October 17-24, 1944

October 17th, 1944

War. Spent the night by Vovik Emelyanov with Sasha and Kali, but also accidentally got left behind, and was found. Breakthrough of the German border near the city of Naumiestis, Lithuania. Invited to the tanks, was introduced to the tank unit. What good, delicate guys. I’m always known from the newspapers.

Met the artillery guys, who saw 5 of our girls killed at the Neman [river]. They see that our fate is not easy. Again ready to run away to the front, even crying, that is was not allowed. I want, how can I explain? Some force draws me there; I get bored here. Some people think that I’m chasing a boyfriend, but I do not know anyone there. I want to see a real war. Prevented, because I am a platoon commander, or else I would have already gone.

October 18th, 1944

Searched for the Katyushi1, not found. We spent the night in another battery. “Attack”… Break through the border. There met Vanya and the 338th Rifle Division. What a meeting! Separated again. Found a division of ours. Already straying on German territory. Prisoners, killed, wounded. Attacked bunker, took 27 prisoners, 14 officers, hard resistance. Going “home” to my division. I see the division headquarters. Drove up closer to the front. Spent the night by [Sergei] Osmak. He likes me, but he is very prideful, it seems, and that’s why he likes me?

Was with general Kazaryan2, and the political commissar, sincerely cried when I was not allowed to the front, how to explain? Arrived “home” and received a letter from Agnes Butorina. I always remember this girlfriend from grades 5-7 well. She writes that her life is fractured, boring. I believe she has no children, and no other girlfriends in her life. So it will be after the war. It seems to me that whenever I’m sent to the rear, I dream about escaping to the front.

October 20th, 1944.

Yesterday once again ran to the front. There was an attack, but here we stood, entrenched. Rain, mud and cold. Long night; we march on.

October 24th, 1944.

Was in no condition to write. Fought. Went together with everyone. Wounded, killed. I returned with the forward regiment commander. Oh God, how much gossip. I remember I cried in the battalion, resentful, that I was allowed to tell a bad joke. I found it disrespectful. I remember their fallen comrades during this period. I was waiting for the same fate, and here’s my thanks. Even my girlfriends joked ironically. The world is filled with lies. It seems I don’t have the strength to look at the end of life in this lying world.

Got 8 letters from Yashka Gudkov. Because of that I responded with a small one out of courtesy, etc. He does everything for me, expected a photo, and now I get here and I won’t write back. Yashka understands proper army girls.

1 Soviet rocket artillery. Roza’s sniper platoon was working support for a group of Katyushniks.

2 Andranik Kazaryan, Hero of the Soviet Union

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