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Category: History

Prague fall. Lyrical notes of the paratrooper

str. 1 of 38 B.V. Shmelyov



Memories of my father V.A. Shmelyov

The echelon with the demobilized Muscovites from the 7th airborne division arrived to the Belarusian station on the night of December 5 of the 69th. We poured out on the platform and waiting for distribution of military IDs in embarrassment smoked, without having realized yet that in some minutes we will appear absolutely free from someone's orders and teams.

Zhenka Davydov, my friend, having squeezed way through a crowd, threw the arms round to me a neck and almost provizzhat: "Borka! We houses!!!"

I received, at last, the ticket and together with Zhenka and someone else hurried to an exit to the city. We threw out on the station square, then on Gorky Street, desert in this hour, and moved directly on the carriageway to the Kremlin. We unexpectedly appeared very much - about five hundred. Cold was not felt. Joy of return overflowed us and, naturally, demanded some exit. The undertaken guitars rang out from where, dissonantly and separately dembelsky self-made songs began to sound...

Somewhere between the Moscow Council and the Central telegraph towards to our crowd, but, however, on the sidewalk, there was a veteran toiling with insomnia with a crutch, in a winter coat and a naval peak-cap. Having recognized in us by overcoats of demobees dressed in rags, he was in a military way extended and quite still by a vigorous commander voice cried out:

>- What you shout?!

"Margelovsky bandits", as we were called and as whom we, really, felt ourselves with the answer did not slow down.

>- Be silent, the father! I took Prague! - someone's idiotic and cheerful exclamation sounded in our crowd.

>- Well and m to! - the veteran summarized and slowly left in darkness of the Tver gates.

And it was the most honest assessment of our "work" which I happened to hear all next years.

The fighting alarm in our 1141st Guards artillery regiment of the 7th airborne division [2] standing in the Lithuanian town of Kalvariya was waited nearly by five months. From political information and political classes for many more and more clear was also a purpose which was outlined for us: Czechoslovakia. However, everything sounded muffledly, vaguely and uncertainly. About fighting in general the speech was not. Only the assumption was stated several times that, say, is possible, we should participate in exercises in the territory "brotherly socialist" Czechoslovakia.

I, the senior calculator 1 howitzer batteries of the 1st division the corporal Shmelyov, understood and had a presentiment no more than others, and, more precisely, of the same, as other soldiers. I will not tell about officers, and to the soldiers in weight called from Belarus and the Voronezh region, simply it was interesting to visit abroad especially as this opportunity could never and not be presented to the vast majority of us.

When I came without any agenda to a military registration and enlistment office and asked for a landing, in me sang ancharovsky:

"Parachutes jerked and accepted weight,

The earth kolykhnutsya hardly,

And in the bottom of the Edelweiss division

And "Dead head"..."

But now the romanticism povyvetritsya, and I with the head was drained in by a mindnumbing routine of military service, and around - "world peace", except some local conflicts started by imperialists in far Vietnam, in the Middle East and somewhere there still. What here war after our Victory of the 45th can be???

Year came to summer, and the situation in our division why - it is unclear, but became all nervozny. More often the high alert appeared in a regiment. It meant to us to sleep in soldier's blouses and with automatic machines under a pillow.

Strange preparation for "exercises" meanwhile went more and more actively and began to guard already many. What exercises when call store rooms are and bring the state of parts to full structure?! However, some of store rooms was already under forty, and the commander of the battery first lieutenant Goloshchapov, Evgeny Petrovich, the man stately, somewhere severe, but the fan to play a trombone, sighing, spoke to one of them: "Do you, Sakalas, remember, probably, when howitzers shot kernels?!" All laughed. Also I overflowed with youth, a silly otptimizm and health laughed.

There came the summer, classes in combat training became more intense, and it began to bother already.

