The story “The Dawns Here Are Quiet” by Boris Vasilyev is one of the most heartfelt and tragic works about the Great Patriotic War. First published in 1969.
The narrative of five girls-gunmen and a sergeant-major, who entered the battle with sixteen German saboteurs. Heroes speak with us from the pages of the story about the unnaturalness of war, about the person in war, about the strength of the spirit of man.
Vaskov Fedot Evgrafich – 32 years old, foreman, commandant of the crossing, where he was seconded to the service of the anti-aircraft gunner.
Brichkina Elizaveta is 19 years old, the daughter of a forester, who lived before the war on one of the cordons in the forests of Bryansk in the “premonition of dazzling happiness.”
Gurvich Sonia is a girl from the intelligent “very large and very friendly family” of the Minsk doctor. After a year at Moscow University, I went to the front. She loves theater and poetry.
Komelkova Eugenia – 19 years old. Zhenya has his own account for the Germans: her family was shot. Despite the grief, “her character was cheerful and smiling.”
Ossianina Margarita – the first of the class to get married, a year later gave birth to a son. Her husband, a border guard, died on the second day of the war. Leaving the child to her mother, Rita went to the front.
Chetvertak Galina – a pupil of an orphanage, a dreamer. She lived in a world of her own fantasies, and went to the front with the conviction that war is romance.
Kiryanova – sergeant, pomkvzvoda girls anti-aircraft gunners.
In May 1942, a few courtyards survived at the 171 railway crossing, which turned out to be inside the military operations around them. The Germans stopped bombing. In the event of a raid, the command left two anti-aircraft guns. Life at the crossing was quiet and calm, the anti-aircraft gunners could not stand the temptation of female attention and moonshine, and according to the report of the commandant of the departure of foreman Vaskov, one “swollen from fun” and drunkenness the half-cocked the next… Vaska asked to send the non-drinkers.
Profits “non-drinkers” anti-aircraft gunners. The soldiers were very young, and they were… girls.
At the crossing it was quiet. The girls laughed at the foreman, Vaska felt uncomfortable in the presence of “learned” fighters: his education was only 4 classes. The main concern was the internal “mess” of the heroines – they did everything not according to the rules.
Having lost her husband, Rita Osyanina, the commander of the anti-aircraft gunner’s division, became harsh and withdrawn. Once they killed a scaffold, and instead of it they sent a beautiful woman, Zhenya Komelkov, whose eyes the Germans shot their loved ones. Despite the tragedy. Zhenya is open and mischievous. Rita and Zhenya made friends, and Rita “thawed.”
Their girlfriend becomes “zamorysh” Galya Chetvertak.
Hearing about the possibility of transfer from the front to the crossroads, Rita is quickened – it turns out that she has a son near her in the city. At night, Rita runs to visit her son.
Returning from unauthorized absence through the forest, Osyanina discovers two strangers in camouflage gowns, with weapons and bags in their hands. She hastens to tell the commandant of the trip about this. Having listened attentively to Rita, the foreman understands that she has encountered German saboteurs moving towards the railway, and decides to go to intercept the enemy. At the disposal of Vaskov 5 girls-gunners are singled out. Worrying for them, the foreman tries to prepare his “guard” to meet with the Germans and cheer, joke, “to laugh, so that cheerfulness appeared.”
Rita Osyanina, Zhenya Komelkova, Lisa Brickin, Galya Chetvertak and Sonya Gurvich with the senior Vaskov group go short way to Vop-lake, where they expect to meet and detain saboteurs.
Fedot Evgrafich safely guides his men through the swamps, passing the swamps, to the lake. It’s quiet here, “like in a dream.” “And before the war, these lands were not very crowded, and now they were completely wild, like loggers, hunters, and fishermen went to the front.”
Expecting quickly to cope with two saboteurs, Vaska still “for safety” chose the path of retreat. In anticipation of the Germans, the girls had lunch, the foreman ordered them to detain the Germans at their appearance, and all took up positions.
Galya Chetvertak, wet in the swamp, fell ill.
The Germans only appeared in the morning: “from the depths, gray-green figures with automatic weapons were coming out,” and it turned out to be not two but sixteen.
Realizing that “the five gay girls and five clips for a rifle” can not cope with the fascists, Vaskov sends the “forest” resident Liza Brickin to the rally, to inform that reinforcements are needed.
Trying to frighten off the Germans and force them to go around, Vaskov and the girls pretend that there are loggers working in the forest. They loudly echo, fire bonfires, the foreman cuts trees, and desperate Zhenya even bathes in the river in the sight of saboteurs.
The Germans left, and everyone laughed “to tears, to exhaustion,” thinking that the worst thing had passed…
Lisa “flew through the forest like a wings”, thinking about Vasco, and missed a noticeable pine, near which it was necessary to turn. With difficulty moving in the marsh, she stumbled – and lost the path. Feeling like a quagmire consuming her, the last time she saw the sunlight.
