dry figures, I tried to most accurately restore and retell precisely those moments that concern the tactics of waging that war, that is, combat experience. And as you know, it is purchased at a very expensive price, and its relevance is not lost over the years and decades. At the same time, our contemporaries know very little about the Finnish campaign. But then the Soviet troops had to in a harsh climate, with strong resistance from the enemy to break through the most powerful line of defense of the Finns, known as the Mannerheim Line. Let us hear what the participants in those battles themselves said.
DEATH ON ICE
I present the first narrator - Boris Loginov, and simpler - Uncle Boris, my relative. His stories are transmitted in our family as a memory. Siberian, native of Baikal. Before the call, he lived in the village of Irkutsk-13.
...Coldly. Uncle Borya did not experience such brutal cold nowhere else. The Finns' corporate identity was to wait for the Russian soldiers to come out to an open place away from the shelters (trees, large boulders or just clusters of stones) and cover them first with massive machine gun and sniper fire, put them in motion, and then fire them with mortars or artillery pieces. Worst of all, that the open space, as a rule, was either a lake, or a swamp, or a rivulet. Uncle Borya was convinced that the Finns had purposely waited for us at water obstacles. And so the cannon began. The explosions of mines and shells break the ice, raise the fountains of water, it hits the fighters from above and flows abundantly at the bottom, and this is in 30-degree frost! Who lay close to the place of the break, went under the ice, the rest of the uniforms turned into an ice shell.
Lie down - cold. Willy-nilly, they tried to crawl forward, and the Finns beat every movement with sniper fire.
Losses from such Finnish tactics were heavy. Truly in the air, and under the feet - death. The only chance not to remain from frostbite without arms and legs was to crawl quickly to dry snow and tumble in it. The snow was pulling water out of clothes.
The one who was the first to reach him began a firefight with the Finns, trying to change his position more often - the Finns shot very well.
Our troops were saved by superiority in artillery and in general in technology. Gunners did not spare the shells, and if the ambush positions were improvised, without full-profile bunker and trenches, the artillery beat off infantry from death. (This is most likely
It happened in the assumption of the Mannerheim Line, where the Finns did not have such powerful fortifications as they did on the consolidations themselves).
After some time, our soldiers developed a persistent hatred of open spaces. They tried not to go even under the threat of the tribunal. Uncle Borya said - let it be in the forest, even on barbed wire, mines, pillboxes and trenches, but the main thing is on land. Even if you are injured, you will fall into the snow, on dry. There is a chance to survive.
The command of these shots in the forehead on the Finnish pillboxes and the thorn came to the horror and rage, and constantly demanded - not to climb on the Finns in the forehead, to bypass! But the troops sent around the Finnish positions, knowing full well that they were waiting for them once again at another water barrier, did not go to the ice, but they arbitrarily advanced on land along the water's edge or along the forest edges, that is, exactly where the Finns The most powerful and newest high-rise artillery-machine-gun pillboxes were shooting through open ground with massive and precise fire.
It turned out that, striving for actions that were most correct from a military point of view, our command repeatedly led troops to the most fortified points of the Mannerheim line. Hence the loss ...
(Here, perhaps, all the little that was left in our family from Uncle Bory’s participation in the liberation of the Karelian Isthmus from the Finns in the winter of 1939-1940).
LIFE DEPENDS ON THE BATTERY
Our next hero went to the front as a volunteer from a student’s bench, from the fourth year of the Leningrad Institute of Railway Engineers. The conversation with him about the Finnish campaign took place at the end of the 1980s, and neither I nor my father, a member of the Finnish campaign, could remember exactly his last name. The father, however, suggests that it was Pevzner Boris Isakovich. The story is given in the first person, and in brackets - my comments on the text
.... How did I get to Finnish? The Finns fired artillery shells from Leningrad, and my friends and I decided to leave as volunteers to defend the north-western borders of our Motherland, as they said. Yes, the city was shelled. I saw with my own eyes the fountains of water and ice from the tears on the Neva.
