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On the Eastern Front at Seventeen (Hardback)

The Memoirs of a Red Army Soldier, 1942–1944

WWII Russia & the Eastern Front Greenhill Books Greenhill: WWII Greenhill: 20th Century Prisoners Of War Memoirs Military

By Sergey Drobyazko, Introduction by David M Glantz
Greenhill Books
Pages: 256
ISBN: 9781784387419
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.

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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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This is the true and dramatic testimony of a German grenadier during World War II. Erhard Steiniger joined his Wehrmacht unit on 12 October 1940 as a radio operator, a role which required his constant presence with troops at the Front, right in the midst of combat. On 22 June 1941, he accompanied his division to Lithuania where he experienced the catastrophic first day of Operation Barbarossa. He later witnessed intense clashes during the conquest of the Baltic islands and the battles leading up to Leningrad on the Volkhov and Lake Ladoga. He describes the retreat from battles in Estonia, Kurland…

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