One of the few survivors of these veterans of the Second world war, 95-year-old Basil Hilchenko, lives in the village Kompaneevka Kirovohrad region. To war he went in the 44th when he was 19. Served as a medical orderly. He’s only got two medals, but the sleeves of his overcoat were not yet dry from the blood of comrades, whom he had dragged from the battlefield. Basil Hilchenko spoke about what he saw in the war: hunger, stupidity of the commanders and the death of soldiers. Read more in the article “Browser”.
Ukrainians fed as prisoners
Despite his advanced age, Basil Hilchenko remembers the war. And talks about it as if it was yesterday. “I was born in Kirovograd, my parents worked on the farm. Graduated from high school, and in 1944 I was drafted into the army. The first two months I was under Vladimir in the 353-m reserve regiment. Then I was faced with a real genocide of Ukrainians. We are from Ukraine was 127 people. They fed us separately from the others and very bad. 600 grams of bread a day and soup of unknown color and taste. This so-called 3rd normal, roundhouse. Was very hungry, and I asked to the front,” recalls Vasily guryevich.
A sensible soldier to let go not wanted. The squad leader was against it. “I went to the officer and say: “I Have two uncles died in the war, let me go to the front.” Then allowed. At the front the first time I ate”, — the veteran tells. Basil was wounded — near the mine exploded and some shrapnel hit the soldier. Already from the hospital he was sent to the school of aninstructor. “The war is not asking whether you like it or not. All built before the hospital, and the commander chose the soldier stronger. The officer simply showed “this, this and this”. I took that, too. So I became a medical orderly, was promoted to Sergeant and was in the 21st infantry regiment. I was at Moscow, in 200 km from it, where in 1941, we stopped the Germans.”
Pulled from the field of 48 people!
Vasily Gurevich recalls one fight. “In March 1944 was a terrible storm. And it so happened that the night was not the commander of the regiment, the Germans drove us half a kilometer from the position. It was their bunker, they had us very well seen. Just move, already shooting. And then the order came — to restore the position. It’s so stupid, but you need to perform. As a result of battle burned two tanks and self-propelled gun. That day I from the battlefield pulled 48 people”, — says the veteran.
Of course, all were seriously injured. One broken leg, who was hit in the chest, abdomen, someone in the head. If the orderly dragged the wounded man to sanaswadi within an hour or two, the person has a chance to survive. When he lies 3-4 hours without help, that is all. A pinched artery in the neck, God forbid, then the fighter just died in front of. Vasily Gurevich recalls a tunic or overcoat to the elbow were covered in blood. Clothes did not have time to dry. “Remember, dragging the officer, he was shot in both legs. He’s hurt, he swears. To put the tires can’t, we were given only two and I have used it. Going into the field nowhere, solid weeds. Say: “hold on, I need you to pull out, I can’t quit you”. And so I nataskalsya wounded, which, when returned, fell on the hay and fell asleep — gun not to Wake,” says Basil Hilchenko.
Mangled body dragged by the water
The veteran recalls that at that time in the regiment there was the commander, a major, a very young man who has just graduated from a military Academy. “Then General Maslov, seeing that the order is not fulfilled, the position that we did not return, removes the cloak, gives the commander of the regiment and says: “Come to recover the position.” He went, and after a few metres, the Germans cut it off. Mangled body of the young commander water brought directly to sonusood. That such nonsense was,” angry Vasily guryevich.
During the battle, from which petty officer Hilchenko made 48 of his comrades, he was awarded. “I was fast asleep in the manger, I’m the platoon commander then told. The General asked, “who’s lying?”. He explained that it was the orderly who saved 48 of the fighters from the battlefield. He is tired and sleeps. Then the General says, “Reward! Immediately fill in the award documents!”
Then I was introduced to the award order of the red banner. At that time over 80 rescued gave the star of the Hero, and 40 — order. However, when my papers went to authorities there decided once we have their positions restored, I will only give the medal “For courage” — says the veteran. Basil Hilchenko he ended the war a Sergeant, then got the Lieutenant. And under President Yushchenko, to all veterans awarded the rank of Colonel.
Vasily Gurevich recalls that on the front though, and were fed better than in a reserve regiment, but it was still and unpleasant things. “On the front, of course, did not care, one Ukrainian, who is a Tartar, there was a war, not before. The food although not so hot, but for all the soup was the same. And 500 grams of bread. Often, eating once a day, at night, during the day, if you are standing in an open area. If the area is wooded, that were fed twice a day.
But the higher commanders had their own dining room. For example, we took over the warehouses, so they are on the carts or on the car a couple of bags of flour were thrown, cereals, meat, canned. Stolen. Was and detachments, we called them red heads. But their task was not only to shoot anyone who leaves the field of battle. It is clear, if you turn back, then life to you will not. Red heads still held sway in the warehouses. If we seize the stock, they immediately take him into custody. I managed to grab — yours, and the rest took possession of the NKVD”.
His wife met in medical school
In 1945, all felt that the end of the war. Basil Hilchenko came to Tallinn, then had nowhere to go, just ahead of the Baltic sea. There he was promoted to 1948 and returned home to Kirovograd.
“After the army in the civilian world any specialty I had. Someone had to dig a hole, someone with a vegetable garden to help. It was hard. Later, in the late 50’s, I enrolled in medical school. There he met his future wife. In 1961 we graduated and immediately got married. I worked as a laboratory assistant, a medical assistant, then worked in the SES, and modified already in the hospital. My wife is also a paramedic. We have had three children — two sons and a daughter,” — says the veteran.
The sons graduated from Zaporizhia medical Institute, and the daughter studied at the Novosibirsk electrotechnical Institute. Now, one of the sons of Basil Hilchenko heads of JSC “Faces Krovohrad”.