foreigners serving in the red army

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TL
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Foreigners in the Red Army

Post by TL » 06 Oct 2002 12:14

Hello everyone!

My Estonian grandfather was forced to fight in the Red Army. Unfortunately he was doing his military service in the armed forces of Estonia when the Soviet Union "took over". He was sent to Vorkuta to be "re-educated", after which his emaciated person was sent to the front. He fought around Velikiye Luki and was lightly wounded a couple of times (shrapnel wounds etc.), but survived the war with the rank of lieutenant.

He always despised the Russians for numerous reasons and did not seem to be a least bit proud about his time in the Red Army...

Have a nice day,

TL

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 06 Oct 2002 13:12

Romulus wrote: There was a french fighter squadron who fought for Russia whos name was "Normadie-Niemen" or something


On 19 January 1942, De Gaulle proposed to Stalin to send some pilots and technicians to fight on the Eastern Front. The offer was of course accepted.

On 1 September 1942, at Rayak, in Lebanon, was formed GC 3 (Groupe de Chasse 3=3rd Fighter Group), later renamed GC Normandie, under the command of cdt. (Maj.) Joseph-Marie Pouliquen. It had 11 pilots and 47 ground personnel. They arrived at the training base at Ivanovo (250 km NE Moscow) in early 43 and started to fly on the Yak-1M. On 22 March 1943, the 14 Yaks of the Normandie squadron arrived on the front, subordinated to the 303rd Air Division/1st Air Army. In September 1943 they converted to the Yak-9Ts.
In the first year on the front (1943) they claimed 86 kills (77 confirmed+9 probable) and 16 enemy aircraft damaged. They lost 25 Yaks.
In January 1944, the group was reorganized as a regiment, with four squadrons. In July, flying the new Yak-3s, the French pilots reappeared on the front. In October, during the Soviet offensive in East Prussia, the regiment claimed 29 kills only in one day! At the end of 1944, 201 kills have been confirmed.
They continued to fight to the end of the war.
They had been credited with 273 confirmed kills, 37 probable kills, but lost 52 pilots and 87 aircraft of their own. They flew 5240 sorties and engaged in 869 dogfights. Four of its pilots became heroes of the SU and the unit received the Cross of the Legion of Honor, the Croix de Guerre, the Alexander Nevski and Red Banner Orders.

After the WWII, the Normandie-Niemen fought in Indochina in 1950-51 and then was transferred to Algeria and then to France (1962). It also took part in the Kossovo war.
Presently the EC 2/30 Normandie-Niemen has Mirage F1-CTs and is based on the BA-132 air base.

The Romanians in the Soviet Army

There were two Romanian "volunteer" divisions in the Red Army, recruited from POWs and with several Romanian communists as political officers. These men had to choose between a slow death in a Soviet POW camp or the chance to get home if they survive the war.

The first one was the Tudor Vladimirescu Division, which was organized like a Soviet rifle division. This unit was sent to the southern part of the front in the summer of 1944. Fortunately for them they did not see action against Romanian forces, because of the coup in August. After that they took part in the battles in NW Transylvania with the Hungarian and German troops, side by side with Romanian and Soviet units. They distinguished themselves in the battle of Debrecen, but suffered heavy casualties and were withdrew from the first line. The unit received the honorary title of "Debrecen".

The second one was the Horia, Closca si Crisan Division, but this finished reorganizing just as the war ended and did not see any action.

These two divisions were transferred to the Romanian army and used to create the new "people's army".

There were also many Romanians from Bessarabia which were drafted in the Soviet army before 1941 or in 1944, but I do not know in which units they served (except for the 141st Guards Rifle Division). Anyway they were considered Soviet citizens.

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Juha Hujanen
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Post by Juha Hujanen » 06 Oct 2002 16:49

Few better known Finns in Red Army.

Kalle Ahonen fought with reds in Finnish civil war and fled to SU.He went to Red Army and fought as Major in Winter War.Known as Karl Ottovits Ahonen he fought as Regiment commander against Germans and did rise to rank of Liutenant Colonel.He fought in Poland and in 23.2.45 he was mentioned in Stalins order of day for "liberation" of town Poznan.He was praised for crossing of Oder and battle of Berlin.

