Military Review

He knew what reconnaissance was about.

He knew what reconnaissance was about.

He is a Siberian, which means ...

My father, Leo Tarasov, is a participant in the Great Patriotic War. He is one of millions. Originally from Siberia, more precisely, from the village of Verkhne-Rudovskoye, Zhigalovsky District, Irkutsk Region. He is a Siberian, but not one of those who were so expected at the front in the difficult 1941 year. And not one of those who marched on Red Square on November 7 of that same 41st, then to go straight to the front line.

The war began on June 22, 1941, and my father that year only moved to the 10th grade. He was not yet 17 years old, and instead of school, the Irkutsk city military registration and enlistment office sent him to the infantry military school, like everything then - accelerated. After graduating from college in March 1942, with the assignment of the rank of junior lieutenant, a young graduate Lev Tarasov was sent to the front. And he ended the war as a lieutenant.

At the front, he became the commander of the mortar platoon of the 954th Infantry Regiment of the 194th Infantry Division, which was part of the 49th Army of the Western Front. This division, originally a mountain rifle division, unlike many others, barely changed its composition and belonging to the fronts. She did not become the guards, but received her Red Banner and a special name - Rechitskaya, for the liberation of the Belarusian Rechitsa in the Gomel region.

The 194th division withstood no less battles with the enemy than the most illustrious formations. After the 49th army, it was part of the 5th and 31st armies, for a month even in the ranks of the 2nd tank army, until such mobile units, it was decided to completely free from the infantry. In April 1943, the division was transferred to the 65th army of the legendary General Pavel Batov, and on the Central Front it launched an offensive on the north-western front of the Battle of Kursk.

Finally, already in the 48th army of General P. Romanenko of the Belorussian Front (later the 1st Belorussian), the division was introduced into the newly formed 42nd Rifle Corps. In the last campaign of the war, 1945, the division in which his father served was already listed in the 53rd Rifle Corps, first on the 2nd and then on the 3rd Belorussian Fronts.

The 194th Infantry Division has its own museums: one in the southeast of Moscow, and the other at the Belyaevo state farm in the Yukhnovsky district of the Kaluga Region. We are sure to tell about them on the pages of Military Review.

It happened near Kursk

There is no doubt that the father himself was a very brave officer. I will give only one, quite extraordinary, example from his frontline biography. When during the offensive the Nazis bombed a car with food and field kitchen of the battalion, his father took several soldiers and went for groceries to the nearest village where the Germans were stationed.

In the snow, in white camouflage robes, skiing, when it began to get dark, they went to a house on the outskirts of the village, where the invaders were noisy. Our scouts quickly and tightly closed the windows and doors on the bolts, and they did it very quietly so that they could not, or rather, did not have time to detect them.

They did not start firing and did not try to take the tongue. The task was completely different. The soldiers went into the barn, took a cow and a bull-calf, then climbed into the cellar, picked up potatoes and various vegetables, packed everything in bags and delivered to their native unit. That's how they saved almost the entire regiment from hunger.

For which they were awarded the Order of Alexander Nevsky, in fact, the commander. However, such a “front-line” operation would probably have been envied by many great generals. At the front, the task of my father’s units was primarily reconnaissance in combat. About reconnaissance in battle, he once told me in a soldierly way:

“Having a very small number of fighters, it was necessary to learn as much as possible about the enemy, his forces and capabilities, about the deployment of firing points, fortifications and reserves. In addition, the small platoon in each such attack had to go on the attack first, and start the battle as soon as possible actively.
The fascists had to be made to believe that it was here that the main blow would be dealt. And even better, if the enemy thereby creates the impression that the attack is carried out by at least a battalion, or even a whole regiment, and it is urgent to tighten reserves or transfer reinforcements from other sectors of the front. After reconnaissance in battle, our high command, having estimated the size and combat power of the enemy, could launch a full-scale offensive. ”

Here during one of such "reconnaissance in battle" and my father was wounded. Groping for the strength of the enemy, the platoon began its offensive, but soon killed one of the machine gunners. The platoon, and this was my father, crawled to the machine gun to change it, but as soon as he looked out from behind the machine gun shield, he was wounded by a sniper. The shot was issued to the commander by the left eye.

This happened on March 1, 1943 near Kursk, near the village of Kilkino. Then, after the spring counterattack near Kharkov by the SS tank divisions of Field Marshal Manstein, who was eager to avenge Stalingrad, the fronts had just arched with a famous arc.

It was there, on the Kursk Bulge, in the summer of the 43rd that one of the decisive battles of the war would take place. After the battle, the seriously injured platoon commander was taken immediately to the nearest field hospital, bypassing even the divisional medical battalion. With such a wound, we could talk about the end of a military career, but nevertheless, after being cured until the end of the war, his father served in the army headquarters.

