Russia's Defense Ministry announces rewards for wrecked tanks and Berlin bombardment during WWII

Russia's Defense Ministry announces rewards for wrecked tanks and Berlin bombardment during WWII
Berlin in 1945 Photo: Mark Redkin/TASS news agency photo reports

Documents on granting rewards to the Red Army soldiers during the Great Patriotic War emerged on the website of the Ministry of Defense in the public domain. Financial incentives were provided for special military services including wrecked tanks.

Russia’s Defense Ministry has published documents on granting rewards to the Red Army soldiers during the Great Patriotic War for the first time. The related reports have been posted on the Ministry’s website. 

Among them, there’re data on what kind of incentives the Red Army soldiers received for wrecked tanks and Berlin bombardment. Thus, according to a decree by the USSR Supreme Commander Joseph Stalin, all members of the planes of the Baltic fleet who bombarded Berlin on August 8, 1941, were to receive a 2 thousand rubles bonus. From July 1, 1942, a gun commander and a forward air controller received 500 rubles each for wrecked tanks, the rest of the crew members received 200 rubles. 

Experts at repairing of military equipment also received bonuses: one could get from 350 to 800 rubles for repairing of a heavy tank (according to the complexity of jobs), 75 to 100 rubles for anti-aircraft’ repairing, and 10 to 20 rubles for a squad automatic weapon’s repairing. 

Moreover, salary slips of Stalin’s younger son - an aviator and Lieutenant General Vasily Stalin - and Aleksander Pokryshkin - an air marshal and 3 times Hero of Soviet Union - also emerged on the Defense Ministry’s website.  

As was noted by the parliamentary leader of the Communist Party of the Russian Federation in Kazan City Duma Aleksey Serov, Vasily had carried out 26 operational sorties during the war, shot down 5 aircrafts, and subsequently was awarded 2 orders of the Red Star. In January 1943, he received 5095 rubles and 84 kopeck as a base salary and for length of service (then, his term of service was 5 years). In November 1944, Pokryshkin received 2140 rubles, however excluding party dues and ‘retention deposits’ had only 1800 rubles in his hands. 

Moreover, data on the USSR budget spendings over the war years and during the pre-war period are posted on the Ministry’s website. Thus, while in 1940, 56.8 billion rubles out of 174.4 billion rubles were expended on the defense (according to the archive materials, the budget’s major amount was expended on national economy), in 1942, the defence expenditures exceeded 108 billion rubles - with 125 billion rubles in 1943, and 137.8 billion rubles in 1944. 

Besides that, details related to the falling wholesale prices on the armament and military equipment manufactured on the home front are provided in the documents posted on the website. This phenomenon - when prices on military equipment were falling instead of growing (against the background of the soaring inflation) during the hostilities - is without precedent in the history of wars, the Defense Ministry noted.

According to the documents posted on the Ministry’s website, costs on a bomber Il-4 amounted to 800 thousand rubles in 1941 with 380 thousand rubles in 1944. Costs on a tank T-34 went down half in value during the war with 269.5 thousand rubles in 1941 and 135 thousand rubles in 1944. 

As noted in the Defence Ministry’s report, the data were declassified to honor the 100 anniversary of the Financial and Economic Service of the Russian military (to be celebrated on October 22).

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