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Old 06-17-2014, 10:38 AM   #31
milkman67204 OP
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Location: Moscow, RUssia
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June 8

After walking around a bit in the evening by my hotel to see if anything was going on I finally threw in the towel and went to bed. Woke up fairly early Sunday morning jumped on the bike and headed towards the center.

Found a place to park the bike that was fairly well centralized and started walking around.

I went to the diorama museum first. They had this train outside the museum that was interesting.



On the front of the Museum facing the Volga they had tanks and artillery and a plane.



One of the most interesting pieces they had was this tank that had been blown up.



the jewel of the Museum this building. The ruins of Grudinin mill is in the centre of the complex. The mill was built in 1903. It is the only building left after bombing of Stalingrad. The ruins of the mill were left untouched as a monument to courage and heroism of the Soviet Union.

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Old 06-17-2014, 10:53 AM   #32
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June 8 Continued

The museum wasnt open yet so I walked around. I thought I would beat the heat, which I did, but I damn sure didnt beat the bugs again!!! Ohh they were horrible I apologize if photos are blurry thats from me swatting at bugs while trying to take photos.

A statue along the street dedicated to the Komsomol defenders of Stalingrad. Three young people (a girl and two boys) suffer the death of their friend. The main idea of symbol can be the words: “Even death can`t overcome them”.


The Central Embankment this was a major place of battles here. Where much of the supplies and any of the evacuations that happened for the Soviet Union took place here. The loss of this bank would have likely ment a loss of the city.



One of the most famous fountains in the world. I didnt know this but it was torn down after the war and only rebuilt recently.




After walking around for a couple of hours I went back to the Diorama Museum to go inside and check it out.
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Old 06-17-2014, 10:53 PM   #33
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A little info on the battle of Stalingrad.

it was one of the bloodiest battles in history, with combined military and civilian casualties of nearly 2 million. The fighting went street to street and floor to floor of buildings. Most people argue that this was the turning point in the war. After this battle, for the most part, the Germans were in retreat towards Germany.
Of the 110,000 Germans captured about 5,000 returned to Germany in 1955. Many of the Germans captured were made to help in the cleanup and rebuilding effort of Stalingrad.

Finally the museum was opened and I went inside. There was some stuff in english whish was nice.


This was made to sit inside of the tank factory and electrical plant. They kept trying to produce tanks through out the battle. They made this steel container so during bombings the workers could hide inside


M72


BMW R35


Vasily Zaytsev's sniper rifle. He was made famous in the movie Enemy at the Gates.
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Old 06-17-2014, 11:42 PM   #34
MrGoodwreck
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wonder if that ~really~ was his rifle...
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Old 06-18-2014, 09:35 AM   #35
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June 8 Continued

Mamayev Kurgan
Is a hill near the center of Volgograd. During the war this spot was fought over furiously. The Soviets had it well defended and The Germans wanted it as it provided a nice overlook of the city. After the war the hill had been scorched so badly from the fighting that grass would grow back until a year later. As clean up began it was figured every square meter of earth contained 1000 fragments of metal. The hill had been flattened some after the intense shelling that took place there. After the war they turned the hill into a monument.

The Motherland Calls Statue

The figure is 52 meters (170 feet), and the sword 33 meters (108 feet) and weighs 7900 tons. 200 steps, symbolizing the 200 days of the Battle of Stalingrad, led from the bottom of the hill to the monument.

This was leading up to the monument a set of stairs flanked on each side by these sculpted walls


The Eternal Flame dedicated to the soldiers who died. Also located just below the statue.


They had the changing of the guards while I was there. That was cool the flame is at the bottom of the building with a ramp encircling the building leading to an exit at the top. I was able to stand on the ramp and the soldiers marched right by me. Once they were done there was an extra soldier that went to each of the guards that were marching took their caps off and wiped the sweat off of the soldiers head it was kinda sweet of him.


This sculpture was at the base of the stairs going to the statue


Finally the statue

Me at the top of the hill


Looking down the walkway leading up to the hill


While there I met a couple guys, Lyndon and Lukas I think were their names, they were on KTM's headed to Magadan. They were nice guys in a hurry to make up for some lost time in from earlier in their trip. Of course I didnt get a picture of them though.
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Old 06-18-2014, 08:27 PM   #36
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After The Motherland Calls statue I decided to head about 10 miles outside of town and check out another monument.

While I was heading there I kept hearing a funny noise from the bike. only when I got up to about 3,000 rpm there was a jingling sound like a loose bolt or something.

Anyways got to the monument checked it out.



Then started checking out the bike. Couldnt figure out for the life of me what was making that noise. Then by accident while I wa slooking around I bumped into the exhaust and it moved..... Got to looking more and the 2 bolts that support the back end of the exhaust and bolt it to the frame had vibrated out! So now the exhaust was just being held on by th flanges at the jugs!
I didnt have my full tool kit but had a few basic things in my emergency kit. Got out some tie wire and wired the exhaust up so it didnt move so much and started back to the hotel.

Come across this church on the way back. It was used as a German field hospitol in the war.


Got to the hotel and couldnt find any part stores open at 7:30pm on a Sunday. So decided to move the 2 bolts from the back of the exhaust, that hold the end of the exhaust together to keep them from moving, to the front to bolt it to the frame. Then I found one bolt and nut that would work on the back bracket and used wire in place of the other bolt





I was comfortable with that at least the exhaust was supported and not wrenching on the jugs every time I went over a bump.
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Old 06-19-2014, 12:54 AM   #37
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June 9

Woke up early and headed out. First stop the south end of Volgograd and the entrance to the Volga-Don canal.

