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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.



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 fire.

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.




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 killed.



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!



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, everything!


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) are burning..."


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" cigarettes".



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.


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