06.07.2020

Chernobyl during World War II (part-2)

Liberation of Chernobyl - 1943

Photo and video

 

The duration of the military operation to liberate the city of Chernobyl from the Nazi invaders, as well as the number of casualties, can be an example of the conduct of war by Soviet military leaders. The battles for Chernobyl lasted about two months. During this time, Chernobyl was liberated several times by Soviet troops and several times enemy troops threw them over the Pripyat. The reason for such a long military campaign to liberate the city of Chernobyl is, in our opinion, poor coordination and poor provision of Soviet troops.

The battle for Chernobyl began on the distant approaches to the city. On September 24-25, bloody battles were fought for the village of Gden, which is located 12 kilometers to the east, on the left bank of the Pripyat River. The day was stubbornly defended by the 177th Infantry Regiment of the 213rd German Division, which was reinforced with tanks. For five days, battles were fought in the direction of the villages of Gden and Paryshev, and by the end of September 29, the troops of the 13th Army reached the Pripyat River southeast of Chernobyl. The city, located across the river, was fortified by the enemy. He also created a solid defense along the western bank of the Pripyat. Troops of the 13th Army began the assault on Chernobyl on September 29-30, 1943. The beginning of the operation turned out to be so successful that a detachment of scouts, sent to assess the positions of the enemy, successfully crossed the Pripyat River, identified and destroyed enemy firing points and entered the city with battle. The next day, the assault detachments of the Soviet troops crossed the Usha River (Uzh River) and struck at the enemy's defenses. Fighters of the assault detachments under the command of senior lieutenants Sedelnikov and Kuzmin opened fire on the enemy's trenches. The 1087th Infantry Regiment developed the offensive and by the end of September 30, engaged in a battle for the village of Cherevach, firmly fortified by the Germans.


At this time, our artillery was operating successfully. So, the commander of the 8th battery of the 34th Guards Artillery Regiment of the 6th Guards Red Banner Rifle Division, Nikolai Pavlovich Boyko, managed to force the Pripyat River, rapidly advance north to the Uzh River, forced it on the move southwest of Chernobyl and block the Nazis' escape routes from cities. Enemy vehicles, going to the city and back, fell under the well-aimed fire of Soviet artillerymen.


On the same day, one of the battalions, advancing in the direction of Kalinovka, bypassed the enemy on the right and captured the village of Novoselki. His second battalion occupied Zalesie, while prisoners were taken in Zamosh, who reported that the 56th German infantry division was hastily moving to the Rudny Veresny area.


Already on October 1, Soviet troops took Chernobyl. It was not possible to consolidate the success. German troops quickly regrouped and threw tanks and motorized rifle equipment at Chernobyl. On October 3, up to a hundred German tanks appeared in the Rudnya Ilyinskaya area, which were moving towards Chernobyl.


On the morning of October 4, up to a hundred German tanks, with the support of infantry and aviation, crushed the battle formations of the Soviet troops. Having suffered significant losses in manpower and equipment, one regiment of the 148th Infantry Division withdrew to the northeast, while the other two remained in the forest, in the rear of the enemy. After that, German tanks began to advance in the direction of Karpilovka, Chernobyl, skirting the flank and entering the rear of the 322nd division. At the same time, up to two infantry regiments from the 56th German infantry division were thrown into the attack on Chernobyl from the Cherevach side.


Having a clear superiority in manpower, artillery and absolute superiority in tanks (there were no tanks in the Soviet troops in this sector), the Nazis began to ram the defense, trying to cut it into pieces, and then destroy it with simultaneous strikes from different directions. By October 9, Soviet troops were driven back to the eastern bank of the Pripyat River.


One of the most famous German aces, Emil Lang, took part in the battles for Chernobyl, who during his entire service participated in 403 air battles and shot down 173 aircraft. He shot down 144 aircraft in battles on the Eastern Front and 29 aircraft on the Western Front. Historians note that more than 28 aircraft on the Western Front were never shot down by any German pilot.


In the sky over Chernobyl, he shot down a LaGG-3 (an aircraft developed by S. A. Lavochkin, V. P. Gorbunov and M. I. Gudkov). The plane was shot down at an altitude of 3000 meters, on November 4, 1943, at 16 hours 7 minutes.
It is curious that at the same time, but 3 minutes later, the second LaGG-3 was shot down in the Chernobyl sky by another German assassin Norbert Henning

(Norbert Hannig). According to the Luftwaffe database, the plane was shot down at an altitude of 2500 meters….
Unfortunately, it was not possible to establish the names of the Soviet pilots who fought for the liberation of the city of Chernobyl.
Having regrouped the troops after an unsuccessful offensive, Soviet troops still occupied the city of Chernobyl on November 16, 1943. Two Heroes of the Soviet Union P.K. Bayuk and Abdula Dukhambetov perished in the battles for the city, and ten Heroes of the Soviet Union perished during the liberation of the Chernobyl region.


After the liberation of Chernobyl, the Soviet government announced mobilization. According to the laws of wartime, the male population of the occupied territories was considered traitors to the Motherland and without training and weapons were thrown into battle. Most of the mobilized Chernobyls died in the first battle on the territory of the Chernobyl region.

 

Today in the city there is a Park of Glory, which has memorial signs and monuments in honor of the liberators of the city of Chernobyl.