General Winter Chooses Sides, Russian Troops Freezing to Death in Droves
The invading Nazis in WWII found out the hard way, now its Russia’s turn: Summer uniforms are useless against snow
Ninja-like, it creeps up on them shortly after the sun sets beyond the tops of the snow-covered trees turning the expansive horizon into an orange-topped table.
Feeling it more deeply than they did during the day, the civilians-turned-soldiers jump into the quickly-dug holes in the hard earth.
Nope, not to be found in there either. They climb out and stomp their feet.
The whistle of shells from the direction of the darkening horizon indicates incoming and the troops now have no choice but to take up positions in those dreaded holes.
An hour passes taking with it the shelling. The cries of the wounded fill the air. The cold, which before the shelling had been so persistent, is chased away thanks to adrenalin. The pulsing blood races through every part of the body and small talk can be heard.
The cold slipping unseen back into the unforgiving hole, tapping one, then another, and still another of the troops on the shoulder, engulfs them. Silence settles across the now silhouetted horizon. The only thing visible is the tops of the snow-capped trees which hungrily capture the few strands of starlight making it through the cloud-cluttered sky.
An unforgivingly cold rain begins to punish them. Pelting their helmets, their shoulders, and their legs, it seems to be saying, “You have no right to be here.”
The field jackets quickly become soaked. The asphalt-like earth softens and turns to a muddy mix that reminds some of the drifting-to-sleep soldiers as a welcome mat to hell.
After some prayers, and even a few silent tears, mixed with memories of the past — and likely last — summer of relative peace spent swimming in Russia’s many lakes, grilling meat, and just imbibing the smells of the forests, the rain mercifully stops. Here is your chance, it whispers, run to the rear and get out. They can’t, though, because behind them are Russian soldiers waiting to shoot them down like dogs.