Friday, August 8, 2014

Back from Adventures

Things have been very quiet on my blogging front for a while. Last holidays I spent three weeks in Russia, Poland and Germany on a history trip with 39 boys from school, and ever since I got back a month ago I've been playing catch up with family stuff and the huge mountain of marking and admin I usually get on top of during the holiday break.

The trip was great, with a main focus on visiting places relevant to our study of the war on the eastern front, Nazi racial policy and also the Cold War. We visited some harrowing places, saw some astonishing things and ate some great food. I was very proud of how the boys reacted to what they saw, even though at times they made me want to have hair so I could rip it out.

I'll put up some posts about some of the places we visited that might be of interest to some of you. First up. if you're ever in St Petersburg, make sure you pay a visit to the Artillery Museum. The exhibits span the whole history of artillery from the middle ages to tactical missiles, with part of the museum also dedicated to the history of the Kalashnikov. I earned some major respect from the boys by being able to strip down a AK-47 better than the museum guide. Heh.

The WWII section spanned covered all the major Soviet guns used during the war, and included many specific guns that had been preserved because they had been used in some famous feats of arms. Sadly I don't read Russian, but if anyone can furnish a translation of what's written on the splinter shield of the Zis-3 I'd be very grateful.


  1. Russian translation - "This weapon was damaged by an enemy tank at Kirovograd on 27/12/43".

    Looks like a fascinating museum. I will make sure to visit when next in Petersburg.

  2. Great shots Alan! Sounds like a good trip.

  3. Glad your back, and blogging again. I was in Poland a few years back and agree the food, museums and people were fabulous but auschwitz tore my heart out. Makes you appreciate what you have.

  4. What a great holiday, for you and the kids. Thanks for the information by the way, a great method basing pot-pouri.

  5. Sounds fantastic. Well done on keeping your sanity on a school trip with 39 boys.

  6. That looks like an awesome trip Dux, and big boots for the AK-47 :-)

  7. What an amazing school excursion. What a great school. Lucky kids.
    Great pics.

  8. Glad to hear that you returned home safe and sound. Seems like an excellent trip to "the continent". The pictures from St Peterburg look like it's worth a visit indeed.

    Did they have an sledge gun there?
    During Napoleon's retreat from Moscow 1812 the Cossaks used light guns (probably 3pdr) which they mounted in sledges and hounded the French with them starting fast attacks and retreating before the French could position their heavy guns. Well as long as they still had some.
    Anyway there are only a few pictures on the web and I would love to know where a remaining gun is exhibited.



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