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Details about  Krylov SOVIET STAFF OFFICER Russia STALINGRAD Germany STALIN Battle of Poltava

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Krylov SOVIET STAFF OFFICER Russia STALINGRAD Germany STALIN Battle of Poltava
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03 Jul, 2014 13:26:42 BST
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£9.90 Royal Mail International Standard (Small Packets) | See details
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Item location:
Flamborough, Yorkshire, United Kingdom

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Item specifics

Seller notes: A detailed description of this item's current condition is given in the listing below but please do not hesitate to contact me ( if you require any further information.
Subject: Military & War Printing Year: 1950-Now
Format: Hardback w/Jacket Language: English
Sub-Subject: Second World War


Soviet Staff Officer


Ivan Krylov

Translated by Edward Fitzgerald


This is the 1951 First English Edition

The German tank commander gave the alarm, and Stukas arrived.
'Open order!'
There were far more Stukas this time. They had witnessed the destruction of the tanks, and their pilots were probably enraged. They flew very low despite the fire of our machine-guns and the few anti-aircraft guns left to the 34th Regiment, machine-gunning us almost at point-blank range. The ground was covered with our motor-cycles and cars, and the bodies of our comrades lay everywhere. Prokopov was there, near the telephone post. Blood was running from his shoulder and his leg. The femoral artery had been severed by a bullet. Seated in an odd position with his back to the post he continued to fire at the Stukas.
First-aid men were sent to him, but he refused their assistance.
A little way away a burning Stuka crashed, and the pilot, badly burned by the flames, crawled out of the debris towards Prokopov to get away from the heat.
Prokopov saw him crawling nearer and he stopped firing for a moment to draw his sabre. The movements of the wounded horseman seated on the ground were clumsy, almost ridiculous, something like the movements of the comedians in the first comic films.
Corporal Mikhailov saw his intention.
'Leave him alone, Prokopov', he said. 'He'll kick the bucket on his own.'
'Don't stick your nose in', Prokopov replied. 'I know the orders.'
The German was very near now, and Prokopov suddenly dragged himself up almost to a standing position, then his sabre slashed across the other's neck.
Then he fell forward over the dead body of the German and his blood ran into the ground. The body of the German pilot disappeared under the great corpse of the Cossack. He had carried out his orders: 'Don't die without leaving a German corpse beside you.'


Front cover and spine

Further images of this book are shown below





Publisher and place of publication   Dimensions in inches (to the nearest quarter-inch)
London: The Falcon Press (London) Limited, 6 & 7 Crown Passage, Pall Mall London, S.W.1 [Printed in Great Britain by A. Brown Sons, Limited Hull]   5½ inches wide x 8¾ inches tall
Edition   Length
1951 First Edition   [vi] + 298 pages
Condition of covers    Internal condition
Original red cloth blocked in black. The covers are rubbed but remain Very Good. The spine ends are slightly bumped.   There are no internal markings and the text is clean throughout. The edge of the text block is lightly foxed.
Dust-jacket present?   Other comments
Yes: however, the dust-jacket is scuffed, rubbed and creased around the edges, with a small tear on the top front panel and a slightly longer tear at the top front of the spine panel. The dust-jacket is also price-clipped.   Very clean internally in a scuffed and chipped dust-jacket with a couple of small tears on the top edge.
Illustrations, maps, etc   Contents
NONE : No illustrations are called for   Please see below for details
Post & shipping information   Payment options
The packed weight is approximately 700 grams.

Full shipping/postage information is provided in a panel at the end of this listing.

  Payment options :
  • UK bidders: cheque (in GBP), debit card, credit card (Visa, MasterCard but not Amex), PayPal
  • International bidders: credit card (Visa, MasterCard but not Amex), PayPal

Full payment information is provided in a panel at the end of this listing. 