Suddenly took away from a regiment fighting and prize banners. Honourable post number 1 began to look somehow idiotically: the sentry with automatic machine protects an empty pedestal. And it meant a lot of things: the regiment banner in a landing is taken away to the headquarters of higher connection before fight, the banner of a part is a shrine which should be kept in any circumstances. Landing, meanwhile, it.

Commander of the 1st battery senior lieutenant E.P. Goloshchapov

What is a landing, the commander of airborne troops general Margelov explained to us once. [3] There was it after Prague, in the summer of the 69th when on exercises the plane of our division collided in air civil Il-14, and the company of paratroopers with the headquarters of battalion, people 60, as well as two dozen passengers Il-14, died. Then in a landing refusals of jumps began, the guardroom of a special impression on anybody did not make, and Margelov personally traveled over shelves and paternally talked to paratroopers. "What is a landing, sonnies? It is a condom. That is thing disposable. Your task is to land to the back of the opponent and, distracting his forces, to battle up to the end,

providing approach of our armies."

Margelov called us "sonnies", and we adored him. Our hearts were overflowed with pride and courage: here we what, heroes suicide bombers, your mother...

"We will hardly come back home." And so "margelovsky bandits" deciphered the reduced name of troops of a type - airborne forces.

The first alarmed the self-propelled division lodging in the building, neighboring to our regimental barracks. Left, having cried at parting all diesels of the self-propelled guns, and disappeared in the depth of the coniferous Baltic forests...

Three divisions of a regiment - reactive, howitzer and gun - expected alarm any day. And yet it burst unexpectedly.

The author is a corporal B.V. Shmelyov (in the foreground)

I went along the corridor the headquarters of a regiment and swore. You bet: the battery mounts guard, and it means sleepless night and dirt of a karaulka before just the same as were today, wearisome classes in combat training, and here still the battalion commander forced to write the lesson schedule of the battery the next week! And all thanks to my good handwriting and relative, in comparison with other batareyets, literacy. It did the day which is coming me absolutely gloomy, not on a global scale, of course, but that to me was to the world. But to it, as it turned out, was also to me.

Quietly and, apparently, not long, the siren sounded. I was not frightened, but heart trembled from a smutnoradostny presentiment. Having glanced to the room of a front part, saw the face of the clerk warped by some mad fun. "Fighting!" - he whispered to me.

I hurried on the second floor where our battery was located, once again listened only to the signal of fighting alarm which reached here and ran for the battalion commander to the houses of officers standing nearby. So it was necessary to me on the state.

In officer houses already all knew everything, and they reminded the disturbed beehives too. The battalion commander confused with the fact that I saw tear-stained eyes of his wife took away the tablets stretched by me, a field bag and a gun.

>- You will give all this to me in the battery, Shmelyov.

Deliberately negligent tone and this "you", very rare in the address to us of officers, gave it whether confusion, whether still something. But I did not catch behind it anything, except usual laziness of our officers.

And, loaded with someone else's property, was dragged to bring together itself.

Oh, and the alarm it was!

At first, as well as usually at alarms, all ran, being enough automatic machines, cartridge pouches, a bayonet knives, gas masks, backpacks and all the rest. Then drivers should have run to the park and to expel cars for loading of shells and parachutes, to pick up tools, and to special commands from offices and platoons - to make loading.

But here the battalion commander came.

>- To set aside. your three divisions mother! - cheerfully he shouted, - to dress up as Everything in new sets of regimentals, from above to put on overalls, then to prevail property and and d t and who should load that!

And all at once calmed down. Just now began to reach us: alarm about e in and I, and, so do not stand checking with stop watches anywhere, marking implementation of standards.

And, for the first time almost slowly, the regiment gathered on alarm. Three hours were given it on gathering, plunge, expel on the parade-ground and to level loaded transport and to be built most.

