Wednesday 26 August 2015

Vodka Refactoring

Remember the decree to give vodka to everyone in the army? That didn't last long.

"State Committee of Defense decree #GOKO-1727s
May 11th, 1942
Moscow, Kremlin

On the order of issuing vodka in the acting army
  1. As of May 15th, 1942, cancel the mass daily distribution of vodka in the acting army.
  2. Retain the daily vodka rations ONLY for soldiers of the front lines that demonstrate success in battle against the German invaders, increasing the ration to 200 grams of vodka per person per day.
  3. Other front line soldiers will receive 100 grams of vodka only on the following revolutionary and public holidays:
    1. Anniversary of the Great October Revolution, November 7th and 8th
    2. Constitution Day, December 5th
    3. New Year's Day, January 1st
    4. Red Army Day, February 23rd
    5. International Labour Day, May 1st and 2nd
    6. All-Union Physical Exercise Day, July 19th
    7. All-Union Aviation Day, August 16th
    8. International Youth Day, September 6th
    9. Regimental Holiday (anniversary of that unit's formation)
  4. Cancel GKO decree #562s issued on August 22nd, 1941.
Chair of the State Committee of Defense
I. Stalin"

That decree did not live long. Decree #1889s reduced the 200 gram rations to 100 grams for all units that are advancing, but even this decree did not last, for winter was coming.

"State Committee of Defense decree #GOKO-2507s
November 12th, 1942
Moscow, Kremlin

The State Committee of Defense decrees that:
  1. Vodka will be issued to the acting army in the following manner:
    1. 100 grams per person per day for units directly engaged in combat with the enemy, in trenches and on the front lines, reconnaissance units, artillery and mortar units supporting infantry, airplane crews upon completion of their mission.
    2. 50 grams per person per day for regimental and divisional reserves, supply units working on the front lines, units performing special tasks on special occasions (building or fixing bridges, roads, etc. in difficult conditions under enemy fire), and the wounded in field hospitals, if allowed by the doctor.
  2. All soldiers of the acting army will only be issued 100 grams of vodka per person per day on revolutionary and public holidays listed in GOKO decree #1889 issued on June 6th, 1942.
  3. On the Transcaucasian Front, substitute 100 grams of vodka for 200 grams of fortified wine or 300 grams of table wine and 50 grams of vodka for 100 grams of fortified wine or 150 grams of table wine.
  4. The military councils of Fronts and Armies must establish monthly limits on issuing vodka to units and act according to the established limit.
  5. When the limit is reached, report to Red Army GUPS to receive the quota for the next month.
  6. Establish the following limit for distribution of vodka among the Fronts from November 25th to December 31st, 1942 (see attachment).
Chair of the State Committee of Defense
I. Stalin."

I'm not going to translate the entire attachment, but in total, 5,691,000 liters of vodka and 1,200,000 liters of wine were needed in the specified period. 

On May 3rd, 1943, the vodka rations returned to summertime quotas, as previously seen: 100 grams for units on the offensive only, everyone else gets to drink on holidays. This order of things keeps flipping back and forth every time the seasons change, with some extra details here and there. For instance, the standards of recycling glass containers were set at 50%, and barrels at 80%. 

The limits for 1943 decreased compared to 1942: between November 25th and December 31st, only 5,665,000 liters of vodka were issued, and no wine at all. As the war went on, the rations kept decreasing. For instance, the winter quota only lasted from December 1st, 1944, to March 1st, 1945, as opposed to from November 25th to March 15th, like in the previous year. This was explained by the fact that the army was fighting in warmer climates.

From here

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