Guderian Failed: The Heroic Defense of Tula
Soviet 85-mm anti-aircraft gun of the 1939 model of the 52-K of the 6th battery of the 732th anti-aircraft artillery regiment on the Proletarsky bridge in Tula
On September 30, 1941, the German army launched Operation Typhoon, an offensive against Moscow. In the southern section, the 2nd tank Guderian's group (from October 5 - 2nd Tank Army) and Weikhs' 2nd Field Army struck in the Oryol-Bryansk direction. The Nazis broke through the front of the Soviet Bryansk Front. Guderian's tanks moved quickly forward, on October 3 they captured Oryol. Three days later, Karachev and Bryansk fell. The Bryansk front was cut, the divisions of the 3rd, 13th and 50th armies were surrounded.
However, the German command paid increased attention to the breakthrough and did not attach particular importance to the destruction of the Soviet armies caught in the cauldron. As a result, it was not possible to create a tight encirclement ring, although the Soviet divisions suffered heavy losses, especially in the material part, they were able to reach their own. At the same time, the Soviet front at that time actually collapsed, and our command could not organize any unblocking strikes. The withdrawal of the directorates of the armies and the remnants of the troops allowed the Headquarters to restore the defense in this sector with the involvement of reserves, divisions from the depths of the country and other sectors of the front, the NKVD troops, schools, etc.
On October 7, 1941, Guderian was ordered to continue the offensive against Tula. Guderian's tanks were supposed to bypass Moscow from the southeast, and then from the east.
The Soviet Headquarters, in order to prevent the enemy from breaking through to Moscow in the south-west, decided to put forward those with reserves so that they would detain the enemy until fresh forces arrived.
The newly formed 1st Guards Rifle Corps of General Dmitry Lelyushenko was thrown towards the enemy tank divisions. It included the 6th Guards Rifle Division, the 5th Airborne Corps, the 4th and 11th Tank Brigades, the Tula Arms-Technical (Artillery) School, the 36th Motorcycle and 34th Border Regiments, two artillery regiments, two rocket artillery battalions and the 6th reserve air group. Lelyushenko's building was supposed to close the road to Tula.
Lelyushenko immediately left for Mtsensk. At first, under his command there was only a motorcycle regiment and a Tula school, then Katukov's 4th tank brigade arrived. Soviet tankers struck a counter blow at the enemy and even broke into Oryol. At this time, the main forces of the corps approached. Fierce fighting ensued.
Then Lelyushenko's corps was included in the 50th Army.
Thus, Guderian's 2nd Panzer Army was detained in the Mtsensk area. The Germans could not use the defeat of the troops of the Bryansk Front and break through to Moscow along the shortest route Oryol - Tula - Moscow, Bryansk - Moscow.
By October 23, the armies of the Bryansk Front, including the 50th, having suffered heavy losses, reached their own. The 50th Army of General Ermakov again entered the battle, covering the line on the Oka in the Belev area, closing the road to Tula. The army was reinforced with units of the Tula combat area - a military school, a workers' regiment and the 14th reserve rifle brigade.
Tanks Pz.Kpfw. III 35th Tank Regiment of the Wehrmacht with an assault force and artillery observers on armored vehicles Sd. Kfz.250 are moving along the road Mtsensk - Tula
The city's defenders are ready for battle. Tula, intersection of Sovetskaya and Kommunarov streets
Defense of Tula
On October 24, 1941, the battle for Tula began.
From the beginning of the battle for Moscow, Tula began to prepare for defense. The approaches to the city were covered with anti-tank ditches, wire barriers were pulled up, road sections were mined, anti-tank hedgehogs and gouges were set up on the streets, and barricades were erected. Local residents took an active part in the construction of fortifications. Three defensive lines were created around Tula. At the same time, the evacuation of factories and enterprises, primarily the military, was carried out.
An important role in the defense of Tula was played by the City Defense Committee created on October 22, which was headed by the first secretary of the regional party committee Vasily Zhavoronkov. It also included N.I. Chmutov - chairman of the regional executive committee, V.N.Sukhodolsky - head of the regional department of the NKVD and Colonel A.K. Tula and Stalinogorsk) - the commandant of the city. The city committee aroused the people to fight the enemy. The Tula workers' regiment (69 fighters) is formed from the fighter battalions.
Members of the Tula City Defense Committee: N. I. Chmutov, V. G. Zhavoronkov (chairman), A. K. Melnikov, V. N. Sukhodolsky
The 50th Army, replenished with new forces, offered stubborn resistance to Guderian's army. On October 30, the 217th, 290th, 154th, 173rd and 260th rifle divisions were included in the Tula combat area. It was headed by the Deputy Commander of the 50th Army, Major General V.S.Popov.
Under pressure from superior enemy forces, the troops of the 50th Army retreated to Tula. The neighboring 3rd army retreated east, towards Efremov.
German mobile formations, advancing from the Mtsensk region, on October 29 went directly to Tula. The Nazis captured Yasnaya Polyana, a metallurgical plant, the village of Kosaya Gora, Ivanovskie Dachi. The Germans had a serious advantage in manpower and equipment (two tank divisions) and planned to take the city on the move.
For three days, there were fierce battles. Our troops repelled one attack after another. So, from October 30 to November 1, 38 German tanks were knocked out. Despite the fact that only part of the troops of the 50th Army withdrew to Tula, it, together with the Tula garrison (156th NKVD regiment of Major S.F. Major A.P. Gorshkov), relying on anti-tank defenses, defended the city until the arrival of reinforcements.