I shipped the simple property in GAZ-66 standing on the parade-ground long ago: PUO-9 (The monitor fire), and is simpler - the aluminum tablet with goniometric knot and a ruler for drawing on it than the main reference points of the local map, the purposes of firing, observation posts and firing positions for the subsequent calculation of data of guidance of tools on the purpose, as well as all necessary for work with the device - a too tight and short folding wooden table and illumination with accumulators for work at night. The automatic machine, a bayonet knife, a gas mask, a cartridge pouch with shops, a field bag and a backpack were on me.

Skhodiv three more times to barracks behind the forgotten toothpaste, a brush and still some trifle, I, after all, ran into the commander of a division major Dryapiko (thickset and strong such little man, severe, but the gunner from God) and that the gruffish bass sent me to it to the apartment behind a warm jacket. There I again observed tears of officer wives which all amplified and turned, apparently, already into howlings, and, coming back, was finally assured that coming us hardly it is possible to call tourist "a trip abroad".

And the regiment was already constructed. The commander of a regiment lieutenant colonel Krasny, mobile and curly-headed, with clever bright eyes (one of the few Jewish chiefs serving in airborne forces), zampolit the shelf (I do not remember a surname) and other deputies faced a regiment and about something whispered. Possibly, about of what part of information obtained from above and, as approaching the lowest army units, more and more cut down, it is necessary to inform us, having completed reduction it to something unconvincing, but significant.

Also words were told us. That the regiment should make a night march to the area of concentration that into the subsequent to a march l and and y highway e e time we will plunge into planes that we fly to Czechoslovakia where we will be some time p r and with at t with t in about in and t. And it was still told what is there, in "socialist" Czechoslovakia, perhaps, some groups of persons, dissatisfied with our presence" will be brotherly "and therefore we should be ready to manifestation of firmness and courage and (possibly, for this purpose most) in airfield before a departure we will be given service cartridges and grenades.

Having heard about service cartridges and grenades, we felt absolutely ready to manifestation of firmness and courage. Everyone knew: our division in the 56th was thrown with the first in Budapest, and someone in

the government, clever very much, decided then that one type of our paratroopers and tanks will be enough that "to protect socialism" in Hungary, and distributed only blank cartridges. And for the first days, did not supply fighting yet, parts lost nearly to a third of structure. In this respect on regiments gloomy stories by the superconscripts serving in a division in volume far the 56th when I only finished the 1st class walked.

The order, though muffled, is given and, so, it is necessary to go. We also went.

The column of a regiment stretched for three kilometers, drove by native Kalvariya, turned to the country road and kicked up dust incredible, and powdered eyes to all Lithuanian storks (birds of unprecedented beauty; "Gods of Lithuania" - so called their soldiers) and also it seems and to various spies because in the world it was still silent in spite of the fact that shift of troops to border with Poland and Czechoslovakia already was well under way.

And the regiment in quiet evening on July 29 the 68th, and there and in short July night drove.

The column moved hardly, partly because of dust, partly because of the bad light of headlights which hardly was making the way through blackout cracks. There was enough time to jump off from the car, to celebrate need and, not really hurrying, to overtake for it. Bodies of GAZ-66 on two thirds were filled with the shivering boxes with shells, and on the remained space between boxes and an awning we shivered, soldiers. One is good: the number of cars allowed to be located on five-six people on a body. I went with the friend and the commander of post office Slavka Krivonogov moreover with two radio operators: Sasha Korobitsyn and Vitya Sidelnikov. Smoked, stirred, warmed up the bodies which are beaten off about edges of boxes a sprygivaniye on the road and a zaprygivaniye back in a body, did not hear the battalion commander's cry yet: "I to you will jump!".

On an end of night quietly as if stealthily, drove to clean, accurate small streets of Panevezys. Framed with well-groomed lawns, forced rovnenky as if toy, houses, they radiated some unearthly, otherworldly tranquility. On us excited by alarm, at sleepless night and uncertainty forthcoming, this town made an impression terrible. And someone, without having sustained, cried out as if he cried, in the stiffened pre-dawn silence:

>- You sleep. your mother?! And we - go to war!

