Vasily Botylev. On the way to the legend


Landing on the Small Earth

Flaming night from February 3 to 4, 1943. Tsemess bay boils from explosions of shells and mines. The coast is shrouded in a hellish web of traces of tracer bullets, and the glow of fires can be seen for tens of kilometers. Major Kunikov, clinging to the bridgehead with his hands and teeth, expects a second wave of landing. At half-past four in the night ships docked in a hail of hail. One of the first to jump into the seething icy water was a stately officer, who with his equanimous look carried the fighters behind him. In his stern, focused face, carved like an ax, lit by the glow of battle, nothing betrayed the 22-year-old guy.

The officer’s name was Vasily Andreyevich Botylev. He will meet his 23rd birthday in the trenches of the Lesser Land under the hurricane fire of German artillery and aviation.

From Moscow to the Black Sea

Vasily Botylev was born in the modest working village of Rublevo (which was not yet a microdistrict of our capital) on February 24, 1920. As a child, the future formidable battalion commander of the 393rd Separate Marine Battalion dreamed of the sea, which was not even close to the continuation of the work of parents - simple artisans.

After graduating from school, Botylev in 1938 entered the Black Sea Naval School in Sevastopol, the future hero city. Even then, Vasily was characterized by crystal honesty and sometimes rigid straightforwardness. He graduated from the college Botylev with the rank of lieutenant and was immediately sent to the Black Sea Fleet in the Marine Corps unit. It was 1941, and the war was about to fall on the Soviet Union.

And then the date hit on a bloody thunder: June 22nd. The first baptism of fire of Botylev took place in October. At that moment, Vasily commanded a machine-gun platoon of the 8th Marine Brigade. He was one of those who in the forefront met the assault of Sevastopol by the Nazis. But no matter how the marines resisted, the front rolled back east.

Vasily Botylev. On the way to the legend

Vasily Botylev

In December 1941, Botylev participated in the Kerch-Feodosia landing operation. During those battles, Vasily was injured in the head. Despite this, the unstoppable lieutenant with a hastily bandaged head continued to lead the battle, displaying extraordinary composure, which, of course, was transmitted to the soldiers. For skillful and decisive command Vasily Andreyevich was awarded the Order of the Red Banner.

After fierce battles in the Crimea, Botyleva was sent to guard Yeysk port, where soon his unit and other troops were almost blocked and made their way to the Black Sea in the direction of Novorossiysk with fights.

Disruption of Operation Scorpio

In Novorossiysk Botylev was already promoted to senior lieutenant. The fierce battles were taking place at the walls of cement plants. The bone in the Nazi throat was not only the Soviet fighters on the eastern side of the bay, but also the artillerymen of the legendary Zubkov, nicknamed the “Novorossiysk traffic controller” for the ability to smash any German car that appeared on the streets of Novorossiysk with an accurate shot. In the daytime, the Nazis even stopped the movement of troops and equipment. Zubkov’s battery was bombed and fired daily. The intensity and density of the fire was such that one day a German shell hit the barrel of the battery gun # 3 and turned it right in the middle. But all this could not silence the battery.

Soon, the command appeared that the Germans were preparing a landing operation with the goal of destroying the obstinate battery and its garrison. It was necessary to immediately strengthen the PDO in the area of ​​Cape Penai and Kabardinka, i.e. on the first section of the anti-landing defense of the Novorossiysk naval base, but the people, and even people with experience, the base was not rich. Therefore, the defense of this sector was entrusted to senior lieutenant Botylev at the head of a company of machine gunners.

The Nazis were actually preparing an assault in the Penai area. The operation received the name "Scorpio." The purpose of the operation was to capture the Zubkov’s battery by landing from the sea, and if you can’t hold positions, destroy everything. If the breakthrough was a success, then it was planned to land the second echelon of landing on this section and try to simultaneously remove from the rear and from the front the Soviet defense of the eastern side of the bay.

On October 28, 1942, before midnight, the Germans, using a Schnellboot type torpedo boat, began reconnaissance of firing points of defense from Penay to Cape Doob. Following this, the enemy aircraft bombarded Kabardinka in order to divert attention. At 23:30, Botylev’s fighters discovered a group of enemy boats (from 20 to 30 boats and motor boats). The lieutenant gave the order to lie low and let the enemy go a couple hundred meters from the coast.

