As the cavalry of the red Army helped defeat Hitler

History 31/12/19 MO Ssric cavalry of the red Army helped defeat Hitler

Before the Second world war the military leadership of the major powers of the world dominated by the belief about the obsolescence of cavalry as troops and complete superiority over her motorized units. Similarly thought and the red army. However, the realities of the first period of the great Patriotic war, in particular the autumn months, showed that cavalry is too early to write off. At the severe time the horse has largely saved the Soviet army from complete disaster.


the Impending massacre strategists 1930-ies was called the “war of motors”. The belief in the total superiority of technology on the battlefield was dominated by the Soviet Union, which led to a gradual decline in the number of horses.

the beginning of the war the red army was about 526 thousand horses. They were consolidated into 11 cavalry corps. However, in September the number had doubled, and the total horse population in the military exceeds 1,300 thousand individuals.

What prompted the command to increase the number of horses? As the experience of combat in the first months of the war, the horse for the Soviet soldier is a versatile and indispensable tool. The horse worked well as draft power in the conditions of the autumn impassability of roads, the supply of parts and entire cities, also in partisan units and military operations, for example, in the crucial battle for Moscow. However, everything in order.

In the mud on the road

In September, the Germans reached Leningrad, developing the offensive toward Moscow, thronged the Red army in Eastern Ukraine. The climate in these areas is mostly the same: Indian summer in the first half and the middle of the first month of autumn, and then, closer to October, the beginning of the thaw. Numerous rains make the area impassable.

In such conditions and had to retreat the Soviet troops on the road, in the mud and slush, often under the attacks of the enemyaviation. Cars and even more massive guns to move was extremely difficult.

came To the aid of horses. Possessing a great degree of maneuverability and agility equestrian team passed where stuck any technique. In addition, animals treated pasture that was exempted from having a permanent supply of fuel.

In the conditions of autumn slush of the horses had rendered invaluable service to the troops, helped to smuggle a huge quantity of artillery, ammunition and equipment, which otherwise would have to give to the enemy or to destroy. On the whole, the maneuverability of the red army increased significantly. As a consequence, have reduced casualties.

Coney suppliers

As the famous saying: war is war, and lunch schedule. Anyway, a good army – a full army. In the first months of the war, especially in autumn, horses took over much of the work for the delivery of food to the front.

the Important role they played in supplying the blockaded Leningrad on the Road of life. 20 November 1941, when in the Poconos established a strong ice, the first on the route to the besieged city passed horse carts that delivered to the Leningrad flour.

because of the horses were removed from the front of the hospital many wounded soldiers. In addition, the “horse-drawn” and worked a large part of the field hospital. Again, the maneuverability of the cavalry better, and thus reach the needy can be much faster. We can only guess how many lives of soldiers were saved “emergency horse care.”

a guerrilla share

a Huge damage to the enemy, advancing in the autumn of 1941 in Moscow, Leningrad and other cities of the USSR, caused the partisans. They’re holding tens of thousands of enemy soldiers, the suppression of the guerrillas was thrown a significant number of tanks, artillery and even aviation. It slowed down the pace of the Nazis and allowed the red army to buy time to strengthen the defense. A significant contribution to the success of the partisan movement was made by the cavalry.

the Units of the Nar- period Avengers actively used the horses for raids on the enemy’s rear. The mobility of the cavalry, its maximum permeability, even in the Belarusian marshes allowed the guerrillas to catch the Nazis by surprise. Rapid night March in 80, and even 100 kilometers and a surprise morning RAID on an enemy not expecting an attack – described the actions of the “national cavalry” hero of the liberation struggle in Ukraine Sidor Kovpak.

On the defense of Moscow

the Important role played by horses and in the defense of the capital of the USSR. One of the main heroes of the battle became General Lev Dovator. In September 1941 he headed a cavalry group of three thousand horsemen twice smashed the headquarters of the 6th German army. The cavalry killed several thousand soldiers and officers, knocked out tanks, destroyed the supplies of food and fuel. In November, the detachment Dovatora reflect the German offensive on the Volokolamsk highway.

during the most violent days of the battle for Moscow is another cavalry unit led by General Pavel Belov, counterattacked in the area of Serpukhov and drove the Germans from the river Nara. In late November, the cavalry defended the Kashira GRES, participated in the defeat of the 17th Panzer division, then defended Tula and Kaluga released.

the Horsemen have made an enormous contribution to the victory, and had spent the strength of the Germans on the defensive period of the battle for Moscow, which allowed the Soviet troops in December to counter-attack. Victory in this battle had a decisive influence on the further course of the war.

Ivan Proshkin

© Russian Seven

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