To be remembered. War stories of two grandfathers

Why did I decide to write this article? In November of this year on the pages of “VO” there were several articles about the aces who went down in history “from the other side”. One of the readers was outraged and wrote that there are two heroes for him personally: his two grandfathers. Someone considered this statement not related to the article, someone added … And I thought. Indeed, why not write about your own? Not that the laurels of the “Immortal Regiment” do not give rest … No. It’s just that both of my grandfathers got a difficult life, full of anxieties and trials, which were filled with the years of the formation of Soviet power.

My grandfather on the Russian line was named Pyotr Ivanovich. Born in 1913. A native of the Yaroslavl region, from a peasant family. When the time came, he was drafted into the army. But he finished the service almost twenty years later!

It so happened that he served as a private perfectly: not a single extraordinary outfit! The command noted this and offered to go to sergeant courses. Formally – he left in the army by order. And then off we go. Served as a sergeant – new military field training, and already a newly made sergeant.

In 1938, he went on vacation at home and celebrated a wedding. Everything is like people. Instead of a honeymoon trip – a direction to a new place of service. On North. With four triangles on his buttonholes, his grandfather took part in the Finnish Winter War. True, not for long – the “cuckoo” seriously wounded him in the head when he had to take command of the unit. It was this injury that made itself felt more than others by the end of his life.

After recovering, I went with my comrades to watch the pillboxes of the Mannerheim line, and then – a new training course at the training camp and the rank of junior lieutenant. Direction to Western Belarus.

I met the morning of June 22 in the field camps. From his memoirs:

– Woke up from ruptures. What, where – nothing is clear. Everything was confused. Half-naked people, rushing horses, fires … When the raid was over, the senior officer ordered an urgent march to the nearby city where the headquarters was located. The horses partly ran away, partly were killed. The soldiers carried the machine guns on themselves, the officers and the wounded got the only surviving transport – a fire engine. Already when they were walking, they were hit by an air raid – one Junkers separated from a group of German bombers and hit the fire with the first bomb. Only those who managed to jump off survived …

Then there was a long retreat. The starting point was Stalingrad. From there, my grandfather walked only to the West! Cubars were added, and later stars on shoulder straps. Awards and injuries were added (three more to those received in Finnish), but anger was added at the sight of what the invaders were doing in the occupied territories.

He did not even imagine, liberating a small town in Ukraine, that it was here that his youngest, not yet born daughter would find her destiny – her husband, my father. The same, yet unborn, son of another war veteran. Such are the vital family intricacies …

A lot of things fell to the young officer to see in that war. House of Pavlov in Stalingrad and the captive Paulus, destroyed Kiev and the Auschwitz concentration camp …

Pyotr Ivanovich met the victory on the outskirts of Prague. Initially, the unit was sent to Berlin, but the capital of the Third Reich fell, and they were deployed to the Czech Republic. The war is over, but … He was especially burdened by the ignorance of where and what had become of his family – his wife and two children who remained in Minsk. Throughout the war he searched, wrote, but to no avail. As soon as the opportunity arose, I immediately asked for a vacation in order to return home and expand my search. But everything happened as in good films: a wife with two children survived the occupation and returned home as soon as possible – just before her husband’s arrival.

Then there were more years of service, garrisons, units … When the young military major was offered the rank of lieutenant colonel and the direction to Kushka, he decided that was enough. I wanted a simple family happiness. He returned home with his family to the Yaroslavl region, where he lived, raised children, raised us, four grandchildren.

A separate stand in the local museum of local lore, in which his photo and a short biography, can tell about the military exploits of his fellow countrymen.

He told us little about the war, grandchildren. But I want to retell some funny stories for you too:

– At the beginning of the war, when there was still confusion, we crossed a small bridge in a column. And then the order – to destroy the bridge, to take up defenses to cover the retreat. Dropped by his company. The rest of the company … They burned the bridge … We dug in … What to expect – it is not known, our rearguard – the cat wept. And he was pestered by hunger – they didn’t eat for more than a day. Well, the trenches have been dug, the defense has been occupied, we are waiting.

Here is the enemy – briskly flew up to the destroyed bridge, began to confer what to do. And here, on our side, on the far flank, one of the young soldiers fired at the ducks in the swamp! From the other side, and from all the trunks on our bank! We are from ours – according to them! We look – they seem to be installing mortars there! Well, we think, now they will give us heat! .. Then he looked closely through binoculars – mortars like ours and uniforms on our soldiers … He ordered to cease fire. From that bank, too, they calmed down … It turned out that another part of us was emerging from the encirclement. Thank God, we got off with only a few lightly wounded …

– It was in Ukraine in 1941 … Another retreat, the exit from the almost slammed boiler. A painting worthy of the artist’s brush – an endless wheat field and a Ukrainian farm surrounded by an apple orchard. We, retreating, are a motley team of infantry and a battery of forty-fives. The horses are lathered. We decided to take a break. We unharnessed the horses, fell down ourselves, we greedily chew the apples. Dirty, unwashed, drunk water – overcame. And then, as in a nightmare – a column of German tanks appears on the only road! They are marching past the garden in which we halted! And what is most offensive – they look at both us and our guns with disdain … They drove by, the dust settled. We harness the horses – and in the opposite direction! ..

The second grandfather, Vasily Semyonovich, met the war as a fifteen-year-old boy in a small village in the Kiev region. Together with my sister and mother, we watched the “Messers” drop heavy Soviet bombers in the sky above them, as the Red Army retreated.