Soviet Staff Officer



I. Strategic Conference in The Kremlin

II. The Conspiracy of The 'Chess Players'
III. Autumn 1940
IV. Italy Attacks Greece

V. A Game of Poker
VI. And A Bridge Party

VII. The Death of Natasha

VIII. The Decisive Months

IX. The Two Banquets of The Politburo

X. Stalin Leaves The Wings

XI. Snow Storm In June

XII. The Outbreak of War
XIII. Council of War in The Kremlin
XIV. My Trial And Conviction

XV. Sergeant Kryloy
XVI. The Battle of Krementchug

XVII. The Battle of Poltava

XVIII. Kazan Hospital

XIX. The Japanese Offer To Mediate

XX. The Tide of History
XXI. Journalist Krylov-Stalingrad
XXII. Stalin Becomes A Soviet Marshal

XXIII. The Dissolution of The Comintern

XXIV. In The Forest of Bolshakovka

XXV. The 'Mayak' Circle
XXVI. Propagandist For Democracy

XXVII. The Atomic Bomb Again
XXVIII. The Denouement Approaches

XXIX. On The Eve of Yalta

XXX. I Leave For Germany
XXXI. From Konigsberg To Berlin



Soviet Staff Officer

Strategic Conference in The Kremlin


The spring of 1940 in Moscow was magnificent. The few straggly bushes along the cracked and ancient walls of the Kremlin flowered as I had never known them to flower before. Growing from a soil hardened by the frost and watered by the snow these Russian bushes have a somewhat acrid and penetrating smell. It always reminds me of the time when I was seconded to our military attaché in Paris, General Krantz-Ventzov. His wife was very fond of a perfume by Caron known as 'Narcisse noir', which had a strangely similar odour.

Walking across the courtyard of the Kremlin on my way to see Marshal Voroshilov it occurred to me that the house of Caron did not exist at the time of the Napoleonic invasion of 1812, otherwise the Corsican, whose fugitive shade still haunted these walls, might have been reminded of that perfume of his own capital before disappearing in the mists of the Beresina and the smoke of Waterloo.

My thoughts turned to Marshal Voroshilov, who had summoned me to the Kremlin to hear my views on the battle which had just opened up on the Dutch, German and Belgian frontiers. Several other officers of the General Staff who had made a special study of Franco-German problems had also been summoned with me; Colonel Vorobiev and Captain Tulpanov, close collaborators of General Smirnov, the head of Department III of the General Staff; and Captain Muraviev and Commandant Pashkov, officers of Department IV, were to join us at the end of the conference. They were engaged at the plenary session of the Presidium of the Supreme Council at which, as technical advisers, they were providing details of the state of France's military preparations.

I found Marshal Voroshilov smiling and cheerful. He was going grey at the temples and his eyes always reminded me of a stoat closing in for the kill. Marshal Shaposhnikov, the Chief of the General Staff, was with him. Generals Smirnov, Pavlov, Kurenko and Mirsky, a number of other officers whom I didn't know, and a civilian whom I recognized as our Permanent Secretary at the Foreign Office, Sobolev, an intimate friend of Voroshilov, were also present. We just had time to swallow a few ham sandwiches and then Voroshilov, who had never stopped smoking, addressed us:

'Comrades, the war is now entering into a decisive phase. As President of the Supreme War Council I have summoned Comrade Sobolev to inform us about the political situation. Comrade Shaposhnikov will speak about the strategic situation.'

I knew Sobolev well. He had been secretary to our Embassy at Paris and our representative at the League of Nations. He had the reputation of being one of our most skilled diplomats. In fact, he was a sort of eminence grise to the President of the Council and our Foreign Secretary Molotov. Caustic and brilliant, erudite, adaptable and discerning, he towered above all those new ambassadors recruited by Molotov heaven knows where through the mediation of his old secretary at the Central Committee of the Party, Poskrebichev. He and Molotov understood each other, and when there were important decisions to be taken or conferences of the General Staff or of the Supreme War Council to be attended, Sobolev almost always represented him.

Sobolev opened his battered leather case and began at once:

The French Premier Paul Reynaud has got into touch with our Charge d'Affaires in Paris through an English journalist attached to his office. He proposes to send a new French Ambassador to Moscow at once, Alexis Leger, to open up negotiations of the utmost importance. We have replied that as Alexis Leger is not very well known to us we should prefer to see Pierre Cot, a reliable friend of the Soviet Union, at such a post.

