On the 70th anniversary of the counter-offensive. Kalinin offensive

On the 70th anniversary of the counter-offensive.  Kalinin offensive

The counter-offensive of the Red Army near Moscow was the first major offensive in the stateliness Russian War (1941-1945). By the beginning of December 1941 rushing toward the Soviet capital group of German troops in the angry battles with the forces of the West, South-Western, Kalinin fronts have suffered significant losses, were stretched out on a broad front and eventually lost his punching power.

Since 1 December 1941 the commander of Army Group "Center" von Bock sent a dispatch to Commander of the Army von Brauchitsch, in which said he did not have the strength to maneuver a large clasps. Fights last 2-weeks have shown that the assumption that the "enemy" close to defeat, "was an illusion." Army Group "Center" was required to hold the front by about 1 thousand km and had in reserve only a weakened division. The German commander said that if such balance of power on the eastern front, where the troops suffered heavy losses in the officer corps and the combat readiness of troops fell, the Wehrmacht was unable to carry on a more or less systematic offensive conduct. Due to failures in the railroad command also does not have the ability to prepare troops extensively on the defensive front and to the present supply of power in the process of fighting.

Von Bock submitted that if the Army Group "Center" will have to go on the defensive in today's borders for the winter of 1941-1942, when the ratio of today's forces on the front is "possible only when allocating large reserves" to be able to cover the probable enemy attacks, breakthroughs front. And let alternate take on the rest and recharge weakened in combat divisions of the first echelon. And for this group of armies will additionally need a minimum of 12 divisions. Followed of mandatory condition for the views of the German Field Marshal, was the order and the safe operation of the railway transport. This allowed a constant supply of German troops and the creation of the necessary supplies (ammo, ammunition, food, etc.). If there is no ability to reinforce Army Group reserves, and to clean up the supply, then you should immediately choose the least profitable and stretched to the limit in the rear of the forces of the Eastern Front. The new limit is appropriate to prepare for the defense forces, to build the necessary rear communications, that upon receipt of the respective order of the High Command could take him for a frisky time.

Russian side

For the Russian command Kalininskoe operational direction of a big surprise. It appeared because of the disaster, which occurred during the first step of the October battle on the far outskirts of the capital of the Russian Union. Then eventually the environment 4 Russian armies (19, 20, 24 and 32 minutes) of the Western Front, the so-called education. "Viazemsky pot" Hitler's troops were able to advance deep into the Soviet Union smooth on the right wing of the Western Front.

In the end, had to be carried Kalinin defensive operation (October 10 — December 4, 1941). Active acts commander of the Western Front, General ZHoru Zhukov, who replaced Ivan Stepanovich Konev, the creation of a special military force composed of troops of the left wing of the Western Front and the Task Force of the North-Western Front under Vatutin, and then the Kalinin Front to act on Kalinin warned towards catastrophe. Although the Kalinin October 14 had to give. By 16 October Russian troops fought moved across the river Volga and strengthened at the turn Selizharovo, Bayou. With the capture of the town of Kalinin Wehrmacht was able to develop in the coming round of Moscow from the north and north-east, and to the rear of the North-Western Front. October 17 order was given to the formation of the Kalinin front of the 4 armies: 22, 29, 30, 31 and a number of individual parts. Germans, and in this direction advancing the 9th Army and 3rd Panzer Group, and had The advantage of in manpower and technology (in the infantry in 1.9 times, tanks — 3.5, guns — 3.3 in machine guns — 3.2 times), they are not able to develop coming.

Yet a few days there was a fight for the city Kalinin. Part of the 256th Infantry Division of General SG Goryachev and Kalinin detachment of militia under the command of Lieutenant Dolgoruky, held the north-western part of the town. The task force Vatutin reflected an attempt to 41th Motorized Corps 3rd Tank Group to break through to the rear of the North-Western Front. Reflected the impact on Torzhoksky direction. After continuous and bloody battles, which, though not of the Red Army brought significant regional success, Wehrmacht units were exhausted, suffered significant losses in men and material. Kalinin Front active defense and counterattacks unchanged bound 13 enemy divisions and is not allowed to transfer them to the metropolitan area, where the decisive battle was on. By December 4 Front's forces firmly entrenched in the east of the strip Selizharovo, Martynov north, west, north and east of Kalinin, the left bank of the Volga, Volga Reservoir. Kalinin Front held in relation to the northern flank of Army Group "Center" clasp the position that was profitable for a counteroffensive.

