115 thoughts on “The Old Vet and His Tank”

    • the french army in world war 2…i million rifles for sale…never fired dropped once…at least the Russians English and Americans fought back…

      • 200.000 french soldiers died in 6 weeks. Many units in the Ardens and the Alps mountains didn’t surrender. Millions of civilians, including Belgians and Hollanders, had to bug out. And the Germans had excellent troops, plenty of tanks and planes.

        Back to the 70s, I remember of these small guys wearing black pyjamas, shooting there chinese AK, and kicking the ass of the “übersoldiers” of the greatest military power. And the same story continues in Iraq and Afghanistan 🙂

        • You are partially right, the German troops outmaneuvered the French, they performed excellent attacks and the French fought valiantly.

          However, in the beginning of the war the Germans did not have plenty of tanks and what they had was outdated. It was purely tactics and a bit of luck that won the battle.

          But you are right, the French fought hard. So did the Polish, you always hear jokes about calvary charging tanks but that didn’t happen. In fact Polish calvary was difficult for the German infantry to fight. They gave better then they got.

  1. Why not raise his pension a bit [lets say- triple it] so he can enjoy many more years. The pathetic 150 or so dollars he gets now… Russia should be ashamed at how it’s treating it’s veterans. The people that risked their life for the country.

    Though right after the war it was even worse.

    After the Great War everybody that lost a limb or got seriously disfigured in battle was deported by force to some remote city / village, because they were soiling the sights of the nation and giving people bad afterthoughts about the war. Everybody should focus on positive things !! Those that were liberated from German POW-camps were send straight to the Siberian gulags because they had been in touch with the West and it’s despicable ideas. So they might be a potential danger to the State. Off with them !! Many died.

      • No he is exaggerating to an extreme. Disabled vets were not sent off to prison camps, some went to sanatoria to rehabilitate, many prisoners were sent to camps for various reasons but the vast majority ended up in the Red Army or back home after the war. He is correct only in the sense that the support veterans got was inadequate at best. Considering the amount of destruction that the war brought to Russia you have to question where the resources were to come from after it was over. Keep in mind, after removing the lions share of the fascist armies Russia got no help from ANYONE, ANY COUNTRY. She did the rebuilding all by her lonesome. They had nothing to spare for anyone. Take note, do your research and you will find that the US cut all ties after the war ended, not Russia/USSR.

        • The Marshall Plan was offered to the USSR and the Eastern Bloc nations. All refused. The USSR rebuilt itself and the Eastern Bloc because it refused aid, not because it was not offered.

          • I’ll look that up, I very much doubt that is fully correct. Wonder if Russia was offered a deal like something the IMF would come up with, virtual economic slavery. I wouldn’t have taken it either.

          • “The USSR rebuilt itself and the Eastern Bloc because it refused aid”

            Refused because government of all countries included in USSR comes from Moscow… They wasn’t give a permission to take an aid.

          • Yes the marshall plan, that oh so gracious plan that called for an end to communism. That is an amazing peace plan. Too bad it was never accepted. But why don’t we do what they didn’t? We can all be friends if the US gets rid of all its leaders, government, currency, armies, and accepts radical islam. Thats a great idea isnt it? Because that is exactly what you are complaining the Soviets did not accept. The US never even intended to hold up their side of the bargain if the USSR accepted. They did not have any materials or manpower to help the USSR. It was just a cheeky joke so later in history americans could say i told you so. Off rant mode it is a very touching picture, does anyone know where i can find out more info about this?

        • I didn’t state that disabled vets were send off to prison camps, I said many were under force relocated to remote area’s instead of receiving the hero’s welcome they deserved.

          Of course this is not a popular piece of knowledge today, but this doesn’t make it less true.

          Read Vasili Grossman’s writings on the war – he was the number 1 war reporter for the Red Army, writing for their paper Krasnaya Zvezda. Read a collection of his war reports in ‘A Writer at War: A Soviet Journalist with the Red Army, 1941-1945’. Because he started after the war also [though reluctantly] writing about the horrors of Stalin’s regime including what I stated earlier he was considered a threat to the totalitarian regime and became a non-person, close to being deported himself.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vasili_Grossman

          • Pure BS. Not all of them were shipped off to remote areas. They probably went home by choice as it stated in the book Ivans War many of them were given a lot of privilages. No one forced them to do anything unless it was under the orders of a doctor most likely.

            • Scrat, I hold Grossman in pretty high regard, but please give me a reference if you have a source that runs counter his reports.

            • Not all of them were coming from the city to start with, I guess.

              Doctors orders eh?

