Katjusha

 

Ludwig von Gress

 War songs bring out memories, especially the eastern front songs. Katyusha, Katjusha or Катю́ша was composed in 1938 and became the Red Army soldiers favourite song after June 1941 when Hitler somewhat rudely terminated USSR-Nazi Germany treaty of eternal friendship and cooperation. Naturally, partisans in Europe, supplied and directed by NKVD, sang it also. Italian partisans gave the song their own lyric, and so did the Greek National Liberation Front during civil war 1946-1949, which made it its hymn.

All in all, a very successful career for a maudlin song by Isakovsky. However, I feel that had the Soviet soldiers been able to see this, more lively version, they would had been in Berlin in half the time.

It was also, reputedly, one of Stalin’s favourite song. His pupil Putin revived the Stalin’s spirit and probably by now reinstated his corpse to the mausoleum, where it is turning over, wondering what has Varvara done to the stately, melancholy tune.

About Ludwig von Gress

Born in communist Europe, interested in defence matters on a macro scale, with a cavalry “devil may care spirit” from his grandfather and cautious effectiveness of asymmetric warfare approach from his guerilla father. He sometimes despairs that he may be the only one taking the defence of Australia seriously.
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