Heroes 25/12/19 24 German tanks were destroyed Dmitry Sholokhov: myth or truth
on the Internet at different sites you can easily find the story of the Soviet times about how Lieutenant Dmitry Sholokhov in one battle, destroyed 24 German tanks.
as it is written: “… on 30 June 1942, going on the offensive from the area of Volchansk, the 6th army of Paulus broke through the defenses at the junction of our 21st and 28th armies. The only unit that was able to allocate to cover the area of the breakthrough, was a platoon under the command of Dmitry Sholokhov. Nobody imagined that the number of German tanks, running the platoon, will be 150 machines.”
the Story contains many details about the battle, both contradictory and incredible.
but the Most interesting is that in addition to colorful descriptions, there is a real document on the view Sholokhov the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. And in this document written about the main points that are taken in the narrative, with various details.
How is that even possible?
At what tank fought Sholokhov is unknown, it is sometimes argued that on HF, and sometimes on the T-34. 158 brigade’s tanks were of different types. There is a photo in which he Sholokhov posing on the background of the T-34. Most importantly, the platoon is often accompanied by three cars, and a platoon of KV — only two tanks. Well, in the award documents stated that he commanded a platoon of medium tanks, so it is about T-34.
as it was in the summer of 1942, the Wehrmacht began to receive new tanks Pz.Kpfw.III and Pz.Kpfw.IV with reinforced armor and long-barreled gun. Unlike tanks of the 41st year, the first machine could deal with “thirty”, at least on an equal footing, the second was stronger. So in battle “tank vs. tank” the advantage was on the German side, especially since the Germans were more.
the authors of the story claim that the tank Sholokhov was above iteckig machines, because he could beat them to the roof, the Germans could not lift up the trunks so high. However, any reference for the armor is easy to recognize that the angle of declination of the Soviet tank guns was 5 degrees, while the maximum elevation of the German — 20 degrees. So German guns could easily get above them was a Soviet tank.
in addition, if you shoot at the roof (as the authors claim the story), given the angle, the shell will just ricochet. By the way, in the award documents it is written that German tank crews framed Sholokhov Board.
it is unclear the behavior of the German soldiers who allowed themselves to be shot, where were the German infantry and anti-tank artillery. In all of the many photos of that time armored columns in the steppes of the don are always one of the tanks — there are a lot of different techniques. It is worth mentioning that the ammunition of the T-34 only 19 armor-piercing shells. This is not enough to destroy 25 tanks.
finally, it is alleged that the platoon fought alone. But in the submission for the awards, signed by the battalion commander, listed the details. How do they become known? According to the crew Sholokhov (two other tanks were killed). But this is not enough to represent such a high award.
What the documents say?
currently we have a lot of documents about how the battle took place near the village Nesterne 30 June 1942. There are Soviet and German maps with the location of the troops, there are reports of Soviet and German command.
According to the German map on the section of the villages Nesterne and Tar had 23 Panzer division. According to the combat log division, on June 1, she was 138 tanks: Pz.Kpfw IV – 17, Pz.Kpfw III – 84, Pz.Kpfw. II – 27 and 10 command vehicles. To June 18 because of the damage left 107 machines, after another 11 days — 93. On 1 July the division had 45 combat ready tanks. Combat losses at 30 June amounted to 40 cars, many of them permanently is unknown. Loss the battle was large, even killed the commander of the 201st Panzer regiment, the new commander was almost immediately wounded. At the very beginning of the village Nesterne advanced German tanks hit a mine field, resulting in turned and framed the side under the fire of the Soviet anti-tank guns and buried in the ground tanks.
Although the Germans had left the battlefield behind, but the pace of the offensive was still shot down. The next village they Sirotina on that day, the storm did not: a large number of Soviet anti-tank guns, exposed to direct fire, anti-aircraft guns and dug-in tanks, apparently, not an inspired command of the 23rd Panzer division to continue the offensive.
What the Soviet forces operating in the area of the village Nesterne, in the direction of advance of the 23rd Panzer division can learn from “the Reporting card of the southwestern front during the period from 01.07 29.06 on”. It can be found not only in archives (TSAMO, Fund: 229, List: 161, Business: 1041), but also among the documents on the website “memory of the nation”.
the Instructions for the German tank divisions there is no labeled data only “tanks 200”, “50 tanks,” etc., but there is the situation of the Soviet units and formations.
In the first echelon were the 76th and 124th infantry divisions, the second 343-I. The defense was strengthened by the 13th tank corps, 158th brigade which supported the 124-th division, and 167-I — 76-th. 85 Panzer and the 20th motorized rifle brigade were in the second tier.
as part of the 13th corps 28 June 163 was ready to fight the tank. Of them in the 85th brigade 31 tank T-34 and 34 T-60, in the 167th brigade of 30 British tanks “Valentine” and 20 T-60. In 158 brigade, to 349-m separate battalion, in which he commanded a platoon the senior Lieutenant Dmitry Sholokhov was 8 heavy KV-1, 20 T-34 tanks and 20 T-60.
In the battle of the 30th of June the 13th corps lost 42 tanks, of which 17 cars forever. The Soviet reports stated that the destroyed 90 German tanks. As he writes in his article “Battle of Nesterovo”, Andrei Ulanov, a number of selectionitih tanks wrote “heat of the moment”. In the reports of that time, the number of active and destroyed tanks often do not coincide with the real. 24 wrecked German tank recorded on account of Sholokhov.
In the edition of “Frontline illustration”, No 6 for 2002-the year dedicated to fighting in the bend of the don in 1942, stated that the platoon Sholokhov in the battle of the 30th of June, he knocked out 8 tanks. Given that the platoon stood in ambush on the outskirts of the village, and the German tanks got to the mines, set up your Board to a Soviet tank and that is not always possible to establish who lined tank (except tank a village was defended by infantry and anti-tank artillery), the figure eight looks are fairly reliable.
If you compare with the German data it can be stated that for positions near the village of Nesterne where the ambush was platoon Sholokhov, tanks, artillery and infantry, destroyed eight German tanks of thirty who attacked the village. Which is not too small, and well deserves the award.
© Russian Seven
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