David Fisherman

David Fisherman

Born April 6th 1915 Tiraspol, Moldov. CENTENARIAN

Interviewed In: Montreal, Quebec

Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Order of the Red Star, and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War

Mechanic/Driver Light Tank Brigade – Defence Of Caucuses And Vitebsk Liberations Of Lithuania And Riga

 

“Not a single assisting commander of a tank company, not a single one, over 4 years, not a single one was left” David began his compulsory army service in 1937. He was demobilized in 1940 after serving as tank mechanic and driver. Later that year he was called to the military commissariat and asked to reenlist. David was near Odessa when the Germans invaded:

“At that time I was a sergeant. There was an alarm in the night and the war began. We marched as long as Nizhniy Tagil we reached Voznesensk. We headed to the railways. The railway didn’t work because of German air raids. In March or April our company was

manned, we were given the T-34 tanks. It was me who drove them to the location we were stationed. In April we arrived in Tbilisi, the location where the new middle tank brigade was formed. The unit number was #52”.

David’s first serious combat was in Caucuses:

“North Caucasus was very attractive for the Germans because of the fuel. They needed fuel as much as we did. They tried various plans to get to Groznyy where a major oil refining plant was situated. Unfortunately for them and fortunately for us they never got to it. As far as we knew, 14 intact tanks remained in the field, on our side, the rest were destroyed and there were dead bodies lying around. Our brigade was awarded the title of Guards for heroism during the defense of Caucasus.”

The brigade received more accolades for successfully defending Vitebsk. After Belarus, they fought at the liberations of Lithuania and Latvia. There were only small pockets of Nazi resistance by the time David arrived in Riga:

“We liberated Riga from a handful of obstinately resisting Germans. However we broke them to go on advancing. Our tank brigade stayed near Riga. At that time, the war was nearly over.”

After the war David went to vocational school and worked as a mechanic in Odessa. He was drafted for a third time in 1949, this time serving as a vocational training foreman before immigrating to Canada.