Alxander’s Grandfather got “Baptism of Fire” in Moscow Battle
Another story from the class of Kristina Gray
My ancestors from the father’s side were farmers and lived in Ukraine, which at that time was part of Russia. In the beginning of 1900s the agrarian reform of the Russian government allowed people who lived in European part of Russia to move to the low populated areas in the Asian part. The government provided people with agricultural land. The family of my great-grandfather Aphanasiy decided to use this opportunity and moved to the Northern Kazakhstan in 1910. Land which he got from government allowed my great-grandfather to develop a strong farm with several employees. In 1914 my grandfather Ivan was born.
This period did not last long because of the 1917 revolution and at once it started the Civil War. During this unstable time, the family of my grandfather collided with great difficulties such as shortage of food, and threat from the new Soviet regime. In early 1930s, the Soviet government decided to conduct intensive industrialization. It was decided to provide enough food for urban population by forced Collectivization. As a result, the land and all harvest of wheat done by my ancestors became state ownership.
In 1941 Great Patriotic War started and my grandfather served in the army at that time and immediately was drafted to the front. He arrived at the front in winter to get a “baptism of fire” in the battle near Moscow, but he was injured in the first combat and went to the hospital. When he recovered, he was sent to the biggest tank battle in 1943 that took place near Russian city Kursk and so was called “Kursk’s Arc”. In 1944 he took part in the liberation of Baltic countries. Since my grandfather had good handwriting, he worked on staff before the end of War, so he no longer participated in operations.
After the War he worked as an accountant at a leather factory. He could reach a great age despite the serious wound that he got during the War as he had a splinter from a grenade in his body. Unfortunately, I almost do not remember my grandfather as I was a child when he died. However, I am delighted with my grandfather because he had to live in a very hard time and defend the motherland from enemies with risk to life.