Immortal Oleszyce


German infantry on the march

The enemy was eager for Lyubachev (Mackensen is eager for Lyubachev), pushing against the 3 and 8 armies.

The group of V.A. Olokhov also conducted defensive battles with the enemy. On the morning of the 2 June, the 77 I Infantry Division of the 29 Army Corps retreated to the front of Molodych - Oleszyce. All day the group waged a stubborn battle with the superior forces of the Germans, but under their pressure began to withdraw. The 29-th Army Corps retreated to Molodych-Futory, the 2-th Caucasian Army Corps-on Oleshytsya-Vulka Kravitskaya.



Austrian infantry on march passes through a Polish village

The commander of the 13 life grenadier Erivan regiment wrote about the battle of his unit on the 2 June. The battle began at about nine in the morning, the fire was fired by artillery and rifle. The battle went right behind the forest, where the 203th Sukhumi Infantry Regiment of the 51th Infantry Division of the 2 Caucasian Army Corps fought. Around 11 hours, a message came that it was impossible to keep on, as the 204th Infantry Ardagan-Mikhailovsky Regiment of the same division (right neighbor) and the 14th Grenadier Georgian General Kotlyarevsky Regiment of the Caucasian Grenadier Division of the 2 Caucasian Army Corps (neighbor left) left, exposing the flanks. The battle continued to develop, and the Germans began to especially hard push, bypassing the flanks and falling asleep with regiments with shrapnel and bullets. The villages were on fire. So 2 hours passed - and during this time the Germans went around the flanks so deeply and began to press so hard from the front that the companies began to gradually upset. With the participation of all the officers of the regiment, it was possible to stop the retreating companies and to retreat in an organized manner to the rear position. For this battle, E. E. Vyshinsky received St. George’s weapon: since in the battle of June 2 of 1915 near Lyubachev, despite the loss of positions by neighboring units and the semi-circle of the regiment, he was able to hold on to the occupied position on the left bank of the river under heavy pressure and strong fire from the Germans. Zavadovki - what ensured the general departure.

The order for the Caucasian Grenadier Division of June 8, characterizing the battle of the Life Erivans at Lubachev on the 2 of June 1915, noted that the 13 Life and Grenadier Erivan Regiment was put in especially difficult conditions. A regiment was hastily advanced from the corps reserve to the right flank, which was not covered by neighbors - and he had to take a position and dig in front of the Germans, while the enemy had already launched an offensive. The troops of the right fighting section were upset by the night battle for holding a fortified position, and barely restrained the advancing Germans, until, finally, they gradually began to lean back. The Life-Erivans, however, steadfastly withstood the pressure on their right flank, not allowing the enemy to embrace themselves. By noon, the departure of the neighbors on the left was also indicated. And the superior forces of the enemy fell upon the Erivanians. Bypassed from both flanks, exhausted in a difficult struggle, the regiment, in order to avoid encirclement, was forced to start retreating - repulsing the fierce attacks of the enemy. Departing gradually, the regiment expensively gave the enemy space. Colonel E. E. Vyshinsky stayed on the left bank of the river. The invasions until the evening, ensured the departure of all troops to the right bank. As a result, by evening, the regiment, without leaving a single trophy to the enemy, left the battle, taking up a new position - to repulse the enemy again.

Losses of the regiment in the battle of June 2 - 3 officer and 250 grenadier.

The chief of staff of the 2 Caucasian Army Corps recalled these battles as a very difficult time for the troops: they repulsed the enemy offensive during the day, retreated at night and dug in a new position. The exhausted remained behind and surrendered. There were so few shells that the Grenadier artillery brigade was reprimanded for the expense of 300 shrapnel. Moreover, an investigation was also carried out on this fact. There was almost no connection either - only instructions were given on where to stop.

Against the 2-th Caucasian Army Corps, the shock corps of the German 11-th Army - the 10-th Army acted. Divisions of the corps - the 19-I infantry (Hanover) and 20-I infantry "Steel" (Braunschweig) attacked Oleshits and Lyubachev, respectively.

Near the town of Oleszyce, one of those brilliant horse attacks took place, which was famous for the Russian cavalry in World War I. The cavalrymen of the 4th Cavalry Corps distinguished themselves by covering the withdrawal of the 45th Infantry Division of the 29th Army Corps and the 3th Caucasian Rifle Division of the 2th Caucasian Army Corps (it was part of the compound from the 31th of May). In this battle, units of the 16 (17 th Hussar of Chernigov His Highness Grand Duke Mikhail Alexandrovich regiment) and 7 th (11 th Don Cossack general from Denisov’s cavalry and the 7 th Dragoon Kinburn regiment) cavalry divisional Gizi Xi Infantry Regiment of the 91th Infantry Division of the 19th Army Corps. In the very near future, we will surely dwell on this attack in as much detail as possible, but for now we will characterize it as a whole.


