Defining the tasks of the further offensive on the Stalingrad direction, the German High Command, in a directive from 23 on July 1942, ordered Army Group “B” to smash the Soviet forces covering Stalingrad with a swift blow, then take the city along the Volga to the south and seize the Astrakhan region to completely paralyze the Volga way. Take Stalingrad already planned 25 July.
Breaking through to Stalingrad, the German command planned to launch a sweeping attack on the flanks of the Soviet troops defending the approaches to the Don, to break through their positions and go into the area of Kalach, to then seize the city on the Volga with a swift blow. To this end, the command of the 6 of the German army, without waiting for the full concentration of the troops, identified two strike groups: the northern, in the Perelazovsky area, the 14 tank and the 8 army corps (later the 17 corps), and southern, in the Oblivsk region, as part of the 51-th army and 24-th tank corps. “Both of these groups,” noted Hans Dörr, “had as their task to advance along the bank of the Don within its large bend to Kalach, and in this region to unite to force the Don and the attack on Stalingrad. Thus, the German command still hoped to surround the enemy’s forces in the great bend of the Don ”(G. Dörr. Hike to Stalingrad).
Breakthrough of the northern flank of the Soviet defense
At dawn on July 23, the northern group of the Wehrmacht launched an offensive with superior forces in the direction of Verkhne-Buzinovka, Manoilin, Kamensky. The Germans attacked the right-flank divisions of the 62nd Army — the 33rd Guards, 192nd and 184th Infantry Divisions. In the breakthrough sector, the Germans created a great advantage in manpower, artillery and tanks... Actively supported the advancing German troops aviation, which inflicted massive strikes on the battle formations of the Soviet troops.
The situation was hard. “The army continues the stubborn defense of the prepared line. The forward detachments, under the onslaught of superior forces, are moving beyond the front edge of the defensive line, ”the battle report from the 23 July army headquarters at 19 hour was reported. 30 min. On this day, especially stubborn battles were fought in the battle formations of the 33 Guards Rifle Division, which held the defenses south-west of Manoilip. On the right flank of the division, the 84 th Guards Rifle Regiment under the command of Lieutenant Colonel G. P. Barladyan fought. The enemy attacked the positions of the regiment with the forces of the 113 infantry and 16 tank divisions of the 14 tank corps. Attacks of infantry and tanks were actively supported by aviation. The enemy broke through the regiment's defenses, but the guards continued to fight. It was here that four armor-raisers made their legendary feat - Peter Boloto, Peter Samoilov, Konstantin Belikov, Ivan Aleinikov. Left alone on a skyscraper south of Kletskaya, armored rifles, armed with two anti-tank rifles, repulsed the attacks of German tanks. Fifteen tanks were destroyed by them, and the rest retreated. However, the Germans rushed forward. On July 23, the enemy broke through the defenses of the 192 th rifle division in the Kletskaya and Evstratovsky sector and reached the settlement of Platonov. In the 33-th Guards Rifle Division, the enemy advanced 15 km, penetrated Soviet defenses, and captured the state farm 1 May.
On the night of July 24, the enemy was pulling up forces, preparing to continue the offensive. In the morning the Germans went to Verkhne-Buzinovka, where the headquarters of the 192 and 184 rifle divisions were located. German tanks with troops landed there, leading fire on the way and cutting off the escape routes. Hurried evacuation of the wounded and communications began. Divisional headquarters entered the battle, fighting off the opposing enemy. The divisional commander of the 192 division, Colonel Athanasy Stepanovich Zakharchenko, died. On the same morning, the Nazis reached the Oskinsky farm, where a medical battalion was located at the height of "Mayak". Male doctors and cadets entered the battle with the enemy while the wounded were evacuated under fire. “But not all cars made their way through the German barrier. The fascists — tankmen and machine gunners — burned and killed the wounded and the paramedics ... ”
German flamethrower on the outskirts of Stalingrad
Thus, the situation was extremely difficult. Germans during the two days of fighting surrounded near Evstratovsky, Mayorovsky Kalmykov 192-yu, 184-th Infantry Division, 84-rd and 88-th Guards regiments 33-th Guards Rifle Division, 40-Tank Brigade, 644-Panzer Battalion and three artillery regiments and captured Verkhne-Buzinovka, Osinovka, Sukhanovsky. Part of the German 3-th and 60-th motorized divisions broke into the areas Skvorina and Golubinsky, coming to r. Don and bypassing the right-flank formations of the 62 Army. At the same time, the 16-I tank and 113-I infantry divisions broke through to the r. Liska near Kachalinsk. This led to the fact that the front of the 62-th army was broken. Parts of the right flank were surrounded. They were united in a task force led by Colonel KA Zhuravlev and waged heavy defensive battles. The left flank of the 62 Army was deeply engulfed from the north by German troops. The German command sought to completely encircle the 62 army and destroy it. The command of the 62 Army, in order to eliminate the breakthrough, to keep the crossing of the Don in the Kalach area, on July 25 brought the 196 Infantry Division into battle with the 649 Tank Battalion.
