“Army of Worn Soles”, by Scott Bury is a memoir written in a fictional style of Bury’s own father-in-law’s experience in the Russian army. Maurice Bury, a Canadian citizen, was living in the part of Ukraine controlled by Poland when Germany invaded in 1939. The USSR took control of the area that Maurice was living and in 1941 he was conscripted into the Russian army.
While Maurice was in the midst of his officer training Germany invaded in Operation Barbarossa. After nearly being killed getting off the train, he is put in charge of an anti-tank unit. As the Red Army is driven into retreat, Maurice’s main goal is to keep his 12 men alive. Eventually they are captured and become German POW’s. As they slowly starve to death that quest becomes even more urgent.
Bury has written a very engaging and compelling story. The insight into what life was like in that part of the Ukraine at the beginning of the war and when the war came knocking on the door was very interesting. The battle scenes were gritty and well-written. Maurice comes alive in the pages and I couldn’t help but care about him and his struggle.
An excellent read! I for one am looking forward to Book 2!