The heroes of the "Russian Light Brigade" - the Cossacks rush to the attack, despite the machine-gun fire. Illustration in the German newspaper 1915 of the year

An eyewitness-hussar recalled how, having gone to the crest, the commander of the 17-m hussar regiment saw the Russian infantry retreating from Oleszyce, vigorously pursued by the German infantry. The 4 th squadron of staff captain Kalinin scattered into the lava and reached the retreating infantry, turned it back and launched an attack on the Germans - heading to Oleshytsya, on the right side of the highway. With the hussar squadron, the squadron of the Kinburn dragoons also launched an attack to the right.

The hussars passed, cutting down the advanced chains, support and reserves of the Germans at the Pzerva stream. The squadron overcame the stream, flying into the village and the Oleszyce folk farm - and cut into the German infantry, most of which, having thrown down their arms, stood on their knees with their hands up. A horse was killed at a farm in a point-blank shot under a komesk - and he, being among the Germans, moved to a horse, ceded to him by an ordinary dragoon. The calculations of the German machine guns were chopped up and chopped up - including machine gunners trying to surrender.

The dashing impulse of the hussar raised the spirit of the infantry, which ran forward, almost keeping up with the riders - but lay down on the road and began to dig in. Rushing far ahead, destroying everything in its path, the hussar squadron was forced to jump back - the Germans, stunned at first, began to quickly get in order, shelling the hussar from close range. Machine guns and other trophies could not be evacuated - because most of the squadron was disabled, and support (1 th squadron) did not have time. The 1th squadron, Captain Subbotin, was marching in the 2 line, also destroying the German infantry, and the 3 Squadron of the captain Gurov was on the right flank of the regiment's battle formation (in case the enemy cavalry appeared to the right).



The 6 th squadron of Lieutenant Papkevich launched an attack on a big tree laden with thick trees - the latter occupied a company of German infantry with 4 machine guns mounted in trenches in roadside ditches. At 2-kilometer distance to the enemy, the squadron from the hill moved in a field gallop. At this time, a German battery located behind the eastern edge of the places fired a shot at him. Oleszyce. Shrapnel burst over the squadron - and he suffered the first losses. On the slope of the mountain, in front of the trenches of the Russian infantry, there was a light battery, which, under heavy shelling from the enemy’s side, could not retreat behind the infantry. When the 6 th squadron swept through the trenches, the infantry, carried away by the example of the hussars, also rushed after them - and the enemy battery, which stood behind the eastern edge of Oleszyce, removed itself from the position and left its quarry without firing a shot anymore. Chernihiv regiment gathered near the forest in the village. Futori and went overnight to the Dakhnov area.

Outcome of the attack: 1) a stunning panic in the German infantry regiment, which was almost completely destroyed; 2) German reserves and artillery fled for Oleszyce, and hurricane fire was stopped; 3) the energetic advance of the Germans was stopped, which threatened a breakthrough of the position - for the whole day not only the attack was stopped, but the artillery fire was stopped; 4) the enthusiasm of the Russian infantry, which, with a cry of "cheers", rushed behind the regiment and stabbed the enemy, accidentally missed by the hussars; 5) The 6 th squadron, taking on enemy fire, allowed to take away the battery located in front of the infantry trenches - and not only saved the guns from capture by the enemy, but also covered its regiment from flanking rifle-machine gun fire.

Losses of the 17 hussar regiment: 2 officers were wounded (lieutenants Papkevich and Prince Vachnadze — the latter remaining in service), 37 hussars were wounded, killed and remained on the battlefield 38 hussars.

The commander of the 11 Don Cossack Regiment, Colonel P. P. Artinsky, recalling the battle, noted the chains of German infantry that showered his regiment with strong rifle-machine gun fire. But this did not bother the Don - and the regiment famously crashed into the first chain, knocked it over, fleeing, then went through the second and third lines of the German chains, the remnants of which, under the blows of the peak and sabers, fled in panic fear to Oleszyce. Machine guns thrown by the Germans and other weapons were not ordered to be collected - so that the stop would not weaken the force of the blow, this should have been done by the infantry, perked up and on the offensive. The marshland on the right flank and the rugged terrain in general and on the left flank especially (brick factory, quarries, pits, houses, etc.), as well as heavy fire from Oleshytsya and Volya Oleshytska (from the flank) led to the regiment reaching the left flank to Oleszyce, and right rushing through the river. Interrupting and having traveled more than 4 km, I received an order to leave (the regiment returned to its original in 20 hours, 30 minutes).


