Sample text for Ivan's war : life and death in the Red Army, 1939-1945 / Catherine Merridale.


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It was Kamenshchikov’s wife who woke him.
Perhaps it was her inexperience, she said, but she had never heard so many planes flying above the town at night. Her husband assured her that what she was hearing were maneuvers. There had been lots of exercises lately. All the same he threw a coat over his shoulders and stepped outside to take a closer look. He knew at once that this was real war. The very air was different; humming, shattered, thick with sour black smoke. The town’s main railway line was picked out by a rope of flame. Even the horizon had begun to redden, but its glow, to the west, was not the approaching dawn. Acting without orders, Kamenshchikov went to the airfield and took a plane up to meet the invaders at once, which is why, exceptionally among the hundreds of machines that were parked in neat formations as usual that night, his was brought down over the Bialystok marshes, and not destroyed on the ground. By mid-day on June 22, the Soviets had lost 1,200 planes. In Kamenshchikov’s own western district alone, 528 had been blown up like fairground targets by the German guns.




Library of Congress subject headings for this publication:
Soviet Union. -- Raboche-KrestߎižanskaŽiža KrasnaŽiža ArmiŽiža -- History -- World War, 1939-1945.
World War, 1939-1945 -- Campaigns -- Eastern Front.
Soldiers -- Soviet Union -- Social conditions -- 20th century.