History 06/02/20 “Gang Rokossovsky”: the heroic battalions of the great Patriotic

Konstantin Rokossovsky — one of the most outstanding generals of the great Patriotic war. Under his leadership successfully fought not only regular units, but in battalions.

Penal battalions appeared on the fronts of the great Patriotic behind the order of people’s Commissar of defense N227, dated July 27, 1942, known as the “not one step back”. Guilty before the party and the Motherland the soldiers were given the opportunity to redeem himself.

of the 34 million people who fought in the red Army, more than 427 thousand have passed through the penal companies and battalions (average of 1.24% of the total military strength of each of the fronts). Often they were thrown on the most difficult sections of the front and involved in the active phase of offensive operations. That is why the penalty part were distributed in the armies of Rokossovsky, who participated in almost all key offensive of the great Patriotic war.

In January 1943, when shock troops of the don front, commanded by Rokossovsky participated in the environment and the defeat of the 6th army Paulus at Stalingrad, her team fought 60-I 61-th separate penal company. Penalty box left on one of the hottest areas of the battle – the North-Eastern shore beams Caravati where the Germans firmly held the defense. During the prolonged assault, which cost heavy losses, enemy resistance was finally suppressed. Killed three of the commander of the platoon and several dozen soldiers, more than a hundred people were injured.

One of the most famous of penalty units under the command of General Rokossovsky, was 8-th separate penal battalion, first don, then Central, and then Belorussian front. It was a fairly stable formation, composed solely of officers from Lieutenant to Colonel.

the fate of the priestvshih here were different. Someone stole the trophy bike and knocked on it child, someone repaired the sexual abuse of slave women, and someone allowed on the route complex aerobatics and killed the young pilot. One Lieutenant with the Northern fleet, who owned the German language, caught on the radio Goebbels speech and for some reason recorded it in Russian.

Until August 1944, the battalion led by Colonel Arkady Osipov, who was subordinate considered the standard of the commander: a balanced and prudent always to choose the tactics that allowed to avoid large losses.

In February 1944 about 850 “active bayonets” of the 8th penal battalion participated in the liberation of the Belarusian proud Rogachev. Due to the excellent knowledge of the area (Osipov, was a native of Rogachev) the commander secretly spent his unit through a concentration of enemy troops, then cut the fork to Zhlobin and Bobruisk and blocked the railway, thereby depriving the Germans of the escape routes and the ability to bring up reserves.

Fought the soldiers of the 8th battalions mainly new weapon: submachine gun Shpagin, Simonov anti-tank rifle, heavy machine guns Goryunova. State battalion had 435 rifles, 139 guns, 27 light machine guns and 16 anti-tank guns. During the liberation of Rogachev to help battalions were allocated a platoon of flamethrower. No worse than in other parts of the penalty box was provided with food and clothing.

the battalions were killed six times more often than in normal parts, and it concerned officers. In 8-th separate penal battalion of 18 officers to end the war came only three people. If the formation of the 8th battalion consisted of over a thousand people on the eve of Victory, it could barely muster a hundred.

Not helped to maintain the number of staff and regular replenishment. Basically, the battalions were filled by officers who for various reasons are unable to leave the environment and are stuck in the occupied territory. Despite the fact that for many of them stuck to the stigma of “traitor” in lübeckfate they were treated more than sympathetic.

assignment to the 8th penal battalion Lieutenant Alexander Pyltsyn noted that from the order to the Tribunal in the penal battalion were only one step. He remembered how found in the zone of outposts mined area and having only a superficial understanding sapper decided it on your own risk eliminated – manually transfer the mines to a safe place. In the end one mine still rushed: Lieutenant with a crippled leg and was in hospital, and his colleague died. This business interested attached to the battalion of the NKVD, but the award of commander of the 70th army order of the red Star — saved Pulcina of the Tribunal.

However, the punishment battalions was a matter of common. So, Rokossovsky was removed from his post of chief of staff of the battalion because of his careless work with documents. He was accused that the lists of dead and wounded fighters were crossing over to the enemy.

By Konstantin Rokossovsky, for all his high demands subordinates are treated with great respect. He could find common language not only with the generals, and ordinary soldiers and even a penalty box. After the severe fighting at Zhlobin, when the 8th battalion suffered heavy losses, Rokossovsky personally visited penalty units.

anyone who remembered the visit, admired the friendly and relaxed manner of General conversation. No recriminations, accusations and insults, and only the guidance of veteran commander. It was after that meeting the soldiers of the 8-th separate penal battalion made an unprecedented cast of behind enemy lines.

the Rogachev-Zhlobin operation of February 1944, can be called the most successful, in which participated the 8th battalions. At its end, about 600 of the penalty box (more than 800) were exempt from further punishment in a penal battalion and restored to its former titles. One of the main initiators for this decision was Rokossovsky.

Many of the soldiers of the 8th penal battalion was he was awarded medals “For Courage” and “For military merit” and the order of Glory III degree. Military awards received not only men, but women.

In one of the orders of the commander of Central front, Colonel-General K. K. Rokossovsky on the award said that the former fighter 8-th separate penal battalion lukyanchikova Pelageya Ivanovna, acting as nurses, selflessly assisted the wounded on the battlefield. In 10 days of fighting it was delivered from the fire 47 wounded soldiers with their personal weapons.

Perhaps the most severe test for the 8th penal battalion was the battle of Kursk, where the battalions had lost 143 men killed and 375 wounded. But this did not prevent his fighters to win victories under the Zhlobin-Brest, on the Vistula and the Oder, for the Narva bridgehead, and Konigsberg. Starting with Stalingrad, the 8th penal battalion worthily ended the war under the walls of the Reichstag.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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