Academic journal article Military Review

DYNAMO: Triumph and Tragedy in Nazi-Occupied Kiev

Academic journal article Military Review

DYNAMO: Triumph and Tragedy in Nazi-Occupied Kiev

Article excerpt

DYNAMO: Triumph and Tragedy in Nazi-Occupied Kiev, Andy Dougan, The Lyons Press, Guilford, CT, 2002, 241 pages, $29.95.

In 1981 Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine, and Pelé, appeared in the movie Victory (Warner DVD, Burbank, CA, 2004). The movie's plot revolves around a group of Allied soldiers in a World War II German prisoner of war camp. When the Allied soldiers play a select German team in a soccer match, they not only win, they escape en masse. Andy Dougan's book Dynamo: Triumph and Tragedy in Nazi-Occupied Kiev relates a similar story from the Eastern Front. While Dougan's book is similar to the Hollywood story, two major differences are apparent: Dougan's account is factual, and it has no Hollywood ending.

In the decade before World War II, Dynamo Kiev gained a reputation as one of the strongest and most capable soccer teams in the Soviet Union, if not in all of Europe. The war scattered the team, and some members were encircled in Kiev and captured by the Germans in late summer 1941. The remaining members were reunited through the efforts of football-loving bakery owner and team goalie Nikolai Trusevich.

The German occupiers, attempting to return the city to some semblance of normalcy, organized a local soccer league, and, Dynamo Kiev quickly established itself as the team to beat. …

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