Diary of a Soviet Airwoman at War: June 1941

Lt. Yegorova

Diary of a young Soviet airwoman, posted 70 years after WWII. In this entry, young flight instructor Anna takes the train to Moscow after she learns of the Nazi invasion:


Camouflage shrouded the buildings on Three Station Square like a theatrical set…People in soldier’s blouses stepped briskly through the great station halls, and the booming sound of barked orders ricocheted off the stone walls…Massive anti-aircraft guns stood like long-legged storks on the roofs of multi-storied apartment buildings.

Moscow was beginning to look like a front city. With each passing day, the city grew gloomier and grimmer. Levitan’s daily broadcasts delivered increasingly alarming reports: “After stubborn and fierce battle…” The…reports followed us everywhere. We could scarcely believe them.

I remember sitting on the bus, my face pressed against the window, wondering why we were moving so slowly. I noticed with surprise a girl in a military uniform energetically waving a small red flag to clear the way for a huge column of Red Army soldiers. Such things would soon seem terribly ordinary…


This is part 2 in a series of excerpts from a book I co-translated and edited in 2009: Red Sky, Black Death, A Soviet Woman Pilot’s Memoir of the Eastern Front, by Anna Timofeyeva-Yegorova


See Anna’s last entry                      See Anna’s next entry

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