Calling himself on fire

Per minute high-voltage battle, when the enemy's ring is compressed so that it leaves no other choice, the air full of courage to fly the word "Calling himself on fire!" One of those who spoke them during majestically Russian War — Hero of the Russian Union Boris V. Kravtsov. Then, in the fall 40 Third, he could not do otherwise …

Draw the enemy's fire upon oneselfOctober 24, 1943 reinforced battalion of the 185th Guards Rifle Regiment of the pontoons and crossed the Dnieper in a fierce battle with the enemy took a small bridgehead on the largest peninsula on the Dnieper River Khortytsya.
Coupled with the infantry crossed artillery spotters and radio operators, led by the chief of intelligence artdiviziona Guard lieutenant Boris Kravtsov.

Peninsula Khortytsya — twelve miles in length and about 3 wide — known at first because it is here that there was an eminent Zaporozhye. Our forefathers first to appreciate the advantages of high and rocky areas on land approaches to which one side was blocked by the Dnieper rapids, and on the other — impassable marshes. Hence, perfectly visible, and hence, shooting aqua surface. All this makes Khortytsya in natural fortress.

In the history of the Russian peninsula majestically walked in that it is here at the beginning of the war was carried out one of the first offensive operations of the Red Army.

The Nazis occupied the peninsula in August 40 with the first of his great beaches excellent viewing located near the city of Zaporozhye. Our troops were in a difficult position. How to organize the evacuation, if factories, streets, railway station and the band are under constant supervision, and continuous shelling of the enemy?

Draw the enemy's fire upon oneselfRussian command made a decision: to knock out the Germans with Khortytya. Of success for the operation needed to gather information about the enemy. But in order to get to the peninsula, it is necessary to overcome the left sleeve of the Dnieper River a few hundred meters wide, and he was seen as the hands.

Then the officers asked the 1st of the boys swam across with Khortytya on our left in store, go back and try to scout the firing point and the position of the Germans fighting on the peninsula. The kids that lived on the peninsula, it was even easier to make than most in the best spies: in Khortytsia was a settlement, lived buoy-keepers, carriers, and the local boys, of course, did not cause Germans special suspicion. Well aware of all the hidden trails of the island and its numerous marshes, guys coped with the task, and the next day our artillery killed a Nazi headquarters, located in a former children's nurseries, and concentration of troops in the Broad support.

After that, the boys began to get new jobs. They are not only conducted reconnaissance, and distributed leaflets, cut strips of communication, helping to cross to our Preserving the wounded Red Army that remained on the peninsula after it was captured by the Germans, were transported to the occupied right Preserving the Dnipro connected aimed at partisans. And one night the guys crossed the peninsula, carrying everything you need to tied to his cap. At precisely the appointed hour next to the enemy gun emplacements fires broke out. According to him and knocked our artillery. Thanks to their help our troops liberated the peninsula from the enemy, could delay the Zaporozhye and a half months. In the town the opportunity to evacuate the factory.
Most of the young heroes died. Their feat was filmed feature film "I-Khortytsya."

Two years passed, and with languid fighting on October 14, our troops liberated Kiev. The forthcoming offensive seriously hindered the enemy, entrenched in Khortytsia. The Nazis had a strong fortifications on the peninsula, which was to take, forcing deep in its own downstream river.
While the troops were preparing for offensive newcomer cast, pulling the rear and driving up food and ammunition, artillery scouts were in suspense. Boris Kravtsov closely studied peninsula. Settle down in the attic warped bombing six-storey building, the scout to hurt the eyes staring into the hilly terrain of the island covered with trees and shrubs terrain in surviving and dilapidated buildings. To map landmarks, gun emplacements and enemy defenses, scribbling with crayons panorama of the visible part of the island and the right bank of the river.

Boris well to advance, it is often asked on the front edge of the paper to represent the enemy. He did it usually several copies — commanders firing squads, the chief of staff, leaving the scheme and for themselves.

