WW II, a British focus  



Memories of Flight Sergeant Harry Tenny

Later the same day a Russian soldier on his bike with the usual load of vodka on the rear carrier got his back wheel stuck in a wagon wheel rut and the bike finished up in the ditch. I rushed to help, but the Russian shrugged me off and noting his damaged back wheel picked up his vodka and offered me a drink from the bottle he was using.

He leered at me briefly with a weak smile, then after a couple of hiccups while trying to focus on me with half glazed eyes he turned and staggered off down the road.

This does give the reader some idea of what a Russian soldier was like then.The Officers were somewhat more civilized but they still had a distinctive way different to us, as I was to find out when I went to the door of a farmhouse to see if I could do any thing to get food.

A Russian Officer who knew a little German also a Little English answered the door. He asked me in and I gathered the farmer was absent.

He then told the farmer's wife we would be having two German aircraft for dinner. I thought he had meant flyers because he went out and bagged two plump hens from the hen house and shot their heads off with his pistol.

He handed then to the farmer's wife and she cleaned them and put them in the oven to cook. While they were cooking the Officer took the wife upstairs and had his dessert first.

I stayed at the farmhouse and was eating like there was no tomorrow. I managed to scrounge some for George but felt a bit guilty about it.

Another days reccy had been spoiled by two things and I came back to George a much more sober man. I had seen a large empty house and I decided to look for anything that could be bartered for food. I searched all the downstairs rooms but it had already been vandalized. I went up stairs and the first thing I saw was the owner sitting in the bath with his throat cut from ear to ear. I beat a hasty retreat. That afternoon I had tagged onto a mate and we were looking in this field for potatoes when we almost tripped over the body of a young girl.

She had picked up a Panzer Faust weapon which exploded killing her instantly.Such was life at that time.

Food was running out and even the Russians were feeling the pinch.

Then a burst of cheering from the front gate made us run to see what was happening and we saw the first American ground troops who had met up with the Russians at Torgau and were releasing all the Allied POW from the camps as they went along.