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Old November 3, 2009, 09:17 AM   #339
4V50 Gary
Join Date: November 2, 1998
Location: Colorado
Posts: 19,343
Too good not to share

OK, since I finished the book, I've started reading modern stuff like WW II aviation and sniping books again. Recently I attended the Annual West Coast Civil War Conference in Clovis, CA and one bookseller, Lee Meredith, had Alexander V. Pyl'cyn's book, Penalty Strike, for sale. It's the wartime experience of an officer in a Soviet Penal Battalion. Having done no wrong, he was selected to lead a platoon because of his outstanding qualifications. Here's an excerpt that is worthy of Rambling Anecdotes:

The rest of the battalion had more time for other things, for jokes and tricks that were common in wartime. I mentioned that I could not understand what our Smersh officer Gluhov was doing, but in the spring of 1945 he started to pay more attention to hunting for German souvenirs. He confiscated German pistols from officers, or German decorations and cigarette boxes with fancy carving, and even round German chocolate bars. One time, when a small group of officers gathered for a smoke break, commandant platoon leader Senior Lieutenant Slava Kostik, noticed Gluhov walking in our direction. So Kostik took a round box out of his pocket and pretended tht he was eating something very tasty. Gluhov walked up to him, and with his usual manner of begging, asked what Kostik was eating. Lieutenant Kostik demonstratively hid the box behind his back, and answered that he had several unusual candies left and he would not share them with anyone. Of course, this only intensified Gluhov's interest, and he started to beg Kostik to share the sweets with him. Then Kostik, seemingly reluctantly, opened the box, which had several small objects wrapped in foil. Gluhov greedily grabbed one of them, unwrapped it, and put it in his mouth. You had to see how his face twisted as he started to chew that 'trophy of war!' He spat it out with obscene curses, and angrily asked, "What the hell was that?" Kostik calmly replied, with everyone else laughing out loud, "That was a German anti-haemorrhoid pill that you put in your ass, Herr Oberleutnant!" I don't know what sort of relations they had, as they were both permanently at the battalion HQ, and officially had similar functions. Maybe they were even friends, but after that cruel trick Gluhov never again asked anyone to share their German sweets, even if it was an open bar of German chocolate.
Vigilantibus et non dormientibus jura subveniunt. Molon Labe!
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