(DP - For the second time in my life I heard about the shelling of Leningrad by Finnish artillery at the beginning of that war. The first time I was told about this is an old man-guide at St. Isaac’s Cathedral, a war veteran, for 5-6 years before this conversation.)
Armed us: a Mosin rifle, several grenades, a sapper shovel. They dressed you with warm underwear, sweatshirts, cotton breeches, overcoats, boots (of course, a size larger), a pair of warm flannelettes. An experienced foreman in a warehouse advised not to take a budenovka, but to immediately take a warm cap comforter and wear it like a ski cap. On the budenovka the helmet did not hold, moved out, and on the balaclava it was a sweet affair.
The foreman, apparently, managed to war and knew what was happening. And then at the front, in the combatant units, who arrived in Karelsky in Budenovka and received helmets, it happened on the front line: they would torment themselves - and a helmet off, and Finnish snipers on beating off unprotected heads was a sure thing. Blood such nonsense was paid.
We, a group of volunteer students and young workers mobilized from Leningrad factories, arrived in our division for two days before the first attack on the Mannerheim line. Experienced guys, who fought from the first day, immediately warned us - fight to the last, no matter what happens, do not surrender to captivity. The Finns killed Russian soldiers captured in the most brutal way. They cut off the genitals, heads, impaled, cut into pieces and hung these pieces in trees along the roads and trails. To scare. I myself later saw this with my own eyes ...
STEP FORWARD, TWO STEPS BACK
Before the attack was very powerful artillery preparation. At that time we were at the edge of the forest, in snow trenches, waiting for the offensive. Before us is a wide, 500-700 meters, clearing, at its other end Finnish fortifications were already beginning. First barbed wire in several rows.
There were still hollows, but not the height of a person, but low, only 50 centimeters from the ground. Very dangerous for our tanksbecause they are not visible in the snow. The tank flies on them with the bottom, the tracks in the air, turn around - and the car does not move. Here she was shot, still, from cannons. On our site, on these gouges, many tanks burned down.
Already almost breaks through to the Finnish positions, and then suddenly, as if a giant, some kind of car pulls up into the air and throws it on its side. A minute, another - and the guys caught fire. Even if I got out of the tank, I still have to crawl up to my own, and tankers in black overalls can see them far in the snow. As a rule, few people crawled ... And already behind the thorn, in the forest, Finnish trenches, bunkers and bunkers. True, the forest they did not stand for long, our artillery carried it to pieces a few hundred meters deep. Among that windbreak, I later had the opportunity to fight almost the entire campaign ...
... Well, artillery otgrohotala, we, the infantry - a rocket. We jumped out of the trenches and pits, stretched out into a chain - and forward. All as the statute laid. And in a clearing - snow in bulk, where it is knee-deep, and where it is waist-high, and try to go through it! We do not attack, but wallow in virgin soil. And all - with the full calculation! Already about two hundred meters exhausted, the overcoat - even squeeze. Then we noticed that in the funnels and around them, the snow was spread to the ground - and let's move from one to another. The chain broke, the attack began in small groups, but we are already moving ahead.
Here, the tanks arrived, an avalanche of unleashed drove through our orders and rushed to the fortifications. The enemy was waiting for something like that, they opened heavy fire on us. The Finns in the bunkers are sitting and we are watered. Platoon and company shout:
It is clear, but only the snow, the infection, keeps the barbed wire cleaner. The dead are falling down, the wounded are screaming, they are calling for help. But still throws from the funnel to the funnel come. Then I came across the trail of our tank. Charm, run easy, just bend down. I ran to the tank, started calling friends. After some time, under the cover of armor, about twelve people were walking and crawling. Mostly students and workers. They were more informative.
