Later that evening we attended a slap up reception, Stalingrad style, with a host of veteran Soviet officers.  They all looked as we remember them laden with medals and looking rather stern. But after a few toasts of vodka they warmed up.  I discovered that the gentleman who was a Tank officer on the left had been in 3rd Shock Army and was therefore opposite 1st British Corps in the bad old days.  The one on the right was also a Tank officer and aged 90.  Both had been at Stalingrad and made little of it. They didnt like to talk about it vfery much.  They had a job and just got on with it.


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