Campaign in Russia - The Waffen SS on the Eastern Front by Leon Degrelle

By Leon Degrelle

Publication by means of Degrelle, Leon

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Extra resources for Campaign in Russia - The Waffen SS on the Eastern Front

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Between the three buildings there was an open space, so muddy that we had to build wooden-plank walkways, supported by heavy trunks, which ran from one building to the other. Around the school the smell of CO2 rose constantly, inducing headaches and nausea. On about 20 December, the snow and ice returned. We suddenly found ourselves once more at 20 degrees below zero. We shivered on our disjointed board floor, each curled up under a single blanket. The holidays arrived-holidays for other men. On Christman Eve we attended midnight Mass at a church reconsecrated by our chaplain.

With the greatest naturalness, while a new rope was installed. In the depths of those hearts there was an oriental fatalism, a childlike innocence and, also, a long habit of taking blows and suffering. They did not rebel against death. They passively accepted death as they had accepted everything else, the fIlthy isba, the knout of the aristocrats, and the slavery of Communism. The second half of January 1942 was much busier. Large numbers of Red troops were on the move. Soviet airplanes attacked three or four times per day.

A passenger car's gas tank would be smashed after the fIrst few kilometers. Only heavy trucks and cross-country vehicles, with particularly high axles, could take a chance on that glazed frost. They alone could straddle the crevasses. Winter in the Donets 2S For the infantrymen the march was miserable. We almost didn't dare to pick up our feet. We could only slide them. Falls were painful, since the ice was as hard as iron. We had to keep our weapons ready for combat at the slightest warning. At that time a rifleman's equipment consisted of more than thirty kilos of metal, not to mention some three days of rations for the march and all of the usual pack.

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