Military Review

War after the war. Soldiers memoirs of Peter Vshivkova (manuscript)

Guards Sergeant Vshivkov Petr Matveyevich was born in 1923 in the village of Zherbatikh, Kuraginsky District, Krasnoyarsk Territory, in a peasant family. In 1941, he was mobilized into the ranks of the Red Army, where he stayed until 1947. He served in the 1667 construction battalion of the Labor Army; from 1942 in the army in the 456 st. regiment and 134 guards. page shelf 45 gu. rifle division shooter light and heavy machine gun.

Memories of Peter Matveyevich Vshivkov represent a hand-written book with a total volume of 1062 pages of handwritten text. "Soldiers' Memoirs" are written in the form of literary raw text, with multiple grammatical and spelling errors. The text of the memoirs contains a description of life from the second half of 1920-s to 1979, with an additional section of 1988-89.

We have presented the edited text of the manuscript (p. 469-494), containing memories of the battles on the Kurland peninsula from 9 to 21 in May 1945.

From Wikipedia:
"The Kurlyand boiler (also the Courland pens, the Courland fortress or the blockade of the Courland grouping of troops) was formed in the autumn of 1944, when the western part of Latvia (historically known as Courland) remained under occupation by the German forces (remnants of the Army group" North "), but they were squeezed between two Soviet fronts on the line Tukums - Liepaja. This environment was not a “boiler” in full measure: the German group was not completely blocked from the sea and therefore had a fairly free communication with the main forces of the Wehrmacht. Up until the German capitulation of 9 on May 1945, fierce battles were fought (some localities passed from hand to hand several times) to eliminate the “boiler”, but it was possible to advance the front line only a few kilometers inland. Major hostilities ceased only after 23 of May 1945 of the year, after the surrender of Berlin ... "

* * *

“... And what interesting will be next ... I was sitting in a machine-gun cell with the soldiers of my crew, and [we] looked at the German trench. The clear sun was rising. A warm, clear spring day of 9 on May 1945 came. Another couple of hours passed. A commander of our company, Captain Bobylev, is running along a trench. He jerks the fighters now over the floors of his overcoats, now over his legs, and shouts cheerfully: “Get up! Brothers Slavs, the war is over! And he bends down from the bullets whistling over him from the German side. “The war is over, but what does Comrade bend down? captain? ”asked the fighters. And he jokingly replies: "In order not to kill." And all the fighters laughed. And he added with a joke: "These are the last bullets flying, and they are angry."

Across the front, guns are beating, [heard] machine-gun and machine-gun fire; what's going on, I do not understand, because the war ended. Then, after another hour of time, everything calmed down, and white flags appeared on his side. Then a car approached his front [from the rear]; musicians were sitting on it. Played German brass band. Copper tubes glittered in the sun. Then we heard and saw, [as] our musicians drove up. And when the brass band began to play, they came together in the middle of the neutral zone. Only then did our fighters jump up from the trenches and rushed everything towards the orchestra. And there was everything; our fighters shout: “Ur-ah! The end of the war. Long live the victory! ”And the Germans no longer shouted, as they shouted earlier at the beginning of the war:“ Moskau, Heil Hitler! ”And they only shouted:“ War is kaput, Hitler is kaput! ”Yes, and that’s just there, never forget . Who shouts hurray, who laughs, hugs, who cries, who lights a cigarette ... It was wonderful.

But it did not end peacefully on this, and the end of the war did not come for us yet. And ahead we still had a military situation. Difficult front-line roads, hot battles, and again the war after the war. Then after the orchestras built the Germans and led us to the rear. They were accompanied by our convoy. And the musicians were taken by car. We went into the forest to make a small stop, where we were explained the task.

The commanders of the units explained the following problem.

- Comrades fighters, sergeants, officers. To the sea is still far away. More half of the way we [have to] go to the forests. There are still gangs in the forests, and there are still parts that have not yet surrendered, perhaps. And they do not want. These are its parts, such as SS, SD and Vlasov, who will fight to the last bullet. Go in small groups, no more than one platoon. In the case of resistance, immediately deployed in battle order. So, is the task clear?

- Clear!

- Smoke, and march.

We only had time to light a cigarette, as we began to tear shells and mines through the trenches behind us. And again wounded and even killed fighters and sergeants appeared. “This is the end of the war. This is so Victory Day, ”I thought. And we moved to the trenches.

