History 08/01/20 “Valley of death” near Novgorod: what killed the army of General Vlasov

At the end of 1941 near the Meat Bora Soviet troops managed to break through the German ring around Leningrad compressed. However, for the 2-nd shock army the narrow window was a death trap.

predicted outcome

September 8, 1941, after the occupation by German troops of the town has established a land blockade of Leningrad. To break the iron grip of the Wehrmacht was almost impossible, since almost all sites of the Leningrad front, the enemy was time and a half superiority in aircraft, armored vehicles and manpower. Moreover, with the Gulf of Finland, the enemy continued to press the defenders, and only at the cost of huge losses (about 116 thousand people dead and wounded) managed to stop his promotion to the Northern capital.
From October 1941, the Rate has made numerous attempts to release the approaches to Leningrad, but all the breakthroughs were repulsed divisions of the army group “North”. There was only one supply route blockade of the city across the frozen lake Ladoga, but it was not enough to ensure Leningrad necessary minimum of products. Had to find a hole in the German ring.
This site was discovered near the village of Bor Meat Novgorod region. The area of the village for many kilometers occupied by the Moors did not allow the Germans to organize a tight defensive line this is where it was sent 2nd shock army. The task was heavy. As he wrote to Marshal Kirill Meretskov, deep crawls on the virgin snow was very exhausting people and reduced the pace of advance. The position of the soldiers aggravated the bitter cold. The temperature at night fell to – 34°.

eventually, by the end of January 1942, the 2nd shock army with bloody battles, managed to overcome the highway and railway and to break through to Myasnoy Bor. In some parts of the loss mAYali up to 60% of the personnel. And, for example, in the 1st battery 461–th anti-aircraft division of 120 people survived only 18.
Depth broken the 2nd army of the gaps reached 30 kilometers, and the width at times and does not exceed 300 meters, which created a threat of encirclement. In February has seriously deteriorated the supply of the Soviet group. The Luftwaffe did not allow transport planes to deliver for the 2nd army are the necessary goods, knocking them down before landing.
By mid-March, the enemy pulled in the area of the Meat Bora six fresh divisions, who are increasingly squeezed tight ring part of the 2nd shock army. In the second half of April, Stalin took the decision to aim at saving actually encircled Lieutenant-General Andrei Vlasov who had distinguished themselves in the battles of Moscow. However, Vlasov was able to penetrate only a 700-meter corridor, and then his part was met by heavy enemy fire. By this time the area of the Meat Bora has turned into an Inferno.
Supply of the 2nd army ceased altogether. Diet at best consisted of 1 biscuit on a soldier a day. Eating the dead horses that caused among the men of massive gastric distress. But soon left, and horses – was a massive famine. Began to be recorded even cases of cannibalism. And at the end of may came another attack on the weakened soldiers were attacked by swarms of swamp mosquitoes.

By this time, ran out of fuel, the removal of the wounded was impossible. Discipline among the personnel utterly wrong, and the headquarters of the army orders all available forces to go on break. However, the lucky few. According to eyewitnesses, all around the Meat Bora was littered with corpses in several layers: tanks stuck in the mess of human bodies, and crews had to clean the tracks of the prefabricated metal hooks.
Finally, the corridor burst of the 2nd shock army was liquidated by forces of the Wehrmacht and the Spanish “Blue division” on 25 June 1942. According to various estimates, from an environment managed youtorn 13-16 thousands of fighters, were captured about 30 thousand soldiers and officers, deadweight losses amounted to more than 50 thousand people.

death Valley

the Village of Meat Bor received its name because of the existence here in the nineteenth century the cattle database, where the live product is distilled in St. Petersburg. Now, however, this phrase is sinister. There is a legend that before the war, in the village lived a mental patient, who has repeatedly said that this name is going to pay off.
much later the area around the Meat Bora became known as “death Valley”. The name given to archaeologists who have found here annually, thousands of dead the remains of dead Soviet soldiers, Spaniards and Germans. Neighborhood Meat boron may rightly be considered the largest graveyard in the world – this high concentration of remains around anymore.
the Number of dead Meat under the forest soldiers is not established so far. At the moment, at the military cemetery at Myasnoy Bor, interred more than 20 thousand red army soldiers, but it is obvious that the graves not be extended even one ten thousand people.

Professionals, leading excavations in the area, noted that often one can find almost undecomposed remains in full armour and with broken weapons, aided by peat bogs.
“Valley of death” – forgotten place. Even today, to find this area difficult. There are no random people. Here are only the remnants of the narrow gauge railroad, which was actively used during the war. Around her swamps that make human movement almost impossible. Members of the search teams “Valley” is engaged in the search and reburial of the remains, saying that “godforsaken swamp filled with dead bodies, creating in these places a difficult situation.”
Almost all been in Myasnoy Bor, pay attention to the oppressive silence: here don’t sing and live birds. Perhaps the echoes of the terrible fighting that took place in these places, make themselves knowth. Searchers hope that all the remains will be buried, the birds to come back.

Taras Repin

© Russian Seven

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