Machine gun firing point.
Machine gun in a field battle. Drawings of the witness.
The 82 Infantry Regiment of Dagestan was one of the best in the Russian imperial army, entering the 21 Infantry Division of the renowned 3 Caucasian Army Corps. Only in the incomplete first year and a half of the war (as of December 1915), the 82 th regiment captured 38 officers and 3856 lower ranks (in fact, their composition), as well as enemy 36 guns and 10. About what the soldiers served in the regiment, allows us to conclude the story of the exploits of the ordinary machine-gun team named Komisar Aganesov [RGVIA. F. 16180. Op. 1. D. 63. L. 333.].
A private machine-gun crew, K. Aganesov, was the gunner of the machine gun that operated on the left flank of the 1 regiment company during the heavy fighting of 25 - 26 in April of 1915 near der. Petrusha Will.
During the first day of the battle, almost half of the company, as well as almost all machine-gunners, were out of action. Under the powerful fire of heavy German batteries, perfectly adjusted (due to the fact that Russian trenches were on the crest of a hill and were perfectly visible to the enemy), K. Aganesov cleaned and put his machine gun in order, and with the onset of darkness, as the document notes, “beat off the fierce attacks of furious, drunken German guardsmen. "
At 10, in the morning, an order was received to withdraw - the 1 company and machine gun of K. Aganesov remained in the rear guard. It was the turn of the rearguard to retreat and the brave machine gunner remained to cover the 1 company. K. Aganesov hit a machine gun on the dense chains of the advancing Germans with a machine gun. The water in the cooler was boiling, but this did not stop the machine gunner. He managed to shoot all the tapes, knocked out a machine gun - and was raised on bayonets by the Germans who ran up.
11 July 1915 was distinguished by an officer - a “machine gunner”, commander of the 3 battalion of the 11 Turkestan rifle regiment, lieutenant colonel A. A. Gorn [RGVIA. F. 16180. Op. 1. D. 63. L. 51 Rev.]. The wonderful rifleman (graduate of the Officers' Infantry School) Alexander Alexandrovich Gorn, during the attack of the German infantry, put forward one of the machine guns, sat down behind the last one and personally fired from it - repelling the enemy’s attack on the village. Severinki on the river. Narev. The accurate fire of the lieutenant colonel silenced several German machine guns. After the attack was repulsed, the lieutenant colonel moved to the right flank of the 12 company - planning to organize an attack of the battalion. At that moment, a German soldier, who had previously been hiding in the rye, approached him and told the lieutenant colonel in Russian that he wanted to surrender. When the officer approached him, the “defector” fell to the ground and fired a rocket launcher into the air. At this signal, a German machine gun opened fire and the officer was killed by a bullet that hit the heart. With the help of perfidy, the Germans not only decapitated the opposing battalion of Turkestans, but also eliminated the talented machine-gunner, Lieutenant Colonel A. A. Gorn, who became the Knight of the Order of St. George 4 degree posthumously.
On the Caucasian front in the 28 battle of May 1915 of the year for the height of 8333, the fighters of the machine gun command of the 16 of the Turkestan rifle regiment distinguished themselves [RGVIA. F. 16180. Op. 1. D. 63. L. 60.]. The commander of the machine-gun platoon junior non-commissioned officer Vasily Goncharov advanced his unit at the minimum (300 steps) distance to the enemy. Then the machine guns opened dagger fire on the advancing Turks. And a chain of Turkish infantry numbers in the company was destroyed.
But the platoon of V. Goncharov, who was in an open position, was caught in the crossfire of the enemy's 2 batteries.
Despite the enemy’s fire and losses, the machine gunners did not stop the fire.
The calculation of one of the machine guns was killed, and the platoon commander rushed to the silent machine gun - single-handedly firing at the counterattacking Turkish infantry.
The heroic non-commissioned officer was shot in the stomach with a bullet. Despite the injury, he agreed only to the dressing - refusing to leave the battlefield.
V. Goncharov, having collected his last strength, for another half an hour ran the fire of the platoon — until he lost consciousness. The commander of the machine-gun platoon near his machine gun.
