Survey Techniques in the Great Patriotic War
Dr. Sci. (Hist.), Head of the Social Process Monitoring Laboratory, Research Centre (Sociological) of the Armed Forces of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia. firstname.lastname@example.org
Cand. Sci. (Soc.), Doctoral Candidate at the Military University of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation; Assoc. Prof., Financial University under the Government of the Russian Federation, Moscow, Russia email@example.com
On the eve of the 75th anniversary of the victory in the Great Patriotic War the experience of using survey methods by political officers of the Red Army is analyzed. The introduction briefly describes the state of military and sociological research in the Red Army in 1920–1930. In the main part of the article, the results of anonymous surveys of German prisoners of war from September 1941 to March 1942 are presented. For the first time the declassified materials of the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense of Russia are put into academic circulation. The article describes the procedures of the questionnaire survey, volume of the sample POW populations and their qualitative composition. The results of polls conducted at three stages of combat operations on the North-Western front are analyzed: during the periods of withdrawal of the Red Army units, active defense and offensive operation. Based on them, conclusions were made about the political and moral state and cultural level of the German Army soldiers, their attitudes to the Soviet Union, the war, Nazi propaganda and Soviet counter-propaganda. Structure and content of the used tools are presented. In addition to the experience of using survey methods, the authors describe the practice of analyzing letters of German prisoners of war as another way to obtain social information. Further study of sociological and statistical support of the Russian army should raise theoretical, methodological and empirical level of military sociological research.
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