Practices of Adaptation to the Front According to the Soviet Military Personnel, 1941–1945

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Abstract. The research of frontline everyday life is a new perspective in the historiography of the Great Patriotic War of 1941–1945. It is relevant because military-historical anthropology is developing in Russia, public interest of the “man in war” problem is also growing. Referring to the personal experience of front-line soldiers (ego-documents, interviews) we find out the sides of their existence in the extreme conditions of the front, which were previously unknown. In this article, we continue to develop this issue. Based solely on personal documents (letters, diaries, memoirs) and interviews with Soviet military service men in 1941–1945 we investigate their adaptation to the front-line reality. Until now in the scientific literature this topic has presented in a generalized or fragmentary manner. The initial stages of the "front path" of soldiers and officers of the Red Army are the focus of our attention. These stages were important for their survival and active "work" for Victory. The main objective of the article is to highlight the indicators of adaptation of military servicemen to front-line conditions in the period of 1941–1945. The presence of such indicators showed that the soldiers “fit” into the front-line environment and exactly then they usually became an effective unit of this environment. They also got a better chance of surviving in the inhuman conditions of the front.

Keywords: front-line everyday life, private correspondence, diaries, memories, the Red Army, military service men, adaptation.

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