Barricades on Kommunarov Street in Tula
Barricades on Krasnoarmeyskaya Street in Tula
In November 1941, the German high command decided to continue the offensive and "end Moscow." The German Headquarters was going to dismember the Russian front defending the capital, encircle Moscow from the north and south, and seize it. The Nazis hoped that the Russian forces were already exhausted, and Moscow would fall under the decisive blows of the Wehrmacht. Guderian's 2nd Army was reinforced with two army corps and reinforced with tanks. The Germans still had the advantage in manpower, artillery and tanks. And in the directions of the main attacks, where the mobile formations were advancing, the Nazis had a 6-7-fold advantage.
The 2nd Panzer Army attacked Tula, Stalinogorsk and Kashira. The offensive was supported by the 2nd Field Army. The right flank of the 4th Kluge field army, which was preparing a strike on Serpukhov, was embroiled in heavy protracted battles with the mechanized cavalry group of General Belov, which, with the support of Zakharkin's 49th army, struck a counterattack on the enemy.
On November 18, Guderian threw the main forces of his army into the attack, bypassing Tula from the southeast, breaking through to Kolomna and Kashira, and then to Moscow. Having broken through the defenses of the 50th Army, the Nazis occupied the Bolokhovo-Dedilovo area.
On November 21, German tanks occupied the Uzlovaya and Stalinogorsk area, on the 26th, they broke into Mikhailov and Serebryanye Prudy. The Germans came to the close approaches to Kashira, cut the railway and the Tula-Moscow highway north of Tula. However, the Nazis could not break through further.
Belov's cavalry corps was urgently turned to the Kashira region, which, together with the 112th Panzer Division and other troops, struck a counterattack on the enemy on November 27-30. Guderian's troops pushed back 10-15 km south of Kashira to Mordves.
Guderian regrouped his troops and on December 2 tried to break through bypassing Tula from the northeast and east, encircling the divisions of the 50th Army and taking the stubborn city. At the same time, the Nazis attacked north of Tula from the west. The Nazis advanced several kilometers, but could not break through the defenses of the Soviet troops.
The troops of the 50th Army, led by General Boldin on November 22, repulsed the enemy's blow. Our troops have restored communication between Tula and Moscow. At this time, the reserve 10th Army was deployed in the Ryazan region.
The German army was drained of blood and could no longer advance. Guderian began the withdrawal of troops from the ledge formed northeast of Tula.
Thus, the path for the Nazis to Moscow from the south was finally closed.
Calculation of the 85-mm anti-aircraft gun 52-K of the 6th battery of the 732th anti-aircraft artillery regiment on the defense lines
Padded half-track tractor Sd.Kfz. 11. The car was destroyed in the Rogozhensky village (Tula) in the period from 30.10.1941/10.11.1941/XNUMX to XNUMX/XNUMX/XNUMX.
Before the war, Tula had a population of 285 thousand people; the city was one of the major industrial centers of the USSR. More than 6,8 thousand industrial enterprises were located on the territory of the region. Therefore, its inhabitants played an important role in the defense of Tula.
Tula is a city of gunsmiths. In particular, Tula weapons the plant, which switched to a three-shift operation, supplied the army with more than 188 thousand rifles of the Tokarev system in just two months of the war. In October 1941, the plant was evacuated to the Orenburg region.
The Tula workers, despite the evacuation of most of the enterprises to the east of the country, themselves set up the production of the necessary weapons and ammunition, carried out repairs of tanks (they restored about 50 tanks) and guns. One of the enterprises produced anti-tank mines. The workers of the former confectionery factory also helped this production. They called the mines - "Tula gingerbread".
The mines went to the front, to the sappers who erected minefields on the approaches to the city. They liked the name. Other Soviet soldiers also liked the expression. As a result, now everything that came from Tula to the front - shells and cartridges, mortars and mines - began to be called Tula gingerbread.
Repair of the Soviet 76-mm F-22 divisional cannon at the Tula Cartridge Plant during the defense of Tula. In the photo: the head of the artillery range of the plant N. I. Kuzmin (first from the right), locksmiths F. G. Blyudnev, V. P. Zavarzin, A. A. Platonov
Repair of a light tank T-26 at the Tula plant "Shtamp" during the siege of the city
The city was under siege for 43 days, at which time more than 1,1 thousand buildings were destroyed. Thirty-three districts of the Tula region were completely occupied, and another 33 were partially occupied. For two months of occupation, the Nazis destroyed and burned more than 6 villages and villages, almost completely destroyed several cities - Epifan, Venev, Mother of God, Chern.
The Nazis staged a mass terror, destroying local residents suspected of having links with the partisans. Soviet partisans were active in the region: 31 detachments and dozens of sabotage groups were created. The partisans destroyed hundreds of invaders, attacked communications, disrupting the supply of the enemy.
The troops of the 50th Army and the townspeople showed massive heroism and defended Tula. In total, over the years of the war, more than 460 thousand residents of the Tula region left to defend the Motherland, more than 88 thousand died, over 90 thousand were missing, about 3 thousand died in captivity. 35,5 thousand residents of the region received awards during the Great Patriotic War. 226 Tula became Heroes of the Soviet Union, three - twice Hero.
For the courage and heroism of the defenders of the city in 1976, Tula received the honorary title of "Hero City".
The battalion commander of the 437th Infantry Regiment of the 154th Infantry Division, Captain Revaz Nestorovich Gabaraev (1906-1996) (left) and the gunner of the anti-tank rifle (PTRD-41), the Red Army soldier Evgeny Fedorovich Pichuzhkin (1912-1941) in an ambush (Pichuzhkin will die on 13.12.1941 .XNUMX near the village of Petelino near Tula)
- Alexander Samsonov
- https://ru.wikipedia.org/, http://waralbum.ru/, https://mil.ru/
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