January 1943

Jan

1

1943

Happy New Year on the Eastern Front

A posed picture of Soviet troops inside Stalingrad, January 1943.

I remained there alone looking at the barbed wire half buried in the snow, the dried grass on the hard silent river-bank, trying to make out the Russians’ positions through the dark on the other side. Then I heard one of our sentries cough and a long muffled step like a wolf’s; the Lieutenant was coming back. ‘What was it?’ I said. ‘Sarpi’s dead,’ he replied.