Military Review

The poet had two grandfathers


No one will take away the right to remember

They hardly knew each other. They have completely different front-line fates, which after many years came together when their common grandson, Dmitry Kukanov, was born. Those about whom this very short narrative has been written have long been dead. Alas, their grandson, a journalist and a poet, also left this world a little more than three years ago.

But the poet still had relatives, a son, grandchildren, a sister and brothers, and many friends. And amazing poems about the war, included in the collection, which will soon be published. And the memory remained. Not only about him, but also about his grandfathers - the grandson wrote these piercing lines about them:

I always lacked grandfathers
Which I did not know at all:
There wasn’t one under Kerch,
The other after the war “disappeared”.

And both were officers
And they both vomited their honor
But there wasn’t enough atmosphere
Both are around the earth.

Someday i will become a grandfather
And I will tell my grandson (granddaughter)
Who owes Victory
And I’m not blaming anyone ...

I believe: sooner or sooner
They will come to me from dreams:
Ivan Semenovich Kukanov,
Ivan Semenych Solovyov.

Ivan Semenovich Kukanov

On network resources about Colonel Kukanov there is not so little information, but he was lucky with the heirs. They kept his autobiography, and his son, Vladislav Ivanovich, left memories of his father. This essay is worthy of a place in a good commemorative collection, and it does not matter whether it is about veterans from a regiment, division, corps or city, region. It is important that he helped to talk about the real hero on our pages with almost no dry officialism.

The poet had two grandfathers

Ivan Kukanov - a peasant son originally from the village of Gavrilovka, Syzran province, who became a career officer. He managed to work both as a farm laborer, a loader, and a fireman in Altai, where his family moved because of hunger in the Volga region. He lost his mother early and married early, and he was drafted into the army in 1929, when he was already 22 years old.

The new Red Army soldier was immediately sent to an artillery school in Tomsk, and then he became a cadet of the artillery division of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee School in Moscow. There he, according to his own stories to his son, even managed to stand at the post No. 1 at the Lenin Mausoleum. Finally, after he was seconded to another artillery school, to the provincial provincial center of Sumy, his studies ended, and young paint became the head of an artillery platoon.

But the first wife did not wait until he becomes an officer, and the second time Ivan marries later, the son of his youngest son, Vitaly, and will be the poet Dmitry Kukanov. During the eight pre-war years, Ivan Kukanov managed to serve in different parts of the USSR, and on June 22, 1941 he met the cadet battery commander at the Penza Artillery School.

Since September 41st, he has already been at the front - the Northwest, in the 1st Shock Army, who managed to surround the Germans in the Demyan Ring. Our Germans were surrounded for six months, the gunners Ivan Kukanov had enough work, but often there wasn’t enough ammunition. Perhaps that is why the Nazis from the 2nd Army Corps and SS division “Dead Head” still managed to break out of the encirclement.

Kukanov, first a captain, and by the end of the war he was already a lieutenant colonel, fought at the head of the anti-tank regiment, and then the 204th light regiment of the 13th breakthrough artillery division, which supported the attack on the Eagle in the second phase of the famous Battle of Kursk. His path to victory was as long as that of everyone who was lucky enough to stay alive.

How gunner Kukanov fought can be judged by at least a short excerpt from his combat characteristics:

“Comrade KUKANOV during the period from January 22 to 29, 1944, commanding a group of artillery regiments assigned 69 Gvar. page division, including 204 Gvar. The regiment, with its skillful leadership, ensured the breakthrough of strongly fortified enemy resistance knots in the areas of the settlements of Bonzharevka, Kokhanovka, Osetnyashka, Balandino and Kapitonovka.

In the area of ​​the village of Kapitonovka, the enemy concentrated a lot of heavy tanks and infantry and, having cut off the approach paths to the indicated point, tried to cut off the approach of the main forces and destroy the cut-off troop group. Comrade KUKANOV, guiding the artillery, skillfully deployed it, and as a result, 5 heavy enemy tanks and 1 self-propelled gun were shot down, as well as many enemy infantry were destroyed, thus preventing us from cutting off communications and destroying our troops cut off. ”

The descendants of his subordinates wrote about Lieutenant Colonel Kukanov. Lev Lukashov in his essay “To Remember” dedicated to the Red Army soldier Mikhail Tarmosin left such lines about the 204th anti-tank artillery regiment and its commander:

“He met the war as a major, commander of a separate art. Division 121 separate rifle brigade. Since January 1942 at the front. In October 1942 he was presented to the first award - the Order of the Red Star ...

