With their flank in peril, the Tiger begins to back away, allowing Sankovsky to escape to the cover of the woods. The German force has been almost totally annihilated, with only the Tiger and one Mark III Panzer surviving, along with one or two squads of infantry. It is a decisive Soviet victory and a high-water mark, as the Germans will not come further in the following days. Their bolt has been shot.
Major Sankovsky has somehow salvaged his reputation, coming out as the savior of the right flank. If not for his “tactical and timely heroic” intervention as well as his spectacular destruction of one of the two indestructible Tiger tanks, the right flank might have been turned. He receives the Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class for his heroism.
Not much is said about the 4.5-cm AT guns that somehow managed to destroy two Tigers – it wouldn’t be heroic to note that small guns downed legends. It is better to have great vehicles like the Beast Hunter be the hero of the battlefield and so it is written that way in the history books. The destruction of five SU-152 tanks, the best the Soviets can field, at the hands of two Tigers and two medium Mark III Panzers somehow fails to be mentioned. Only the survivors of those broken Beast Hunters will know, but they will, of course, keep quiet and accept new assignments in new SU-152 guns that are already being delivered to the front.
Corporal Belov survives the battle and remains a corporal. His score was only one fascist tank less than his fellow corporal Deska, so he is okay with the outcome. He is still saddled with Popov and remains convinced that there is a village out there somewhere that is missing their idiot. His gunner Markov keeps applying for a transfer to another unit but Belov knows a good gunner when he sees one and keeps blocking Markov’s attempts to escape the Belov circus.
Romanov will have to “break in” a new commander, as there are plenty of sergeants to go around and he was not considered skilled enough to command an SU-152 of his own yet. The survivors of his tank see this as an insult and know the man should be their next commander. He can see it in their eyes and it brings him to tears. They love him all the more for that expression.
Tchevski can rightly be said to have saved things on the right flank. His able command of his AT gun was what slowed and then repulsed the final Tiger. His gun kept punching shells into the flank of the last remaining Tiger until they backed away and allowed Sankovsky to slink back into the woods. He is rightly decorated, receiving The Order of the Patriotic War 2nd Class as well as The Medal for Military Merit. He is the only one to receive this award out of all who participated. His gun crew is bursting with pride for Tchevski has managed to “find” several bottles of really good Vodka and he “decorates” them by awarding them the precious liquid. To the crew those bottles are worth more than any shiny ribbons or pressed metal medallions.
And what of our heroes from the lone T-34 that attacked the flank? Moments after they re-crewed their stations, the bruised driver announced that their engine was dead. That last hit from the now-burning Tiger killed their transmission and drive shaft. They are dead in the water.
As shells are still flying and there is still very real danger all around, they quickly opt to abandon their tank, carrying their unconscious commander Anatov on a blanket. They slowly and carefully carry him back to the aid station.
Each time Anatov stirs and shows he remembers their abject failure in the battle, the gunner accidentally cracks him into unconsciousness with the hammer the driver uses to “help” change gears on the transmission. By the time they get Anatov back to the aid station he has been anesthetized so many times that he cannot really remember his name, let alone his recollection as to how he received his head injuries.
Anatov will be hospitalized for a time until he recovers from his head injuries. He will be assigned a new crew and tank, never fully remembering or figuring out what happened that fateful day in July. When he tries to think things through he gets a severe headache and then gives up the attempt.
His old crew will receive a new commander – their secret will be forever kept between the four of them.