This Is My World: A Submariner’s Battlefield Diary




Great Patriotic War; man at war; battlefield diaries; battlefield practices; autobiographic narrative; G. I. Sennikov


Battlefield diaries written by simple soldiers and seamen are unique, rare, and practically uncensored sources of war anthropology. The authors combine the comparative historical method of literary criticism with source analysis, which enables them to consider the Great Patriotic War from the point of view of personal history and reveal the peculiarities of wartime ego-documents. The authors refer to the battlefield diary of G. I. Sennikov, a submariner of the Northern Fleet, written between 1943 and 1946. The diary combines the genres of a diary and an ego-document. The peculiarity of the text is the fact that it combines the functions of a battlefield diary (keeping the author’s memories, having a therapeutic effect, etc.) and those of the individualisation process which helps the author to construct and preserve their own personality (self-identification, self-expression, philosophical, analytical, and vicarious functions, etc.) in the extreme conditions of war (from Murmansk between 1943 and 1944 to Crimea between 1944 and 1946). The autobiographic narrative bears the typical features of a diary, reflecting the development of a young Red Army sailor, i. e. severe selfcriticism, the “other” individuality which the author painfully becomes aware of, a frank and quite often uncomplimentary analysis of situations related to sexual relations. Additionally, the diary reflects the crucial stages in the sailor’s personal growth. The author of the diary builds a world of his own and works out his own ethical code; also, he creates a life plan and sets goals for himself.

Author Biographies

Yekaterina Postnikova

Dr. Hab. (Philology), Leading Researcher, Folk Culture Laboratory of the Research Institute of Historical Anthropology and Philology, Magnitogorsk State Technical University.

38, Lenin Ave., 455000, Magnitogorsk, Russia.

ORCID 0000-0001-8877-2328

Viktoriya Volkova

Dr. Hab. (Philology), Professor, Nosov Magnitogorsk State Technical University.

38, Lenin Ave., 455000, Magnitogorsk, Russia.

ORCID 0000-0001-6559-360X


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How to Cite

Postnikova, Y., & Volkova, V. (2020). This Is My World: A Submariner’s Battlefield Diary. Quaestio Rossica, 8(2), 623–638.