i.m. Vasily Zaystev

Vasily Grigoryevich Zaytsev was a Soviet sniper during World War II. Between 10 November 1942 and 17 December 1942, during the Battle of Stalingrad, he killed 225 enemy soldiers, including 11 SS snipers

 

Who controls the past controls the future:

An anonymous red army soldier,

With a slightly Asiatic glint to his eye,

Like Vasily, at the gates of Auschwitz,

Said 'This was why we fought

The fascists so hard at Stalingrad.'

And hard, it certainly was.

1.8–2 million Russian soldiers (including women), killed, wounded or captured

On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched

A two-pronged attack targeting the weaker Romanians and Hungarians,

Protecting the German 6th Army's flank from snipers like Vasily.

The Nazis on the flanks were overrun

The 6th Army was cut off and surrounded in Stalingrad.

The Nazis surrendered.

World War 2 was won. the cost? 25 million Russians dead.

There was no taboo on feeling amongst the Soviet troops

They had a vital job to do, which they did heroically.

As witness the deeds and expertise of the sniper Vasily Zaytsev.

If this happened now would we make the same sacrifices?

Or would we negotiate with the Neo-Nazis?

Would we try to understand another’s pain?

Nazis are human too you know. We should remain passive.

Or would we be prepared to risk our lives, our children's lives? 

Fight  as if our very lives and futures depended on it?

Now we are so weak, even afraid of refugee children, 

Terrified to help a persecuted Christian woman, Asia Bibi, 

As the Islamo-Fascist mobs scream for her to be hung

We turn away our faces

Keep a firm hand on the money-in-the-bank.

Entry restricted: too little, too late.

Blessed by the undeserved luck of birth

These C21 collaborators, quislings in the culture wars,

Turn the luck of birth into personal worth

Ignore the world's hoi polloi

Those with little but the aspiration to live..

O! money makes machine men mean:

Status, aura, the need to seem

To be esteemed for empty virtues, vacant days, 

Even as they fade into undecorated graves.

 

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◄ The Home Front

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Comments

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M.C. Newberry

Tue 4th Feb 2020 13:38

Graphic stuff. The Russian people have had painful experience
down the years when it comes to being invaded. In this instance
they were defending their vast homeland against a proven
merciless invader. and had that ingrained determination that goes
with the threat that the invader posed. I seem to recall a film
that portayed this Russian sniper and his exploits - which starred
the excellent actor Ed Harris as a German sniper opponent. Am
I correct in assuming the filmed story is connected?
All countries hold the right to determine who enters their boundaries
and to act accordingly, a reality that is exacerbated by invasive conflict.

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keith jeffries

Tue 4th Feb 2020 00:08

John,

This is raw with gloves off stuff. You pose two very interesting questions. The statistics are incredible but true. We seem to lack moral fibre these days sitting in our comfort zones afraid to confront the difficult issues of life. Have we become enslaved by inertia and false values? It would seem so. Yet there are, I believe, sinister forces afoot, who, aided by modern technology, can pull the strings of our puppet like beings without our knowing it. We are fed lies and rubbish, but lap it up. Integrity can be found scrounging for food in a council tip. Are people no longer capable of original thought. Does no one study history anymore? Your poem has the ability to light the blue touch paper, but maybe the bystanders will think it is just another source of entertainment to placate their base needs for gratification.

What a poem. Heroism and self sacrifice and then drive forward in time 75 years and see what they fought for. The road of perdition awaits this generation.

Thank you for this excellent poem

Keith

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