The ordinary life of a simple veteran

Just a few days after the Victory, my father wrote one of his first poems, which is quite rare in content for that time:

Return, 1945

Wet the last volleys of guns,
But hot battles are harsh days
No one will ever forget
Immortal in stories they will be.

Having achieved victory in a fierce battle,
We meet again relatives and friends.
Who survived the years of need and deprivation,
Who went for the freedom of their homeland.

Who often, neither sleeping nor resting,
Behind the rear doing hard work,
By straining all your strength and will,
He, too, forged victory over the enemy!

Leo Tarasov didn’t have many awards: the medal “For Military Merit” and the Order of the Patriotic War ll degree, received in 1945, as well as the post-war Order of the Patriotic War already I degree. They were awarded the veteran by the 40th anniversary of the Great Victory. It seems to me that this is because the infantry was given very, very sparingly to both the infantry and the rank and file, and the commanders of the order and medal.

Most likely, the father could well continue military service. But after the war, like many fellow soldiers, Lev Tarasov decided to demobilize, he entered and graduated with honors from the Irkutsk Mining Institute. For several years he worked as the head of the geological party, and after a while received another higher education, graduating from the Institute of National Economy with a degree in Industrial Economics.

But on this, the veteran decided not to complete his training. Lev Tarasov received his third higher education when he graduated from the journalism faculty of a state university in the same Irkutsk, which had long been his hometown. At one time, his fables and humoresques were regularly published in the humorous magazine Crocodile, many still remember how popular he was. On January 31, 1990, his father died, but we will pass on the memory of him from generation to generation.

The editorial board of Voenniy Obozreniye urgently needs a proofreader. Requirements: impeccable knowledge of the Russian language, diligence, discipline. Contact: [email protected]

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  1. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U 14 May 2020 06: 32 New
    Thanks to Irina for the article! "Reconnaissance by force" is one of the most dangerous methods of reconnaissance and they did not trust anyone to carry it out.
    1. svp67
      svp67 14 May 2020 06: 49 New
      Quote: Vladimir_2U
      "Reconnaissance by force" is one of the most dangerous methods of reconnaissance and they did not trust anyone to carry it out.
      It was carried out when, by other means, it was impossible to precisely open the leading edge and the finding of fire weapons was not possible ...
      1. Vladimir_2U
        Vladimir_2U 14 May 2020 06: 56 New
        Well then the most dangerous intelligence technique then.
        1. svp67
          svp67 16 May 2020 16: 32 New
          Quote: Vladimir_2U
          Well then the most dangerous intelligence technique then.

          А Search which is a less dangerous way of conducting reconnaissance, when the reconnaissance group must carefully, carefully overcome the neutral strip, the leading edge and go deep into the enemy troops ... being constantly threatened by detection and destruction.
          For a combined arms commander, conducting reconnaissance in battle is actually conducting an offensive under special conditions. Usually, a battalion reinforced by all combat support units, tanks, and artillery is allocated to lead it from combined arms formations.
          It seems to me that my opponents confuse reconnaissance in combat, which is carried out by forces of combined arms units with plaque, the same force-based reconnaissance.
          During the Great Patriotic War, it was also widely used by both our troops and the Germans.
          Unlike the search, which is carried out as silently as possible, the basis of the scouts' actions during a raid is a skillful combination of fire, surprise and a swift strike, ending with a short hand-to-hand combat.
          A raid consists in a sudden, stunning attack on a pre-selected (assigned) object in order to capture prisoners, documents, weapons and military equipment or to destroy discovered fire weapons, command posts and other important objects.
          Most often, a raid is carried out by reconnaissance bodies operating behind enemy lines by decision of their commanders. In some cases, a raid can be carried out in the area of ​​the front edge by a unit (group) of reconnaissance units.
          Here, for example, what was indicated in 1943 in reports on the intelligence activities of formations and units of our troops on one of the sections of the Leningrad Front.
          “In areas where the enemy reliably covers the front edge with continuous anti-personnel and anti-tank minefields, wire and other obstacles, a quiet approach to its location of small reconnaissance groups is practically impossible. In such conditions, raids can be used with success. When preparing raids, sappers on the eve of their conduct laid extended charges in minefields and wire fences of the enemy. "
          In addition, in these reports, it was reported that sometimes passages in wire fences were also made by direct fire guns at the time of the scouts' throw. Units allocated for reconnaissance secretly from the enemy occupied the starting point 60-100 m from the target of the attack and carefully disguised themselves. After the passages were made in the barriers, scouts quickly rushed through them and attacked the enemy. The scout attack was preceded by one or two short, but powerful fire. artillery and mortar raids on the object of the attack and on adjacent fire weapons. Then the fire of supporting firearms was transferred to the depth of defense, bordering the object and not allowing the approach of the enemy units. Direct-fire guns, from the beginning to the end of the operations of the intelligence body, continuously suppressed fire weapons that interfere with the performance of a combat mission. The withdrawal of scouts with captured prisoners was also provided by artillery fire, mortars and machine guns.
      2. Doliva63
        Doliva63 15 May 2020 19: 48 New
        Quote: svp67
        Quote: Vladimir_2U
        "Reconnaissance by force" is one of the most dangerous methods of reconnaissance and they did not trust anyone to carry it out.
        It was carried out when, by other means, it was impossible to precisely open the leading edge and the finding of fire weapons was not possible ...

