The affects of aggressive soviet propaganda are never more prominent than in their own basic infantry that comprise as the bulk of their armed forces. Conscripts by definition have no choice whether they join the army or not with desertion and cowardice being executable offences. The peacetime red army consisted of a mixture of professional soldiery and armed militia, as Europe began to blaze the militias were quickly merged with the territorial forces and soon followed by the conscription of bodily able eighteen year old men and over. Certain exceptional specialists were exempt if they belonged to a vital military or defence industry but otherwise conscription was a holy duty to a lifetime of service. And of course there was always mind control as an alternative.
The Soviet Union controls manpower in such vast quantities that it’s the sad truth that the most of the red army is considered expendable. The Soviet conscripts are on the lowest rung of the metaphorical ladder being little more than cannon fodder, the call of the motherland may be strong but not every communist is brave enough to die for his country. Voluntary enlistment into the army is heavily encouraged, a subtle national curriculum and military scouts employed in many sectors of Russian society mean that capable killers are prepared and found from a young age. The conscripts who are called into service comprise of everyone else, former prisoners are especially common during conscription drives with regular penal units being formed, but it is the officers assigned to conscripted units who have the unenviable task of making sure there charges are victorious or die in the process.
The standard issue equipment of conscripts certainly matches their life expectancy. The Moisin-Nagant is the staple rifle of conscripted forces. Its many adaptations and variants means that the models being used vary greatly, hwoever all often share one key thing, due to the necessary output of the firearm many are roughly made with imperfections such as tool marks being highly common. Conscripts are often allocated few rifle cartridges, with protracted gunfights forcing conscripts to scavenge ammunition from their fallen comrades mid fight. The standard conscript fatigues are similarly not expected to be used for long, tall snow boots and a long winter coat is the most protection they can expect from their uniform.
The true death sentence for most conscripts though, whether directly or indirectly, is from order 227 – not one step back.
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When deployed in combat, Conscripts should always move and attack in groups, due to their low damage output and mobility. They are almost restricted to a support or short-ranged scouting role because they are simply too weak to spearhead an assault. Infantry such as Red Army Soldiers or Naval Infantry are more suited for this.