On the day of the German attack on the USSR, the Red Army numbered 4.8 million men on the field.
Given the military situation, enlistment was forced. The first general mobilization began in June and July of 1941, and the draft was then held annually for persons reaching the age of 18.
The greatest losses during World War II were suffered by the infantry. On the eve of the war, the Red Army was reorganizing and rearming, and was unready for the enemy – both in terms of equipment and personnel. At the same time, the Soviet Union had not signed the Geneva Convention on prisoners of war – and it was believed that they would neither accept surrender nor take any prisoners.