volunteer military units, one form of the people’s militia in the Great Patriotic War (1941–45).
Communist battalions were formed upon the initiative of city committees and raion committees of the CPSU for the immediate defense of cities and industrial regions. They were made up exclusively of volunteers not subject to the draft. Among the members were Communists, Komsomol members, and nonparty manual and office workers, scientific personnel, and students. The overwhelming majority of the battalions’ personnel were Communists and Komsomol members. Uniforms and all other supplies were provided for them by local enterprises, organizations, and party and soviet agencies.
The military command of the particular sector of the front or defense area directed their combat actions. Communist battalions were formed in Moscow, Leningrad, Tula, Sevastopol’, Odessa, Stalingrad, and other cities. As a rule these battalions operated for a short time and were then absorbed into Red Army units in the field.