Hoping for a 'Heimatschuss'
15th December 1942: The only escape for German soldiers, freezing on the Russian steppe, was to get a 'Home Shot'
Across Russia, over two million German troops continued to hold on to vast territories. But that was all they could do - ‘hold on’. In no sense had Russia been conquered. All along the frontline, the Red Army sought to maintain the pressure - often at the expense of heavy casualties. But they never seemed to run short of the men needed to make another attack.
On the Don front, north and west of Stalingrad, the pressure was particularly acute. Günter K. Koschorrek1 had spent just over a month here, having first found himself in action on 24th November. His hastily thrown-together unit had been coming under successive attacks ever since and their position was looking increasingly vulnerable.
Now I long for a Heimatschuss - because it appears to me to be the only way that I can, with any sort of honour, say goodbye to this soul-destroying environment and, for at least a few weeks, get away from this awful country and its gruesome winter.