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Liveblogging World War II: September 20, 1942

To: Guards Senior Lieutenant Fedoseev, Cdr., 1st Battalion
Date: September 20, 1942

May I report to you that the situation is as follows: The enemy is trying to encircle my company by sending submachine gunners around to our rear. So far all their efforts have failed, despite their superior strength. Our soldiers and officers are displaying courage and heroism in the face of the fascist jackals. The Fritzes won't succeed until they have stepped over my corpse.

Guard soldiers do not retreat. Soldiers and officers may die like heroes, but the enemy must not be allowed to break our defense. Let the whole country learn about the 3rd Rifle Company of the 13th Guards Division. While the company commander is alive, not a single whore will break through.

They might break though if the company commander is killed or heavily wounded. the commander of the 13th Company is under stress and unwell, deafened and weak. He gets vertigo, falling off his feet. His nose bleeds.

In spite of all the hardships, the Guards, namely the 3rd and 2nd Companies, will not retreat. We will die like heroes for Stalin's city. Let the Soviet land be the enemy's grave.

Commander of the 3rd Company Kolaganov has himself killed two Fritz machine gunners and taken from them a machine gun and documents, which he has presented to the HQ of the battalion.

Kolaganov

Of the 10,000 men of the 13th Guards Rifle Division who set out from the east bank of the Volga on September 14, 1942, less than 400 were alive at the start of the next February.

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