by Mansur Abdulin
Barnsley, Eng.: Pen & Sword / Philadelphia: Casemate, 2019. Pp. xii, 196+.
Illus., maps, chron., appends., index. $22.95 paper. ISBN: 1526760703
A Teenaged Red Army Soldier at War
In 1942 the teenaged Abdulin, a miner and the son of a local Communist party official in a small village in Siberia, volunteered with three friends for service in the Great Patriotic War. He spent little more than a year in combat.
Abdulin’s first serious action was during the Stalingrad encirclement in November of 1942, which he recounts with some fervor, noting the danger of friendly fire, and the fighting against German break through efforts. He later fought in the battles of Kursk (July-August 1943), and the Dnieper (August 1943), during which he was wounded, and discharged for disability, the only survivor of the four young men who had enlisted little more than a year earlier.
Many years later Abdulin wrote this memoir, which was first published in English in 2004, later reissued in 2008, and now available again. Abdulin’s account is often grim, rife with death and horror, and desperate fighting under often extreme conditions. There is also comradeship, moments of humor, and Abdulin’s feelings about war and soldiering, particularly his sense of ‘guilt’ at not having been in the fight to the end.
Red Road From Stalingrad is an excellent read for anyone interested in the Eastern Front or soldiers and soldiering.
Note: Red Road From Stalingrad is also available in several e-editions.
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