Military Review

I was killed near Kovel. Major Blagirev's life


This is not quite an ordinary essay from the series "They were the first to take battle" about the border guard Pavel Vasilievich Blagirev. It was based on an essay by an eighth grade student Yegor Berezitsky from the Prigorodnenskaya secondary school in the Shchigrovsky district of the Kursk region.

It was Egor who wrote his essay on behalf of our hero - the battalion commander of the 277th Brigade of the 175th Rifle Division of the 47th Army Pavel Blagirev - as if he himself was telling everything about his life, starting from his birth. Such Major Blagirev remembered her until the last day - March 29, 1944, when, in the battle for the liberation of the Ukrainian city of Kovel, he was struck by a burst from a fascist machine gun.    

So I walk through life

I was born exactly on Friday, May 3, 1918 in the village of Bolshie Ugony, Lgovskiy district, Kursk region. In 1929, in the midst of collectivization, papa died and the unbearable duties of the eldest in the family, the first assistant of the mother, fell on the shoulders of an eleven-year-old teenager.  

After graduating from school, he began to work as a pioneer leader, then I was offered to become an instructor of the Komsomol RK. In 1937 he graduated from the glider school and received the title of glider pilot. 

In the same year I was drafted into the border troops. A year later, he was sent to study at the Kharkov border school of the NKVD. After graduating with the rank of junior lieutenant, I was sent for further service as deputy chief of one of the outposts in the 80th border detachment

The pre-war years were especially tense on the western border. We, border guards, lived every day with a presentiment of a future war. Therefore, they tirelessly improved their skills, persistently mastered the rifle weapons... They carried the border service, as it should be, skillfully recognized traces and clearly defined the directions and routes of border violators. Often it was necessary to enter into armed clashes with violators and spies. 

The formation of the frontier detachment began on June 9, 1938 on the basis of the Porosozerskaya separate commandant's office of the Petrozavodsk frontier detachment. Captain Ivan Prokofievich Moloshnikov was appointed the first head of the 80th border detachment. 

The unit's birthday is February 23, 1939, when the Red Battle Banner was presented to the unit. The border detachment took an active part in the Winter War with the White Finns and was reorganized into the 7th border regiment of the NKVD troops. Border outposts in the pre-war years often entered into battle with Finnish sabotage groups. For courage and bravery, many border fighters were awarded orders and medals.

The border guards did not flinch, did not retreat

I also took part in battles against the Finns. I remember how on December 29, 1939, a group of Finnish saboteurs crossing the border was intercepted by a frontier detachment led by Senior Lieutenant Mikhail Trifonovich Shmargin.

The outfit did not allow the saboteurs to break through, but when repelling the attack, Shmargin died. For the feat, the brave border guard was posthumously awarded the Order of the Red Banner. And the border outpost was named after the hero. 

And on June 29, 1941, hostilities began in our sector. The border guards repulsed the attack of the Finnish invaders. Fighters of the border with dignity and courage held back the first onslaught of the enemy and not a single outpost left the occupied section of the border without an order. 

For 19 days from June 29 to July 22, 1941, border soldiers under the command of Senior Lieutenant Nikita Fadeevich Kaimanov repelled the offensive of two battalions of Finnish rangers. Having completed the combat mission, the soldiers of Officer Kaymanov broke through the enemy's encirclement and, having covered more than 160 kilometers along the enemy's rear, joined up with the Soviet troops.

By the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of August 26, 1941, Senior Lieutenant Kaimanov was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

I had to meet the war at one of the detachment's border outposts. In hostilities with the enemy, all the soldiers of the border showed heroism and courage. So, the soldiers of the 1st outpost from 6 to 11 July 1941, together with the company of the 126th regiment, withstood the onslaught of the enemy battalion. More than 70 enemy soldiers were destroyed and the Finnish banner was captured.

The border guards of the 4th outpost from July 7 to 11, 1941, under the command of Senior Lieutenant Sokolov, destroyed up to 200 Finns and threw the enemy back to their original positions. 

After these exhausting battles, together with other border fighters, I was transferred to the 15th Karelian regiment of the NKVD troops. I, along with other fellow soldiers, took part in hostilities and in protecting the communications of the active army.  

In November 1942, our 15th Karelian regiment was sent to the Urals, where the 175th Ural division was formed. It included the 227th Karelian regiment, formed from border guards and soldiers of the internal troops. Already in March 1943, we, as part of the 175th Ural Division, received our baptism of fire in the battles on the Kursk Bulge. 