As soon as the Nazis came to the necessary distance, an avalanche of fire fell upon them. However, three boats still managed to land troops in fifty people ... who instantly jumped into a minefield. As a result, they all remained lying on a rocky shore in the Penaya area. Nesolon slurring at 23:50 the enemy retreated on boats, heading for the Myskhako area. The damage of the Soviet troops was ridiculous - a broken spotlight. The main disappointment for the PDO Botylev fighters and Zubkov’s battery was the cancellation of the concert of Arkady Raikin, which was planned just for that evening, when the intensity of the shelling usually decreased.

As part of the Kunikov squad

At the end of 1942, there was a rumor on the stock market that a major operation was being prepared. Soon, Major Caesar Lvovich Kunikov was instructed to assemble and train a special landing squad, which was to play a distracting role, and if successful, to connect with the main forces. Kunikov got down to business with all his decisiveness and even insisted on preparing a second wave of landing, convincing the command that his squad would take up a bridgehead, but the question of retaining a bridgehead remained open.

All fighters of the group, including officers, underwent a kind of personal interview with the landing commander. Caesar Lvovich preferred only veterans of Sevastopol, Odessa and the landing operations of the Crimea. At 22, Botylev was already considered a veteran. Having handed over the PDO cases of the first section of the NLMB to the NKVD units, Vasily Andreyevich joined the ranks of the legendary landing.

Vasily Botylev

Fighters of the Botylev detachment also began to attend the Kunikovo school. The Marines regularly took ice baths in January in the Gelendzhik Bay, disembarking from boats, trained to overcome coastal cliffs, acquired knife fighting skills, learned the basics of mine action and took an accelerated course of a medical examiner. Kunikov even ensured that the command allocated all available German weapons for training the first and second waves of the landing. The officers of the Kunikovo detachment eventually got to study the whole German Pak 40 anti-tank gun.

According to the plan outlined by Kunikov, Senior Lieutenant Botylev took command of the detachment of the second wave of landing. Moreover, the second wave was no easier than the first, if not heavier. The first wave could count on the effect of surprise. In addition, part of the enemy’s PDO was Romanian troops, whose “valor” was most often realized in punitive operations, looting and robbery of the local population. Therefore, even then it was clear that the second wave would be expected by the targeted artillery and the German, and not the Romanian, units.

Senior Lieutenant Botylev at half past three in the morning of February 4, 1943, together with a reinforced company of marines, was waist-deep in ice water on the shore near the city of Novorossiysk in the Stanichka area. Botylev’s detachment rushed frantically to expand the bridgehead. The unstoppable "black death" literally grinded hundreds of Nazis in a day and reached the line of Levanevsky Street (now Chernyakhovsky Boulevard), which was a mile from the original landing point, although the Hitlerites had mobilized by this time all the units that they could, except for the daily aviation strokes.

By the way, the material symbol of these fierce Nazi attacks was the “Explosion” monument in Myskhako, built from the same amount of dangerous metal that the Germans dropped on every fighter of the Lesser Land. Now it is hard to fit into the consciousness of modern man.

Dash forward and feat of Kornitsky

By the fifth (according to other sources, by the seventh) February, Botylev with his detachment went to high school No. 22, occupied by the Nazis. The Nazis turned the strong three-story school building into a fortress, and one infantry division, two Romanian battalions and an SS unit were already pulled to the bridgehead captured by our soldiers, not counting artillery and armored vehicles driven into the old cemetery area to strike on Malaya Zemlya.

On the move, Botylev captured the first floor and was preparing to storm the second, because the Nazis still remained on the second and third floors. But it was at that moment that the Germans brought armored vehicles to the battlefield. And due to the fact that the advance detachment of Botylev too deeply penetrated the German defense in urban conditions, the fighters were cut off from the main forces of Major Kunikov. At that moment, Junior Sergeant Mikhail Kornitsky stepped into immortality.

Here is how the famous sailor Vladimir Kaida describes it (in one of Kaida’s fights, with a fist punch on the German helmet he sent the latter to the next world, and the second one broke his neck with the same punch, but in the face):

“The assault on the second floor has begun. But here came two fascist tank and opened fire on our positions. A fire started. Everything was surrounded by smoke and dust.

Being in school did not make sense. Botylev ordered to leave school, break out of the environment. The first rushed Michael Kornitsky. Having jumped out of the school corridor, with a well-aimed throw of an anti-tank grenade, he knocked out a fascist tank, another car quickly disappeared into an alley.

Because of the stone fence, helmets of fascist submachine guns appeared. We realized there was an ambush. Kornitsky tore off the second anti-tank grenade from his belt, jumped onto the wall of a stone fence, behind which enemy machine gunners had accumulated, and rushed into the thick of the Nazis.

