Red road from Stalingrad: recollections of a Soviet infantryman
Mansur Abdulin fought in the front ranks of the Soviet infantry against the German invaders at Stalingrad, Kursk and on the banks of the Dnieper. This is his extraordinary story. His vivid inside view of a ruthless war on the Eastern Front gives a rare insight into the reality of the fighting and into the tactics and mentality of the Red Army's soldiers. In his own words, and with a remarkable clarity of recall, he describes what combat was like on the ground, face to face with a skilled, deadly and increasingly desperate enemy. The terrifying moments of action, the discomfort of existence at the front, the humorous moments, the absurdities and cruelties of army organization, and the sheer physical and psychological harshness of the campaign - all these aspects of a Soviet soldier's experience during the Great Patriotic War are brought dramatically to life in Mansur Abdulin's memoirs. Of special interest is the insight he offers into ordinary operations and daily life in the lower ranks of the Soviet army. He reveals much about the thinking of the men, their attitude to the war and their loyalties. He also sheds light on the tense relationships between the disparate national groups that were thrown together to create a huge fighting force. But most memorable are his honest, horrifying descriptions of combat, of being bombed and shelled, of trench warfare, of enduring tank attacks and friendly fire, and of coping with the wounded and the dead. Mansur Abdulin was born a Tatar in Anzhero-Sudzhensk, near Tomsk in central Siberia, in 1923. He worked as a miner before volunteering to fight for the Red Army in June 1942. After the war he returned to his work as a miner and he now lives in retirement at Novotroitsk near Orenburg in the Ural Mountains.
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One The Front
Two First Attack
Three The Man Killed by a Sewing Machine
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293rd Rifle Division 5th Guards Army 66th Guards Abdulin afraid alive anti-tank armour artillery asked attack battalion commander battle Battle of Kursk Battle of Stalingrad began Bilaonov bombs boys bullet commissar comrades Corps cross dead death Dnieper dugout editor's note enemy explosions eyes felt fighting fire Fritzes front line Fuat German German forces grenades ground Guards Rifle gunners hands head hear heavy horses infantry infantrymen Ivan jump Kharkov killed Komsomol komsorg Konski Kremenchug Kursk Lieutenant look machine-gun Mansur mortar mortarmen move Nazis night Nikolai November offensive partorg pocket Prokhorovka rear Red Army Red Army troops regiment remember retreat rushed Russian scream seemed sergeant major shells shoot shot SMGs soldiers someone Soviet forces SS Panzer Corps Stalingrad Steppe Front stopped suddenly Suvorov tank Tashkent There's thing thought trench troops capture turned Uzbek village Vladimir Yegorov wounded