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Born in Moscow in 1923, Evgeni Bessonov spent almost a year in training before he was sent to the Bryansk Front in July 1943 to serve as a Platoon Commander in an infantry unit within the Soviet 4th Tank Army. His journey to the front was a challenge in itself as transport shortages forced him and his comrades to hitchhike and walk much of the distance between Moscow and the battle lines. He would survive the months of bitter fighting that lay ahead, including being wounded in the Battle for Berlin, to retell his experiences in Tank Rider.