The planning of military actions of the guerrillas of the Western regions of the RSFSR
Material posted: Publication date: 07-09-2016
The experience of guerrilla warfare in the Nazi rear has convincingly shown that the planning of combat activities of partisan units was one of the main factors in its high effectiveness. The major successes of the guerrillas sought usually in cases where the efforts of individual units and brigades were United by a common aim, and their attacks are closely associated with the actions of regular troops.

Of considerable interest is, for example, the experience of planning military operations of the guerrilla units and formations located in the Western Russian regions, which together with the Belarusian and Ukrainian part of the partisans were successful in 1941-1943 behind enemy lines. During these years, occupied by the Germans on the territory of Kalinin region were 13 partisan brigades and 4 separate units, which together totaled about 5.5 thousand men. In the Smolensk region the struggle in the enemy rear were 127 guerrilla detachments (more than 11 thousand soldiers). A large guerrilla force based in the Orel region. Only here there were 18 partisan brigades, and several separate groups, which included more than 19 thousand guerrillas. In addition, on the border of Orel and Kursk regions in the area Kinelski forests, there were two Kursk partisan brigade, consisting of 14 units with the total number of fighters to about 4 thousand people.

The leadership of military work of the partisan units carried out front headquarters of the partisan movement (broadband) receiving instructions in the form of directives and orders from the Central headquarters of the partisan movement (tsshpd), as well as from front-line military councils. To their education tasks of the guerrilla forces occasionally put the headquarters of search groups, the bands which they were based. For example, in April 1942, the headquarters of the Kalinin front has developed a Plan of actions to reduce the maneuverability of the enemy, creating a difficulty with the supply and evacuation during the spring thaw," which was designed mainly for performing particular tasks and not associated with any particular operation.

With the growth of the partisan movement arose the need for a more targeted use of guerrilla forces to coordinate their actions with the General plan of the armed struggle. Concerted attacks on German troops from the front and the back became possible on a large scale only since the autumn of 1942, i.e. after the Rate of MIC was formed by the Central broadband, and on the ground - the frontline of broadband. From them, the guerrilla units began to get combat tasks according to the ideas of front-line operations and military campaigns. It immediately affected the speed and focus of guerrilla action. Each BBA was established in the operational departments. Their duty was to develop a General for a certain period, and private plans of action of the guerrilla forces in the interests of the troops of the front in various operations.

Among such documents relating to the early activities of front-line broadband, it is possible to allocate, for example, "Operational plan of the fighting of the guerrilla units and brigades in July - August 1942," compiled Kalinin broadband (chief of staff V. V. Radchenko). Work on it was conducted during the period of training of the troops of the Kalinin and Western fronts to hold the Rzhev-Sychevka offensive operation. Consistent with the General objectives of the front command, Kalinin broadband has set guerrilla task disrupt the orderly supply and management of the German troops (destruction of roads and communication lines, destroying ammunition depots and fuel), as well as to intensify exploration in the interests of the front to ascertain the strength, resources and grouping of fascist troops in the zone of actions of front. With this purpose it was planned to monitor traffic, nature of traffic and their direction to carry out raids on the headquarters and garrisons, capture documents and prisoners. The plan called for the redeployment of a number of guerrilla forces in areas where it easier to strike at the most vulnerable centres, road junctions and the main German railway lines.

Similar plans were developed in other front-line broadband. For the coordination among the brigades and partisan detachments, fast information about their military and intelligence work in the heart of the home several partisan units were organized in the headquarters of the leadership (chief, Commissioner, Deputy for intelligence, five liaison, and two radio). Maintaining a stable relationship with front-line broadband, they quickly assessed the situation, combined efforts of subordinate units (units) and put them combat missions. In various parts of these management bodies are called in different ways: operations centres, joint command, task force, etc.

Experience has shown that early planning of combat operations of partisans have significantly increased the efficiency of their struggle. Intensifying their subversive activities in the rear of German army group "Center", the guerrillas have received much assistance from the regular troops. The headquarters of the army group "Center", for example, reported on 1 September 1942: "On the line Polotsk-Vitebsk-Smolensk systematic guerrilla activity, accompanied by explosions of trains, rails, overpasses, arrows, parsing the rails and overturning Telegraph poles caused an almost complete breakdown of the movement. Currently, the bombings began on these lines and sites for which the movement was before without interference."

