Kushchevskaya battle: is it true that the Cossacks attacked German tanks on horses

History 05/02/20 Kushchevskaya battle: is it true that the Cossacks attacked German tanks on horses

the Dashing cavalry attacks a thing of the past in the beginning of the First world war. The riders were too good a target for automatic weapons, so the attack on horseback could not result in anything except mass death of cavalry. The cavalry began to use horses only as a means of transportation, also fought dismounted.

In the descriptions of the battles of the great Patriotic war found many stories about the horse attacks the red Army. Although the vast majority of them turn out to be ordinary fiction.

the Legendary battle near the village of Kushchevskaya

According to historians of the Soviet period, August 2, 1942, the 13th cavalry division on horseback attacked the superior numbers of the enemy in the village of Kushchevskaya. The Germans from the village knocked out, saber in the cockpit, they were destroyed, according to some, from a few hundred to five thousand, was also hit several tanks, and captured about three hundred prisoners.

In Kushchevskaya cavalrymen supposedly opposed the enormous forces of the Nazis, including the division of the mysterious “White rose” and “Green rose”, whether the tank, whether a mountain, or even an SS. Compounds with such names neither the Wehrmacht nor the SS never had. At the same time the Cossacks were cut with Romanian or Italian forces. Their losses the cavalry has identified two hundred people.

All the various retellings, tells about these events so incredible that once it becomes clear that they are all contrived and not suitable as a story not only for a Hollywood blockbuster, but even for cartoons about Russian heroes.

“the Legendary Kushchevskaya attack”

In 2012, he published a book “the Legendary Kushchevskaya attack”, written by Alexander Driga and Lyudmila Rogoza. This is the first work on the subject before us, in which the authors seriously worked with archivaland documents and have tried to approach the disclosure of material to impartially. Currently most of the documents of the Soviet period used in this book are in the public domain. And according to them, the 13th Kuban Cossack cavalry division 17th Kuban Cossack cavalry corps (consisting of two regiments) and separate tank brigade on 2 August 1942, was ordered to attack the village of Kushchevskaya on horseback and knock out her enemy.

But the attack, supported by aircraft, artillery, attached to the 17th corps and the 15th cavalry division on foot, take Kushchevskaya failed. Action tank brigade was unsuccessful, besides 216 th infantry division, which led the main battles for the village, did not have any assistance.

the Authors, however, emphasize that the Panzer divisions in Kushchevskaya was not, although separate tanks and could be.

a View from the other side

According to German reports, the tanks of the Wehrmacht was not in Kushchevskaya, as well as divisions or regiments of the SS. Near the village acted 73rd infantry division, South-West were part of the 91st infantry regiment 4th division gornopehotnoy. That is the 91st regiment, and was faced with a Soviet of the 13th division.

According to the same Wilhelm Tick in the book “March to the Caucasus. The battle for oil 1942-1943”, the German troops in the area Kushchevskaya village was attacked by tanks and Cossacks, which slowed their progress but not stopped it.

About the horse attacks in any German document or memoir mentions no.

the loss of the 91st regiment a few days of fighting during the crossing of the river Eya was about 40 people killed, the number wounded information is not available.

the Battle at the village of Kushchevskaya

in Another work – “the defense of the Soviet troops in the lower reaches of the don in the summer of 1942” (the site “don 1942”) – is a lot of documentary evidence relating to the fighting in the village of Kushchevskaya and in General confirming what was said above.

Gathering all the known facts andthe Scriptures, it is possible to reconstruct the course of events. In the attack on Kushchevskaya main strike force was a separate tank brigade, formed from students of the Oryol schools and composed of 27 tanks: 14 T-34, 4 T-60 and 9 BT. In her care were given to two regiments (the 29th and 32nd) 13th cavalry division – up to 500 cavalry each (cavalry regiments of the red army in numbers roughly equivalent to infantry battalions). Support for the advancing troops also had to provide two divisions of armored trains assigned to the 17th corps.

All the heavy weapons were transferred to the 15th division, she was ordered to accompany the offensive fire and assault on foot. To the East in Kushchevskaya was instructed to go 216 th infantry division.

the 13th division, and the entire case, was composed of individuals older than 40 years, half of them were registered as volunteers, and the rest mobilized. Shelves division was advancing on horseback about 9 km, that is, horses are very tired.

the 29th regiment suffered heavy losses from artillery and mortar fire, and retreated, 32nd regiment attacked and took part in the wheelhouse. Apparently, we are talking about the fight in the corn fields with units of 91st mountain regiment. The loss of both regiments was killed and 200 people wounded — about 270, went missing about 50 people. Thus, up to half of the staff was eliminated.

the Germans really used aircraft. Soviet troops attacked one dive bomber or attack aircraft.

Tank brigade instead to pave the way for advancing, were behind the cavalry, leaving her without support. The losses of tank crews: 3 T-34 and 4 BT. 216 th infantry division the attack is not supported.

during the offensive, was busy with the farm Cheerful, then the attack could not continue due to losses and lack of reinforcements. To Kushchevskaya regiments of the 13th division don’t even come close. The village Stornoway regiments of the 15th cavalry division on foot. They had to deal with parts of the 73rd infantry division, so technically in the battle of Kushchevskaya, the 17th corps actually fought not one German division. Another thing is that actually it was about multiple small units.

When the Cossacks after the unsuccessful attack began to retreat, the Germans rushed after battered and retreating, than created a threat of encirclement of the whole body. German losses on all fronts was, according to Soviet reports, no more than 500-600 people. In General operation all features can be safely classified as a failure.

as for the saber chopping, then she apparently took place, but with some reservations. Cavalry on horseback accompanied the tanks in the attack. It is common practice in the Second world war, when horse part was replaced by a motorized infantry. But don’t confuse the offensive and attack. On horseback, the Cossacks of the 13th division Kushchevskaya is attacked, they are up to it did not make it. The collision occurred during the offensive, most likely, in the fields of corn and sunflower, which does not contradict, as the descriptions of the Germans, and mentions cavalry saber on the bridge.

Hence, the story of Kushchevskaya cavalry attack based on real facts, which are subsequently “slightly” exaggerated and embellished.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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