Globe is revolving, and year after year
Circle of friends is no wider so there.
Know that my Land will survive without them,
But it ll be worse and aloner.

     The earth will be missing its soldiers of war
     With gaits are so proud and tired,
     With faces of trenches and traces of scar,
    With wrinkles of trotyl, metal..

Marat Shpilev,
Sergeant, Signalman of the 15th Guards cavalry regiment

Operation on liberation of Mozyr' city and         Kalinkovichy railway junction station.

     Bielorussia, December 1943 - Yanuary 1944.

     The 60-th anniversary of the termination of the Patriotic War (II World War) is coming soon. Not only some tragic episodes, but also a continuous succession of events lasted for 1418 days still stays in memory of its participants...

It is a puzzle for us to see sometimes the third post-war generation ignorant of many events, considerably influenced on results of the War. For example, in one of TV programmes on the 60-th anniversary of the battle of Moscow, it was announced that Hitlerites had been defeated there for the first time. But a month before the battle of Moscow soviet forces had inflicted a great defeat to occupiers, it was on a smaller scale but Nazies were obliged to leave a large city occupied before!

Operations of the Red Army in the battle of Vladikavkaz city are almost forgotten. An outnumbered closed military alignment of enemy had been bursting then to Baku city and this before the termination  of the Battle of Stalingrad!

 The operation on liberation of Mozyr city and Kalinkovichy railway junction station, described there was not of particular importance, but for unknown reasons it is not mentioned in Official edition of the  History of the Great Patriotic War (the 3-volume edition).

                                       * * *


    What was a private soldier told about the situation in the sector of front, where he had to fight? Over the breastwork he sees a grove or a hillock, that must be assaulted by order. He knows only where an assault of enemy might be from. He couldn t really imagine where he had found himself, no more..., from inscriptions, road signes, he was passing by.

I was wireless operator without wireless, therefore serving as a telephonist in the 11 th cavalry regiment of Guards, had wider information, than soldiers and sergeants of a sabre squadron.
    Providing the connection between subdivisions of the regiment, I knew what was happening, at least in front of the regiment from conversations between headquarters and squadrions commanders. But this was a zone no longer than 1 km. Could it give an idea about what was going on in this segment of front?

Events, described below, had finished tragically. But I have survived after captivity. However when I remember the past I confidently say that if I had a choice captivity or death I would prefer the last. The perspective to become a helpless cripple could be more dreadful.

I will speak about it later.

Urged by my pitiless memory many years after the termination of the war I has made up my mind to investigate what really had been going on 13-14 January 1944 on the bank of the Pripyat river to the west of Mozyr city.

                                              * * *


    German aircraft was inactive (as always in winter, its activity had been reduced, some-times Frame (Rama in Russian), a two-fuselage reconnaissance plane- Fokke-Wolf was floating in high skies. Its apparition usually served a prelude for air raides of artillery and aircraft. But then it had limited itself evidently totake photos of our positions.

Valenky, felt boots were given to us then in time. It was very cold and the cold weather was setting in. They ordered to forward emaciated horses to home front, to horse-holders. Only transport and carriage horses of regiments were there. At last the order to gather together in march formation had been given and the regiment had gone anywhere following invisible pathes in swamped forest.







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