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Drunkenness in the Russian army during the First World War

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    As you know, during the Great Patriotic War were common "front hundred grams" that gave soldiers the courage to brave performance in battle. About the war of 1914-1918, we know much less. What was the attitude of Russian soldiers and officers to alcohol consumption in times of war?

     Already at the initial stage of mobilization Colonel V. Vevern he said that the "war on vodka not supposed to." Indeed, the decree of the emperor was supposed to take all measures against the consumption of alcoholic beverages in the army. The campaign systematically carried out anti-alcohol sermon created regimental temperance society.

     Of course, most of the soldiers, especially the representatives of the stock, did not accept the proposed "prohibition". They were looking for any opportunity to drink a refreshing drink: fortunately for them, in the abandoned German houses are often to be found strong tincture.

     Another source quench thirst alcohol were medical centers: the higher ranks, having sufficient authority subscribed easily from military doctors and veterinarians pure alcohol, of which quickly learned to do a good vodka. Whether it was possible in those days to buy moonshine in St. Petersburg, Moscow and other major cities? Officially - no, but he could find a way to each. At the same time military and craftsmen are engaged in the manufacture of simple distillers to produce vodka of rubbing alcohol.

     In winter 1914 outbreak of intestinal infectious diseases has increased dramatically in the army, which caused relaxation of "prohibition". However, the soldiers took advantage of this fact and began to consume alcohol in much larger doses than is prescribed by doctors.

     In the closing years of the war the army was weakened by numerous lesions, human and material losses, loss of morale as a result of the civil war - the soldiers were looking for solace in the bottom of the glass. The lower ranks often drank a liquid containing alcohol, leading to severe poisoning.

     During the First World War - a vivid example of what the "forbidden fruit is sweet": results of the anti-alcohol campaigns were sometimes completely opposite to its objectives. Today buy moonshine in St. Petersburg will not be difficult - perhaps this is why the culture of drinking is gradually returning to Russia?


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