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  • Amazing facts

    I found this in memoirs of General Popel "Berlin is ahead" about actions of 1st Guard Tank Army in 1944-45 and I was amazed by it

    1. From reports about awarding of soldiers after end of combats in region of Sandomir (Poland) in August of 1944:

    "Sergeant Bondar was wounded 6 times but refused to leave battlefield and destroyed 2 German tanks by fire of his gun"

    "Gunlayer Kazak was wounded in side, his hand was tore off. In conditions of enemy encirclement he without one hand stayed alone crewman of gun and continued combat"

    2. In January of 1945 in region of Novo-Myasto (Poland) forward Soviet enforced scout group made sudden raid against German positions and could capture German positions. Soon main forces arrived and Soviet troops continued advance in the West.

    Popel arrived in place of combat.
    He writes in his memoirs:

    "In the exit of settlement we were amazed by view of motor road. All length of road which was able to seen by eye was full of broken German trucks and guns, sometimes there were destroyed self-propelled guns.

    Ruzhin said about destroyed column:
    - It continues for nearly one kilometer.

    - It is more than one kilometer, - answered Korovkin.

    There was no time for cleaning of obstructions of destroyed trucks and guns and tankmen organized new road on field in parallel with motor road. Our car moved on pits and bumps of new "road" and we amazed by huge amount of German destroyed military equipment.

    I asked:
    -What did happen here?

    Ruzhin didn't know.

    In the end of dead column I saw T-34 which was black from soot, its tracks were torn, gun was broken. There were rows of dead German submachine gunners around this tank. Remainders of German antitank gun were seen under bottom of tank. Body of one tankman is in the ground nearly tank, submachine gunners are taking out body of second tankman from tank's hatch.

    We approaches. There is something majestic in this burnt tank like it stands here as monument for dead heroes.

    I asked nearest submachine gunner:
    - Who is he?

    - Commander of tank, Mladshiy Lieutenant Alexey Bodrov.
    Then submachine gunner showed on body of tankmen which lied in the ground - Here is driver, Stasrshiy Sergeant Kotarev.

    Submachine gunner showed on boundless dead column:
    - Mainly, they did it.

    Submachine gunner continued:
    - When we occupied Novo-Myasto we saw from hill that Germans are approaching. Trucks, guns, self-propelled guns - we didn't see end of this column. But our forces were small - one infantry scout group and tank of Bodrov. We understood that German troops are moving for occupying of fortifications. Lieutenant Balyuk said: "Guardians! Let's stand to death! Let's hold before arriving of main forces or we shall die for Motherland". And suddenly tank of Bodrov moved forward at full speed. We saw how he run into the column and became to run down everything. It was horrific to see how tank run down trucks: Germans didn't understand what is happening ahead, everything was very quickly... He went far and far and we couldn't see his. We finished combat with infantry and also went ahead. Suddenly we saw gunlayer of T-34 which was crawling along destroyed trucks. He said: "Situation is difficult, tank is damaged, commander and driver are heavy wounded. They sent me for help. Go quickly, there are too many Germans, they will burn our tank". We run ahead but enemy organized defense. We could see tank, sometimes when din of combat was not so loud we could see how Germans screamed: "Surrender!". German submachine gunners screamed it when they were crawling to tank. Bodrov threw grenade through hatch, then he threw another one. Germans run away on some distance from tank. In this moment tank became to be in fire. Germans again screamed: "Surrender!". Bodrov leaned out up to the waist from hatch and threw two more grenades in Germans. He screamed: "Guard is dying but not surrender". We became attack and broke to tank. We eliminate all Germans, no one escaped. But it was too late. Bodrov could not scramble out from hatch, it looks like his wound was too heavy. He could fight but he couldn't scramble out..."

    Submachine gunner looked on bodies of heroes and said:
    - They were bravest men. It is unheard-of for all time of war - to destroy so huge column by one tank!

    ...Soon according Decree of Presidium of Supreme Soviet of USSR Alexey Fedorovich Bodrov got (posthumously) rank of Hero of Soviet Union..."



    3. In January of 1945 in region of Kunersdorf 1st Guard Tank Brigade of 1st Guard Tank Army was temporally encircled by German V SS Corps.

