The Russians really, seriously, never throw anything away

Throughout history, captured weapons have been recast into trophies by the victors. The historic Vendôme column, ordered in 1803 by Napoleon, was decorated by a series of bronze plaques cast from melted down Austrian cannon captured in his Italian campaign. Likewise, Nelson’s Column in Trafalgar Square was in turn made from French cannons captured from “The Little Corporal” himself.

The British repeated the gesture after the Crimea by casting the original Victoria’s Crosses from the Tsar’s guns taken in that war.

With that in mind, the Russians picked up some 3 million usable weapons from the Germans in the tail-end of WWII and, taking them back to the Motherland, lovingly cleaned them, packed them in cosmoline, and stored them just in case they were ever needed again. After all, it is 100% cheaper to keep an old gun rather than make a new one.

They gave freighter-loads of them away for generations to hard-working proletariat masses in the various People’s Republics of Eastern Europe, Asia, and Africa, where they were often encountered during the Cold War and continue to pop up to this day.

MG-42 and three StG-44s, all WWII-era German guns, which were captured by French Gendarmes in Djibouti in 1976

Well, the Russians still apparently have warehouses full of the stuff.

Like Indiana Jones-Lost Ark-storage style government warehouses:

Filled with the most amazing stuff:

And they are going to be culling some to craft the stairs to the Russian state military chapel.

Za raditeley!

More in my column at Guns.com.

 

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About laststandonzombieisland

Let me introduce myself. I am a bit of a conflict junkie. I am fascinated by war and warfare, assassination, personal protection and weaponry ranging from spud guns and flame throwers to thermonuclear bombs and Soviet-trained Ebola monkeys. In short, if it’s violent or a tool to create violence it is kind of my thing. I have written a few thousand articles on the dry encyclopedia side for such websites as Guns.com, University of Guns, Outdoor Hub, Tac-44, History Times, Big Game Hunter, Glock Forum, Firearms Talk.com, and Combat Forums; as well as for print publications like England Expects, and Strike First Strike Fast. Several magazines such as Sea Classics, Military Historian and Collector, Mississippi Sportsman and Warship International have carried my pieces. Additionally I am on staff as a naval consultant and writer for Eye Spy Intelligence Magazine. Currently I am working on several book projects including an alternative history novel about the US-German War of 1916, and a biography of Southern gadfly and soldier of fortune Bennett Doty. My first novel, about the coming zombie apocalypse was released in 2012 by Necro Publications and can be found at Amazon.com as was the prequel, Chimera-44. I am currently working on book two of that series: "Pirates of the Zombie Coast." In my day job I am a contractor for the U.S. federal government in what could best be described as the ‘Force Protection’ field. In this I am an NRA-certified firearms, and less-than-lethal combat instructor.

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