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589 hits since 2 Aug 2022
©1994-2023 Bill Armintrout
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Tango01 Supporting Member of TMP02 Aug 2022 3:50 p.m. PST

"In 1941 the Soviet Union had around 20,000 km of land border to patrol as well as 40,000 km of coastline, and the Soviet border guards tasked with watching these numbered around 70,000. They were part of the NKVD rather than the Red Army, and lacking artillery and armour they could not expect to stop a full-scale invasion such as that at the start of Operation Barbarossa, which came as a complete surprise. Naturally they were amongst the first troops to see action, and despite this overwhelming force they fought well, with their most celebrated action being as part of the defence of the Fortress of Brest, which delayed the Germans much longer than they expected, although this defiance was at the cost of very high casualties. During the rest of the war border troops were sometimes used in NKVD units fighting as ordinary infantry, since the need for troops of any description was often desperate.

Since they would act as ordinary troops when faced with action, most of the poses in this set are pretty standard, but the third figure in the second row is perhaps more reflective of their peace-time role. This is of a crouching man next to a sitting dog, and while the Red Army also used dogs, as did other parts of the NKVD, naturally they were an important part of border patrols. In addition, we really liked this pose, which may not be popular with those who only want battle poses, but we thought it was well worth inclusion in this set, which is of a fairly unusual subject anyway. As we said, the rest of the poses are more typical, and all are appropriate. The first figure in the top row looks to be about to throw a grenade underarm, and is a better pose than our picture suggests, while there are many simple firing figures too. The crawling figure in the second row is harder to see, partly because he wears camouflage clothing (which is therefore effective!), but he is moving forward holding a rifle in one hand and a concentrated charge in the other. It is the other really unusual pose in this set, but again a worthy addition. The officer is, as so often, depicted firing his pistol, although at least here the pose is more interesting than the usual one so often seen…"



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