Hero-machine gunner was also Hrisanf Grigorievich Bondar, naval Komandor - platoon commander of the machine gun team of the Dagestan equestrian regiment of the Caucasian native equestrian division [Heroes and trophies of the Great People's War. Issue 2. Pg., 1916.].
Distinguished in the Carpathians. 26. 12. 1914, under der. Mountain Berezhok machine-gun platoon, holding back the enemy cavalry, supported his infantry and cavalry. For success in battle, causing great losses to the enemy, Kh. G. Bondar is awarded the St. George Cross of the 4 degree.
12. 01. 1915, the machine-gun crew of the Dagestan regiment was supposed to detain the enemy, acting on the road between the village of Boberk and Sedov. The team under the command of the full Georges cavalier Ensign Yankovsky acted tactically competently - H. G. Bondar's machine gun, constantly changing positions, kept the enemy from the front, while the 2 machine gun shot the enemy from the flank. And a handful of fighters hold an important road in their hands all day long. The whole division was awarded. H. G. Bondar received the St. George Cross of the 3 degree, becoming a non-commissioned officer.
He distinguished himself in the battle 27. 03. 1915 - on the Dniester, at the Zaleschikov. While in reserve, the team of H. G. Bondar supported the 148 Infantry Caspian Regiment, which suffered in a recent battle and was left without its machine guns. The machine-gunners occupied half-destroyed trenches and repulsed several enemy attacks. H. G. Bondar was awarded the St. George Cross 2 degree.
29. 05. 1915 also during the battle on the Dniester at der. Zhizhava machine gunners V. G. Bondar shot Austrians, crossing the river. Moreover, the machine-gunners, who were under strong artillery fire, acted initiatively and withdrew according to the order and without loss. And their commander receives the St. George Cross of the 1 degree (becoming the owner of a full St. George bow). 04. 08. 1915 G. VG Bondar became an artillery conductor.
Heavy fight at der. Kulik 20. 07. 1915 stood the life guards Finnish regiment [Moller A. Fight 4 battalion of the regiment under the village. Kulik // Finnish. 1932. No. 16. 1933. No. 17]. The Finnish battalions occupied the defense of the village and the forest, having a Moscow regiment on the flank of the Life Guards.
The 2, 3, and 4 battalions were in position, and the 1, in the regiment reserve. The right flank of the 2 Battalion, which suffered great losses from the Germans' artillery fire, was forced to withdraw - as a result, the dominant height was lost, which was the key of the regimental position and located at the junction of the Finns and Pavlovians. The 1 th battalion counterattack was successful - the battalion knocked out the enemy from a height and held it all up. The position on the right flank of the regiment remained in the hands of the Finns.
The enemy’s artillery fire destroyed the trenches of the 3 Battalion - and the latter was forced to leave what was left of them. The battalion was attacked by superior enemy forces, suffered heavy losses, and retreated to another forest edge - on which it was fixed.
The 4 Battalion was also attacked, but thanks to the decisive and tactically competent actions of the commander, he counterattacked with his reserve companies. He not only regained his position on his sector, but also captured part of the trenches of the 3 battalion.
The commander of the 4 th battalion, Captain A. F. Moller, recalled when he heard by telephone from the battery commander that the shells were so small that the fire would be opened only at the right moment and only at close targets. Special attention was paid to the best possible concealment of the gaps and trenches. The enemy began an intensive sighting - the queues of German shells lit the houses of the village, closest to the battalion observation point and the positions of the 16 company. The thatched huts burst into flames like torches — the neighboring buildings caught fire from them. Very soon the sea of fire was raging. German artillery fired intense fire on the village. Kulik, as well as "nails" with shells of heavy calibers on the alleged positions of the battalion reserve - and whole trees flew above the forest. Hurricane fire turned into a drumbeat.