There was a deafening explosion - detonated grenades hanging on Kornitsky’s belt.

Taking advantage of the confusion of the Nazis, Botylev shouted:

- Follow me!

Firing from machine guns and machine guns, throwing grenades against the Nazis, we made a breakthrough.

Breaking out of the environment, Botylev decided to get around the school from the flanks. Regrouping his forces, he ordered two red rockets to be sent towards the city — the signal and the direction of the advance of the group.

In the midst of the attack, the orderly of Major Kunikov Lenya Khobotov ran up to him with a note from the squad commander: “You don’t need to take school, take up only defense. Our task is to hold out until the evening. Now they press on us on the left. There is no ammunition. Save and take away the ammunition from the enemy. "

Kornitsky was posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. Vladimir Kaida survived in the meat grinder of Malaya Zemlya, and in 1970, having received an apartment in Novorossiysk on Geroyev Desantnikov Street, he returned “home”. Kaida has always participated in parades and in the public life of the city, along with all veterans; he is also remembered at the patriotic events by the author’s mother.

However, we will return in 1943. On February 8, the Nazis concentrated more than significant forces against the villagers, whose forces were constantly increasing due to night-time transfers of reinforcements. Here were units of the 73rd Division, and the 305th Grenadier Regiment of the 198th Division, which lost part of its composition on the approach to the bridgehead due to the successful work of our gunners, and the 125th Infantry Division, deployed from Krasnodar, and the mountain shooters of the 4th division come from Austria and Bavaria, and again the notorious Romanians - from three to four regiments, etc.

Botylev and his fighters took up the defense, day and night, repelling the attacks, but under these conditions, 22-year-old Vasily Andreevich could not even think that the most desperate battle awaits him only ahead.

To be continued ...
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  1. +13
    April 12 2020 04: 46
    Here on the biography of which people need to shoot blockbusters ...
    Thanks to the author and all our fighters and commanders mentioned in this article.
    1. +7
      April 12 2020 14: 52
      Today's directors, especially Ursulyak and Fedya Bondarchuk, cannot be trusted with this. Otherwise, you will get the next "Stalingrad", "Penal Battalion" or "Ninth Company".
    2. 0
      April 28 2020 08: 36
      And who will shoot the blockbusters? ))) I imagine - what will both heroic deeds and heroes turn into and what kind of love will be put in by the cannibal-dead)))
  2. +13
    April 12 2020 05: 12
    Amazing generation ... Amazing people ...

    Calm down the pipe to the end,
    He smiled calmly from his face.
    “Team to the front! Officers, go ahead! ”
    with dry steps the commander is walking.
    And the words are equal in full height:
    “Anchored at eight. Course - stop
    Who has a wife, children, brother -
    Write, we will not come back.
    But there will be a noble bowling alley. ”
    And the senior in response: “Yes, captain!”
    And the most daring and young
    I looked at the sun over the water.
    “Is it all the same,” he said, “where?”
    Still calmer to lie in the water. "
    Admiralty ears dawned on the dawn:
    “The order has been executed. There are no saved ones. ”
    To make nails from these people:
    Harder would be in the world of nails.

