Our classmate 7th grade Suvorov Sasha Manko is a kind, reasonable guy, modest, studies well, does sambo, reads a lot and loves to philosophize on various topics. Father is a military man, you won't surprise anyone with this. Sasha wants to become an officer. Most of us came to the school with such a desire. In general, an ordinary Suvorov soldier, but from an unusual family. Four generations of fatherly men from the Manko family defended our country with arms in hand. The war fell to the lot of each of them.
Sasha learned about the Suvorov School from his father at the age of seven. Pope Konstantin Aleksandrovich said that he himself once graduated with a silver medal from the Kiev Suvorov Military School and is still proud of the Suvorov brotherhoods. The boy became interested and began to look for information on the Internet. There was no doubt that after the fourth grade he would go to a military school, it remained to choose between the Ussuriysk Suvorovskiy and Nakhimovskiy in Vladivostok. He decided that in the future he wanted to link the service with the ground forces.
Sasha's great-grandmother Galina Petrovna trembles the history of ancestors in the Manko family. Today she is 94 years old, as a child she experienced collectivization, in her youth the German occupation. Galina Petrovna is an intelligent, observant and erudite woman, moreover, an interesting storyteller. From her, Sasha learns the story of her great-grandfathers. But with his grandfather, the Suvorovite has the opportunity to communicate personally, despite the fact that he lives in Moscow. Sasha is very proud of his loved ones. According to the biography of the men of Sasha's family, one can study the history of wars and victories.
Great-grandfather Ivan, great-grandmother Galya, grandfather Sasha and grandmother Nadya. Photo: from the archive of the Manko family
Did you know that at the beginning of the Civil War, the Red Army experienced a great lack of weapons and uniforms? The awards were no better. Before medals and orders became widespread, distinguished soldiers and commanders were awarded watches, boots, saddles, and shirts. In the First Cavalry Army, it was considered very honorable to receive red revolutionary trousers as a reward. Such were the ones of Sasha's great-great-grandfather Vasily Timofeevich Manko. It went from start to finish the First World War and the Civil War. He returned home in 1922, finishing her as squadron commander in the 1st Cavalry Army of Budyonny. For his accomplished feat, he was presented to be awarded the Order of the Red Banner of Battle, but he asked to be given red revolutionary breeches - a very rare and honorable thing at that time - instead. When he returned home from the war, on the train this award was stolen from him along with a duffel bag and new boots. In a peaceful life, Vasily Timofeevich worked as a foreman on a collective farm in the Poltava region.
Second Lieutenant of the Polish Army Manko Ivan. Photo: from the archive of the Manko family
In the documents of Ivan Vasilyevich's great-grandfather, the year of birth was recorded in 1922. In fact, he was born in 1924, but in 1940 he added 2 years to himself to enter the Poltava Military Automobile and Tractor School, which trained lieutenant technicians - the commanders of the new T-34 and KV tanks. But he did not have a chance to become a tanker. With the beginning of the war, the school was relocated to the city of Pyatigorsk, from where grandfather Ivan with his platoon retreated with battles through the Caucasus Mountains. The local population did not hide their hostility, denied food, shelter, and lodging. Often the mountaineers deliberately showed false directions for retreat, luring them into an ambush. In one of the mountainous Balkarian auls, the men decided to cut out a platoon of cadets at night, and if possible - to take prisoner for extradition to the Nazis, who were to come from day to day. The fighters were warned about this by a local girl. Rescued by the decisive actions of the commander: under the threat of shooting the elder of the aul for aiding the German invaders, the local residents appointed a guide-hunter, who led the platoon along the mountain paths through the Baksan Gorge to the city of Nalchik, where the Soviet troops were.
Then the front, severely wounded from a mine explosion, fragments of which remained in the body until the end of his life. After the hospital, from 1943 until the very Victory, he served as a platoon commander of the Polish Army with the rank of second lieutenant, and then lieutenant. He liberated Poland, participated in the capture of Warsaw, in the storming of Berlin and Prague, was awarded medals for the capture of these cities, as well as for the victory over Germany. He was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War II degree, the Silver Cross of the Polish Order of Virtuti Militari, the Medal for Military Merit. This is despite the fact that Soviet officers in the Polish Army were not particularly awarded and promoted: it was believed that it was necessary to raise and encourage our own, Polish national cadres.
Retired from military service with the rank of major in 1968.
Sasha with his grandfather. Photo: from the archive of the Manko family