According to the plan "Barbarossa", June 29, on the seventh day of the war, Smolensk was to be captured. However, the calculations of the fascist German command did not materialize, the enemy was detained here for the first time.
And it happened on the main strategic direction, which operated the most powerful military force of German army group "Center": a million soldiers and officers, of 1.6 thousand, 2 thousand tanks, which were advancing to Moscow.
For 10 and 11 July the troops of the second Panzer group Guderian crossed the Dnieper North and South of Mogilev to bypass the Soviet fortified lines. By the end on 15 July the third Panzer group Hoth, advancing from district court bypassing Smolensk from the North, turned South towards Guderian. The Germans planned to cut the Western front motorized groups to surround the main group of troops in the Smolensk region and open a path to Moscow.
Late in the evening of 15 July, the 29th motorized division of the enemy from three directions rushed to Smolensk and took possession of the southern part of the city. More than two weeks it took the Germans to take the Northern part of Smolensk. The defense of the city was conferred on troops of the 16th army under the command of General M. F. Lukin. By the time the enemy compounds on the outskirts of Smolensk, the army had only two divisions — 46th and 152nd.
However, it was a well-trained connections, managed almost three weeks in extremely difficult conditions, without tanks and air support to wage continuous battles with the enemy.
Departed to the East 129 th infantry division the General-major A. M. gorodnyansky involved in the defense of Smolensk in structure of 16th army. This small, created from different parts of the division were repeatedly breaking into the German positions on the Northern outskirts of Smolensk. Strong counterattacks forced the division to withdraw to their original position, but her units again and again continued to attack the enemy. The division commander of Gorodnya, in the decisive minutes of the battle he went for the gun, the personal example of raising the morale of soldiers.
In the course of the Smolensk battle, fierce fighting was conducted not only in the city but also in the fields of Smolensk. During this battle was the first attempt of the onset of major military units. The military Council of the Western direction has set July 21, the task of concentric blows of the army group, major-General V. A. Khomenko from the area of the White, major-General K. K. Rokossovsky from the area Yartseva and Lieutenant-General V. Ya Kachalova from the area of Roslavl in the General direction of Smolensk to surround and defeat the enemy troops East of the regional center.
The greatest success achieved by the group of forces consisting of compounds of the 28th army under the command of V. Ya Kachalova.
In just a few days of the offensive the army group turns in a number of places moved up to 50-55 km.
Soon, however, between the Soviet and the Nazi forces began a bloody battle that lasted more than two weeks. Troops of the 28th the army made every effort to disrupt the throw of the enemy troops on Moscow.
The hottest point of the battle of Smolensk — crossing Solovyov, one of the five crossings on the river, which the German command tried to capture the village soloviove to close the encirclement of the Soviet armies who fought in the Smolensk region. The command of the Western front had taken active steps to prevent disaster. Was created combined unit with 15 tanks under the command of Colonel A. I. lizyukov. Front commander Marshal of the Soviet Union S. K. Timoshenko gave him a personal assignment to ensure the supply of 16th and 20th armies who defended Smolensk, and if need be, and they are crossing during the withdrawal.
The Germans tried to break through to Solovyov, but they always prevented the rapid counterattacks of troops Colonel AI lizyukov (named after a famous street in Voronezh). For nearly two weeks under the bombs and missiles did the Soviet troops crossing the Dnieper. When soldiers of the 16th and 20th armies began to retreat from the area of Smolensk in early August, went to the Dnieper river, on the way to the river were only a few enemy barriers. But they were soon shot down hardened in the battles of Smolensk, the Soviet divisions. The night of August 5 last connection crossed to the left Bank of the Dnieper.
For the feat at the Solovyova crossing many soldiers and officers were awarded orders and medals, and Colonel A. I. Lizyukov was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.
The finale of the battle of Smolensk was elninskaya offensive, during which by September, Soviet troops liberated the city of Yelnya. During the fiercest fighting in the Yelnya Soviet guard was born, and in September 1941, the order of people's Commissar of defense of the USSR most distinguished in the fighting units were awarded the title of guards.
The battle of Smolensk unfolding in front of 650 km and a depth of 250 km, has played a major role in the failure of Hitler's blitzkrieg plan and unimpeded progress to Moscow. He writes about this in his memoirs, Marshal of the Soviet Union Alexander Vasilevsky: "From the defensive battles of Soviet troops conducted in the summer and autumn of 1941, the battle of Smolensk. Along with stubborn resistance, had enemies in area of Luga, and the heroic struggle of the Soviet troops in the South-West
it marked the beginning of failure of the "blitzkrieg" against the Soviet Union, forced the enemy to make adjustments in the notorious plan "Barbarossa".
The battle of Smolensk had international significance. The military-political leadership of Nazi of Japan has decided to postpone its entry into the war against the Soviet Union.
Operating near Smolensk the troops showed extraordinary fortitude, courage and heroism. Thousands of soldiers and commanders were awarded the state awards, and after the battle of Yelnya 14 soldiers and officers were awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. Great help to the troops was provided by the population of the Smolensk region. Some defensive operations in the Western front was attended by about 300 thousand inhabitants of the Smolensk region. Of volunteers was established fighter brigade and a brigade of militia.
For the first time since the Second world war, the Nazi troops were forced to halt the offensive on the main line and go on the defensive. Tank and motorized connections of group of armies "Centre" of July 23, lost half and infantry up to a quarter of its composition. The German command was forced in July 1941 to go on to use to reinforce the group of armies "Centre" almost half of its strategic reserves (10 divisions out of 24. The result of the battle of Smolensk, the Soviet command to gain time to prepare for the defense of the capital and the subsequent defeat of the enemy at the battle of Moscow.
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