War, however, was postponed. From the dawn the regiment remains because reactive and the 2nd gun divisions separated even at night and parted on the areas of concentration, drove on thoroughly overgrown forest glade which is near military airfield.

Passed in uncertainty day, then another, then the third.

Spending the night under awnings of cars was replaced by spending the night under unreliable navesika from soldier's groundsheets, then - in tent army tents where there were mattresses (distributed us some covers which we filled hay) and blankets. There arrived field kitchens, and instead of the bothered sack lunches (bags of soup, bank of stewed meat, bank of buckwheat cereal with stewed meat, bank of millet cereal with stewed meat, a pack of crackers, several small packs from two pieces of sugar as in trains, sometimes - a small 100-gramovy jar of the condensed cocoa with sugar or a chocolate bar) hot food appeared: soups and porridge with meat. The glade took a form of the military camp with sentries, men on duty and other authorized attributes of army. Started classes. Iridescent dreams of "abroad" were dissolved in the crude and teeming with evil mosquitoes reality of the Lithuanian wood.

Nobody knew anything so the set of rumors was born. "The soldier's telegraph" hardly managed to dispatch them on divisions. Spoke about cancellation of the order and fast return to barracks, about a fast-fast departure, in general the devil about what. It became boring. Letters came seldom and also seldom took away them from us. It was only allowed to write what is necessary, namely: we in Kalvariya and everything at us is good. And what was and to write? Unless to imitate Polukhin, the tipper-of of the 2nd tool who

P. 6 of 38

wrote: "Hi, mom. It's ok. Three weeks we live in the forest. So what?! The bear all life lives there and only sucks a paw!"

Officers caught ears and brought them in paper bags under the guise of candies each other. Ears hissed, treated cried out, all laughed.

Everything becomes boring, even boredom, and somehow quickly from general calmness we passed to the itching nervousness: when also with what will all this end?! Someone began to hide from the classes which bothered and turned into formality to the forest, someone went to a wild raspberry brake for berries, someone, having absolutely grown bolder, surveyed quite far vicinities regarding farms with women and moonshine.

The topographical platoon built on a clearing the cheerful toy town from churbachok. With turrets, locks, palaces. The small river with bridges Zmeitsya on the town. I, walking by, the measurement which is lit up by a guess stopped, peered and suddenly: you are rolled, rolled, Borya, in History together with the division!

Because such towns for ranging classes of artillery officers are not under construction before disembarkation to district Vasyuki or the village of Chmarovka. No! The model of a hail great, capital appeared predo me. You will spend not one thousand shells before you take it. Also heart missed a bit: Prague!

And on creation of a regiment: Prague!

Also zampolit at a meeting of All-Union Leninist Young Communist League bureau: Prague!

And it is even more surprising: it is necessary to shoot because there is in "brotherly socialist" Czechoslovakia a group of the "turncoats counter-revolutionaries" wishing to restore capitalism, and our state "first-ever socialist and a stronghold of world socialism", it cannot allow them!

And then - the most improbable: perhaps, it is necessary to shoot at unarmed people and to disperse demonstrations! And so, doubting it is necessary to bring a thought to all simple and clear as the paragraph of the charter that all this is Contra, enemies of socialism and the Soviet power, and therefore doubts "to shoot - shoot" any cannot but be. Command gave the order: EACH SOLDIER MAKES the DECISION ON DISCOVERY of FIRE ITSELF, WITHOUT WAITING for the ORDER of the COMMANDER. And to us, gunners, special: To ANSWER EACH SHOT with the SHELL!

In the evening, on creation of a regiment - the same. Moreover - details: tools for loading go to planes immediately, foremen receive cartridges, grenades and rockets (alarm) and distribute to staff, then all go to bed before one o'clock in the morning, in an hour - landing in the cars which came back from loading and

>- on airfield.

On the brother about 255 pieces of automatic cartridges, a third - tracing - for night firefights, the others - usual got. Moreover on two F-1 grenades pineapples. To offices of investigation - also on an anti-tank grenade. All pozasovyvat in bags from under gas masks, and them is to hell: what there gases!