On the 70th anniversary of the counter-offensive.  Kalinin offensive

Preparing coming

In planning the overall advent of Moscow, it was decided, and of the impact of the Kalinin Front. Deputy Chief of General Staff, Lieutenant-General Vasilevsky said on December 1 Kalinin Front commander Colonel-General Konev about the "exceptionally successful operational situation" of the front and the need to "build almost everything in order to hit the enemy."

On 1 December 1941 the balance of power in this sector of the Soviet-German front was: Russian forces confronted the 9th German Army under the command of Colonel General Adolf Strauss composed of 12 infantry divisions, 1st Security Division and 1st Cavalry Brigade troops "SS". Its population was about 153 thousand people, guns and mortars the Germans were about 2,200 units, tanks — 60. In the Kalinin front was about 200 thousand people, about 1,000 guns and mortars, 17 tanks. The ratio of 1.5:1 in manpower in our favor in guns, mortars we conceded — 1:2.2, the tanks — 1:3.5.

December 1, the Supreme Command (SHK) has issued a directive on the offensive actions of the front. Bet ordered to do in the next 2-3 days strike group composed of more than 5-6 divisions and strike from the front Kalinin, Sudimirka towards Mikulino Settlement and Turginovo. Strike force was to reach the rear of the Wehrmacht and the Klin groups that contribute to its destruction of the Western Front.

On the morning of December 1, Lieutenant-General Vasilevsky arrived at the front to clarify the situation. It turned out that Konev, taking into account its limited means and methods, and decided instead to decisive operations, which anticipate the victory over the right wing of Army Group "Center" in collaboration with the Western Front, to conduct a local operation to liberate the town of Kalinin . Vasil
evsky was able to convince the front commander's plan Betting real. Konev only asked to strengthen the front.

By order of the Supreme Command was held regrouping of the Kalinin Front. 31th Army under the command of Major General VA Yushkevich gave a significant portion of the band front (including the city of Kalinin) 29th Army. All divisions of the 31st Army were concentrated in the 30-kilometer stretch — from Kalinin to Sudimirok. December 2, 1941, the front commander Konev, in accordance with the directive Supreme Command, gave orders to the troops fighting. The front had to put two strikes. First forces of the 31st Army from the east and south-east of Kalinin. Second joints of the 29th Army under the command of Lieutenant-General II Maslennikov around Kalinin from the west. 29th Army was also to lead the defense of Torzhok direction.

Offensive planned to take place in two steps. In the first step of compound 29 th and 31 th Army, were in the first day or the coming of the Germans to break through the defense and take possession of Kalinin. Then the armies of the advancing troops had to go to the line: Danilovskoye Negotino, an old churchyard, Kozlov. In the second step, the Front's troops had to develop success in the south and strike group to enter the limits of the river Shoshi.

The commander of the 31st Army Maj. Gen. Vladimir Yushkevich decided to strike the main blow on 6-kilometer stretch of the units of the 119th (Major General AD Berezin) and 250th (Colonel P. Stepanenko) infantry divisions in the direction of an old churchyard, Pushkin. For the development of a breakthrough in the reserve 31st Army was the 262 th Infantry Division (Col. Mikhail Tereshchenko). Immediately, to distract attention German command, planned to spend two auxiliary attack: 256 th Infantry Division with its right flank was advancing on Huge Peremerki and 5th Infantry Division on lupila Smolino Settlement. So Makar, 31 Army Yushkevich, with rather limited powers — the Army did not get to own part of the new divisions and led to the coming of thinning in previous battles compounds inflicted not one hit, but three. Also do not have the ability to suppress the defense Germans heavy artillery fire: the density of artillery in the direction of the head hitting 31st Army was only 45 units per 1 km of the front.

In a very non-long term front spent a considerable regrouping. All movements of troops were NIGHT MODE, kept meticulous disguise. The Germans, apparently, was so convinced of his own power, which viewed the preparation of the front to counter-attack, and was later told the prisoners, the coming of Russian troops was to them one hundred percent of a sudden.

