Pravda: Soviets Developed Titanium-Boned WW2 Super Soldiers

Wow, so Russian media giant Pravda ran one doozy of a story on Tuesday, claiming that between 1936 and 1941 the Soviet Union marched 300 young volunteers through a super soldier program that saw gold electrodes implanted in their brains and titanium implants inserted in place of limb bones.

In theory, the neural implant shut down the soldier’s pain centers and the titanium limbs protected against various forms of battle damage.

Wow. We’re treading into some serious Captain America/Weapon X territory here.

The article largely cites the work of American historian Jeff Strasberg (on whom I can find no info, so keep that grain of salt handy) as well an account by Vitebsk physician Sergei Konovalenko, who allegedly found a human skeleton augmented with metal, hinged prostheses etched with the soviet hammer and sickle. Of course, he didn’t bother to collect these remains and the subsequently “vanished.”

Oh, and Konovalenko also supposedly found a video of a soldier receiving the Soviet super soldier treatment (in which a leg bone is removed without anesthesia and replaced with metal). Where is this video? No word. But the article goes onto state that the cyborg project was ultimately a failure because the neural implants caused tumors and the soldiers’ bodies rejected the steel bones.

You can probably take that grain of salt now, but this wouldn’t be the first time stories of Soviet superman mad science made the rounds.  Back in the1920s, Russian biologist Ilya Ivanovich Ivanov was dead set on creating a human/ape hybrid. The Conspiracy Stuff Guys covered this in a recent episode. You’ll find the transcript right here.

So there you have it! You can find the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast on iTunes, Zune and the RSS feed. And don’t forget the free HowStuffWorks App!

Original Published at HSW: Pravda: Soviets Developed Titanium-boned WW2 Super Soldiers


Robert Lamb is a senior staff writer at HowStuffWorks.com and co-host of the Stuff to Blow Your Mind podcast and blog. He is also a regular contributor to Discovery News. Follow him on Twitter @blowthemind.

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