Paul Reynaud has already agreed in principle to our suggestion . .

Colonel Vorobiev interrupted:

'Paul Reynaud is nothing but a flunkey of London. What is the political sense of such a proposal? Who is the English journalist referred to?'

'The English journalist is a certain Geoffrey Fraser. He was expelled from Berlin by the Gestapo at the beginning of the Hitler regime after having been arrested at the direct orders of Count Helldorf, Nazi Police President of Berlin. The political sense of Reynaud's proposal is simple. Reynaud understands perfectly well, of course, that we are bound by our agreement of August 1939 and that there is no question of denouncing it at the moment. The Soviet-German Agreement stands. At the same time he doesn't want Germany to feel herself completely free in the east so that she could hurl herself on France with the whole weight of her army. If Pierre Cot were sent to us as Ambassador Hitler would be obliged to increase the number of German divisions stationed on our frontier.'

'How many German divisions are there on our frontier at the moment?' Voroshilov asked Shaposhnikov.

'Seventeen, but according to our information five of them are preparing to leave for the west ... I have given orders to begin preparations for our summer manoeuvres and to make a start with the building of 89 air fields. There will be 23 in Esthonia, 34 in Latvia, and 22 in Lithuania. The German General Staff will be obliged to take that into account . . .'

Sobolev began again:

'We have been informed in Paris that, come what may, the negotiations between Pierre Cot and Molotov must succeed in holding between 40 and 50 German divisions in the east if France is not to go down under the shock of the German attack.'

'Is that true?' asked Voroshilov. 'Don't forget that the Belgian and Dutch divisions must be added to the French.'

He turned to me:

'What do you think, Captain?'



The Outbreak of War


six o'clock in the morning of June 22nd, 1941, the German Ambassador, Count von Schulenburg handed Molotov a Note of the German Government declaring war on the Soviet Union.

Both Count von Schulenburg and Molotov were pale with emotion. The Commissar for Foreign Affairs took the Note wordlessly, spat on it and then tore it up. He rang for his secretary Poskrebichev.

'Show this gentleman out through the back-door.'

I saw Poskrebichev at nine o'clock. He had come to Colonel Smaguine to ask for a list of the personnel of our military attaché in Berlin.

'Molotov is so calm you'd almost think he didn't realize what was at stake', he said. 'Stalin isn't in Moscow at the moment, but he'll be returning to-morrow. The Politburo is meeting in special session to discuss the conduct of operations. To-day those members who are already in Moscow will hold a meeting.'

'To discuss the war?'

'No, to discuss the situation at home. Beria is presenting a rather alarming report. He's afraid the reservists will honour the old Russian custom of raiding the vodka before going to the front. The townspeople are calm enough, but when the peasants come to Moscow they are bound to be a bit turbulent.'

'Well, what's Beria proposing to do? Machine-gun them?'

'Not at all. I'm beginning to think that Lavrenti Pavlovitch is a highly intelligent man. He proposes to supply each reservist arriving in Moscow with two litres of alcohol and then confine them to barracks for two or three days and have them guarded by N.K.V.D. troops. After that they'll go to the front like lambs.'

I went to see Muraviev. I found him very calm.

'Everything's going well, Vania. They're fighting.'

'Who is?'

'Our men. I've just had a talk with Brest-Litovsk. There's been no trouble except with the 2nd infantry division, and they're all Khokli1 as you know. They made an attempt to murder their commanders and political commissars and surrender to the Germans. There is some cause for apprehension. You know the peasants get awkward when war starts; in particular the Khokli and the men from Northern Caucasia. They expect the Germans to proclaim the independence of their republics.'

'Yes, it's a grave danger. If the Germans arrive with a puppet Ukrainian Government in the bag it will cause serious difficulties. That's Rosenberg's idea. He always has a few Ukrainians around him.'