The Germans have had enough strong defense, stretched along the Volga and the long chain of trenches protected emplacements. In some places the river is laid up and was abruptly cut off by political water. Because climb under enemy fire on a slope covered with ice was virtually impossible. The Germans turned on the front edge of the village and in the depths of his own defense in the strongest strongholds, and a massive stone and wood buildings — in the long gun emplacements with radial fire. The gaps between the supporting Fri were covered by minefields and two or three lines of barbed wire. In the town of Kalinin opponent made a solid defensive line of trenches, bunkers and dugouts.

Because of the 262 th Infantry Division had no time to get fit for the start positions and the rears do not have time to catch up, the beginning of the coming of the front was modified and moved from 4 to 5 December 1941.

On the 70th anniversary of the counter-offensive.  Kalinin offensive

Adolf Strauss (right), commander of the 9th Army

Advent

December 5th Army of the Kalinin Front launched a counter-offensive. Right behind them in the morning on December 6, fled the coming shock troops of the Western Front and the right wing of the South-Western Front. Severe fighting took place on the front of more than 1,000 km (from Kalinin to Eltsa).

At 3 am on Dec. 5 assault battalions of the divisions strike force 31st Army marched across the ice to the right of the Volga-saving value to capture a bridgehead in populated Fri Peremerki, pea, Old Semenov and therefore, to provide bridging aqua turn the main forces of the army. Battalions of the 119th and 5th Infantry Divisions to 10 hours a foothold in Gorohova and Old-Semenov.

In the 13 hours after a 45-minute artillery barrage and air strikes in the coming of the main forces of the army went. From the outset, adopted a fierce fight nature. Rifle companies, which advanced with little or no support for armored vehicles, were able to overcome a prominent Volga, but on the other side came under heavy enemy fire. But, despite the deadly fire of the Germans, the Red Army bravely rushed to capture villages Fri peas, Gubino, Emmaus, Ancient Bucket, Aleksino. In the course went grenades, and came to melee battles when used bayonets, rifle butts, knives. In angry battle to the final on December 5, compound 31 th Army were able to break through the first line of defense of the 9th German Army, cut the highway Moscow — Kalinin. Russian forces have advanced to 4-5 km, the advanced units tightly to come to the October steel road. In just the first day fighting was captured 15 locations Wed. But absolutely complete the puzzle army commander of the front of the 31st Army could not.

At 11:00 5dekabrya in the general direction of Danilovskoe, went on the attack of the 29th Army Lieutenant General II Maslennikov. Troops 246th (Major General I. Melnikov) and 252nd (Col. AA Zabaluev) infantry divisions, ran over by 14 o'clock the Volga River, and took to the road Krasnovo — Migalovo. 243rd Infantry Division (Major-General VS Polenov) appeared on the northern outskirts of the town, encountering strong resistance to the Germans. Larger divisions were not able to do. The Wehrmacht, fearing for their rears are used as part of the 29th army of fierce resistance, constantly moving in a counter. Because the connection 246th and 252nd infantry divisions were required to retreat to the left Preserving the Volga. And even by the end of the fifth day or contractions were almost on the same turn where they started coming. 243rd Infantry Division was ordered not to engage in heavy street fighting in the town of Kalinin and confine conducting reconnaissance in force and artillery and mortar fire on the Germans defensive positions.

Almost fell through the coming 31 th Army. Part of the army on December 6-7, brutal battles waged on the achieved positions. On the night of 5 to 6 December the German command had brought to the site of significant breakthrough reserves and in the morning the Germans began a strong counterattack, eventually managed to repel the Germans settlements Miatlev, Oschurkovo, Emmaus. A compound of the 250th Infantry Division, which have gained more December 5 of success, had to retreat to the left Preserving the Volga. The basic premise of this failure were the commanders of the error and the lack of reliable communication in the division. On the morning of December 6 is one of the battalions of the 922 th Infantry Regiment was deployed to repel the attack of German group, which threatened to flank adjoining the 5th Division. 916 th and 918 th regiments thought that this is a departure from Kuz'minskii, trembled and began to retreat. Panic. Command of the Wehrmacht enjoyed this oploshkoy and threw their connections to the counter. Lost control of our retreating shelves. Unorganized general retreat led to significant losses (about 1.
5 thousand people killed, wounded and missing). The command of the division has lost control of the situation.