A significant role in further improving the planning of guerrilla warfare played an order of NKO № 139 dated 5 September 1942, On tasks of the partisan movement". It was given to the evaluation of the results of the partisan movement, were determined the ways of its development and had specific tasks guerrilla forces. The requirement of the order, as well as guidance tsshpd and military councils of fronts, to develop the basic provisions of this important document formed the basis for the operational planning of guerrilla actions for a long period.

To bring guidance to all considered guerrilla groups frontline broadband sent to the territory temporarily occupied by the enemy, their senior officials and liaison officers, who were instructed not only to acquaint the commanders of detachments with the text of the order, but also to provide the necessary assistance in the organization of its implementation. For example, in Bryansk broadband sent behind enemy lines a group of 12 officers headed by chief of staff A. P. Matveev. Western broadband in areas of the home partisans were sent 14 liaison officers, and a group of staff officers and employees of the Smolensk regional Committee of the CPSU(b).

Based on the requirements of the order № 189 of the situation at the front and in the enemy rear, tsshpd began systematically to coordinate the actions of several guerrilla groups based in the bands of several fronts that had important operational value. For example, on 5 December 1942 the chief of tsshpd Lieutenant General P. K. Ponomarenko approved the "Plan of combat and sabotage actions of partisan brigades and units operating on the Western and Bryansk fronts. The guerrillas had planned to break the quick transportation of the Nazis and thus provide effective aid to the red Army, leading the counteroffensive at Stalingrad and to prevent strengthening the enemy forces on the southern wing of the front. The plan included the organization of a series of massive raids on vital enemy communication. So, the partisan brigades of F. S. Ganchenkova, V. I. Zolotukhin, G. I. Kasikova, G. I. Orlova, I. A. Panasenkov, A. P. Shestakov, and individual units I. M. Duca and M. P. Romashina was ordered by mining and blowing up bridges across the river Navlya, gums to bring down the iron highway Roslavl, Unechskaya and partly Bryansk railway junctions, and the combined guerrilla forces Emlyutina D. V. and I. K. Panchenko violate military transport and rail transport routes Bryansk-Orel-Kursk, Bryansk-Navlya-Lgov and Bryansk-Pochep-Voronezh.

As a result of guerrilla attacks on railroad communications have significantly reduced the capacity of the Railways, which belonged to the Bryansk node, and the enemy was forced to draw for their protection, a large force of troops. The nature of planning guerrilla fighting in the Western Russian fields in 1943 had a large influence in the transition of Soviet troops to an active offensive on the Central sector of the Soviet-German front, the increased scale of guerrilla warfare, improvement of management and improved communication guerrilla units from the management bodies.

In late winter, the Stavka planned to conduct simultaneously two major operations against army group "Center" and "North". The first involved the troops of four fronts: the Kalinin, Western, Bryansk and Central. In accordance with the General plan of the Supreme command for the operation, tsshpd developed a plan of measures to enhance the combat activities of partisan units, which operated before the specified fronts in February 1943. Special attention of commanders of guerrilla groups turned to strengthen diversionary work on the Railways. Also identified particular problems the largest of the guerrilla groups and teams. All supposed to blow up 14 railway bridges and destroy several stations. From the frontline of broadband required to specify the tasks the other teams (separate teams), to arrange between them and to ensure the ongoing operation of logistical means.

In accordance with the General guidelines defined in the action plan tsshpd, frontline broadband more details planned activities of subordinate combat guerrilla forces. So, Kalinin broadband has developed a Plan of fighting guerrillas of the Kalinin front in February - March 1943" in which each team has identified specific sections of road for sabotage. To assist the advancing Soviet troops at the beginning of February for all teams and groups scheduled to perform a simultaneous attack on four train stations: Novosokolniki-Sebezh, Nevel-Polotsk, DNO-Novosokolniki and Vitebsk-Smolensk. In total it was expected to produce about seven hundred explosions on railway lines and make more than eight hundred ambushes on the roads.

In the face of constant fierce fighting with the executioners, despite the lack of explosives and mine blasting equipment, kalininskii guerrillas, for example, in February 1943, destroyed 71 bridge, of which 23 of the railway, and in March, respectively - 79 and 30. On the Railways they are systematically arranged train wreck. The capacity of roads controlled by the guerrillas has declined significantly.

