A Russian film was released in February 2019 entitled Soldier Boy. It starred child actor Andrey Andreev. He portrayed a boy who was part of the Second World War. The film showed how this young boy witnessed and experienced the devastation during the war. Who was this youngest soldier in World War II?
Seryozha Aleshkov lost his family at the tender age of six due to the war. He was adopted by a unit Commander and became the youngest soldier during World War II.
Who was Seryozha Aleshkov?
Sergei Seryozha Aleshkov’s exact date of birth was not preserved, and no one surviving knew. Based on his age when he was discovered, he was born in 1936 in the village of Gryn in the Kaluga Region.
Aleshkov’s father died before World War II began, while his mother and two brothers were executed right before his eyes because of their links to the partisans. This event left him orphaned.
Being left alone with the untimely tragic death of his remaining family, Aleskov wandered in the woods, starving, wasted, covered in scabs all over his weak body, and was in a state of shock when the group of 142nd Guards Rifle regiment found him.
Aleshkov was rescued upon his discovery and was officially adopted by the unit commander, Major Mikhail Vorobyov. (Source: Russia Beyond)
What Was Seryozha Aleshkov’s Participation In World War II?
Aleshkov made himself the Major’s assistant. Every morning, he would go to the headquarters to report and make the major aware that he was ready for new assignments but never had any part in combat operations.
He was given tasks that a boy his age could manage. During battles, he would provide water, grenades, or cartridges to the soldiers, while on regular days, he would deliver letters to the divisions, carry messages, or deliver newspapers.
While Aleshkov was doing his routine of delivering the newspaper, some suspicious people in a haystack caught his attention. He immediately reported what he saw to the artillery commander. As it turned out, these people were German artillery fire spotters with walkie-talkies and were hiding in a haystack. The situation was neutralized, and Aleshkov received gratitude from the command.
Aleshkov was observant and acted quickly. During the German shelling, the dugout of Major Vorobyov was destroyed, and the major was under the debris. No one noticed this but Aleshkov. Although he was scared, Aleshkov tried moving the logs and called for help. Because of his bravery, the unit commander was saved.
His bravery did not go unnoticed. He became the youngest soldier to receive his first medal for Military Merit, and he also got his pistol, allegedly a Walther P38, given by Marshal Chuikov. (Source: War History Online)
What was Seryozha Aleshkov’s Life After World War II?
Major Vorobyov officially became Aleshkov’s adopted father. In contrast, the nurse from the war, Nina Bedova, who looked after him and took care of him when he was discovered in the woods, became the wife of the major, and they officially became a family after the Battle of Stalingrad.
Bedova got pregnant and needed to leave the regiment. After giving birth, she returned and celebrated the victory along with her husband, who was then a Colonel, in Berlin. Soon after demobilization, the couple settled in Chelyabinsk and started to live a peaceful life. (Source: War History Online)