Consider this cinematic version of a Soviet era penal battalion in action to be accurate, realistic, authentic?
Penal battalion the rifle companies consisting in this particular instance not of Red Army men but rather Gulag inmates released from incarceration for combat duty under the most harshest of conditions. See the embedded video a prior blog entry. Disregard the subtitles in Korean and lack of any translation. Action says more than words.
As extracted from the recent movie: "My Way" Japanese and Koreans imprisoned in the Soviet Gulag forced to engage in mortal combat against the German, WW2 Stalingrad [actually the battle of Kharkov, 1943]. No supporting fires of any sort, individuals armed only with a rifle [not all even had a weapon] and a bare minimum of ammunition [five rounds per-man probably] moving toward the attack, prodded by the "blue caps", the Soviet NKVD guard company. An effort frenzied and futile, accomplishing nothing. Wrath of the "blue caps" on the survivors an additional hell-on-earth-damnation, brutal, cruel and merciless.
Survive ten such missions and normally [?] your sentence would be expunged.
The famous/infamous North Korean communist dictator Kim Il-sung did serve as a Captain in the Red Army during WW2 and did fight at Stalingrad!
Hey! No one ever said duty with the Red Army was easy, did they. Nor for that matter in a penal battalion with almost no chance of survival.
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