Western broadband (chief of staff of the D. M. Popov), in connection with the planned operation of the forces of the left wing of the Western front at Bryansk direction, developed in mid-February 1943 "operation Plan to rout the rear of Bryansk-Kirov enemy". The plan has defined tasks to brigades and units in the two main guerrilla groups (letnenskoy and dyat), whose efforts are concentrated on the failure of the rail transport of the enemy. The main targets for attack were selected railway stations, sidings and bridges. A characteristic feature of this document was that in addition to the distribution of tasks between the guerrillas, was developed by the communications and logistics. To improve the operational management of the partisan brigades under the military Council of the 10th army was formed of the southern operational group, consisting of the chief, his assistant on the operational side and 7 officers. The group had a radio station and other means of communication, and on 15 February it was fixed 3 aircraft R-5 and a squadron of U-2 planes.

In connection with the formation of 15 February 1943 the Central front and the General change of the operational situation in the Orel-Bryansk, Bryansk forests partisans were in the band of action of the two fronts. Thus, the Orlovsky partisans was soon changed, and they began to act predominantly in the interests of the Central front.

The joint efforts of the workers of the Bryansk broadband and the headquarters of the Central front was developed two plans of interaction of the forces of the Central front: one - with the guerrillas in the southern districts of the Bryansk forests, and the Northern parts of Orel. The guerrillas had to step up sabotage and disorganize the movement in the most important areas of the Bryansk railway junction, as well as on some highways. Forces of the partisan brigades of the Bryansk region was envisaged to prepare and to hold a defensive line on both banks of the Gums to ensure a successful crossing of the river advancing units of the red Army.

Following the instructions of the military command, the guerrillas have dramatically increased the number of acts of sabotage carried out on thoroughfares. Derailed flew dozens of trainloads of German military equipment and soldiers. As a result of undermining of the railway bridge disrupted the transfer and supply of troops. For example, the explosion of the railway bridge over the Desna at station vygonichi 28 days suspended traffic on this major highway.

Before and during the battle of Kursk the commanders of fronts in planning guerrilla warfare paid special attention to the production of the guerrillas intelligence information about the enemy. In this respect, the characteristic prepared by the BBA and approved by the command of the Western front (respectively April 9 and June 16) Operational plan for April-may of 1943 and Operational plan for June, July, August 1943". The analysis of these documents shows that the partisans were required in that period various information about the status and actions of the enemy. To strengthen the intelligence bodies of the guerrillas, Deputy commanders of partisan brigades and detachments of exploration was directed highly skilled, properly trained in the Soviet rear. So, by the beginning of July 1943, the Western BBA has written to the 11 commanders of reconnaissance to subordinate the partisan formations. For training during short-term duties of the governing reconnaissance units, practiced sending into the enemy rear to the partisans of the employees of the intelligence Department of BBA.

Great attention was paid to exploration and BBA on the Central front. In view of the continued concentration of fascist troops in the Orel direction and upcoming important events, major efforts he sent to disrupt the systematic movement on roads of the Bryansk railway and expansion of the network of human intelligence in the cities and larger villages. These issues are reflected in terms of combat, sabotage and intelligence activities and growth of the guerrilla movement in the temporarily occupied districts of the Orel region by the German invaders in the summer of 1943, approved may 18, head of broadband access on the Central front.

In addition to reconnaissance and sabotage of enemy communications, broadband access and set other tasks, for example, the expansion of the guerrilla movement, to improve the operational management of the guerrillas and their logistics. Battle plans the activities of the guerrillas of the Western regions of the RSFSR, compiled by the BBA on the front spring and summer 1943, was a further step towards improving the operational use of guerrilla forces. In particular, the tasks of the partisan formations were set on the basis of full consideration of the situation and the nature of the goals facing the front. The plans reflect the more specific task of carrying out intelligence activity in the interests of the connections of regular troops. Much more attention was paid to improving management actions of guerrilla groups, especially maintaining with them a regular and reliable connection. An important place was given to the issues of provision of material and technical resources of the proposed operations.

The growth of the partisan movement and the centralization of leadership has allowed them along with the General plans for military activities of the partisans and to plan a major operation. So, by mid-July of 1943 at the instruction Rate of the MIC Central broadband operation designed to combat the railway communications of the enemy, received the name "Rail war". In the first massive blow with the Belarusian, Leningrad, and Ukrainian partisans had to participate guerrillas Kalinin, Smolensk and Orel regions.

