MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –
On September 30, 1941, during the Great Patriotic War, the defensive stage of the Battle of Moscow began. The Nazi army, deeply invading the USSR, launched a large-scale offensive on the distant approaches to the capital of our Motherland. By October 6, for the Soviet fronts, covering the path of the fascist hordes, a very difficult situation developed: a significant part of the forces of the Bryansk, Western and Reserve Soviet fronts were surrounded, the Wehrmacht tank formations broke through the defense line and rushed east. It seemed that nothing would keep the fascist armored wedges from heading for the capital. But on the way of the tanks and motorized infantry of the fascists that broke through to Yukhnov, the cadets of the Podolsk infantry and artillery schools stood up as an insurmountable wall.
The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in the year of the 80th anniversary of the Battle of Moscow launches a new historical and educational section “We have shielded our Motherland with ourselves. On the occasion of the 80th anniversary of the feat of Podolsk cadets “.
The declassified combat documents published on the website of the military department of the fall of 1941 from the funds of the Central archive of the Ministry of Defense of Russia testify to the hardest situation of our troops in early October, about the heroism, self-sacrifice and unprecedented stamina of the cadets from Podolsk, about whom Hitler’s steel avalanche crashed.
The section of the page of the unique magazine “The History of Combat Actions of the Troops of the Moscow Military District in the Summer-Autumn of 1941” opens. This document reveals in detail all stages of the construction of defensive lines on the approaches to Moscow, their occupation by troops, and also testifies to the most difficult situation that has developed at the fronts.
The construction of a defensive line on the distant approaches to Moscow by the decision of the Supreme Command Headquarters began in the last decade of July 1941 during the fighting in the Smolensk direction, when it became clear that Hitler’s troops were rushing to the capital of the USSR and it would be incredibly difficult to stop them earlier. The new defensive line was given the name of the Mozhaisk line of defense. Its significance is indicated by the lines of the published document: “This line of defense, being in the rear of the Vyazemsky defensive line, was supposed to firmly cover the most important operational directions leading to Moscow: Volokolamskoye, Mozhaiskoye and Maloyaroslavetskoye.”
Visitors to the section will learn about the colossal exertion of forces during the accelerated construction of fortifications here. It is calculated in the document that only for simple earthworks “5,233,458 man-days should have been spent and 61,887 machines were to be used for the construction.” The equipment of the defense line was ordered to be completed on November 15-25, and the work of the first stage – on October 10-25, 1941. The breakthrough of the defense of three Soviet fronts near Bryansk and Vyazma did not allow the workers’ battalions and volunteers to complete construction in time.
The difficulties of the defenders of Moscow were not limited only to accelerated fortification works on the colossal square. There were not enough troops to occupy the defensive line: the three armies created for this consisted of divisions of the people’s militia and the NKVD, the document indicates an insufficient supply of weapons and ammunition. In addition, “the troops deployed on the Mozhaisk line of defense, being insufficiently technically equipped, created a fire density of only 30-35% of normal,” the document says. The command also did not have reserves to withstand possible breakthroughs by the enemy: “… I didn’t have a line of defense ”.
By the beginning of October, when the construction of the defense line had not yet been completed, and the troops were just beginning to move towards defensive positions, the situation at the front had deteriorated sharply …
In the section on the website of the Ministry of Defense, a unique document has been published – classified records of telephone conversations, issuing combat orders and orders, receiving reports on the organization of defense, on the actions of its troops and the enemy of a member of the Military Council of the Moscow Military District, Divisional Commissioner Konstantin Telegin in early October.
In the first lines of this document, it is said that the district headquarters received a report on the capture of Yukhnov by the Germans and the advance of tanks and motorized infantry along the Varshavskoe highway to Medyn and Maloyaroslavets between 12 and 16 o’clock on October 5. From that moment on, the command began to work especially hard to strengthen the defense of the Mozhaisk line, and in particular, the Maloyaroslavets fortified region, which it was decided to strengthen with the last reserve – the cadets of the Podolsk military schools.
According to the document, Telegin demanded that the command of the schools move as quickly as possible a combined detachment of cadets to take up the defense in the Maloyaroslavets fortified area in order to “saddle the highway and occupy the fortifications” and stop the Nazi tanks.
The section contains the order of the Deputy Commander of the Moscow Military District to the Chief of the Podolsk Infantry School (No. 257 of October 5, 1941). They are instructed to organize a rifle regiment from the composition of the educational institution and by its forces to take up the defense southwest of Maloyaroslavets. In the text of the document it is noted: “In accordance with this order, the school is considered to have left in the designated direction as a separate combat group of the active army to carry out a combat mission.”
