Memories of veterans of the Great Patriotic War

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5526 0

Vasiliy Kotov

In 1943 I was sure in my defense. And I was sure of my commanders, too. Even the weakest lieutenant in '43 knew much more than a lieutenant before the war.


9066 0

Nikolay Kolesnik


One time our own aviation flew over and bombed the Germans with no mercy. I managed to flee in the general chaos. With many precautions I was able to reach Dnepropetrovsk by train. From there I traveled on foot to Novomoskovsk. The town was burnt to the ground but my mother was alive. She hid me in the hayloft, because the Germans were shooting all new arrivals. Two weeks later the local partisan-underground members...


5238 0

Serge Abaulin

In the summer of 1944, I once again experienced the desperate hell of war. The temperature was up to 30C. To attack, it was necessary for us to go through the woods where Germans had set up obstructions, which they set on fire as we approached. The flames were as if in a blast-furnace. The caustic smoke caused pain that "ate away" at my eyes…And in this nightmare, in addition to being under enemy bombardment, I - the gun layer - had to aim precisely!


178911 0

Nina Erdman


Some older soldier had dug himself a small hole and was sitting in it. He said, "What are you crawling for? Jump in here!" I jumped. I could not sit there for too long! I sat for a little. I said, "I can't stay any longer!" I crawled forward, got a wounded soldier, and started crawling back. I crawled back to the trench, but there was a chunk missing from the soldier's head.


3874 0

Maria Stepanovna
Nidilko

The first baptism of fire was the raid of the scout group into enemy positions in order to find out the system of firing emplacements and capture a “tongue”. The group had been active within enemy positions for 3 days, and the mission was accomplished. During a skirmish my fellow countryman, Mikhail Nikitin, was severely wounded. He was the first soldier I ever carried away on my back.


9012 0

Mariana Milyutina


On June 22 we had an exam. Well, when I heard on the radio that the war had begun, I thought: "That's good, maybe they'll at least give me a passing mark!"

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It is winter, our platoon is on its way to the shooting-ground keeping to the footworn track. The banks of snow are more than a yard thick. The subject of today’s exercise is “How to act under a raid by air.” Suddenly our commander shouts: “Air! Airplanes!” The platoon must to scatter momentarily, and everyone is running through the thick snow. In a minute or two we hear: “All clear!” The exercise could be repeated several times as we make our way. Finally we feel utterly exhausted. Everyone wants to fall on the snow and not to get up; he want to die and nothing more…
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I directly said that despite it being the second year of the war, I cannot answer the question: "What have you done for the destruction of German occupiers?"

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After one of these fights I almost lost my mind. I killed three Germans. And when the fight was over and I calmed down a bit I noticed that there were only two dead bodies of those whom I killed. I started to run in the trench: where is the third German??? Where?? I was turning german bodies and was looking for "my german", the red-haired one. As I was killing him I noticed that he was red-haired. I was worried that he survived and crawled away, in which case I should find him and kill this f.... bastard. I was like a wild beast. Anyway, usually, even if we would manage to...
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