'According to my information there's only Sevriouk and three Galicians from the U.V.O. organization of Colonel Lemnik, the successor of Konovaletz. But the relations between them and the Germans are rather strained since the occupation of Poland. Rosenberg no longer has any prestige with Hitler. Goering is flirting with the White Russians, the enemies of the Ukrainians, and Himmler's doing the same. Their experience of puppet governments in the occupied countries has shown that no national government, even if it is inclined to collaborate, can possibly accept their policy of complete subjugation. In the west they are obliged to tolerate the Quislings, but in Russia they'll behave themselves like colonists from the word go. They'll exterminate the people rather than try to deceive them.'

'Are you sure they'll do that?' I asked.

'Positive. Our highly-placed informant has assured us that that will be their policy.'

'Have you still got contact with him?'

'We shall try to keep it up through Sweden.'

The military attaches of the neutral countries besieged my office for news. My instructions were difficult to carry out: 'Tell them nothing at all', but I followed them.

On June 23rd I was woken up by the telephone.

'Commandant Travkine speaking', said a voice. 'I have just been appointed adjutant to the chief of the military news service, Colonel Lazarev. I should like to see you as soon as possible.'

'I'm very busy to-day', I protested.

'It's urgent. There's a proposal to appoint you vice-adjutant to Colonel Lazarev. The question is already before the Commissariat for War. There's nothing much more for you to do in that hole of yours. We need officers who can work with journalists. You would be in charge of liaison with the journalists attached to our front commanders.'

'What!' I exclaimed in astonishment. 'They're letting journalists go to the front?' I was flabbergasted.

'Yes. Soviet journalists obviously. Liaison with foreign journalists will be looked after by Comrade Lozovsky. He has been appointed by the Politburo.'

'All right, I'll come', I said.

Working together with Travkine didn't appeal to me much, but there was nothing to be gained by a refusal. In any case my nomination by the Politburo settled the question.

The military news service was installed in the smaller building of the War Commissariat. Its offices consisted of two rooms only, furnished with old books and a few maps on the walls. The obligatory portrait of Stalin in a khaki blouse ornamented the office of our chief, Colonel Lazarev, an Armenian from Tiflis. Lazarev himself was sitting there ensconced in the leather arm-chair which is the secret ambition of all our officials.

'Glad to see you, Krylov. So you're going to be my adjutant?'


'No, adjutant.-Travkine will be in charge of relations with the War Commissariat. You will see to the journalists.'

'See to them?'



Soviet Staff Officer

From the dust-jacket:


Captain Krylov was a Red Army Staff officer. His book covers the period between May 1940 and May 1945. Although he at one time enjoyed the confidence of Voroshilov and high officials of the Army, the Politburo, and on one occasion of Stalin himself, he was later demoted to the rank of sergeant. He served in the front line at Kremenchug and Poltava and was decorated with the Order of Lenin. Later he had conversations with a number of officers about the Japanese offer of mediation between Russia and Japan, worked as a journalist on the Red Star, and was eventually reinstated as Captain and sent to Berlin.

Krylov's story throws much light on the reactions of leading Russian civilians and soldiers toward the war in general and toward individuals including Stalin, Churchill, Cripps, and Roosevelt.

Since the end of the war there have been many books on the U.S.S.R. by Russians who have left their country. A number of them have been vitriolic attacks, some have been sensational merely to enrich the authors or ingratiate them with powers unfriendly to the Soviet Union. We are publishing this book because we believe that it is really different from any other that has been written on Russia and Russian affairs.



Please note: to avoid opening the book out, with the risk of damaging the spine, some of the pages were slightly raised on the inner edge when being scanned, which has resulted in some blurring to the text and a shadow on the inside edge of the final images. Colour reproduction is shown as accurately as possible but please be aware that some colours are difficult to scan and may result in a slight variation from the colour shown below to the actual colour.

In line with eBay guidelines on picture sizes, some of the illustrations may be shown enlarged for greater detail and clarity.










U.K. Bidders:

To estimate the “packed weight” each book is first weighed and then an additional amount of 150 grams is added to allow for the packaging material (all books are securely wrapped and posted in a cardboard book-mailer). The weight of the book and packaging is then rounded up to the nearest hundred grams to arrive at the postage figure. I make no charge for packaging materials and do not seek to profit from postage and packaging. Postage can be combined for multiple purchases.


