Walking Out of War
by Scott Bury Genre: Historical Adventure, War
Ukraine, 1944: After the Soviets burned the Ukrainian city of Ternopyl to the ground to crush the stubborn Nazi occupiers, they rounded up every remaining Ukrainian man around for the Red Army’s final push on Germany. Maurice Bury, Canadian citizen, Ukrainian resistance fighter and intelligence officer, is thrust once again into the death struggle between Hitler’s Germany and Stalin’s USSR.
Fighting across the Baltics in the autumn of 1944 is tough and bloody. Then the Red Army enters Germany, where they’re no longer liberators—they’re the long-feared Communist horde, bent on destruction, rape and revenge. The Communists are determined to wipe Nazism from the face of the earth. And the soldiers want revenge for Germany's brutal invasion and occupation.
Maurice has determined his only way out of this hell is to survive until Nazi Germany dies, and then move home to Canada. But to do that, he’ll have to not only walk out of war, but elude Stalin’s dreaded secret police.
The sergeant interrupted his stream of thought. “We’re going to get to those bushes over there,” he waved at a small stand of dead trees fifty metres ahead of the tank. “We’ll use the trees as cover to that shed over there, and from there we’ll be able to fire on the trench Fritz is using in front of the farm.”
“We’ll never make it,” Maurice said.
Nikolaev turned on him like an angry dog. “Don’t question my orders, you kokhol coward,” he snarled.
“It’s not cowardice, Sergeant.” Maurice pointed to the left. “There’s another trench fifty or sixty metres that way, to cut off any retreat. They’ll shoot us all from the flank if we run across fifty metres of open ground.”
Nikolaev crouched and peered around the rear corner of the tank to where Maurice was pointing. Sixty metres away, between the farm and the windbreak, was another trench he hadn’t seen. He could count at least eight flared German helmets above the lip, which seemed to be watching the action between the dueling T-34s and Panzers.
“Right. Okay, boys, that’s our target. Fix bayonets and we’ll rush it on my count.”
Maurice felt cold in his bowels. Bayonets meant up-close fighting. But there was no time to think, no time to react other than to follow the other boys in fixing the long bayonet to the barrel of his rifle.
The Red Army was advancing and the Germans fleeing, but the men in the trench were covering their retreat with flanking fire. They concentrated on the men riding on the tanks, now ahead of Maurice’s group and to their left.
Sergeant Nikolaev crouched at the back corner of the tank, intent on the trench. He held up one hand. “One, two …” When the Germans seemed to be focused away from them, he sprang to his feet without finishing the count. He ran toward the trench.
The men jumped after him, running flat out. Maurice could only hope one of his own men wouldn’t stab him accidentally, and they closed the fifty metres to the trench before one of the German soldiers turned toward them.
Scott Bury can't stay in one category.
After a 20-year career in journalism, he turned to writing fiction. "Sam, the Strawb Part," a children's story, came out in 2011, with all the proceeds going to an autism charity. Next was a paranormal short story for grown-ups, "Dark Clouds."
The Bones of the Earth, a historical fantasy, came out in 2012. It was followed in 2013 with One Shade of Red, an erotic romance.
Army of Worn Soles, published in 2014, tells the true story of Maurice Bury, a Canadian drafted into the USSR's Red Army to face the German invasion of the Soviet Union.
Invited to participate in two Kindle Worlds, he published Torn Roots: A Lei Crime Kindle World Novella and Jet - Stealth: A Jet Kindle World Novella. Both came out in July 2015.
In between writing books and blog posts, Scott helped found an author's cooperative publishing venture, Independent Authors International. He is also President of author's professional association BestSelling Reads.