The offensive of the southern German group
The situation on the front of the 64 Army was also dangerous. The army came into contact with the enemy, not yet fully completed concentration. A large part of the rear areas of the army followed in echelons from Tula to Stalingrad, the supply of ammunition and food was not adjusted. The troops of the 64 Army deployed to the left of the 62 Army in the zone from Surovikino to Upper Kurmoyarsk. At the turn of the Surovkkino — Pristenovsky defense, the 229 and 214 rifle divisions were occupied by Colonel F. F. Sazhin and Major General N. I. Biryukov, to the south — by the 154 brigade of marines and other formations. The forward detachments of the army to 24 July came to the river. Zimle, where the next day they were attacked by the approaching units of the enemy's 51 Army Corps and began to retreat to the main line of defense. Our troops entrenched at the turn of the river. Cheer
“In the twentieth of July, enemy troops, pushing forward detachments, came to the front edge of our defense,” the division commander N. I. Biryukov recalled. “For almost three days the enemy tried to break it with bombings, artillery and tank strikes. None of the fascist tank failed to break into the depths of our defense. All enemy tanks that had advanced to the front line failed to return. The fierce bombing and shelling of the warriors of the division withstood steadfastly. This is reflected in the high quality of combat and political training. ” To the north, on the right flank of the army, the 229-Infantry Division held the defense, which came into contact with the enemy, while its artillery was still on the march. First, the division led small battles that did not threaten its positions, but soon the situation changed radically.
July 25 began the attack of the southern group of the 6 of the German army, striking from the Oblivskaya area, Verkhne-Aksenovskaya against Kalach against the 64 of the army. The enemy forces 51 th Army and 24 th tank corps sought to break through to the crossings over the river. Cheer The Germans attacked the superior forces of the 229 Infantry Division, delivering the main blow to the defensive orders of the 64 Army here, and the very next day German tanks broke through the defense of the division and rushed to the r. Chir, leaving the butt 62 th and 64 th armies. Colonel M. P. Smolyanov, the head of the political department of the 64 Army, recalling the events of this day, notes that this was “the most difficult moment of our first operation on the right bank of the Don, when the entire bulk of aviation, tanks came over”.
Thus, the German troops broke through the defenses of the 64 Army, which had not yet completed concentration. With heavy fighting, part of the army moved to the left bank of the Don. The commander of the 229 division, Colonel FF Sazhin, and other commanders, despite the fierce onslaught of the enemy, were able to maintain the combat capability of the division. The fighters of the 214 Division and the 154 Marine Brigade also distinguished themselves in fierce battles with the enemy. However, the situation was extremely difficult. The Germans attacked, our troops retreated beyond the Don, enemy aircraft bombed crowds at the crossing. The army’s artillery chief, Major-General Ya.I. Broad, the head of the operations department, Lieutenant-Colonel TM Sidorin, the head of the army engineering service, Colonel Burilov, and a number of other army staff officers, died here. By the evening of July 26, the railway bridge over the Don at Nizhne-Chirskoy was broken by German aircraft.
The Deputy Commander of the 64 Army, Lieutenant General V.I. Chuykov, who was in charge of the Commander, decided to withdraw the 214 Infantry Division and the 154 Maritime Brigade to the left bank of the Don. “To prepare for the crossing,” said Lieutenant-General N. I. Biryukov, “parts of the division at Nizhne-Chirskoy began a battle with the enemy. But the liaison officer delivered on the plane a new order from the army command that the division should be shipped to the south, in the area of the rest home, as the crossing at Nizhny Chirskaya was blown up. In the area of the holiday home there was no ready ferry, and the division, having secured a foothold, began to cross the Don using improvised means. For four days, there was a crossing at the intense work of all the personnel, in the struggle against the enemy who was pressing and with the water element breaking our rafts and ferries, under artillery-mortar shelling and bombing of enemy aircraft. All the difficulties were steadily overcome by the warriors of the division at the crossing. With only 122-millimeter howitzers and vehicles, the situation was hopeless - there was no reason to transport them across the river. It is difficult to say how it would end if a member of the Military Council of the Army comrade. KK Abramov did not send us a semi-pontoon. On it, howitzers and motor vehicles were transported to the left bank of the Don in one night ”(“ Battle of the Volga ”, Volgograd. 1962.). Crossing covered, leading a fierce battle on the right bank, one regiment of 214 th Infantry Division.
