The Life of Wolfgang Tarkov
Chapter 1: Precursor
Wolfgang’s parents met in Miroslavl during the German occupation of Chernarus. His father, Johann, was a Leutnant in the German Heer and commanded an infantry platoon. His mother, Anya, was a dressmaker in a small factory on the outskirts of the city. After the war was over, Johann moved out of war torn Germany and immigrated to Chernarus to be with his love. During their early relationship in the late 1940's, Johann and Anya were often harassed by local Soviet authorities. Ethnic Russian women scolded Anya for her relationship with a German man. To hide this, Johann changed his surname from Kügler to Tarkov in 1946, and married Anya in 1947.
(Johann and Anya in 1944)
Life for the couple was difficult. Johann was still trying to fully learn the Chernarussian language as well as the Russian language that was enforced by the government. Anya’s father looked after a small farm left to him by his brother and was constantly visited by corrupt policemen who believed that they could take what they wanted, because they knew that Anya’s father wouldn’t resist. In 1948, Johann began work on the farm, helping in any way he could. Previously from an upper class family, Johann did not have much experience with farming or any agricultural work and was often laughed at by the Chernarussian workers. This did not bother him too much, however it did make him develop slight animosity towards the peasantry.
After years of trying to conceive, Johann and Anya finally had their only child in 1958. At first, the boy was to be called Ludvik, but Anya insisted that he have a German name to honour his father’s sacrifice and dedication, and thus the child was named Wolfgang.
Chapter 2: Beginnings
(Wolfgang – Age 1 and 9)
Wolfgang Tarkov was born in Miroslavl in 1958, 13 years after the end of the Second World War. From a young age, his parents noticed his fascination with music and art and how good he was with animals. He would often sit for hours just staring at the countryside while not making any sound. Wolfgang had an interest in education and planned to seek as much knowledge as he could, constantly reading any books he could get his hands on. At age 6, his father Johann introduced him to Richard Wagner's: Der Ring des Nibelungen and Wolfgang fell in love with it. He dreamed of conducting an orchestra one day. By age 12, Wolfgang could speak both Chernarussian and Russian and was quite literate in English and German. However, as he grew up, Johann began to instil nationalism into Wolfgang. Johann had once served faithfully for his nation, and he hoped that his son would have the opportunity to do the same. The Tarkov family was definitely not a fan of the Soviet’s and Communism, but Johann believed that it was a man’s duty to be a warrior and protect his family. At first, Wolfgang was a peaceful child, who wanted nothing more in life than to create music and art, but now as he reached the end of his schooling, he needed to find a path to follow. One night at dinner, his father taught him a valuable lesson by taking away his food, showing him how quickly things can be taken from you.
Chapter 3: Foundations
In 1975, Wolfgang decided that he wanted to travel and gain a higher education than he could in Chernarus. After applying, he was accepted into the London School of Economics, majoring in Political Science. Arriving in early 1976, at age 18, Wolfgang was shocked by the grand scale of London and the imperial style architecture that was so different to his home country. He could walk down the street and not be questioned by a Soviet policeman, he could buy what he wanted and he felt truly free.
(London School of Economics)
Wolfgang began his classes and was quickly introduced to free-thinking political ideas such as classical liberalism that criticised communism and preached western chauvinism. However due to his nationality and name, his classmates often teased him, calling him ‘Ivan’ or ‘The Big Red one’ due to his height. This infuriated Wolfgang, as he wasn’t communist but these pompous English students knew no difference between Chernarus and the Soviet Union. Due to the bullying, Wolfgang did not have many friends in London. He instead spent most of his time studying or thinking about home. During one night at the university dorms, he heard one student talking about a man called Enoch Powell. Wolfgang closed his book and began to listen to the boy speaking about what seemed to be a politician who spoke of “England for the English”. Upon further research, Wolfgang learned who this man was, and eventually stumbled upon the works of Oswald Mosley, leader of the British Union of Fascists during the 1930s. Mosley’s language and character drew Wolfgang closer and made him think much more hatefully about the Soviet rule back home.
In 1977, Wolfgang started his second term at the school and wanted to keep a low profile. But as he was walking to class one day he was stopped by a few of the english students and beaten as they repeatedly yelled anti-communist slogans. The anger inside Wolfgang was at boiling point now, and the last straw was when he was approached by a Marxist activist group later that day. They attempted to preach the benefits of Socialism to him. The result of this was that he punched the activist in the nose and was later expelled from the school.
(Wolfgang aged 19, around the time of his expulsion)
Chapter 4: Duty
After being expelled from the London School of Economics in 1977, Wolfgang headed back to Chernarus to see his family again. At first, his father Johann was angry with him for the expulsion but when he learned the reasoning behind it, Johann understood. Now aged 19, Wolfgang needed to find work, and quickly. On the 20th April, 1977, Wolfgang enlisted in the Red Army. Although he hated the politics behind it, he found solace in the constant training and friends he made while there.
(Wolfgang during basic training)
After basic training concluded in late 1977, Wolfgang was assigned to an infantry battalion stationed in Novigrad. The next year saw Wolfgang continually training alongside Russian troops in military exercises throughout the Black Sea. After one year of loyal service to the Red Army, Wolfgang was promoted to Efreitor and was put in command of a fireteam consisting of 5 men. This was his first real experience with leadership, however he relished at the opportunity to prove himself and did outstandingly well, earning the rank of Junior Sergeant a year later. He was now in charge of 10 men, and had earned the respect of his subordinates through tactical prowess and integrity.
In the summer of 1980, Wolfgang decided that leading men in the army was his calling and wanted to continue it on a larger scale. So after discussing it with his father and platoon commander, Wolfgang applied to the Officer training academy in Moscow and was successful in his tests. The training at the academy lasted just over a year and during this time he developed as a leader, and as a man. The school taught him many things that would remain with him until the day he died. Wolfgang graduated the academy at the start of 1982 with the rank of Lieutenant, just as tensions in Afghanistan were reaching a boiling point.
(Lt. Wolfgang Tarkov [far-right] after graduating the Officer Academy)
Chapter 5: Action
Lieutenant Wolfgang Tarkov was now a platoon commander, just like his father was in the second world war. His prior service and training had led up to this moment. He and a few hundred other men from Chernarus joined the Soviet Red Army in a wave of deployed soldiers to Afghanistan in 1982. Wolfgang was extremely nervous on the plane ride over there, this would be his first time leading men in combat. After landing at Kabul, the officers of Wolfgang's battalion was briefed on the current situation. Within 2 days of being in country, Wolfgang's platoon was sent on an operation to root out and destroy Mujahideen forces in and around the city of Kabul.
TO BE CONTINUED...