Territorial-Militia System

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Territorial-Militia System


a system of organization of armed forces, based on the maintenance of minimum cadres, primarily commanders, in military units in peacetime. During a mobilization these units are brought up to full wartime strength by means of a call-up of groups of inactive reserves who have been trained by the units and who are assigned to them on a territorial basis. In peacetime such groups are trained during short tours of duty. Switzerland is an example of a country that uses this system. The armies of most of the capitalist countries are organized on the regular army system.

From 1923 to 1935 the armed forces of the USSR were organized on the basis of a combination of the regular army and territorial-militia systems. Thus, in addition to regular cadres, there were territorial forces in which the cadres never exceeded 16 to 20 percent of the full wartime complement. The enlisted men, whose complement varied, and part of the cadres of the territorial units underwent military training periodically. The term of service in the territorial units was five years, of which training sessions took eight to 12 months, depending on the type of unit. In the 1930’s, with the increasing threat of war against the USSR, this combined system of organization no longer met the needs of the country’s defense. Between 1935 and 1938 the armed forces were converted to a unified regular army system.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.