Book Review
Red Road from Stalingrad
Red Road from Stalingrad - Recollections of a Soviet Infantryman
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by: Fay Baker [ AWESOME_ODP ]


The following is taken from the Pen and Sword website:

Mansur Abdulin fought in the front ranks of the Soviet infantry against the German invaders at Stalingrad, Kursk and on the banks of the Dnieper. This is his extraordinary story. His vivid inside view of a ruthless war on the Eastern Front gives a rare insight into the reality of the fighting and into the tactics and mentality of the Red Army's soldiers across the Steppes to the banks of the Dnieper river where he was seriously wounded and invalided out. He was decorated order of Red Star for his feat on the right bank of the river.

In his own words, and with a remarkable clarity of recall, he describes what combat was like on the ground, face to face with a skilled, deadly and increasingly desperate enemy. The terrifying moments of action, the discomfort of existence at the front, the humorous moments, the absurdities and cruelties of army organization, and the sheer physical and psychological harshness of the campaign – all these aspects of a Soviet soldier's experience during the Great Patriotic War are brought dramatically to life in Mansur Abdulin's memoirs.

The grand strategy of the campaigns across the Eastern Front is less important here than the sequence of brutal and bloody engagements that were the first-hand experience of the common soldier. It is this closeup view of combat that makes Mansur Abdulin's reminiscences of such value.


This soft back book is written by Mansur Abdulin and edited by Artem Drabkin (the creator of a website called I remember - that devotes itself to recording the history of those who fought on the Eastern Front). The book contains 195 pages on good quality paper, with a glossy section in the middle of black and white photographs. This book was first published in 2004, this format is from Pen and Sword Military 2019.

The contents of this publication is as follows:

Editorial Preface


One The Front
Two First Attack
Three The Man Killed by a Sewing Machine
Four Born Under a Lucky Star
Five Holiday Presents for the Fritzes
Six Pitomnik Airfield
Seven A Captured Gold Watch
Eight Kostia’s Tiger
Nine The Drunkard’s Cemetery
Ten The Fatal Road
Eleven How Long Will This War Last?
Twelve My Last Shot

Appendix I: The 293rd Rifle Division
Appendix II: Stalingrad, Kursk and the Dnieper
Appendix III: Chronology of Major Events


Mansur Abdulin, is one of those people best qualified to tell the reader what it was like to be a Red Army soldier facing off against the German soldier. He provides the reader with an insight into how dark and desperate the fighting in Stalingrad, the Kursk offensive and the banks of the Dnieper River. Despite facing death every minute of the day and night, there was still time for some light hearted banter. This book tells the story, of a man who despite the cold, the hunger and the pressures upon him held out and fought the Germans as best he could, with what he had.

Having been wounded, he tells the story of his being held down by nurses while the doctor operated on him. The procedure involved the removal of a splinter of metal from the buttocks, the doctor told him that what he was going to do was perfectly safe, despite no anaesthetic being administered the cuts felt as is they were cutting parts away from his body, and the screams and yells were an endeavour to suppress his pain and distress. His time after the operation is remembered clearly as he tells the story of his recovery, and due to his wound he needed to lay on his stomach, how he would fall in love with the feet of the nurses as they would pass by. His injuries, meant that he was exempt from military service, and he finished the war working in a mine.


The story of this mans war, fighting as a Russian soldier, against the German invader is a story that I have never read before. There are many accounts from German survivors who fought in this was, on the long road to Moscow and the subsequent retreat back to Berlin. It makes a pleasing change to read of the experiences of someone fighting on the Russian side. The clarity with which Mansur remembers the war, makes reading this book a pleasure, as the words flow rather than stutter.
Fay Baker takes a look at a book telling the story of the Great Patriotic War from the words of a Russian infantry soldier titled 'Red Road from Stalingrad - Recollections of a Soviet Infantryman'.
  Scale: N/A
  Mfg. ID: 9781526760708
  Suggested Retail: £12.99
  PUBLISHED: Nov 18, 2020

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About Fay Baker (Awesome_ODP)

Copyright ©2021 text by Fay Baker [ AWESOME_ODP ]. All rights reserved.


Almost a companion piece to the previous book, this one offers insight into the Soviet side of the terrible conflict.
NOV 18, 2020 - 02:18 PM