The Russian army is very short of people and equipment, but what they really lack may be “political commissars”

Regarding the many “chaos” that appeared after the large-scale mobilization of the Russian army, and the lack of “Hala Shao” performance during this period, according to the explanation of Luhansk militia commander Andrei Maroch – we are not It’s fighting Ukraine, it’s fighting NATO.

There is some truth to this argument.

Over there, Ukraine can always continue to receive NATO equipment assistance, enjoy NATO personnel training, information-based intelligence support, and tactical guidance.

On the other hand, Russia here has encountered 7 consecutive rounds of sanctions and blockades from the entire Western world, and can only bear it on its own. In particular, the shortcomings of informatization make the Russian army appear blind and dumb in the face of the reconnaissance network composed of NATO satellites, early warning aircraft, drones, personal mobile phones, and monitoring equipment; in addition, the entire logistics scheduling of the Russian army is even more Can’t keep up with the changing rhythm of the battlefield.

But in addition to the hardware disadvantages, you have to admit that the Russian army seems to be lacking some spiritual things.

Of course, on the Ukrainian front line, the Russian army has also emerged a group of heroic deeds of putting their lives on grenades, sounding the “glorious bomb” and perishing with the enemy, as well as heroic grass-roots commanders who shouted “fire at me”.

For example, Captain Dennis Zorin in the picture below took the initiative to stay to cover the breakout of his comrades after encountering an ambush. When the cartridges ran out and there was nothing left to fight back, Captain Zorin deliberately lured the enemy forward and detonated himself with the last grenade.

Captain Denis Zorin was posthumously awarded the highest honor of the Russian Federation – the title “Hero of Russia” and the Order of the Gold Star

What is embarrassing is that, in addition to the heroic deeds that emerged among these professional soldiers, as the war continued, some unoptimistic situations in the Russian army were also exposed – a large number of mobilized recruits, no matter in spirit. Physically and materially, it seems that they are not too prepared, and some combat units are chaotically managed and morale is low.

Obviously, at this time, in addition to the training of military skills, there is a special need for effective ideological and organizational construction.

After all, if many emotions are not persuaded and educated to stop in time, they will often gradually corrode the morale of the army like an “infectious disease”, and the consequences will be very serious.

However, the position in the Russian army that originally assumed this task once ceased to exist with the collapse of the Soviet Union.

In 2012, the Russian army took the initiative to restore the political officer system, but it still belongs to a relatively marginal role and plays a limited role.

For example, in March 2022, Andrei Pali, the deputy commander of the Russian Black Sea Fleet who was killed in Mariupol, was a political officer (pictured below).

However, in the Russian army with many generals and few soldiers, and the rank is generally high, Pali was still a colonel until his death, which is related to the usual rules of the Russian army-political officers are all demoted.

After the death of Andrei Pali, the Russian media’s evaluation of him is – a “real political commissar” of the contemporary Russian army

In addition to the political officers who were “marginalized” and “de-escalated”, in terms of ideological and organizational mobilization, in the contemporary Russian army, it is more common to use various military priests, lamas, imams and other clergy.

Two Russian military clergymen – Orthodox priest and Tibetan Buddhist military lama (for Mongolian soldiers who account for a large proportion of the Russian army)

Muslim soldiers in the Russian army pray under the leadership of the imam (imam) of the army

But if you want a team in difficult and dangerous situations to maintain high fighting enthusiasm and strong cohesion at all times, it is probably not enough to rely on religious inspiration and prayers at any time.

Speaking of this, some people may ask, the US military does not have a political commissar position, but doesn’t it still fight wars and become the world’s largest military power?

However, if you think about it from another angle, the starting point of the US military is quite different from that of the Soviet army when the political commissar system was established.

For the U.S. military with deep pockets, the spirit is not enough, and they can use material to make up. But in this regard, the Soviet army, which has a very weak foundation, is incomparable.

More than 90% of the earliest Soviet-Russian/Union (the Soviet Union after 1922) army came from the old Russian soldiers called “grey animals”.

The old soldiers of Tsarist Russia are generally from poor families and have a high illiteracy rate.

In the early days of the revolution, apart from part of the Russian Navy fleet and the Red Guards of the workers controlled by the Soviets themselves, Soviet Russia did not have its own regular armed forces.

At this time, with the fall of the old Russian government, many old Tsarist Russian officers and soldiers turned and joined the Bolsheviks just out of the consideration of “cooking for food”.

In January 1918, the Soviet Russian government announced the establishment of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army as the regular armed force of Soviet Russia.

But as mentioned earlier, this new “people’s army” is actually an army with old Russian soldiers as the main body. Especially in the officer class, the proportion of “Russian soldiers” is even higher. Many famous generals of the Soviet Red Army later served as Russian officers, such as the famous Budyonny and Zhukov.