Before a release, already at a tent, our driver Lyosha Melnik called from where out of Odessa approached me and, being confused a little, stretched a piece of paper.

>- Here, Bor, address of mine. Just in case - you will write.

The guy was going to be at war seriously.

Someone - to be at war, and I here was going to go to a toilet to a path. That was really equipped before the departure when all surrounding forest was thoroughly trashed also sense something to construct, naturally, was not any any more. Yes, it is visible, the commander of a regiment walked smack in one of "mines" or zampolit,

and the order was given. Dug an oblong pole on two places, supplied with two couples of poles, as it seems additional simulator for physical training, fenced on the one hand with a meter tyn. Done! Here to this regimental toilet I also started wandering. Also chose a moment.

On it already, a such well-fed eagle, the major Matsiyauskas, the chief of staff of our divizon and my immediate superior sat. It was mutely looked at me, I - at it. There was no wish to sit down nearby, but it was necessary to justify with something the emergence and I modestly undid a fly. The major, probably, having considered that to continue action in silence not in a friendly way, questioned suddenly from the place:

>- Well as, Shmelyov, not ssysh before a departure?

And I as it is necessary, valiantly answered:

>- In any way not, companion major!

Though was engaged in it.

The airfield met us by small, almost autumn dozhdichok - for a kind way - yes the concrete of runways shining in the light of searchlights. He is lazy propellers of big-bellied gray An-12 turned. Ten two flocked them on the small airfield. Posprygivali we, were counted, drove cars into bellies of planes, moored (fixed in the fuselages on cables extensions), were once again counted and, at last, climbed.

Took place in germokabina - the compartments which are directly behind a cabin of pilots. In them also normal atmospheric pressure was warm. In the fuselages of military transport An-12 where howitzers and trucks were transported, air was rarefied, the breeze walked and temperature differed in the little from temperature behind a board.

Seated, settled, zatomitsya waiting. Took off at 4:00 Moscow time. Farewell, Homeland! Farewell, Lithuania! Farewell, airfield near Panevezys.

The commander of airborne forces general V.F. Margelov during the parade at the airport Ruzin

Flew, were silent, thought. I thought that it is advisable to remember Moscow, parents, the girl whom loved (from her hands I for the first time took the issue of the magazine "Yunost" with the story by Mikhail Ancharov "The theory of incredibility", read in a volley and, having thrown the 1st course of Prospecting institute, went voluntarily to army - in airborne forces). So got, it seems. Echoing me, someone sighed: "And mom thinks that I have a rest!" The joke did not turn out. All had thoughts of one: what waits for us in Prague?

What waited for us after landing seemed foggy, but the hot imagination brought us far, nearly to nonsense: a pathetic small group of some Contra which we fast smash (unclear, however, as). Delight of Czechs and Slovaks. The flowers flying under caterpillars of our tanks and self-propelled guns, as in 45 m. And all - home with a victory!!!

Behind window glass - darkness of night and rare sparks of the Polish towns... Europe sleeps, and we - to it on a visit.

The second hour of flight expired. Someone told that we are accompanied by fighters. There was a wish to believe because it was clear to all what delicious purpose is represented by hard loaded transport aircraft for a little serious air defense system.

And before a departure declared that the first the plane with a division reconnaissance company flies. They fly with the put-on parachutes and if the administration of the central Prague airport Ruzin does not clear away a runway strip for plane allegedly in distress, will be landed in the parachute way and, anyway, will occupy the airport and will provide landing to all to other planes of a division.

On the plane it, transferred "soldier's telegraph", Margelov flies. But transferred somehow uncertainly. Really, why to it to fly there?

The cabin of pilots left free crew members and began to fill cartridges spare holders for the guns. Filled, glancing at us it is unclear. Having finished, told:

>- Soon landing. You will not envy you, children. Be happy!