To return to the situation, the commander of the 31st Army entered the battle in the second half of the day or reserve on December 6 — 262 th Infantry Division. Transgressed the command of regiments had been punished: a military court sentenced him for the unauthorized withdrawal from their positions, the commander and commissar 918 th Regiment, Commissioner 916 th Regiment of the shooting, commander of the 916 th Regiment — to 10 years in prison.

With the help of the 57th Battalion pontoon bridge near the village of Orshino was created two pontoon crossings, put them directly on the ice, because due to severe frosts organize ferry was unreal. All day on December 6 were stubborn fighting for the river crossing. With the aviation Germans managed to kill off a ferry Orshino but Poddube the night of 6 to 7 December in the occupied part of the bridgehead were able to smuggle guns RVGK 6 and T-34 tanks.

December 7, after a 15-minute artillery barrage, coming continued. After fierce fighting the troops of the 31st Army again took Emmaus, which was the principal reference on Fri highway Moscow — Kalinin. A December 8, Russian troops took to the road metal wedge — Kalinin and recaptured the railway station Chupriyanovka. On the right flank of the army unit the 256th Infantry Division also took to the metal road.

It should be noted that from the very beginning of Advent was a hard frost — 30-33 °. In the morning of the 8th there was a heavy snow that has brought all the trails and roads. If the field guns could move because for them in advance prepared a slide, the vehicle got stuck. A connection was necessary to bring up ammunition, fuel, food and fodder. There had tremendous help local people who supported the horses and sleighs. The German command, taking into account the weather conditions that fettered the ability to maneuver, all efforts were directed toward the defense of human Fri who previously have been turned into fortified areas.

December 9 troops of the 31st Army's own right wing captured stronghold Koltsovo. The central direction was released Kuzminskoe. 256 th Infantry Division at the end of day or cut the highway Turginovo — Kalinin, 1.5 km east of the Mozzharina. 5 days of heavy fighting offensive army troops were ahead by 10-12 km and actually broke through the entire tactical defense zone the German army.

But you can not say that everything was fine — part of the 29th Army were not able to release the Kalinin. 31 Army, reinforced by an infantry and the 1st Cavalry Division, which was advancing slowly. German command was aware that frisky movement parts of the Kalinin Front in the south-west could ultimately lead to disaster for his 3rd and 4th Panzer groups, which at that time retreated under pressure from the Western Front. Because under Kalinin was transferred 129th Infantry Division, which was removed from the metropolitan areas, and 110 th and 251 th Infantry Division (they were acting against the right flank of the front).

On the 70th anniversary of the counter-offensive.  Kalinin offensive

Order Betting VCG, strengthening the front

Due to the slow movement of troops of the Kalinin Front Stavka gave the order to turn part of the compounds of the 31st Army around Kalinin from the south-east and in collaboration with the 29th Army immediately hit the city, and the rest of the forces of the 31st Army to develop coming to the south- west and along with parts of the Western Front to defeat the enemy.

Exemption allowed the town to release related to the field of power and bring them to strike the rear of the retreating Wehrmacht capital groups. In addition, this move made it possible to reopen the railway message on the Moscow — Bologoe — Small Visscher, which was of strategic importance.

Taking into account the important role of the Kalinin Front parts in the process of development of the upcoming offensive near Moscow, the Supreme Command conducted a significant event to strengthen it. To enhance the front were transferred to 359 th and 375 th Infantry Division. Parts of these divisions on December 12 began arriving at the railway station Kulitskaya (15 km north-west of the city of Kalinin). Immediately Supreme Command said Konev on the transfer of the Kalinin Front's 39th Army (composed of six infantry and two cavalry division) for putting it into action at Rzhev or Staritsa directions.

On the 70th anniversary of the counter-offensive.  Kalinin offensive

Subsequent battles. Exemption Kalinin

To complete the encirclement of Germans commander of the 31st Army Group made an impact. It includes the 250 th, 247 th Division, 2 regiments of the 119th Infantry Division, 2 tank battalions, two artillery regiments RGC (brain reserve command), and other parts. But immediately hit it failed — during the December 13 strike group had to reflect a strong counterattack the Germans at the same turn. German battalions to 6 with 4 tanks broke through the rear 247th Infantry Division and stormed its headquarters. The division commander was wounded. As a result, some time was lost control of parts. Staff of the Army returned the control, and break through the German battalions were destroyed.

