23. Oktober 1941
|GEO & MIL INFO|
|(heavy mortar) platoon commander again, obviously back in the 8 (machine gun) / I.R. 477 (II Batl.), company leader: Lt Herzog|
The next morning (23 Oct 1941) I ride off. At the village exit I leave the muddy road and turn southeast. The village is supposed to lie in this direction. I follow a barely recognisable dirt road that winds across wide fields and extensive pastures. Before my eyes stretches a seemingly endless faintly undulating landscape. In the distance is a hill towards which I am heading.From time to time I pass high straw stacks. From time to time I pass high straw stacks. So the land was cultivated. But now it lies bare and deserted. The earth looks dark brown and dirty. The fields as well as the meadows and pastures with their dry grass. I ride through the silence. Only the puffing of the horse's hooves on the ground and the rhythmic crunching of the saddle penetrate my subconscious. Every now and then the horse snorts, and when it shakes its head, the bridle clanks. I have been riding for more than an hour when I meet the first people. Some Russians who seem to be heading for the village I come from. Then I'm alone again, ride a short distance at a trot for a change, then fall back to a walk, lost in thought. Every now and then I look out into the endless, lonely expanse to get my bearings. Apart from the hill in front of me, there are no clues in this empty landscape. I ride for another two hours without seeing a single tree or bush the whole way. Nor did I meet another human being. Finally, around midday, I spot a row of telegraph poles on the horizon stretching down into a hollow. So I must come across people there somewhere. According to the time, I also should soon be at my destination. When I reach the hollow, I see the village below me. I ride in and already see the first familiar faces. After reporting to the leader, I greet my old comrades and ask the Spieß to allocate me my quarters. Here I spend a sleepless night. I had hardly settled down on my straw bed on the ground when I felt the first pinpricks and a suspicious crawling. I turn on the light and stare in disbelief at my thigh. It was black with fleas, hopping away at lightning speed. I have not experienced anything like it again before or since. It was my only night here.
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- in Sonderausgabe (reprint of the rusian map) 1:100 000 sheet no. M-37-XIII West Kramatorskaja “Jegorjewka (Егорьевка)”, in Heereskarte Osteuropa 1:300 000 sheet no. Z 50 Isjum „Jegorowka“, acc. to Wikipedia actually ukr. „Jagoriwka“ (Ягорівка), russ. „Jagorewka“ (Ягоревка)
- Not the fleas, but the increasing lice was on record (KTB 257. I.D., NARA T-315 Roll 1804 Frame 000065).