On the basis of the General plan of operation, for all front-line broadband access was made private plans, which shall include: the activities planned for the destruction of portions of roads and their length; guerrilla armies raised for the operation; the planned degree of damage to the railway tracks in these areas (for example, Kalinin broadband - 50%, Western - 20%); the necessary quantity of explosives and ammunition; the need for aircraft to deliver military cargo; sites and places of discharge of the cargo; the airfields from which was supposed to transfer the goods. Was also carried out estimates on the number of rails, the undercut in the first simultaneous strike, and time to approach the objects. In total for the guerrillas of the Western regions of the RSFSR was planned to undermine on sections of Railways with a total length of 722 km more than 49 thousand rails. To do this in the partisan formation of planes was to deliver over 12 tons of combat cargo, including nearly 10 tons of explosives.

After completion of the private plans of the operation "Rail war" in the front of BBA was organized bringing tasks to executors - partisan brigades and detachments. Western broadband this involved 14 liaison officers, which were sent to all major guerrilla groups. The Kalinin and Bryansk broadband set tasks for the greater part of the guerrilla forces through the chiefs of the operational groups. So, head South of the operational group Lieutenant Colonel A. P. Gorshkov was caused by broadband in Bryansk, where he was handed written orders and instructions for the guerrilla groups. The commanders of the Kalinin brigades received planning documents, through Colonel S. G. Sokolov, the head of operative group of the military Council of the 3rd shock army.

Skillful planning, sound preparation and timely supply of units mine blasting technology has determined the successful start and development of the "Rail war". The guerrilla attacks, which began on the night of 3 August 1943, was then repeated until mid-September. During this time the guerrillas of the Western regions of the RSFSR killed 60,4 thousand rails, exceeding the established standard of more than 20%. During the General offensive of the Soviet troops in summer and fall 1943, the partisan forces in the Western regions of the RSFSR, in addition to violations of transportation of the enemy, was widely used for other purposes. On the instructions of the military command they let the orderly retreat of the enemy, attacked the headquarters and control points, capture the bridges and ferry crossing and held them until the approach of the red Army. United with the regular troops, the partisans, as a rule, were joined in their composition.

Thus, the study plans for military activities of the partisans of the Western regions of Russia shows that as the deployment of guerrilla warfare behind enemy lines there is a clear trend towards closer alignment of regular troops and partisans. So, if until the summer of 1942 the planning and coordination of combat operation of partisan formations, in accordance with the solved red Army tasks were carried out only sporadically, since mid-1942, with the establishment of the Central and front-line broadband, it took systematic.

Originally the plans were drawn up for relatively short periods of time: one to two months or for the period of front-line operations in the future - for longer periods. They were developed BBA in close contact with front-line military councils. When setting targets for a fuller account of the situation, the nature of the goals standing in front of the regular troops. More attention has been paid to the issues of operational management separate guerrilla groups, keeping them steady and regular communications and logistics. For more specific guidance on the actions of the brigades and separate units, front-line broadband began to shift in the rear of the German operational group, which was created from the headquarters staff and provided with means of communication. Centralized control of the guerrilla movement allowed the Rate VGK to put before the guerrillas tasks on drawing massive strikes on those railway lines, which the enemy frantically threw its reserves at the right front.

The activities of the Central and front-line broadband in the implementation of the plans of the "Rail war" are an example of a sound and clear organization of interaction between guerrillas and regular troops in operational-strategic scale. The first attack on the railway communications of all partisan formations caused by the total signal applied from tsshpd.

Improving the operational planning of the actions of guerrilla groups affected the efficiency against the enemy in the rear, gave this struggle in a more organized manner, helped to focus the efforts of the partisans at the right time on the most important objects, contributed to the improvement of cooperation of the guerrillas with regular troops.


  1. Arbatov A., Vinogradov V., Grechko, and others. the history of the second world war 1939-1945, vol. 6. M.: Voenizdat, 1976, P. 141-1767.
  2. Dyukov A. Who commanded the Soviet partisans. The organized chaos. Moscow: Veche, 2012. S. 114-175.
  3. Spiridonov V. Forest soldiers. Guerrilla war in the North-West of the USSR. 1941-1944. — M.: Tsentrpoligraf, 2007. S. 127-134, 181-194.
  4. Azyasski N. From the planning experience of fighting guerrillas. // Military thought. 1977. No. 7. P. 100-106.
  5. Bystrov V. Soviet partisans. From the history of the partisan movement during the great Patriotic war. Moscow: Politizdat, 1961. P. 33-118.



Tags: war , Germany , Special Forces , USSR