              ‘To grow back your missing face and your foot, take long walks in the counntry side and drink lots of water. Healthy sea air is also good.’ Something like that ?

        • Another interesting read for those interested :

          Ivan’s War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945 [over 200 interviews with veterans and others involved, thus giving a human face and nuance to this ‘collective’ effort [as the communists preferred to see it].

        • I do not know about how it happened that the Marshall´s plan was rejected in DDR, Poland or Hungary, but in Czechoslovakia it was the Moscow-controlled puppet Communist Party that blocked its acceptance as it would contradict its plans to get sufficient support for a putsch which happened some six months later, in 1948.

    • Have you ever been to the west ? Russia cheaper ? At least not in Moscow and St. Pete. Everything appears to be imported nowadays so all those involved have to make money -> outrageous prices. Prices are on par or higher than in the west. And the government is imposing outrageous taxes on imports on top of that. The average citizen is paying the bill…

      The country-side is still cheap. But you live on potatoes, carrots and cabbage, mainly. Basically, what you can grow yourself.

      The time is near that only the priviliged can afford to live in the big cities.
      A piece of broccoli : 5 dollars [if available], an avocado: 2 dollars, on average you easily spend [on average groceries – so not avocados and similar] 25 dollars p/day for an adult. In an average supermarket. In Russia you are considered ‘new middle class’ if you make around 1000 dollars p/month. You do the math.

      Or try to buy flowers for your girl: for a simple bouquet of tulips you pay this veterans monthly pension. Easily. Where do you get your facts about the pensions ? A fairy-tale book ? Propaganda ? It is simply not true. You can’t live on a pension, you are dependent on your family or other help.

      BTW – By official legislation it is now no longer allowed to call ‘milk powder-with-water’ milk. It should be called: milk drink. Let’s wait and see how much ‘milk’ is left on the shelves. And what they are charging for this milk.

      • I was so overwhelmed by your passion that I failed to find the logic or a single fact in your rebuttal. I’m sure it’s there . . . I’ll read it again. 🙂

      • Yes, in Russia everything is cheaper than in the west. In the west you must get expensive “dental care”, in russia we have efficient system where tooth just gets pulled from head. In the west you have expensive autos and in russia we just need to put grass in mouth of donkey and kick it to go. In west, of i don’t need to continue…It’s sooo expensive to live in west.

    • Not everything. As we have already learned, automobiles are far more expensive in Russia than in the west. I’m sure that there are many other things that are more expensive in Russia too. As far as the things that are less expensive in Russia, I would say that you definitely get what you pay for.

    • wrong info, actually all vet get approx 1000-1100 usd’s each month, it’s good enough if you live not in moscow, the prices are quite cheap anywhere out of Moscow in Russia. one bottle of good beer costs less than 50 cents for example.

    • “Russia should be ashamed at [sic] how it’s treating it’s [sic] veterans.”

      You should be ashamed of your grammar.

  2. http://lenta.ru/photo/2008/05/28/granitsa/ – ex-frontier guard s celebrating day o frontier guard (“den’ pogranichnika”).

      • I think its a T-34/85, an upgunned version of the original T-34 which carried an 85mm main armament instead of the original 76mm. Whichever the configuration, the T-34 was the most important tank of the war for the purpose of defeating Nazi Germany.

  3. Not true. The old man is deranged patient of local psychiatric hospital. He likes to dress up in uniform with medals and pretend to be a general. Every single day he makes a trip to this monument and starts giving orders to his imaginary crew. Kids enjoy teasing and playing along with the old man

    • Can you get more sad than this? I hope you will go to a war, and expierence what he has. Then, maybe if youre lucky you will survive it. Its pahtetic tossers like you come here and say so. Soviet and its people defeated the Nazis nearly alone.
      85% of the dead wermacht were killed at the Eastern front.

      • What about Stalin backing up Hitler ; the Molotov-Rippentrob-pact ? Because of Stalin Hitler felt confident enough to start the whole affair…

        Balance your facts ‘dude’. Do not get lost in silly patriotic talk.

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  5. It seems that we Veterans of war, no matter what nation we fought for, all feel the same deep sense of loss and isolation from our closest friends. I see in this old warriors actions what I feel in my own heart. You will meet them again, old soldier… this is my hope for you.

      • I fell so shameful to all of so called “patriotic peoples”.we can`t justify to killing human beings,in the name of “motherland”.the right of life and death is belong to all mighty God.

  6. Well, what did he actually fight for?

    For a nation with chechens and chinese roaming the streets?
    A country selling it’s own children?
    Kids doing drugs?

