On the Road to Stalingrad
Memoirs of a Woman Machine Gunner
by Zoya Matveyevna Smirnova-Medvedeva, Kazimiera J. Cottam
About The Book
Zoya Medvedeva (married name Smirnova), the author and principal heroine of this book, a creative documentary, fought with the famous 25th Chapayev Infantry Division. She has provided an authentic, eyewitness account of the desperate fighting in the trenches for Odessa and Sevastopol, as promised to her role model, mentor and friend Nina Onilova, a legendary machine gunner, before the latter died from her wounds in March 1942. Though half-blinded, eventually Medvedeva became a machine-gun company commander. Too modest to dwell on her own exploits, instead she writes about her former comrades-in-arms, many of whom were killed or hospitalized and some, like Medvedeva herself, had to wander across the enemy-occupied Stavropol Territory, after their release from various military hospitals, in order to break through to Soviet troops in the vicinity of Kizlyar to the southeast of Stalingrad.
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