We began to feel the automatic machines, apparently, for the first time feeling them as a military weapon. Just now it was for some reason thought: and suddenly from the plane - yes directly in fight?! With whom?!

Also the magnificent variety of colors of fires of the capital city of Prague began to sparkle under a wing of An-12 heeling in a landing turn, both decrease went, and we rushed to exempt the tool and the machine from fetters. But what is it? Decrease came to an end, and the plane again smoothly gains height on a turn. In the head a thought: "Really back?" And business turned out that just did not get on a landing strip, - airfield unfamiliar - and now we come on the second circle. Decrease, contact of a strip, delay of run of the plane. Shutters of the tail hatch gate swing open, the car with the hooked howitzer is rolled out, we nearly head over heels slide. Prague!

An-12 left, taxiing on start to fly behind the following party of defenders of socialism, and my boot strongly became on concrete under which the earth of the Czech Republic was based. I was going to think something corresponding to this historical moment and remembered that it is necessary to look round: whether shoot? And on me other plane, and behind it - still already slides. And currents of air from running engines force down from legs and to breathe the rumble in ears from operation of motors, motors, motors there is nothing from the processed fuel, and. My Goloshchapov, blocking their roar, cries out: "On cars!" - also waves a hand. Wind blows off from it a peak-cap, and it cheerfully slides under wings of planes, transferred on relay from one current of air to another.

>- Shmelyov! - he cries out heart-rendingly, without looking back. - To catch up with a peak-cap!

And I, having forgotten about everything, I throw it following: war will wait!

Having almost choked with waste, having run kind meters five hundred, I, at last, catch up with the ill-fated peak-cap, it is enough, I get out to the roadside of a strip and I sigh a full breast. Now it is possible and to look round, especially dawns already.

Firing practice it is not heard, disembarkation is well under way, and on a platform parapet before the building of the airport our paratrooper walks. Sleeves are rolled up, a gun at the ready - a reconnaissance company. Means, everything is all right: the airport in our hands.

I started wandering back - there where I left the battalion commander. And him and the car with a howitzer and the trace caught a cold! Stopped in confusion, and the self-propelled gun from the division which was gone in the Lithuanian forests before of our regiment by rolls. And on armor - my friend Muscovite Zhenka Davydov. Waves to me automatic machine joyfully:

>- Borka! We - to Prague!

>- We - too! - I shout following, and itself I think: and how?

But everything is allowed to

immediately. The next car appears with a howitzer of the last calculation of our battery, I jump on the gun carriage, and we go.

And on all space of the enormous airport and in the brightening vault of heaven over it action truly unknown was managed! Turned, flew up, sat down, rolled dozens of planes on rulezhny paths. Some of them did not get on concrete of runways, and carried them a skid, developing across. To them tractors hurried and dragged them aside, releasing a strip the following. And between them and everywhere military equipment moved: self-propelled installations, tanks, artillery pieces, transport vehicles with ammunition and soldiers, and still greens, greens, greens of various devices and devices for the bringing to fire and a sword of everyone and everything. Then, there were jams: columns rested against deadlocks or simply foreheads and long moved back, drenching each other with dark gray clouds of exhausts, and, at last, parted, adding even more turmoil in invasion action, far from coordination. And supersonic rocket carriers blew over them and above the turned transport workers, the terrible roar pressing all live into the earth.

Nearby our 1st battery drove off. Right there, in the territory of the airport, slightly away from runway strips, on a green grass rose, having aimed long trunks at the Prague hill which is smoked dawn fog, four of our beauties of a howitzer of D-ZO. In the same place - kilometer to the left, kilometer to the right - batteries were located the 2nd and 3rd. Simple task: to provide free entry of troops into Prague. The order of the battalion commander who left together with intelligence agents and a part of operators will come to the city to occupy NP (observation post), and our fragmental and demolition will rush, overtaking columns of troops. Ognevik at tools ran, operators deployed antennas of radio sets, the senior officer of the battery of starly Pozyabkin knowing and the thinking officer, somewhere the intellectual was delivered at a surveying compass [4] (I judge by the fact that he easily mastered Lithuanian and "played" my "Theory of incredibility"). I deployed the tablet and, accepting from radio operators of figure of coordinates, applied on it the first reference points of Prague. Fighting work went.