    And people say Hitler shouldn’t have won. =D

      • I agree. I propose to start with the Arabs and the Africans, but not until they cause further disruption in Europe and North America. Then after they have caused collapse of those societies they must submit to Pure Persian Power, or else . . . there will be lots of choppy-choppy!

  7. Probably did, it does have a lot to offer but like everything else written about Russia you have to do a lot of sifting through the dungheap. It’s good for gleaning little tidbits of info but it ain’t no book fit for a serious kind of consideration.

  8. If you want to make a nasty comment, I suggest you go to war first and then come back and make your comments, if you are able to. Kids living in their parents basements mostly from some of the comments above.

  9. They should just allow him to drive the tank back with him :), he deserves to go home in it, half is heart belongs to that tank.

  10. I recommend reading Grossman above Werth. Check the wikipedia link for the why: Grossman was the most prominent and capable writer / journalist at that time, spending over 3 years non-stop at the Russian front; every front line that historically speaking mattered. Stalingrad, Leningrad, etc..

    And from a Russian p.o.v. definitely to be trusted; he was a true patriot, idealistic to a level where it became unrealistic. So if he is critical, it is probably really bad in reality.
    F.i he refused to believe until after the war was over that Stalin would turn against the Jews, even though the proof was everywhere around him, including the death of his own family.

    I have noticed often that people are choosing the sources that back up and fit their own ideas the best instead of going for just the best sources. Even if the truth they speak is not a nice piece of knowledge.

  11. We shouldn´t blame that poor elderly man for the deeds committed by the Russian leadership during WWII and after. Do not forget that if you did disobey orders from the military you got shot on the spot or politically disagree got sent to Siberia, if you were lucky. This elderly basically did what he was asked to do…

  12. Realmente estas homenagens aos veteranos é sempre gratificante de se ver, a muitas histórias para serem contadas…….

  13. I will save this page, interestng story and pix.

    yes, I do feel bad tha veterans don’t get paid as much as western vets but at least we remember and honor them more than others. yes, honoring won’t make them live longer, every one needs money.
    I don’t get why americans are saying that we should be ashamed of something. you know what, look after yourself, then try to say something.
    and who’s poloticians re causing problems to distabilize others?… yours! because they want america to be the only place thatisn’t that bad, so ppl would come over ad work for this land + make kids here tht will later fight forthis land if needed.
    your politicians are they only reasons why usa is being hated and why your flag is in guiness book for being burnt more often than any other flag on the planet, by far.

  14. Я БЛЯДЬ АНГЛИЙСКИЙ ЗНАЮ. НО БЛЯДЬ
    НА ВАШЕМ ХУЮ СПИК ИНГЛИШЬ ХУЯЧИТ НЕ БУДУ.
    ПОТОМУШТО И ВЫ И ЯЗЫК ВАШ – ГОВНО УЕБИШНОЕ.
    Я БЛЯДЬ ВОТ ЧТО СКАЖУ Я ИЗ РОССИИ ПИТЕР КУПЧИНО
    И ЕСЛИ ВЫ БЛЯДЬ ЕЩЕ ЧЕГО НА НАШЕГО ВЕТЕРАНА ПОГОНИТЕ
    Я БЛЯДЬ ПРИЕДУ И ТАКИХ ВАМ ПИЗДЮЛЕЙ ВКАТАЮ ВМЕСТЕ С ВАШИМ НАТО-ХУЯТО АЖ ЗАКАЧАЕТЕСЬ ПИЗДЮКИ.

  15. What a shame thats its so trendy to bash the U.S.-We risked all to help the helpless in Somalia,Haiti,Bosnia and Kosovo(I was there when Serb-aligned Russian Army thugs seized the Prishtina Airport,just to make their point)-besides rolling tanks and shock troops in to wield their Iron Fist of Doom(let’s ask Chechnya what they think of Russia),what has Russia done in the past few years-Honestly,Now?

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    • many of this people have fullfilled their purpose on this Earth.
      Alcoholism is a psychological thing. Tons of Vietnam vets got theirs lives LOST too when they got back to peace…
      Its just one of the negative results of any war, you cant just come back and be normal.

  17. To: ВОВАН(КУПЧИНСКИЙ)
    А хули им говорить?! Уёбки, других слов нету.
    Я русский, но живу в Беларуси. Мой дед (репрессированный, кстати, в 30-х) воевал за Россию. За РОДИНУ. Два года уже, как его нет, но он всегда говорил – “пофиг власть, пофиг Сталины, Ленины итд, но это МОЯ РОДИНА! И я любому за неё глотку перегрызу”.
    А эти ушлёпки, которые за цент удавятся, которые будут считать: какая власть им выгодна – старая или новая, и при какой власти они смогут потолще слой масла на бутерброд намазать, – им же насрать на свою страну. Где теплей, там и родина. Нехер вообще с проститутками говорить.