Thus, the Germans broke through the defense of the 64 Army. The right-flank formations of this army, with stubborn battles, went to the northeast in an organized manner, entrenched along the railway from Surovikino to Rychkov and further along the left bank of the Don. The Germans came to the Don in the region of Nizhne-Chirsk.
Soviet counter strike
As a result of the onset of two German shock groups, the defenses of the 62 and 64 of the Soviet armies were broken. The Germans came to the Don north of Kalach - in the area of Kamensky, and south of Kalach - near Nizhne-Chirsk, created a threat to bypass Stalingrad from the west and south-west. There was a real threat to the encirclement of the 62 and 64 armies who were fighting in the large bend of the Don. The Germans planned to force the Don on the move and launch an attack on Stalingrad.
In this situation, the Soviet command decided to urgently organize counterattacks on the shock groups of the 6 of the German army by the forces of the 1 and 4 of the tank armies, which were in the formative stage. On July 23, Colonel-General A. M. Vasilevsky, Chief of the General Staff, arrived at the Stalingrad Front as a representative of General Headquarters. He offered to strike at the enemy with the forces of the forming two tank armies. Another 22 July The headquarters transformed the control of the 38 and 28 armies into the control of the 1 tank and 4 armies. Major General of Artillery KS Moskalenko, who was summoned to the commander of the Stalingrad Front on the same day by the 38 Army, received the order to transfer all 38 Army divisions and 21 Army defense, and immediately proceed to the Kalach area. the formation of the 1-y tank army. The next morning, General K. S. Moskalenko was already at the new command post, and after them came the headquarters, led by Colonel S. P. Ivanov. The formation of the 1 Tank Army took place in the area of Kachalin, Rychkovsky, Kalach. Initially, it consisted of the 13 and 28 tank corps, the 131 rifle division, two anti-aircraft artillery regiments and one anti-tank. The 158 heavy tank brigade was assigned to the army. The 4 tank army was led by Major General V. D. Kryuchenkin, Brigadier Commissioner F. P. Luchko (member of the Military Council), Colonel E. S. Polozov (Chief of Staff). The 22 Tank Corps, the 18 Rifle Division, the 133 Tank Brigade, the 5 Fighter Anti-Tank Artillery Brigade, the Regiment of Rocket Artillery and two air defense regiments entered the army.
The situation was such that the Soviet mobile units had to attack without completing the formation. Thus, the units and units of the 1 tank army were scattered over a large area or not yet arrived. The 13 tank corps was already drawn into combat on the right flank of the 62 Army, in 60 km north-west of Kalach; The 131-th Infantry Division defended on the east bank of the Don, from Golubinskaya to Kalach, the 158-I tank brigade was still on the march. Parts of the gain have not yet arrived. The army had only about 40% of communications, there was not enough transport, the reconnaissance battalion did not arrive, etc. The 4 tank army was in a worse condition, so its offensive began later. Both tank armies did not have the mobility of full-fledged mechanized formations, combined-arms units did not have time for the tank crews, which sharply reduced the maneuverability and combat capability of the armies. In the 1 Tank Army there were about 160 tanks, in the 4 Army - around 80. Tank units did not have full support of artillery and aircraft. The formation of tank armies began only on July 22, they were not fully manned and equipped. In addition, the command and headquarters of the armies did not have the necessary experience in leading tank formations, since they were formed from the directorates of the combined-arms armies.
However, there was no choice but to throw into the battle the newly formed tank armies. As A.M. Vasilevsky: “We all were determined to defend the city on the Volga. A study of the prevailing situation on the front showed that the only way to eliminate the threat of the 62 army encirclement and the enemy's seizure of the Don crossing in the Kalach region and to the north of it was the immediate infliction of counter-attacks on the enemy with 1 and 4 tank armies, 4-I tank could do it only after two days, but it was not possible to wait for it, otherwise we would lose the crossing and the fascist troops would go to the rear of the 62 and 64 armies. Therefore, I had to go for an immediate strike of the 1 th tank army, and then the 4 th ”(A. M. Vasilevsky. A matter of a lifetime.).
