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LEXICON

Achtung
German for “Attention”
Adolph Hitler
German Dictator, leader and head of the Third Reich
Anti-aircraft gun
often abbreviated to AA gun. A stationary, large caliber, rapid fire, mounted weapon system used to take down aircraft, usually loaded with flak or explosive rounds.
Apparatchik
literally ‘agent of the apparatus’ — a person who is ­a bureaucratic cog in the Soviet political machine.
Bear
The thing most symbolic of Russia is “The Bear.” To be called or compared to a bear was often a sign of respect, and acknowledgement of one’s power, either physically, politically or mentally. Often it was also used as a term of endearment.
Berlin
Capital of Nazi Germany.
“The Boss”
A term many used to refer to Joseph Stalin. Stalin was known to have encouraged its use.
Carbine
A shortened rifle to maximize maneuverability and minimize weight.
Chargers
See “strippers”
Commissar
A political officer in the Soviet Army. The political commissar was an officer appointed by the Communist Party to oversee a unit in the military for the purpose of direct political propaganda, and to ensure that Party decisions were implemented and upheld. The commissar had the authority to override any decision of the military officers in their unit, and to remove them from or replace them in command if necessary. The commissar could usurp the functions of a regular military commander, but that was almost never necessary: the mere presence of a commissar usually meant military commanders would follow their directives, while soldiers made sure to watch their tongues and actions. The day to day duties of the political commissar generally involved only propaganda work and “boosting the morale of the troops” and occasionally reprimanding someone who did something that could be considered “capitalist, elitist or counterproductive to the Communist ideal.” The purpose of this system is to ensure the loyalty of army commanders, and to prevent a possible coup d’etat, but mostly to ensure loyalty to “the communist ideal.”
Comrade
A term introduced by the communists under the theory that any other title would insinuate classes amongst the Soviet Citizens, something utterly forbidden by the ideals of communism. Since everyone was supposed to be working towards perfect communism, they were all comrades in arms, or comrades in struggle and thus, comrades. Comrade also came to mean anyone you had frequent associations with.
Comrade Stalin
Joseph Stain, Leader of the USSR during WWII.
Da
Russian for 'Yes'
Da Sveedania
Literally Russian for 'Yes, until we meet again'
Divy
Russian that literally translates to roughly 'Come on', but it could also be used to equate to: 'quickly' or 'hurry,' and other times as a taunt to an opponent.
Dog Tags
The term for the identification tags every soldier wears to allow others to ID the body should the wearer die and be rendered unidentifiable by face.
Entrenching Tool
a small shovel for digging in, making firing locations or hides.
Fascism/fascist
Fascism is an extreme authoritarian political philosophy that combines elements of corporatism, totalitarianism, extreme nationalism, militarism, anti-communism and anti-liberalism. The USSR was, as such, its enemy, and the word 'fascist' came to equal 'enemy' in WWII Russia.
Firefight
A term used to describe an armed conflict between two small, opposing sides.
Flak
A type of round that would explode in mid-air, throwing shrapnel in all directions, usually used to knock aircraft from the sky.
Franz/ Fritz
Generic names used to refer to any and all Germans, both single and sometimes plural. The term came from the fact they were fairly common German names.
Fuhrer
The title given to Hitler by himself. Literally means 'leader' or 'guide', it was an implication that he was the leader of the entire nation.
General Paulus
Commander of the Sixth Army for the Germans, head of the Stalingrad Assault.
Grahzdanka
A Russian term that literally means 'woman citizen.' Citizen was the preferred term, because 'sir' and 'madam' may suggest a master/servant relationship, and thus a separation of class, something that was strictly abolished by communism. It was usually used to stress reverence, as most times 'comrade' sufficed.
Hero of the Soviet Union
A combination medal, title and honor, considered the highest available in the Soviet Union. The award was given to both military and civilian personnel for personal or collective deeds. Recipients of this award simultaneously receive the Order of Lenin, and a letter from the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. The medal itself [the star] is made of gold, while the other parts are gold plated silver. Special privileges were also granted with the award. These included a pension with survivor benefits in case of death, first priority on the housing list, a 50 per cent reduction in rent, reduced taxation rates (in 1985 this was changed to tax exempt status), up to an additional 15 square meters in living space, free yearly round-trip first class tickets, free personal bus transportation, free yearly visits to a sanitarium or rest home, as well as entertainment and medical benefits.
