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Fortress Osowiec
Material posted: Publication date: 26-07-2015
Fortress near Osovets not impressed: low walls, common brick, bushes around. From a distance she did not seem fortress, and some abandoned middle-class school. Captain Schultz, considering the Russian fortifications, grinning: "The German machine will pass over this mound and did not even notice." We shared Baer sergeant commanding attitude, but the soul was somehow restless.

Our regiment has been lifted on command in 3 o'clock in the morning. The soldier has built near to the railway. Our problem - to strike on strengthening of Russian from the right flank. Exactly in 4 o'clock in the morning the artillery has gone into action. Heavy sounds of gun shots and ruptures did not abate about half an hour. Then all as if has stood. And from the central input of a fortress "gas-men" have seemed. So we named subdivision landvera which used poisoning gas for destruction of the opponent. "Gas-men" began to bring more close to a fortress cylinders and to pull hoses. A unit of hoses have pushed in the apertures conducting under the earth, a unit have simply thrown on the earth. The fortress was in lowland and to victimise Russian, was also these efforts enough.

"Gas-men" quickly worked. All was ready minutes for fifteen. Then have started up gas. To us have commanded to put on gas masks. Feldfebel Ber has told that heard conversation of two officers from "gas-men", - as if have decided to use any new gas killing very effectively. They also have told that command has decided to victimise Russian as under the report of military investigation they do not have gas masks. «Battle will be fast and lost-free», - he whether has certified me, whether.

Gas has quickly filled lowland. It seemed that it not the deadly cloud creeps on a fortress, and a usual morning fog, let and very dense. And then from this fog awful sounds freezing blood were heard. The imagination drew terrible pictures: the person could so to shout only when it is turned inside out by novel, inhuman, devil force. Glory to the Christ to our Lord, it proceeded not long. Approximately an hour later the gas cloud has dissipated, and captain Schultz has allowed a command to be put forward. Our group has approached to walls and has thrown on them in advance prepared ladders.

It was silent. Soldiers have got upwards. The first the corporal has climbed up a wall Bismarck. Already on top it has suddenly reeled and has not fallen down nearly back, but nevertheless was kept. Having fallen to a knee, it has broken from itself(himself) a gas mask. It has there and then pulled out. The following soldier has led approximately as. It somehow has unnaturally distorted, its feet oslabli, and he has knelt. The third soldier who have got on strengthening, in a deep faint was tumbled down on feldfebelja by Bera who by miracle was kept on a ladder, without having allowed and to fall it downwards. I have helped Beru to lift the soldier back on a wall and practically simultaneously with feldfebelem it has appeared on strengthening.

That I have seen below, in fortress heart, me not to forget never. Even years later I see a picture, in comparison with which great Bosch's works seem comic sketches. In a fortress of a gas cloud any more was not. All parade-ground has been covered by dead bodies. They lay in any brown-red weight about which nature of an origin it was not necessary to guess. Mouths of dead persons have been widely opened and units of an internal dropped out of them and slime flew. Eyes have been stained with blood, at some have flowed out completely. Probably, when gas has gone, soldiers ran out from the shelters on street to inhale saving air of which there has not appeared.

Me stoshnilo directly in a gas mask. Gastric juice and army tushenka was filled in with glasses and have blocked breath. Hardly having found forces, I have broken a gas mask. «My God, yes that it? That!» - someone from ours infinitely repeated. And from below all new soldiers pressed, and we have been compelled to go down. Below we have started to move ahead to the parade-ground centre, there, where Russian banner hung. Feldfebel Ber who was considered at us as the atheist, silently repeated: «My God, My God, My God …». From the left flank and the main gate to the area centre soldiers of other units which have broken in a fortress moved. Their condition was not better than ours.

Suddenly on the right side from myself I have noticed movement. The dead soldier, judging by buttonholes and epaulets - the Russian lieutenant, rose on elbows. Having turned the person, the bloody medley with the flowed out eye is more true, he has croaked: «the Platoon, charge!». All of us, all German soldiers who were during this moment in a fortress, and it is some thousand persons, have stood in horror. «A platoon, charge!» - the dead person has repeated, and round us the medley of corpses on which we went to the victory has begun to move. Someone from ours has fainted, someone has seized a rifle or in a companion. And the lieutenant continued to move, has risen in full growth, has taken out from a sheath a sabre.

«A platoon, in attack!» - an inhuman voice the Russian officer has croaked and, being unsteady, has gone on us. And all our huge victorious force in a second has left. With shouts of horror we have rushed to the central input. More precisely, already to an exit. And behind our backs the army of dead persons rose. Dead persons sufficed us for feet, brought down on the earth. Us smothered, beat hands, cut with sabres, pricked bayonets. In backs shots were distributed to us. And all of us ran, ran in wild horror, without looking back, without helping to rise our fallen companions, smetaja and pushing those who ran ahead. I cannot remember, when have stopped - evening of the same day or, maybe, the following.

Already then I have learnt that dead persons were at all dead persons, and simply not up to the end poisoned Russian soldiers. Our scientists have found out that Russian Osovets in a fortress drank lime tea, and it has partially neutralised action of our new confidential gas. Though, can be they and liars, these scientists. Hearings also went that during storm of a fortress of heart rupture have died about hundred German soldiers. Some more hundreds have been hammered, cut, shot by the Russian which have risen from a hell. Russian which as spoke, almost all have died next day.

All German soldiers participating in this operation, have freed from the further military service. Many have gone mad. Many, and I including, wake up till now at night and shout for horror. Because there is nothing more terribly the dead Russian soldier.


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