Military Review

The mythical "Thirst" of Grigory Pozhenyan

The mythical "Thirst" of Grigory PozhenyanOne of the heroic pages of World War II can be called the defense of Odessa. The city, although it was not an important strategic point (there were no key military enterprises and the port - a secondary sea base of the Black Sea fleet), initially they were not going to surrender to the enemy, preparing for a long siege. However, fate decreed otherwise ...

In the attack on the southern front, to Odessa, participated (in addition to the Germans), the Romanian army. In early August, the 1941 of the Wehrmacht 72 Infantry Division in the southern direction managed to dismember the Maritime and 9 Army, wedged between them 50-kilometer front. Thus, Odessa was cut off from the "mainland" of the USSR.

The Romanian military units failed to take Odessa at once, as the siege of the city began, which lasted 74 of the day.

The headquarters ordered the command of the Maritime Army (Lieutenant General G. P. Safronov) to defend Odessa to the very last opportunity. As early as August 5, heavy battles were fought for the city, and until August 10, the Primorye Army wars fought at distant approaches, later moving to the front line of the city’s defense.

Assistance to besieged Odessa was rendered by the sailors of the Black Sea Fleet - it was a detachment of warships commanded by Rear Admiral G. V. Zhukov, the commander of the Odessa naval base. Under his leadership, in the port of Odessa, the necessary armament and ammunition for the front was delivered on dry-cargo ships ...

... In 1959, the film "Thirst", directed by Yevgeny Tashkova, dedicated to the events of the Odessa defense appeared on the screens of Soviet cinemas. The film's scriptwriter was a fairly well-known poet and writer, a direct participant in those events, Grigory Pozhenyan. The film is bright, interesting even today. Of particular interest is the fact that Peter Todorovsky acts as a film operator. Here, in “Thirst”, you can also see Vyacheslav Tikhonov, trying on the role of the Soviet intelligence officer in the German military uniform - this was how the basis for his future Stirlitz was laid.

Despite all his artistic merits, “Thirst,” this is a fairy-tale film built on a single episode that really happened to the Pozhenyans squad, but did not have for Odessans the key importance that is given to him in the film ...

Let's try to figure out what really happened in those days in Odessa.

The film "Thirst" is so called by chance. The name refers to the problems with water supply, which Odessans experienced during the defense of the city from the Germans.

The fact is that since its foundation in the 1794 year, in the area of ​​the Khadzhibey estuary, Odessa has been experiencing problems with the availability of drinking water. It turned out that in the district there is not enough of it for the needs of the city. Subsoil waters were unsuitable for drinking (due to strong mineralization), so the first inhabitants of Odessa had to dig deep enough wells, which carried the water in the barrels along the streets. The fresh water sources, “fountains” (which gave names to a number of districts of Odessa) helped to solve the problem.

Throughout the 19-th century, the townspeople also created a system for collecting rainwater, accumulating in the so-called "tanks".

The first Odessa water pipeline, organized by merchant Timofey Kovalevsky from the Fountains in 1853, turned out to be ineffective, and through 20 years it fell into disrepair.

However, already in the 70s, a full-fledged water supply system was opened in the city, the construction of which was conducted by an English company. Water for Odessa was taken from the Dniester River, where a water intake station was built in the village of Belyaevka. It was this water line, modernized with the passage of time, that provided Odessa by the time of the start of World War II.

During the war, this line was destroyed by Romanian troops, and the townspeople really lacked fresh water. The film shows how poor Odessans, with lips dry from thirst, run to the Potemkin Stairs, barely hearing the hooters of tankers from drinking water ... This picture is, of course, beautiful, but not true.

The fact is that Odessa could easily manage with internal freshwater sources that have been in effect since the 19th century. Dyukovskiy sources, a source on the Polish descent (operating, by the way, until now), moreover, one or two artesian wells were pierced from almost every industrial enterprise of the city from pre-revolutionary times (which is about three hundred factories at that time). It was to these water "treasures" that people stood in long lines with cans in their hands.

Now consider the episode of the capture of the water station - the film is also very colorful and stressful. If we talk about the activities of the Pozhenyan sabotage detachment, then - to be a realist - it is very strange to imagine a situation when a group of people in the defended city is trained specifically for the assignment, which is generally meaningless. It is meaningless if only because, as it was casually indicated above, the supply of water from Belyaevka to Odessa was physically impossible - the waterway could be destroyed by shelling of Romanian artillery.