Already habitual army mess at once reminded of itself: it turned out that all four battery trucks are filled only by anti-tank cumulative shells! And where those tanks?! It is necessary to kill people, people! Also the senior officer Pozyabkin began to yell, began to yell, echoing him, operators, and in reply - the same cries of the administration: where will we to you find ammunition supply cars now?!

Shouted a bit only about half an hour, and there were ammunition supply cars, there were fragmental explosive shells. Unloaded necessary, loaded unnecessary - everything, it is possible to shoot!

On the contrary, it is impossible to shoot. "Does not beat", that is the data calculated by me for firing do not meet with data of the headquarters of a division. The 1st battery cannot shoot. And radio operators, kind children, calm me: and at the 2nd battery does not meet, and at the 3rd! And in the radio set squeal of the chief of staff Matsiyauskas: "Calculators, run to me!"

Me to run to the headquarters the kilometer, and to the calculator of the 2nd - too, and to the calculator of the 3rd - two. But came running. Became a system before Matsiyauskas. Behind it Slavka Belikov - the senior calculator of a division grins. It at it "does not beat" with us. Or at us with it. But it is more main, and, so, it is right. And Matsiyauskas hung over us all the two-meter large object and is intelligible, shaking by a pood fist, explained:

- To stop nervous trembling! What, do you think, arrived to war?! I will show you war! If at someone in fifteen minutes the data do not meet, I will personally fill to that a muzzle! Around march!

Also we on batteries calmed dispersed. And everything at all met.

Went on radio stations of the coordinate of the purposes for me which my battery should "serve", so to speak. To what interesting it were the purposes! I do not know how to other calculators, from the dense province, and me, the Muscovite, there was a fear as it is curious. And associations arose some wild at all. I apply the purpose of "Central Committee" on the tablet, and before eyes there is a strict complex of buildings on Old Square. I put an end "State security", and in imagination - "iron Felix" Lubyanka. "Television tower" - a brand new arrow in Ostankino. "Embassy of the USSR". Here those time! It what - beat the?!.

The list of the purposes of the 1st battery at me remained. And at all not by miracle.

Prague. 21.VIII.1968 of g [5]

No. No. of a payment order

Name of purpose X

The purposes At purpose H


Angle meter


Carat. having served battalion of the 1st crew.


Institute town


Embassy of the USSR


Embassy of the People's Republic of China


National ministry. Defenses


General Staff


Military-political academy

1 crew obsluzh. and check obsluzhivan.



U.S. Embassy


Television tower


Headquarters of the 7th army of air defense and the 7th check obsluzh.




Mat. - technical base of the Air Force


RC 51 zen. - cancer. Crews (podzemn.)


Headquarters of the 71st zen. - cancer. brig.


Zap. RC of the 71st zen. - cancer. brig.


the 7th otd. item. Communications of the 7th army of air defense


General Staff communication center, the 59th regiment of communication




the 50th aviaregiment of communication, the 8th check of BAO 55260 66860 21.

the 16th and 47th check cancer. - technical obsl., the 7th check obsl.


Gensht radio transmitter.


Military radio station


Warehouse AV


State security of MNO


Ministry of Internal Affairs


Government house


RC of air defense (underground)


Central Committee of KPCh


the 38th guard check


City town committee


City Council


Television center




National Assembly


Editorial office "Mlada of the Front"


House of the writer


Editorial office "Prague"


Central post office


Central station 50400 59740 62.

Editorial office "Free Word"


Radio center


House of the writer

231 club

Editorial office "Mlada Democracy"


Water pump station


Freight yard


Kbeli airfield




Ministry of Finance


The higher party school






Studio color telelook.