Semyon Mikhailovich Budyonny (April 25, 1883 – October 26, 1973) Marshal, the early years of the Tsarist Russia military uniform photo

To make matters worse, the tactics and equipment of the Tsarist Russian army were also quite low, which was not small compared with the mainstream armies of Britain, France and Germany at that time.

Obviously, once this old Russian army was thrown directly into the battle to defend Soviet Russia and engaged in an exchange of fire with the intervention forces in the European direction, the outcome was really unpredictable.

What’s more, some of the Tsarist Russian soldiers who “departed” to the Red Army were not firm in their beliefs. In the event of a battlefield mutiny, this would be an extremely fatal blow to the Soviet regime.

At the critical moment of survival, how to transform the old soldiers of Tsarist Russia, implement the ideas and policies of the Soviet regime in the Red Army, strictly prevent dissident elements from infringing on the interests of the workers and peasants, cultivate revolutionary discipline, and supervise the unconditional execution of battle orders became the top priorities of the Soviet regime.

Soon, Trotsky, known as the “Father of the Red Army”, created an unprecedented “military political cadre system” — a “double-commander system” of political commissars/instructors and military commanders (company-level instructors). , regimental-level units only have political commissars).

Trotsky is mobilizing

Facts have proved that under the strict management and encouragement of political commissars, the Red Army composed of old Russian officers and soldiers showed amazing combat effectiveness in the war against Western countries’ intervention and defending the achievements of the revolution.

But gradually, because political officers held the final decision on the military operations of their combat units, they were sometimes regarded as “stumbling blocks” for military commanders. A great reason to shirk responsibility for poor performance.

To this end, Stalin directly ordered that the title of political commissar be revoked and replaced by “military commissar”, and the political officers were deprived of the final decision-making power to ensure the unhindered implementation of combat orders.

However, it should be noted that this did not directly cancel the position of political officers in the Soviet army, but just changed their name and weakened their power – mainly responsible for the organization of political work, and must not directly interfere with the military decision-making of the commander.

Later, at the most difficult moment of the Soviet-German war, in view of the heavy losses suffered by the Soviet army in the early stage of the war, the morale of the troops was low and the morale of the army was disillusioned. Stalin listened to the suggestion of Mehelis, director of the General Political Department of the Red Army, and restored the political commissar system, and gave political officers the power to supervise the front-line officers and soldiers and punish those who retreated without order.

For example, the famous “Order No. 227” issued by Stalin clearly stated that political commissars and instructors could execute officers and soldiers who retreated from the front without authorization on the spot.

Unexpectedly, it was this detail that was later used by many Western films as the material to “black” the Soviet Union, especially the Soviet military and political workers.

The political cadres of the Soviet Army have also become the target of “demonization” by the West for more than half a century.

In this regard, you can recall those film and television dramas about World War II that were filmed in the West.

Usually, in the evil ranks of Nazi Germany, there will always be a Wehrmacht soldier who is full of conscience, loyal and heroic and advocating chivalry, and is very worthy of respect. Even the SS with a pure villain image is often set as the kind of evil and cool image with online appearance, three or seven points of oil, neat and tangible uniforms, and shiny military boots.

On the other side of the Soviet Army, they were often very “masked”, a group of “beggar army” with ragged clothes and savage behavior. And their powerful combat effectiveness seems to be mainly due to the fact that the political commissars “supervise the battle” behind them, ruthlessly shooting and killing those who escaped.

For example, the war film “Soldier at the City”, which was jointly shot by many Western countries, not only performed the brutal scenes of the battle of Stalingrad, but also did not forget to find an opportunity to “black” the Soviet political commissar.

At the beginning, the soldiers who were not issued with weapons crossed the Volga River. When they got off the boat, they were immediately pointed at the gun by the political commissar and rushed into the battlefield like a beast.

Stills of “Bing on the City”

It also focused on a middle-aged and greasy political commissar with big bags under the eyes, with several machine guns in the back of the team, hysterically shouting “Shoot the deserters and traitors”, and frantically shooting his own people behind.

In the movie, the image of the Soviet military and political cadres in other occasions is also very unseemly, with crooked melons and jujubes, and wretched expressions, which seems to imply that their appearance is as ugly as their hearts.

The Soviet military political cadres in “Soldiers on the City” (the blue hats are the officers of the Ministry of Internal Affairs)

Similar to the “Day of Landing” filmed in South Korea, it also hacked the Soviet political commissar by the way, and won the hearts of the West.

On the contrary, in the film and television dramas produced by the Germans themselves later, some plots were interpreted in line with history.

For example, the political officers of the Soviet army generally have a relatively high level of education and are very appealing and influential in the army.

