Memories of veterans of the Great Patriotic War

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610 0

Kalinenok Marat
Alexandrovich

I remember when we rushed towards Konigsberg; our battalion travelled in a marching column on a highway. There was a slope on one side and a swampy depression on the other, and suddenly we ran into an ambush. German artillery pieces knocked out the lead and last vehicles from the mound, but we began to disperse and fire back. I rolled to the right, and then my tank was pierced through, but because of the short range all the crew members survived.... Then out of ten vehicles, I think, we lost four. When we seized the German positions we found that the gunners were chained to their guns...


1674 0

Yampolsky Joseph
Mironovich

In the afternoon my platoon, consisting of five T-26 tanks, entered the  village, and we split up. I went with three tanks along the main street,  while my deputy platoon commander Tereshchenko went with two tanks  along a parallel street. And then it began. They fired at us from  everywhere. One of our vehicles was burned, and the other was only  knocked down, but the crew was killed. Somehow I managed to make it on  foot to the tank of Tereshchenko and pick up from his dead, bloodstained  hands a map case with the map where the coordinates of the German guns  were plotted... God protected us; three tanks left the village and went  back to our lines.


1219 0

Sherstnev Alexander
Ivanovitch

At dawn we finally got to the intended region, mined the main road and  laid an ambush. The frost got severer, our hands were almost frozen.  Suddenly we heard the roar of approaching enemy cars and opened fire. We  killed four Fascist, took the staff papers out of a passenger car and  retreated. Soon motorcycles hurried to the assault place and opened a  random fire at the forest. When we were ready to fall back our comrade  Vanya Ochotnikov came and shouted that Germans were on the opening.


2174 0

Fedorovich Stepan
Georgievich


We lost about 90 of our guys. All in all, it was so BAD! There was real carnage! We clashed tightly in a mortal combat. We fought hand to hand in the trenches using entrenchment tools, rifle butts, finger nails, etc. I mixed it up with one… burly German. He smashed me under my rib with his rifle butt. The impact was so strong that crunch was heard and my eyes nearly fell out of my head and I stopped breathing. Oh, my goodness, I had my rib fractured then…


1547 0

Kolyadin Victor
Ivanovich


Well, what can I tell you about war? I had neither seen anything particularly heroic there nor did any such thing myself. We were just doing our various, dangerous, permanent jobs. In the beginning we retreated, and then slowly began to advance. We did not allow ourselves to think: "I wish the war was over soon!" We just worked. Before the final victory we flew very little. Everyone knew and felt that the end of the war was near. The men were happy to realize that the end of the war meant the end of suffering. When the war was finally over, everybody thought: “Now what?” We learned how to fly, how to fight. We learned how to squeeze everything we could out of the airplanes. “What’s next?” For about a month and a half we just hung around. Then we began to organize the flights


2936 0

Degen Ion Lazarevich

And then I began to weep: neither pain, nor losses nor fear were the cause of those tears. I wept from my awareness of the tragedy of the retreat which I had witnessed and in which I had taken part, I wept from the terrible thought that all our sacrifices had been in vain ... I wept because I had not even a grenade to blow myself up with the Germans. I wept from the very thought that the Germans were already on the left bank of the Dnieper.


15611 0

Otroschenkov Sergei
Andreyevich

Six tanks with mounted parties passed along the cart road toward the German rear. I always remember with gratitude our tank-mounted submachine gunners. They were brave guys. They certainly never ran along with tanks on attack or rode the tanks under gun fire as shown in movies. They were common living humans. They would hide and shoot here and there. But without them at nights we were as good as blind. They guarded us at nights.


6967 0

Maslov Ivan
Vladimirovich


The battles were very   intense. Many men remained lying there for good …  The Finish snipers,   so-called “cuckoos,” (sitting in trees) caused us  a lot of trouble. Once, at   a crossing of forest roads, we were  ambushed. We had the latest model tanks,   with "antiaircraft" machine  guns installed on turrets. I brought   down three "cuckoos" from the  tree tops with a machine gun. The Finns   operated well in our rear.  They would pass on skis through the woods and set   up for us bloody  "concerts". Once a camp bath house was arranged for   soldiers in the  woods. It consisted of a big canvas tent, which was heated   inside,  where the soldiers would come to wash themselves. Three Finns with    submachine guns jumped out on skis from behind a hillock and killed a  few of our   soldiers washing themselves in such a "camp bath". The war  was intense   …

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Ivan Zabolotny


I participated in three forced crossings over rivers. Now it is difficult even to imagine but at that time we didn't feel anything special as if we were injected with some tranquilizer. I also remember that my overcoat was perforated in several places:
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