From the diary of the deceased lieutenant.

"14.04.43 d. Sobolevka. Everything happened quickly and to the absurdly simple. In the morning the officer came from the regimental headquarters, passed the order that the battalion was advancing on the height of the village located at that height and along its southeast slope. the village was clearly visible. Some of the houses survived, but mostly only chimneys stuck out. Two rows of chimneys among the burnt willows.
The officer, along with the battalion commander, the captain and our company, marched through the trench. Our company was in the center of the offensive. Began to prepare. The artillery preparation was as follows: about twenty shells on the front of the attack of our company. When it ended, Uncle Stepan said: - Us, guys, Khan. Stay close to help each other if you get hurt.

From the diary of the deceased lieutenant. said, Stepan, only, a platoon, when, including, saw, near, Shepel, pulled out, nothing, commander, Leshoz, time, grenade, this, Volodya, Stepan, cocked, together

Art preparation is over. They sent a chain of command: "Attack!" I immediately jumped out of the trench. Before the attack, we fixed with shovels special indentations in the trench wall. They were already made before us, but collapsed. I only remembered how I set foot on this attack and jumped out into the field.
Then he ran forward. We did not have any chain. They ran in crowds and shouted.I ran twenty paces and felt that I was hit hard on the right thigh, so I fell and even dropped the rifle. I did not feel pain. But the blow was strong. It was like stepping on a stick, and it hit me with the other end.
Next to me lies Uncle Stepan on the straw. He told everything as it was. He was wounded more easily in the arm; the bone was not injured. I have a bone like, but without a fracture, tangentially. Lucky. Bullet pulled out. Rana whines. Uncle Stepan has a good mood. He says that they got off easily. He walks around the barn where we lie, juggling with the nurses and taking care of me.
The biggest misfortune is Petya. He ran nearby, a little behind. I always felt that he was near. So it was not scary. Killed platoon commander Lieutenant Borisov. Sergeant Apanasenko and machine gunner Proshkin were killed. I was dragged out on the cape of the orderlies. Uncle Stepan crawled to his trench himself. Behind the wall, there is a roar of roosters and a conversation of women who serve in the hospital.
Two in our ward, if the hay storage shed can be called a ward, are dead. They were loaded onto a trolley and taken somewhere. Uncle Stepan said that a hole had been dug in the garden and the dead were lowered there. Smells.You can lose your mind from the smells that fill the barn. The wounded moan and rave. Some are already more than a week, and they are not sent anywhere.
From the diary of the deceased lieutenant. said, Stepan, only, a platoon, when, including, saw, near, Shepel, pulled out, nothing, commander, Leshoz, time, grenade, this, Volodya, Stepan, cocked, together

04/18/43 Kaluga. I was lucky. Sent to the rear hospital. Have had an operation. Already feeling better. Pure light chamber. Good care. I wrote letters to my mother and Nadya. Petya killed I did not see. Nadya wrote everything according to Uncle Stepan. Uncle Stepan left in the medical battalion. It is unlikely that we will meet with him now. It's a pity. How will my letter Nadia?
05/17/43 Kaluga. The wound has healed. I was discharged from the hospital. No longer limping. Only sometimes, when the load on the muscle, I feel some kind of tension. Thanks to the doctors and nurses. Instead of the front, they send me to army courses for junior lieutenants.
I received two letters from my mother and from Nadia. Nadya asks for details, including where Peter is buried. He promised to find out. How do you know this? I tried to find out through the attending physician. He promised to help. But I'm already sent to another city.
18.05.43 pos. Leshoz. Courses for junior lieutenants are located in a small village. Near the railway. We occupy the premises of a shop. Perhaps flax factory. They feed well, but still worse than at the front line.
From the front-line soldiers in our platoon nine people. After the hospital, only me and Sergeant Maklakov. He is three years older than me and enjoys the same respect in the platoon as the platoon commander, Lieutenant Gorokhov. Maklakov and I became friends immediately.
From the diary of the deceased lieutenant. said, Stepan, only, a platoon, when, including, saw, near, Shepel, pulled out, nothing, commander, Leshoz, time, grenade, this, Volodya, Stepan, cocked, together

