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View Diary: Liberal Confession - I handled guns! (223 comments)

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  •  About that 1943 soviet rifle. (2+ / 0-)
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    Texas Lefty, theatre goon
    and the one that astonished me, a 1943-stamped, Soviet made sniper rifle.  Just holding it was astonishing; I could readily imagine somebody defending his home against the Nazis with this very weapon.
    Let's put 1943 soviet arms in context.

    If you were a young soviet woman such as Klavdiya Kalugina (stalin-era soviets had combat equality between the sexes) and were handed a brand new sniper-quality rifle in the summer of '43, running through your head would be something like....

    It's been two years since more than four million nazis surged into your country along a stretch of your border that would reach from boston to miami, what the nazis called operation barbarossa.

    It's been a year and a half since your military managed to stop the nazis at bad breath distance from moscow.

    However, it's also been more than a year and a half since the great city of leningrad was put under siege. Though there are a few supplies that manage to get in when the water freezes over, and there was a very temporary penetration over land just this past winter, the couple million people there have long since eaten their shoes, then large animals, then pets, then rats, then their dead, and have resorted to some cannibalism or simply starved to death. And the siege has not yet ended.

    (The siege will not end for another half year.)

    It's been a few months since the huge battle of stalingrad and the victory there fills the heads of everyone with hope, even though more than a million of your comrades were killed or wounded.

    (The battle of stalingrad had more soviet losses by itself than america had for the entire war.)

    As you are handed your brand new 1943 rifle, it seems like the nazi surge just might have been brought to a stop. They couldn't take moscow. They were kept from taking stalingrad. And in spite of the state of the people they haven't taken leningrad. Now is the time to expel these invaders from your steppes, now you will take the war all the way to berlin.

    1943 was a very emotional year for the soviets. The nazis considered them just as sub-human as the jews and romany, and the invading nazis did not bother with sending them to concentration camps. Lots and lots of towns and villages of the "untermensch" were simply wiped out by the advancing nazis, leaving all records of population in ash. By 1943 it had pretty much sunk into the russians that they were fighting a war against an enemy that wanted to exterminate them, and the regaining of their land stoked a large fire of fury.

    1943 rifles aren't really 'defend the home from nazis' rifles, they are more like "fight back the invader to his own doorstep" rifles.

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