From YANK Magazine

The first Russian soldier you will meet will come from one of the 16 countries in the USSR and he may be tall and blonde or short and dark. He will be a great guy for discipline, and you’ll find that he will salute on the slightest provocation. He received elementary military training in school between the ages of 12 and 15. If he went to a technical or high school, he got three more years of part-time training in the Red’s equivalent of our ROTC.

Russian women serve in some branches of the army and most reports describe them as pleasant but strictly business. Unlike our WACs they participate in combat, and Soviet girls have gained fame as pilots and guerilla fighters.

Russian equipment supplements by our lend-lease material, is regarded as good by our military authorities. Most doughboys will prefer their M-1 to the Russian rifles, but Soviet heavy artillery and tanks are said by some to be tops. Their heavily armed, low-flying fighter planes have had spectacular successes against tanks.

The advance of the Axis stopped first at Moscow, and Gen. Douglas MacArthur called the Red defense “the greatest military achievement in all history.” Soviet soldiers are as cocky about their accomplishments as Americans and are equally gutsy about drinking, singing and dancing. They call each other “Tovaritch,” and their old man is known as “Tovaritch Stalin.”soviet red army uniform rank guide

For More Reading on Russia in WWII Check Out:

Russia’s War: A History of the Soviet Effort: 1941-1945

Heroines of the Soviet Union 1941–45

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