The action swings back to Stalingrad but most of the focus sticks with the political commissars who are spending their time giving lectures and making sure that the Stalinist line is not deviated from, rather than getting behind a gun. The result is that they are distrusted and unless they are assured of their own power and ability end up feeling slightly vulnerable and isolated.
Bullet points between pages 200 – 256
* At the front Getmanov has arrived to sit with his tank squadron and the men get ready to pull out of their camp and head off to face the enemy with some frank talking between the commanding officer Novikov and Getmanov about the mistakes Stalin made shooting so many generals in the 1930s
* Meanwhile the other political officer Krymov has been stopped from fighting and is frustrated at the way he is isolated from the generals never being taken into their confidence or sparking debate about his lectures
* Back with Viktor (sorry just sharpened the eyes and realised it doesn’t have a ‘c’) he is struggling to make headway with his experiments and is slipping into depression, which is exacerbated by what is happening to him at home
* Lyudmila is going through the motions following the loss of her son and does not show any interest in Viktor’s work or to be honest much else going on around her
More hopefully tomorrow but my son has an Inset day (teacher training day) so I am taking a day off work and we are all going to Lego land so I am not sure quite when the reading will get done but there is always hope…