Walter Valli fought also with reds in Finnish civil war and fled to SU in 1922.He was chief of staff in IR126 but didn't saw action in Winter War.As Colonel he was commander of that Regiment in Continuation War.Late December 41 he commanted 1st Skibrigade but was relieved from this duty,when he refused to attack without recon.Under another commander brigade attacked and was decimated.Valli was called to relive it's remains.Brigade was refitted and named as 33th indepent Skibrigade.It did operate under Valli in Maaselän Isthmus as recon role.Valli was aid of Division in Murmansk 43 and in 44 he did command 30th indepent brigade in Svir river.Later he was aid of 71.Division commander in Baltic.

In 71.Division were lots of Finns and Karelians.Like it's commander Generalmajor Akseli Anttila,commander of IR126 Ivan Mikhailovits Petrov(alias Toivo Vähä) and his brotherVille Vainio who was Battalion commander.Captain Poikolainen was also Battalion commander.Captain Paavo Kataja was battalion commander in IR52/71.Division.
Ingrian(area around St.Petersburg,immigrated by Finns in 17th century) Pietari Tiikkiläinen did became first hero of SU in 7.Army.

These are best known Finns who fought in Red Army.

Regards Juha

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 06 Oct 2002 17:07

Victor,

Thanks for the interesting info on Normandie-Niemen.

/Marcus

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 06 Oct 2002 17:07

Juha,

Interesting info on those Finns, thanks.

/Marcus

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Victor
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Post by Victor » 06 Oct 2002 18:05

Marcus Wendel wrote:Victor,

Thanks for the interesting info on Normandie-Niemen.

/Marcus


Wasn't the info about the Romanians in the Red Army also interesting? :?

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Marcus
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Post by Marcus » 06 Oct 2002 19:35

Victor wrote:Wasn't the info about the Romanians in the Red Army also interesting? :?


It was interesting, but not new to me :-)

/Marcus

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Juha Tompuri
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Post by Juha Tompuri » 06 Oct 2002 20:35

Juha,
Also should be remembered the russian Army commander 2nd class Gröndahl (can`t just now remember his original first name), a finn who started his career at Imperial Russian Army. He changed his name to Vladimir Davidovitsh Grendal. At Winter War he had in the beginning 49.D and 150.D under his command at Taipale sector, later com of 13.A: nine inf div, nine artillery reg, two heavy artillery batt, a tank brig, two tank batt, five flight reg, a cavallery reg.

Juha

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Post by Davey Boy » 07 Oct 2002 08:48

My grandfather fought in the Red Army. But he was actually part of the Polish Red Army - the Polish People's Army. He was quite proud of that, even though the Soviets sent his entire family to Siberia. He was tank crew member and fought in the battle of Berlin. The Polish People's Army counted 50,000 + men.

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johnny_bi
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Post by johnny_bi » 07 Oct 2002 10:34

Proud while his family was sent to Siberia ? Kind a weird thing , isn't it ? What was the reason of his pride ?


BI

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Gott
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Post by Gott » 07 Oct 2002 10:56

Victor wrote:
Marcus Wendel wrote:Victor,

Thanks for the interesting info on Normandie-Niemen.

/Marcus


Wasn't the info about the Romanians in the Red Army also interesting? :?


its interesting and new to me, thanks! :D

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Korbius
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Post by Korbius » 11 Oct 2002 00:28

Well, there were albanian brigades who were fighting under the command of the Red Army, and my Grandpa happened to be in one of them. I also have some cool pics of that time, and as soon as I scan them, I'll post them.

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Gott
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Post by Gott » 11 Oct 2002 10:18

Korbius wrote:Well, there were albanian brigades who were fighting under the command of the Red Army, and my Grandpa happened to be in one of them. I also have some cool pics of that time, and as soon as I scan them, I'll post them.


I can't wait to see the pictures...

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Gott
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Post by Gott » 11 Oct 2002 10:21

Also, during the war, a lot of non-Russian, or to say, Siberian/Asiatic people served in the red army. how were they treated by their commanders as well as their Russian counterparts? I heard that it was them who did the looting and raping in Germany...

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Daniel L
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Post by Daniel L » 11 Oct 2002 12:35

I remember reading about an asian soldier in Berlin who took a watertap becuase he thought that this would mean that he always had water, I don't know if this is true and it sounds a bit rasistic. I think most russians saw these troops as pretty wild and uncivilised but I'm not certain on this.

In general I think that the siberian and mongolian troops had worse discipline than the front line troops of the red army. The russian commanders knew of the problems with rapes and looting but decided not to do anything about it since they thought that the germans deserved it.

regards

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