Interestingly, the diversionary detachment, which included Grigory Pozhenyan, really existed (as well as five similar groups), engaged in reconnaissance and sabotage activities in the front line. Moreover (according to the memoirs of Pozhenyan himself, but before writing the film script), the case with the seizure of a pumping station, which Grigory Mikhailovich later apparently creatively reworked, also had its place. During the raid on the enemy’s rear, the Pozhenyan detachment discovered a water tower, which was guarded by a small detachment of Romanian gendarmes. The Soviet saboteurs, of course, eliminated the guards of these guards, but there was no sense of a pumping station — there was no possibility to launch water into the city.

All of this, as well as other equally interesting facts of the Odessa defense, is mentioned, in particular, in the book by the historian Alexander Cherkasov “Defense of Odessa: pages of truth”. Cherkasov confirms these facts with officially published documents. For example, a book collection of military documents issued by the publishing house “Voenizdat”, an official book of the Ministry of Defense, with scanty copies in 30 copies.

Generally, if we talk about Grigorii Pozhenyan, it is necessary to take into account how interesting and ambiguous a person he was (and that is why a kind of creative rethinking with the seizure of the water tower was quite in his spirit).

The general public Pozhenyan is known as a poet. He has a dozen collections of poems, he wrote screenplays for films, also acted as the director of the film "Goodbye". Pozhenyan began writing poems during the war years, and in 1946, he entered the Gorky Literary Institute.

And here is interesting one of the cases that occurred to him during his studies at the institute. In 1948, the so-called “rootless cosmopolitan” case was unfolding (by which simply people of Jewish nationality were understood). The “cosmopolitan” case also affected the Gorky Institute - the attacks were directed against the remarkable poet and teacher of the Literary Institute - Pavel Antokolsky. It was one of those rare brave men who refused to stigmatize the poet “an enemy of the people” and supported Pavel Grigorievich in these difficult moments.

The director of the Literary Institute, the “proletarian classic” Fedor Gladkov (and who now remembers this “writer” functionary?) Did not like this and he literally shouted “Redeem your foot in the Literary Institute!”. To which Grigory Mikhailovich answered seriously, “Already there is not.” And standing up in his arms, retired in this way from the office of Gladkov.

The case is anecdotal, but it characterizes Pozhenyan completely. A prankster and a joker, a lover of jokes and hoaxes, he and history with a water tower turned into a beautiful legend, which Odessans are still proud of ...
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  1. Kaetani
    Kaetani April 1 2013 09: 51
    Hero City - an order to end the defense of the city came from Stavka.
    The city has not lost the honor of its defenders.

    In general, the city in which I was born is proud
  2. Aleksys2
    Aleksys2 April 1 2013 09: 52
    Actually the article is about what?
    1. Hudo
      Hudo April 1 2013 13: 19
      It hurt the title of the article "Mythical "Thirst for" Grigory Pozhenyan. "Misha Humpback's catastrophe also began with a similar slander.
  3. serezhasoldatow
    serezhasoldatow April 1 2013 10: 07
    Amer suck beautiful episodes of salvation of their country and the world from the finger. And we have the whole World War II was a legend.
  4. misterwulf
    misterwulf April 1 2013 10: 54
    And there is still a modern film on this subject. In general, I looked and was amazed! Well, suppose there is a running water. Sense of capture? Little water pump to grab. It must then be defended and held ...

    And Odessa is unique in its own way! Only 2 cities fought back in the war. More Sevastopol. Moscow, Leningrad, Stalingrad defended the whole country.
    But the difference between Odessa and Sevastopol is that Sevastopol itself is a "natural" fortress, and from Odessa there is no fortress! And they did! And the Germans and Romanians did not take Odessa! It was passed!
    1. Corsair
      Corsair April 1 2013 12: 31
      Quote: misterwulf
      And the Germans and Romanians did not take Odessa! HER HER!

