Posted 16 February 2003 - 11:35 PM
Posted 19 February 2003 - 02:19 PM
Posted 19 February 2003 - 05:29 PM
At the end of September, a platoon from the 42nd Guards had seized a four-storey
building overlooking a sqaure some 300 yards from the top of the riverbank.
Their commander, Lieutenant Afanas'ev, was blinded early in the fighting, so Sergeant
Yacov Pavlov took over command.
They discovered many civilians in the basement who stayed throughout the fighting.
One of them, Mariya Ulyanova, took active part in the defence. Pavlov's men smashed
through cellar walls, to improve their communications, and cut holes in the walls, to make
better firing points for their machine guns and long-barrelled anti tank rifles. Whenever
panzers approached, Pavlov's men scattered, either to the cellar or to the topfloor, from
where they were able to engage them at close range. The panzers crews could not elevate
their main armanent sufficiently to fire back.
That house, known as "Pavlov's house", became a symbol of determination of
Russians to hold the city no matter what. Completely surrounded by Germans,
Pavlov's soldiers were holding the constantly attacked house until the relief came.
That intensive fighting was going on for 59 days !
Chuikov later liked to make the point that Pavlov's men killed more enemy soldiers than the
Germans lost in the capture of Paris.
Pavlov discovered early on that an anti-tank rifle mounted on the roof was able to pick off the Panzers with impunity. A tank approaching the building was unable to elevate its barrel high enough to hit it. Pavlov's House, bristling with machine guns, mortars, and snipers, remained a dangerous threat for any German in the proximity. Sgt Yakov Pavlov became a Hero of the Soviet Union for his stand at Stalingrad. Pavlov discovered his God somewhere in this devastation and bloodshed, as he joined the Russian Orthodox priesthood after the war. He lived out the rest of his life in peace as the Archmandriate Kyrill, a man of God determined to kill no more.
Tanya Chernova, nineteen years old, had once dreamed of becoming a ballerina. But after serving as a partisan in her native Belarus, she made her way to Stalingrad, grimly determined to kill as many Germans as possible. The bitter warfare and the savage German reprisals had led her to totally dehumanize her enemy. She no longer thought of the Germans as enemy soldiers, but referred to them as "sticks", fit only for breaking.
But unfortunately no data on the origins of the house.
Posted 19 February 2003 - 08:42 PM
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