The 2nd Battle of Kharkiv

I don’t think not too many people would have expected at the start of 2022, that Kharkiv would be dailyin the news in relation to battles happening in the area.

It is the second-largest city and municipality in Ukraine.Kharkiv was founded in 1654 as Kharkiv fortress, and after these humble beginnings, it grew to be a major centre of industry, trade and Ukrainian culture.

The 2n battle I am referring to is not in relation to the current war between Ukraine and Russia , but a battle which started on May 12,1942 during WW2.

The Second Battle of Kharkov, so named by Wilhelm Keitel, was an Axis counteroffensive against the Red Army Izium bridgehead offensive conducted from May 12 to May 28, 1942, on the Eastern Front during World War II. Its objective was to eliminate the Izium bridgehead.

On May 12, 1942, Soviet forces under the command of Marshal Semyon Timoshenko launched an offensive against the German 6th Army from a salient established during the winter counteroffensive. After initial promising signs, the offensive was stopped by German counterattacks. Critical errors by several staff officers and by Joseph Stalin himself, who failed to accurately estimate the 6th Army’s potential and overestimated their own newly-trained forces, led to a successful German pincer attack

The Soviets struck first. At 0630 hours, on May 12 an hour of artillery bombardment began, with the final 20 minutes joined by aircraft. At 0730 hours, the ground offensive began, meeting tough German defense from the start. By the end of the first day, the deepest penetration achieved by Soviet troops was merely 10 kilometers. Soviet generals realized that poor intelligence prior to operation led them to misjudge German strength in the region, which was twice as strong as they originally expected; part of that German advantage was possibly due to the Germans detected a possible Soviet attack, thus had bolstered strength at strategic locations. By the end of 14 May, both sides had suffered serious casualties. On the German side, the German 6th Army saw 16 of its battalions nearly wiped out.

By the end of May 24, Soviet forces opposite Kharkiv had been surrounded by German formations. Hemmed into a narrow area, the 250,000-strong Soviet force inside the pocket was exterminated from all sides by German armored, artillery and machine gun firepower as well as 7,700 tonnes of air-dropped bombs. After six days of encirclement, organized Soviet resistance came to an end as the Soviet formations were either killed or taken prisoner. The battle was an overwhelming German victory, with 280,000 Soviet casualties compared to just 20,000 for the Germans and their allies. The Second Battle of Kharkiv is know as a major Soviet setback that put an end to the successes of the Red Army during the winter counteroffensive.

The failure is often attributed to the Soviet inability to account for the military strength of the Wehrmacht as well as the reorganize their troops. The initial purpose of the attack on Kharkiv was for the Soviets to retake the previously captured strategic city of Kharkov assuming that they were now better prepared to deal with the German troops that had caught them off guard the previous year.

sources

https://ww2db.com/battle_spec.php?battle_id=50

https://worldhistoryproject.org/1942/5/12/the-second-battle-of-kharkov

https://ukrainetour.com/activity/kharkiv-battle-history-tour/

The USSczaR

Dear Comrade Putin,

You are telling the world that you have carried out this military mission in the Ukraine, to protect its citizens, to rid it of Nazis. However you have not fully explained to us what you consider to be Nazis.

I would love it of you could just clarify that matter to a simpleton like me. When you say Nazi, are you referring to the Ukraine’s Jewish president whose grandfather barely survived the Holocaust?

Or were you perhaps referring to the 10 year old school girl Polina, who was murdered on your orders?

Maybe it is the 2 year old Shpak who was murdered during a shelling ordered by you. Was he that Nazi you were referring to? Is that the type of funerals you want to see more in the Ukraine to achieve your goals?

Dear Comrade Putin, if you can’t explain it to me may you can explain it to Oleh,Shpak’s Father? Because he asked “I don’t know if there is a God. What is this all for? For what?”