The area of ​​the cavalry attack at Oleszyce on the 2 of June 1915

Description of the military operations of the regiment noted the equestrian attack of the 2-th June against the German infantry of the 91-th regiment, which was landing on the Russian infantry at the places. Oleshitsy near Lyubachev. Cossacks chopped down the 3 chain of Germans (the mouth of the 2 regiment was destroyed before 91), which helped the Russian infantry to take its previous positions, and delayed the German offensive. The regiment received gratitude from the Supreme Commander. 11-th Don Cossack lost an officer and 29 Cossacks (1 killed, 6 missing, 22 wounded and injured).

The 5th squadron of the 7th Kinburn Dragoon Regiment took part in the attack. The description of the regiment’s military operations noted that in the battle of June 2 of 1915 near Oleszyce, being in the reserve of the regiment, which held a position in the foot ranks, hearing the cries of “cavalry, cavalry” departing under the pressure of the enemy infantry chains, attacked the horse ranks rapidly advancing German infantry. The surprise and swiftness of the blow turned the enemy to flight. Chasing the fleeing, the squadron chopped up at least a company of infantry, setting off an attack on other equestrian units with its own example and going over to the offensive with shouting "cheers" of the infantry. Loss of the squadron - 3 people (1 dragoons went missing and 2 were injured).

I.F. Rubets noted that the 5th squadron of the 7th Dragoon Kinburn Regiment, supporting the retreating 10th Caucasian Rifle Regiment of the 3th Caucasian Rifle Division, attacked the advancing Germans. The infantry, observing the attack, rushed after the squadron. The combined efforts of the Cossacks, hussars, dragoons, and the infantry arrived in time, the German 91 infantry regiment was destroyed.

The Headquarters report noted that it was possible to chop down and chop the German 91 infantry regiment, cause panic in the ranks of the enemy and force the Germans to go on the defensive. 5 German machine guns and prisoners were captured (captured by the infantry who recovered and went on the offensive); Russian general losses - 3 officers (2 wounded and 1 missing), as well as up to 200 lower ranks.

The 91 infantry regiment of the German 19 infantry division of the 10 army corps in the period from May to September (new style) 1915 lost, according to German data, 127 officers and 4291 lower ranks in Galicia - i.e. more than 150 % of the original composition.

Thanks to this equestrian attack, the situation in this sector of the front was completely restored. K. Popov, who was in the positions of the Caucasian Grenadier Division near the site of the attack, recalled the message that the Russian cavalry unit attacked the German infantry in an equestrian system, taking prisoners. "The attack was very beautiful."

In the battles of Lyubachev and Oleszyce, units of the 3th Don Cossack Division distinguished themselves. Description of military operations of the 32-th Don Cossack Regiment notes: “On the 1-th and 2-th of June the two-day battle of the regiment near Lyubachev. On the 2 of June, the battalion of the Germans set out on a runaway, intending to strike the flanks of the horse-drawn units of the 7 and 16 divisions, which attacked the German chains on horseback. ” 20-th Don Cossack Regiment: “As part of the division ... moved to Oleshitsa; in the forest near the foli. Latoshina fought with 1, 5 and 6 hundreds, 3 hundreds in reserve, and 2 and 4 hundreds sent to the village. Uskowice was also scored for observing the flanks. In this battle, the advance of the enemy who shot down our infantry was delayed. By his actions, the regiment gave our infantry the opportunity to put themselves in order and did not allow the enemy to defeat it. " And the 8-I Don Cossack battery (4-I Don Cossack artillery division of the 3-I Don Cossack division): "... was again transferred to the area of ​​the city of Lyubachev. On the morning of the 2 of June, the battery was hurriedly called from the city of Tseshanov to support our infantry, which was heavily crowded by the enemy. Standing in an open position in the chains of our infantry, the battery with its fire stopped the enemy infantry, forced it to dig in, knocked it out of these trenches and moved away from the position as a result of the order received. On the 3 of June, the battery participated in the defense of Lyubachev, and when the enemy launched an offensive with thick chains from Oleszyce’s side to our infantry, the battery left for an open position, with its fire stopped the enemy’s advance and inflicted huge losses on him. "

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