Hitler
See Adolph Hitler
Hitlerite
A term meaning 'a follower of Hitler,' common among Russians.
Hun
An insulting term for the Germans used by the Russians.
Hurrah
A basically nonsense word that the Russians were famous for screaming as they charged into battle.
Ivan
A common Russian name, a name the Germans often called the Russians.
Ja
Pronounced 'ya,' German for 'Yes.'
Jackboot
A jackboot is a type of combat boot that rises to at least mid-calf, has no laces and typically has a leather sole with hobnails and heel irons. Jackboots have been strongly associated with totalitarian motifs.
Khrushchev
See Nikita Khrushchev
Luger
A German nine millimeter pistol, sidearm for German officers.
Luftwaffe
The German air force.
Makhorka
A cheap and curiously strong tobacco that grows natively in Russia, favored by the Russian troops. It was usually rolled into strips ripped from the pages of a Pravda or army newspaper, and smoked in a cigarette.
Maxim
A belt-fed, water-cooled, heavy machinegun fired from a stationary or often wheeled mount.
Moscow
Capital of the USSR.
Motherland
A term the Russians use, referring to Russia, much like Rodina.
Mother Russia
See 'Rodina' or 'Motherland'
Nein
German for 'No'
Nikita Khrushchev
The man personally appointed by Stalin himself to manage the battle at Stalingrad when things started to go badly. He was considered by many to be the second in command in the Communist Party in Russia, and was eventually Stalin's successor.
October Revolution
The rise of the Soviet Union began with rebellions and the start of Civil War in October against the Tsarist government. The entire month usually had celebrations honoring the event in the USSR.
Panzer
A German tank
Pistol whip
To swing your arm with a pistol in your hand as if you would back hand or slap a person, but to actually strike them with the pistol itself. While not deadly, it is very painful.
Pravda
The Russian word for 'Truth.' Also the official Russian communist newspaper of the time that often times printed much that was far from its namesake.
Rodina
It literally means 'The Russian soil,' and yet it means so much more than that. When a native Russian speaks about 'Mother Russia,' there is a reverent tone usually heard in his voice. The air and very soil of Russia is felt to be like a living thing. It stands for home and hearth, family and pride, honor and duty, love and life.
Roos
German slang for 'Russian'
Ruble
Pronounced 'roo-bull,' it is the Russian currency.
Schnell
German for 'Quickly' or 'Faster'
Sandbags
Literally an empty, light and easy to carry yet strong bag, filled with sand or dirt. Stacked together like bricks to form a wall, they provide a solid material used to reinforce a position and provide cover. Capable of stopping bullets and small explosions.
Scheisse
A German curse word for excrement.
Sixth Army
The invading German Army in Stalingrad.
SpaseebaÊ
Russian for 'thank you'
Sniper
A sharpshooter trained to use cunning, secrecy, camouflage and the terrain to hide themselves while they aim their shots to kill targets of importance or worth.
Stavka
The Russian Supreme Soviet Command.
Stalingrad
The city in which the battle takes place
Stielhandgranate
Literally 'Steel Hand Grenade,' the forerunner of the modern 'grenade.'
Strippers
A metal pressing that held rifle ammunition together for easy carrying, and faster reloading in bolt action rifles.
Stuka
A German dive bomber attack aircraft. Ironically, the word is very similar to a curse word in Russian that one would normally refrain for use against female dogs. The first time the Russians ever heard the name the Germans called their aircraft, they couldn't help but titter with laugh. However, the first time the Russians experienced the aircraft's dive bomb run first hand, the laughter quickly subsided.
Submachine gun
Often referred to as a Sub Gun. A firearm that combines the automatic fire of a machinegun with the ammunition of a pistol, and is usually between the two in weight and size. In this story, that would be either the German MP-40, or the Russian PPSh-41.
Svinya
Russian for 'pig,' an insult
Tovarich
Russian for 'comrade'
Ushanka
A Russian cap with ear flaps that can be tied up or tied down under the chin to protect the ears from extreme cold. Usually made of either fur or wool.
USSR
Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, often simply called the Soviet union
Valenki
A traditional Russian winter boot made of felt. Despite being made of felt, they were reasonably warm, as well as cheap to produce. Very common among civilians, though the military did not use them.
Vodka
The traditional Russian alcoholic drink of choice
Wehrmacht
German for 'defense force,' used when discussing the German Army.

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