By dawn 25 July German troops almost reached the crossing at Kalach. “The enemy had to overcome the last two or three kilometers. But he did not succeed, as it was at that moment that the 1 tank army launched a counterstrike on the advancing enemy. The oncoming battle with tanks and motorized infantry began ”(KS Moskalenko. In the South-West direction.). The situation was aggravated by the fact that German aircraft dominated the air, which only on that day made more than 1000 sorties on the military orders of the Moskalenko army. However, despite all the difficulties, the Soviet tankers were able to somewhat straighten the situation. The 28 troops of the tank corps under the command of Colonel G. S. Rodina, acting on the right flank of the 62 Army, threw the Germans into 6-8 km from Kalach in fierce battles. The 13 tank corps, advancing to the north, reached the approaches to Manoilin and broke through to the surrounded 192 and 184 rifle divisions. The 196 Rifle Division of the 62 Army, interacting with the troops of the 1 Panzer Army, also advanced.
On July 27, Kryuchenkin’s 4 Panzer Army from the region of Trekhostrovskaya struck the enemy in a westerly direction. The blow of Kryuchenkin’s army finally severed the encirclement ring around two divisions and other parts of the 62 Army. By July 31, the commander of the surrounded group, Colonel K.A. Zhuravlev, brought about five thousand people into the 4 armored army. Persistent battles in this direction continued until early August. The Germans continued to attack with the 14 tank and 8 army corps, supporting their actions with massive air strikes.
Thus, the Soviet troops managed to stop the enemy's movement to the south and along the right bank of the Don, disrupting the enemy’s plan to encircle and destroy the troops of the 62 and partially of the 64 armies. The surrounded troops of the right flank of the 62 Army in the area of Verkhne-Buzinovka were unblocked. Further movement of the German troops was suspended. However, despite the massive heroism of the Soviet troops, it was not possible to completely defeat the German grouping that had broken through in the Verne-Buzinovka area, and to completely restore the position of the 62 Army. 1-I and 4-I tank armies simply did not have such an opportunity, since they were not full-fledged mobile units.
The hopes of the German command for the lightning takeover of Stalingrad were destroyed. Before the collision with the Soviet 1 tank and 4 tank armies of Paulus, other senior officers of the German 6 thought that the movement to Stalingrad would be non-stop and the city would be taken as easily as all other settlements on the way from Kharkov to Don The Germans again overestimated their capabilities and did not expect so much resistance. The German command began to take measures to regroup the troops in order to organize a new attack on the Stalingrad sector.
Soviet infantry in battle
The Soviet command took urgent measures to strengthen the south-western approaches to the Don, which were the most vulnerable. A breakthrough of the southern enemy grouping could have led the latter to the front of the Stalingrad front. By order of the Supreme Command, by the 1 of August, the troops of the 57 Army under the command of Major-General F. I. Tolbukhin were deployed here from Red Don to Raigorod. The 31 Army was transferred to the Stalingrad Front 51 in July from the North Caucasus Front. Subsequently, troops from the reserve continued to arrive for the defense of Stalingrad. As a result, the front line has increased to 700 km. It was hard to control the troops on such a front, therefore the August 5 Headquarters divided the Federation Council into two fronts: Stalingrad - under V.N. Gordov, and Southeast - under the command of A.I. Eremenko. In the SF front there were 63-I, 21-I, 4-I tank (without tanks) and 62-I armies. To support the front of the air was formed 16-I air army. The Southeastern Front included the 64, 57, 51, the 1 I Guards and 8 I air armies advanced to Stalingrad. The headquarters ordered the commanders of the two fronts to take the most drastic measures to keep the Stalingrad area.
The deep breakthrough of the German troops in the Stalingrad and Caucasus directions sharply worsened the situation at the front. The Wehrmacht broke through the defense of the Red Army in a broad band and quickly advanced to Stalingrad and Rostov. Soviet troops fought hard defensive battles and retreated under heavy blows of the enemy, leaving the rich and crowded industrial and agricultural areas. In this situation 28 appeared on July 1942, the famous order of the People’s Commissar of Defense of the USSR I. V. Stalin No. 227. In it, the Soviet leader with the harsh directness described the brunt of the current situation on the southern wing of the Soviet-German front. The troops were ordered to increase resistance and stop the enemy - "Not one step back!"
