Believe me, nothing except a battle lost can be half so melancholy as a battle won – Duke of Wellington after Waterloo
Not in paradise, but on this vast tract of earth, Where at every step there is sorrow, sorrow, sorrow, I awaited her, as one waits only when one loves I knew her as one knows only oneself. I knew her in blood, in mud, in grief. The hour struck. The war ended. I made my way home. She came towards me, and we did not recognise each other.
– Ilya Ehrenburg, 9 May 1945, quoted in Richard Overy, Russia’s War, 1997
Today we will visit the Fortress at Brest, Belarus.