Mark Bas

Mark Bas

Born December 25th 1922 Smolensk, Soviet Union.

Interviewed In: Toronto, Ontario

Medals Awarded: Order of the Patriotic War (1st and 2nd Class),  Medal For Defense of Moscow and Victory over Germany In The Great Patriotic War

Member of The Moscow Motorcycle Battalion. Later served In Mongolia


“We were sleeping with our clothes on: the boots, the trench coats, and the rifles, so that we wouldn’t forget to take the rifle if alerted when half-awake.”

In 1941, just before The Defense of Moscow, Mark was part of a motorcycle battalion that helped transport officers throughout the city and was specially trained in urban combat. “The chief of the staff of our battalion took me on as his driver. I was driving

him on the motorcycle. At that time the Germans got very close to Moscow. We were trained for city street fighting as the Germans were expected to capture Moscow”.

“We were being sent on missions all the time. We had to drive in any weather: open motorcycles and a poor clothing, frostbitten hands and feet…During one of the missions I got under bombing. There were bombings every night. The bomb fell so close I was thrown away and lost my consciousness”. Mark was evacuated from the city and recuperated in a hospital in the outskirts of the city.

When he recovered, Mark was sent to Manchuria and was involved in transport tasks on the western front. “When the war with Japan started I was in Manchuria: Chanchun, Mugden, and Kharbin. All the documents belonging to the Kwantung Army’s HQ were captured. I was appointed to escort those documents to the HQ of Transbaikalia”. On some occasions, Mark was asked to translate when German prisoners were interrogated.

“During the Stalin era my brother was in prison for 10 year for no reason. My father was in prison for 5 years during the Stalin era, also for no reason. The oppression existed during the peace time rather than during the war”