Then I already commanded a battalion in the 277th regiment.

This is not the end of Yegor's essay, but we decided to transfer the right of speech to the fellow soldiers of our hero. They will better tell about his last days.

His fellow soldiers did not forget him

Here is how Private Grigory Fedorovich Pipko recalls his battalion commander: 

“Captain Pavel Blagirev was highly respected among the personnel. Cheerful, fearless, sang and danced well, always wore a Kubanka. Usually he took with him a volume of Nikolai Ostrovsky "How the Steel Was Tempered", and often recited excerpts to us by heart.

And in everyday life, he tried to be like Pavka Korchagin in everything. How much seething energy was in him! I always tried to be ahead. For the battles on the Kursk Bulge from March to August 1943, he received two Orders of the Red Banner. "

Here's what you can learn from the award list for the battalion commander, Captain Blagirev:

“During the battles from July 14 to July 18.07.43, 16.07.43, he showed himself to be fearless, brave and able to organize battalion battles. 1/1/2, being repeatedly shell-shocked, he went into battle formations and personally led the soldiers into the attack. As a result of this battle, his battalion advanced 60 2/8 kilometers and occupied the fortified positions of the Germans, thereby facilitating the successful advance of the regiment. During the fighting, he personally destroyed more than 6 Germans, and the battalion destroyed 1 self-propelled guns, 600 bunkers, 16.07.43 heavy machine guns, 14 anti-tank gun and up to 00 Nazis. XNUMX/XNUMX/XNUMX at XNUMX:XNUMX, the enemy concentrated in front of Blagirev's battalion a large number of tanks and infantry.
Captain Blagirev personally took part in rolling out the anti-tank guns. Under his personal leadership, the fighters counterattacked the Germans, and the attack was repulsed. Blagirev led the fighters into the attack and advanced 300 meters. For personal courage and fearlessness, I petition to present Captain Blagirev to the government award - the Order of the Red Banner.
The regiment commander is Lieutenant Colonel Wernik. " 

In March-April 1944, the battle for Kovel became a key event in the Polesie operation. This small Volyn town, but at the same time an important transport hub, was of great strategic importance. Back in 1916, the victorious troops of General Brusilov almost took Kovel, which could overturn the Austrian front and change the course of the entire world war.

And again we plunge into the memories of Grigory Fedorovich Pipko:

“The battalion commanded by Captain Blagirev was advancing on Kovel from the direction of the village of Zelena. Having seized the village, the Soviet units went to the northern outskirts. On the left of the highway, where the neighboring battalion of our 277th regiment was advancing, in front of the front there was a clean meadow with ditches filled with water, without a single bush. And then, about a kilometer away, the outskirts of Kovel, a high church building, from which the entire surrounding area was viewed and shot through.  
An attempt to break into the city with lightning speed was unsuccessful. Each building was adapted by the Fritzes for pillboxes. Minefields and barbed wire lay ahead. The command post was located in the basement of a burnt house. When communication with Captain Samsonov's company was interrupted, Blagirev ordered me to restore it. Through an orchard, on the edge of which an anti-tank gun stood, across an open meadow, dashing from one hillock to another, under the fire of snipers, I reached Samsonov's company.
I had to remember here what I was taught back in the 91st Rava-Russian border detachment: if you make a dash - do not raise your head, otherwise you will get a bullet in the forehead, but crawl to the side or look out of cover.  
The telephone cable was broken in several places. I forgot the knife at the command post, as if it were a sin, I had to clean the ends of the wires with my teeth. I found Captain Samoilov in a shell crater. He lay at the bottom. The medical officer was bandaging his wound. A dead signalman, Private Semisinov, was lying five meters away. There was no telephone.  
I connected my apparatus and reported the situation to the battalion. Combat Blagirev ordered me, when it gets dark, Samsonov must be sent to the rear. Soon Blagirev himself arrived. "

The battles for Kovel continued. From the loophole, made in the wall of the stone house, in jerks, bursts, a fascist machine gun gurgled, fiercely and angrily. He interfered with the advance of the unit with dense fire, pressing the border guards to the ground. Moving the fighters forward became difficult and impossible.

I will, comrade foreman

Private Pipko continues to recall:

“The situation was aggravated, the attack was thwarted.

