Home Guard


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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Home Guard

 

(1) Military units created during wartime from the civilian population and consisting primarily of volunteers. The home guard has been used since ancient times to involve the broad masses of the people in repulsing foreign aggressors. The term is also used for medieval militia-type military units composed of knights or nobles and city militias. In the early 17th century a people’s volunteer corps led by Minin and Pozharskii played an outstanding role in the fight against Polish and Swedish intervention. In the 19th century a home guard made up of serfs and other classes of the population subject to the poll tax was formed in 1806–07, 1812–13, and 1855–56 as a subsidiary, untrained reserve for the regular army. A people’s volunteer corps fought in the Patriotic War of 1812. In the USSR the people’s volunteer corps during the Great Patriotic War of 1941–45 was a vivid manifestation of Soviet patriotism in the struggle against the fascist German aggressors.

(2) A category of military serviceman enlisted for active duty during wartime in prerevolutionary Russia from 1874 until 1917. The home guard included persons not subject to conscription for regular army duty and persons who had completed their reserve term (from 36 to 40 years, after 1891 from 39 to 43 years). They were divided into two classes—members of the first were suitable for line duty and were intended to replenish the regular army; members of the second were not suitable for line duty and were intended for service in the rear. Command personnel were taken from reserve officers or older retired officers. A similar category of military service in Germany and Austria-Hungary was called the Landsturm.

The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
Above, Llandudno Home Guard exercise with a mounted Lewis gun outside St George's Hotel, Llandudno; left, Rhyl Home Guard in boxing training; below, first parade of Llandudno Home Guard in 1940 - with no uniform and sticks in place of guns
These were a sort of mini firework and a favourite strategy of ours was to throw them in the direction of the Home Guard attacking our position.
As well as his personal entries it included newspaper clippings about events like ships being blown up in the Channel and German parachutists being captured by the Home Guard. The entries are just so interesting and, in terms of the Home Guard, unique.
The Penarth Home Guard got hold of a rocket launcher and forced one of our own aircraft down?
The newspaper revealed that the Home Guard had "successfully frustrated the invasion by 2,000 parachute troops, following upon an aerial blitz , and either captured or annihilated every man Jack of them."
The Home Guard replaced the Local Defence Volunteers, a group armed with old rifles and handed khaki LDV armbands.
And as the wartime announcements and air raid sirens died away and the haphazard home guard marched onto the stage, the audience began laughing before even a line was said.
And the Home Guard of Honley went to battle with the men of Brockholes in war manoeuvres straight out of Dad's Army.
It includes an edition of The Illustrated London News and a booklet entitled With The Home Guard, which looked like it could have inspired Dad's Army!
'I signed up to the Home Guard in the British Army as soon as I turned 17, and two days later, I was on my first training mission.