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  • Pavlov’s House Bleg

    Posted by Dan from Madison on March 30th, 2008 (All posts by )

    I mentioned a few weeks ago that my military history reading (mostly WW2) has changed quite a bit over the last few years. 

     There are only so many books I can read about Barbarossa, Market Garden, Anzio, etc.  I was starting to actually get bored of the subject.  So I decided to begin to read “niche” books like memoirs, biographies, or books that specialized on one tiny subject.  This not only opened my eyes to a lot of things, but made WW2 in particular more colorful.

     To that end, I am trying to find a book about Pavlov’s House.  Most books I have seen only give it a cursory mention, but you would think that someone, somewhere has written a complete text about this insane subplot in one of the most horrific battles of the 20th century, Stalingrad.  My Amazon-fu is very strong, but hardly a mention there.  My Google-fu is also pretty strong, but maybe someone has stronger Google-fu than myself.

    Any help is appreciated and heck, if nobody can find a book on this, I just may have found myself a topic to write a book on.

     

    13 Responses to “Pavlov’s House Bleg”

    1. Tatyana Says:

      Pity you don’t read Russian, Dan – I’m sure something could be found to satisfy your quest…

    2. david foster Says:

      I recently read Life and Fate, by Vasily Grossman, who was a Soviet war correspondent who became a major novelist. Part of the book takes place in something that sounded like Pavlov’s House, athough I’m not sure the name was used (and I can’t find my copy of the book)…

    3. Tatyana Says:

      Since you expressed an interest in obscure facts of the War, let me add some info.
      While Pavlov’s House is considered a symbol of resistance and well-known around the world, its twin “Zabolotny House” is much less known, although this was another 4-story apartment building 50 meters from the one defended by Pavlov’s platoon. It was taken over by Lieutenant Zabolotny on same day of the Battle of Stalingrad (22 September) and his men defended it till the end of September, just like the Pavlov’s House was, 24hrs a day. The house was a [partial] cover for Pavlov’s house. Both groups used the same trench for communications, their division’s command’s point was across the street where they went through the trench to use the radio.

      House defended by Zabolotny was bombed into pieces, nobody survived.

      Link (in case JJ is reading and wants to see the original)

    4. Dan from Madison Says:

      Interesting about Zabolotny house, tx for the info Tatyana. Yes, it seems I would have to learn Russian to get this sort of info, but I will keep digging.

      David Foster – I will look into the Grossman book as well.

    5. Lexington Green Says:

      Maybe you should send a request for info to the guys at Russian Battlefield, which is the best site about the Soviet war effort that I have found. There is a reference to Pavlov’s House here.

    6. John Jay Says:

      Here’s an interesting aside connected with the Houses of Pavlov and Zablotny.

      Google does not do as good a job on non-English websites, so I suggest using oyur Google-fu on Russian search engines (using English) such as Yandex. This article popped up when I did that. Don’t know if you are familiar with the site.

      From their book list thisAmazon. This one is also available on Amazon.

      Another interesting site on Cossaks.

      Pavlov himself published his memoirs in 1951, and you can get the Russian edition online here, but the books starts here. (Warning: very slow to load). Since it’s electronic, you might try running it through Babelfish to get a very rough translation (hah).

    7. John Jay Says:

      Jonathan – I have an anonymous comment with lost of links in the spam filter. Sorry – hit enter before I ID’d myself.

      Main link is here which is Yakob Pavlov’s memoirs in Russian. It’s very slow to load, but click on the sections in blue at the bottom.

      Babelfish might give you a very rough translation, since you can cut and paste. Babelfish makes actual sense about 30% of the time, but I don’t think Tatyana or I have time to translate it. I might take a crack at some of it a bit later, if I can find some good bits about the defense of the house.

    8. John Jay Says:

      Some of the links in my lost post are to Russian Battlefield. Maybe you can convince them to issue Y.F. Pavlov’s memiors in English.

    9. Lexington Green Says:

      A good Red Army memoir I recently read was My Just War: The Memoir of a Jewish Red Army Soldier in World War II, by Gabriel Temkin. It was favorably reviewed in Parameters, which is how I found out about it. Review is here, scroll down. Lots of interesting details about life during the war, and in the Red Army.

    10. Lexington Green Says:

      I also got Tank Rider: Into the Reich with the Red Army, by Evgeni Bessonov, A Writer at War: A Soviet Journalist with the Red Army, 1941-1945 by Vasily Grossman, and Ivan’s War: Life and Death in the Red Army, 1939-1945 , by Catherine Merridale. All of these purchases were based on glowing reviews. I have not yet gotten to them, but I pass the titles along.

    11. Richard Cook Says:

      Into bios? A good one is The Enigma of General Blaskowitz about Colonel General Johannes Blaskowitz. Hated by Hitler because of his Christianity and his protests against the Waffen SS. Still managed to make it to Colonel General. He either committed suicide or was murdered in prison after the war.

    12. Dan from Madison Says:

      Thanks all for this information, I will get on it. Much appreciated.

    13. Dan from Madison Says:

      Bummer! I want to read that memoir, but don’t know Russian. Sigh, my search continues. Or I should learn Russian. I tried it in Babelfish, but not so good. I will look into some other software translation packages as well.