Another eyewitness wrote: “... hours with 10, the enemy began shelling our positions on the whole front with light and heavy artillery. Gradually increasing, the cannonade soon turned into a continuous roar, in which it was difficult to distinguish individual shots. From my vantage point it was evident how heavy German suitcases heaved huge fountains of earth and felled trees in the forest. Communication with the advanced battalions was constantly interrupted, until it was possible to restore it by the heroic efforts of the young telephonists. Reports of losses and heavy destruction began to arrive from the battalions; a large number of wounded arrived at the dressing station. ”
After artillery preparation, which caused sensitive losses to the guardsmen, the German infantry offensive began on 14 hours: “... helmets appeared on the hill in front of the battalion's trenches, first rare, and then thicker and thicker. Machine guns chirped and scored a characteristic sound of bullet rain. He was answered with a harsh sound of machine guns of the 13 company and rocked gunfire. ”
The key factor that made it possible to repel the onslaught of the enemy, who had already wedged the Finns, was the fire of Russian machine guns. And at this time the senior non-commissioned officer of the Soldiers accomplished the feat.
A. F. Moller recalled how he ran along the trench, ordering him to pull out a machine gun. The soldiers of the 13 Company were already firing on the thick chains of the Germans who were marching and running on the flank of the forest to the trenches of the 15 Company. The machine-gunners of the 13 Company headed by the ensign Wielkopolska dragged the machine gun to the traverse of the trench - after a moment, he shot through the right-flank trench of the 13 company through the trenches of the 15 company. The second machine gun did not work - he was overwhelmed. But under fire along the trench, the Germans, who had occupied the 15-th company trenches, ran back in groups - and the 2-th 13-machine gun opened fire on them, albeit with interruptions. The counterattack of the Russian infantrymen was effective: “Jumping out of the smoke strip, I saw the advanced 16 chains already rushing along ... the slope to the forest, and the Germans, jumping, firing and moving between the trees, ran into the forest ... the enemy began to flicker between the trees and running back along the edge of the forest, threw the weight backwards. People of 16, who are standing, who are lying down, who are from a knee, stopping on the side of a ravine, were firing at them, over their heads ... Finally, waving my left hand and going to the edge of the forest, I managed to stop shooting and order everyone to pull themselves up to the forest and dig in ... I went around digging in and thanked for the dashing attack. There were still no casualties, and on the whole slope, here and there, the dead and wounded lay. But the edge of the forest was almost all overwhelmed with corpses and seriously wounded Germans - Prussian Guardsmen! ”.
The Russian guardsmen of the 2 division showed special heroism in this battle. A. F. Moller ordered the only surviving machine gun to be pulled out of the trench, opening fire on the Germans, who bypassed the flank of the battalion.
Alone, the senior non-commissioned officer of the 13 Company of Soldiers pulled a machine gun, firing a devastating fire at the approaching enemy - the Germans, unable to withstand machine-gun fire, lay down. Through 2 - 3 minutes into the stomach the hero was hit by a glass of shrapnel - but being on the ground, covered with blood, with loose guts, Soldiers continued to shoot a machine gun. A. F. Moller recalled: there was a gaping wound on the body of the hero, and the shreds of clothing were mixed with blood and with a piece of a protruding large fragment of a projectile. When the senior noncommissioned officer unbuttoned the gate, he made some semi-convulsive gestures with his right hand, apparently wanting to cross himself. The captain tried to hear the last words of the dying man. The soldiers reached for the block with the St. George Cross (he had a 2 cross and several St. George medals) and began to take it off. The people around him helped, and the non-commissioned officer, trying to smile and overcoming pain, handed the awards to the commander and, straining, clearly said: “Give it to the parents. Tell me - I die honestly. " Surrounding cried - and the battalion commander, and the brave old warrant officer Wielkopolska. A. F. Moller, having crossed his fighter, kissed him on the forehead, leaving the dead in the hands of a friend - senior noncommissioned officer Andrei Salodovnikov.
Aganesov, Horn, Goncharov, Bondar, Soldiers.
Only dry lines of documents or memories of witnesses testify to their exploits. But let these feats become a monument to Russian machine gunners who heroically fell on the battlefield during the First World War - in the fight against the war machine of the German bloc.