The order said: “The enemy throws all new forces to the front and, regardless of the great losses for it, climbs forward, rushes into the depths of the Soviet Union, seizes new areas, devastates and ruins our cities and villages, rapes, robs and kills the Soviet population . ... Some stupid people at the front console themselves with the talk that we can continue to retreat to the east, since we have a lot of territory, a lot of land, a lot of population and that we will always have plenty of bread. By this they want to justify their shameful behavior on the fronts. But such conversations are completely false and false, beneficial only to our enemies. Every commander, Red Army man and political worker must understand that our means are not unlimited. The territory of the Soviet state is not a desert, but people — workers, peasants, intellectuals, our fathers, mothers, wives, brothers, children. The territory of the USSR, which the enemy seized and seeks to seize, is bread and other products for the army and rear, metal and fuel for industry, factories, factories supplying the army with weapons and ammunition, railways. After the loss of Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states, Donbas and other areas, we had much less territory, therefore, much less people, bread, metal, factories, and factories. We lost more than 70 millions of people, more than 800 million pounds of bread per year and more than 10 million tons of metal per year. We no longer have a predominance over the Germans either in human reserves or in bread stocks. To retreat further is to ruin ourselves and at the same time ruin our homeland. Each new patch of territory we left will strengthen the enemy in every possible way and weaken our defense, our homeland in every possible way. ... From this it follows that it is time to end the retreat. Not one step back! That should now be our main call. ”
To be continued ...
Order of the USSR NKO from 28.07.1942 No. 227. On measures to strengthen discipline and order in the Red Army and prohibit unauthorized withdrawal from combat positions.
The enemy throws to the front all the new forces and, regardless of the great losses for it, climbs forward, rushes into the depths of the Soviet Union, seizes new areas, devastates and ruins our cities and villages, rapes, robs and kills the Soviet population. The fighting takes place in the Voronezh region, on the Don, in the south at the gates of the North Caucasus. The German invaders rush to Stalingrad, to the Volga and want to seize the Kuban, the North Caucasus with their oil and bread riches at any price. The enemy has already captured Voroshilovgrad, Starobelsk, Rossosh, Kupyansk, Valuyki, Novocherkassk, Rostov-on-Don, half of Voronezh. Part of the troops of the Southern Front, going for alarmists, left Rostov and Novocherkassk without serious resistance and without an order from Moscow, covering their banners with shame.
The population of our country, with love and respect for the Red Army, begins to give up on it, loses faith in the Red Army, and many of them curse the Red Army because it gives our people under the yoke of the German oppressors, while it flows away to the east.
Some stupid people at the front console themselves with the talk that we can continue to retreat to the east, since we have a lot of territory, a lot of land, a lot of population and that we will always have plenty of bread.
By this they want to justify their shameful behavior on the fronts. But such conversations are completely false and false, beneficial only to our enemies.
Every commander, Red Army man and political worker must understand that our means are not unlimited. The territory of the Soviet state is not a desert, but people — workers, peasants, intellectuals, our fathers, mothers, wives, brothers, children. The territory of the USSR, which the enemy seized and seeks to seize, is bread and other products for the army and rear, metal and fuel for industry, factories, factories supplying the army with weapons and ammunition, railways. After the loss of Ukraine, Belarus, the Baltic states, Donbas and other areas, we had much less territory, therefore, much less people, bread, metal, factories, and factories. We lost more than 70 millions of people, more than 800 million pounds of bread per year and more than 10 million tons of metal per year. We no longer have a predominance over the Germans either in human reserves or in bread stocks. To retreat further is to ruin ourselves and at the same time ruin our homeland. Each new patch of territory we left will strengthen the enemy in every possible way and weaken our defense, our homeland in every possible way.
Therefore, we must fundamentally stop talking about the fact that we have the opportunity to retreat endlessly, that we have a lot of territory, our country is large and rich, there is a lot of population, there will always be plenty of bread. Such conversations are deceitful and harmful, they weaken us and strengthen the enemy, for if we do not stop retreat, we will be left without bread, without fuel, without metal, without raw materials, without factories and plants, without railways.
From this it follows that it is time to end the retreat.
Not one step back! That should now be our main call.
We must stubbornly, to the last drop of blood, defend every position, every meter of Soviet territory, cling to every piece of Soviet land and defend it to the last possible opportunity.