Stopped artillery attack of the Germans. The commander of the battalion, Major Glazyrin, said that somewhere around here a radio operator of them, a spotter, was sitting, and he was transmitting everything. And then they gave the order to go through the “military school” and battles to the sea, to the seashore. And we did an artillery preparation, and again we went on the attack, and again in the battle. So they went with fights to the city of Vintava [Mitava], and by storm they captured the city of Vintava [Mitava]. And when they reached the sea, there were few people left in our company: only four fighters, three sergeants, three officers and a foreman for these ELEVEN days. From May 9 to May 21. And finally we reach the shore of the Baltic Sea. Faced an enemy at sea. We in the company last killed the fighter Zakharenko, not reaching the sea five steps, and in general in the company left personnel eleven people out of one hundred and eighty people for these eleven days and strong sleepless nights. And approaching the very shore, we shouted loudly, “Hooray! The end of the war guys! The end of the war! Long live our Victory Day! ”That's when the end of the war has come for us.

We shouted the last loud “Hurray!” Russian Soviet soldier “hurray”. And then we were only finally convinced that the end of the war had really come. And then there was no joy and even tears that then [May 9]. Ahead of us was a large open sea. And a handful of people survived. Some drank bitter Russian for the Victory and talked about who is what. I stood for a long time on the beach and looked into the distance of the Baltic Sea, where our Soviet ships sailed and gave the long beeps of Victory ... Finally, the damned war ended. The end of fascism has come, we were all pleased to infinity.

Our company commander, Captain Bobylev, built the personnel of the company, the survivors and unharmed. He thanked for the service, for the Victory and said: “Our cause is just, we won. But since we won, we will drink for the victory, for the dead comrades and for the survivors. " He called the sergeant and said before the line: “Sergeant, after the battle, the heart asks for vodka triple. I order to issue a triple ration of vodka. " “There is a vodka issue,” the foreman repeated the order by the company commander and headed for the camp kitchen, where dinner was already being prepared. "Put the guard out of the new replenishment of the fighters who will arrive here in a couple of hours," the captain added. Then came the replenishment. At the front-line tents, the guard stood, guarding the gun parks, and us, the remaining participants of the Great Patriotic War, the survivors, but weary in the battles after the Victory of the fighters.

In my calculation of the eight left two, I and my gunner. And we could not believe it: did the war really end, and we remained alive and unharmed in these battles up to the Baltic Sea?

The other day [May 22 1945] was a general construction. We were connected with a young recruiting and smashed into companies, by platoon, by office and by calculations. My calculation was replenished: they gave six more fighters. Only not in battle, but to continue the personnel service. The units have been fully replenished. Then came the command. They gave the command quietly, played a brass band. In the middle of the built units entered command. Ahead went the Marshal, Hero of the Soviet Union, Commander of the Leningrad Front, Comrade. Govorov. He was followed by the commander of our Guards 30 Corps, Lieutenant General Comrade. Simonyak. Behind him - the commander of our 45 Guards Division Hero of the Soviet Union, Major General Comrade. Cowards. Then the commander of our regiment Guards 134-th Comrade. Pustovit, followed by the battalion commander, Major Glazyrin and the last company commander, Captain Bobylev.

Tov. Govorov greeted him commandingly: “Hello, comrades winners!” And everyone else: “We wish you good health, Comrade Marshal!” The command went around the regiment building, joked with front-line soldiers and young recruits. Then there was a rally, after the rally, the main command left for other units. And after the departure of the main command the regiment commander spoke. He said: “Comrades fighters, sergeants foremen and officers. For the victory you, the winners, I express my gratitude. ” “We serve the Soviet Union!” Answered the participants of the war. Then he called all company commanders, battalion commanders, and told them to make lists of war veterans on awarding the medal "For Victory over Germany." Second: to give the front-line soldiers two days of rest, to increase the nutrition, to issue a weekly ration of alcohol. “And let the winners drink to the dead comrades and to meet the living. I will check it myself. Not to engage in looting, to behave only as [befitting] the liberators of fighters. Who wants to go to the city, [to] the foreman to give leave. Guard expose of the new replenishment of the fighters. Guard duty vigilantly. Get separated! ”

And he went to the regimental headquarters. We are front-line soldiers, we went to the kitchen to get what we were supposed to do on the orders of the regiment commander, and get ready to celebrate the after-dinner evening.

On the seashore under a large tree, with already well-spreading leaves, they set up a table. Around the table, benches were set up on three sides, everything was gathered on the table.