  18. I am from Minnesota US, so this may not directly affect me in some peoples opinion … but in a way I feel that it does … I have so much respect for senior veterans, especially from WWII – even the Russian vets … without the sacrifice and courage of these incredible people 65 years ago, the nazis may have won WWII and our entire world (including the US) may have ended up an entirely different and unimaginably horrible place … I may never know his name, but he has my thanks and respect forever … I would have been honored to fight along side of this soldier for freedom against the nazis if I had been alive at the time – he was one of the lucky few who survived to see these current days

  19. If you don’t like the past or the present, create a new standard. It starts with each one of us in the form of tolerance and love for one another. How can a government make a good country with bad ingredients?
    God Bless that old man! He did the best he could considering his circumstances. Love is more enjoyable anyway, because people love you back.

  20. Look at the spheres of influence of the US today. All nations that accepted the Marshall help after the war are now puppets of US. Most of the population of western Europe (and East) hate US, I can now i live in western Europe. Still the government’s can’t turn their side on the US because they are too dependant on them.

    Would surprise me if it was the US and Britain who orchestrated WW2, jus like they orchestrated the Russian revolution, the Israel&Palestenian and all African conflicts. And it wouldn’t surprise me either if the current financial crisis is a set up to start a new war and give it another shot to dominate the world. And when the things are at its worst, everbody turns to Russia. Just like with the Mongols Napoleon and Hitler.

  21. Lee,
    Well said! Us Vets no matter from what country understand what this man is thinking.
    Disabled vet US Army Cold War “Fulda Gap”

  22. I really enjoy reading English Russia » The Old Vet and His Tank . It’s very interesting. Hope you will post something like this again.

  23. reunion with an old pal. ang pagbabalik alaala sa madugong nakaraan, pagbibigay pugay sa mga namayapang kaibigan, isang matamis na ngiti sa mapait na nakaraan. sumaiyo nawa ang malabay na respeto at kalinga ng iyong mga kababayan o’ matandang bayani.

  24. November 11 is veterans’s day in the US , In San Fransisco Russian veterans of WW2 are invited to march or ride along w the US vets ,as they were our allies at that time … there are many blue jackets in the parade.. good luck to this elderly vet and his tank …

    • We do not have Veterans Day. We have the Victory Day. It is May 9.
      Most of these veterans will not be able to sustain flight across the Atlantic Ocean

  25. “Veteran” Nothing could be further from the truth. Keep in mind (which I see not all do) that the Red Army was as a criminal organization to the Wermaht and SS. “Liberated” Poland for many years. Gradually destroyed the flower of Polish culture. I wonder how many 17 September 1939, the “hero” killed the Poles. How many of them tortured in prison UB, and how many murdered in the Katyn forest, Mednoye and many other places which still do not know. As for me, the tank could fall on his foot!

  26. Does anybody wonder how many womans this guy raped, whane makyng a pause off war…somwhere in a obscure village? O how many innocent civilians womans, childrens he killed under hi’s tracks, or with his shells demolishing buildings? Of cours not. He’s a “hero”. BullShit! War people..WAR! Not romantic heroism. Stupid morons. War brings innocent slaughtering. That’s what we should remember…not those “heroes”.

  27. A WW2 vet is a rare sighting, one carrying those medals more rare, but a decorated tankman veteran…I hope his country paid him Respect.

  28. Why the hell is this touching? Does he miss the war? does he miss killing people? Why do people say he is a hero? we don’t know what he did …. this is just propaganda

  29. To the anonymous with the propaganda: maybe he doesn’t miss the war, maybe he misses his comrades the war took away and maybe he is sorry for all those who he had to kill.

  30. the Russians did most of the fighting in Europe, fortunately, our railroad and transportation and weapons lend lease allowed them to spend all their time and steel on tank and weapon production…this is why I don’t think any one or a dozen allies, without either the russians, US or England could have defeated germany…no one ally could have won the pacific war and the north African and Italian campaigns and survived to win it in Europe proper…its just not possible…keep in mind the gains the axis would make fighting the allies without one of the 3 main allies…the Japanese could have taken Australia, hawaiiparts of Alaska, the germans would still be in N Africa, maybe the mnideast , india , if the axis opowers linked it might be the end of it…and the worst case of all, if the allies did not have the enigma and know EVERYTHING the axis was doing, could they have won the war?

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