And the peasants are disciplined. Shouting to them, waving: And they: In our platoon, soldiers from the village in that offensive almost completely knocked out ... They were probably just afraid of tanks. Like, great, the Finns will hit them first, and I'm in the snow, like a hen, try, get into me. In vain. Snow Finnish machine guns stitched to the ground. On the adjusted lines, an average 5 of bullets fell on every square meter per minute, I learned that after the war.
And so it came. Tanks, followed by a handful of infantry. And the others behind in an open field lie and cannot lift heads. They put our infantry Finns, cut off from the tanks. Suddenly our tank stops, the gun for the Finns works. An officer peeps out of the hatch, it was the commander of a tank company. At first I was surprised to see us, and then slid off the armor under the stern towards us and scream (there was a terrible roar, everyone talked with a scream):. We answer:.
We backed away. Retreating in front of a tank is more difficult, you need to look at both, so as not to fall under the caterpillar. All the tanks went to the dead infantry, the commanders of vehicles with revolvers jumped into the snow and let's raise the fighters, all this under fire. Moved again
ahead, and the Finns again gave a squall and again laid us down. And so they crawled back and forth across that glade all day. By evening, went to the original. Those who survived gathered in their old trenches, again rallying into units ...
The next day - artillery preparation and attack again. Again, we crawl forward and backward; we cannot break through to the Finnish trenches. And then the tank, behind which I was hiding, was hit by anti-tank artillery of the Finns. The car is burning, who stayed alive from the crew, got out to us under the stern and shout: To the nearest car - 70 meters, across Finnish fire. And nothing to do, rushed. Not everyone ran to the tank ... And the infantry is also hiding behind it, there is no place for us! But we found. Chained into trenches dug by caterpillars - and forward, crawling behind the tank.
Savvy. Without it, the war will end immediately. On the last day of the offensive, in the second half of the day, we almost broke through to the Finnish barbed wire - we had already got the hang of it for running around the tanks. Suddenly - hit, the car gets up. Knocked down! The wounded in the rear crawled, and we - forward, rolls and dashes from the crater to the crater. Finally we got to the thorn, and there it is in a few dozen rows there! In some places it is torn by our shells, but it is still impossible to pass. And we have no sapper scissors. And the ganks — some on the battlefield are burning, others have departed with the infantry to the original ones. There are about twenty of us at the thorn. Wet with sweat, began to freeze. What to do is not clear. And it is getting dark. We see - the offensive again choked. It remained to wait for the dark.
... Crawled to their own, probably by the middle of the night. Our lieutenant was delighted to see us alive: “And I already thought,” he says, “that in my platoon there were no gunmen left at all. Offensive tomorrow will not be. We bury ourselves in the snow, accept replenishment and prepare for the assault of the reinforced bands ...
ENGINEERING OSNAZ - FOR SPECIAL TASKS
So we temporarily went on the defensive, sat in trenches dug in the snow: it’s impossible to rush into the ground, frozen. The parapet was watered with water — ice forms, fragments and bullets hold. One day our lieutenant comes up to me and asks:
, - I answer. Then he told me that the command selects fighters with higher and incomplete higher education among the Red Army men, builders, power engineers for the performance of a special task and sent them to headquarters.
... So I got into the engineering rig. (The author writes this title without quotes, and we leave it in the original. - Editor's Note.)
These are special purpose units that were assigned an important role in the destruction of the fortifications of the Mannerheim Line. Looking ahead, I will say that the current talk about the fact that, they say, when they broke through the fortifications of the Finns, they were overwhelmed - nonsense.
There, on the Karelian Isthmus, on under the machine guns could, of course, put a lot of people, only to sense this was not. The Finns would still lead us over from their pillboxes. Our command was perfectly aware of all this, and therefore fought not in the way they are written in the newspapers now, but in an rational way.
So, they gathered us, all who had already fought, all the students, or, like me, five minutes to the engineers. Taken to the rear on
KaUR - Karelian fortified area, covering Leningrad from the Finns, located almost near the city itself. Overdressed. We received warm amphibious jumpsuits made of camel wool - with a hood, with a two-sided coloration.