On October 24, the final Kravtsov reported to the commander of the artillery battalion captain Lamine that managed to see and detect. It was clear that the Germans were firmly dug in the rocky ground. Have been strengthening their thorough and shores of the island and the highest rocky.

Soon followed by a call to the headquarters division, where Lamine put Kravtsov puzzle adjust artillery fire. Boris had to go with a group of scouts in conjunction with an assault battalion, which will cross the Dnieper and create landing at Khortytsya.

Had to act in 21.00.

Realizing that they were going to subordinates, the battalion commander promised to support the battalion fire. To do this, Kravtsov had to pass to the headquarters of a clear position. He realized: to survive one chance in 100. But orders are orders.

To the left shore when night fell over the Dnieper. On the palate, no stars, no moon — complete darkness! Only from time to time with the adverse party soared into the sky, illuminating the store, the rocket, but at times the dark as pitch, aqua slide surface of a powerful spotlight.
Secretly crossed the Germans troops have found. But when the pontoon ran aground and the soldiers began to jump into the water and ran to the shore, the enemy opened a fierce fire …

But the surprise attack had done its work: the Germans hastily retreated into the depths of the island. Strike group on a small plot mastered their trenches, capturing even left the fleeing gun.

In the German dugout in which even found a Nazi badges with application forms, equipped observatory. Volodya Mozgunov, the best radio operator division, Ryazan, blond young man who nursed almost the radio as the most sacred thing, and so it worked for him smoothly, contacted the commander of the battalion. Kravtsov said clear position. The benchmark chosen a large oak tree, which was clearly visible from the left coast …

Draw the enemy's fire upon oneselfDo not have time to report the situation as the silence of the night broke a drawn howling enemy mines. Coordinates of enemy mortars were transferred immediately to the left is saved. Spoke artillery. The enemy firing points were covered, but the Germans had superior forces, and threw them out, so knock Troopers from the island.

Fierce mortar and machine-gun fire on positions of the battalion did not stop throughout the night, and therefore had to be adjusted constantly Kravtsov fire the left bank of batteries, helping to repel the advancing
enemy infantry. All night the air sounded his team, "Fusing fragmentation, full charge, compass 20 … six levels, the sight … Two shells, fire!", "6 rounds, a quick fire", "The level of less than two hundred …"

During the night recaptured eight attacks. Commanders have been in the trenches with the infantry, Kravtsov — in front of the dugout, so watch where exploding shells. Every now and then asked: "Got a light, a spark, add, 'and they added.

At dawn the Germans brought down on landing new mortar barrage, and in the morning the enemy gunmen broke through the defensive fire.
Position at a bridgehead was very difficult for the final rounds, grenades are not many. But there is still a few hours of daylight, because help could come only with the coming of darkness. Many were tortured by thirst. Dust and smoke could hardly breathe. Ammunition in their ability to save and kept off the enemy at a distance of Aimed Shot. To protect the fighter from a head wound when artillery attack, dug "foxholes" — circular recesses in the wall of the trench. When started cannon-saturated mortar attack, the soldiers thrust in the "hole" of the head. This is a measure to save assist people.

From everywhere came the clique, "Eng, Rus, sdavays! Russian kaput! "It ran close Teuton, other. Kravtsov, litsezrev that in the dugout mounted machine guns, almost at point blank range with a pistol shot the 1st of the opponents. Grenades rained down on the dugout.

German ring compressed denser, and Kravtsov clearly heard the rustle of sand — the Nazis crept from behind and to the right. Thinned the ranks of artillery reconnaissance.

