THE SOVIET ARMY: GUARDSMEN OF THE 1970S [Main Title]
A propaganda film about trainee Guardsmen of the Taman Division of the Soviet Army.
(Reel 1) Young Soviet Guardsmen of the Taman Division parade at a snow-bound war memorial. They are joined by veterans of the regiment who served during the Second World War. Some of the veterans have sons serving in their regiment. The commanding officer addresses the young Guardsmen. The commentator tells us that the officer is reminding the men of their duty to be "first in battle and first in their training". He encourages them to continue the fine tradition of the Guardsmen. Guardsmen receive the badge of the regiment. Cut to archive film of the Soviet soldiers in action during the Second World War. Back at the memorial, a young Guardsman declares his loyalty to the memory and honourable tradition of the regiment. The Guardsmen are seen marching and drilling in the parade ground. In the regimental museum the guardsmen chat and admire their new regimental badges. These Guardsmen serve with the Motorised Infantry Battalion, under the command of Senior Lieutenant Gennady Andreyev. Cut to a photograph of Gennady's father who fought in the Second World War. Veterans are seen telling stories of the Guards to the young men in the Divisional Museum. Thirty five men of the Division were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. Cut to scenes of young Guardsmen in class dismantling a weapon, then being instructed in the use of ant-tank weapons and battle field radios. The commentator explains: "The Guardsman of the 1970s excels in combat readiness and political awareness, a high class specialist dedicated to his homeland and people". The soldiers are seen preparing tanks for an exercise. Cut to the tanks moving through a snow covered landscape. Cut to the Guardsmen training at night, a line of soldiers walking forward firing their weapons from the hip. Cut to the soldiers wearing snow camouflage, climbing into armoured infantry carriers. The carriers and tanks move at speed, firing whilst on the move. The commentator informs us that "all targets were hit". Cut to scenes of the soldiers relaxing in their mess, eating and drinking and reading the papers around a table with a large Samovar as the centre piece. The parents of the Guardsmen visit the unit. Close ups of the men talking to their parents. One Guardsman shows a certificate to his parents. A mother examines the Division's food rosters: "Naturally a mother wants to know her son is fed wholesome food".
(Reel 2) A crying mother meets her son on leave in the Kuban region. This Guardsman's father was also in the Taman division. The family group have a meal together with the two Guardsmen on leave. The veterans describe their own military careers to their sons: "there's a heroic explanation behind every medal and order worn by these heroic Guardsmen". A group of young Guardsmen walk with veterans who are describing their exploits. Young Guardsmen visit some Second World War battlefields with their fathers. Cut to archive film of Soviet troops crossing the Kerch Stait in the Crimea. The footage includes sequences of Soviet corpses on the beach. Veterans lay wreaths at a war memorial to the remains of the Guardsman and Hero of the Soviet Union, Guards Private Josef Lov, who captured an enemy pill box. Back at the Guardsmen's training camp, unidentified Major tells the Guardsmen about their exercise. The recruits are seen exercising in the woods and washing bare-chested in the snow. They eat breakfast and don their snow camouflaged battle dress. The men receive their orders and then climb into camouflaged Mechanised Infantry Combat Vehicles (BMP-1). A column of BMP-1s moves through the woods. Cut to a column of T-62 tanks. Cut to two commanding officers watching the exercise. Two planes fly over, probably MiG 21s, and drop bombs. More T-62 tanks are seen moving swiftly. Cut to the interior of a T-62, with the crew in action. The tanks are followed by troops in snow camouflage. BMPs charge across a wide expanse, planes fly overhead and drop shells. BMPs or M-1970 (GT-7s) tow groups of eight soldiers on skis. Cut to a group of T-55 tanks on the move. Soldiers run and clamber through burning buildings, snow and water, they carry AK47 assault rifles. The Guardsmen rest in the woods around a fire. One soldier plays the accordion. The men's weapons are arrayed neatly before the camera. The commentator tells us that "the soldiers of the 70s are honourably continuing the combat tradition of the Soviet Guard".