As the Red Army stormed the fortress in 1944

History 12/01/20 As the Red Army stormed the fortress in 1944

the Soviet defenders of the Brest fortress faced the enemy in the first day of the war – June 22 1941. Only in the second half of July, German troops managed to finally break the stubborn defense of the citadel. Three years later the Brest fortress had to defend the retreating Nazis.

to Start the release

the Liberation of Brest took place in the framework of the Lublin-Brest operation that unfolded from 18 July to 2 August 1944. Its execution was entrusted to Marshal of the Soviet Union Konstantin Rokossovsky, who led the troops of the I Byelorussian front. In the southern sector of the front moved forward and came close to Kovel. To Brest was no more than 100 kilometers. But the resistance of the enemy promised to be persistent.

the Operation implied the application of a series of concentrated blows to bypass the Brest fortified area with a rout of German troops in Brest and Lublin with further access to the Warsaw area. It should be noted that the liberation of villages and towns of the Brest region, Soviet troops started even before the main operation – a month earlier — in the Belarusian offensive operation “Bagration”.

On the right flank of the offensive of the Belorussian front I was expecting a major obstacle – here on the line Bialystok – Brest, the German command tried to organize a new line of defense. On the stretch more than 100 kilometers was created a powerful grouping consisting of two armored and seven infantry divisions, six divisional and two separate brigades with a dozen regiments of guard.

the Deeply echeloned fortified, dotted with pillboxes, bunkers and other fortifications of the long-term and field fortifications, connected by communication trench and tunnels were formed and near Brest. The defensive line was further covered with minefields and prevolucni barriers. Especially dense lines of defense were North-Eastern and Eastern extremities of the city, where part of the red army waited three protective shaft, stationed at the old fortress FORTS. All roads leading to Brest from the North-East, was mined.

As he recalled the Hero of the Soviet Union General-Lieutenant Alexander Lucinschi, former commander of the 28th army, “Mines were everywhere: on highways, and on the narrow trails that wound among the meadow floodplain Forest, and on railway embankments”. In this regard, it was decided to first destroy the enemy grouping in the area of Highly-Litovsk, wait for the approach of artillery, and additional rounds of ammunition and then, rounding the Brest from the North, to begin the assault on the city.

In the ring

the Task of liberation of Brest were assigned to separate divisions from three armies – the 28th, the 61st and 70th. For Colonel-General Vasily Popov, appointed to the post of commander of the 70th army, this operation was special. In June 1941 he was commander of 28th rifle corps, which included the 6th and 42nd divisions, of which defended the Brest fortress. Now it’s time to get even with the enemy for the tragedy of the first months of the war and loss of comrades.

Already on the approaches to Brest by the red Army encountered fierce resistance in the field of defence, where from the depth provided strong support serf FORTS. The enemy is created trihexalon defensive zone: the first line passed 6 km from Brest, the second in 3, third – directly on the outskirts of the city. Despite the fact that in 1915 the tsarist army during the First world war during the retreat undermined a significant part of the fortifications, the Wehrmacht wisely used for defense that somehow survived.

the Attempt to break through the outer belt of the enemy defense was taken on the night of July 24 forces 1323-regiment 415 th infantry division to the South of the Mukhavets river in the village of Saki. Bostolknovenie was long and cruel. Continuously attacking the enemy under a barrage of fire, the Soviet troops managed to break through to the first line of defense in front of which stretched the trench with betonelemente bunkers. Here’s to the end of the day and managed to gain a foothold fighters before the final storming of Brest.

About how hard it is to overcome the defenses of the red army were told by the commander of 1297 th infantry regiment 160th infantry division of the 70th army, Lieutenant Colonel A. V. Zalewski. According to him, the most serious obstacle was fortova line of the Brest fortress: it was a solid shaft of reinforced concrete fortifications, which allowed us to maintain long-term perimeter defense. Intense bloody battles here took place on 24 July.

And the Germans not only defended, but also counterattacked. 1297 th rifle regiment had to reflect 17 attacks of the enemy. The situation was reversed only after 1293 th regiment cut off the defenders route Kodnya – Terespol and took one of the FORTS of the Brest fortress.

by the evening of the 24th of July, Brest was sandwiched in a semicircle. From East, West and South of the front continued relentlessly closer to the city. The right wing finally managed to bypass the defensive line of the enemy and to form a local “copper”. On 25 July, the ring around defending the city part 86, 137 and 261 th German infantry divisions were finally closed shut.

the Fall of the citadel

the Soldier Alexander, first in Russia, participated in the liberation of Brest, recalled how on July 27 over the city echoed the sounds of a terrible cannonade. Female soldiers, who came here from the red Army, was sitting in the trenches and prayed. All was quiet the next morning. On the way to Brest, in the words of kirchuk’s, there were many dead Germans and broken equipment of the Wehrmacht. The ground was dotted with craters. However, inside the city still continued fighting.

First to the territory of the Brest fortress July 30, he joined a group of scouts under the command of Sergeant Victor Mishenina. A week before etwow OU Mishenina managed to get to the southern outskirts of the city when the German forces still resisted the advancing red army units. All this time the scouts collected accurate information on the location and the strength of the enemy in the fortress, and passed them on by radio to the command that allowed you to adjust the fire.

at the same time watching the Brest fortress reconnaissance monitored the situation in situated near the camp. As soon as the opportune moment, the commander gave the order to attack the camp, where in addition the civilian population was prisoners of war. The success of the operation was the release of 300 prisoners.

the Mastery of fortified walls seemed much more challenging. On the approach to defensive redoubt a short fight ensued, during which Soviet intelligence agents, killing two platoons of the Nazis, broke over the walls of the citadel. Unfortunately, escape was virtually no place – the whole interior of the fortress lay in ruins. However, while continuing to engage in a firefight with superior enemy forces, the unit Mishenina still hold out until the main forces 1295 th infantry regiment. In the course of this battle, the future hero of the Soviet Union Viktor polikarpovich Mishenin personally killed 13 soldiers of the Wehrmacht.

the same day, 30 July, the Soviet troops of the Brest fortress was finally cleared of the enemy. Ruins of the citadel was still Smoking, as the enemy before the inevitable fall of the fortress blew up their warehouses with fuel and ammunition. Added destruction of the Soviet artillery and aircraft, for several days mercilessly bombed the city.

the Commander of the reconnaissance of the 48th guards rifle division of the 28th army Neustroeva the storming of Brest and the Brest fortress is remembered for a lifetime. Entering with his unit in the city, he found here only a huge ashes, on which stood a blackened pipe, and streets littered with corpses of German soldiers, mutilated tanks, guns and mortars.

According to Soviet historians, protectsAussie Brest the German part in the battles with the red army lost 7 thousand soldiers, 110 thousand were captured. Our troops have completely captured the city and fortress are actually six days after the start of the assault. To speed up the fall of the Brest citadel was managed by a small reconnaissance units. It does not go to any comparison with the heroic defense of the Brest fortress by the red army in the summer of 1941, which lasted 28 days.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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