CREATION AND OPERATION OF SOLDIERS SHOPS (GROCERY) OF RUSSIAN ZEMSKYI UNION IN 1915–1917

H. B. Kovalska

Abstract


Introduction. After the retreat of Warsaw in 1915, the Russian army was at first against the food in very poor conditions. Transportation has not yet been established, but rail traffic could not handle the transportation of essential food. Meanwhile, soldiers needed so necessary and usual things such as: shag, matches, cigarettes, stationery and so on. Besides, they needed varied food: sausage, white bread, canned food. Not getting these products and industrial goods either from quartermaster nor of its regimental stores, the soldiers were forced to buy them from private individuals, thereby increasing prices, already high in the area of the front. Given these requirements, Russian organization of the humanities in Russian zemskyi Union (RZU) found to organize the soldiers shops аt the front.

The purpose of the article is to analyze the formation and activity of soldiers shops of Russian Zemsky Union and clarify their role at the front.

Results. In early November 1915, the Committee of the Western Front invited 4 senior instructors from Moscow Union of Consumer Societies in order to organize shops. For three days, a plan and an estimate of Mercenary-minded organization was formed up.

November 9, 1915 the Executive Committee conditionally approved estimates of soldiers shops, which was calculated at 60 facilities in the amount of 840,170 rubles. In January 1916, the Committee asked Chief Committee of RZU to purchase goods for soldiers shops of about 1 million rubles. Since then mercenary-minded department started its activity.

In organizational sense shops can be divided into stationary, located in a particular place and moving, that is cart with goods moving under certain route from the base mercenary-minded barns to the consumer.

By the end of January 1916 in the Western Front there were 18 shops, in the South-West 1, in the North 16, but in the Caucasus none. And in July 1916 the Northern Front had 55 shops, in the South-West there were 23, in the Caucasus 3.

Mercenary-minded dependence of the market supply to predetermined to the soldiers shops the necessary goods, price runup on them, forcing management to begin making its own essential goods, bread, bagels, crackers, cigarettes and envelopes.

In the spring of 1917, in connection with the fall of the existing shops and the opening of new military stores in order to save resources and money, mercenary-minded department began liquidation of the Zemskyi Union shops and gradually moved to the supply of military stores from warehouses.

Conclusions. So the soldiers shops of Russian Zemskyi Union were direct agencies that provide soldiers with various products and manufactured goods. Their range was diverse: food and toiletries for soldier's life. The presence of soldiers shops at the front significantly reduced rates for products of private traders. Struggling with the high cost of basic necessities, Mercenary-minded organization helped not only soldiers, but also the local population. Due to speculation in the market of Mercenary-minded organization were made a number of businesses. Unfortunately, the adverse conditions of the commodity market: no free procurement and delivery of flour, tobacco and other goods for their production have been forced the organization to begin the liquidation of soldiers shops.


Keywords


Zemskyi Union; soldiers shops; military assistance; the Western Front4 the Northern front.

References


References

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