      Dear, they did NOT REDUCE, but REMAINED given the prevailing extremely dangerous situation on the fronts. LEFT under the onslaught of an enemy superior in strength after selfless bloody defense. LEFT to return and release the darling all huge country Glorious Pearl by the sea.
  5. Egoza
    Egoza April 1 2013 11: 04
    The film is wonderful! A real masterpiece! And God forbid the current "creators" to create something like that! The author wants to say that the case with the water pump is a complete fiction and did not make any sense? Or shouldn't you have made a film about such an insignificant episode? So it was from such episodes that the belief of the Soviet people in victory was formed! Belief that the partisan detachments act and inflict damage on the fascists! And how many nameless heroes are left in our land? But all of them, even if little by little, destroyed the enemy! As for the "uselessness" of taking a pump station - at that time it was precisely known that it was impossible to restore water supply along this line? And this action did not benefit anyone at all? But the movie brought a HUGE BENEFIT! This is a film about the HEROISM of our warriors! He awakened, and awakens Pride for the Soviet people! He explains a lot to young people! Or is this what the author does not like? Article minus!
  6. SIT
    SIT April 1 2013 11: 22
    The film is really very good. Only from the article did the author learn that the operator was Pyotr Todorovsky. Thank. Now it’s clear why the battle scenes are so filmed. The operator saw this in life with his own eyes. Of course, removed by the tricks that were used in the 50s, but all the more valuable. And the fact that Pozhenyan prefigured the events is the same author's work, and not a documentary investigation. This is his copyright. At least he himself was at least there and took part in the battles, unlike the current Mikhalkov, who removes outright lies.
    On the whole, with regard to the defense of Odessa, I was always struck by the fact - why did the evacuation of the Primorsky Army from Odessa go as during exercises, and from Sevastopol turned into a bloody nightmare? He commanded in Odessa and Sevastopol I.E. Petrov. The Luftwaffe convoys from Odessa could be bombed both from airfields near Nikolaev and from Romanian bases. Convoys from Sevastopol only from Crimean airfields. Having experience evacuating from Odessa, why didn’t the Black Sea Fleet ships be strengthened by air defense means in a year? Breaking through the anti-aircraft fire system and placing bombs in maneuvering warships is not so simple. The Japanese lost 32 aircraft from anti-aircraft fire of the American battleship after the modernization of its air defense.
    1. Son
      Son April 1 2013 19: 44
      I liked the questions you raised ...
      I looked at the data on the composition of the forces and means of the fleets. The overwhelming superiority of our fleet over Germany and its allies, the question also arose - why ..?
      Somewhere, I met not flattering remarks about Admiral Oktyabrsky, if you have any, please give links to sources ...
  7. rexby63
    rexby63 April 1 2013 11: 22
    Grigory Mikhailovich for his four military orders, for all his unparalleled courage, you can forgive any tales. The article is for informational content plus, for an incomprehensible subtext an undoubted minus
  8. Drosselmeyer
    Drosselmeyer April 1 2013 13: 04
    In my opinion, the events that are shown in the film "Thirst", fiction was known from the moment the film was released. Yes, no one really hid it. But this is a work of fiction, and it is very believable and it is a pity that nowadays they do not shoot films of this level about the war.
    By the way, from the very beginning of the defense of Odessa, the Soviet command provided for the supply of water to the city if Belyaevka was lost. It was supposed and this was done later on re-conservation of old artesian wells and drilling of new ones. For drilling, engineering equipment (drilling rigs and pumps) and people were allocated in advance. This is directly stated in the memoirs of Marshal Krylov, which were published in Soviet times. There were no adventurers in the Soviet headquarters hoping for chance.
  9. Prapor Afonya
    Prapor Afonya April 1 2013 14: 19
    Such films give rise to pride and patriotism for their homeland, such heroes are created for this, and as far as historical authenticity is concerned, Alexander Matrosov wasn’t there, and there were thousands of such Sailors who covered enemy machine guns with their bodies, legends were created that would be believed and aligned with them, not just now they are filming about gays and other finished people, such a generation is growing up!
  10. rubber_duck
    rubber_duck April 1 2013 16: 23
    "Rootless cosmopolitans" (by which simply people of Jewish nationality were understood)

    Yes, yes, and then the Holocaust, where without it. Do not confuse the cause with the effect. If among the so-called. Most of the "rootless cosmopolitans" were Jews, this does not mean that they were persecuted precisely for their nationality.
  11. Ascetic
    Ascetic April 1 2013 16: 24
    The director of the Literary Institute, the "proletarian classic" Fyodor Gladkov did not like it (and who now remembers this "writer" -functional?)