In November 1942, on the basis of 374 IPTAP, commanded by Kukanov, 204 light artillery regiment was created, which was included in the 42 light artillery brigade. The regiment participated in the liquidation of the Demyanov group of the enemy in January 1943, in the Battle of Kursk-Oryol in July ... After the liberation of Belgorod, Kharkov, Poltava, there was a crossing of the Dnieper, the liquidation of the Korsun-Shevchenko group, a breakthrough of the German defense in the Uman direction.

There were fights in encirclement and the awarding in February 1944 of the Order of Alexander Nevsky. The year was “fruitful” for awards; Lt. Col. Kukanov received two more Orders. Order of Suvorov 3rd Art. adorned the hero’s chest for fighting in May, and the Order of the Red Banner in September, for supporting units during the crossing of the Luga and Western Bug rivers and the liberation of the cities of Vladimir-Volynsky and Rava Russkaya.

The regiment, led by Kukanov, pursued the Germans to the Sandomierz bridgehead, defended the bridgehead with enemy counterattacks, and in January 1945 participated in breaking through the defenses and pursuing the enemy to the Oder and Neisse rivers. Then he fought in the Czech Republic and completed the war on the outskirts of Prague on May 9, 1945. ”

Lev Lukashov appended a truly unique document to his essay - one of the orders signed by Lieutenant Colonel Kukanov.

In all battles, in all directions, the 204th Guards Regiment of the 13th Artillery Division smashed the enemy’s defenses. In the war, Ivan Semyonovich received many awards, about which a little more below. He was wounded in February 43rd, lost his brother Nikolai, who died in 1943, and after the war his fate was perhaps more tragic than at the front.

His eldest son Vladislav recalled:

"Father returned only in the 46th year ... We waited for him for several months. But he was in Germany, then in Western Ukraine ... and in the Caucasus, studying artillery courses at the Leningrad Artillery Academy, and returning to Georgia." .

And there was the case of Beria in the summer of 1953, which in some incomprehensible way hooked the gunner.

No, according to relatives, he was not injured, but lost several friends, and his health was thoroughly damaged. Guard Colonel Kukanov died of a heart attack in March 1955 in Manglisi. He died right at the division headquarters after a "conversation" with the general, who became the commander of the compound, in which everyone was waiting for the appointment of Colonel Kukanov. The artilleryman “disappeared” - as the poet wrote it exactly.

Ivan Semenovich Solovyov

But very little is known about our second hero. He was born in 1905 in the Tver province, in the city of Rzhev, well known for stories Great Patriotic War. Ivan Semenovich Solovyov, like his full namesake Kukanov, was also a red army personnel officer, however, he did not live up to the time when the army became Soviet, shoulder straps were introduced, and the red commanders were not embarrassed to call officers.

Ivan Solovyov with his wife and daughter

By the summer of 1941, Ivan Solovyov held a rather high post at that time in the rank of quartermaster of the second rank. He was the head of the artillery warehouse of the Transcaucasian Front, but unfortunately, his relatives failed to get his personal file or some other documents in the archives of the Ministry of Defense.

In the outbreak of the war, the 2nd-rank quartermaster Soloviev had every right to reserve, but immediately abandoned it and went off to fight the Nazi occupiers. Shortly before that, approximately in 1938 or 1939, Kraskom Solovyov was transferred to serve in Tbilisi, where in the prewar years he received a truly invaluable experience in rear support of artillery.

Upon arriving at the front, Ivan Solovyov probably had time to fight in several positions, and when the North Caucasian Front was formed in May 1942, he was appointed head of the 4th Front Artillery Supply Department. Ivan Semenovich by this time already had the rank of quartermaster of the first rank, corresponding to the colonel in the infantry or artillery.

