Snowmageddon = Stalingrad?

February 8, 2010  |  Hobbies, No Sidebar, Personal, Reenacting

Marc had the workday from hell yesterday/today. For those of you who are unaware, he’s currently working as a security guard in downtown DC while he waits for his security clearance to come through for a government job. Since buildings still need guards even when nobody’s around, he had to go into work yesterday even though the feds were closed.

He was originally scheduled to work from 11pm last night until 7am this morning, but due to the staffing/travel difficulties due to the blizzard aftereffects, he ended up working from 11pm last night until 3pm this afternoon, and because the buses weren’t running and his phone was dead, he had to walk 3 miles, through the snow, to get back to our apartment from the nearest metro station that was still running (it took 2.5 hours for him to get home, all told).

Sounds like a day from hell, right? Well, ever the one to make light of a bad situation, and always a reenactor, on his trek through the snow Marc imagined that he was a German soldier assaulting Stalingrad during WWII. When he got home, he wrote down his night/day experiences from that fictitious viewpoint in the form of short diary entries.

When he was finished, he posted them on his blog. It’s a pretty hilarious read when you think about what was actually going on. You can read it there, or read it here, where I have re-posted it for your own convenience.

(Note: “Ivan” was the nickname German soldiers had for Russians.)

The last 36 hours of my life, narrated as though the historiographic lens of a frontsoldat.

2215: Heading towards the K and 19th sector on the Stalingrad front.  Mien Gott, will this winter never end?  I do not wish to leave the comfort of my barracks, but too many units have shirked their duty, and I know that the weary troops in this sector need reinforcements.

2230:  Movement to the front lines hampered by poor road conditions.  The Opels are having trouble navigating these difficult surfaces.

2245:  Arrived on site, relieving the previous unit.  Looks like an exhausted gang of Romanian conscripts.  Their uniforms are shabby, and some are dressed in civilian clothes.  Nevertheless, our tour will be short.

2300: On post in the trenches at the front lines.  All is quiet.  The heavy snow seems to have driven Ivan back into his den.

0530: Received call from general headquarters.  Our relief has been delayed due to heavy snow and poor conditions, as well as an anticipated Ivan attack across the front lines.  No word on when our reinforcements will arrive, if ever.

0700:  The established time has elapsed, but my reinforcements are nowhere to be seen.  As the sun rises over ou rsector, I can already tell that this will not be the quiet day we have expected.

0815:  The general offensive begins.  The Ivans are flooding our front gates, albeit in smaller than usual numbers.  Nevertheless, we are only at a third of our strength.  How will we ever hold?

0818: Word has come in.  The same exhausted Romanians we relieved earlier will be coming to reinforce us within a few hours.  I can only pray we hold out that long.

0835:  Staffer from GHQ arrives to assess our situation.  Offensive has been heavy on all fronts, and some posts are barely manned.  Nevertheless, we are holding firm.

0915: The Romanians have arrived.  If they can be trusted to do anything more than lurk in their bunkers in the rear, it will be a miracle.

1100:  There is no sign of our other reinforcements.  We are ordered to hold until 1500, and then fall back.

1245:  The goulash pot comes by, and the men are fed in their trenches.

1500: The appointed time has arrived.  We quickly assure ourselves that the Romanians are at least attempting to appear presentable in the front lines, and then fall back, abandoning them to their fate, as instructed by headquarters.

1515:  Our unit is able to secure a berth on one of the few trains in operation at this point.  Yet heavy snow and partisan sabotage means we can only ride it halfway to our positions.

1550: The appointed transport unit set to take us the rest of the way to our rendezvous point has yet to materialize.  We later learn it is no longer operational.  It appears that the weather and Ivan is causing our entire sector to collapse!

1555: We are able to hitch a ride for about a mile using another transport unit.  They leave us a good 3 miles from our position, to fend for ourselves.

1600:  On the march along frozen roads, under the constant threat of enemy air attack if we expose ourselves too much on the roads.

1735: We are finally home!  Lord knows how many yet remain!  And yet, intelligence expects yet another heavy attack the day after tomorrow.  How much longer can we hold out in the face of such odds?  Nevertheless, now it is time for the men to enjoy some sleep and hot food, something they have not had for the past 19 hours.  When will this war end?


2 Comments


  1. John from Daejeon

    When my days are going really bad, I just think about those really poor souls suffering in gulags in North Korea for just being related to someone who upset the l’il dud’s apple cart, the suffering John McCain (and others) overcame as a POW(s), and those who suffered, were poorly clothed, and poorly fed during the Civil War on the battlefield and at home. Then, my life seems quite blessed after all with a roof, food, and heat (or A/C).

    By the way, since you like to travel, have you thought about becoming an investigator or even an insurance adjuster (taking photos)?

Leave a Reply