They poured a glass of vodka, and did not have time to drink, as the regiment commander proceeded. The foreman poured a glass of vodka and the regiment commander, and served in his hands. He accepted it and said: “Dear comrades of the front-line soldiers, let's drink to our victory over the enemy. For the courage of the fallen heroes and for the survivors. " We drank to all that was said by the commander, and we drank the second for our Soviet solid rear. I sang a song, and all the fighters picked up. We sang our song, "Volkhovskaya drinking table". We sang this song in trembling but perky voices. The song took over the soul, and tears rolled in my eyes. The commander of the regiment, Lieutenant Colonel Pustovit was like a father to us. He asked us almost everyone, single or married, are parents alive, where are they from. He asked us each, and we answered. Then, as he left, he wished all the best to rest and continue the evening. And he went to the next unit. And we drank wine until midnight and sang songs. They drank more for their dead comrades and honored the memory of the dead heroes who gave their lives for their homeland, for everything, for everything, and finally for a bright future. Only we could not know what each of us will have a bright future. And what a long road to this bright future, and the fate of each, and his life.

We could not know, each of us, that, having survived, what fate awaits in life. As fate would turn to each of us, we sat at the wine cups and talked. They talked about a lot. And I remembered all the past in my mind, and I was looking far away as the ships sailed across the sea. And how many of them sank at the bottom of the Baltic Sea. I sat and recalled the dead comrades in the battles, and there will be suffering and tears the sea, and how many orphans. And how many people with disabilities. And the war did it all. And of the last fighters of two hundred people in the company left alive and intact comrades, whom I remember by surnames: sergeant Kozarin Gennady Ivanovich, senior sergeant Kruglikov, Sergovantsev Kirill, Mikhailov Nikolay, Dimitrov Mikhail, Golovnev Vladimir, junior lieutenant Lebedev, company commander captain Bobylev, foreman Pershin, foreman Ogorodnikov. These are a handful of people from the company, left alive and unharmed. Some wounded. But the rest of the company killed. It all happened at the end of the war, in the last battles. And how many, I personally say, fighters died in front of me, comrades died. Now only live to see the return. I live, the war is over, I thought.

I sat on a stump of a tree on the very sea shore and lit a cigarette of a shag. Here the sea breeze blew in the face, and I looked all the way into the sea and dreamed about everything. Then he went to the tent to rest, fall asleep and forget at this time about everything, everything. But for a long time I could not fall asleep, various thoughts were creeping into my head, a little dizzy, and in my ears I could hear the sounds of past recent recent explosions of exploding mines, shells and the clanking of anti-aircraft guns. Then I fell asleep, I didn’t fall asleep uneasily, as it was two days ago, fighting, front-line and tense, but already quiet, more soldierly, post-war sleep. ”
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  1. andjusev
    6 May 2016 06: 42
    See the beginning - "Faces of life at the front. Soldier's memoirs of P. Vshivkov"
    1. andjusev
      16 May 2016 09: 39
  2. ImPerts
    ImPerts 14 May 2016 06: 19
    "Volkhovskaya drinking"
    Let's drink for the Motherland, drink for Stalin.
    Let's drink and pour again ... ".

    Another monument should appear in Russia:
  3. tomatokin
    tomatokin 14 May 2016 07: 19
    Eternal Memory and Glory to the Heroes !!!
  4. parusnik
    parusnik 14 May 2016 10: 49
    And he added jokingly: "These are the last bullets flying, and they are evil."..The most evil and the most vile .. How many more soldiers died after the Victory from such evil bullets .. Eternal memory to them ..
  5. Caucasian
    Caucasian 15 May 2016 14: 17
    To tears. Reached peasants.
    1. andjusev
      15 May 2016 17: 23
      Yes, I got it to the fullest ... Here is another episode from the Memoirs of Pyotr Matveyevich, which is so surreal that it goes beyond the true ...

      C.276-277. “We sat smoking while waiting for the ambulance.
      One senior sergeant came from the front line, his left arm from shoulder to elbow was all bandaged. He was bandaged, pulled up with a tourniquet. He asked the major to dig a small hole for a part of his body. And when the hole was ready, he pulled out his left hand, torn off by a fragment of a German shell, with his right hand from the bosom of his greatcoat and kissed it. Then he asked to wrap it in paper. The sergeant put his hand into the hole and asked to be buried. Then they cut out a column in the form of a nightstand, On which the words were written, from the words of the owner of the hand. In the battles for the city of Narva, Nikolai Nikolayevich left his left hand (by brush).
      He went to the grave of his hand. Tears appeared in his eyes. Then the head of the medical battalion at the forester’s house put him and three officers in his car and personally took them to the nearest field hospital.
      We sat for a long time waiting for the ambulance ... ".
  6. nivander
    nivander 16 May 2016 11: 47
    May 22, 1945 near Memel was surrounded and ruthlessly destroyed a group of 300 soldiers of the Waffen SS which made their way through the forests to the East. Prussia at the head of the group was the commander of the 6th SS Army Corps Grupenfuhrer V. Krueger (shot himself with the last bullet)
  7. Strategia
    Strategia 16 May 2016 22: 06
    Yes, war is beautiful only in films, and even then not in all ...