What army Stalin considered the best during the great Patriotic war

History 03/01/20 What army Stalin considered the best during the great Patriotic

In the Preface to the book by I. V. nebol “Beloved Stalin. 2nd Guards tank army in battle,” the former Deputy commander of the 12th guards tank corps, 2nd tank army the General-major Anatoly Sobig writes about the conversation between Stalin and Lieutenant-General S. I. Bogdanov. In this conversation, Stalin told the commander of the 2nd guards tank army, after the battle of Berlin considers the best army in the great Patriotic war.

Comrade Stalin, of course, know better who and what is considered the best. However, the combat path of the 2nd tank, and then guards tank army really deserves to be remembered and studied.

the Beginning of the path

the Army was created in January 1943, and as was then customary, had a mixed composition: two tank corps and a tank brigade, three infantry divisions and separate parts. Created army became part of the new Central front, which is formed on the basis of the former don front.

the First operation where the 2nd tank was the main striking force, was a failure and for the front, and for the army. During Dmitriev-Sevskiy offensive tasks was not performed, the movable group of the front (cavalry-infantry group) was surrounded and almost all killed, and captured Sevsk tank had to leave. On the 2nd tank nearly half of all losses.

In the battle of Kursk, the 2nd tank army clashed in the area of Ponyri. Immediately after the battle of Kursk, almost without respite, the army was part of the Chernigov-Pripyat operation. The army reinforced the 7th guards mechanized corps, because their tanks are already barely enough to equip one armored corps. The army success in this operation could not boast of, but she drew off the main forces of the Germans that the result allowed the troops of the front to break through the defense in other areas. After this operation, the 2nd tank was withdrawn to the rear for rest and replenishment, and then fought in the composition of the 1st Ukrainian front.

In Ukraine and in Belarus

as part of the 1st Ukrainian front, the 2nd Panzer took part in the Korsun-Shevchenko operation. “The second Stalingrad” the Germans to organize ours did not work (a large part surrounded managed to escape from the boiler), but the loss they suffered heavy. Next, the 2nd army, almost without interruption, but as part of the 2nd Ukrainian front continued the offensive, liberated the city of Uman, and then went to the Romanian border.

the army was exhausted and again his way of fighting, after replenishment, she continued in the part of the 1st Belorussian front. In the last stage of the operation “Bagration”, the 2nd tank immediately took the city of Lublin, and moved to Warsaw. On the outskirts of the Polish capital has played a major tank battle which took the elite division of the Germans: “Hermann Goering”, “Totenkopf”, “Viking”. Far detached from his troops, no bases, and no support aviation, 2nd tank army was forced to retreat.

And Berlin!

the Newly replenished, the 2nd tank army, who by that time guards in January 1945, two weeks passed 700 km from the Vistula to the Oder and seized Kostrinsky foothold. After that, the army took part in the defeat of the Germans in Pomerania, went to the Baltic sea.

And then began the storming of Berlin. 2nd guards tank army had to go to the assault Seelow heights, which was not planned earlier. 21st April part 2-army first reached the outskirts of Berlin

the War tanks of the 2nd guards tank army finished in the Tiergarten Park, in the alley of the Teutonic commanders, more than symbolic.

Tanks, soldiers and commanders favorite of Stalin’s army

the Operations of the 2nd tank army was the subject of several works of the historians of Alexander Polishchuk and Andrei Ulanov: “2-Panzer vs godchildren of the “fat Herman”, “Exhausted depleted tank vs infantry”, “Assault guns vs tank Bogdanov”, etc. Due to these works and the book I. nebol mentioned in the beginning of the combat history of the 2nd tank army can learn a lot of details.

Interestingly, from the beginning to the end of its path of fighting in the tank corps of the army was presented regarding a lot of lend-lease equipment. That is not very typical for the red army, especially in the last stage of the war, as foreign tanks were traditionally given in mechanical and not in the tank corps. However, even in the formation of one of the tank corps (11th) had instead of “thirty” English “Matilda” and “Valentayny”. And in the bronetransporternym two battalions of the army was the English “Rounders”.

And in the 44th, when the 2nd tank entered the territory of Poland, of 812 tanks there were 140 American “Shermans” and 19 English “Valentine”. In the army there were even such rare cars like the American self-propelled anti-tank installation “Wolverine” (Wolverine), in the red army called M-10. Them in the whole of the red Army armed with only two self-propelled artillery regiment, and one (to the beginning of the operation had 17 cars) got the 2nd Panzer army. The army also had an American anti-aircraft M-17 and M3A half-track armored personnel carriers.

the First commander of the 2nd tank army was Lieutenant-General P. L. Romanenko, but almost immediately was replaced by Lieutenant General A. G. Rodin. After the battle of Kursk army led by Lieutenant General, then Colonel-General Semyon Ilich Bogdanov, who commanded the army in all its future operations. Only from July 23 to November 20, 1944, General Bogdanov left the army, being seriously wounded by Lubliner. It has changed major-General A. I. radzievskiy.

1 June, 1945 S. I. Bogdanov was awarded the title of Marshal of armored forces. For the Uman-Botosanci operation General Bogdanov became the Hero of the Soviet Union, and for a breakthrough to the Oder and access to the shore of the beach on the Balton the sea, he received a second Gold Star. And at S. I. Bogdanov, two orders of Suvorov and many other awards.

221 soldier of the 2nd tank army was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, 103 352 were awarded orders and medals. 143 the order was awarded to military units and formations of the army, and adorned their banners. 24 times the army received thanks of the Supreme Commander.

All this was the reward for 6000 miles the military way, where the 2nd tank army liberated 46 3730 cities and settlements.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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