When I look back to the Battle of Stalingrad I think of all the
glory and respect us Soviet snipers got. When I look in front of
me, I see no glory, only death. Many of us thought that the
Battle of Berlin would be a rerun of Stalingrad, we were wrong.
The Germans no longer feared our superior snipers, they instead
feared our tanks. Our tanks have been rolling over the Germans
ever since the war changed to our favour. Stalingrad was full of
glory but this new battle contains nothing but death and murder.
Ivan and I were brought by a tank commander to help his soldiers
kill some German soldiers that were hiding in the subways. The
Germans were planning to wait until the bulk of our forces had
moved over top of the subways and then the Germans would emerge
from the subways to cut off our forces. There plan would have
worked if an SS officer had not told us there plans. We captured
him near the subway tunnels as he was trying to get his soldiers
to fall back into the subway tunnels.
"Comrades, our enemies are hiding from us, thinking they are safe
from our tanks down there", the commissar told us, "but they
cannot hide from our infantry! Go soldiers of Russia and
eradicate the Germans!"
Uproar greeted the commissars words as my comrades began flooding
the tunnels with there masses. After his rousing words the
commissar walked up to Ivan and I. "Don't think I have forgotten
you two, the end of the war is almost over and your lives are
almost over too" the commissar threatened.
"And don't you forget comrade that we'll be waiting for you at
the Reichstag" Ivan retorted. With one last angry glare the
commissar left Ivan and I alone.
"Keep that up and we'll be dead before we can even see the
Reichstag" I told Ivan.
"Relax Stanislav, nothing will happen to us" Ivan replied.
"Well, I hope your right because I wish to see Diana again" I
replied back. Instead of replying,
Ivan just sort of looked to the sky as if he was in a deep
trance. I knew who he was thinking about, Eva, Ivan might come
off as a real tough guy but there are some things that he has a
soft spot for.
"Well the war isn't going to end by itself, will it? We better
get down there and see how much help we can be" Ivan said finally
coming out of his trance.
"Right," I replied "let's get going then."
We shouldered our sniper rifles and wielded our close range
weapons instead. We went down the nearest entrance into the
subway tunnels only to find that we were descending into hell.
The first sight that greeted us as we met up with our troops was
death and disorganization. All of our men were pinned down by the
Germans and their machine guns. It was depressing to see the
amount of Russian soldiers dead or dying. The air was filled with
gunpowder, decaying flesh and the screams of dying soldiers. Ivan
seemed unaffected though. He picked up a machine gun and began
yelling orders at the soldiers. He would peek from cover and
provide covering fire while our men advanced inch by inch. When
it was his turn to move up I gave him cover fire using my ppsh.
We kept this up until Ivan ran out of ammo for the machine gun
and had to use his shotgun again.
As the battle was wearing on many men were thinking about
retreating but Ivan kept them in their places with his leadership
skills. We were in a part of the subway where the cars had all
been moved towards the end of the tunnel, where the Germans had
made use of them and all the cars had some sort of automatic
weapon firing out the backdoors of the cars. It was a 100 yard
stretch of open ground to the cars. We were stuck behind cover
with nowhere to go. At least until a soldier with a captured
panzerschreck came to our position. The good news was we had a
gun to knock out the enemy forces and their defensive positions;
the bad news was that it only had three shells. We would have to
use those shells wisely and Ivan knew just what to do with them.
He order the first shot to be against the nearest machine gun.
The soldier loaded the gun and boom! One machine gun and its crew
were knocked out of the fight. Another shot against another
machine gun crew knocked another machine gun. With one shell left
we had to use it wisely. Ivan had the men get ready to charge out
towards the Germans while he told me to look for a good place to
put the next shot. I found it after just a couple seconds of
looking. A couple of boxes of machine gun ammo were stacked up
beside the machine gun that was in the middle of the subway car
formation. Ivan had the gunner get in position to blow up the
ammo, while he checked to make sure the men were ready to rush
When he came back, he told the gunner to fire. He fired the shot
and made a huge explosion, knocking over the nearest cars and
putting the other ones on fire. A split second after the
explosion our men came running out charging towards the Germans.
The Germans that could still stand ran deeper into the tunnels
while the ones that couldn't just laid there. As I watched the
men charge forward I thought that they might be able to catch up
with the remaining Germans but most of them stopped and what they
did next will forever be imprinted in my mind. They went over to
the wounded Germans and began yelling and beating them with their
guns and fists. Some of them used their bayonets while others
shot them in the back of the head. It was a very sobering sight.
It was acts like these that reminded me that there was no glory
in this battle.
The remaining Germans fled to the surface, to the Reichstag,
where they would make there last stand. When Ivan and I emerged
from the tunnels we saw an amazing sight unfold before us, it was
the Reichstag but it was not the beautiful building that I had
seen in all the pictures. It was now a symbol, a symbol to
everyone that the war is almost over, that our lives could be