When freshly baked lieutenant Sasha Mnatsakanov got my first tank, the crew was a little surprised that the commander always carries a not quite decent tankman knife. Well, Caucasian blood, yes.
The crew is also interested in this business - you know, if the commander respected that and imitate him too. Along the way, the commander seriously engaged in training its crew at all really, like, unnecessary rukopashke tankers and the use of hand grenades. No, it was supposed to learn this, but you Well you know the difference between the army "should" and "carefully." That's your crew Sasha taught diligently.
Therefore, when a town of Kamensk German anti-tank gun in a couple dozen meters from their positions issued tridtsatchetvёrke drive wheel and "took off his shoes" unfolded side of this furious blow tank, the events do not go as expected gunners. They had risen to burn a second The bar car, then jumped from the blazing first tridtsatchetvёrki with a wrench in his hand mehvoda, annoyance, probably made to vanish in the calculation of anti-this very tool. Probably, the Germans took a flying object for a grenade, because competently took refuge, giving it a few precious seconds, the crew jumps out of the flaming tank peas. [next]
Next came quite unexpectedly for pantserbreherov. Povyprygivavshie of mechanical fire as they were - in their burning clothes, stew it was no time, and in January the weather were dressed warm, multi-layered, and the fire is still not very much was hot through a layer of cotton wool - tankers attacked artillery calculations, throwing down the road a couple of these grenades into the trench and tumbled to the position in the form of fiery devils. And they took ochumevshih gunners in knives. Melee with knives and pistols at close range was short, but vicious and brutal, protivotankistov cut, capturing an instrument in good working order. Yes, and with a supply of shells. After that, they put out odyozhku and found that Lieutenant spёksya - he was badly burned face and swollen after the fight all the more, he already could not see. Here it is not clear to me: usually wrote that he was blind, but doctors were able in a few months to restore vision.
Well, there are different options - for example, could form adhesions between the eyelids, then they must be very careful to excise. To a person I could just open your eyes. Perhaps more wound which was neurological problems in the field. The nerves, too, recovering, albeit very slowly.
In general, anyway, but to cure Mnatsakanov was already on the Leningrad Front, received a CV, but HF served not very good, did not like him, this clumsy barrel organ, and even managed a crew uhnut not in wolf's anti-pit, not the a large funnel. Tank stuck the barrel into the ground, stuck firmly, had to hastily evacuate a no man's land, removing the most valuable - machine guns, sights, the castle from the gun and te pe, and then mess around, pulling chilled carcass under fire ... Translated to medium tank was accepted with pleasure. And just on the T-34 Mnatsakanov very good job.
(In the USSR large editions produced a series of portraits of Heroes of the Soviet Union: the country should know its heroes. On the back of postcards, printed a brief description wordstrips committed feat.)
He became famous as Alexander Sidorovich during lifting of the blockade, in a raid on the circuit around the ring of German troops, still holding bits of the blockade of Leningrad. The most important thing - there was collected the German long-range artillery, constantly peck on the city.
When removing the blockade we just broke all the boundaries of the German defense, ponagorozhennye here for three years. This ripped tank attack German troops, forming bags now for the German troops. Just hit tanks and infantry of the Red Village to a boil and Ropsha, meet with lomivsheysya Oranienbaum Piglet 2nd Shock Army, he was put in a bag of Peterhof, Strelna group of Germans. Cut off from supplies, to prevent the mass evacuation of the most valuable weapons and equipment. There were some long-range sverhorudy a hundred. In general, it was necessary to feed the Germans in the same blitzkrieg, they staged the summer 41. Just everything was going in the winter. In an area rich in wetlands, streams and rivulets, snow-covered seats to the waist, with a seriously equipped boundaries of the German defense.
It was possible to dislodge the Germans from the Red village. The loss suffered is very sad. Order - on the break point and Ropsha and variants gulkin nose. Because there, where to go comfortably - Fritz is well-equipped nodes defense, anti-tank weapons, and stuffed with sound minefields. And it will be like before the red village, where had to gnaw through the German defenses, losing machines and people. But not willing to go the road - it does not get. In Duderhof Germans blew up the dam, flooding the area with ice water, and even in the bargain railway line packed with cars - and we've got such an impassable for tanks fence barricade on the tracks. So choose how to die.
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Mnatsakanova given command of the vanguard of the team. And he had this detachment of four T-34 (all that is left in the battalion) and three T-26, but with a forest of Pine three platoons self-propelled guns of different caliber - of three pieces in the squad. A total range of 16 different types of machines, the team. More submachine given and sappers - how tankodesant. In general, the mood attached to rotten, because by standing close wagons not prolezesh. And go head-sighted on the highway ... The commander, meanwhile, recalled how he worked on the railway and climbed into the chilled water which has been poured from the ankle up to the level "of the most ... at times you will." In general, he found a solution - managed to uncouple the cars, marked with landmarks on the way to get close to the railway tanks and wagons accurately, taken in tow, so razdёrgat that turned out hole - exactly tank climb. And climbed.