Packed weight of this item : approximately 700 grams


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  • Details of the various postage options (for example, First Class, First Class Recorded, Second Class and/or Parcel Post if the item is heavy) can be obtained by selecting the “Postage and payments” option at the head of this listing (above).

  • Payment can be made by: debit card, credit card (Visa or MasterCard, but not Amex), cheque (payable to "G Miller", please), or PayPal.

  • Please contact me with name, address and payment details within seven days of the end of the auction; otherwise I reserve the right to cancel the auction and re-list the item.

  • Finally, this should be an enjoyable experience for both the buyer and seller and I hope you will find me very easy to deal with. If you have a question or query about any aspect (postage, payment, delivery options and so on), please do not hesitate to contact me, using the contact details provided at the end of this listing.



International Bidders:

To estimate the “packed weight” each book is first weighed and then an additional amount of 150 grams is added to allow for the packaging material (all books are securely wrapped and posted in a cardboard book-mailer). The weight of the book and packaging is then rounded up to the nearest hundred grams to arrive at the shipping figure. I make no charge for packaging materials and do not seek to profit from shipping and handling.

Shipping can usually be combined for multiple purchases (to a maximum of 5 kilograms in any one parcel with the exception of Canada, where the limit is 2 kilograms).


Packed weight of this item : approximately 700 grams


International Shipping options:

Details of the postage options to various  countries (via Air Mail) can be obtained by selecting the “Postage and payments” option at the head of this listing (above) and then selecting your country of residence from the drop-down list. For destinations not shown or other requirements, please contact me before bidding. Tracked and "Signed For" services are also available if required, but at an additional charge to that shown on the Postage and payments page, which is for ordinary uninsured Air Mail delivery.


Due to the extreme length of time now taken for deliveries, surface mail is no longer a viable option and I am unable to offer it even in the case of heavy items. I am afraid that I cannot make any exceptions to this rule.

Payment options for international bidders:
  • Payment can be made by: credit card (Visa or MasterCard, but not Amex) or PayPal. I can also accept a cheque in GBP [British Pounds Sterling] but only if drawn on a major British bank.

  • Regretfully, due to extremely high conversion charges, I CANNOT accept foreign currency : all payments must be made in GBP [British Pounds Sterling]. This can be accomplished easily using a credit card, which I am able to accept as I have a separate, well-established business, or PayPal.

  • Please contact me with your name and address and payment details within seven days of the end of the auction; otherwise I reserve the right to cancel the auction and re-list the item.

  • Finally, this should be an enjoyable experience for both the buyer and seller and I hope you will find me very easy to deal with. If you have a question or query about any aspect (shipping, payment, delivery options and so on), please do not hesitate to contact me, using the contact details provided at the end of this listing.

Prospective international bidders should ensure that they are able to provide credit card details or pay by PayPal within 7 days from the end of the auction (or inform me that they will be sending a cheque in GBP drawn on a major British bank). Thank you.



(please note that the book shown is for illustrative purposes only and forms no part of this auction)

Book dimensions are given in inches, to the nearest quarter-inch, in the format width x height.

Please note that, to differentiate them from soft-covers and paperbacks, modern hardbacks are still invariably described as being ‘cloth’ when they are, in fact, predominantly bound in paper-covered boards pressed to resemble cloth.



Fine Books for Fine Minds

I value your custom (and my feedback rating) but I am also a bibliophile : I want books to arrive in the same condition in which they were dispatched. For this reason, all books are securely wrapped in tissue and a protective covering and are then posted in a cardboard container. If any book is significantly not as described, I will offer a full refund. Unless the size of the book precludes this, hardback books with a dust-jacket are usually provided with a clear film protective cover, while hardback books without a dust-jacket are usually provided with a rigid clear cover.

The Royal Mail, in my experience, offers an excellent service, but things can occasionally go wrong. However, I believe it is my responsibility to guarantee delivery. If any book is lost or damaged in transit, I will offer a full refund.

Thank you for looking.



Please also view my other auctions for a range of interesting books
and feel free to contact me if you require any additional information

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