The captured Red Army political workers did not need to be tried. After the torture was completed, the German army could directly shoot them on the spot.

German drama “My Fathers” Season 1

The male protagonist was ordered to shoot the commissar on the spot

After the war, during the Nuremberg Trial, General Alfred Yodel, who had represented the German government at the surrender ceremony of the Western Front, the Minister of Operations of the Third Reich and the representative of the German Army, was convicted of a felony and eventually hanged.

This Admiral Yodel’s troops once carried out a large number of orders from the “Führer” on the Eastern Front – any captured Soviet military and political workers can be directly shot on the spot after the torture is complete.

Alfred Yodell in the middle

In fact, even though the “Order No. 270” issued by the Supreme Soviet in August 1941 did grant political officers the right to shoot deserters, in most cases, Soviet political workers would not choose to hide in the ranks In the rear, the one who shot at his own soldiers was always the one who was at the forefront and took the lead in charging.

Even when they encounter a stubborn enemy and need to charge to the death, they don’t raise their guns and scare the officers and soldiers to “give me up”; they organize a “party member assault team” led by political cadres, shouting “Party members and Communist Youth League members”. Let’s follow me”, “Ulla Ulla”, with his own flesh and blood, used his own flesh and blood to maintain the vigorous fighting power of the Soviet army.

In the winter military parade on Red Square, Russia, the Soviet political commissar of Cosplay, this is the correct way to open the Soviet military political commissar

On the contrary, the real combat commanders, such as company commanders, under the dual-commander system of the Soviet military, usually sit in the back and do not participate in the front-line charge.

Otherwise, once the commander is killed, who will command the battle. After all, as a military leader, “Ulla” was instantly defeated, and the impact on the battlefield situation was too great to be used as a “consumable”. Moreover, once the troops charge unfavorably, those who perform the task of supervising the battle are often commanders, and those who take the lead in the charge are political officers.

For example, the colored photo in the picture below is of Yeremenko, a company instructor of the 220th Regiment of the 4th Division of the 18th Army of the Soviet Army at the time. Shortly after the photo was taken, he died in Voronezh-Voroshilovg The front line of the Battle of Le.

After declaring its independence from Ukraine, Luhansk, the “old revolutionary area of ​​the Soviet Union”, also erected a memorial sculpture for the political commissar of Yeliamenko, which will be solemnly commemorated on Victory Day.

Therefore, the Soviet political officers during the Great Patriotic War also became the most hated people in the German army, which largely explains why the “Führer” gave the German army on the eastern front such an order of “direct shooting on the spot” .

Similar scenes have been reflected in the “main theme” film and television dramas produced by the Soviet Union or Russia.

Left-handed pistol, right-handed shovel, striding meteor running in the team, the first one is the classic image of the Soviet military political commissar

In reality, Soviet officers are more like the one in “Brest Fortress” (co-production between Russia and Belarus), they always like to take the lead in rushing to the front. It seems to be their fighting instinct etched in their bones.

A classic charge scene from “Brest Fortress”

At the most critical moment, political cadres can still calmly maintain discipline and unite the army and the people.

Captain Zubachev and Commissar Fomin in the movie “Brest Fortress” have real character prototypes.

Commissar Fuming himself is more like a weak scholar

Today, in front of the Fuming Political Commissar Monument, there are still many people coming to pay homage, and flowers are endless. It is also an important patriotic education base in Belarus.

Although in the context of Western control, the liberation of Auschwitz was almost regarded as the US military, and the turning point of World War II was also regarded as Normandy. It seems that the United States of America in Hollywood helped people around the world to win World War II.

But historical sources do not lie, especially the first-hand memoirs left by the enemy.

In his “Memoirs of the Eastern Front”, the famous German general Erhard Rauss once said this:

“It is not true that the Soviet soldiers went into battle simply because they were afraid of the commissar. The combat effectiveness displayed by the Russian soldiers was not motivated by fear alone. Even when there was no hope for the Russian soldiers. Still stubborn resistance, largely due to the example of the commissar of the Soviet Army, who was ordered to personally go to the most dangerous and decisive parts of the battle…

They can always stabilize the order in the most chaotic times… these political officers, they will always lead the way through the minefield…  

After that battle, we found that all 13 Soviet officers and soldiers in the trenches were killed. They were officers of a regiment of the Soviet Army, and the commander was their political commissar. attitude….”

The one sitting in the middle is Erhard Rauss, who was commanding the Battle of Kharkiv in Ukraine on the Eastern Front.

In short, any good fighting army in the history of the world has never been made up of slaves and whips. In addition to professional training and advanced equipment, it is also necessary to rely on effective methods and use ideological discipline to build unorganized people with different backgrounds into unusual “powerful fighting forces”… And this aspect seems to be precisely the contemporary Russian what the army lacks.