“Must be drunk, Herr Oberleutnant. They’re dancing around like lunatics.”
While retreating through Rumania in World War Two, sentries for a German unit notice something very odd going on in a nearby village occupied by Russian troops. For reasons unknown, the Russian soldiers suddenly begin to dance around like fools. German troops, peeking out of their foxholes, start laughing as the Russian troops in the distance run around like they had become mad, jump up and down, roll on the ground, swat themselves all over.
Most of the Russians begin shouting so loudly the sound carries as far as the German line and the German troops double up with laughter. Incredibly, the Russian soldiers manning the defense perimeter along the side of the village facing the Germans, jump out of their foxholes, shrieking, and waving their arms in the air. Are the Russians drunk the Germans wonder?
All of a sudden,
“…a bunch of Russians are running directly toward us, as if they are being chased by the very devil. As they’re running they’re flapping their arms all about, as if trying to fly.”
The German soldier witnessing this event is just about to open fire with his machine gun when his officer tells him to hold fire because the Russians are unarmed.
The Ivans run madly through the German lines, leaping over German foxholes while flapping their arms and shrieking. A swarm of mad bees had attacked the Russian soldiers and stung them so many times they would do anything to get away, even throwing down their firearms and running in the direction of the German line.
(Source: Blood Red Snow: the Memoirs of a German Soldier On the Eastern Front by Gunther K Koschorrek)
(Courtesy of London Financial Times)