Dear Comrade Putin, your actions look a lot like that of a nationalised German Austrian, he also said in the 1930’s that he wanted to liberated the people in the Sudeten land and Poland. But he was a Nazi, So are you perhaps a Nazi, Comrade Putin? If so, the only thing for you to do to rid the Ukraine from Nazis is by withdrawing your troops.

Perhaps that isn’t your goal. Perhaps you long to the Russia of the days of yore? Where it was still part of the USSR and maybe you want to rule like Czar Nicholas once did. Maybe you want to become the new USSczaR.

If you ask me that is what you want to be. But people will not remember you as a Czar. They will see you like cowards such as Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. That is what you real legacy will be.

Is that what you really want? It is not too late yet, you can still change that.

sources

https://www.news.com.au/national/what-is-this-all-for-father-mourns-2yearold-son-killed-in-russian-shelling/video/bae940c1ab46c5291ed2848ba1e2c53b

https://www.independent.ie/world-news/schoolgirl-polina-shot-dead-by-russian-troops-among-at-least-16-children-killed-in-ukraine-invasion-41395376.html

https://www.indiatoday.in/india-today-insight/story/from-the-archives-vladimir-putin-the-new-czar-1917416-2022-02-24

Arthur Nebe—Responsible For At Least 45,000 Deaths

There are some in Germany and in other countries who portray all of those involved in the 20 July plot as heroes. I believe this is a misinterpretation. Firstly they are not heroes because they did not succeed, and secondly, there were quite a few of them who had no issues with the Nazi policies but had more of an issue with Adolf Hitler.

Arthur Nebe was one of the plotters. He was to lead a team of 12 policemen to kill Himmler, but the signal to act never reached him. After the failed assassination attempt, Nebe fled and went into hiding.

Prior to this part in the plot, Nebe rose through the ranks of the Prussian police force to become head of Nazi Germany’s Criminal Police (Kriminalpolizei; Kripo) in 1936, which was amalgamated into the Reich Security Main Office (RSHA) in 1939.

In an August 1939 speech, he defined crime as “a recurring disease on the body of the people.” This disease was supposedly passed hereditarily from criminals and “asocial individuals” to their children. In the Nazi state, asocials were people who behaved in a way considered outside of social norms. The category included people identified as vagabonds, beggars, prostitutes, pimps, and alcoholics; the arbeitsscheu (work-shy); and the homeless. This category also included Roma. The Nazi regime viewed Roma as behaviorally abnormal and racially inferior. Defining crime as a disease connected to certain groups radicalized Kripo’s practice.

Kripo officials from the KTI developed early techniques to gas people en masse. In October 1939, Nebe instructed the KTI to experiment with methods of killing people with mental and physical disabilities. This effort was conducted in cooperation with the Euthanasia Program. A KTI chemical engineer and toxicology expert, Albert Widmann, tested possible killing methods. He ultimately suggested carbon monoxide gas. In the fall of 1941, Widmann helped create gas vans. The vans used carbon monoxide gas generated from exhaust fumes.

Planners of Operation Reinhard killing centers adopted this development. At Belzec, Sobibor, and Treblinka, large motor engines were used to generate carbon monoxide gas for the gas chambers.

In 1941 during operation Barbarossa, Nebe volunteered to serve as the commanding officer of Einsatzgruppe B, one of the four mobile death squads of the SS. During Nebe’s tenure, this deadly unit was responsible for the mass murders of 45,000 people in the areas around Bialystok, Minsk, and Mogilev. Many of these victims were Jews. Nebe was not forced to take control of this Unit, he volunteered.

In July 1941, Arthur Nebe reported that a “solution to the Jewish problem” was “impractical” in his region of operation due to “the overwhelming number of the Jews”, as in there were too many Jews to be killed by too few men. By August 1941, Nebe came to realize that Einsatzgruppe’s resources were insufficient to meet the expanded mandate of the killing operations, due to the inclusion of Jewish women and children since that month. This mean, seem to some as a person with a conscience, but the only reason he said these things, is not because he didn’t want to kill more Jews, he said it because he did feel he didn’t have enough men to do the job. Just let that train of thought sink in for a minute.

