Lieutenant (ret.) Mesrov Pogosyan

* 1920

  • “It was the most difficult work. Kerch was the most difficult and the worst work. The 89th Armenian division was also there. I was in the 250th Artillery Regiment. Order from Stalin himself came to conquer Kerch. Commanders came directly from Moscow to supervise the operation and to make sure that we would conquer Kerch. Stalin's order was: 'On the night of the 11th to the 12th, conquer Kerch!' Artillery! Katyushas! Ivan the Terrible! Everything was approaching Kerch. Two hours. They then told us that our battery would attack Kerch. Our battery. There was a factory, a bunker, and a street. However, nobody was there. So, we went. And about twenty to twenty-five bodies were lying in line in the street. All of them were dead. I do not know who put them there. And then we looked around and there were Germans in one direction. We started firing a mortar. It was just the two of us. We took the mortar and: 'Fire, fire!' And by then our tanks were coming. We stopped firing. A person started to alert the company and ordered us to withdraw. 'Go, do not stay there!' We withdrew and they immediately started bombing our positions. If we had stayed there, there would have been nothing left of us .”

  • "We had no weapons, no commander. There was a battalion and a major in it. And he did not know what to do. There were no commanders. There were also few commanders in the town. The commander of the regiment asked: ‘The ones who had served in the army, step out!‘ I had also served. There were four of us. He said we would protect Odessa. ‘Twenty-five men to each of you!‘ They also gave them to me. We had at least basic knowledge of combat. They knew nothing. And we attacked at night. ‘Hurrah!‘ At night, the Germans were running away. And I looked around and there was something shiny. It was their machine gun, so I took it. Their machine guns were just shining. They ran away. We drank and ate nothing. We did not even know where we were going. The commander of the regiment lined us, he had wine from Odessa. A barrel was standing there. ‘A cup for everyone! Drink it! I did not drink it. I had not eaten – a German will come and what next? The Russians drank it and went to sleep. And the Germans suddenly attacked us. It came down to a bayonet fight. They were all asleep and the Germans were attacking. We were lifting each other and we were stabbing each other with the Germans."

  • I was in the army from 1939. I had served for a year and the war started. We were in Bessarabia [modern-day Moldova] in the town of Izmail. A border river was there. It was theirs over there and ours over here. And the war started on 22 June. I was already a machine gunner. And Gríša yelled: ’The Fascists are coming from that direction!’ We took hay and buried the machine gun well. We covered it with hay. And the Germans were approaching. There were two machine gun belts, each with 250 bullets. When the Germans came within 100 metres, we started to fire. We do not know how many of them died there. We fired until we used up both belts. They attacked viciously. My friend said: ‘Look where our battalion is.‘ It was behind us. And we had to go back to it. And we had to find out where our battalion was. It was behind us. We protected our battalion. We set out to see whether anyone was left to shoot at us. I did not see anyone. We did not know where to go. We left the machine gun there and went to the road. One of our people went left and the other right. Two people were approaching from one side. ’Do you speak Russian or another language?’ I asked them. ’Russian’ was the answer. So, we headed that way to our battalion."

  • Celé nahrávky
  • 1

    Náhorní Karabach, Stěpanakert, 16.08.2016

    délka: 03:44:06
    nahrávka pořízena v rámci projektu Stories of 20th Century
Celé nahrávky jsou k dispozici pouze pro přihlášené uživatele.

If we had stayed there, there would have been nothing left of us

Pogosyan Mesrov
Pogosyan Mesrov
zdroj: Private archive

Mesrov Uspaelovič Pogosyan was born on 12 April 1920 in the village of Vank in the area of Martakert Province in Nagorno-Karabakh in the former Soviet Union. During the Second World War in 1941, he fought on the border with Romania and at Odessa in the ranks of the Red Army. He was shot in the leg on Odessa Front and after healing the injury, he was transferred to the North Caucasus, where he attended artillery school. Subsequently, he took part in the Battle of Kerch in 1944, where he suffered a severe wound to the face which eliminated him from other fights. He spent the rest of the war in hospital. He was demobbed shortly after the end of the war. At home, he worked as a chairperson of All-Soviet and he then worked twenty-two years in business.