Realizing what is about to be finished with them, Boris looked at the soldiers. They were ready to rush vrukopashuyu. And only the 1st of us was acting in full force weapon — portable radio. Had time to look at Mozgunova: eyebrow shifted, had withdrawn to their headphones. Kravtsov shouted: "Give! We're surrounded. The goal — our NP, fire at me! Fire at me! "

Mozgunov as if he expected it. With passion seized command as if it would bring him satisfaction of getting rid, not destruction. On the other side first reflection, that it is incorrect figured these desperate words. Asked the radio operator of the left bank. Kravtsov shouted to them, deaf or something, your mother, and so on, well, as usual at the front in such cases. And here at the entrance jerked pineapple, wounding him in the left arm. With all of this radio was damaged. Mozgunov picked it up, turned it around and threw it away. Now it is impossible to repeat the command. A fire is not present. And here they heard the sound of hovering on the decline of the shells. Our own, from the left bank. All buckled in three deaths. First salvo — flight, the second — undershoot, and the third — right on the dugout. Germans swept away, as gryazyuka from the roof of the pouring rain. And the spies went. A hole in the ceiling, and their fallen logs, piles of sand and earth …

Draw the enemy's fire upon oneselfWhen he awoke, Kravtsov realized that the piled debris. With difficulty rescued hands. Hard to tossing and groaning beams pulled from under his feet. Slowly sat up and tried to shake off. The whole body was weak. And here until his hearing came a groan from the far corner. It was Mozgunov. Rushed there and started convulsively disassemble obstruction. Fortunately, the radio operator received only little damage to the head and legs. Hastily bandaged as he could, wounded, crawling dragged him on the right flank, to his people. And there is a wired connection asked for the division. When he heard a familiar voice in the tube, yelled, "I — Kravtsov. I say to you — Kravtsov! What? Died? You see, alive. So, fiddling scratch. Yeah right. Take coordinates. We were attacked again … "And off the usual: a full charge … sight … four rockets, a quick fire!

The Braves held a conquered foothold on the peninsula before the arrival of reinforcements. By the night at Khortytsya landed big landing. The evacuation of the wounded. Without the help of others can only move three 10-ka man. With sunken eyes, in a torn, smelling of gunpowder and later uniforms, they cheered "heavy."
The peninsula is etched more than 20 officers and nearly 200 enlisted men, but in the fight for a foothold in Khortytsia they have diverted significant enemy forces from those areas where getting ready to cross the Dnieper main force. Kravtsov from his own small group lost two.
In the bloody shirt, a shirt with the sleeves cut off, he went to the headquarters. Battalion commander was not, and he reported to the Chief of Staff Sychev that the job is done. He heartily rejoiced return, embraced Kravtsov, thanks for the actual puzzle and sent to the field hospital.
After two weeks of healing Boris Kravtsov returned to duty. Ahead ahead for more brutal battles over the right bank of the Dnieper.
By the time he was at war for 18 months, from the spring 40 of the second. He graduated from Odessa Artillery School, which was translated by the time the city of Sukhoi Log, Sverdlovsk region.

Two-year program from the course "artillery reconnaissance tool" to master in eight months. Trained Radzivil, sparingly. Discipline and sense of duty were high. Understood that the war will not tolerate dropouts. After graduation Kravtsov sent to the South-Western Front topographic reconnaissance platoon artillery battalion. Came the summer of 1942. The mood among the troops was unhappy enough. Defensive battle, continuous trouble. We have tried to storm, but failed. In late May, the Germans struck a powerful counter-attack and drove us to the eastern Preserving the Seversky Donets. "Messer" flew at a height of 10-20 meters and shot retreating from strafing. Burning appliances, moaning wounded. A German tanks were eager to Stalingrad.

Soldier, who miraculously survived the same grinder, recalls that from time to time in the villages and hamlets of the Red Army, he met with no guns. I've heard from them that make war with such force worthless and better voluntarily surrender …

At first, he felt quite insecure. Hearing the enemy's shots fell, clutching his head to the ground. But quickly mastered with the situation. All slaves were older than the young lieutenant: one was a school principal and three as a teacher, and all the squad leaders were behind a couple of years of service. People crept experienced and prosaic terms, and in the military. Kravtsov at the time was only nineteen … Embarrassment quickly passed, and there was a mutual understanding.

Over time, the division artillery regiment, completing a heavy march, located east of Stalingrad Berry Farm area. So there's no farm at that time was not, instead of only the dark houses pipes sticking out like crosses in the cemetery.

