Military Review

I know and will remember. And I'm proud



My great-grandfather, Alexander Potapovich Asmolov, took part in the Great Patriotic War. The war began a week after his birthday. June 15 he turned 27 years old, and June 23, 1941 Pyatigorsk GVK, he was called up for war.

From June 1941 to March 1943 he was on the Southwestern Front as a political instructor of a company of the 13th separate railway brigade. During the battles of 1941, the troops of the Southwestern Front, which included 13 railway brigades, repelled the attacks of the German Army Group "South", tried to launch a counterattack in a tank battle near Dubno - Lutsk - Brody.

In mid-July, the South-Western Front managed to stop the enemy near Kiev, and in the second half of July - early August, in collaboration with the Southern Front, thwarted his attempt to defeat Soviet troops in Right-Bank Ukraine. But in September – November 1941, the remaining forces of the Southwestern Front were forced to withdraw to the line east of Kursk, Kharkov, and Raisins. The front also participated in the Donbass defensive operation.

During the Kharkov battle, which began at the end of May 1942, the troops of the Southwestern Front unsuccessfully tried to take over Kharkov, but were surrounded and suffered heavy losses. The defeat near Kharkov opened the way for German troops to Stalingrad. On July 12, 1942, the Southwestern Front, defeated near Kharkov, was disbanded.

On October 25, 1942, at the junction of the Don Front and the Voronezh Front, the South-Western Front of the second formation was created. The troops of the Southwestern Front, where great-grandfather also fought, took part in the Battle of Stalingrad and surrounded by a group of German troops near Stalingrad (operation "Uranus").

Great-grandfather participated in the Middle Don offensive operation of 1942, and then there were the Ostrogozh-Rossoshansk and Voroshilovgrad offensive operations of 1943, the liberation of Donbass and new heavy battles near Kharkov in the spring of 1943. On October 20, 1943, the Southwestern Front was renamed the Third Ukrainian Front.

When I first saw such a list of battles, I thought that my great-grandfather was lucky to manage without injuries for so long, and yet he remained practically at the forefront as a battalion agitator. During the Battle of the Dnieper in October – November 1943, troops of the Third Ukrainian Front liberated the cities of Dnepropetrovsk and Dneprodzerzhinsk, and advanced 50-60 km west of the Dnieper.

By the end of December 1943, together with the Second Ukrainian Front, units of the Third Ukrainian Front were holding a large strategic bridgehead on the Dnieper. When the Right-Bank Ukraine was liberated, the front forces, in cooperation with the Fourth Ukrainian Front, carried out the Nikopol-Krivorozhsky operation, went to the Ingulets river, from where they launched an offensive in the Nikolaev-Odessa direction in March-April 1944.

Thank you great-grandfather for his contribution to the Great Victory!

During this period, while working as an agitator for the battalion, his great-grandfather showed himself to be a brave, decisive and proactive officer. At the railway sections Katavsk - Odessa, Zilani - Krustpils, Riga - Tukums - Vindava, as well as during the restoration of the Tukums junction II of the Riga - Tukums railway section, he assumed great responsibility to personally lead the civilian population.

All orders were executed ahead of schedule. For me, these are very important events from his biography, because managing people, taking responsibility for their lives, especially in such difficult times, is the best feature of a leader who has managed to gather people around him and give them the opportunity to trust!

During restoration work on the Loshkarevka-Apostolovo railway section, showing examples of dedication and genuine heroism, the great-grandfather mobilized the local population to restore Art. Loshkarevka, which greatly accelerated the execution of the order. This territory was subjected to mortar attacks, many sites were very dangerous, but great-grandfather was always ready for labor exploits! And once, when fulfilling an assignment, his great-grandfather wounded him with a shrapnel. According to the surviving certificate from the hospital, I learned that on January 22, 1944, my great-grandfather received a minor shrapnel wound in his right shoulder.

He stayed in the hospital not too long - a month. The award sheet indicates:

“For the excellent mobilization and involvement of the local population in restoration work, he deserves a government award.”

Great-grandfather was awarded the Order of the Red Star. Then, from April 1944 to May 1945, he was transferred to the Leningrad and 2nd Baltic Front, and again to the post of battalion agitator.

In June 1944, the Leningrad Front, with the participation of the Baltic Front, Ladoga and Onega military flotillas, successfully carried out the Vyborg operation, as a result of which Finland was forced to withdraw from the war on the side of Germany. Great-grandfather also participated in the Baltic operation, which the front carried out in September-November 1944, liberating the continental part of Estonia.