    Nikolai Tikhonov (1922)
  3. 0
    April 12 2020 05: 31
    This is how much adrenaline ... throw yourself into the Nazi crowd with grenades, kill with your fist with one blow ...
    1. +12
      April 12 2020 09: 13
      Quote: Krasnodar
      This is how much adrenaline ... throw yourself into the Nazi crowd with grenades, kill with your fist with one blow ...
      To consider the feat a consequence of the adrenaline rush, this is so in European.
      1. -2
        April 12 2020 09: 18
        I will not argue with you, a participant in the hostilities hi
        1. +7
          April 12 2020 10: 00
          Quote: Krasnodar
          I will not argue with you, a participant in the hostilities
          What do you mean? Fortunately, I did not participate in hostilities, unlike you, it seems, however, I see the difference between courage, heroism and just the state of a person after an adrenaline rush.
          1. -1
            April 12 2020 17: 28
            Heroism - I've heard and read about people throwing themselves on a grenade to save their comrades. The skill is developed at the KMB - sergeants throw a stone, yell "grenade!", You have to run off at least 21 meters in three seconds "22, 23, 8" and lie down, but because you are tortured, it soars you. The sergeants tell you an option - to jump on a stone. Sometimes three people threw themselves on the stone.
            Throwing yourself under a multi-ton tank tied with grenades - this is also heroism - you must first overcome the wild fear of being crushed by this piece of iron, the natural fear of painful death.
            Courage. I know three states. Fear, stupor, very bad excitement to kill a person, sometimes turning into courage.
            What is courage - I do not understand.
            A surge of adrenaline - courage reached the point that a man threw himself into a crowd of Nazis with grenades. Not being prepared like Japanese kamikaze. And hardly burned out morally, tired of the war - judging by the calculated throw of a grenade into the tank.
            To kill a person with one punch with a fist - after 5-8 years of boxing / other combat martial arts, it’s not always possible to knock out one punch on the street - it’s not like to kill with a fist, slamming on the head, especially on the helmet .. here without an adrenaline rush not worth it - homo sapiens - very tenacious, rarely dies from beating right away hi
            1. +1
              April 12 2020 17: 41
              Beautifully written by you?
              1. -3
                April 12 2020 17: 45
                No, I ordered a copywriter laughing
                1. +4
                  April 12 2020 17: 52
                  Quote: Krasnodar
                  No, I ordered a copywriter
                  Mr. Shpakovsky, or what? laughing
                  1. -1
                    April 12 2020 19: 16
                    No, to Samsonov himself fellow Shpakovsky writes very well himself, by the way
            2. +2
              April 12 2020 23: 11
              Krasnodar, honestly, aren’t you ashamed? Is it about writing about people who have accomplished a feat? Are you not ashamed of the dead and the few that were still alive? Well, you would be a pimple teenager, but already an adult man who has served in the army .... ashamed
              1. -2
                April 13 2020 00: 43
                Honestly, without cheap pathos, do you understand what this is all about ??? Precisely, that he served in the army, therefore for me the words "feat" and "heroism" are not abstract concepts, perceived by graduates of military departments and people who drew a wall newspaper in a leftist term, as something divorced from life, higher, unearthly, spiritual. Behind all the feats were living people who were scared, who dreamed of returning home alive and fought not for the Motherland and Stalin, but for their comrades who were in battle to the left and right of them. You don’t understand this - I don’t condemn. But if you don’t know, don’t understand, didn’t see, didn’t feel, didn’t smell - why express your opinion about things unknown to you ??? Moreover, someone to reproach
                1. +1
                  April 13 2020 06: 32
                  No pathos, and why did you decide that I don’t understand that? You draw conclusions without facts, don’t eat well, don’t understand many of those people from so many years, but I understand why this happened in the 90s and in 2000 why, then, someone got angry and then who didn’t
                  1. -2
                    April 13 2020 07: 18
                    Yes, where does the 90s and zero? )))
                    If you understand everything, then why should I be ashamed? For representing how everything happened and how people felt?
                    1. +2
                      April 13 2020 11: 10
                      Well, if you have a short memory, then in the mid-nineties and zero there were two wars .... it’s just like that, it’s just that you weren’t noticed earlier in obscure comments, but your link to adrenaline and its connection with a person’s deed .... in Beslan, the officers completely consciously shut the children down by themselves .. and he had adrenaline and adrenaline to stand out in stressful situations, unexpected .. and war, military operations are generally a bomb for a man ... then of course you get used to it ... but still
                      1. -2
                        April 13 2020 12: 46
                        In my opinion, under adrenaline you are doing conscious things. It stands out not only in unexpected situations - the intensity of the battle, the allocation of adrenaline, the hatred needed to make a decision to jump into the Nazi crowd with grenades. And on what adrenaline is a fist struck that kills a man! And this was not an accident - the sailor killed TWO!
                        As for Beslan, this is a feat. What drives people in such situations, I realized only by becoming a father.
                        As for me, I’ve gotten a hell of it. My first situation - fell into a stupor. The second was frightened. Then normul, but did stupid things. Then, yes, you get used to it, but everything was pretty short for me - 2 weeks as a reservist in the Gaza Strip, about the same as the 2nd Lebanese.
                        I just imagined vividly everything that was happening with the heroes of the article.