In those places and met a serious artillery, with snow drifts, winter. Entrenched in the support windswept steppe, in a poorly equipped, in a run-up dugouts were sitting for a long time without firewood, and even once without drinking water. In the 25 km on icy and snowy roads, hardly delivered to the front all right — from ammunition to fire wood. These criteria division prepared to oppose the 11th Romanian Infantry Division.
Kravtsov platoon lieutenant did his job: timed emplacements, command posts and placement of equipment of the enemy.
Specifically, there Boris truly realized what an artillery reconnaissance, because often he had to be in front of the infantry, with the front edge. Every now and then crawled over outposts, about two hundred
meters ahead. Before the enemy trenches closer than to own. Scouts had to recheck all the initial data collected by observers from the infantry. Always with you in Kravtsov was radio, through which he passed clear coordinates identified enemy objects. Sometimes that report it by phone. From time to time, placed so close to the Germans that it was possible to hear their speech, to command.

And later it was a particularly memorable not only for the Kravtsov morning November 19, 1942. It has stood quiet, with light frost, with watery mist in the valleys and supports. And suddenly the air was lit and shuddered. It knocked our artillery, all the time, so much so that the earth trembled, fell glass. In this cannonade sounded and tools division captain Lamine. And they were thrashed by the goals that you have found and spotted spies, "the eyes and ears." As Boris says, many in the eyes there were tears.

And the war for him ended December 31, 1943: fragment of a shell exploded near his hip was severely wounded in the right leg. The blow was so strong that Kravtsov create memories that it was a hit languid log. Fell like a stone. Entire wall of the hut was riddled with shrapnel hit him one of them broke a leg bone and got stuck in the wound. Miraculously survived.

Fortunately, the officer promptly ran the battery medical instructor Anya Brovkina — small, frail woman. She dragged Kravtsov in benign place and bandaged his wounded leg. At 12 o'clock in the morning he was lying on the operating table in the hospital of the town of Zaporizhia. The doctor congratulated him on the New Year 1944 and ordered the nurse to give anesthesia.

For a long time Boris was treated in the hospitals of Zaporozhye, Slavic and Leninakan. In the hospital and vyznat that the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet on March 19, 1944 "for exemplary performance of command assignments and displaying all the courage and heroism," he was awarded the title Hero of the Russian Union.

Draw the enemy's fire upon oneselfIn June 1944, the guards artillery recognized disability group 2 and was demobilized from the army. So once dropped all his dreams of a military academy. 22-year-old hero of Russian Union returned to Moscow. Almost four months dolechivatsya wounds. Even work could not. Stayed with his mother. The war robbed him of his father — Vasily went missing in 1941. In autumn 1944, he entered the Metropolitan Highway Institute, but due to heightened disease soon had to give up his studies. Once again, six months lazing enforced. The disease slowly receded. In September 1945, when the pain subsided slightly, he still entered the Moscow School of Law. Later graduated from the All-Union Correspondence Institute of Law and has had a distinguished career as a lawyer. A member of the court began to line Moscow-Oka basin, meticulously analyzed the case, trying to think about it in their very essence. Each defendant was trying to build first person. In particular, his heart sank when the tribunal Stavan former front-line soldiers. In such cases, it is very vigilant versed in all the details. Even the formidable criteria when recognizable decree of June 4, 1947 "On criminal responsibility for the theft of municipal and public property", hard and mercilessly, significantly increased the punishment for theft, he was not afraid to defend the perpetrators of crimes under pressure languid current events.

In 1971, Boris was appointed prosecutor of the Russian Federation and that's the highest office struggled with lawlessness and arbitrariness, protecting ordinary people first. From 1984 to 1989 year Kravtsov headed the Ministry of Justice of the USSR. At the current time honored lawyer of, noble procuracy official, member of the Academy of Military History, honorable citizen of Kamensk Derbent and comes on the board of the Union of Russian Club of Heroes, Heroes of the Russian Federation and full members of the Order of Glory. Since 1993 he is an advisor for Law in the Guild Russian lawyers. And yet — a particular fisherman and lover of travel.

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