Editorial office "Reporter", house of the journalist


Central Committee of the People's party


Edition "To ore right"


Ministry of Agriculture


Literary sheets 50340 58220 81.

Branch of a television center


International cable station


City telephone exchange 50440 61860


Embassy of VNR


Embassy of the Party of Russian Taxpayers


Embassy of the GDR


Embassy of NRB




Radiotelegraphic Part 61100 57850


Bridge 5


Bridge 6 51150 58020 190


Bridge 7 50805 57850 190


Bridge 8 49535 57850 190


Bridge 12 49230 57940 190

At last, all purposes are applied on the tablet. All data are calculated: sights, angle meters. Only shoot. Our howitzers moved the long trunks trunks on the Prague horizon, sniffing to abroad air, moved and drooped till a time - nestled trunks on beds. "Release, battery!" The order is received - to Prague!

SILT-62 under protection of howitzers of the 1st battery

A at once behind departure from the airport, on the railway crossing, we saw the smiling Czech railroader. He cheerfully swung to us a tag. We did not know yet that it is the first and nearly the last Czech who will smile to us.

Rovnoye Highway on both parties seated plum and apple-trees, conducted us on the Prague suburb. On the right and at the left the well-groomed, beautifully painted lodges under tile roofs ran away for our backs. Absolutely such, as on the trophy German rugs which appeared in our houses after war.

The outskirts of Prague - in new buildings of standard light high-rise buildings, as in Moscow. Only there is less asphalt on streets, it is more than stone blocks. But any more not such, as in Moscow crumpled and the erose, and equal, laid accurate polukruzhyama.

There was a battery, having chosen the flat grass platform: whether big lawn, whether square. Ahead, towards the center of Prague, - free space: the wonderful sector for firing. Only the vysokovoltka disturbs a little on the right.

>- We will take down, just in case, in couple of shells, - the commander of the 2nd fire platoon foreman Denisov uttered.

And I approved in a low voice:

>- Correctly!. with it, with Holland!

Nobody for some reason laughed. And why, actually, had to?

At the left our lawn was framed by an old low wall with a magnificent garden behind it. On the right the pavement with tram rails lasted.

Were engaged in digging of trenches. Occupation is in itself "cheerful", and for gunners especially: it is necessary to dig still trenches for tools.

There were first inhabitants. The picture reminded Moscow again: students, workers, employees hurry to study who who to work. Glance at us with astonishment. Also we are surprised: them, it appears, did not warn that we will arrive to protect them!

I have the care: a new firing position - new data for firing. Only the same purposes.

Praguers increased around. And not only hurrying on the affairs, but also trying to start talking to us. Just like that so far, in a narrow-minded way. Who such supposedly in what you are engaged? We, without coming off the

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put, sedately we din that, say, Russians we, arrived to you. We speak Russian, and they also understand.

The first trams rolled. Too - recognizable, still: all Union goes by them. Trams from Prague, buses from Hungary, cigars from Cuba. And the debt, as we know, payment is red. Here also receive: tanks from Moscow!

And something already prompts vaguely and is disturbing: no not to wait to us for flowers.

And managements of batteries and a division borrow the headquarters Czechoslovak the 7th army of air defense meanwhile (that which I already calculated as the purpose). We were warned that the army of ChSSR "observes a neutrality". And it is right: it was without firing and even a fight. The Czech officers on the offer to hand over weapon silently left guns on a floor and dispersed, avoiding to meet us views. They, perhaps, guessed that we will arrive.

Military equipment prt by our firing position to the center of Prague more and more densely. And here hooted suddenly just as in seen-reseen movies about the October revolution, the plants of Prague.

The faces of Praguers became rough, and the curiosity accepted them other coloring.

>- Why you here? - they ask, considering tools and looking in barrels.

>- For defeat of a counterrevolution, - accurately answer?

Patricia Darleen
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