The cadets of the Podolsk infantry and artillery schools with attached units of artillery and militia were ordered to hold the defense on the Maloyaroslavets border, blocking the Varshavskoe highway in the area of the settlement of Ilyinskoe. On the pages of the History of the Combat Actions of the Troops of the Moscow Military District, the combat actions of the vanguard detachment of cadets holding back the German fascist offensive along the highway from Yukhnov through Myatlovo and Medyn to Maloyaroslavets are recorded in detail. At the same time, it was noted that it was this vanguard detachment that acted in the current situation in the most effective way: for six days he heroically restrained the offensive of the enemy forces far superior to him, and only the instability of other active units with him forced him to a premature withdrawal, ”the archival document testifies.
The section contains information about the combat composition of the combined detachment of the Podolsk artillery and infantry schools, which fought on the Ilyinsky line. According to the document, on October 13, the detachment had only 334 fighters, whose weapons were 336 rifles, 3 light machine guns and 3 serviceable 45 and 76 mm guns with 260 rounds of ammunition.
Most of the published documents are directly devoted to the heroic actions of units of cadets, commanders and teaching staff of the Podolsk infantry and artillery schools in the battles on the Ilyinsky line of the Maloyaroslavets fortified area.
The first battles of Podolsk cadets took place from 6 to 11 October 1941. Detailed details about them are given in the published “Description of the combat operations of the vanguard of the Podolsk infantry school.” Already on the first day, the cadets faced strong enemy artillery and mortar fire. In addition, the German troops possessed air supremacy: “During the day, enemy aircraft increased their activity, appearing above the PO (forward detachment – ed.), First with individual aircraft, and then in groups of 5-7 aircraft. They dropped bombs in the area of defense of the PO and fired at the battle formations of the PO from machine guns. ” In spite of everything, the advanced detachment of infantry cadets fulfilled its task and delayed the advance of Hitler’s units along the Varshavskoe highway, thereby allowing the main forces of the Podolsk schools to take the positions of the Ilyinsky fortified region, where the main battles took place from 11 to 18 October.
So, in the combat report of the headquarters of the Ilyinsky combat area No. 3 dated October 17, 1941 (which was headed by the head of the Podolsk infantry school, Major General Smirnov), the commander of the 43rd army says: “For the 12th day, the Podolsk infantry school stubbornly defends the zone given to him and has enormous losses in human and material terms. ” As a result of the fighting, two battalions of cadets remained in the fortified area, each of which numbering 120-150 people. The document also emphasizes: “People are extremely overworked, fall on the move from overwork; not provided with warm uniforms, no gloves, no hats (in caps), 60% have torn shoes. They don’t eat for two days. “
In this document, Chief Major General Smirnov petitioned that “the remaining cadets be released as lieutenants so that they could fight not as ordinary soldiers, but as commanders. The release date passed on October 15th. “
The hardest conditions in which the cadets fought were also mentioned in a report to the head of the Moscow Military District’s Political Directorate about the work of the Podolsk Infantry School in October 1941: “There were almost no communications equipment, of the available ones, it was possible to establish communication only between the group headquarters and battalion command posts. Communication between the command post of the battalions and the companies was completely absent and was carried out only through liaison cadets, and between the pillboxes and the pillboxes inside the companies – exclusively by visual communication. There were no signaling devices at all. ” One of the reasons for such a state of cadet units was the critical situation at the beginning of October, which required decisive action: “A sudden departure found the school insufficiently prepared.” However, “despite the presence of tangible shortcomings, the school steadfastly fulfilled its task and the entire personnel was inspired by the common desire to prevent the enemy from entering the defense area.” The document contains examples of the heroic actions of the Podolsk cadets. “The example and the model were the communists and Komsomol members, who, with their brave and heroic actions, infected others,” writes the military commissar of the Khmelevsky school. “So, for example … cadet Voronetsky … after the commander was wounded, he took command and courageously repelled two enemy attacks. Cadet Kirichenko … when the platoon commander failed, he assumed command and energetically rushed into counterattacks. Cadet Kitaev … mortally wounded in battle, vigorously and bravely fought the Nazis and died with a machine gun. “
The selfless actions of the cadets and their heroism were highly assessed not only in the military documents of the Soviet command. Thus, for the first time, a number of reports from the headquarters of the German Army Group Center are published. Some episodes of heroic battles of units and formations of the Red Army that defended the Volokolamsk, Mozhaisk and Maloyaroslavets fortified areas can be restored from the archival documents presented. As for the defensive line occupied by the Podolsk cadets, the Wehrmacht’s operatives reported: on October 16, 1941, “the hardest battles were taking place near the settlement of N of the item. Ilyinskoe, where the enemy (cadets of military schools) fiercely defended themselves in modern bunkers with armored caps. ” Further lines of the Hitlerite command’s operative summaries speak of the enormous importance of the fortified area defended by the “red cadets”: “With the destruction of this enemy, it will be expected that the road to Maloyaroslavets will be open.” But the Nazis could not realize their plan at the Ilyinsky turn …
At the same time, it is noteworthy that in almost every operational report of Army Group Center, the Nazis invariably mention severe weather conditions: torrential rains, freezing temperatures and widespread muddy roads: “Tanks can only move in first gear. Artillery positions cannot be changed. ” By this, it seems, the invaders justified their powerlessness in front of the heroism of the defenders of Moscow, speaking of a decrease in the pace of their own offensive.