On the one hand, they were white, for winter, and on the other, brown, for summer. They could easily sleep in the snow. Apparently, there was some kind of water-repellent impregnation. They were considered completely secret. They gave us warm underwear, sweaters, and instead of boots - ski-type boots, with two woolen socks. On the head - woolen knitted balaclava. We did not wear helmets. Armament - knives, grenades, revolvers Nagan. And our main weapons there was TNT and gasoline (mixed with tar and something else, so that it would not burn out too quickly and set everything on fire, so-called).
We were broken into groups of three. First, with our tactics, more is not necessary. Secondly, the smaller the group, the harder it is to detect. And, thirdly, the patrols and patrols of the Finns at the forefront were about the same number, so
we were sometimes taken for our own ...
We trained for a week at KaUR. Learned to detect disguised pillboxes, to overcome the barbed wire, to undermine the detected targets. Shooting is not forgotten. Then we were returned to the front, and we began to fight.
DIVERSANTS AGAINST PARTIES
The Finnish defense consisted of reinforced concrete backbone - multi-tiered artillery and machine-gun pillboxes, the so-called (each of them cost a million in Finnish monetary units). But they were few. The main array consisted of simple single-storey reinforced concrete pillboxes and wood-earthen firing points - bunkers, which were sprinkled with boulders and, in terms of their security, were inferior to the pillboxes.
All of these long-term facilities were united into a single whole network of trenches and communication lines, covered with pillars, minefields and barbed wire. It was the bunker, which was very much, inflicted the main losses to our infantry during the offensive. They were built in two floors: on top of the fighting compartment with embrasures, and below the barracks. The impact of projectiles such pre-war buildings held well. They were our main goal.
It was necessary to knock out by means of explosions this main massif of the Mannerheim line - and it can already be broken through by storm.
We acted as follows. During the day, watched the terrain, questioning experienced soldiers, where the Finns may have fire installations. Then in the evening they crawled out into the neutral zone. Winter nights are long, there is plenty of time to work.
We had a special suit for overcoming electrified barriers. He was a bit like a spacesuit, only his face was open. All of the copper wire, on the insulating lining. In such a frost is possible, so we worked in it in turn. Osnazovets in special suit crawled first, so as not to burn, if the wire is under current. Such sites, however, could be detected in advance.
You look - our soldier hangs on, all charred - it means that the wire is under tension. And the insulators crackled (the Finns did not constantly hold the barrier under the current, but by periods). In this case, wait until they turn it off, then work. But, I must say, this we loved. You will find an insulator, one wire will have a snack, and so that the free end dangles in the air and periodically closes the system.
Let's create such a trick to them and crawl away from the barrier of meters on 20-30, we lay down in the funnel. We lie, wait. Some of us are on duty, observing leads, scouting targets, the rest of the hoods are stretched over their heads, their hands are hidden in their sleeves and sleeping. And the Finns periodically - - short circuit! They rage, especially at first, suspect something was wrong. From machine guns start beating on.
Our gunners detect such - and let them beat, Finns also beat them out of guns.
In general, you lie to yourself in a funnel, and above you only shells fly here and there. About a day later the Finns calm down. Although it happened that they were looking for a place where the barrage would break, electrician groups were sent. We let them through without a fight, we don't need noise. They will restore the system, and we tear it again. In the end they ceased.
This is where our time comes. We wait for the evening, open the system again, crawl through, restore the cliff and lie down. The Finns are all right, there are no failures in the energy sector, their attention is waning. And we are crawling towards the goal. The bunker had the form of a small gentle snowdrift, it was difficult to find it. By the windsweeping snake is turned until you find. They also had false decoy targets ...
