Children of War

Children of War

From time to time photos of child soldiers in Africa holding AK-47s or some other kind of weapon appear here and there provoking outrage and compassion from the Western public. But just a few decades ago, during World War II, there were often occasions of Russian kids fighting in the regular army against the Nazis.

Generally speaking, children were not allowed to join the combat army—but many exceptions were made. Many kids tried to run away from their homes “to the War” but most such cases were eventually captured by military police and returned back to their homes.  While some did succeed in joining the army, it was often the case for these runaways to get lost in the woods or shot along their journey.

Also, from time to time, soldiers found children in the devastated and burnt down villages of the Soviet Union. While there was a directive for them to send such children to established orphanages, still sometimes such boys were simply incorporated into the active combat units.  Specially sized uniforms were tailored for them and they were entrusted with guns. Some of those boys joined the army at nine or eleven, and stayed with their regiment through all the war front, from Russia to Germany, until the war ended and they were discharged at fourteen or sixteen, often with medals of honor.

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47 thoughts on “Children of War”

      • Not only in Russia Miss India…
        In II WW children were fighting in Germany, Poland, Russia, Ukraine, Czech Republic and maybe even more… You think that Russia is evil cauntry because of that? Try to read something about war – ther write. Greetings from Poland.

      • actually russia did not force the children to fight. many of them were rejected but they still ran away from homes to join the army, many were able to remain hidden at the army bases until it came to fight a battle. some even though they were left at home, some where forced to learn how to fight because the father was join and they mother might have been ill

  1. What is ugly about these brave kids fighting for their right to live? On the other side, it is extremely honourable, and nothing like being kidnapped and brainwashed/drugged like in Africa. One must remember that the Nazis tried to exterminate all Slavs (+ other “untermenche”). There was no choice.

  2. To fight for their country of free will is honourable, shows the love for their country. Way better than hide.

    To FORCE a children to fight is a bad thing.

    I am Brazilian and I live in Brazil. Here people don’t want to die defending our country. This makes me very sad, I joined Brazil’s Air Force amd I’m very proud to have played my role for my country – the majority don’t think like me, unfortunately.

    In all big nations people want to fight for their country of free will.

      • I do not mean to offend you when i say this but if a person did not start a wat why should thay have to give there life? i nl that sound selfish but think about there lovd ones that would have to live with it you could say there family would see it as a heroes death a brave sacrifice but that means a child would have to grow up without his/her big cuisine uncle dad grandpa or brother when that didn’t start or even want the war to began with i have a nine year old cuisine i live in scotland and if my cuntry got invaded o would not fight in a suicide task i would much rather give my cuisine more time with me because our love is far more important than a rock i think its stupid that anyone would give there life for rock it’s the people who live in the cuntry that’s important not the rock it’s self i was given a life to live my one life love and care for other people and i think it’s wrong to take a life i am very sorry if this has offended you

  3. It is an ugly reality of war that children end up in combat situations.

    I agree they were honorable and courageous – these children fighting to live and even some dying for their people and country. Bless their souls and may they rest in peace.

    It would be great to know how they were – to know if they were able to overcome all they had experienced and lived full happy lives – anyone?

      • Hey TaupeyAnna I am not teasing you,it seems like you are in your 20s with a cool outgoing personality and I like it 🙂
        There was a big spike with the moderation brobably because of too much internet traffic at the same time.Now it is over and we should turn the page and move on!I have read about Miss India in past posts and it seems like Taupey is the biggest name on this site now!
        Taupey posts good comments that reflect her personality,that is what makes her unique from everyone els so lets move on! 😉

  4. when your nation is under attack you must train them for battle but what your commie bosses did to 3 generations of socialist indoctrination cannot be just overlooked as survival as a nation .

  5. cant imagine this children getting killed by the nazis ….they are all so cherubic ….i really think wars are so horrible what good future this children have if they get seriously injured well i doubt about that?

    • In the case of a war like the WWII, I’m not sure I can see it as bad.
      Kids forced to join the army, I agree it’s not right, but the ones who went on their own, bypassing the military police.

      What I can imagine is a nazi seeing a little chubby guy with a AK-47… It’s not like nazi were bad enough to shoot on anything that move. Nazi were still human. I don’t think they would necessarily enjoy killing children…Even if they were children of enemies.

  6. It is a sad fact of war that children sometimes see combat. It is not unique to the Soviet Union or Germany or Africa either. Even in the US, boys as young as 15 joined the military after Pearl Harbor using falsified documents in a moment of extreme patriotism. Many countries that reach moments of desperation use the very young or the very old to try and fight wars. Germany was perhaps the best known for this in the closing days of the war when defending a hopeless cause as the Red Army closed in. Most of the Hitler Youth were used in this way, and many died in combat. After all, if someone is shooting at you in war, you don’t stop to see what age they are. You kill them before they kill you. There is honor in fighting for your country, but most who fight in them are forced to do things they would never do if not in combat. The scars of which stay with them until the day they die. It is hard enough to cope with it as an adult. I cannot imagine how a child would do so.

  7. i think it has been pointed out before that the howitzer on the fourth picture from the bottom is not Russian. a captured battery perhaps.

  8. my grandparents told me that there were: an 11 year old, a 12 year old (boys that were part of the military orchestra that had 12 men), a 16 year old field nurse and, well, a 17 year old nurse – my grandma : 1943 – 44, Karelian Isthmus, 32 army 257th(?) shock rifle regiment (look me up – my name is in 2 books by a famous Finnish scholar). So now that i’ve met you on this forum i wish to [wel wal well wwelllw[in this manner i am encoding my true intention as i do not trust this back stabbing site]] to ensure that from here on you get to share your degenerate opinions in a more publicly exposed manner.

  9. It makes me sad to think children will have to face a war this way. No, they do not belong to the battlefields. They should be kept safe to be ready to rebuild the world once the so called ‘grown-ups’ have finished. The continuity of war is sometimes based on what and how we teach our children.

    There are many fine examples of, if not brainwashing, passing on the abstract of revenge to the youth thus forming their idea of the world as being one big battlefield. Sad.

  10. Translation via Google, so sorry if not clear. Although it is the children of war, but most importantly, that the faces of these children the kind smile. In my view, smiling people can not be bad.

  11. Most fighting are too young any way. But they grow up very fast, in a way. And those that send them out don’t have to worry, do they? The fat cats sits in the warmth, eating good, as always.

  12. WWII in Russia had nothing to do with WWII in France, for example. Those children probably would die anyway, their parents probably were dead, they were hungry, didn’t have homes… Whole country was one bloody chaos back then. Ironic, but many of them survived that way.

    Plus things were different in that time, Germans thought it is OK to kill every Jew, USA to trow atomic bomb…

  13. Here, no one has studied or even read the history of the Second World War in Russia, you do not know what happened there, but judging only by the photos, it is very bad, I do not know who you are propagators that we have a poor country, through the intervention of your authorities have became ill live, and in general, before commenting on our study a little history of the World War in Russia!!!


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