Sam Alexander Sidorovich immediately said that after such a beginning subordinates cheered, the team began to carry out hunting, and even become generous - complete strangers crews hauled dry clothes and footwear, that changed and went further into the dry, while the self-propelled guns and "warming" was found. Let's go further, and after - holding three kilometers - was the whole team. No problems have slipped to the town of Telese, and was then covered with the vanguard - and artillery fire and machine guns, assault knocked a few people, zaschёlkalo the armor. The reference point in the village. Nowhere was the road to nowhere: there are mired tank, so we decided here outside the box - including headlamps, increased speed. Hans ceased fire - Column something was there, where Soviet tanks could not pass because of their adopted, as was a hodgepodge preizryadno. For this and paid - the vanguard fired just entered the village, but the fire dense, the benefit was for someone to shoot, besides impunity - a line of artillery PHE column slipped and quickly jumped out of the village, pointing out there nix and causing panic - even in the dark to be seen as mentally unstable especially Germans flee from the village, the ovary in the snow, identifiable as the bugs on the sheets.
One would shove on, on Russian-Vysotsk, but the team was back and she'd inherited from PTO in Telese. Because the vanguard turned around and attacked the village from the rear, where there were no guns. Before that the tower knocked tankodesantniki - one of them is not the reversal PCA bullets, not by shrapnel, because the tanks had to give him his gun; in 1944, all tankers already knew that without infantry cover - skiff.
Cursing, German pantserbrehery rolling out their guns out of the trench, turns them toward the insolent ... Here at them with undisguised already road behind and tumbled main forces brigade. The pogrom was full, and artillery fire did not have time, and it is impossible from heavy PTO that's just bang in the middle of the street, if not dug openers - Hopped while putting an instrument cripple the whole calculation. Run away from the village on the snow fields was even greater. Deal with them there was no time, it was necessary to close the encirclement and quickly. They rushed to the Russian-Vysotsky and it ran: got so far and such caliber that I realized - there is a tiger or anti-aircraft guns. We lost two tanks and three self-propelled guns, the fire so dense that no guns are not scratched.
Decided obtech again attacked from two sides. Heavy fighting was, but the Russian-occupied Vysotskoye. The vanguard, pretty depleted, moved on. Jumped to a boil, and then the troops and columns of tanks to hell. Mnatsakanov reached pedestrians in exploration, taking with him several gunmen. If the boiling point of the Germans - is lousy, too. And we have to be more - more Ropsha to roll and roll. Viewed disguising themselves. Rockets let boil there, almost all of the village is burning. And the battle there. Unclear. Finally accurately seen - his own. We met finally with the 2nd Shock Army, with its avant-garde. Radioed. And, apparently, waiting for information - quite a bit of time has passed, as has Moscow voice Levitan alerted to that historic operation to lift the blockade of Leningrad triumphantly completed! But it Levitan said in Moscow, and then in the bag turned out to be maybe more two divisions of the Wehrmacht, and he was uncomfortable in the bag, they were torn from it, regardless of losses. The public is seriously pick up, and a lot of the SS - and "Nordland" and "Netherlands" with "Polizei", and vermahtovskie were good.
We fought very hard, knowing that for the blockade on their head not pat. Well, I do not like them here. And I must say, the prisoners of the Nazis really took a little - about 3,000 total. But it later, but for now it was necessary to refuel, rearm, snack and even a little nap. The order did not wait - Mnatsakanova group was instructed to ride an important fork in the road and take control of the bridge, so blocking one of the exits from the bag rips defeated German troops. Himself commander cheered that represent the Order "Red Banner" for the night raid. Depleted team rolled to obey an order and still did not get to the fork of almost a kilometer, as best tridtsatchetvёrka, marching in a head watch, with a roar and the crunching stood stock-still in the middle of the road and, after a moment, flashed a smoky fire, well even the crew had peas small pour out tank. Heavy smoke was dragged evil cold wind almost on the ground. For tank Alexander meanwhile reached the commander and mehvoda a burning car. The report turned out to be disappointing - at least two heavy tank Tiger are the bridge over a deep ravine, and keep the road at gunpoint.
Upon reflection, Mnatsakanov sent a group of sappers with tolite drainage ditch to bypass, and himself on his tridtsatchetvёrke hiding behind smoke and blazing machine moved forward to estimate future actions. The tank had approached the stink of burning solarium and iron fireplace, when suddenly out of the smoke came out hefty angular silhouette. One of the two Tigers just moved, hiding behind the smoke, and the meeting was a surprise to both parties.