On the one side is the tallest statue of Lenin in the world.


Across the river from it is the platform where the statue of Stalin used to sit before being taken down during de-Stalinifacation.


After that I headed west on M-21
Near Kalach Na Donu I stopped to take a photo of the horizon, reminded me a bit of Kansas only more hills..........


I came across this little monument not much further on top of a hill

At each marker there was a helmet for each person buried there.

Then this random satue further down the road.


This memorial is dedicated to the 24th Tank Corps, which liberated the Tatsinskiy region in December 1942. An important Luftwaffe airfield was captured during the raid.


A little later I turned north on M4. M21 was way nicer than I expected it to be so I made decent time. M4 was even nicer but the sky started to turn black and rain. SO I pulled off looking for a place to sleep. Found some woods adn headed about a mile or so back into them down an old fire road.
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Old 06-19-2014, 03:53 AM   #38
mikegc
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Western Russia

Great ride report!

Mike
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Old 06-19-2014, 04:51 AM   #39
OtterChaos
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This is very enjoyable, keep going please! To think of the stories those woods and plains could tell of the war.
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:21 AM   #40
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June 10

The next day I woke up and started out. I had about 50km to do on M4 before turning off and heading towards Rossosh. The destination for the day was Belgorod.

I was expecting some of these roads to be not so pretty. They were represented as little local roads on my map which usually means paved once 50 years ago and nothing since then so Volkswagon size potholes.

I was pleasently suprised!

I couldnt believe the landscape. I read about the war and the Germans marching across the steppe with ease. There were still some pretty big rivers to cross most of them down in deep ravines. I couldnt imagine getting an army of tanks across it, at least with any speed.

This monument was in a little village.


A monument in Rossosh.


Another one in Rzhevets just outside of Belgorod. When I pulled over to see this one two guys about 16 or so came up and were talking to me. I couldnt believe they reconized my bike correctly. I talked to them a little bit tried to get some info on what to do around here then headed off.
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Old 06-20-2014, 04:28 AM   #41
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Blegorod

Belgorod was a really cool town! Clean not to big but not to small really one of my favorite towns I have visited in Russia.

Everywhere from here!


The theater


One of the good things that ended up coming out of WWII was the building of parks. Almost every town in Russia, it seems, has a Victory Park.


I wanted to go through their Museum but it was closed for some reason or another when I was there. I was able to get pictures of some of the things outdoors though.



Then there was this Tractor! I had to take a picture I remember as a child seeing similar old tractors parked around in fields as a kid in Kansas.


Another cool monument to the police, I believe, The set up this statue of a police officer and his Ural! I almost got ran over like 3 times trying to get this picture lol.
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Old 06-20-2014, 10:54 PM   #42
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Привет!
Nice ride, man. Great photos)
I have been at some places You visited. But You gave me some new places of interest.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:28 AM   #43
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June 11

The next day my goal was Kursk with a quick stop at Prokhovorka, where the bulk of the Battle of Kursk happened.

As I was heading out of Belgorod going north about 6 miles of Russian soldiers in troop transport past me headed south, toward Ukraine...... keep an eye on the news here in the near future.

This was at the turn of towards Prokhovorka


Finally arrived at a field full of tanks.


This is Prokhovorka where some of the largest tank battles in history took place during Operation Citadel. It is still debated but somewhere close to 300 tanks fielded by the Germans and close to 800 by the Soviet Union.

The tanks above are located in a field were much of the fighting took place. There is also this bell tower


T34


SU 100


IS 3


ISU152


It started raining while I was here but it was still quiet impressive. All these tanks and artillery everywhere lined up. I wish they could have had some German tanks standing opposite this but it was only Soviet that I saw.
The fighting must have been horrendous! Here is a quote from a German guy about his experience there "In front of me appeared fifteen, then twenty, then thirty, then forty tanks. Finally there were too many of them to count. The T-34s were rolling toward us at speed, and carrying mounted infantry." I guess it was to the point that tanks and half tracks were ramming each other the combat was so close.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:30 AM   #44
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Quote:
Originally Posted by skandero View Post
Привет!
Nice ride, man. Great photos)
I have been at some places You visited. But You gave me some new places of interest.
Hello Thanks for the kind words

I will be in St Petersburg in a couple weeks, headed to Tampere for a few days to visit friends.
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Old 06-21-2014, 09:39 AM   #45
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June 11

Then I went into the town to go to the museum for the battle.

In front of the museum they have this statue of Soviet tanks driving over and crushing some German tanks.


It was really interesting in front of the museum they had stuff that farmers had dug up and brought in and dumped off. This was just laying around in their front yard.






Then I went into the Museum. It is a very good museum with almost everything in Russian and English, which seems rare around Russia.

Another M72


They had a exhibit for the nurses and doctors of the war. They said for every Soldier they brought back wounded or killed in battle if the nurses brought his weapon with him they would get a medal after so many weapons recovered. I dont know of you can zoom in on this enough to read it.




All and all the museum was really well done and easy to navigate and read, since it had English. The only down side to it was when I was there they had about 6 tours going through all at the same time. So it was hard to sand at an exhibit and read it all with all the people pushing past trying to follow their guide. I would definitely recommend the museum to anyone in the area though.
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