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An old Soviet ends
Note from author:
This story is not based on real characters ! All things that are true about the characters is a coincidence.
Stalingrad 1943 February 2th
These are the remains of Nickolaï Sidorov, a Krasnoarmieyets (Red Army Trooper/soldier) who served under command of Joseph Vasiliev, a Komdiv (Division Commander) an old war veteran who did nothing much anymore because he was at his end of retirement.
These are the final moments in the battle of Stalingrad through the eyes of Nickolaï Sidorov.
The commander was sitting behind his desk. The last time he should sit behind his desk because tomorrow he was ordered to Moscow. The Great leader Stalin wanted to see him and there were rumours he was promoted as Komandarm Vtogoro Ranga (Army Commander 2nd Class) because of his long life career in the Red Army and age.
As he was filling in reports his loyal member of staff, soldier Sidorov entered the officer's tent.
'Knock on door"
Joseph Vasiliev: enter!
A Turning Point in the Clockwork WarA war of attrition
depends on supply and drawdown,
how much you have and how much you use up.
With personnel, the balance concerns
the influx of recruitment versus
the outflow of casualties, deserters, invalids.
There is only so much loss
that a fighting force can sustain
and still fight.
Pilot Claude Archer was the first
to challenge his invalid discharge.
"I don't need legs to fly," he said,
patting the healed stumps of his thighs.
"My Osprey runs on elbow grease."
The members of the discharge board
paused and looked at each other.
What he said was true.
The Osprey-class fighter jets
relied on hand controls,
and a sharp eye and iron nerve.
Fingers flicked through the stack
of discharge papers -- so many, many pages.
So many soldiers lost, never to fight again.
They could not afford to let slip even one
who might be retained, somehow,
to face the front line once more.
Far less could the war effort spare
one of its best pilots.
So they put Pilot Archer back on the roster,
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