In late 1941, Nebe was posted back to Berlin and resumed his career with the RSHA. Nebe commanded the Kripo until he was denounced and executed after the failed attempt to kill Adolf Hitler in July 1944.

Nebe was arrested in January 1945 after a former mistress betrayed him. He was sentenced to death by the People’s Court on 2 March and, according to official records, was executed in Berlin at Plötzensee Prison on 21 March 1945 by being hanged with piano wire from a meat hook, in accordance with Hitler’s order that the bomb plotters were to be “hanged like cattle.”

sources.

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-july-20-1944-plot-to-assassinate-adolf-hitler

https://encyclopedia.ushmm.org/content/en/article/the-nazi-kripo-criminal-police-1

Helmut Machemer caught between love and hate.

This is a story which must have been repeated many times in Nazi Germany, German men married to Jewish women and the anxiety and fear they must have gone through, However there is also a uniqueness to the Machemer’s family situation. And in a bizarre way this is also directly connected to me.

Helmut Machemer was a German ophthalmologist who served as “Truppenarzt” with the rank of “Unterarzt”, corresponding to the rank of sergeant with the wehrmacht in the USSR.

He worked with Professor Aurel von Szily in Münster during the 1930s and, with him, pioneered an electrical treatment for retinal detachment, to form a chorioretinal scar , that’s where my connection comes in. The retina in both my eyes became detached several years ago., one eye could not be saved.

Machemer dated Erna Schwalbe, who studied medicine at the university of Kiel.

In 1932 Erna found out her mother was Jewish. The couple were aware that this could become an issue due to the rise of the Nazi Party. Erna’s father wrote her a letter which confirmed her mother’s ancestry, which he had tried to keep hidden. Erna immediately offered to separate from Machemer, but he refused to do so on the grounds that he loved her. They married in October 1932. Erna’s mother divorced her father and moved to the Netherlands the following year, after the Nazis came to power.

The couple had 3 children. When the war broke out in 1939,Machemer decided to volunteer. He knew that due to his age he would not be drafted. He was born on May 7,1903 so he was 36 at the start of the war. Now one might think it odd that he volunteered. He could have stayed at home with his wife and children, but because of the Nuremberg laws he knew that his half Jewish wife and quarter Jewish children would not be safe.

He therefore volunteered in an attempt to make use of a little-known exception in the Nazi racial laws: that the “non-Aryan” family of an Aryan could be classified as being of “German blood”, if the man made a significant contribution to the Nazi state. Machemer became convinced that if he was awarded the Iron Cross, first class for bravery on the battlefield then he could secure the reclassification of his family.

Machemer served during the 1940 invasion of France and the 1941 invasion of Russia, in which he served as an Unterarzt (medical officer aspirant) of the reconnaissance unit of the 16th Panzer Division.

For his part in the latter operation he was awarded the second class Iron Cross. At one point he worked in a captured Soviet hospital, operating on captured Russian soldiers.

Whilst in action Machemer was shot in the neck, but after checking it was not serious, returned to duty treating soldiers who had been shot through the lungs.

He noted this in a letter home to his wife and Erna’s reply was that he “shouldn’t consciously put yourself in danger again, it seems to me like a challenge to fate”. Helmut also wrote to Erna of his concern that he might be withdrawn from the front line and placed in a field hospital where he would be unlikely to be recommended for a bravery award.

In a letter dated December 12,1941 he wrote:

“My place is at the front here, and the front line, which suits me perfectly. Therefore do not think that I am reckless and put myself in unnecessary danger”

To his 3 sons he writes:

“Daddy is not yet allowed to leave here, because not all Russians have been shot dead or captured yet. But it won’t be long now.”

