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"President Putin says he commanded a howitzer artillery " Topic

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09 Jan 2019 9:10 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

  • Changed title from "President Putin says he commande a howitzer artillery " to "President Putin says he commanded a howitzer artillery "
  • Removed from Ultramodern Warfare (2009-present) board
  • Crossposted to Cold War (1946-1989) board

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Comments or corrections?

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP09 Jan 2019 8:19 p.m. PST

…. battalion.

Maybe true… (smile)

YouTube link

See here



Barin110 Jan 2019 8:36 a.m. PST

The students of universities were only drafted into army for a couple of months after they've finished their training.
LSU was "training" artillery specialists, so it is very possible that Putin was artillery lieutenant. "Core" military was normally of low opinion of these students officers, bcs. of course their military training was rather short and of poor quality.
I was "lucky" to be drafted in these several years when the students served as soldiers after 1st year…and on a first year of my two I was an operator of the same howitzer type Putin recalls.(M-30).

28mm Fanatik10 Jan 2019 9:42 a.m. PST

The Russians have a fondness for artillery more than anybody.

Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP10 Jan 2019 9:58 a.m. PST

Thanks Barin!!


Legion 410 Jan 2019 12:18 p.m. PST

thumbs up Barin … but I still have a hard time believing many things he says … wink

Aristonicus Supporting Member of TMP02 Mar 2019 10:58 p.m. PST

You have to be careful reporting something when translation from another language is involved. So I prefer to rely on an expert in this situation:

Paul Robinson professor at the University of Ottawa. He writes about Russian and Soviet history, military history, and military ethics. Author of The White Russian Army in Exile, 1920-1941 (Clarendon Press, 2002), etc

This is what he wrote on this topic:

Which brings us to this week's revelation that Vladimir Putin was once an artilleryman. While at university, it seems, he had the rank of reserve artillery lieutenant. This previously unknown detail from Putin's past soon appeared throughout the Western press. The Guardian, for instance, reported that,
Vladimir Putin has revealed that he commanded an artillery battalion during the Soviet period, a detail of his shadowy biography that was previously unknown.
Putin made the comment during a visit on Monday to St Petersburg's Peter and Paul Fortress, where he pulled the lever on a cannon that fires a daily salute at noon over the Neva River.
"I received the rank of lieutenant as an artilleryman, as the commander of a howitzer artillery battalion… 122mm [calibre]," Putin said, according to video footage posted by the Kremlin. He gave no further details.
Other press outlets leapt onto the battalion commander bandwagon. Putin reveals for the first time that he commanded an artillery battalion,' says the Daily Mail. Vladimir Putin says he once commanded an artillery battalion,' claims Newsweek. And so on.
Except Putin didn't say anything of the sort.
An artillery unit consists of individual guns grouped together into batteries (normally four to eight guns per battery). Batteries are then grouped into battalions (which the Brits sometimes call regiments, though Russian regiments are larger, consisting of several battalions). Assuming six guns a battery, and three batteries per battalion, an artillery battalion might have 18 guns. That's a lot for a junior reserve lieutenant to command.
The Russian term for an artillery battalion is divizion' (), which shouldn't be confused with diviziia' (), which is the equivalent of the Western term division'. But Putin did not say that he had commanded a divizion; he said he had commanded a vzvod' (). More precisely, his exact words were: , ', which translates roughly as I received the rank of lieutenant, as an artilleryman, commander of the control platoon of howitzer artillery'.
So Putin did not say that he commanded an artillery battalion. What he actually said was that he commanded a platoon.
Did anybody get this right? I've been able to find only one outlet which did Sputnik News (though even this managed to screw things up by talking about an artillery division', which is probably a confusion with the Russian word divizion', i.e. battalion). Thus Sputnik tells us:
Russian President Vladimir Putin said on 7 January that he had been promoted to the rank of lieutenant as platoon commander of a howitzer artillery division.
It turns out, we are both artillerymen. I was promoted to lieutenant as an artilleryman, platoon commander of a howitzer artillery division… 122-millimetre [calibre]', Putin stated.
I realize that this may appear stunningly pedantic. Battalion, platoon, what does it matter? It matters because in the first place, if you can't get basic facts right, you don't deserve to be trusted; and second, because it tells us something about how fake news' spreads. Someone says something which others consider a juicy story, and then they just repeat it. Along the way, nobody bothers to check the facts. The result is completely false headlines which will no doubt soon be repeated far and wide as established truth.
The battalion commander story was obvious nonsense. Anybody with a tiny bit of knowledge of military affairs should have realized that a reserve lieutenant could not possibly have commanded a battalion. The Guardian, which got it wrong, is of course a bastion of top notch journalism, despite publishing such bloopers as last week's claim that Viktor Suvorov's Icebreaker theory (that Stalin intended to attack Germany in 1941) now has broad acceptance among historians' (it doesn't, and has been thoroughly debunked in great detail by Gabriel Gorodetsky and others). Sputnik, on the other hand, which got it right, is a purveyor of fake news and disinformation'. Go figure!


Legion 403 Mar 2019 7:29 a.m. PST


Virginia Tory12 Mar 2019 3:34 p.m. PST

He was career KGB, not an artillery officer, even if he served as one for a time.

Legion 413 Mar 2019 7:35 a.m. PST

Just by being former KGB, everything he says is suspect … evil grin

Lion in the Stars13 Mar 2019 1:42 p.m. PST

No such thing as 'former' KGB (or 'former' CIA)!!!

Barin, how many tubes is a Russian artillery platoon/vzvod?

Legion 414 Mar 2019 1:13 a.m. PST

"Once KGB, always KGB!"

"Once CIA, always … well … that's classified …

Virginia Tory14 Mar 2019 7:27 a.m. PST

He certainly still thinks it's the 80s, and the US is the glavniy protivnik.

Legion 414 Mar 2019 11:34 a.m. PST

Or he wishes …

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