They conducted their father, who was drafted into the army, hid in the cellar, when the Nazis entered the village …

In late autumn, familiar peasants from a neighboring village knocked on the house, who were summoned together with their father. They asked where he was, and were very surprised that he did not return home: it turns out that their team, without changing their clothes, was loaded into a train and sent to the Crimea, but in the Kherson steppes it turned out that they were late and it was also impossible to return back – they were cut off. The team was disbanded and they, fellow countrymen, safely reached their native area. At the fork between the villages, we cordially said goodbye and went to their own addresses. Where did dad go?

Everything turned out in the spring, when one of the villagers went to the pit, in which they mined clay for the repair of huts. Human remains appeared from under the melted snow. Vasily recognized his father by his hat and belt. A fascist patrol, either by mistake or for fun, shot a lonely traveler a couple of kilometers from his home …

Therefore, when in 1943 the Red Army liberated the Kiev region, Vasily added a year to himself and went to the military registration and enlistment office. They were sent to the tank troops. The gunner.

He fought a little over a year. It burned four times. He liberated Volhynia, Poland, entered Germany. There, in Prussia near Konigsberg, I was ambushed. My grandfather did not like to talk about it, but when I entered the tank school, I still poured out my heart.

Everyone understood that victory was not far off. And they waited for another blow, and the end of the war! We occupied a small German town famous for its winemaking. Well, as expected, we celebrated this business. And then the brigade commander decides that with such fighting lads they will capture Konigsberg! Moreover, there is an order to advance. They started the cars and, without any security, rushed to the west. When the column was pulled into a narrow road, on one side of which a century-old oak forest grew, and on the other side of a swamp, an armor-piercing blank of an anti-tank battery, disguised behind a quagmire, hit the front tank. The next hit is in the closing car. Well, then you yourself understand …

When the grandfather jumped out of the burning tank and ran into the forest, a mortar was added to the artillery fire. I remembered a blow to the leg, then – what they were pulling on a raincoat … Then a sanitary battalion …

A year in hospitals throughout the Soviet Union, formal discharge. But the treatment of the shattered leg was unsuccessful: pains, swelling, spots … Another examination and a verdict – amputation. Vasily’s mother, my great-grandmother, fell on her knees in front of the doctors: how could that be? Nineteen years old, and already a legless invalid ?!

The old orthopedist got up. I looked at the pictures again, interviewed my grandfather. He said that there is one way – to cut, break, splic and sew everything over again. But the leg will not bend. I took it personally. The fragments that had not grown together were removed from the leg, they made an attachment and packed the grandfather in plaster from chin to heel for six months! The leg became shorter by a few centimeters, did not bend, but was its own, not wooden.

In the same place, in the hospital, he also met with a line of a messenger from a partisan detachment wounded in both legs. And after a while, the wedding was played. After the war he learned to be an accountant, learned to drive a car, bought a “Zaporozhets”. Raised two sons. Raised grandchildren, waited for great-grandchildren … Died tragically: an accident.

Some memoirs of Vasily Semenovich:

– In 1941, a military unit retreated through our village. One “thirty-four” pulled another in tow. We stopped near the dam across the river. After a short meeting, a firing point was made from the vehicle, which was not running, and a dozen soldiers were left to cover it. The tank was disguised. Some time later, German tanks appeared on the road. It was predictable – the road to Kiev.

You say (this is for me. – Author) that you read, they say, our German tanks could not break through at the beginning of the war. They lie! “Thirty-four” only managed to shoot once! Then the German leader stopped, turned the turret and also fired once – black smoke immediately escaped from our tank. And there the Red Army men surrendered …

– A young Muscovite guy got into our crew. So he had the gift of God. He owned hypnosis from birth! They stopped in Poland. Late, a fire was lit near the road, we warm ourselves up, we finish the “second front”. A Pole is going by on a cart with hay. He saw us and let’s shout something offensive. Well, about the cold there, the scarcity of food, and so on. And this boy turned around and said: good pan, it’s not cold, because the hay behind him is on fire. The Pole turned around, got scared, jumped off the cart and let’s cut the trimmings – save the horses!

And the second case – we went to a Polish tavern. Well, this guy calls the owner and orders everything: meat, and bread, and fried fish … Well, and a bottle, of course … We are sitting neither alive nor dead. Nobody has any money! They ate, drank … The hypnotist calls the owner again and dignifiedly pulls out paper for cigarettes from his pocket. Tears off a piece and holds it out. He begins to bow, thank … He also brought change! That Muscovite did not stay in the carriage for long – they took him to the intelligence department of the army …

– We captured a farm in Germany. Like a big farm. By all appearances, the owners have recently left – the bread is warm, recently from the oven. We decided to have a snack. But here’s the trouble – the whole house and all the sheds climbed around, but the meat was not found! Everything is! Preservation in the cellar, pickles and preserves, but no sausages, no meat, no bacon!

Then someone guessed to climb into the attic – lo and behold, and there was still a little room. Just where the chimney should be! We open it, and there … Ham, sausages, all kinds of poultry, bacon … The smokehouse is built right into the chimney!

This, of course, is not all the stories that I heard from grandfathers. But, probably, the most interesting ones. But those who have been to the war do not like to remember it. And we cannot forget them in any way!

In general, I told you about my grandfathers. Maybe someone else will share? I will be glad to read it. Thank you for attention.

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