World Battlefronts: EASTERN FRONT: Red Friday

Friday's dawn on the rolling plain of south Poland was like many of the month before—a grey blending of snowy night with snowy day. On their side of the line west of the Vistula, the Germans huddled in their trenches and guessed that this Friday would be just another day of wary waiting. No planes would fly. The earth was still soft and sticky.

On the Red Army's side of the line, small units of troops crouched expectantly, their long rifles bayonet-tipped. Then they moved stealthily out into the haze, as many a patrol...

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