In the fall of 1944, the troops of the Leningrad Front in cooperation with the Baltic fleet they cleared the islands of the Moonsund archipelago from the enemy, and this was the end of the active fighting of the front. The troops took up positions on the Soviet-Finnish border and the coast of the Baltic Sea from Leningrad to Riga.

On April 1, 1945, part of the troops of the disbanded Second Baltic Front was transferred to the Leningrad Front, and it was entrusted with the task of blocking the Courland group of enemy troops. On July 24, 1945, the Leningrad Front was transformed into the Leningrad Military District.

My great-grandfather ended the war not in Berlin and not in Vienna, but on the shores of the Baltic. He was awarded two orders and several medals: orders of the Red Star and World War I degree, medals "For the victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945", "For the defense of Kiev" and "For the defense of Stalingrad."

I am proud that my great-grandfather contributed to this Great Victory! Perhaps not the largest, but for our family - so important!
Photos used:, from the family archive

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  1. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins April 23 2020 10: 36 New
    As a student, I somehow got to the hospital. To the hospital. The chamber was for four, but the three of us lay. I, a guy a little older than me and an old man. From boredom, we talked to my grandfather and found out that he was a member of the Second World War. And the troops are just railway. Then I first learned that such were. And our grandfather, it turns out, during the Battle of Stalingrad every night he restored the temporary railway line along which the ammunition was brought. Here are such non-combat feats ...
    1. AU Ivanov.
      AU Ivanov. April 23 2020 10: 54 New
      Why are not feats of war? Restoring the path under the bombs, or even under shelling - is quite a battle. My paternal grandmother was on duty at the front-line station, where trains were unloaded for the North-Western Front, the Bologoe-Dno line. Civilian, awarded a military medal.
    2. podymych
      April 23 2020 10: 55 New
      Here are such non-combat feats ...

      Yeah, wow, non-combat, almost daily under bombs. Bright memory to those who have already passed away, and health to those who are still with us!
      1. The leader of the Redskins
        The leader of the Redskins April 23 2020 11: 25 New
        According to the veteran, they restored at night. In the afternoon it was impossible to even approach that road.
  2. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U April 23 2020 10: 40 New
    We can safely say that without the railway troops, victory would have been given even more blood! Memory and Glory to the soldiers of the railway workers!
  3. Thunderbolt
    Thunderbolt April 23 2020 11: 01 New
    Railways ---- this is the artery of transportation. Wagons --- this is the blood of war. Whatever you want, the only criterion is ---- the uninterrupted supply of the front. All brigades of the iron troops, thank you very much for the uninterrupted maneuver, for this opportunity, and there we’ll kick the ass for Hitler, fortunately, the Soviet forge riveted tank and fur corps. We piled up with tank armies ---- and we felt the operational space, Guys.
  4. Pashhenko Nikolay
    Pashhenko Nikolay April 23 2020 11: 02 New
    Grandfather spent the whole war in the railway troops, he graduated in Czechoslovakia.
  5. AU Ivanov.
    AU Ivanov. April 23 2020 11: 25 New
    Bologoe Station Oct. train During the war years, 527 raids of fascist aviation were committed, more than 2100 railway workers were killed at their post.
  6. podymych
    April 23 2020 12: 59 New
    Connoisseurs, but someone has information about the crazy train traffic jam in Velikiye Luki, when the war was just beginning. In the midst of evacuation? Or maybe there’s someone from there?
    1. fuxila
      fuxila April 23 2020 17: 58 New
      Connoisseurs, but someone has information about the crazy train traffic jam in Velikiye Luki, when the war was just beginning. In the midst of evacuation? Or maybe there’s someone from there?

      Very well versed in this topic G.A. Kumanov, who wrote about the railroad workers in the Second World War. He himself naturally knew much more than what he had written, because directly communicated with the Stalinist people's commissars, including NKPS. Unfortunately, he died not so long ago (1,5 years ago), otherwise he would have contacted him and found out a lot of interesting things ...
      1. podymych
        April 23 2020 18: 04 New
        Thank you, Alexey, I know his work "On the Evacuation" well, but alas, I did not find anything special about Velikiye Luki. I will go to the local history museum - maybe they will tell you who ... Here N.V. Starostenkov famously described about the Volzhskaya rokada and about the army in general, he found somewhere about how super locomotives from Estonia were stolen from under the nose of the Nazis, I'm looking for something ...