He was also a enthusiastic photographer and took many pictures on the battlefield and even filmed it. Some of his film footage can be see in the BBC documentary “Lost Home Movies of Nazi Germany” especially in the 2nd part.

He describes the horrors of the battlefield.

“An unforgettable picture presents itself here. The whole height is thickly covered with dead Russians. I count around 200 corpses, and there could be more than that. The Russian came here in numerous waves throughout the night, but each new wave was mowed down like the previous one. (…) Such a harvest of death, said an experienced tank commander, he had never seen in France or Russia during the entire war. This is the picture of the Russian war with its unheard of cruelty.”

On May 14,1942 he receives his coveted Iron Cross. He hopes that this will reclassify his wife and kids as of ‘German Blood’. He tells his wife:

“Since I also receive the wounded badge in addition to the EK II and I as well as the assault badge, I now have all the medals and badges that can be bestowed to me.” He also records that he celebrated this decision with sparkling wine and, the next day had a hangover.

Four days after receiving the Iron Cross ,Machener was killed at mid-day , while on a trip to screen the battlefield for wounded soldiers. He was hit in head by shrapnel from a grenade during the Second Battle of Kharkov. He was travelling in a car at the time, his companion was heavily wounded, but survived.

Machemer, who was 39 when he died, in his final diary entry of 18 May he says that he had slept well and was awaiting orders. In March 1943 Erna and her children were granted “German-blood” status, in what is believed to be the only known case of such an exemption.

As a scientist, he wished to document his and his company’s way through wartime. His partly critical writings would have been unacceptable for promotion by the Nazi party and may have placed him at risk of arrest and he would not have been able to accomplish his mission. His collection included more than 160 letters, 2,000 photographs and five hours of film footage.Some of the records included depictions of dead German soldiers, dead civilians, burnt houses and dead horses. The majority of Machemer’s reports and private letters were sent via “Feldpost” through the postal service.

Machener did not go to war for hate, but for love. Undoubtedly he will have killed too, but as the saying goes ‘All is fair in love and war’ He was a husband and a father whose only aim was to safe his family.

sources

https://www.spiegel.de/geschichte/helmut-machemer-aus-liebe-freiwillig-an-die-weltkriegsfront-a-1195017.html

https://www.medizin.uni-muenster.de/fakultaet/news/das-eiserne-kreuz-als-letzter-ausweg-arte-doku-ueber-den-wwu-augenarzt-helmut-machemer.html

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000crdh

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Trying to Please the Monsters

I was watching a documentary last night called Lost Home Movies of Nazi Germany. The documentary contained footage taken by German civilians and soldiers. Some of the footage was truly horrendous but other parts of the footage appeared at first glance quite pleasing. For example, it showed a young attractive woman dancing topless for some German soldiers.

However, when I thought about it later and put it in context, those pleasing images suddenly became very disturbing. The film material was taken in the USSR during Operation Barbarossa, and the young woman dancing was a Roma. It occurred to me that she wasn’t dancing half-naked because she enjoyed it, she was dancing because she thought it would please the monsters that had invaded her village. In her culture as in many other cultures, women would not show themselves naked in front of men—unless it was their husband.

Initially, I didn’t want to post the pictures, but I thought it was important to show the forgotten side of the horrors of the Holocaust. Also to celebrate the beauty of this young woman, not only her external beauty but also her internal beauty and the courageous soul she was. She must have realized that this could also result in her being raped.

The footage also showed how hypocritical and condescending the Nazis were. One soldier got his hand palm read while sneering at the woman.

Other young women tried to look their best, again to find favour with their occupiers.

Roma were seen as subhumans by the Nazis, but when it suited them they were willing to temporarily ignore that. If it would suit the purpose to make them feel good about themselves or playing God over these women, they would even flirt with them. Knowing well that these women would possibly be murdered, even by themselves.

I don’t know what happened to these women, even if they survived the war, there was a chance they would have been punished after the war for “entertaining” the enemy.

