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Face to the Sun, a Novel of the Divsion Azul by Anthony Genualdi

Discussion in 'Military Books' started by ColHessler, Mar 19, 2016.

  1. ColHessler

    ColHessler Member

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    Hi again, everyone. The third WWII book I published, and my most recent work, is Face to the Sun. This is the story of a Spanish volunteer officer named Adolfo and his unit with the famous 250th Division, the Division Azul. I'm sharing with you a chapter of Adolfo and his men, including his sergeant major, a Russian named Baranovsky, in one very heavy fight. As with my other work, you can find this on Amazon, as well as the Barnes & Noble site, and for the Kindle, Nook, and print-on-demand paperback. Enjoy.

    CHAPTER TWENTY-ONE

    14 JANUARY 1942

    Colonel Rubio wasn’t at his HQ when the word came down. The assistant division commander, Colonel Rodrigo, was in temporary charge, when the news that the Russians had taken Teremets came at 1900 on the 13th. It was Rodrigo who called Major Román and told him to get Second Battalion together and moving to retake Teremets. The men arrived in the middle of the night at Podberez’e to link up with the Germans. Their objective was five kilometers away.
    The battalion moved out at 0600 to reach the woods to the west of their objective. Moving in waist-deep snow, Fifth and Sixth Companies were to attack from the woods at 0730, but it was 0755 when they finally got out of the woods and moved onto the town. Seventh and Eighth Companies would cover them. Adolfo and his men trudged through the snow to a row of houses that was their first objective.
    As usual, Adolfo and Baranovsky were in front. Adolfo took Menendez and half the men to the left, and Baranovsky took Torreon and Barrientos to the right with the rest of the men. As if on cue, the Russians started to open up on the advancing Spaniards in the southernmost houses of Teremets. Machine guns opened up on the houses and mortar rounds crashed into the snow near the men still outside. Men were screaming as they were hit. Adolfo tried to pull together the five men with him in a house. “Don’t panic, men. We’ve all been through this before. Hold together. Remember we are Spaniards!”
    Adolfo turned and looked out the window to see a Russian aiming his weapon at him. With a single burst, Adolfo took him out. He then ducked down, and popped back up to see another Red aiming at him. After another burst, that Russian was dead. He kept this up four more times, until his weapon jammed. “Cover me,” Adolfo yelled. Before he could duck down, another Russian showed up. Menendez pushed Adolfo down, and let out a scream as the Russian in the window shot him. Adolfo had cleared his sub machine gun by this time, and popped back up to shoot the Russian. He then turned to find Menendez dead, with his eyes staring straight ahead. Adolfo closed them, then turned back to the business at hand.
    After using up all of his clips, as well as two clips from Menendez’s body, Adolfo realized the situation was hopeless. He looked to see that only Private Romo was left with him in the house. Romo had the radio with him. “Mi teniente,” Romo said, “Comandante Román has ordered us to pull out.”
    “All right, soldado,” Adolfo replied. “Secure that radio and make for the woods. I’m going after the rest of the men.”
    “Yes,mi teniente.”
    Adolfo waited for Romo to leave, and then headed to the houses on his left. Mortar shells were still coming down like a hailstorm. Adolfo had to run in a zigzag pattern to avoid being hit. He remembered the luck, or providence, that had held him for many years, starting in ’36. He’d been through many shellings and never been hit. He got to the first house and yelled, “Fall back to the woods. Andale!” He did this with the next three houses until he finally found Baranovsky.
    Baranovsky yelled, “I’ve hardly got anyone left. Torreon and Barrientos are hit.” One look in the room told how true this was. Only the three of them were left sitting up. The other seven men were dead.
    “Come on, Baranovsky,” Adolfo yelled, “We’re pulling back to the woods.”
    Barrientos yelled, “What about Menendez?”
    “He’s dead. If you don’t want to join him, follow me.”
    As they headed for the door, Adolfo heard Baranovsky tell Barrientos, “That’s the first time the teniente has called me by my name.”
    The four men headed out into the clearing, running for the woods. The two companies that were there to cover them were shooting over them at the attacking Russians. As they got halfway to the trees, they could hear their countrymen yelling, “Come on! You’re almost here! Move it!” The mortar shells kept on crashing down.
    As they were almost to the trees, the luck Adolfo had for so many years ran out on him. A shell landed a few meters in front of him. He felt as though he’d been kicked and stabbed in the abdomen. Two more shells came down close by as he hit the snow. The last thing he heard before passing out was Baranovsky. The old legionario could be heard to growl, “A mi la legion.”
     

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