Rus Articles Journal

Operation Rail war : how many Hitlerite echelons did not reach to Kursk?

On the night of August 3, 1943 of 167 guerrilla groups of Belarus, Kalinin, Leningrad, Smolensk and Oryol regions, and also part of the Ukrainian guerrillas at the same time began the operation Rail war . Night of long knives which Hitlerites carried out on June 30, 1934, in comparison with night for August 3, 1943 seemed them the most real end of the world. Only in the first hours of operation at least 42 thousand rails were blown up. History did not know similar scales yet - diversions were carried out on the front on 1000 km and from a front line to the western border of the USSR (depth to 750 km).

Thought of need of similar operation for the Rate of General headquarters at the beginning of summer of 1943 when with might and main there was a preparation for Kursk fight. Then so-called concentration of forces and means was carried out, and it was very important to deprive of Hitlerites of free transportation of manpower, equipment and ammunition. But on the other hand - large-scale war on the railroad could not be carried out without thorough training and providing guerrilla groups with all necessary for blasting rails and destruction of echelons.

Stocks of a vzyvchatka collected huge...

- July the Soviet aircraft of distant action worked as

In June with the full calculation. Only in June, 1943 on guerrilla bases 150 tons of dining rooms of checkers of a special profile, 156 thousand meters of the safety fuse, 28 thousand meters of a hempen match, 595 thousand caps - detonators, and also the weapon and ammunition are thrown. Guerrilla groups only in two summer months 1943 received 67 tons of tolite and other explosives, to them instructors - demolition men were sent. Investigation of railway communications was actively conducted.

Operation was developed by the Central staff of the guerrilla movement very carefully. Each group received a specific goal, and in the order all smallest details were defined. Everything was painted about one minute, each group accurately knew both the purpose, and a way of its achievement. However, very few people know that the plan of operation provided also a peculiar rehearsal - the Oryol guerrillas began mass blasting rails even earlier - on July 22.

Whether Hitlerites knew about what expects them? At least guessed. And therefore they prepared many sites of the railroad as appropriate. To avoid attack, Hitlerites, using work of the concluded concentration camps, about both sides of the road felled trees, entangled a barbed wire approaches, along a cloth built blindages with machine guns. Guard duty of specially prepared security divisions was organized round the clock, in some places established powerful searchlights, and there where they were not, according to the instruction, nearly every minute launched lighting missiles in the sky. On approaches to a cloth established frightening posters: Who will approach the railroad closer than hundred meters, will be immediately shot! . Bridges and nodal points were protected by the strengthened patrols.

Whether it was possible in such, to put it mildly, adverse conditions for guerrillas to perform operation successfully? Without the corresponding preparation very difficult. Skilled instructors paid attention of guerrillas to any trifle, in real fight destiny even the insignificant mistake can decide. Besides the wards directly in guerrilla groups in Ukraine often there was also a legendary Soviet demolition man Ilya Starinov. He developed smart ways in order that each land mine did as much as possible harm to Hitlerites.

Tell that Ilya Grigoryevich demanded not just blasting rails, and destruction at the same time and the train. It demanded the increased risk because quite often there were cases when before especially valuable echelon fascists started up section cars. And nevertheless guerrillas found a way out.

Fascists shuddered from fireworks

On the night of August 3, 1943 almost at the same time went off with a bang explosions on many sites. Hitlerites, as prepared for reflection of guerrilla diversions, were stunned. It seemed to them that councils dumped from planes several landing divisions because did not go in as civil people could in fact (Germans were perfectly informed that in guerrilla groups of professional soldiers there was not so much) to arrange such fireworks at the same time in such huge territory. In some places aggressors were so dumbfounded that started repair of railroad tracks on third day!

In many groups small models of rails as whom guerrillas studied blasting business were constructed. Skilled demolition men directed this work. Then practical night occupation took place on the invalid railroad of Idrits - Polotsk, lying through a guerrilla zone. Along with it investigation of ways of approach to the operating highways and system of protection of a cloth was carried out.

The central staff of the guerrilla movement reported in the Rate: for August 13, 1943 guerrilla groups already blew up: in Belarusian the Soviet Socialist Republic - 75227; in the Smolensk region - 8277; in the Oryol region - 7935; in Kalinin area - 7224; in Ukrainian the Soviet Socialist Republic - 7000; in the Leningrad region - 3271; and only 108936 rails that made 743,3 kilometers of a railway track in one track. According to the plan only for all August it was provided to blow up 230000 rails that made 1330 kilometers of a railway track in one track. I run forward I will tell that this plan was almost implemented. Hitlerites listened to

In September Concert

K on September 15 the number of the blown-up rails reached 214705. In the second half of September when the Soviet troops approached Dnieper, by order of the central staff of the guerrilla movement the second operation under a code name " began; Concert . She pursued the same aims. The total of participants of operation made about 120 thousand guerrillas and a large number of locals. Until the end of 1943 explosions on the railroads in the German back rattled, 148557 more rails flew up in air. And all for August - December, 1943 guerrillas put 363 262 rails out of action that made 2270 km of a single-track railway track in recalculation.

Only the Belarusian guerrillas during operation undermined 836 echelons and put out of action 6343 cars and platforms. Fighters of the Ukrainian guerrilla formations as a result of broad application of the min. slowed-down action in the second half of 1943 carried out blasting 3188 echelons - 1,5 times more, than for two previous years of war. Especially guerrillas of connection which was ordered by A. F. Fedorov caused a stir: until the end of the year they organized more than 440 crashes of enemy trains. For perfect feats, drawing to the enemy of huge damage to 14 fighters of this connection the rank of the Hero of the Soviet Union was given.

It is necessary to add that the transport flow of Hitlerites was reduced on different sectors of the front from 30 to 40 percent. If in August, 1943 in an arrangement of group of " armies; " Center; 2159 trains proceeded, in September as a result of guerrilla diversions on the railroads the number of trains decreased to 1552, and in October decreased by 200 units

Here so, without any exaggeration, under legs of aggressors the earth burned. Those echelons which did not reach to the front did not allow fascists to use all the reserves. It meant the beginning of the end - was not to stop an offensive rush of the Soviet army any more