That same enemy would stare from a distance at a beautiful woman dancing half-naked for her survival, risking being raped or worse. The gawking soldier looks more like a Peeping Tom.

source

https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000crdh

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Dina Poljakoff -Jewish nurse who was offered an Iron Cross.

The role of Finland during World War 2 is a strange one. They were part of the axis powers, not so much because they were great fans of the Nazi regime, but because they saw a powerful ally in Germany to fight the soviets.

There were about 2000 Jews in Finland during World War 2, 300 of them were refugees from Germany and Austria.


In 1941 Germany stationed troops in northern Finland and Finland then joined Germany in its attack on the Soviet Union. Some 300 Jews served in the Finnish army during the war. The German authorities requested that the
Finnish government hand over its Jewish community, but the Finns refused.
Reportedly, when SS chief Heinrich Himmler brought up the ׂJewish question
with Prime Minister Johann Wilhelm Rangell in mid-1942, Rangell replied that there was no Jewish question in Finland; he firmly stated that the country had but 2,000 respected Jewish citizens, some of who who fought in the army just like everyone else, and as such closed the issue to discussion. The Germans did not press the issue, as they were afraid to lose Finnish cooperation against the Soviets. However, later that year, Gestapo chief Heinrich Muller convinced the head of the Finnish State Police, Arno Anthoni, to deport Jewish refugees. Undertaken in secret, the deportation plan was discovered by the Finnish cabinet, which managed to stop it from being fully implemented. Nevertheless, eight Jews were handed over to the Germans. Ultimately, only one of the eight survived. Many clergymen and politicians condemned the deportation, and as a result the Finnish government refused to surrender any more Jews to the Germans. The majority of the Finnish Jews and refugees remained unharmed during the war. However they did hand over some Soviet Jewish prisoners of war over to the Nazis.

Finnish Jewish soldiers outside a field synagogue during WW2

Dina Poljakoff was a Finnish nurse. Although she was Jewish, she was offered the Iron Cross by Nazi Germany during World War II.

A native of Finland, Poljakoff was studying dentistry before the outbreak of World War II.During the war, she worked as a nurse for Lotta Svärd, an auxiliary organization associated with the White Guard. She served in the front lines of combat during World War II alongside German military units. She was not the only Jewish nurse to perform such service; her cousin, Chaje Steinbock, also worked as a nurse and accumulated a scrapbook of heartfelt messages of thanks from German soldiers who had been under her care.

Dina Poljakoff made quite an impression on her German patients, to the point that she was nominated for the Iron Cross. She was one of three Finnish Jews to be offered the award; like the other two (Leo Skurnik and Salomon Klass), she did not accept the award. Unlike the other two, she did not ask for her name to be withdrawn from the recipient list, and on the day of the awards ceremony she checked the display table to verify that her award was there, before leaving without it.

Poljakoff immigrated to Israel after the war, where she died in 2005.

sources

https://academic.oup.com/hgs/article-abstract/9/1/70/554146?redirectedFrom=PDF


https://www.tracesofwar.com/persons/77291/Poljakoff-Dina.htm

https://frankensaurus.com/Dina_Poljakoff

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Arthur Nebe

Arthur Nebe

The last few days I have seen articles about the German government commemorating those who were involved in the  20th July 1944 assassination plot.

In a way I can understand it why they are doing this, but having that said I don’t agree with it.

Yes it is true these men planned to kill Hitler but not because they didn’t believe in his policies, because all of them had signed up to Nazi ideology one way or another. They wanted to kill them because they didn’t agree with the way he was conducting the war and the consequences of that.

Some of them had actively and willingly participated in the killing of innocent lives..

None more so then Arthur Nebe. he was a key figure in the security and police apparatus of Nazi Germany and a Holocaust perpetrator.He  was  given command of Einsatzgruppen B between June and November 1941, an extermination unit whose headquarters were in Minsk, and  also covered the area of the Moscow front.During this period of five months,he was responsible  for  46,000 executions.

