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On the Eastern Front at Seventeen (ePub)

The Memoirs of a Red Army Soldier, 1942–1944

Military > Greenhill eBooks > Greenhill: 20th Century Military > Greenhill eBooks > Greenhill: WWII Military > Memoirs Military > Prisoners of War WWII > Battles & Campaigns > Russia & the Eastern Front

By Sergey Drobyazko, Introduction by David M Glantz
Greenhill Books
File Size: 2.5 MB (.epub)
ISBN: 9781784387426
Published: 30th July 2022


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This is the true story of a young Red Army soldier during the Second World War, told in his own words. Recruited into the army aged just seventeen, Sergei Drobyazko’s introduction to battle is a violent one: forced to retreat from his home city of Krasnodar after it is set ablaze by German forces. Later, Drobyazko is captured by the Germans and placed in a concentration camp, where prisoners are reduced to eating scavenged rubbish and bathing battle wounds in urine.

After a daring escape from the camp, he enters service once more, rising to the rank of sergeant in an infantry regiment. During this time, he witnesses the execution of deserters and the routine ill-treatment of German prisoners of war by vengeful Soviet troops. After surviving an attack that decimates his detachment, Drobyazko is almost court-martialled. Seriously wounded in 1944, he retrains as a radio operator, but he never returns to the war front.

In this gripping memoir, Drobyazko sets down his experience of the war as it unfolded around him. He claims to have consulted no historical sources and to have simply relied on his own memory, making this a deeply personal account. Translated into English for the first time, this unique account will be enjoyed by readers with an interest in military history.

“Kudos to the translator for making this a smooth read. Enjoyed it.”

Read the full review here.

Historical Miniatures Gaming Society

An inherently fascinating and riveting read from first page to last, "On the Eastern Front at Seventeen: The Memoirs of a Red Army Soldier, 1942 - 1944" is a unique and seminal contribution to the growing library of World War II memoirs.

It is an extraordinary and unreservedly recommended for community, college, and university library collections and supplemental curriculum studies lists.

Midwest Book Review

"...definitely a worthwhile read and addition to any library on the Eastern Front or WWII."

WWII and Other Books Reviews, August 2022

I really enjoyed this book, one of the better personal accounts of Russian soldiers, well worth a read, and quite interesting.

Read the full review here

The History Fella

As featured on World War II Today

WW2 Today

The book is an insight and interesting look into Russian wartime actions.

4/5 Mushroom Heads

Army Rumour Service (ARRSE)

About David M Glantz

A retired US Army colonel, David M. Glantz founded The Journal of Slavic Military Studies in 1988 and edited it for thirty years. He was the first US member of the Russian Academy of Natural Sciences, and was awarded the Society of Military History’s prestigious Samuel Eliot Morrison Prize for his contributions to the study of military history and the Pritzker Military Museum and Library’s 2020 Prize for Lifetime Achievements in Literature for Military History. He has written more than 60 books on the Soviet Army and the Soviet-German War, 1941-1945, including volumes on the Battles for Leningrad, Stalingrad, and Kursk.

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