On a sunny day of July 3, on July 1941, the city of Minsk, already a week as captured by the fascists, slowly entered the Soviet tank. Lonely, already intimidated by the Germans, passers-by hurriedly pressed against the houses — a huge three-turreted armored car crawled along the streets of the city, thickened by four machine-guns, slowly pulling the barrel of a short cannon.
Hitler’s soldiers were not at all afraid of the Soviet tank - in those days in Verkhmakht there were already a lot of captured armored vehicles. A merry German cyclist even rode in front of the tank for a while, slowly pedaling. The driver pressed the gas harder, the tank jerked forward and smeared the unlucky cyclist along the pavement - you see, he was simply tired of the tankers. But several Germans who smoked on the porch, they did not touch - did not want to open ahead of time.
Finally arrived at the distillery. Not in the sense of "finally" that would drink, but in the sense that they found the goal. Leisurely, thorough Germans loaded boxes of alcohol into the truck. Nearby missed armored car. The first could not stand Nicholas in the right turret - meters from fifty vzharil on the truck with a machine gun. Seryoga in the left also pressed the trigger. The major bit his lip - the very first accurate shot turned an armored car into a pile of metal and turned the fire on the infantry. In a few minutes it was all over. Completing the picture of the defeat of Sergeant Malko held a tank on the remnants of the truck.
Apparently - the Germans still did not understand what was happening in the city. Nobody pursued tank neatly moved the river Svisloch along a wooden bridge - almost 30 tons is not a joke - and crawled to the market. A convoy of motorcyclists went to meet T-28 - exactly the same as they would be shown in movies in 20 years - happy, forceful, self-confident. Gray snake wrapped around the tank on the left. Having missed several crews behind the hull of the tank, the major sharply hit the mechvod on the left shoulder, and he threw the tank straight into the column. There was a terrible screech and screams. The rear machine gun from the head tower hit the back of the head of the motorcyclists who had time to rush, panic began on the road. The turrets of diesel fuel were poured with fire by the Nazis in the middle and at the end of the column, which pale Malko pressed and pressed the levers, grinding people and motorcycles with an iron mass. Sweat flowed from under the helmet and poured his eyes - two weeks earlier, he, past Spain, Khalkhin Gol, Poland and Finland, could not even imagine what would fall into such a meat grinder.
Tankers did not spare patrons - in the morning they filled a tank in an abandoned military town with cartridges and ammunition to the eyeballs. True, in a hurry they took half the shells for divisional guns - and those, although they were of the same caliber, did not climb into the tank gun. But machine guns beat without smolka. While driving to the main street of Minsk - Sovetskaya - the tank, in passing, fired upon the Germans crowded in the square near the theater. Then he turned onto Proletarskaya and stopped there. Those fighters stretched out in wolf smiles. The street was simply crammed with enemies and technicians - cars with weapons, vehicles with ammunition, fuel tanks, field kitchens. And the soldiers, the soldiers in gray uniform around.
Having survived the mkhatov pause, the T-28 exploded in a whirlwind of fire. A cannon and three frontal machine guns turned the street into hell. Almost immediately the tanks caught fire, burning gasoline flowed down the streets, the fire spread to cars with ammunition, then to houses and trees. No one had a chance to hide from dagger fire. Leaving behind a branch of purgatory, the tankers decided to visit Gorky Park. True, on the way they came under fire from a 37 mm anti-tank gun. With three shots, the major reassured the rowdy. In the fleet of tankers again the Nazis were waiting. These already heard the shots and explosions of tearing ammunition - but they lifted up their heads and peered out Stalin's falcons. They thought that okromya aviation nothing threatens them in Minsk. The Red Star T-28 hastened to dissuade them of this. Everything went on the thumb - a barking cannon, choking machine guns, a set fire to a tank, black smoke and scattered corpses of enemy soldiers.
The ammunition of the cannon was almost dried up and it was time for the tankers to make legs from Minsk, especially since now it has ceased to be a paradise for the Germans. They moved to Komarovka - there and close to the exit, and then - on the Moscow highway - and to their own. Did not work out. Already on the outskirts of the city, at the old cemetery, the T-28 came under fire from a well-disguised anti-tank battery. The first shells ricocheted from the tower, but there was no chance - the Fritz were sighting and on board, there was practically nothing to answer. At full throttle, the mechanic drive drove and drove the tank to the outskirts. They lacked just a minute - the projectile hit the engine, the tank caught fire and finally stopped after the next hit. However, the crew was still alive and Major Vasechkin ordered to leave the car.
Not everyone was able to leave. After the battle, a local resident, Lyubov Kireeva, buried two people - a major, who until the last moment had fired from the Nazis from the revolver and one of the cadets. The second cadet, apparently, either burned down in a tank, or was killed trying to get out of it. The fates of the survivors are different.
The great combat experience of the mechanic-driver, senior sergeant Malko helped him here - he got out of the city, met the Red Army men leaving the encirclement, crossed the front line, returned to the tank units, and with honor went through the war to the end. Charging Fedor Naumov was sheltered by local residents, went into the woods, fought in the partisan detachment, in 1943, he was wounded and taken out of the occupied Byelorussia to the rear. Nikolai Pedan was taken prisoner by the Nazis, spent four years in concentration camps, was saved in 45, returned to military service, and was demobilized in 1946.
The padded T-28 stood in Minsk all the occupation, reminding both the Germans and Minskers about the feat of our soldiers.
It was thanks to people like these tankers that in the fall of 1941, the Nazi armies did not enter Moscow. Such people laid the foundation of Victory.
The documentary story by P. Bereznyk, "The Fire Tank" and the movie "Black Birch", are devoted to the events of 3 on July.
The commander of the tank / turret gunner - Major Vasechkin.
Driver mechanic - Senior Sergeant Dmitry Malko.
Charging - Cadet Fyodor Naumov.
The machine gunner of the right tower - Cadet Nikolay Pedan.
The machine gunner of the left tower - Cadet Sergey (last name unknown).
The machine gunner of the rear machine gun of the head tower is Cadet Alexander Rachitsky.
When writing a post, the memories of Dmitry Malko and Fyodor Naumov are used.