BATTLE OF RUSSIA: Two Men, Two Faces

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Field Marshal Fedor von Bock, the German commander in south Russia, would have esteemed Vassily Kochetkov, a junior lieutenant of the Red Army. Bock commanded 1,000,000 or more men, fighting for Stalingrad, the Volga and the Caucasus. Junior Lieut. Kochetkov commanded 16 Red Guardsmen holding a hillock before Stalingrad.

At dawn twelve of Bock's tanks climbed the hillock toward the swallow's nest of trenches and light fortifications where Kochetkov and his men lay. The Guardsmen had only rifles and hand grenades. Kochetkov was wounded. His Guardsmen spoke briefly to him, and he to them. Four of them fastened grenades to...

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