How a smart tank company commander won without firing a shot

The discussion about how our ancestors fought, good or bad, in the Second World War is endless. It is clear that if you have a sensible commander, your chances of survival are good, but everyone is kaput with a fool. For a long time already, my uncle's drinking companion told how his company, reinforced by "strangers" (about 200 people), was thrown to plug some hole in our defense in the Krivoy Rog region. The task was to keep "to the last drop of blood" the only road that the German tanks could use. Tanks stop and die - grace!

The company was driven into place, almost a whole "lorry" of anti-tank grenades were shipped, they said that a lot of tanks would probably come tomorrow and left. They had less than a day to live. NO other anti-tank weapons were provided.

The commander examined the area and ordered:

- It's a shame, people come to visit us from Germany, but our road is so broken.

"Probably gone crazy from fear" - thought many.

The commander continued:

- Everyone shake everything out of the duffel bags and follow me.

The company went to the nearest hill of slag from the road, from some metallurgical factory nearby. The commander forced them to collect slag in bags and carry them to the embankment. On the road itself, slag poured unevenly, more where the road goes up the hill.

- So that they were non-slip - the commander muttered. The slag filling continued for a very long time, all the bags were torn into rags, the shoulder blades were ground down to the cuttings. We covered almost two kilometers of the road. The people are angry and tired, now they have to dig in at midnight.

In the morning a signal was given from the slag mountains: "I see tanks." Clutching their almost useless grenades, the soldiers knew that life was over. Finally, the tanks began to enter the "well-maintained" road.

The third tank in the column was the first to lose its track, and a minute later this epidemic engulfed the remaining vehicles, eight in number. A standing tank, if not pissed off, is not a dangerous thing. Not quite understanding that you are das, the Germans also ditched the tank-evacuator. The German infantry is not bad, it will not go forward without tanks - there is a jam. Ours on them "For Stalin" run up, too, there is no reason.

The commander, who has formally completed the combat mission - to stop the tanks, sends a messenger to find at least some command and say "The task is completed. There are no losses."

The messenger brought good news: You can leave at night, there is a defense behind. There will be an opportunity, then we will cover with artillery. The secret of the commander is in his education as a technician for cold working of metals. Nickel slag is a waste of metallurgy, a terrible abrasive, only slightly inferior to corundum and aluminum oxide. None of the track fingers can withstand the bullying of such rubbish, and what is nice - the track becomes unusable entirely, taking with it most of the entire drive.

This story is taken from a collection of stories by A.A. Ponomoreva's "Military stories" does not pretend to be authentic, but it could well have taken place, since something, and the ingenuity of the Russian peasant does not hold.