At first, we stupidly acted from lack of experience. At first they searched for the trench, then they tried to find and remove the sentry silently, and then they crawled through the trench to the bunker door, jerked it open and threw a charge of explosives inside. It is long, dangerous and unreliable. The sentry may raise an alarm, and, opening the door, you can run into shots. In addition, the explosion of the door tears off its hinges, and it flies straight at you. And most importantly, there is no complete guarantee of the destruction of both the bunker and the garrison, which is resting at night in the lower living bay. You can't drag a lot of explosives on yourself, the explosion turns out to be weak. And we needed the complete destruction of the enemy firing point ...
We quickly developed a different method of destroying a bunker. You climb on its top, where the chimney goes. By the melting snow and hot air, you determine that the bunker is real, and not a false layout-bait. By the way, the bunkers were cold. In general, I live as much as I do not remember such a cold as the 1939 in winter on the Karelian Isthmus.
(DP - By the way, on my own I can add a little secret to fighting the cold. You pick up inflorescences of tansy, whether fresh or dry, brewing them, and rub this body with this infusion. Helps withstand cold. Checked in field conditions. The main thing is not to get carried away, but Having forgotten about a frost, it is possible to freeze too much. The infusion should not be too thick, and they should not be abused without need)
... And the Finns, too, were freezing. At night, their attendants at the firing points voluntarily retreated from the embrasures and viewing cracks and warmed themselves at the stoves, although this was strictly forbidden to them (we knew about this habit from prisoners). First of all, we threw a small charge of tola or RGD grenade into the chimney. The explosion poured warming on duty on the spot or seriously injured. They could no longer raise the alarm. Those who were in the lower dungeon did not have time to go upstairs either. Then a bottle of the aforementioned, with a grenade attached to it, went into the pipe, and instantly a third grenade followed with a faster fuse. All this was done by one fighter.
The second one stood nearby and kept a wooden cork-chop ready (the third one insured us near the bunker). Immediately after lowering the third grenade into the pipe, he hammered the chop into the pipe ... The last fan broke first. Gases from the explosion rushed to the bunker and the street. Chop kept them in the pipe. He flew out of the pipe by a bullet, but was delayed. At the end of the pipe was obtained hydraulic gas. At that moment the second charge was breaking, the gases of this explosion were reflected off and with a force rushed into the bunker, carrying with them the combustible mixture from the bottle. It turned out improvised! A jet of fire hit the Finns, set fire to ammunition and the wooden walls of the bunker. He burned and collapsed.
(DP - One of the authors described a similar technology for undermining underground tunnels in Afghanistan in the middle of the 1990)
Bottles for used from Russian vodka - the diameter is just under the pipe, and there is enough fuel in it. We even joked: let's go have a treat. In terms of numbers, there was usually a branch in a bunker, a 5-7 man. There were also large, so-called bunker shelters, where there were up to two infantry units defending in a trench.
But with a simple barrage of, not under the current, it was more difficult. The Finns put motion sensors on them. If someone got there and started to get out, the sensor triggered by vibration, and the Finns had an alarm signal in the pillboxes. They instantly
They began to water the alarming sector with machine guns. All the difficulty here was to find this sensor.
We usually threw on the barbed wire and tugged at it. If the Finns start to shoot, shine with searchlights, it means that it is somewhere nearby. You twitch it several times, they will shoot - and they will subside. You start looking for a sensor, crawling, raking up the snow with your hands. All the time in suspense, because if at that moment they hit it is the end. Find it is easier. After that, it was a matter of technology - they arranged false alarms, and pointed the exact location of the bunker to the enemy’s fire. Next, the sensor was taken out of operation, they were selected to the bunker and burned by it.
Some time we got away with it, we destroyed the bunkers well. We had a norm - two for going to the Finns, for the sake of the lesser it was not worth the risk. If the Finns did not immediately detect sabotage, then we had time for a new detonation. The main thing is good targets scout. It was very difficult for the Finns to discover that the bunker had been blown up: it was very difficult: the door went out into a winding trench, you would not see the flame.