Vaska, who understands that the enemy has disappeared, but can attack the detachment at any moment, goes with Rita to reconnaissance. Having found out that the Germans had settled at halt, the foreman decided to change the location of the group and sent Osyanin to the girls. Vaska is upset to find that...
Vaska does not have time to stop the girl. After a while he heard “a distant, weak, like a sigh, a voice, almost silent sound.” Guessing what this sound could mean, Fedot Evgrafich calls with Zhenya Komelkov and goes to her former position. Together they find Sonia killed by enemies.
Vaska furiously pursued saboteurs in order to avenge the death of Sonya. Unconsciously getting close to the “fritz” without fear, the foreman kills the first, the second force is not enough. Zhenya rescues Vaska from death, killing the German with a butt. Fedot Evgrafich “sadness was full, at the very throat is full” because of Sonya’s death. But, understanding the state of Zhenya, who painfully endures the murder she committed, explains that the enemies themselves have transgressed human laws and therefore she must understand: “Not people, not men, not beasts, even fascists.”
The detachment buried Sonya and moved on. Looking out from behind the next boulder, Vaska saw the Germans – they went directly to them. Starting the oncoming battle, the girls with the commander forced the saboteurs to retreat, only Galya Chetvertak with fear repulsed the rifle and fell to the ground.
After the battle, the foreman canceled the meeting, where the girls wanted to judge Galya for cowardice, he explained her behavior by inexperience and confusion.
Vaska goes to the intelligence service and takes Galya with him for the sake of education.
Galya Chetvertak walked after Vaskov. She, who always lived in her imaginary world, at the sight of the murdered Sonya was broken by the horror of a real war.
Scouts saw the corpses: the wounded have finished their own. The saboteurs remained 12.
Hiding with Galya in an ambush, Vaska is ready to shoot the Germans who appeared. Suddenly, Galya Chetvertak, who did not understand anything, ran past the enemy, and was hit by a machine gun burst.
The sergeant-major decided to take the saboteurs as far away as possible from Rita and Zhenya. Until night he rushed between the trees, making a noise, briefly shooting at the flashing figures of the enemy, shouting, drawing the Germans closer to the swamps. Wounded in his hand, he hid in the swamp.
At dawn, having emerged from the swamp to the ground, I saw a sergeant-black on the surface of the swamp army skirt Brichkina, tied to a pole, and realized that Lisa was dead in the quagmire.
There was no hope for help…
With heavy thoughts that “he lost yesterday his whole war,” but with the hope that Rita and Zhenya are alive, Vasko goes in search of saboteurs. Arrives at an abandoned hut, which turned out to be a refuge for the Germans. He watches how they hide the explosives and go off to reconnoiter. One of the remaining in the hermitage of enemies, Vaska kills and takes weapons.
On the bank of the river, where yesterday the “play Fritz arranged”, the foreman and girls meet – with joy, like sisters and brother. The foreman says that Galya and Lisa were killed by the death of the brave, and that they all have to take the last, most likely, battle.
The Germans went ashore, and the battle began. “Vaska knew one thing in this battle: do not give in. Do not give the German a scrap on this shore, no matter how hard, hopelessly, to keep.” It seemed to Fedot Vaskov that he was the last son of his Motherland and her last defender. The detachment did not let the Germans change sides.
Rita gravely wounded in the stomach with a fragment of a grenade.
While shooting, Komelkova tried to take the Germans with her. Cheerful, smiling and cheerful Zhenya did not even immediately realize that she was wounded – it was stupid and impossible to die at the age of nineteen! She shot while there were ammunition and strength. “The Germans finished it off point-blank, and then looked at her proud and beautiful face for a long time…”
Realizing that she is dying, Rita tells Vaskov about Albert’s son and asks about him to take care. The sergeant-major shared with Osyanina his first doubt: was it worth preserving the canal and the road at the cost of the death of the girls, who had the rest of their lives ahead of them? But Rita believes that “Motherland does not start from the canals, not from there, but we defended it, first it, and then the channel.”
Vaska went to meet his enemies. Hearing the faint sound of a shot, he returned. Rita shot herself, not wanting to suffer and be a burden.
Burying Zhenya and Rita, almost exhausted, Vaska walked forward, to the abandoned skete. After breaking into the saboteurs, he killed one of them, the four captured him. In delirium, wounded Vaskov saboteurs to his, and only realizing that he has come, loses consciousness.
From the letter of a tourist resting on quiet lakes, where “complete mammothness and solitude”, we learn that the gray-haired old man who arrived there and missile captain Albert Fedotych brought a marble slab. Together with the tourists, the tourist searches for the grave of the once-killed anti-aircraft gunners. He notices what are the quiet dawns here…
For many years the tragic fate of heroines does not leave readers of any age indifferent, forcing to realize the value of peaceful life, the grandeur and beauty of true patriotism.
The retelling of “A dawn here is quiet” gives an idea of the plot line of the work, introduces its heroes. To penetrate into the essence, feel the beauty of the lyric narrative and the psychological subtlety of the author’s story will probably be when reading the full text of the story.