[Moscow]: Molodaia gvardia, 1941. 12mo (12.5 × 9.5 cm). Original card wrappers; 266,  pp., with 183 figures of illustrations. Owner inscription to title. Wrappers lightly worn; spine extremities frayed; internally very good.
First edition. Addressed to the “young partisan,” this handbook was published in winter of 1941, just six months after the Soviet Union entered WWII on June 22, 1941. In this most difficult period for the Soviet resistance, the handbook aimed to provide military training for those not prepared for military service, such as those who were too young to be drafted to fight or civilians compelled into partisan activities. Instructions on how to handle all manner of weapons from a variety of shotguns, pistols and hand grenades to machine guns are accompanied by nearly two hundred instructional images and diagrams. The handbook also gives instructions for sabotage activities, from destroying enemy tanks, to planting landmines, cutting communication wires, and building explosives. The second part of the text is dedicated to wilderness survival, reading and making of maps, first aid, cold weather and wintertime survival as well as food acquisition and storage, ending with detailed instructions on making flour out of pine bark, apparently the most nutritious. Second and third expanded editions of this text were published in 1942 and 1943 respectively. Despite the large print run of 50000 copies, very few copies of this edition are found outside of Russia.
KVK, OCLC locate one copy each of the first and second edition (in North America and Austria respectively).
Book ID: 50963