Minsk

In a  report he issued on July 23,1941 , Nebe stated the idea of a “solution to the Jewish problem” being “impractical” in his region of operation due to “the overwhelming number of the Jews”; there were too many Jews to be killed by too few men. By August 1941, Nebe came to realize that his Einsatzgruppe’s resources were insufficient to meet the expanded mandate of the killing operations, resulting from the inclusion of Jewish women and children since that month.

During visits to Russia in 1941,  Himmler learned the psychological impact of shooting women and children on the Einsatzgruppen. He therefore commissioned Arthur Nebe to explore ways of killing that were less stressful for the task force.

Nebe decided to try experimenting by murdering Soviet mental patients, first with dynamite near Minsk, and then with automobile exhaust ,gas vans,at Mogilev. These vans had already been used before  in 1940 for the gassing of East Prussian and Pomeranian mental patients in Soldau.

However the Gas van was not a Nazi but a Soviet invention.The gas van was invented in the Soviet Union in 1936, by Isay Berg, the head of the administrative and economic department of the NKVD of Moscow Oblast.

vans

In March 1944, after the “Great Escape” from Stalag Luft III prisoner-of-war camp, Nebe was ordered by Heinrich Müller, to select and kill fifty of the seventy-three recaptured prisoners in what became known as the “Stalag Luft III murders”.Also in 1944, Nebe suggested that the Roma interned at Auschwitz would be good subjects for medical experiments at the Dachau concentration camp.

Nebe was was executed in Berlin at Plötzensee Prison on 21 March 1945, because of his involvement in the July 20 plot.

 

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Sources

Traces of War

Holocaust research project

Bundesarchiv

 

Symphony of destruction.

symphony

People who know me, know I am a big Heavy Metal fan ,and one of my favourite tracks is called Symphony of Destruction by Megadeth.But this blog is about a different Symphony, a Symphony which was composed and first performed amidst great destruction.

The piece of music is commonly known as the Leningrad Symphony, It was Dmitri  Shostakovich 7th Symphony.

The disturbing news of the German attack on the Soviet Union, Operation Barbarossa, had reached Leningrad at midday June 22 as Molotov announced the attack via loudspeakers throughout the city.

barbarossa

The 35-year-old composer Shostakovich  was head of the Leningrad Conservatoire’s piano department. He began work on his Seventh Symphony in the first hot days of July.

He had volunteered for the army but was dismissed because of his poor eyesight.

Shostakovich

Instead he became a volunteer for the Leningrad Conservatory’s firefighter brigade. However as a musician he set his talents to work and help the war effort in a different way. I did not research this but as a musician myself I know how powerful music can be, it cam alter moods, lift spirits and boost morale.

When Shostakovich played the first two tacts of his Seventh Symphony to some of his friends, in the besieged city of Leningrad in the summer of 1941, the performance was brutally interrupted by a German bombardment.

Shostakovich endured and worked with an inhuman intensity to finish what would become his best known work. Not because he wanted to become rich from it but because he knew how important art was and especially music in the most dire circumstances.

The first full performance in Leningrad (now St Petersburg) was given in August 1942 by a half-starved orchestra, whose emaciated state is symbolised by the drummer Dzaudhat Aydarov, who had literally been rescued from the dead.

Karl Eliasberg, the conductor on that occasion, stated that Soviet artillery pounded known German battery positions  prior to the start of  concert in order to silence them.

It was the same Eliasberg who went to the morgue looking for the drummer Aydarov,He found his presumed cadaver  still moving and breathing.

Despite the destruction around them and being under siege by the German army, the people of Leningrad still found a bit of comfort by buying a ticket for the mammoth work which lasted for over 78 minutes. 78 minutes where they could forget the war, the hunger and the despair.

ticket

Below is the music  the symphony in its full length.

