TRUE-TO-LIFE battlefield story, salted with love, real history, humanity, hope and humor from the unique perspective of an American-born volunteer in the Soviet Red Army.
LOVE and WAR: An American Volunteer in the Soviet Red Army
by M. J. Nicholas
LOVE AND WAR – War and Love – terror and peace – despair and hope – suspicion and trust – truth, courage, and the swelling heart.
THIS IS THE TRUE STORY of a teenaged youth who was thrust by history and circumstance into the role of an American volunteer in the Soviet Red Army during the years of World War Two. That person – now a respected Elder with much to teach us – is the author of these books, his personal story.
NICHOLAS is a masterful story-teller with an easy-going narrative style built over a lifetime of performing for diverse audiences monologues he authored himself. His factual tales are filled with humor, history and memorable personalities. LOVE and WAR is truthful, like all his work. It reads like a novel.
THE STORY is based on detailed notebooks Nicholas kept at the time and the direct evidence of his own keen observations. He was an active participant in freeing the U.S.S.R. of the Nazi invaders, while at the same time (because he was born in the U.S.A.) he was being watched by SMERSh, the army counter-intelligence department of the notorious NKVD.
NICHOLAS SERVED as a tank commander and then as an army intelligence officer, first under Marshal Rokossovsky and later under Marshal Zhukov during the fight to drive the enemy westward, unshackling Soviet Ukraine and Belorussia, liberating occupied Poland, and pushing all the way to Berlin and the utter defeat of the Third Reich.
THROUGHOUT THE WAR, Nicholas continued to write in his little pocket-notebooks his observations and thoughts. For fear of his freedom and his life he kept the notebooks secret from the internal “secsots” (informers) of NKVD-SMERSh who were constantly suspicious, on the look-out for ‘traitors’ and foreign spies. Nicholas was proud of his American birth, but learned to be wary about divulging too much of his background.
DON’T EXPECT a formal military history lesson in these books. This is not just a telling of battles fought – although that is part of it. Rather, it is also one young man’s story of finding true love in unexpected circumstances, of developing comradeship and deep friendships, and of his growing understanding of the historical role of communist thought and practice in the 20th century.
NICHOLAS’S JOURNEY may be stranger than most, but his passions and ideals are timeless and universal. His clear-eyed observations show, in the experience of this one man, how the strength and struggle of the Soviet people and the Red Army on the Eastern Front in World War Two hammered the Nazis back step by bloody step for two and a half years before their Western Allies – Britain, U.S.A., Canada, France and others – were able to launch a second front in Normandy and so, together with the Soviet Red Army, bring the war to a full victory over the fascist regimes.
HOW ALL OF THIS CAME TO PASS and all that Nicholas experienced in that time and place are the bones on which this spellbinding tale is hung.
THE YEARS 1941 TO 1945 are covered in the first and second books of the trilogy. What happened immediately after the fall of the Nazi regime, how Germany was divided and administered by the Allies, how the hot war became the COLD WAR, and how all of that affected Nicholas and his family is the subject of the third volume in this trilogy. Nicholas is writing that story now.