Barrier troops

Barrier troops

Barrier troops, also translated as blocking troops or blocking detachments ( _ru. заградотряды, заградительные отряды, отряды заграждения) in the Army of the Soviet Union was the general term to denote special forces for various barrier purposes. Their activity was intensified during the Great Patriotic War.

On June 27, 1941 the 3rd Department (military counterintelligence of Soviet Army) of the USSR Narkomat of Defense issued a directive about the creation of mobile barrier forces to operate on roads, railways, forests, etc. for the purpose of catching 'deserters and suspicious persons'. They were created from NKVD troops augmented with counterintelligence operatives and were under the command of NKVD.

With the aggravation of the military situation, barrier troops acquired a new mission: to stop the retreating troops. Among the first troops of this kind were formed in the Bryansk Front on September 5, 1941.

On September 12, 1941 Joseph Stalin issued the Stavka Directive #001919 (Директива Ставки ВГК №001919) about the creation of barrier troops in rifle divisions of the Southwestern Front, to suppress panic retreats. Every division was supposed to have barrier troops totalling one company for each regiment equipped with transport whose goal was to maintain strict military discipline and liquidation of any panic by all means, including use of arms to shoot the initiators of panic. Facts|date=February 2007 These barrier forces were formed from ordinary military.

A report to Beria on October 10, 1941 says that since the beginning of the war the NKVD barrier troops stopped 657,364 lost or deserted personnel, of which 25,878 were arrested and 10,201 shot. The rest were formed into units and sent back to front.

The most notable application of barrier troops was Stalin's Order No. 227.


*"Органы государственной безопасности СССР в Великой Отечественной войне. Сборник документов",
**Том 1. Книга 1. Накануне, Издательство "Книга и бизнес", (1995) ISBN 5-212-00804-2
**Том 1. Книга 2. Накануне, Издательство "Книга и бизнес", (1995) ISBN 5-212-00805-0
**Том 2. Книга 1. Начало, Издательство "Русь" (2000) ISBN 5-8090-0006-1
**Том 2. Книга 2. Начало, Издательство "Русь" (2000) ISBN 5-8090-0007-X
**Том 3. Книга 1. Крушение "Блицкрига", Издательство: Русь, 2003, ISBN 5-8090-0009-6
**Том 3. Книга 2. От обороны к наступлению, Издательство: Русь, 2003, ISBN 5-8090-0021-5

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