Our Motherland is going through difficult days. We must stop and then drop and defeat the enemy, no matter what we cost. The Germans are not as strong as it seems to alarmists. They strain the last forces. To sustain their strike now, in the next few months, is to ensure victory for us.
Can we withstand the blow, and then throw the enemy to the west? Yes, we can, because our factories and factories in the rear are now working fine, and our front is getting more and more aircraft, tanks, artillery, mortars.
What are we missing?
There is a lack of order and discipline in companies, battalions, regiments, divisions, in tank units, in air squadrons. This is now our main drawback. We must establish the strictest order and iron discipline in our army if we want to save the situation and defend our Homeland.
It is impossible to endure further commanders, commissioners, political workers, whose units and formations voluntarily leave combat positions. You can’t tolerate further when commanders, commissioners, political workers allow several alarmists to determine the position on the battlefield, to bring other fighters into retreat and open the front to the enemy.
Alarmists and panties should be exterminated on the spot.
From now on, the iron law of discipline for every commander, Red Army man, political worker should be a requirement — not a step back without an order from the highest command.
The commanders of the company, battalion, regiment, division, the corresponding commissioners and political workers, retreating from a military position without orders from above, are traitors to the Motherland. It is necessary to act with such commanders and political workers, as with traitors of the Motherland.
Such is the call of our Motherland.
To fulfill this call means to defend our land, save the Motherland, destroy and defeat the hated enemy.
After their winter retreat under the pressure of the Red Army, when discipline was shaken in the German troops, the Germans took some harsh measures to restore discipline, which led to good results. They formed more than 100 punitive companies from fighters who were guilty of violating discipline due to cowardice or instability, put them on dangerous sectors of the front and ordered them to atone for their sins with blood. Further, they formed about a dozen penal battalions from commanders who had been guilty of violating discipline due to cowardice or instability, deprived of their orders, put them on even more dangerous sections of the front and ordered them to atone for their sins with blood. Finally, they formed special detachments of the barrier, placed them behind unstable divisions, and ordered them to shoot at the place of alarmists in the event of an attempt to arbitrarily leave their positions and in the case of an attempt to surrender. As you know, these measures had their effect, and now the German troops are fighting better than they fought in the winter. And it turns out that German troops have good discipline, although they do not have an exalted goal of protecting their homeland, but there is only one predatory goal — to subdue a foreign country, and our troops, who have an elevated goal of protecting their degraded homeland, do not have such discipline and tolerate because of this defeat.
Shouldn't we learn from our enemies in this matter, how did our ancestors learn from our enemies in the past and then triumph over them?
I think that follows.
The Supreme Command of the Red Army orders:
1. The military councils of the fronts and, above all, the commanders of the fronts:
a) to unconditionally eliminate the retreat in the army and with an iron hand to stop the propaganda that we can and must supposedly retreat further east, that there will be no harm from such a retreat;
b) unconditionally remove from office and send to the Headquarters to attract military court army commanders who allowed the unauthorized departure of troops from their positions without the order of the front command;
c) form within the front from one to three (depending on the situation) penal battalions (800 people), where to send middle and senior commanders and relevant political workers of all branches of the military who have been guilty of violation of discipline due to cowardice or instability, and put them on difficult sections of the front to give them the opportunity to atone for their crimes against the Motherland.
2. Military councils of armies and above all commanders of armies:
a) unconditionally remove corps and division commanders and commissioners who allowed unauthorized withdrawal of troops from their positions without orders from the army command, and send them to the military council of the front for trial before a military court;
b) form 3 - 5 armored detachments (up to 200 people in each) within the army, put them in the immediate rear of unstable divisions and bind them in the event of panic and indiscriminate detachment of the division into alarmists and cowards and help honest fighters divisions to fulfill their duty to the Motherland;
c) form within the army from five to ten (depending on the situation) punitive companies (from 150 to 200 people in each), where to send ordinary soldiers and junior commanders who are guilty of breach of discipline for cowardice or instability, and put them on difficult areas army, to give them the opportunity to atone for the crime of their homeland.
3. Commanders and Commissars of Corps and Divisions:
a) unconditionally remove from the posts commanders and commissars of regiments and battalions who allowed the unauthorized withdrawal of units without an order from the corps or division commander, take orders and medals from them and send them to the military councils of the front  to bring them to the military court;
b) provide all kinds of help and support to the army defense units in strengthening order and discipline in the units.
The order to read in all companies, squadrons, batteries, squadrons, teams, staffs.
People's Commissar of Defense of the USSR