The Russian Army: Its Men, Its Leaders and Its Battles

The Russian Army: Its Men, Its Leaders and Its Battles

The Russian Army: Its Men, Its Leaders and Its Battles

The Russian Army: Its Men, Its Leaders and Its Battles

Excerpt

A year ago last December while the Russian armies were driving the Germans from the outskirts of Moscow, I saw a column of sledges moving in single file along a forest road. The flanks of the horses were covered with a white frost and the drivers, muffled against the cold, were walking alongside in an effort to restore the circulation of blood to their feet.

It was early afternoon but though the sun was shining from a blue sky there was the dullness of dusk in the woods for there was snow on the branches of the fir trees and the trees grew close together. Scattered in this semi- darkness were little groups of weary men, their faces black with exhaustion, warming their hands before fires of green logs whose flames cast faint shadows on the snow.

The sledges were moving slowly to the west where guns were firing and men were fighting for their lives. They were taking bandages, splints, containers of blood for transfusions, frozen beef, bread, shells for 122-millimeter gun-howitzers, fodder for the cavalry and rifle ammunition for the infantry. The horses plodded and slipped along and the drivers walked in silence. When it is as cold as this, you do not feel like talking. You just keep going.

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