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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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On 16 April 1945 at the Seelow Heights I had an occasion to kill a Hitlerite Tiger Panzer. The two tanks faced head-on at the road intersection. I was a gunner, and first to fire an armor-piercing round and hit the “Tiger” under its turret. The heaviest armored “hood” bounced off like a light ball.
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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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"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". The hardest thing was when we had to march 100 kilometers in one night. Trot - gallop, trot - gallop. Endless commands: "Don't spare the horses! Don't spare the horses!" Because by morning we had to be in another place. In a non-combat situation...
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I asked my grandfather whether he was scared. Why did he do so, he could’ve refused? The grandfather answered he hadn’t thought about this, and after the camp it wasn’t so scary (!) at war, and delivering ammo was his task after all, so it had to be executed.

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