Why did Soviet soldiers who plundered occupied territories during WW2 prefer watches to other valuables?

Often, the commanders would hand out watches acts for exceptional bravery and these were, the story goes, often prized more than medals. The blog also claims that a Selza warehouse was taken by the Soviet troops in Berlin with 17,000 watches. Perhaps the watches in the picture were from there.

Did soldiers loot in ww2?

When you hear the terms “World War II” and “looting” you usually think of the Axis powers taking anything they pleased from conquered nations. German troops certainly did rob their way across occupied Europe. Many of the greatest cultural treasures as well as gold, jewelry, and property were taken by them.

Did the Soviets shoot their own soldiers in ww2?

10,201 of them were shot, meaning approximately 1.5% of those arrested were sentenced to death. For a thorough check of the Red Army soldiers who were in captivity or surrounded by the enemy, by the decision of the State Defense Committee No.

Did Soviet soldiers go into battle without guns?

As a result of the shattering German offensive, many Soviet infantrymen would often launch futile counter-attacks and usually had to mount desperate escapes without their original guns and equipment. But very quickly Soviet tactics changed.

Did the Soviets shoot their own soldiers at Stalingrad?

Stalin’s draconian orders were designed to increase the Red Army’s fighting spirit, but they weren’t empty threats. According to some estimates, Soviet barrier troops may have killed as many as 150,000 of their own men over the course of the war, including some 15,000 during the Battle of Stalingrad.

Can US soldiers loot?

The Fourth Geneva Convention of 1949 explicitly prohibits the looting of civilian property during wartime. The Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 (modified in 1954) obliges military forces not only to avoid destruction of enemy property, but to provide protection to it.

Is looting a war crime?

During modern-day armed conflicts, looting is prohibited by international law, and constitutes a war crime.

Can you shoot retreating soldiers?

Attacking retreating troops is ugly, grim … and legal. The Geneva Convention prohibits killing surrendering troops, but omits retreats. The distinction being that retreating soldiers are still enemy combatants, even if they are not shooting at anyone at that moment.

Why were Soviet casualties so high?

4 million soldiers were wounded, captured or killed. This lead to the Russians having to move key factories away from the borders and created manufacturing problems. These tactics early on in the war caused for a large number of casualties.

How many Soviets were killed by their own?

Stalin said seven million Soviets had lost their lives. Khrushchev raised the figure to 20 million; and under Gorbachev, some boosted it to 27 million. And two years ago, at a Duma hearing, one official testified that 42 million had been killed.

Can you shoot a medic in war?

According to the Geneva Convention, knowingly firing at a medic wearing clear insignia is a war crime.

Is looting illegal?

Of course, looting is, first and foremost, a form of stealing. As such, depending on how it is perpetrated, the looter may be arrested for petty theft, larceny, grand theft, burglary, or another, similar crime. Some states also have laws that pertain specifically to looting, often with stiffer penalties.

Why is war legal?

To this end, laws of war are intended to mitigate the hardships of war by: Protecting both combatants and non-combatants from unnecessary suffering.

Are Russian soldiers deserting?

Defection and desertion in combat is common. Eventually, wartime hardships, poor combat performance and a waning ideological commitment to the cause can spur troops to jump ship. But the Russians are already experiencing low morale and a lack of troop cooperation only a few weeks into the conflict.

What did Stalin’s order 227 say?

227, what came to be known as the “Not one step backward” order, in light of German advances into Russian territory. The order declared, “Panic makers and cowards must be liquidated on the spot. Not one step backward without orders from higher headquarters!

Are Russian soldiers surrendering?

Russia said Thursday that 1,730 Ukrainian soldiers had surrendered this week at the Azovstal steel plant in Mariupol, showing some emerging on crutches after a desperate battle that has become emblematic of the nearly three-month-old war.

Are Russian soldiers punching holes in gas tanks?

As Russia’s morale deteriorates, some Russian troops have “deliberately punched holes in their vehicles’ gas tanks,” according to a senior US official. As Russian morale deteriorates, some Russian troops have “deliberately punched holes in their vehicles’ gas tanks,” according to a senior US official.

Is Russian army well trained?

Conscripts are poorly trained and face endless abuse

With a military that measures in at under a million strong, just over a quarter did not volunteer. These soldiers operate for a fixed, twelve-month term, resulting in little training and roughly five months (at best) of utilisation.

What percentage of the Russian army are conscripts?

approximately 25 percent

Currently, most estimates hold that approximately 25 percent of the Russian military is made up of conscripts, with the number varying within each military service and between unit types.

Who has a better military US or Russia?

Russia and the United States have taken divergent paths to military might. The US dominates the air with far more bases, fighter jets and bombers than Russia but Russia is superior on the ground with more tanks, artillery and land vehicles.

How can I join the Russian army?

According to the amended law, a citizen of any foreign country aged 18–30 with a good command of Russian and a clean record can sign an initial five-year contract to join the Army.

Who has the world’s largest military?


In 2022, China had the largest armed forces in the world by active duty military personnel, with about 2 million active soldiers. India, the United States, North Korea, and Russia rounded out the top five largest armies respectively, each with over one million active military personnel.

Who would win a war USA or Russia?

The USA also has an overwhelming advantage over Russia in terms of conventional forces. Russia still has incredible military might, even if it is not as large as NATO’s, with more than a million active troops.

Who is No 1 army in the world?

The largest armies are the world include China>India> the United States>North Korea>Russia in the decreasing order.

What country has the biggest army 2021?

The United States has again taken the crown of the world’s strongest military in 2021, outpacing its nearest competitor by a small, but steady margin.

Who is stronger NATO or Russia?

How powerful is NATO? The US has a fighting force that is only marginally larger than Russia’s. NATO’s chief backer has an army consisting of approximately 1,346,400 personnel. Roughly 165,000 of those are deployed, with 799,500 reserves waiting in the wings.

Who has the best trained army in the world?

1. The US Navy SEALs is arguably the top special operations force. Created in 1962, the Sea-Air-Land operators go through years of training and, especially after 9/11, endure an incredible operation tempo. Many foreign militaries base their special ops on the SEALs.

Which country has the smallest military?

Vatican City

Being one of the smallest countries in the world automatically qualifies it to have the world’s smallest army that comprises of 110 men. The arm is famously known as the Swiss Guard that has been in existence for the longest, and are best known for their courage to fight the tough battles.

Does the pope still have an army?

The Vatican City State has never had independent armed forces, but it has always had a de facto military provided by the armed forces of the Holy See: the Pontifical Swiss Guard, the Noble Guard, the Palatine Guard, and the Papal Gendarmerie Corps.

Which country doesn’t have any army?

The other countries that have neither an army nor a military force are Dominica (not to be confused with the Dominican Republic),Grenada, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, Samoa, St. Lucia and Tuvalu.

Is Russia’s military strong?

Global Firepower ranks Russia as having the second-most-powerful military force in the world, trailing only the US, and this is with a population base that is half as large – 142 million, compared to approximately 335 million for the United States.

Could UK beat Russia in a war?

Research published in 2019 by the Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) found that British forces would be “comprehensively outgunned” in any conflict with Russia in eastern Europe.

Why is Russia’s military so weak?

It's no surprise that an army may resort to abuses that it may turn itself. And turn its weapons onto the civilian population a poorly led army an undisciplined army is not just a poor fighting force.