    Popel writes:
    "Ordinary combat engineer Sychev made amazing feat and saved Tank Company from destruction. Tank Company had no fuel and practically had no shells; tanks became real "alive targets" for enemies. Sychev said that he will mine approaches to Soviet tanks. 3 German tanks and 4 self-propelled guns became to approach to Soviet tanks. Crew of leading German tank decided to enjoy themselves - they decided to hurry up single Russian soldier across field and only then to run down his. Directly before moment when "panther" had to run down Soviet soldier Sychev suddenly threw mine under track of German tank. Tank was immobilized; Sychev was threw off by blast wave. When Sychev regained consciousness he saw that crew of German tank is running away in direction of forest and that other tanks and self-propelled guns stopped and are firing without moving - their crews decided that they drove in minefield. Sychev shot running away German tankmen from his sub-machine gun and hided inside of immobilized German tank. For short time he could to understand how to operate gun and turret of German tank. Then he turned round turret of German tank and hit nearest German self-propelled gun by 4 shells. Remaining German tanks and self-propelled guns became to fire in immobilized "panther" where Sychev hided. Sychev could set fire to one more German self-propelled gun before moment when he had to get out from burning tank. In the end Germans didn't endure and retreated in forest. It is very difficult to believe in results of that combat - 1 German tank was destroyed, 2 German self-propelled guns were burnt, remaining 2 tanks and 2 self-propelled guns run away. And all this happened in result of actions of one ordinary Soviet combat engineer Sychev. But many people saw it, it is truth."
    Last edited by Andrey; 22 Oct 04, 07:42.

  • #2
    Thanks Andrey to share it...
    a brain cell

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    • #3
      I don't think anyone can say there weren't heroes in every army. There were great acts of heroism everyday on the battle fields of WWII.

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      • #4
        Thats amazing this is a good thread you started
        All warfare is based on deception.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Andrey
          I found this in memoirs of General Popel "Berlin is ahead" about actions of 1st Guard Tank Army in 1944-45 and I was amazed by it
          If I am not mistaken, wasn't 1 Guards Tank Army at both Stalingrad (the counteroffensive) and Kursk?
          Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
          (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

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          • #6
            Originally posted by hogdriver
            If I am not mistaken, wasn't 1 Guards Tank Army at both Stalingrad (the counteroffensive) and Kursk?
            1st Tank Army became 1st Guard Tank Army in the 1944 inthe end of liberation of Ukraine.

            EDIT:It was organized during the finishing of Stalingrad battle and had to be used in region of Demyansk Salient. But in Febrary-March of 1943 German made dangerous counteroffensive in Kharkov region and 1st Tank Army was transferred in region of Kursk. Later this Army took part in Kursk battle.

            I am translating memoirs of Popel now.
            Last edited by Andrey; 30 Nov 04, 00:02.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Andrey
              1st Tank Army became 1st Guard Tank Army in the 1944 inthe end of liberation of Ukraine.

              It was organized during the finishing of Stalingrad battle and had to be used in region of Demyansk Salient. But in Febrary-March of 1943 German made dangerous counteroffensive in Kharkov region and 1st Tank Army was transferred in region of Kursk. Later this Army took part in Stalingrad battle.

              I am translating memoirs of Popel now.
              Thanks Andrey
              Mens Est Clavis Victoriae
              (The Mind Is The Key To Victory)

              Comment


              • #8
                Yes, very good story, there was instances of lone t-34's pushing through an entire wermacht infantry division! One such tank went along the road where the Division was in loose collumn, destroying everything that resists, they or it (I'm not shure if it was alone or with a couple of other tanks) reached divisional artillery.
                The gunnerst had heard of the t-34, and heard that a direct hit form a 155 would kill it, but they didnt make it in time, they were kia too.
                Only when the (I think it was alone) tank reached divisional anti aircraft, it was stopped by a 88. This actually slowed down guderians advance on Moscow!

                Also I like the story of the Commander of a pak front in the battle of Kursk, when his gun was hit, he noticed that the barrell was still working, so he got some help, and put the barrell on some ammunition boxes, and fired two times more!

                Also at Kursk, an SS Captain was hit in the pants by an incendiary bullet, they started to burn, and he took them off, for the next three days he fought with no trowsers!
                During the pulling out phase, he got a bullet in the head and was instantly killed.

                Yep, also some of the stories form Stalingrad are amazing, I wont go into them now, but for example the grain silo, that it took over two weeks for the germans to take, was defended by only 40 Russian infantry, with one machine gun!
                The Germans couldnt believe it! They were shure that a Battalion, or at least a couple of Companies had held them for so long.

                The heroics, of the Russians were just as heroic as the other nations.
                When I had a sports injury in the Army, I spent a week in the miliary hospital.
                A very old man was there too, his visitors called him the Colonel, and he was an original white officer from the civil war, and the ww2 wars.
                We gathered around him, out of respect, and he told us stories when he wasnt too tired.
                Once somebody asked him did he meet any heroes in ww2?
                'Son' he answered, 'Only civilians talk of heroes'.

                I will always remember that.

                Thanks for the story again.
                "SI VIS PACEM, PARA BELLUM" - " If you want peace, prepare for war".

                If acted upon in time, ww2 could have been stopped without a single bullet being fired. - Sir Winston Churchill

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