By the end of December 14 in the third time in the course of the coming of the 246th Infantry Division of the 29th Army recaptured the town from the Germans Krasnovo. 31 Army developed coming, had been cut Volokolamsk Highway. In the center and on the left flank of the army Russian troops were advancing as well. 262-th Infantry Division, reflecting up to 6 German counter-attacks, to the final day or captured strong strongholds Baksheevo and an old churchyard. 5th Infantry Division entered the line: TRUNOVA, Megeve. 46th Cavalry Division was launched in the area Trunov a raid on the German rear areas. To build up the coming of the army was transferred to 359-th Infantry Division.

After the connection of the 31st Army cut the Volokolamsk highway, fate Kalinin group Wehrmacht was solved. In the German troops was only one way to sail: Kalinin — Bayou. In addition, the output of the troops of the 30th Army of the Western Front to the limit of the river Lama created a great danger the rear of the 9th German Army. Therefore, realizing that the city did not defend, the Germans were preparing to sail — the evening of the 15th began burning, the night of the 16th the Germans killed highway and railway bridges across the Volga.

Breaking the resistance of the rear units of the Nazis, the compounds 243rd Infantry Division of the 29th Army to 3 hours on December 16 released the northern part of Kalinin, and by 9 o'clock made their way to the area of the railway station. By 13 o'clock the city was completely liberated from the Germans.

Results of the first step of the operation

— During the 12 days of offensive fighting force of the left flank of the Kalinin Front defeated the five infantry divisions of the Wehrmacht, which was almost half of all German troops of the 9th Field Army. Over a period of 5 — 16 December compounds Kalinin Front destroyed more than 7 thousand German soldiers and officers. Was captured 14 tanks, 200 vehicles, 150 artillery pieces and mortars.

— Kalinin suffer
ed heavy damage, the Germans killed 70 factories and workshops were destroyed or burnt best urban structure: the regional and city councils, provincial and municipal party committee, Drama, Theatre of young spectator, cinemas, 50 schools, 7.7 million homes more than hundreds of stores, 25 dining rooms. Significant damage received power and railway junction, water and sewerage network, tramways, telephone, etc.

— The victory at Kalinin was a great operational success of the Red Army. This success has provided the movement of the right wing of the Western Front. Have been made more profitable conditions for continuing the offensive Kalinin Front in the south-west. The compounds of the left flank of the front made their way forward 10 — 22 km. Tempo coming of the troops has been relatively small. The premise of this was completely understandable: the almost complete lack of armor (especially the first coming), the lack of artillery, ammunition, and other means of transport logistics troops. Compounds of the advancing armies were before the advent of renewed and strengthened the freshest parts. There have been shortcomings in the management of troops, and in the communication field. In the course of the coming of the armies of the Kalinin Front disrupted the interaction of compounds, task often exceed the capacity of the potential divisions, apply the reference frontal attacks Fri fortified positions and the Germans, instead of around them and blocking. It is necessary to take into account the fierce resistance of the 9th German Army.

Closing Kalinin offensive

By the end of December 16 connections left flank of the Kalinin Front reached the line: Motavino — Trigger — Maslov — Boldyrev.

The future development of the coming of the criteria occurred violent resistance Nazis and threatening winter, with an overall shortcomings in Russian army military equipment and transport. At the Kalinin Front was not large tank and motorized formations, which could develop a success, go to the operating room, split the building of German army in great depth and rapidly complete their surroundings, and then eliminate their groups. The coming Russian front was often in nature, did not strike groups everywhere. The rate of movement of the troops were low. The German command had time to take a large part of the troops.

After the liberation of Kalinin front set puzzle to continue vigorous prosecution of the Nazis towards Staritsa get in the way of waste Kalinin group Wehrmacht, surround and eliminate it.

In carrying out this puzzle, the troops of the Kalinin Front (and it strengthened the 30th Army from the Western Front and the 39th Army of the Supreme High Command Reserve), January 1, 1942, overcoming stubborn resistance to the Germans, was released Staritsu — Regional Center of the Kalinin region. Later Russian troops approached to Rzhev and perforated and by January 7 took lucrative frontiers against Rzhev grouping Wehrmacht. Thus was completed Kalinin offensive.

On the 70th anniversary of the counter-offensive.  Kalinin offensive

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