View Full Version : 1941 Soviet Union close combat manual for conscript troop units.

9/09/2016 9:45pm,

This link should take you to a PDF of the personal combat section of the 1941 Guidance on the Preparation for War (Руководство по подготовке к рукопашному бою, РПРБ-41) for the Soviet Red Army. In 1941, it was still the Red Army. This is the guiding document used for preparing conscripts. Special troop units and police units had more intensive training.

The combat section was only 24 pages, which makes sense when a two year conscript cycle for an army of mass is considered. The information covers the basics.

What is interesting is how during the war manuals got more specialized. For example later in the war an entire manual on how to train for knife fighting was published. It was a thin manual. The knife training wasn't fancy or difficult like we see in movies or think of with classical systems, but lots of basic assault techniques and how to train on straw bundles and how to train in prepared trenches with targets for practicing assault with a fighting knife. I would expect that the knife training shown in that manual would be short and to the point, and that troops that went through that training were reconnaissance troops which would move into contested territory at night to capture an enemy soldier or other in-out night time assignment.

A short history of close combat development in the Soviet Union is at this website. http://www.acgenesis.org/sambo/rukopashyj_boy_2.хтм It is in Russian, so an on-line translator may be necessary.

9/09/2016 10:43pm,
The knife combat manual mentioned above was reprinted in 2004 as "Ближний бой. Опыт разведчика." (ISBN:978-5-8183-1229-3) Google translates the Russian title as: "Melee. Scout Experience." It is a worthwhile reference concerning military close-quarters combat training for Soviet services during the Second World War.

The entire 1941 Soviet Red Army close combat manual referenced in the first section of the thread can be found here: https://yadi.sk/d/U3mG08G8Rxg3k It will download in PDF format. It includes gap crossing, personal movement under fire, etc., as well as close combat with and without weapons. Again, as mentioned in the initial comment of the thread, the instruction is simple and to the point and suitable essential elements of information for a conscript army.

9/10/2016 6:58am,
Thanks for posting things like this, it's very interesting and I think it's important to preserve information on historical martial arts.
Do you have these documents backed up in a safe location?

9/10/2016 7:52am,
Guird, these are also found on some Russian on-line archives. Part of bringing awareness of the documentation to interested people like yourself is getting the word out. Hopefully, these documents, and others like them, will have a long life on-line because of armchair martial arts historians and military hobbyists like us.

This on-line archive may be of use to you: http://www.belang.ru/biblio.htm. Not all the documents are historical. However, the ones that are reflect your interest. I use Google's on-line translator to decode the titles.

There are a couple of very interesting historical documents in that list, to include a color scan of the 1943 manual for Partisans, reconnaissance (spetsnaz) manuals, airborne soldier (VDV) manuals, the physical training and combatives manuals, and a few others.

9/10/2016 9:00pm,
This link should take you to the 1944 knife fighting book for reconnaissance (scout, razvedka, etc.) https://yadi.sk/d/a4C1lb_hRxhpk History is a wonderful thing.