"Un cititor trăieşte o mie de vieţi înainte de a muri. Omul care nu citeşte trăieşte doar o singură viaţă." – George R.R. Martin

Quote of the Day – 21 September 2017: General SS – Sven Hassel

A few hours later. A sprig hut. Inside, three men equipped in the horrible costume of the partisans of the swamps. They pulled their green hoods off their faces, vodka pours and they're so drunk that they didn't even hear us come closer.

Sullen with our steel string chains, partisans are silently thrown into the swamp. Besides them, the brothel also contains some crates: ammunition, guns, vodka and fish dried in the wind. It's a real delight of this russian dry fish!

At night we spend it in the hut, a night of rest and vodka. The next day, we hit the bridge. It's a giant bridge, bigger and taller than all the bridges we've seen so far.

In the middle of it, near the stall, the sentinel watches, smoking, with a machine gun sitting on the railing. All over camouflage nets. When I arrived, a long column of trucks was just leaking on it, followed by a Company of T-34. Impeccable as a attire as the units passed, the sentinel once went back to the lazy and indolent attitude before. As we did, he little cared about the war and, at this point, he probably dreamed of the village of the native. The smell of the hangover, that mince of leaves and tobacco ribs, reached our sit. He was a man past his first youth, with a thick, sad mustache, left on the pot; in the corner of the mouth a rudely twisted cigarette, on the head, a fur hat with horns, but the khaki blouse of uniform, was summer, unbuttoned at the collar. All the fun of this outfit of his!

– They're missing, by the means, the winter equipment, the Little One's comment. Just like us. If you've got a hat, then thank the rest with a summer tunic, and if you're given a mantle, happily wear your bonnet even if the frost stones crack!

We wait for darkness to sneak under the bridge to install t.N.T. The Legionnaire climbs, more abysmal than a monkey, on concrete pillars, Gregor and Heide stretch electrical cables, Porta and little guy argue like kiosks for the right to the detonator.

A new column passes on the bridge, preceded this time by a jeep with red pennant. Transport of ammunition.

– Oh, if we were ready, porta sighs. What a firework!

– That's bullshit! It's fast, the Old Man. With them, dust and dust were chosen from us!

At dawn, everything was ready, and there's a new column.

– How do I get to the middle of the bridge, how I send them to all the devils! grins Little One, rubbing his hands.

– I'm smiling! The Old Man's stopping him. They paid us to blow up a bridge and that's it!

And when the column leaked:

– Ready to go? Fire!

Those who didn't get to take shelter in the back of the cliffs on the shore are buated by the ground by the formidable blast of the explosion. But… But… But what's going on? We rub our eyes, not coming to believe. The pillars and infrastructure were, of course, the metal superstructure, the, but the concrete floor, intact, simply sat at the bottom of the water. And a floor, even cracked, here and there, will never prevent vehicles from passing! Without permission, we manufactured the most solid bridge in the world. From here on out, no plane pilot will be able to spot him!

The laughing stock that's beyond us is general. We cross the river running over the floor and, right in the middle of it, the water still only reaches our knees.

– Want to swim and still can't! Laugh with Gregor roars.

– That's enough! Order the Old Man. I'm going to get you out of here.

Five minutes from now, the laugh ingedes are over.

Here we are again in the woods. Paths, streams, water meshes, grassland, ferns, trees and trees again. Clearly, we're lost. All of a sudden, we're running into a ranger! An old man who smashes wood in front of his hut.

– Hey, you spoofers! He calls him Porta how he can't be nicer.

Astounding, the ranger picks up his nose. He's old, old. Hidden under two bushy eyebrows, the eyes are of incredible blue. Leaving the axe in the hand, it measures us curiously, then, with the most natural air in the world, it addresses Porta:

– Oh, i'm sorry. It's you. Where the hell have you been wandering for so long?

– I went to war, Porta responds in the same tone. The Germans came back, didn't you find out?

– Is that true? Then he must be kicked out, says the old man, and with a good shot splits the ready wood. How's your mother doing? He's still asking Porta.

– The old lady's doing well, thanks for asking.

– All right, let's go. Have you captained many Nemen?

– A few certainly respond, modestly, Porta and stretch the hangover bag to the old ranger.

– Cauldron tobacco, declares, sentenţia, the old man and, without the need for us, gets back to work.

In turn, we disappear through the trees, but the axe blows still ring in our ears for a long time. So much so that, by turning, in circles, we suddenly wake up in front of the famous bridge.

Then the Old Man decided to take the course of the river despite the risk of coming across, Soviet troops. Besides, he was right. Two days later we were in our positions and the Old Man was able to report, "Mission accomplished", without much further detail.

The cold was getting more intense. Winter had come. One night the first blizzard starts. Since I hadn't gotten levers, I'd put every paper I could find under my uniforms. No one believed in the "great victory of Stalingrad". The trains with fresh troops had stopped coming, the food and everything else were parachuted, various sinister rumors circulated that the Russians had surrounded us and had no escape. Rations had been reduced and the order was to save ammunition.

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