was planning and management. The physical work was made by semi-military labor unit called construction columns (before August 1943) or military construction detachments. Regardless of the name they were battalion-sized units with an authorized strength of 1000-1200 men. A column or detachment had a small command cadre of officers. The bulk of the personnel, however, were somewhere between civilians and regular military personnel by their legal status. By mid 1943 there were 173 construction columns, by the year's end - 190 military construction detachments with 89 000 actual strength in January 1944. They were aided by a number of motor and horse transport and heavy mechanized detachments.
In addition to dedicated construction units UOS and UVPS also routinely employed pressed civilians or military units. Finally, besides fortification these bodies could be employed on construction and repair of roads and bridges, mine clearance and other secondary missions.

Eric13051966
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Re: Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by Eric13051966 » 05 Mar 2020 22:29

Thanks Art.
👍

Kelvin
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Re: Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by Kelvin » 06 Mar 2020 09:26

Art wrote:
05 Mar 2020 16:49
It is easier to start from an end. In the 2nd half of 1942 - 1943 construction of fortified positions in rear areas was managed by Main Directorate of Defense Construction (GUOS) subordinated to the Red Army's Commander of Engineers. This directorate controlled several tens of UOS (Defense Construction HQs). Some of them were operationally subordinated to fronts and some were directly subordinated to the GUOS. Each UOS controlled several smaller staffs called UVPS (Military Field Construction HQs), in addition there were also separate UVPS. Those were staffs whose task was planning and management. The physical work was made by semi-military labor unit called construction columns (before August 1943) or military construction detachments. Regardless of the name they were battalion-sized units with an authorized strength of 1000-1200 men. A column or detachment had a small command cadre of officers. The bulk of the personnel, however, were somewhere between civilians and regular military personnel by their legal status. By mid 1943 there were 173 construction columns, by the year's end - 190 military construction detachments with 89 000 actual strength in January 1944. They were aided by a number of motor and horse transport and heavy mechanized detachments.
In addition to dedicated construction units UOS and UVPS also routinely employed pressed civilians or military units. Finally, besides fortification these bodies could be employed on construction and repair of roads and bridges, mine clearance and other secondary missions.
Dear Art,
I would like to ask 164th and 524th Work battalions under SW Front in Sept 1941 in Kiev, is also mean construction battalion ? And what Kind of work they done ? Airfield, or something ? Thank

Art
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Re: Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by Art » 07 Mar 2020 12:53

I don't know what they were doing. I strongly suspect that they wee building fortifications as well.

Kelvin
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Re: Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by Kelvin » 08 Mar 2020 12:31

Art wrote:
07 Mar 2020 12:53
I don't know what they were doing. I strongly suspect that they wee building fortifications as well.
Hello, Art, thank again.

Eric13051966
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Re: Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by Eric13051966 » 08 Mar 2020 21:20

Hi Art,

Are there also construction units for rebuilding cities and factories?
What was there structure and strenght?

Thanks.

Art
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Re: Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by Art » 10 Mar 2020 22:16

There was a huge number of conscripted personnel operating as workforce under control civil agencies as "labor columns" or "construction columns" or "labor battalions". However, they were not a part military, neither they were under military control.

Eric13051966
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Re: Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by Eric13051966 » 17 Apr 2020 16:54

Hi to come back on the subject.

My question is are soviet sapper units the same as Construction
Units. They stay not for long Sapper Armies.

Found on Wiki.
A Sapper Army (Russian: сапёрная армия) was a multi-brigade military construction engineerformation organized by the Soviet Union's Red Armyduring World War II. Formed to construct large-scale defensive works

Sapper armies were made up of two to four sapper brigades. A sapper brigade controlled 19 sapper battalions, each with three companies of four platoons. Sapper battalions had an authorized strength of 497 men.

Is there a more specif order of battle for Sapper Armies,are there
more units attached to them?

Have a good weekend.

GregSingh
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Re: Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by GregSingh » 18 Apr 2020 06:12

Russian version of that wiki page you mentioned shows which brigades were part of all 10 armies.
Once you have this you can search on https://pamyat-naroda.ru.
There are some documents from brigades and battalions, all in handwritten Russian...

Here are some examples which actually list all their sub-units.
War diary of 17th Sapper brigade (part of 6th Sapper Army)
War diary of 18th Sapper brigade (part of 6th Sapper Army)
If we become increasingly humble about how little we know, we may be more eager to search.

Eric13051966
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Re: Soviet Construction Troops.

Post by Eric13051966 » 19 Apr 2020 18:54

Thanks GregSingh for the info👍

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