        No. Conducted to clarify intelligence before a breakthrough / offensive. This was also spelled out in the Soviet BUSV. As for the Russians right now, I don't know.
        1. svp67
          svp67 16 May 2020 06: 17 New
          Quote: Doliva63
          It was carried out to clarify intelligence before the breakout / attack.

          This is NOT a MANDATORY event, even HARMFUL, as such reconnaissance immediately shows the enemy that you are preparing for the attack and it will take place very soon
          Reconnaissance in force or power reconnaissance is a way of obtaining up-to-date information about the enemy, the idea of ​​which is to impose on him combat contact from specially trained units. It is considered an effective means of conducting military intelligence, but applicable only in situations where the possibilities of other methods have already been exhausted
          1. Senior manager
            Senior manager 16 May 2020 10: 30 New
            Quote: svp67
            This is NOT a MANDATORY event

            Your error. The reconnaissance in battle always had very specific tasks, from taking the tongue, covering the front edge crossing by someone, to preparing the offensive operation
            1. svp67
              svp67 16 May 2020 16: 29 New
              Quote: St. Propulsion
              Your delusion

              Alas, you are mistaken.
              Quote: St. Propulsion
              The reconnaissance in battle always had very specific tasks, from taking the tongue, covering the front edge crossing by someone, to preparing the offensive operation

              In reconnaissance in combat, ONE has a specific task, by imitating offensive operations, to identify previously undetected enemy weapons and marking its edges by other means and it is carried out no more than a couple of days before the start of offensive operations, otherwise the enemy can radically change the fire system and all losses and efforts Spent on this reconnaissance in battle will be wasted. The capture of languages ​​and documents from the killed soldiers is one of the tasks of reconnaissance units, going in the front lines of the attacking infantry, as well as conducting reconnaissance by observation. There is no cover whatsoever for the transition of the front line (by whom?) To the reconnaissance task, since the enemy will immediately begin to resist in this place not only with fire, but also with the transfer of reserves, and hence with the consolidation of the number of troops. Reconnaissance by combat is one of the final stages of preparation for offensive operations, after which only refinement of fire and combat missions is actually carried out, and the faster these measures are carried out, the greater are the chances of success
  2. svp67
    svp67 14 May 2020 06: 47 New
    Thanks for saving the memory ...
  3. igordok
    igordok 14 May 2020 07: 09 New
    Thank you for the article.
    My grandfather, Barsukov Fedor Kirikovich (Kirillovich) served as a mortar man, in this 194 SD. And he went missing, somewhere near Rechitsa (Gomel). A fellow countryman, after the war, said that he, a seriously wounded man, was sent to a hospital. And there was no more information about him. All my life my grandmother was looking for a burial place, but she didn’t find anything.

    His photo is on my avatar.
  4. Olgovich
    Olgovich 14 May 2020 08: 16 New
    very beautiful people are the parents of the author.

    Lived a decent life.

    So that their descendants remember them and be worthy of them!
  5. Berber
    Berber 14 May 2020 08: 36 New
    Eternal memory to your father. And you can’t say more.
  6. tihonmarine
    tihonmarine 14 May 2020 09: 00 New
    It seems to me that this is because the infantry was given very, very sparingly to the infantry and to the rank and file, and to the commanders of the order and medal.
    You are right here. In my family, my father, his brothers and uncles who survived after the crucible of the war, and many, like my father, starting from Finnish and from June 22, have no more than two orders, and ordinary and junior officers. They were simple trouble-free workers of the war that they carried on their shoulders. Here is our glory and memory.
  7. iouris
    iouris 14 May 2020 16: 38 New
    A beautiful couple! Now you won’t see such faces ...
    1. Kwas
      Kwas 7 August 2020 20: 50 New
      Well, why bother with contemporaries? And there are beautiful, and honest, and correct. It was just that there was more. A tear wells up when you think how many of them died.