The story: We opened fire with our gun and knocked out two armored transporters. In response the Germans returned heavy machine-gun fire and under its cover withdrew into the woods. Then we shifted our gun to a new position. At this time we had several high explosive and only two armor-piercing rounds.
IVAN KOBETS, Captain
The story I remember their leader,
an unshaven, sweaty redhead with a submachine gun on his shoulder.
Having carefully taken aim, I shot at him at a range of 15-20
meters. Immediately, the entire ambush squalled with automatic
Interview There were always
many volunteers among the convicts. Once the convict got distinguished
in action, the commander immediately applied for complete acquittal.
I probably had five men like that and two of them had 10-year
sentences. They were very good men.
EVGENII BESSONOV, Leutenant
One battle: In the burning
village I was visible to everyone and as soon as I dove into one
of the trenches, the shell exploded on the breastwork. The breastwork
was swept off and private Ivanov and I were stunned. The second
shell didn't follow. Perhaps, the Germans thought that we were
JOSEF FINKELSHTEYN, Senior Leutenant
THE GREAT BATTLE HAS BEGUN It
is said there is little food in Leningrad's stores. A lot of people
are dying from starvation. They are being burned in common graves,
some in bags some not. There is no wood for coffins. A lot of
people have died right on the street. The burial patrol picks
them up in the morning and takes them to a common cemetery.
THE FESTIVE FIREWORK:
"'These bastards learned enough! I'll teach them a lesson!'
said the captain climbed into a nearby friendly bunker and began
firing a large caliber machine gun into the German positions.
The Germens answered immediately. After short period of time the
fire expanded up and down the front. The Germans shot flares on
parachutes over our ravine. It grew as bright as noontime."
THE VICTORY By that evening,
no one could safely stand on his own two feet. Guns fired everywhere.
Green and red tracer bullets crossed the sky. One could think
it was a battle, but it was the peace celebration. The world and
all around me were drunk with wine and the knowledge that at long
last it was all over. It was the VICTORY!
VLADIMIR ZIMAKOV, Sergeant
Part I I thought, "It is over,
they will smash us." But Malyshev didn't lose his nerve.
While she was showing us her side, he pointed the PTR from under
the track and hurled 5 bullets into her side, one after another.
That was an explosion! Our Ferdinand blew to pieces--its turret,
Part II But there wasn't a German
who could escape such wolves as our Fomichev and Alexandrov! Nobody!
No way! And it didn't matter how strong the Germans were. How
did we bind them? Usual style--hands behind the back, the head
taken by the hair and bent backwards, to make the German lose
consciousness just for a moment. The main thing was to keep his
hands away from his gun and knife.
EVGENIY MONYUSHKO, Junior Lieutenant
Part 1: Besides the food
received through ration cards, various surrogates were in use,
pets were eaten, and it must be mentioned that a roast cat does
not differ much from a roast rabbit.
Part 2: The subcaliber
shell, fired point blank, hit the bottom of the turret. The "Tiger"
didn't burst into flames, but the crew tried to bail out. A machine
gun burst finished the business...
Part 3:The artillery battalion
commander Shliahov reports to someone "on top": "...we're
fighting for Gross-Brizen. The combat is heavy, boxes (tanks)
VLADIMIR DOLMATOV, Sergeant
Interview: "Sergeant major,
our unit commander is an asshole. I want to run away, but I don't
want to get caught. That's why we'll make a deal -- you send me
to the front, but don't note anywhere that I left, and I'll give
you a bottle of "Tarhun" vodka and a block of "Kazbek"
NIKOLAI OBRYN'BA, private
In German captivity: The loading
took a long time, German and Russian swearing poured, polizeis'
whips struck, prisoners moaned, fell from the beam unable to take
the shoving, Germans shot those too weak without pity, and so,
settling near the wall in the corner, we even felt cozy, since
there was no danger of being executed anymore.