#AtoZChallenge: April 18 – P is for Panzer

The year is 1942. At night he sleeps under his tank, wrapped in a light blanket. But then it is still only autumn. In the morning he washes in cold icy water, polishes his boots, oils his Mauser, and talks to his men, before they resume their journey, further East.

They worship him. He is a decorated hero, and hates the thugs who rule his country, and have sent them all to war, in this immensity. Yet he is a member of an elite caste: an officer, a knight. He wears his iron cross with pride, as his father has done before him.

He looks at the map. Only 100km from Stalingrad.

A prisoner of war, after Paulus’ s surrender, he will die in Siberia, of cold and starvation.

So doomed knights fade into the night.

General Friedrich Paulus, commander of the Ger...
General Friedrich Paulus, commander of the German Sixth Army (Photo credit: Wikipedia)



    1. Have been obsessed by that battle for years. Antony Beevor’s Stalingrad is a good account. A bit gloomy though…


  1. Difficult not to be drawn in given the horror. Don’t like to think of you being obsessed about it but you have reflected the futility of the battle and the ironclad though gravely misplaced assurance of the soldiers. Your post is made more powerful given that it describes a German soldier. I haven’t read any of Beevor’s writing but I’m interested now that you’ve mentioned Stalingrad.


  2. Wow, just wow – is what I have to say. The density of this wonderful piece of writing is gripping. Not a word in excess of what is needed to convey such a strong message. Powerful stuff. Reading it sent tingles down my spine.


  3. This is an excellent piece of writing. You take us by the hand and lead us on a journey. Well done.
    Rhia from Five Minute Piece for Inspiration (about # 776 on A to Z list)


  4. I agree with the others here..great writing.. you give us a complete picture as well as visuals (not an easy feat to accomplish in a short write).


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