The enormous significance of the feat of the Podolsk cadets is confirmed by the order of the Deputy Commander of the Moscow Military District No. 0226 of November 3, 1941, which followed after the October battles on the distant approaches to Moscow. They were given gratitude to the personnel of the Podolsk schools and were ordered to nominate the most distinguished cadets and commanders for government awards.
The feat of the Podolsk cadets will live on in the people’s memory for centuries. Many names of heroes and events of those days were immortalized by the national cinema. A memorial is dedicated to the unparalleled feat of the cadets of the Podolsk artillery and infantry military schools, who defended the borders on the southwestern approaches to Moscow in October 1941. It is located at the intersection of Kirov, Parkovaya and Arkhivny proezd streets – in the very place from where they left for their last unequal battle with the enemy. To the right of the monument is the inscription: “Dedicated to courage, fortitude, immortal feat of Podolsk cadets.” The artistic presentation of those heroic battles and events is confirmed by lines of authentic historical materials …
As reported in the submitted archival documents, cadets during the hostilities destroyed about 40 Nazi tanks and armored personnel carriers, up to 400 German infantry and several dozen armored vehicles and vehicles. Their exploits are also described here. For example, the gun commander, cadet Yuri Dobrynin, under heavy mortar and machine-gun fire, knocked out 6 enemy tanks and 2 armored vehicles. Elsewhere, the feat of the platoon commander, Lieutenant Iradion Museridze, was noted, who “destroyed 6 enemy tanks, personally corrected the jammed gun during the battle and continued to fire at the enemy, fulfilling the duties of a disabled gunner.” The commander of the battery, Lieutenant Afanasy Alyoshin, died heroically: he held the pillbox until the end of all the ammunition, and then with seven soldiers rushed into the attack on the enemy several times superior.
The section also contains a list of the commanders and cadets of the Podolsk Infantry School, nominated for government awards for their heroism in the defense of the Ilyinsky fortified area in the Maloyaroslavets direction, and a lot of award materials, in which the exploits of the cadets and their commanders are very briefly described.
So, an interesting feat of cadet Viktor Lakutin, nominated for the medal “For Military Merit”: “With a group of cadets all night he held back the height near the village of Ilyinskoye and repeatedly threw back a company of the enemy who was trying to seize the bridge. When reinforcements approached, the enemy was thrown back over the height. “
In a critical situation, when the enemy went to the rear, the platoon commander, Lieutenant Ivan Bychkov, presented to the Order of the Red Banner, was not taken aback: “Being on the front line, having enemy tanks that went to the rear, heroically entered into an unequal battle, dragging his subordinates with him, as a result of which kept the defense of his sector. “
The cadet Ilya Botvinsky was introduced to the Order of the Red Star, who “after the company commander went out of action took command and bravely fought the Nazis. At night he entered the village occupied by the enemy and threw grenades at some of the houses of the fascists. “
The platoon commander, Lieutenant Max Simkin, who was presented to the Order of the Red Banner, made a huge contribution to deterring the advancing enemy: “Being in the outpost and having the task to detain the enemy during the night, I managed with my platoon to complete the task within 24 hours. Prior to that, he had been on guard for two days without fail and with his active actions held back the onslaught of the enemy, preventing him from approaching the front line of the defense. At the last moment he was twice wounded, but despite the injury he took the rest of the platoon in an organized manner. “
Among those nominated for the “Red Star” order is a topography teacher, 2nd rank military technician Georgy Persiyantsev. He “performed the duties of a liaison between the headquarters of the army and the group. He always carried out combat missions in a timely manner, at the same time bravely and courageously participated in repelling enemy attacks when attacking the group headquarters. “
The senior political instructor Yevgeny Varlamov, presented to the Order of the Red Star, showed courage: “Under the enemy’s hurricane mortar fire, he boldly launched a counterattack and repelled the onslaught of the German group.”
Nina Protopopova, a military doctor of the 3rd rank, was presented to be awarded the medal “For Military Merit”. She “showed exceptional concern for the wounded. Bravely, energetically assisted them, was an example for the rest of the medical staff. “
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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.