How the partisans staged a “Concert” for the Nazis
Soviet partisans mine a road in the Leningrad Region. 1943 g.
The Nazi policy, aimed at clearing living space in the East from Soviet “subhumans” and driving away Soviet citizens to slave labor in Germany, led to the emergence of a broad social base for the partisan movement. Hundreds of partisan detachments and groups arose in the territories occupied by the Nazis. The number of partisans and underground fighters behind enemy lines reached 1 million people.
The most important organizing role in the partisan movement was played by the actions of the Soviet military-political leadership. Without organization and supplies, the partisans were doomed to defeat. The main tasks of the partisan movement were set out in the Directive of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR and the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks "To party and Soviet organizations of front-line regions" dated June 29, 1941 No. 624 and the Resolution of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks of July 18, 1941 "On the organization of the struggle in the rear of the German troops." The most important directions of the struggle behind enemy lines were formulated in the order of the NGOs of the USSR by J.V. Stalin dated September 5, 1942 No. 00189 “On the tasks of the partisan movement.”
Movement of a detachment of the 3rd Leningrad Partisan Brigade. 1943
The 1941th Directorate of the NKVD of the USSR, created in 4 under the leadership of Pavel Sudoplatov, played an important role in the development of the partisan movement. The Separate Motorized Rifle Brigade of the NKVD of the USSR was subordinate to him. From the NKVD fighters, reconnaissance and sabotage detachments were formed, thrown behind enemy lines, which became centers of crystallization for the creation of partisan formations.
On May 30, 1942, the Central Headquarters of the Partisan Movement (TSSHPD) was created under the leadership of Panteleimon Ponomarenko. The republican and regional headquarters of the partisan movement were subordinate to the TsShPD. The creation of headquarters of the partisan movement with clear functions and improved communications with the “Mainland” gave the partisan movement an increasingly organized character, ensured greater coordination of the actions of the partisan forces and contributed to improving their interaction with the troops of the Red Army.
On September 6, 1942, the position of Commander-in-Chief of the partisan movement was created, to which a member of the Politburo of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks, Marshal of the Soviet Union Kliment Voroshilov, was appointed. The activities of the hero of the Civil War had a positive impact on the partisan movement. The marshal improved the management of partisan forces; the scheme he introduced for managing partisan forces turned out to be very effective and, with minor changes, worked until the end of the war. With the help of Voroshilov, the TsShPD became a powerful management body that was able to solve the personnel issue (attracting experienced military experts), the problems of organization and centralized supply of partisans.
Partisans of Saburov's Zhitomir formation cross the Ubort River. 1943
A group of partisans of the Chernigov-Volyn partisan unit of A.F. Fedorov at a 45-mm anti-tank gun of the 1934 model. 1943
Personal presentation weapons fighters of the partisan detachment named after G.I. Kotovsky. The detachment named after G.I. Kotovsky of the first composition operated on the territory of the Brest region of the Byelorussian SSR, the second composition - on the territory of the Brest and Vileika regions of the Byelorussian SSR. 1943
The popular movement and the effective actions of Moscow led to the creation of an entire partisan army behind enemy lines, which diverted only security and punitive units and units of the enemy, but also entire divisions of the Wehrmacht.
Before the radical turning point in the war - the Battle of Stalingrad and Kursk, the actions of partisans on enemy communications were only one of their tasks. For the “rail war” there was a lack of experienced sappers, explosives and relevant materials. At the end of the summer of 1943, the Soviet Headquarters and the TsShPD decided to involve partisan formations in ensuring the offensive of the Red Army. The partisan movement was concentrated on attacks on enemy communications, which undermined the Wehrmacht's supply, maneuver and regrouping capabilities.
Guerrilla detachment named after N. A. Shchors of the 37th partisan brigade named after A. Ya. Parkhomenko of the Minsk formation before advancing to the “rail war”. At the head of the formation in the center, wearing a cap, is the detachment commander, Ustin Nikitich Shvayakov. August 1943
Soviet soldiers pack a DC-3 transport plane with supplies for partisans in Ukraine from the back of a GAZ-AA truck
Successfully carried out in August - the first half of September 1943, Operation Rail War (How the partisans fought the "Rail War") contributed to the development of further operations to destroy the enemy’s rear infrastructure.
