PROBLEM OF LANGUAGE ADAPTATION OF THE RED ARMY SOLDIERS OF NON-RUSSIAN NATIONALITIES IN THE 1920-1930-s

Abstract


Under combat conditions, it is mutual understanding between a commander and a soldier by means of a simple language communication which becomes the cornerstone. The absence or lack of such communication may lead to excessive losses and hinder the execution of combat missions. The author for the fi rst time addresses the problem of mass conscription of soldiers from the Union and Autonomous republics of the USSR, who understood the spoken Russian speech very little or didn’t understand it at all. The author aims to fi nd out the degree of effi ciency of solving the problem of the Russian language in the ranks of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army (RKKA), undertaken by the Soviet leadership in the prewar years.The author has found that in order to overcome this problem, there were taken actions in two directions. On the one hand, there was training of youth of pre-military age due to the introduction in 1938 of the mandatory teaching of the Russian language in national schools. On the other hand, there was training of recruits due to the introduction in 1939 of a three-month course for the soldiers of non-Russian nationalities. The work in these two directions failed to give the desired result in a short time due to the lack of teachers, unifi ed curricula, textbooks and books in dozens of languages of the USSR peoples. The author comes to the conclusion that the emergency measures taken by the government and the military command in the prewar years proved to be ineffective due to the complexity and large scale of the problem. In turn, the unresolved language issue lowered the level of com-bat readiness of the RKKA in the war.


Alexey Yu Bezugolny

Principal contact for editorial correspondence.
besu111@yandex.ru
Research Institute of Military History of Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia 14 Universitetsky Ave., Moscow, 119330, Russia

Alexey Yu. Bezugolny, Candidate of Since (in History), Leading Researcher at Scientifi c Research Institute of Military History of Military Academy of the General Staff of the Armed Forces of Russia.

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