Red Army Infantrymen Remember the Great Patriotic War: A Collection of Interviews with 16 Soviet Ww-2 Veterans

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Sixteen narratives lie before you. Sixteen former Soviet infantrymen related their combat experiences on the Eastern Front of WW-2, where they fought against Germany in 1941-1945. These sixteen are as different from each other, and as unlike in their personal combat experiences as they are diverse in their personalities, ages, ethnic origins, religious and political beliefs.

Since the middle of 1990s the ranks of WW-2 veterans began to thin quite quickly. At that time, some of descendants of the Soviet veterans began recording their parents’ and grandparents’ recollections of the war. Moreover, some enthusiasts started to conduct and record interviews with the veterans. As a rule, interviewees were asked not only about their combat experience, but also about the many details of frontline routines as well as of prewar and postwar life in the USSR. 

This book is based on interviews with former Red Army infantrymen that were borrowed from the I REMEMBER site (, one of the most popular Russian web sites devoted to the WW-2.

Actually, the book concerns not just bloody fights. You will also read about soldiers suffering from cold and heat as well as from malnutrition, sleepless nights, lice and the exhausting, extra-long, marches. These recollections also contain many details of frontline interrelations including how the military political workers and counterespionage officers acted, as well as how injured soldiers were treated in hospitals and much more.

Definitely, this book would help the Western readers to imagine what the Great Patriotic War actually was to a common Red Army soldier.  The collection of interviews are provided with a Russian-English Glossary of WW-2 Soviet Soldiers’ Slang and Special Terms. The Glossary would be a good aid for scholars, translators and linguists, who work on Russian original sources.

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About the author (2009)

Kobylyanskiy was a nineteen-year-old Ukrainian when he entered World War Two as an artilleryman in the Soviet Army.  He began his tour in Stalingrad as a crew member, and later commander, of a of a 76-mm infantry support gun.  He witnessed first hand the terrible conditions and ferocious fighting endured by the Soviet Infantry and wanted to be sure that such events were recorded and available for a western audience. 


His personal story is recorded in the book titled:

From Stalingrad to Pillau – A Red Army Artillery Officer Remembers the Great patriotic War

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