Uraaa (“Ura”) is the universal battle cry of every Russian. It’s in their blood. Throughout Russian history, Russia had been invaded many times. Upon a Russian screaming Uraa “URA!”, every Russian within earshot will immediately rush with that person to defend the Motherland.
What does “Uraa” (Ura) mean?
Uraa “Ura” has only two possible meanings.
One, Uraa (Ura) is a cry of joy, “Hooray!”.
Two, Uraa (Ura) is a battlecry, to be cried as one goes to attack the enemies.
Uraa (Ura) specific meaning of it is obscure, but a version that it comes from a language of Turks or Tartars, and means “kill!”. This would certainly explain its use as a battlecry, but does not explain its use as a cry of joy.
According to Wikipedia “Ura” or “Hura” is the battle cry of the Russian Armed Forces, as well the Soviet Armed Forces and Red Army that preceded it. Its usage dates back to the Medieval era, derived from the Mongolian phrase hurray, meaning “to move” or “to attack”.
History of Uraa (Ura)
Compared to other answers but nevertheless a viable answer to the question asked (and also accurately documented):
Corporal Viljam Pylkäs that hindered a Soviet attack on 12 of April 1942 at Pertjärvi area, during the Continuation War.
The battle commenced at first morning light when the Finnish thinly manned outpost line heard a terrible battlescream of Russian “URAA!” from the still dark forest. Everyone scrambled out of the tents and were immidiately faced with terrible automatic and rifle fire. Tents where shredded and men stunned by the ferocious attack. Pylkäs with his squadmate were able to reach a Maxim -machine gun and started to fire in the attacking enemy mass – thus stopping the infantry charge.
The Russians then started to move towards right from the position against another outpost, that was held by the neighboring unit (this unit consisted of Finnish-Swedish troops and also from Swedish volunteers). Pylkäs heard the clear finnish cry for help from the unit (that had not spoken any finnish earlier). Pylkäs immidiately chose to head towards the neighboring unit in order to help them.
He reached the left most position on the outpost and the neighboring units platoon leader informed him that the light machine gunner is dead, and we will be quickly overrun if we can not stop the russian attack!
Pylkäs told the he knows not how to effectively operate the light machine gun but Suomi M/31 Submachine gun is a well known tool – and the officer gave him one.
Suomi M/31 with 70 and 40 round magazines – pre-war and wartime muzzlebreaks.
Pylkäs and his friend pvt. Kärkkäinen went forward to the position and took aim. Kärkkäinen’s job was to pass loaded magazines to Pylkäs, who would then give the magazines contents to soviets in well aimed bursts!
Enemy was really near already when they reached the position and Pylkäs immidiately opened fire at them. The enemy was attacking in an area size of 30 m length, through some thick foliage. Pylkäs emptied the magazines to the enemy mass – moving from left to middle – then middle to right in order to stop the onslaught. Russian “URAA!” yells drowned in blood.
The Russians once managed to shoot Pylkäs in the head – giving him a nick the middle of his scalp – but he kept firing at the enemy.
It was calculated that Pylkäs shot 680 9mm submachinge gun rounds (17 magazines) at the attacking enemy and killed 83 russian soldiers. The amount of KIA was confirmed the following day by Finnish troops that examined the battlefield. He was awarded the 4th class of Freedom cross with Swords by the Finnish army and Iron cross by the German army for his deed.