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Stalin's DefectorsHow Red Army Soldiers became Hitler's Collaborators, 1941-1945$
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Mark Edele

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780198798156

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: July 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198798156.001.0001

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(p.59) 4 Scenarios
Stalin's Defectors

Mark Edele

Oxford University Press

This chapter discusses the various ways in which defectors came across the front line. Scenarios varied. Some defectors came as part of organized desertions of entire units; more came in small groups; and about just as many came alone. The front line could be overcome simply by letting it pass, a particularly viable option in 1941, but also possible later in the war; others exploited holes in the front, used planes or tanks to get across, or absconded after having been sent across the line in an attack or a commando operation. Often, defection was a violent process, which required sometimes deadly force against superiors or compadres. The chapter describes these scenarios and puts the moment of defection into a larger framework of the wartime trajectories of men who ended up surrendering.

Keywords:   attack, retreat, encirclement, scenarios of defection, primary groups, Red Army, military history from below, Ivan Nikitich Kononov, history of violence

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