Memories of veterans of the Great Patriotic War

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22521 0

Mikhail Lukinov


Germans grabbed me, started to beat me with rifle butts, knocked out my pistol from my hands, and when I fell down, started to beat me up with their boots. I did not understand everything that they were shouting, because I had other things to mind. Besides that, they were speaking too quickly and did not pronounce the words till the end; they kind of swallowed the endings. But alas, I could well understand the general meaning: “It was him who was shooting! We should kill this swine! But not here, let’s do it behind the barn, there is a hole there.”


7720 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.


12596 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...


8103 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!


256858 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.


6096 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.


16108 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!"

See also


I come out to the edge of the wood and ... A fascist fighter is diving straight at me! Me - I'm running back to the grove, dodging. But he didn't grudge me a bomb.

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Some time later I saw our battalion’s refueller, Kostin go by. Kostin was an old stager, had been at Stalingrad, with a KV regiment. In an assemble area that Kostin got together youngsters never seen the battle and was telling them his Stalingrad experiences:
“You know, KV armor’s great! Once the Germans shot us with a blank, I see it red crawling in through the armor. I got a sledge-hammer and hit it big time, it went off!”
Young blokes listened carefully, did not know much about front. I went aside, laughed. Then I said:
“Kostin, knock it off, fuel...
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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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I was a good student in the classroom, but in the vehicle itself I had to stand on my tiptoes just to try and reach the gunsight. The shoots were early in the morning, too, I didn’t really see the target at all – sent all my three practice shells into the empty sky. The assault gun commander was a veteran tanker, fought in T-70s, came to us straight from the hospital. When I finished, he nearly cried, and told me: “son, what am I going to do with you once we get to the front? The assault gun exists to fire at tanks over open sights – if we can’t shoot, we’ll just be a...
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