“There can be big sacrifices. And they can be avoided, ”Private Smirnov said aloud. He quickly came up with a plan to destroy the enemy machine-gun point.

- Comrade Sergeant Major? - he turned to his commander Nikolai Krivdin. - Allow me to crawl to this house and have a word with the calculation of the enemy machine gun. I will instantly calm down, persuade, calm down the Nazis who have settled there.

- How do you do it? The foreman asked separately and sharply.

- I will, - answered Smirnov. - Where crawling, where running, where how. - said Smirnov.

He instantly, without hesitation, without hesitation, like a cat, angrily, sighing, jumped over the breastwork of the trench trench, rushed forward, merged with the ground, crawled on his bellies. In a roundabout way, using the folds of the terrain, using cunning, skillfully and dexterously, he moved towards the house. He had grenades in his hands and in his belt. "If only they didn't notice, you bastards," thought Smirnov.

Fascist machine gunners had no time to look around, and the narrow opening of the loophole did not give this opportunity. Meanwhile, the distance was rapidly closing. There are only 25-30 meters left. Here is Smirnov at the wall of the house. Silently sneaking up to the firing point, to the loophole itself, he lay down near a heap of stones, raised himself a little, swung and threw two grenades at it with force. A dull explosion thundered, clouds of smoke and brown dust slowly floated over the embrasure. The fascist machine gun fell silent, stopping its terrible work. The enemy machine gun crew was destroyed.
And as if immediately a whirlwind lifted the border guards to their feet, they quickly and swiftly jumped up and straightened up to their full height. Dispersed without a team, they began to confidently move forward. " 

Buried him at the edge

During the first assault on Kovel in March 1944, the commander of the 175th Ural Division, Major General Borisov, ordered a night battle to seize the church in Kovel before dawn. It was not possible to capture the church, as the enemy launched a strong counterattack with tanks, and Blagirev's battalion was forced to retreat.  

I was killed near Kovel. Major Blagirev's life

In this battle, the orderly Blagirev was seriously wounded, and Pavel Vasilyevich himself was struck by a burst from a large-caliber machine gun. They did not have time to take him to the medical battalion, he died on the road.  

The battalion commander Blagirev was buried at the edge of the forest. After the war, we searched for a long time, but we never found his grave. Major Blagirev died on March 29, 1944 in a battle for the city of Kovel. 

And in conclusion, one more extract from the award list:

“Major Pavel Vasilyevich Blagirev, commander of the 1st rifle battalion of the 277th Karelian regiment, born in 1918, Russian by nationality, member of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks. He took part in the Great Patriotic War on the Karelian Front from 26.06.41/4.11.42/2 to 1943/1938/XNUMX, on the Central Front from March XNUMX, XNUMX. Slightly wounded. In the Red Army since XNUMX. 

26.03.44/XNUMX/XNUMX, during the assault on Kovel, he showed the ability to command a battalion in difficult conditions of street fighting, personal courage and courage. Bursting into the street, he fought stubborn battles, clearing house after house from the Nazis entrenched in them. Personally, he himself continuously monitored the course of the battle, skillfully managing it, regardless of personal danger, was in the most dangerous areas. He died a heroic death on the battlefield.
Worthy of being awarded the Order of the Patriotic War I degree posthumously. "

So the border guard Pavel Blagirev died. Eternal memory to him! The poet Viktor Verstakov wrote beautiful lines about such heroes of a fierce and merciless war.

I bow to officers
And to the soldiers of that war
About which in XXI
We must not forget.
Their roads are incomparable
Their land is full of breaks,
But they are not only gods
There were teachers for me.

Based on the materials of the Archive of the Organizing Committee for the perpetuation of the feat of the platoon of Lieutenant Alexander Romanovsky.
Photos used:
TsGAKFD, organizing committee in memory of Romanovsky

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  1. avia12005
    avia12005 2 May 2021 06: 06
    Bright memory of the great heroes who gave their lives for the honor and independence of our Motherland ...
  2. Looking for
    Looking for 2 May 2021 13: 55
    Eternal glory to the heroes who fell for the Soviet Motherland.
  3. Alexey MC
    Alexey MC 6 May 2021 20: 56
    This is not the end of Yegor's composition, but

    It is a pity that the narration was interrupted. It would be very interesting to read it in its entirety. After all, it probably did not limit itself to a narrative presentation of the facts of the biography.