This change in fortune came with the Battle of Moscow, which started in December 1941. Hitler had been determined to take the city as quickly as possible. However, the Red Army, 500,000 of them, stopped the Germans in their tracks outside the capital, helped by the Soviets being better trained and equipped for winter combat. And Hitler’s failure to take Moscow, it can be argued, was the turning point in the war.
At any rate, as the Soviets pushed the enemy back, Baltabay Kaziev’s service with the Red Army in World War II saw him fighting to liberate Ukraine from Nazi occupation. He was a specialist sub-machine gunner whose weapon of choice may well have been the famous PPSh-41. Often nicknamed the “papasha,” or “daddy” in Russian, this deadly gun was capable of firing 1,000 rounds a minute. Many fell victim to its bullets.