History 23/02/20 “Borodino battle” in 1941: as the Russians again defeated the French

in the Autumn of 1941 during the defense of Moscow the Russians and the French again met in battle at Borodino. During the offensive, the German command decided to use against the Russian 638-th infantry regiment, which consisted of French volunteers. Before the battle the French were reminded of the great past of their country and what their ancestors have had to fight with the Russian barbarians.

the Mozhaisk line of defense

For the defense of Moscow from the advancing Germans was created Mozhaisk line of defense, and the area near the site of the battle of Borodino of 1812 took 32nd infantry division. The unit was human, he participated in the battles at Halkin-Gol, headed by Colonel Viktor Polushin.

Division, reinforced by a battalion of tank destroyers, howitzer regiments and artillery, occupied the front with a length of 45 kilometers. The latter circumstance complicates the defensive task. The battle began on 12 October with reconnaissance, during which the Germans lost 6 tanks and a few Marines were killed.

Siberian character against the German

13 Oct 1941 10-armored and motorized SS division “the Reich” went into the attack on the station Borodino. From 14 to 16 October, the fighting took place in the centre of the Borodino field, as well as in nearby villages. The memory of those days left the German SS Karel Paul. He wrote that at Borodino the Germans first encountered the Siberian, tall and broad-shouldered soldiers, dressed in overcoats, fur hats and boots. They fought bravely and never panic.

Every piece of land Siberians was passed only after a desperate confrontation. Because of the fierce resistance of the Russian soldiers of both sides were literally severely, and their battle was like hell on earth. Highlighted Karel Soviet 76-mm gun, which proved itself as effectiveing weapon against infantry and tanks.

the French join the battle

In the second echelon of attack of the advancing 7th infantry division of the Bavarians, which strengthened 638-th infantry regiment. Arriving near Smolensk in early November, the French even before the fighting have lost 400 people sick and frostbitten. Before the attack the French with a speech addressed field Marshal Kluge, who reminded them that in this place their ancestors led by Napoleon met in battle with the Russians and now it’s their turn to fight.

Although before going into battle French volunteers have undergone several months of training, they did not meet expectations of command. The bitter cold and Blizzard demoralized accustomed to the warmth of the French people, but a desperate attack of the Siberians completed the rout. A few hours of the battle the regiment lost in killed 65 people and wounded 120.

the German headquarters made the fighting qualities of the French Legionnaires. If rank and file to something else as good, the highest French officers showed complete incompetence on the battlefield. For military action against the Soviet army they did not fit, so 638-th French regiment sent to the rear. After picking new staff and additional training units used against the guerrillas and counter-insurgency operations in the villages of Belarus and Ukraine.

October 18, 1941, the Germans still broke through the defense of the 32nd division and took control of Mozhaisk. Siberians retreated, but carried out their mission: they are a week bites the enemy, which enabled the Soviet command to bring up reserves and strengthen the main line of defense.

Alexander Brazhnik

© Russian Seven

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