Shot almost simultaneously, a German shell blasted like a sledgehammer to the bell, and the rebound went to happiness, the Soviet just squealed, bounced off the armor of the Tiger. Count on a lucky shot at the second heavyweight was stupid and mehvoda Misha Burikov sharply gazanuv, pulled the T-34 against the enemy. The German guns length - five meters, the dimensions of the tank, it gets more than two meters. A T-34 himself six meters long, because when there is a close, Tigre fire did not happen. German mehvoda is also realized edifice and moved forward, trying to crush the insolent enemy, or at least hurt him moves. Burikov reacted instantly, passing backwards and not straying too far.
(Alexander Mnatsakanov after the war and before retiring.)
It began heavy mortal waltz. The speed and maneuverability extremely heavy cat inferior middling T-34, because as soon as koshak braked and pulled back, to be able to shoot at close range - Burikov was again close in the dead zone. Tiger jerked forward again with dovorotom, trying to squeeze vёrtkuyu Thirty outside to protect her from the second Tiger burning car next to which both enemy and waltzed. Then to the second Tiger weighty projectile dealt with Untermensch but Burikov himself was no slouch, and tried to maneuver so as to substitute the Tiger board our creep. Thus both "dancer" themselves trying to hide behind each other on the possible steel pounder boob by their fans.
It wind up suddenly and very embarrassing for the German pantsermannov: during one of his turns Tiger slid across a caterpillar with an icy edge of the roadside ditch and majestically fell sideways in this same ditch, firmly sitting on the edge of the belly, zavyaznuv quickly and tightly. By putting your car in a safe place for the blaze tridtsatchetvёrkoy crew Mnatsakanova breath. Tiger sat in a ditch as caught in a hole trapping mammoth, and not a damn thing I could do. Some time pantsermanny More wheeled tower, the gun is topyrilas in the gray sky, then drove a muzzle brake on the ground. But it was clear that their weapons are now useless, and fools to climb into the narrow sector where the gun was still dangerous areas on this site was not found.
Tankers were surprised when they saw a number of his gunmen. Those pleased with the good news: the second infantry Tigre was not, and the crew so carried away by a waltz his partner at the burning tridtsatchetvёrki that completely prolopushil visit sappers. Those did not miss a chance to present them, and now the second Tiger was warped metal, that's true, TNT sappers have gone completely. I got excited a little bit. But the result is impressive. What to do now - is not clear, but not to shoot the creep stress in almost-good trophy?
The main part of the group, meanwhile straddled the fork, the tiger left the car and commander of the gunmen.
Tiger again twisted tower and froze. Meanwhile submachine dispute, but gently, without substituting a tank gun, dragged the handles wooden box with cartridges, which looked quite sternly, as if he were a tolite and busily began "mining" disgraced giant. Mnatsakanov, standing so that it exactly see, but could not to nail a machine gun, has convincingly shown sitting in a skewed heavyweight anti-tank grenade.
Pantomime proved effective - Sun Tower Tiger opened with a clang, and out popped a hand with a cloth, the color of which nebrezglivy person might loosely be called white. And then, one by one, began to get out of the tank by the Germans. Mnatsakanov more time to be surprised that once a lot of people climb out of the car a lot more crew as it seared like a pig and kuvyrknuv irresistible force, slammed on the ground mёrzluyu. When he struggled to come to, submachine issued splash and slap kicking surrendered to the Germans for bad manners - ish, shoot after surrender. And of those, how easy it was to make sure it was much more than normal across the state for the Tiger tank. And sbrodnye were Germans, with some reason, some of the officers. When the commander of the shell-shocked and even a little relieved that something was heard, it was found that standing in a posture of triumph Alexander offended some of the Germans surrendered, whether accidentally, or on purpose last shot out of a cannon. Mnatsakanov standing outside the machine gun, and the gun could not get into it, but that's emitted sideways and back when fired from this 88-millimeter fools powder gases, and not all, and that part of that is reflected from the side of the projections muzzle brake, it Shes concussion. But, except for the crew of a heavy tank, he was captured and devastated the chief of staff Infantry Regiment, and several shtabnikov the same regiment infantry who were not lucky escape on a tank with documents.
I remember heard that our tridtsatchetvёrki not received muzzle brake gun just because their use was supposed to tankodesantnikami, and if you put a muzzle knobs, then shot at landing a blow armor will.
* * *
Tiger was completely undamaged, filled, were cartridges for machine gun, that was not enough ammunition, but with a walkie deal did not work, the connection established on it is not, although it was kind of OK. An idea: taking advantage of the darkness, and make use of the trophy at the plug held near the strategically important highway. Experienced mehvoda Lozovsky was quite ready to lead and the tank, scored the most experienced in the tank crew on the Tigris and pulled to the highway.
Past the barrier of the German managed to slip on her, they did not shoot, but on the highway wedged into a solid column of Pruszcz sack trucks, carts and all different, which ran a stream, as the beasts of the forest fire.