For the Motherland! is an absorbingly frank portrait of a Red Army officer’s hellish yet heroic experience on the Eastern Front, and of the wide gap between ideology and reality in Stalinist Russia.
Determined and resourceful, Boris Bogachev enlisted as soon as he turned seventeen. Life in the Red Army was harsh, with food shortages, inadequate equipment and fear—of the well-armed and formidably well trained Wehrmacht, but also of the trigger-happy NKVD political commissars at his back. Bogachev fought in many campaigns. He was wounded three times, and faced execution three times.
Bogachev retired in 1985, a much-decorated colonel, but was also involved as a military lawyer in rehabilitating the victims of the Great Terror. His vivid memoir of life as a young officer in the Great Patriotic War is both a riveting tale of hardship and courage and an invaluable historical account.