 

 

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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Sources

Classic FM

The Guardian

BBC

YouTube

 

 

 

 

The Fighting Girlfriend

tank

Your husband goes off to war and gets killed in battle. What do you do?

Well like any other wife you would sell all your belongings and with the money earned from that sale, you go an acquire a tank, to take revenge.

It sounds like a great plot for a revenge movie directed by Quentin Tarantino perhaps, However this is exactly what Mariya Oktyabrskaya did.

Her husband was killed fighting the Germans in Kiev in 1941. Mariya only found out 2 years later.The news enraged her and she was determined to take revenge. In order to do this she sold everything she had, and then went straight to the chief himself, Stalin. She wrote him the following letter.

“My husband was killed in action defending the motherland. I want revenge on the fascist dogs for his death and for the death of Soviet people tortured by the fascist barbarians. For this purpose, I’ve deposited all my personal savings–50,000 rubles–to the National Bank in order to build a tank. I kindly ask to name the tank ‘Fighting Girlfriend’ and to send me to the front line as a driver of the said tank.”

Stalin had no choice but to agree. The propaganda value would be priceless and it would provide for a much needed boost to the morale. With Mariya’s money a T 34 tank was bought.

t 34

Mariya received 5 months of training, which was uncommon because usually tank crews were rushed straight to the front line with minimal training.

After the training she was assigned to the 26th Guards Tank Brigade in September 1943, where she soon took part in the Second Battle of Smolensk.

smolensk

Although other tank crews regarded her as some kind of publicity stunt, she got the chance to prove them wrong.

During her first battle, Oktobskaya showed some excellent tank handling skills and helped in destroying machine gun nests and artillery positions. Whilst under heavy fire, her tank, “The Fighting Girlfriend,” drove  through enemy lines, but was badly damaged in the process.

damaged t 34

Oktyabrskaya, disregarded orders, leaped out of her tank and fixed the tank, amidst heavy fire. Because of  this feat she was promoted to the rank of Sergeant.

Her last battle was on 17 January 1944, she fought in another night attack as part of the Leningrad–Novgorod Offensive. It would  be her last.

nov len

The attack took place at the village of Shvedy near Vitebsk. She neutralized resistance in trenches and machine-gun nests with her Fighting Girlfriend. and she and her crew  also destroyed a German self-propelled gun. Subsequently, the tank was hit by a German anti-tank shell,and  the tank once again suffered damage , Oktobrskaya tried to pull the trick once again. She managed to repair the damaged track but was hit in the head by shell fragments and lost consciousness.

She was transported to a Soviet military field hospital at Fastov, near Kiev, where she stayed  in a coma for two months, before finally succumbing to her injuries / She died on the 15th of  March 1944. In August that year, she  was posthumously made a Hero of the Soviet Union.

Mariya

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I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

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Source

Vintage News

 

First human in Space

Yuri-Gagarin-1961-Helsinki-crop

Yuri Alekseyevich Gagarinwas a Soviet pilot and cosmonaut. He was the first human to journey into outer space when his Vostok spacecraft completed an orbit of the Earth on 12 April 1961.

Vostok1_big

During the flight, the 27-year-old test pilot and industrial technician also became the first man to orbit the planet, a feat accomplished by his space capsule in 89 minutes. Vostok 1 orbited Earth at a maximum altitude of 187 miles and was guided entirely by an automatic control system. The only statement attributed to Gagarin during his one hour and 48 minutes in space was, “Flight is proceeding normally; I am well.”

Vostok1

Donation

I am passionate about my site and I know you all like reading my blogs. I have been doing this at no cost and will continue to do so. All I ask is for a voluntary donation of $2, however if you are not in a position to do so I can fully understand, maybe next time then. Thank you. To donate click on the credit/debit card icon of the card you will use. If you want to donate more then $2 just add a higher number in the box left from the PayPal link. Many thanks.

$2.00

Sources

ESA

Armaghplanet