Tuesday, June 19, 2012

two or three times a year...

...I will think about all those Soviet soldiers and civilians during WWII.

Soldiers sent by the tens, hundreds of thousands to various incursion points where German forces threatened. Civilians by the tens, hundreds of thousands constructing earthworks and barricades on the outskirts of cities.

Don't mess with Russians.

So many soldiers killed or wounded and so many more sent from deeper in the nation to replace them. Civilians in eastern provinces, owing to a state of heightened emergency, building large factories, producing countless war things of steel and chemical, of textile and whatnot. I can almost see those vast foundries and steelworks, flashing white fire and sparks into the cavernous dark. Men grimy and sweaty, grim and determined.

The suffering and horror at Stalingrad -- it's unthinkable. The persevering will and courage of soldier and civilian -- hard to even imagine.

And those T-34 tanks stampeding across the salient near the city of Kursk! A bird's-eye view must have staggered that bird's brain with awesomeness, with a sweeping martial sublimity.

The scale and degree of resistance of the Russian spirit (or Soviet, if you wish) staggers my own brain. Think of all those women warriors, deadly snipers!

Foolhardy German commanders.

1 comment:

  1. I met a very drunken veteran of Stalingrad once. Near a street named Zoya Kosmedamyanskaya. I was buying parsley by the metro station. I should write a poem about it, but maybe I'll leave it to you.