Chapter

Sea whelps

Olga Kucherenko

in Little Soldiers

Published in print January 2011 | ISBN: 9780199585557
Published online May 2011 | e-ISBN: 9780191725043 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199585557.003.0009
Sea whelps

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Of all Soviet underage combatants who participated in the hostilities on the Eastern Front, the alumni of naval schools and training detachments were the only ones who could be considered professional servicemen. In 1942, in order to control the mass escape to the front, to alleviate further shortages of manpower in the Navy, and to maintain order on the home front, where child vagrancy and delinquency were becoming a serious problem, the Soviet state rehabilitated the lowest navy rank of a junga, which had long pre-revolutionary traditions. While many boys underwent training directly on warships and cargo vessels, others entered naval schools and courses in Leningrad and Archangelsk, on the Solovetsky Archipelago, in the Far East, and later in Odessa. Jungas not only had the advantage of training, but also swore an oath of allegiance on a par with adult sailors. They had specific duties and were indispensable crewmembers on board.

Keywords: junga; navy; Solovki Junga School; selection; minesweeping; uniform; professionalism

Chapter.  8705 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Modern History (1700 to 1945)

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