                      2. +2
                        April 13 2020 19: 36
                        My wife has a grandfather, he is a village blacksmith, he really killed a calf with a blow to the head with his fist, bam and all ... passion was healthy ...
                      3. -2
                        April 13 2020 21: 56
                        This is a very small category of unrealistically healthy people.
                        Such - yes, according to the cumpol will - and to the other world)).
                        Interestingly, on automatism this could be done - such as opened - a boom?
                      4. +2
                        April 14 2020 06: 18
                        It is unlikely that he was calm, measured, so thorough, even when he didn’t drink moonshine, it was difficult to infuriate him
                      5. -3
                        April 14 2020 07: 27
                        I'm talking about something else - the ability to deliver such a fatal blow in a fight "through the window"
                        And about healthy ones - the stronger, the calmer - the law of conservation of nature. )))
                      6. +1
                        April 14 2020 09: 59
                        Yes, there are many such cases in street fights, several years ago, in my opinion, a fighter in Moscow is either a boxer, or fights without rules, with the appearance of a feeble man, he once killed a healthy one
                      7. -1
                        April 14 2020 10: 34
                        There, death came from the consequences of having hit the earth from a height of its own growth. In the article, a sailor was breaking his neck with a fist to the head, your spouse’s grandfather killed the calf either by a neck fracture or by creating a hematoma due to a brain vessel injury (roughly - made a stroke)
                      8. +1
                        April 14 2020 10: 48
                        Well, what was there in Moscow was not standing nearby, maybe from the fall,
  4. +2
    April 12 2020 15: 05
    hi Interesting article! good About the military history of Novorossiysk you have very lively Articles, dear aka East Wind!
    I was always interested in the history of Soviet amphibious assault forces (my uncle, my father's younger brother, started the war as a marine), especially since the premiere of the Soviet film "Thirst"!
    In the early 90s I visited Novorossiysk and rested in Gelendzhik, so, as now, I remember the coastal panorama of the "hills" and this creak of crickets that struck me. There is a very rocky seabed near the coast, you can easily break your legs from acceleration or in a jump from a boat into the water ...
    And this mental connection that has arisen with the coast of Taman is not interrupted .... somewhere in the coffers lies the old, wartime, pistol sleeve from a 7,65 mm pistol, found near the Gelendzhik cemetery.
    My mother has good friends, workmates, were veterans of the 18th Army, unshakably calm, smiling and confident, fit women and men with an active life position, including the participants of that Novorossiysk landing - they traveled every year by invitation Leonid Brezhnev to Moscow, there they met with him for "front-line 100 grams." According to the reviews of the invited veterans, Leonid Ilyich always greeted them very hospitably and was hospitable, behaved with them simply, as an equal - he did not dignify!
    After the booklet "Small Earth" was published, one of these front-line soldiers shared with their mother their impressions of the next meeting with the secretary general and of the discussion "in their circle" of this "work."
    I don’t remember everything now, I didn’t write it down, but the words and their meaning were etched into my memory: "On Malaya Zemlya, during the battles, none of the commanders with a higher rank than Major Caesar Kunikov was with us!"
    This is why it "crashed" into me so much - a heroic episode of the battle was described in Brezhnev's book (I expound from memory, only in general, since I read this "memorial" only once, at the time of its publication, in 1978?), When the future secretary general, then the n / a colonel from the "political department of the army", finding himself on Malaya Zemlya, at the most critical moment of the attack of the Nazis saw a "silenced" heavy machine gun, rushed to him and began to "scribble" at the enemies, thanks to which the paratroopers held their position .... and here To me, in the prime of our Soviet officialdom and megadithyrambs to an "outstanding work", as well as to its many-heroic "author", direct participants in those events say that the political department lieutenant colonel was not even close to them ...!
    It would be very interesting to find out in the continuation of the Article - is this really so or, nevertheless, the commanders of the Red Army, a rank older than the heroic commander of the Novorossiysk landing, Major Caesar Lvovich Kunikov, were present at the height of the fighting on the bridgehead and, as our daraga Leonid "recalled" Ilyich, even personally shot back from the advancing Nazis ??!
    1. +4
      April 12 2020 19: 17
      About the episode with the machine gun, Brezhnev wrote in an ironic manner - like "the machine gun fell silent, he quickly approached him, and began to shoot, until the soldiers politely asked where the lieutenant colonel was continuing to shoot, that's enough already." Re-read "Malaya Zemlya", these are quite good-quality memories of a veteran.
  5. +1
    April 12 2020 20: 12
    In the Caesar Kunikov detachment, a competition among the marines of the Black Sea Fleet that passed the defense of Odessa, Sevastopol, Kerch, there were several people in place! More than in other universities. The commander enjoyed unquestioned authority, only volunteers went to the landing on Malaya Zemlya, so there were a lot of offended people who didn’t get there. And the training of the marines was such that the American marines compared to him - a kindergarten, pants on the straps. It’s inconvenient to say so, but these were selected thugs who terrified the adversary!
    1. The comment was deleted.
  6. 0
    April 28 2020 08: 58
    Did the Germans themselves know that they were conducting the Scorpion landing operation in October 1942 in the Novorossiysk area? )))

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