Rus Articles Journal

What is Gorky line of defense?

on the way from Nizhny Novgorod towards Arzamas on a hill are stood by the village the Epiphany with the magnificent temple - a monument in honor of a victory of the Russian weapon in war of 1812. The temple was consecrated in honor of the Lord`s Epiphany in 1826. Without reaching to the village a little, aside from the asphalt road there is a modest memorable sign “City Line of Defense Gorky in 1941“. to

Ya he was not familiar with this page of the Great Patriotic War, heard, of course, that Nizhny Novgorod was awarded an honorary title “The city of military glory“, but somehow did not reflect for what. Right there, at a memorable sign, it was necessary to become thoughtful. Upon return home got acquainted with special literature, and also with the published memoirs of veterans, it understood in many respects and convinced that others also have to get acquainted with all this...

In January, 1941 at meeting with Hitler according to the plan “Barbarossa“ Frans Halder, at that time the chief of a staff of the Supreme command of land forces of Wehrmacht, gave the report in which the following formula of success, from his point of view was the main idea: “Speed. Any delays. Not to expect the railroads. To reach everything, using the motor“. In the same time it was planned: at once after capture of Moscow, in the second half of September, the beginning of October, 1941 Germans have to enter in Bitter, and was planned to use the highways conducting to the city with the West - Moskovskoye Highway and Gorky Route - Moore who was constructed as though specially, in 1941.

Prompt advance of fascist troops across our territory in the first months of war forced the country leaders to take emergency measures on Gorky`s protection. Why Gorky it was necessary to protect very much, probably, it is not necessary to explain to anybody. The same Halder in the well-known “Military diary“ makes on December 17, 1940 such entry about placement of the Soviet defensive industry: “32 percent Ukraine, 28 (especially an aircraft industry) - near Moscow and Gorky, 16 percent - near Leningrad, the rest - in the Urals and the Far East“. On this basis Halder draws a conclusion that capture of Ukraine, Leningrad and Moscow with Gorky will make the country incapable of further resistance.

In November, 1941 unprecedented grandiose construction of a line of defense of the city began. About 350 thousand residents of Gorky, including 150 thousand workers and pupils, often manually a shovel and scrap, made almost impossible. In two months on distant approaches to the city, in the woods and fields 12 million cubic meters of earthwork were executed. These figures in itself do not speak to the uninitiated person about anything. And here in comparison with other similar - that is another matter. And so, all know such most grandiose construction as Belomoro - the Baltic channel, there were 20 million cubic meters. That is the line of defense of Gorky appeared less than one of the largest in the world of navigable man-made water systems for only 40%, at the same time it is necessary to consider that the channel was under construction 20 months, and a boundary only 2. Other example: the largest irrigational construction in the Soviet Union - the Big Fergana channel - was under construction about one and a half years too, and the volume of earthwork is almost comparable with a line of defense.

Except implementation of earthwork around Gorky about 100 thousand cubic meters of a stone and 300 thousand cubic meters of the wood were prepared. Extent of a defensive boundary made 1134 kilometers, 1116 pillboxes and earth-and-timber emplacements, 1026 dugouts, 114 command posts were built. All tankoopasny directions were partitioned by posts, steel “hedgehogs“ or blockages. At the same time it is necessary to consider that the part of works was carried out to the winter period, and all know that the winter of 1941 - 42 years was very much and very severe. All these figures are impartial, but are very eloquent.

In 2010 the mass patriotic action devoted to construction of a line of defense began. Tens of school expeditions took place on the former boundary, on all its crossings with highways memorable signs were established.

Here to one of such signs we also curtailed from the route. This sign about the village the Epiphany was established on October 27, 2011. The rank of consecration of a sign was made by the priest Vladimir Sergeyev. At the opening ceremony there were officials, military personnel, school students, veterans of the Great Patriotic War and all those whom it is possible to call one ancient Russian word - guests. At a ceremony played an orchestra of the military personnel of conscription service of Dalnekonstantinovsky garrison.