Why did they not immediately understand what was happening? At the front of the night is not quiet. Somewhere nearby, our artillery is beating the dota, somewhere the gunfire from machine guns and machine guns — reconnaissance groups have locked up, missiles are taking off ... What is there - some kind of sparks from the pipe! And the bunkers exploded in a dull voice, the sounds of the waves rolled out ...
... Yes, about half a month everything was fine, but then the Finns understood what was happening and took countermeasures. As soon as a cable was broken somewhere in an electric fence or a motion sensor was triggered, they were immediately sent to that place by a group of 5-6 people (we called them) armed with machine guns, grenades, knives. They knew their barriers and freely made their way through them to the flank of our groups. Then it was all a matter of numerical superiority and advantages in automatic weapons, because you don’t win much against a revolver.
... missing a few groups. Then we saw them ... The guys hung on a barbed wire, someone was charred. Someone had a severed head stuck on a cola next to the body ...
We were eager to get revenge. Another group left. At night, a rocket soared: In the morning, one person crawled out of it. He spoke about the new Finnish tactics. He was saved by the fact that the commander had prudently ordered him to lie down in a separate funnel to the side. One snatcher died immediately. The heavily wounded commander called the fire on himself, and this fighter managed to escape. Our command was in difficulty. Everyone understood that it was necessary to crush the bunkers, but now it did not make sense to send engineering equipment, we would all have fallen on Finnish without any sense.
(D. P. - But for this - 'thanks to citizen Tukhachevsky, who at one time announced machine pistols. But the domestic machine pistols of Degtyarev PPD-34 had already been 6 (!) Years old, as they were in mass production and were in service NKVD troops from 1935 year.)
An unknown senior commander found a way out. He recalled that in warehouses, excellent, the world's first real automata of Major General Fedorov’s system are in abundance on conservation. They shot Japanese rifle cartridges with 6,5 caliber mm. Just in a recent battle on the Khalkhin-Gol river, our troops took over the Japanese military depots, where these patrons were nemer. To us, on the Karelian Isthmus, Fedorov's rifles and the cartridges for them were delivered on an urgent basis.
(DP - I was interested history Russian weapons, but, unfortunately, at that time knew only the official version. She stated that Fedorov's machine gun, which was ahead of its time, was not used in battles. The first and only company of machine gunners in the Russian imperial army was formed in 1916 and sent to the Romanian front. Information about her combat path is not available. Only later in the old biography of Major General Fedorov, I read that his machine gun was used in the Civil War and after it by some parts of the Red Army and the Cheka. In the 1929 year, due to the complete exhaustion of the stocks of Japanese ammunition, the machine was sent to be mothballed. The fact that it was used in the Finnish campaign, I had never heard of. In the Leningrad Central Museum of Artillery, Engineers and Communications Forces on a stand dedicated to these weapons, everything is limited to the notorious company from the Romanian Front)
... The wire fence was heavily hollowed with artillery, gaps appeared in it, which the Finns simply did not have time to patch. Shells are not spared. Our groups are enlarged, we began to go to the Finns already on 6 people. Now we had automatic rifles, and the Finns had submachine guns. Japanese rifle cartridge was much more powerful than the Finnish pistol. Fedorov machines had greater accuracy, penetration ability. Finns had a hard time.
(DP - In addition, the bullet of the patron Arisaka, getting into the human body, was unfolded inside it. Serious injury or certain death, as a rule, were guaranteed)
Almost every night in the windbreak on the Mannerheim line fights broke out. The group was divided into two combat troika, one - fire cover, the second - the destruction of bunkers.
The fire group remained at the wire fence, about fifty meters from the passage. She discovered the Finnish detachments and imposed a fight on them, distracting them from the strike group, and the last to withdraw. Fedorov's automata in these forest fights showed undeniable advantages over, easily punching a windbreak and having much greater accuracy. If we had time to find the first, the success of the fire fight was guaranteed.
