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Thursday, 24 January 2013

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ARMY SIGNALS ASSOCIATION - EXECUTIVE MEETING

The Army Signals Association Executive Committee Meeting was held on January 23 at the SLESA Secretariat at 5.30 pm.


EX-CO MEETING OF ARTILLARY ASSOCIATION

The Ceylon Artillery Association Executive Committee Meeting will be held today at 5.30 pm at the SLESA Secretariat.


VETERANS’ HOME COMMITTEE

The Veterans’ Home Committee Meeting will be held today at 4.30 pm at the SLESA Secretariat.


MEDIA COMMITTEE MEETING

The Sri Lanka Ex-Servicemen Association Media Monthly Committee Meeting was held on January 16 at the Mass Media and Information Ministry at Narahenpita with Brigadier J PA Jayawardane in the Chair.

The main subject of the discussion was preparation of the history of SLESA and its affiliated associations.


Memoirs of a War Veteran: The Seelow Heights

Even though much time has elapsed after the war, whenever a Byzov hear or read the word ‘Oder’, his mind returns to the damp and rainy April of 1945.

How could he forget that hour before dawn, when he and his colleagues rushed out of that damned cellar into the trench after the unexpected explosion. They waited for the artillery preparation to start, standing in the trench on squelching planking under a pitch black sky and then it finally started....

When they saw the storm clouds gather and lighting flash, some of them closed their ears with their hands.

That night thousands of lightenings and thunders flashed and rumbled. The ground shook. The firing of the guns, mortars and Katyusha rocket launchers merged into a violent ear-splitting roar. They couldn't even hear themselves speak.

They smoked without reprimand, looked at one another and smiled pleased with the developments.

An hour before dawn on April 6 the artillery mortars and rocket launchers fired thousands of shells at the enemy. It was difficult to imagine the havoc they wreaked upon the enemy trenches and other defenses.

They smiled, did not gloat and they triumphed. It seemed that the artillery precipitated all their anger and wrath on the Hitlerites. But there was hope that everything would end soon.

After, half an hour of this roaring, a searchlight beam pierced the sky and thousands of multicolored flares went up. A moment later the positions of the Nazis were illuminated by dozens of powerful searchlights. Shells were still bursting there, and though the soil seemed to have been soaked with moisture, and bursting raised dense clouds and dust.

Waving his arm Kiselov cried out; ‘here we go!'. They jumped over the parapet of the shallow trench and ran. It was light as day though the dust hung in the air. They continued to run and someone shouted “here they are'.

The artillery was still firing. Their appearance in the German trenches caused confusion. Immediately, they poured sub-machine gun fire on the Hitlerites, hit them with the butts of the firearms and with entrenching, shovels whose blades were as sharp as knives and then forged again. To be continued ...

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