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Two Frontoviks Share a Light

Image Information
Two Frontvik (Front line fighters) share a light after clearing a German trench. Two more congratulate each other on surviving the assault behind them. Soviet soldiers were issued makhorka (literally “shag“ but often translated as “low-quality tobacco“) in pouches and would use whatever paper available to roll large cigarettes. In the absence of Western-style USO shows, a smoke and perhaps an accordion were all that greeted a Frontovik after a battle. The Soviets made a distinction between the “Frontovik“ – the soldiers on the front line – and others in support roles behind the lines. The German “Landser,“ the American “GI“ and the British “Tommy“ referred to any soldier, not just the assault troops. Red Army conscripts received much less materiel support then their Western counterparts. In the encirclement battles of 1941, many often lacked uniforms. Nicknamed the “Spoon Order,“ inductees into the Red Army were told to bring their own spoon to eat with, usually carried handle down in their boot on in a pocket. This was as a large as a Western serving spoon. German mess kits were prized when captured and the Soviets copied them after 1943, but German issue were still preferred. The two men in the foreground are armed with submachine guns. The one on the left has a PPSh-41, a common Russian submachine gun that was easy to use and maintain and could be easily manufactured in large numbers. Especially in 1941, when large numbers of untrained soldiers were thrown into combat, a submachine gun that sprayed pistol ammunition at close range was more effective than the months of practice that accurate sustained rifle required. By MArch 1942, 3,000 PPSh-41s were being manufactured a day. Some Germans, especially motorcycle and armored troops, preferred the PPSh as well, which was easier to maintain and less prone to jamming than the German equivalents. The Germans converted thousands of PPSh-41s to take their 9mm (.354 inch) rounds.
Image Filename wwii0236.jpg
Image Size 117.22 KB
Image Dimensions 400 x 267
Photographer Unknown
Photographer Title
Caption Author Jason McDonald
Date Photographed January 01, 1944
State or Province
Country Soviet Union
Record Number
Status Caption ©2009, ©2024 MFA Productions LLC
Please Do Not Duplicate or Distribute Without Permission

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