As the battle for Stalingrad enters its final phase with victory for the Russians insight the personal battles of some of the individual characters Grossman has introduced us to start their battle for survival. A system that encourages and rewards denunciation finds plenty of people happy to keep the secret service ticking over.
Bullet points between pages 625 – 670
* Having been arrested Krymov sits with his colleagues and waits for the inevitable to come with them urging him to confess to make his own life easier a similar fate awaits Viktor who is targeted by a newspaper criticising scientists who work for their own vanity and not the state
* Meanwhile back at the front the tank regiment is ordered into battle but in order to ensure none of his men are killed and the barrage has cleared a path through Novikov keeps Stalin and his generals waiting for eight minutes
* The tanks sweep through and the encirclement is complete after 100 hours of fighting but those eight minutes provide Getmanov with ammunition in his report and you suspect the successful tank commander will be next in for questioning
* Meanwhile Viktor’s sister in law who decides that after flirting with the idea of being in love with Novikov will come to Moscow to support her husband Krymov sets out on the difficult task of trying to see him in prison