21.05.43 pos. Leshoz. The settlement and the surrounding area was under occupation for only three or four months. Somewhere here Uncle Stepan fought. Because Medyn is not far, in the neighboring area. The car goes there once a week for food and lumber. The village is called Leshoz, and not a single sawmill is left. All dismantled and removed, retreating, the Germans.
We go in outfit. Six posts, including a railway station with two warehouses and a railway bridge one kilometer from the village. Classes from morning to evening. Including drill. The landfill is right there, behind the village. It adjoins the territory of the sawmill. Sometimes the company commander pushes our chains there, and we ride the charred sheds like hares.
On the front lull. Volodya Maklakov has been fighting since last May. Acts as platoon leader. He says he outlived four lieutenants at the front. “The platoon platters do not fight for a long time,” he said somehow, by the way, and it hurt my heart.
I remembered Lieutenant Borisov. The attack was poorly organized.Now, studying the tactics of small-arms combat in the squad, platoon, company, battalion, I understand this perfectly. The means of reinforcement and support must be sufficient for the infantry to go not to the machine guns, but to the suppressed enemy firing points. Then much less losses and better result of the offensive.
Where is Petya buried? To visit his grave. I told this to Volodya Maklakov. He listened to me carefully and said:
- Forget. Why did he say that? Soulful callousness? Or something meant his?
Uncle Stepan said that the company came under mortar fire, and suffered the greatest losses from mine fragments. I don't remember that. Apparently, he was wounded before mortar attack. A bullet was pulled from the hip. I keep it. Although why should I? In war, you can not burden yourself with unnecessary things.
So spoke Uncle Stepan. The soldier must have the most necessary. Although a bullet extracted from your body, with traces of deformation, is not a thing. Yes, and does not take a lot of places. I wear it as a talisman. The most annoying thing is that I didn’t even see the enemy when I ran across the field to the village. Saw only flashes and haze shots.
From the diary of the deceased lieutenant. said, Stepan, only, a platoon, when, including, saw, near, Shepel, pulled out, nothing, commander, Leshoz, time, grenade, this, Volodya, Stepan, cocked, together

05/28/43 Advanced. At night we were alarmed, loaded into lorries and taken to an unknown destination. Before shipment, they gave out full ammunition, including RG-42 grenades.So in the morning we sat in the trenches. Everything looks like my first attack. But this time there was no artillery preparation at all. But together with us the battery of short-barreled 76-mm howitzers advanced. We helped the gunners to drag them through the potholes and trenches.
We attacked a small village on the border of a field and forest. The village’s garrison was small, about two infantry platoons and a mortar battery. As soon as the German mortar gunners opened fire, the gunners spotted their whereabouts and immediately divided them with a series of fragmentation and high-explosive shells. For the first time I saw how the calculations of the gunners.
We surrounded the Germans in the ravine behind the village and finished them off with grenades and small arms. I shot, without really seeing the target, at some shadows, swarming around at the sandy quarry. And everyone shot like that. From there, too, answered. But soon calmed down.
We have three killed and 12 people injured. Igor Sedakov from Tula was killed, with whom I went to the third post to guard the railway bridge when we were standing in the village of Leskhoz. I saw him - a frontal part and half of a face were torn down by a splinter. He died instantly.
We dragged the Germans out of the ravine and gathered them around the village. Total counted 26 people.The rest went to the forest. They did not pursue them. There were no wounded and prisoners. An hour later, the scouts from the rifle battalion, which holds the defense here, led three prisoners from the forest. They made a different impression than the dead. Looked boldly, embittered.
I saw in the ravine Volodya Maklakov stabbed a German wounded in the leg with a bayonet. The German lay on his side and silently looked at the approached Maklakov. Volodya looked around and, seeing that only I was near, quickly put the bayonet in the chest to the German. I could not do this.
Maklakov pulled the bayonet, wiped it on the German overcoat, looked at me and said nothing. I understood why he needed it. He took revenge. Then, after the fight, when we drove back to the forest camp, I asked him: - Do you feel better? “No,” he answered shortly. We didn’t talk about it anymore. The German, stabbed by Maklakov, had insignia of the corporal or corporal.
After the fight we got trophies. Only Volodya Maklakov and I did not have time to take anything as a souvenir. Somehow did not realize. It all happened quickly. I don’t know if at least one of my twenty-seven bullets hit anyone. I spent almost all ammunition.Including the grenade.
I had to throw two grenades. One during the battle, I thrust in the hands of a student Shepel. He, it seemed to me, was afraid to drop it himself. Well at least not thrown at his feet. Because in the second platoon three cadets were injured of different degrees of severity. One of them pulled out the check and dropped the grenade under his feet.
From the diary of the deceased lieutenant.said, Stepan, only, a platoon, when, including, saw, near, Shepel, pulled out, nothing, commander, Leshoz, time, grenade, this, Volodya, Stepan, cocked, together

05/29/43 Forest camp. Debriefing. In addition to the fact that the entire course discusses the events of yesterday, the teachers thoroughly analyzed the actions of our company during the attack. All errors and miscalculations were revealed. Moreover, the attack was successful. An officer arrived from the division headquarters and read the thanks of the division commander in front of the courses.
Shepel came up and asked me not to tell anyone that it was not he who threw the grenade. It turns out that the platoon commander interviewed some cadets about how and under what circumstances they used their hand grenades. Nobody asked me anything. Shepel said that he threw the grenade into the ravine, when the Germans were still shooting back.
So it was. Except one. It was not he who threw the grenade. I did not answer him. Probably, I should not blame him for his cowardice. This was his first fight.For Petya Stepicheva, the first fight was the last. For Lieutenant Borisov, too. And Shepel was always following me during the battle. I did not immediately attach any importance to this. To hell with this Shepel ... "- from the diary of the junior lieutenant O.I.Ovsyannikov who died in December 1943 near Vitebsk.


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