The importance that was attached to this strategic direction in the Headquarters is evidenced by the fact that Marshal S. M. Budenny was appointed commander of the front, and L. M. Kaganovich, one of Stalin's closest associates, was one of the members of the Military Council. The front initially included formations of the former Crimean front, and he managed to take part in the defense of Sevastopol and repel the breakthrough of Nazi troops to the foothills of the Caucasus along the Black Sea coast.

In the summer of 1942, the front forces were reinforced immediately by three armies, they fought heavy defensive battles in the lower reaches of the Don, and then in the Stavropol and Krasnodar directions. By direct order of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, the North Caucasian Front, together with the specially created Crimean Front, attempted to recapture Crimea from the Nazis and release the besieged Sevastopol.

The chief representative of the Headquarters in Crimea sent the head of the Main Political Administration of the Red Army Lev Mehlis. On the eastern coast of Crimea, a landing was landed, but the main offensive was conducted in the forehead, right on the well-prepared German defense. Despite all efforts, the Kerch landing operation turned out to be one of the most terrible failures of the Red Army.

It killed several tens of thousands of soldiers and officers. The last battle near Kerch, obviously, fell to the lot of Ivan Solovyov, who, apparently, was already part of the Crimean Front. The first-rank quartermaster Solovyov went missing, apparently in the notorious Kerch Cauldron.

Today, it is hardly possible to find out why the artillery commander was at the forefront, but, as his fellow soldiers told his relatives after the war, the last time they saw Ivan Solovyov in the trenches, where he held the defense along with ordinary soldiers. And this, unfortunately, is all that is known about the "second" grandfather.

We will share glory after the war

We have to admit that the fame of those who died in the war fell nevertheless much less than the victors. Yes, and awards too. And if Ivan Semenovich Kukanov is a real order bearer, then alas, this is not the case with I. S. Solovyov. At least, nothing is still known about the orders, nor about the medals of this worthy commander, nor even about the thanks of the command.

Perhaps they were, but, alas, there is still no documentary evidence. There are only a few frightening lines from the list of those who went to war with the ruthless mark “no” in response to a request for information:

But about the awards of Ivan Semenovich Kukanov, it is quite possible to write a novel, or at least a novel. Fortunately, the website “Feat of the People” has been successfully operating for quite some time, from where we decided to borrow only two award documents.

They, as you see, are about special orders: the Red Star, received by Major Kukanov in the difficult 1942, even before Stalingrad, and also about the Order of Alexander Nevsky. The latter was especially appreciated in the Soviet Army: not just because it was one of the rarest, but also by status - it was awarded only for exceptional military achievements.
Photos used:
from family archives, from the “Feat of the People” Internet resource,
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  1. svp67
    svp67 April 27 2020 11: 05 New
    The history of the country is composed of the life stories of its inhabitants ...
    1. Uncle lee
      Uncle lee April 27 2020 12: 03 New
      Quote: svp67
      from life stories

      And mostly heroic .... True, they did not think about it, but fulfilled their soldierly duty. And labor.
    2. tihonmarine
      tihonmarine April 27 2020 14: 07 New
      Quote: svp67
      The history of the country is composed of the life stories of its inhabitants.

      Yes, history is made up of human lives, of every life, of every person. And it does not matter how many days, or how many hours a person had to live at the front, but they did everything possible to defeat the enemy. They are all our heroes, and we must remember them all.
  2. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins April 27 2020 12: 01 New
    The main thing is that after them the thread did not break - a new human life. Have time. Well, and the descendants will keep the memory of their grandfathers, great-grandfathers and others ....
  3. frizzy
    frizzy April 27 2020 17: 03 New
    What can I say? Our people, and Russia (the USSR), have been and will continue to hold on to such people. And I do not care about modern politicians of different stripes. Ours and ours are not. There is something to be proud of both us and our grandchildren !!!!
  4. businessv
    businessv April 27 2020 18: 58 New
    Thanks a lot to the authors! An interesting and necessary article because the memory of such events and the people who took part in them is our everything!
    1. Looking for
      Looking for April 28 2020 15: 31 New
      here such articles should be printed on the site. and not about the White Guard bastard .. who escaped from the country and somewhere served someone in all kinds of foreign legions there.