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Questions regarding my Polish father's call up into the Soviet Army in 1941


U198SQN305 1 | 2
4 Feb 2015 #1
My late father was studying mechanical engineering at the Lwow Polytechnic in 1939 and was called up into the Soviet army when he was 21. He later joined the Anders Army and then went to England and flew Mosquito bombers in 1944 over Normandy. In his Polish Air Force records the first records appears as "ROSJA.627". I am trying to find out more about his service in the Soviet army.

Using this only piece of information I found the following, but it may be incorrect. I think the 627th Rifle Regiment (I) was part of the 162nd Rifle Division, 25th Rifle Corps, 19th Army of the North Caucasus Military District. The 19th Army was encircled, together with the 16th and 20th Armies, at the Battle of Smolensk on the 27.7.1941 but broke out a few days later. Also at the Battle of Moscow the 162nd Rifle Division is stated as being under the 30th Army - On October 10th this division was in a 'pocket' which the 9th (German) Army never managed to wipe out. It broke out of its encirclement late in October, but too badly depleted to be rebuilt, and the division was officially disbanded in early December. This tallies with many stories he told me, but no other information is available.

So if anyone can help with the Soviet side of things I would be very grateful.

Also more generally, what was life like between the Soviet occupation between 17.9.1939 and 22.6.1941 (Barbarosa)?
Would the Polytechnic still have held classes?
I am trying to figure out what happened in those missing years as I am writing my family history.
Thanks in advance.
Looker - | 1,032
8 Feb 2015 #2
So according to your research "ROSJA.627" means 627th Rifle Regiment? And what about 627th Rifle Division?
I see the a Russian wiki page about this division:
ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/162-я_стрелковая_дивизия

Also more generally, what was life like between the Soviet occupation between 17.9.1939 and 22.6.1941 (Barbarosa)?

It was a very difficult time for Poles living in the city. From the east came the Russians. They were like a wild barbarians, the lacked any manners, their behavior caused a widespread disgust. Residents alternately lost and gained hope, in the light of developments on the fronts of war. There followed a number of displacement actions, deportations, mass arrests, all this heightened fear to the extreme limits.

In March of 1940 in one of the reports has been written:
"People - especially the Poles - are already pushed to their limits. The continuous fear of deportation, revisions, removal from homes, constant cold and hunger, arrests, all of this has led some to a state of complete numbness and apathy - the other to a state of savagery."

In the summer months of 1940 the mood of Poles was so characterized:
"The great depression. The people who consider themselves Polish, is expecting longed changes. They vegetate rather than live - in theaters, cinemas, you don't meet anybody, no chats in pastry shops. Partially working hard for a piece of bread, and in many cases, being without a job use the remains of former prosperity, and even the one who works, also partly sells everything. There are also those who seek comfort in vodka, which is in abundance - they are usually lost.."

Source: Grzegorz Hryciuk - "Poles in Lviv 1939-1944"
lwow.home.pl/hryciuk/hryciuk.html

Would the Polytechnic still have held classes?

Yes, Lwow Polytechnic was still active, although in 1941 it lost twenty five Polish professors - who was murdered by German occupiers. Still in April 1945 in this Polytechnic were employed 204 Poles (of 272 total employees)

en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lviv_Polytechnic
OP U198SQN305 1 | 2
8 Feb 2015 #3
ru.wikipedia.org/wiki/162-я_стрелковая_дивизия

Looker,

Excellent, thank you very much. I started by searching for something starting with 627th and tried all sorts of combinations of military units and finally one came back with lots of hits - the 627th Rifle Regiment. I stopped after that assuming that the numbers would not be duplicated otherwise it could cause confusion.

Thanks for the reference to 162nd Infantry Division. It agrees with what I found as well and ties down some dates and localities that I can add to my list.

I see in da_slacker.tripod.com/red_army.htm there is listed a 627th Mountain-Rifle Division, and lists equipment around 1944. Not sure of the source of the list or if it is relevant to 1941 as the organisation of the Soviet army changed a lot during the war.

I recall my father mentioning that he was a machine gunner and assigned to a Commissar, who saved his life on several occasions. On one occasion some Poles had deserted to the Germans, so the remaining Poles were decimated as punishment. The commander told all Poles to step forward and then shot every tenth one on the spot. The Commissar held my father back by his uniform so he didn't step forward.

I know there were other incidents and would like to find how to research the Soviet records - if anyone can help please get back!

Looker,

I have my father's original little brown book for the courses he attended at the Polytechnika Lwowska.
I compared the names to those on en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Massacre_of_Lviv_professors, (+) means murdered.

1938/39 Professors were:
Lomnicki (+)
Plamitzer
Klemensiewicz
Mozer
Geisler
Dreher
Burzynski
Aulich

1939/40 Professors were:
Lomnicki (+)
Sucharda
Burzynski
Wlodek
Mozer
Geisler
Hauswald
Fuchs
Vetulani (+)
Looker - | 1,032
9 Feb 2015 #4
I have my father's original little brown book for the courses he attended at the Polytechnika Lwowska.

This book contains part of great Lwów history, great and tragic.

would like to find how to research the Soviet records

Maybe join the Russian Military Forum? It's in English too:
russiadefence.net


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