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Rambler's Top100


- Wounded Print E-mail


- Where'd you disappear off to? - I was accosted by the scout platoon commander. - The battalion CO ordered us to set up some pickets, and I'm missing all my soldiers!

- Hey, we were defending the warehouse. Threw back two attacks, but then they captured it. I barely had the time to jump out the window.

- You and your tall tales. Go!

- Van', at least give me a partner.

- Make do without.

I climbed out of the trench and walked back towards the warehouse from which I had recently fled. After a hundred meters or so, I stumbled upon a transformer booth and went to ground behind it. Fighting off sleepiness, I peered through the darkness towards the Germans.

Suddenly I saw some human shapes. I readied my SMG, waited for them to come a little closer and was almost about to pull the trigger when I heard something resembling Russian words. After letting them come even closer, I recognized that they were indeed Russians, climbed out from behind the booth and called out to them. They were startled at first, but then came closer; turned out they were from that naval infantry brigade that took the township yesterday, then found a truck full of schnapps and drunk itself into a stupor. After sleeping it off in some backyards, they managed to evade the Germans, who had now retaken the township, and were trying to make their way back to our lines. I pointed them towards our trenches and went back into my hiding place.

After an hour or two, the story repeated itself as two more naval infantrymen came upon me in search of our lines.

Some time later, I spotted more shapes coming towards me. When they came closer, I came out from behind the booth without bothering to raise my SMG.

- Guys, this way, - I called out to them.

The "guys" made some strange motion and I saw a flame burst on my right. It felt like someone knocked me on the shoulder with a two-by-four. I dropped my SMG and started to run, but then came back for my weapon. The Germans had disappeared, I grabbed the SMG and started towards our trenches.

After finding the platoon commander, I reported that the Germans are approaching and that I'm wounded. For some reason I thought that I was missing my right arm, and started to beg Ivan to finish me off. Instead, Ivan called out for a medic. The nearby medical station happened to be in a full state of readiness, as we were scheduled to attack the township in a couple of hours. I turned out to be the first wounded soldier of the day. Someone got me to a nearby road and on a horse-drawn cart, and as the cart began moving I lost consciousness. I came to on the operating table.

Translated by::
Gene Ostrovsky

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