The shock group had its own difficulties: the Finns began to exhibit sentries at the entrance to the bunker. First they were filmed. They tried noiselessly, but sometimes they had to shoot: then the killed person was rolled to the door to the bunker to create a landfill at the threshold if the garrison began to jump out. Our watchman was no longer in front of the bunker, as before, but behind it and controlled the door.
The rest - on the roof, as usual ...
This is how we, engineering fighters, fought to the second, decisive assault on the Mannerheim line. In it we walked in the first shock wave. Now there were no chains and tanks under fire. A few days before the assault, we were taken from the front to the rear, where an exact copy of the fortification was built. We trained.
Heavy tanks of the first wave dragged behind them an armored sleigh-trailer, on which we lay up to the moment when the tanks would rush into the position itself, overcoming the weights and barbed wire. There it was necessary to jump off the sled and begin to undermine the surviving bunkers, and most importantly, the bunkers, if they survive in the breakthrough area.
At the same time, a part of the infantrymen armed with RPD machine guns and grenades, was to engage the battle with the Finnish infantry in trenches. Groups of army sappers destroyed the images and made passages in the barbed wire. But already behind our wave was the second, where the tanks were to lead the infantry behind him. We repeated the training attack on the copy several times. Only after hard training was another storming of the Mannerheim line.
... Again the artillery preparation. Tanks of the first wave froze at the starting line. We lay behind them along the sleigh. A signal to attack. Let's go Everything is going well, here is the cutting edge. I remember when we passed through the cannons, it creaked under the bottom. Heart sank, stuck or not stuck? We drove ...
We jump out of the sleigh at the turn of the Finns, a trench near. The tanks started a firefight with reinforced concrete pillboxes - not all of them were destroyed by our artillery. We are fighting for bunkers. We undermine grenades entrance doors, throw explosives inside.
They took the killed Finns, they are more comfortable in a trench battle, they have a 70 drive cartridges.
The Finns are fighting back desperately. They have more artillery. In some places our tanks are on fire. The infantry of the second wave lay down in some places, but for the most part it had already advanced, now the battle in the trenches began. Here it is impossible to climb straight ahead. First, around the corner, without looking, you throw a grenade. Break - and then forward, without delay. You fire a submachine gun, moving quickly
until the next turn, so that the enemy does not wake up.
... We have repulsed our height from the enemy. He tried to counterattack. At first the infantry climbed. Only now the Finns themselves are in the same unenviable position, as we once did: they move in deep snow slowly, like targets in a dash. And we beat them and do not regret the ammo. They rolled back to the original. Then they tried to counterattack under the cover of artillery fire. We waited in the niches of the trenches and then again in the snow. By the way, their artillery against ours was nothing.
So we fought a day later, the whole glade in front of our trenches was killed by the killed Finns. So they didn’t like to attack very much ... The night passed, and then, the next morning, we suddenly saw - there was no Finn, moved away ... So we broke through the Mannerheim line. Not, but with intelligence and endurance, wit and courage ...
Some episodes of that long-standing conversation contradicted officialdom about that war. To my shame, I didn’t fully believe the old veteran and for many years I asked different people in different places about whether it was all true? Everyone said no. But something stubbornly prevented me from forgetting that conversation. And so, in 1992, in Leningrad, in the Central Museum of Artillery, Engineering and Communications, I saw a copper spacesuit on a rubber lining ... Beneath it the inscription:. He was in service with the Red Army ... * It was like a hello from the distant past. A little further in the window stood a model with the inscription <Multi-storey tree-earthen firing point. It was used by the Finnish army on the Mannerheim line. And I believed that everything I was told is true ... And in 2000, in the multi-volume 1960, I suddenly saw a small photo. It was a longtime snapshot of a group of engineering equipment! Photo confirmation of the old story! Now I told him to you ... "
PSV "Soldier of Fortune" N5-6 (dual) 2009 is a continuation of the article. There, about how mobile groups of tanks, infantry and sappers pursued the Finns after breaking through the Mannerheim line.