The Red Army led an offensive in the central direction, liberating the Oryol, Smolensk regions, and Left Bank Ukraine. The titanic battle for the Dnieper began (80 years ago the battle for the Dnieper began). It was necessary to hit the enemy from the rear in order to facilitate the advance of the Soviet armies.
At the beginning of September 1943, the TsShPD approved the plan for Operation Concert. The main target was the railway tracks behind enemy lines. Each partisan detachment received its own task, which included blowing up rails, trains, road structures and other rear infrastructure. More than 190 brigades and detachments, about 120 thousand soldiers, were involved in the operation.
Partisans from the Leningrad region, Smolensk region, Baltic states, Belarus and Ukraine took part in the operation. But the main role was played by the partisans of Belarus - more than 90 thousand people. In particular, it was planned to transfer 120 tons of explosives and other cargo to the Belarusian partisans, and 20 tons to the Kalinin and Leningrad partisans. The length of the front was about 900 km, the depth was 400 km.
Pinsk partisans on the march. The partisan in the foreground carries a 7,62-mm heavy machine gun DS-39 (Degtyarev heavy machine gun model 1939), the crew of such a machine gun consisted of four people. Pinsk partisans operated at the junction of the Minsk, Polesie, Baranovichi, Brest, Rivne and Volyn regions of the Belarusian SSR. 1943
The operation was closely connected with the upcoming offensive of the Soviet armies in the Smolensk and Gomel directions and the battle for the Dnieper. Mass training of partisans in subversive activities was organized, and military supplies were delivered to the locations of partisan formations.
The start of the operation was scheduled for September 19, 1943. However, due to unfavorable weather conditions at the start of the operation aviation only half of the military cargo was transferred. Therefore, the start of large-scale events was postponed to September 25. But some of the partisan detachments, which had already reached the attack lines and could not turn back, began the operation according to the original plan. Thus, Belarusian partisans blew up about 19 thousand rails on the night of September 20.
The attack of the Belarusian partisans was so effective that already at 6 o’clock in the morning on September 19, 1943, the management of the German railways in Minsk alarmedly announced:
A group of partisans of the second company of the detachment named after. Chkalov of the Gomel partisan brigade "Bolshevik" mines the Gubichi-Zhlobin highway. 1943
The railway track at the Starushka station, Kopatkevich district (now Petrikovsky district, Gomel region), destroyed by partisan brigade No. 37 named after Parkhomenko. 1943
On September 25, the main forces of the partisans began to operate. They attacked German garrisons, captured railway sections, mined rails, and destroyed important facilities and equipment. In Belarus, over 15 thousand more rails were destroyed that night. The Nazis had to take emergency measures to strengthen the protection of roads and their restoration. Railway battalions and even units from the front were transferred from Germany. The local population was rounded up for restoration work.
The fighting continued into October 1943, and ran out of explosives. In total, 148 thousand rails were destroyed. The transfer of German troops by rail, evacuation and supply were significantly hampered. The junction stations were filled with trains, which became a good target for the Soviet Air Force.
The objectives of the operation were not fully accomplished, but overall the result was great. Enemy communications were subjected to massive attacks. There was a shortage of rails. The Germans had to convert double-track sections of the track into single-track ones, which reduced the capabilities of the railway. Due to a shortage of rails, damaged rails were welded and transported from Poland, the Czech Republic and Germany. At the same time, the repaired areas were subject to new attacks.
In general, railway capacity in the German rear decreased by 35–40% in September-October.
The partisans also destroyed about 1,5 thousand enemy trains and over 100 railway bridges. Such blows became the most painful for the Wehrmacht. The restoration of each bridge, even taking into account the efforts of repair and restoration battalions hastily transferred from the Third Reich, took up to several days, and sometimes more. The loss of rolling stock has already become practically irreplaceable for German industry. Therefore, the Germans began to produce ersatz steam locomotives, and to transport personnel, use all types of cars that they could find.
According to military researchers, the actions of the Soviet partisans during the two operations were more than 11 times more effective than the Luftwaffe raids that bombed the Soviet rear during the same period.
Thus, the actions of the partisan army in 1943 provided great assistance to the Red Army.
A group of demolitionists from the Khrushchev partisan detachment near a blown-up bridge in Ukraine. The bridge was blown up as enemy equipment passed across it. The partisans are dressed in captured German winter camouflage jackets Wintertarnanzug. January 1944
- Alexander Samsonov
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