This was the Ukraine in spring: sparkling puddles, shell craters, blistered, blackened tanks, the sullen stench of battle and unburied soldiers. Along the muddy roads, Red Army tractors tugged at stalled trucks and mired cannon. Red artillerymen whipped their foamy horses. Red cavalrymen trotted briskly through the muck, bespattering weary, sweating infantrymen on the way to another battle.
No one looked upon the carnage. It was an old sight. It had been thus at Stalingrad and Kursk, at Kiev and Gomel; it was the Red artillery's savage imprint.
It was the...