    Gladkov was on the list of 312 authors whose books were burned in Nazi Germany. The most famous work is the novel "Cement". For the first time, the creative work of the workers, the creative efforts of the collective in building socialism, new relationships in the family and everyday life were reflected in it.
    The cruise ship is named after him
    The motor ship Fedor Gladkov is a tri-deck motor ship 588 of the project, built at the Maties Thezen shipyard in the German Democratic Republic. On board: 2 restaurants, a bar, a cinema hall, an open solarium. It is the most powerful, high-speed, spacious of eight such three-deck ships with departure to Perm.

    Unlike Gladkov, the entire war survivor in the Urals, Grigory Pozhenyan spent at the front.After going through the entire war, a marine reconnaissance saboteur, he won many awards with his heroism, including two orders of World War I of the first degree, two of the Red Star, and one each of the Battle Red Banner, For services to the Fatherland of the III degree, Badge of Honor, medals For Odessa, For Sevastopol, For Caucasus, For Belgrade, For the Arctic, For military merit. And this despite the fact that he was the son of an "enemy of the people."
    He even presented himself with the title of Hero of the Soviet Union, but did not receive it, because he ordered the frightened metropolitan to be thrown overboard and rinsed thoroughly in the water. And he complained to the Military Council.
    After the war, Admiral Oktyabrsky spoke of the desperate courage of Pozhenyan as follows:
    “I have never met a more hooligan and risky officer in my fleets! Uniform bandit! ” Yes, he did not bend to anyone and always supported his friends in difficult times, because he "lived with the truth, like with a child in his arms."

    A desperate sea soul, a man who did not bow his head to anyone, was the most devoted friend, for which, after graduation, he often fell into disgrace. He was not a dissident, but he did not sign letters of denunciation.

    And then the year 2000 came. Right before the New Year holidays, Grigory Mikhailovich was beaten by hooligans at his dacha in Peredelkino, received a closed head injury and concussion, underwent the most complicated brain trepanation operation and restored his health for a very long time - several years, but failed to do so completely. Years ... Grigory Pozhenyan died half an hour before his birthday, September 19, 2005. And an inscription about his death appeared long before that in the list of the fallen that hangs on one of the houses of Odessa Pasteur Street, where the poet’s name is eighth ...

  12. knn54
    knn54 April 1 2013 16: 54
    Somehow the poet learned that over the chairman of the executive committee of the Odessa City Council, his friend, there was a threat of punishment - on the funds allocated to the city for a five-year period, the chairman put in exemplary order one of the most beautiful streets - Pushkinskaya. Pozhenyan brought to Pravda a lyrical essay about his hometown and its owner. If all the owners of Odessa, he wrote, over the past three decades, instead of taking care of personal welfare, put in order at least one historic street, Odessa would resemble Paris. This newspaper speech stopped those who wanted to deal with the head of the city. And he immediately sent Pozhenyan a telegram: “I invite you to shoot the second episode of the film Thirst. YOU GAVE WATER TO ODESSA AGAIN. "
    PS .. the case with the capture of a water pumping station, which, apparently, was later creatively processed by Grigory Mikhailovich, also had its place.
    A group of scouts, among whom was Grigory Pozhenyan, recaptured the Germans' water pump and kept it, giving the city the opportunity to make water supplies. It was immediately clear that the scouts were going to certain death. Almost everyone died. Pozhenyan was wounded, but he was also included in the lists of the dead and his last name was on the plaque of one of the buildings in Odessa.
    PPS "The mythical" film "Thirst" in the artistic and moral sense is ORDERLY superior to the pseudo realities of Mikhalkov, Shakhnazarov ...
  13. Veteran
    Veteran April 1 2013 17: 54
    The defense of Odessa was a unique operation to keep an active naval base behind enemy lines. She gave valuable experience of such a defense and served as an example of the organization of defense of the Navy. The base initially did not have defensive lines from land, however, at the cost of the heroic labor of troops and civilians, 3 defensive lines were created before and at the beginning of the defense. To protect Odessa from the sea, a detachment of naval ships was formed and successfully operated, ships from Sevastopol were actively used to disrupt enemy attacks and destroy its ground forces. The most important thing in defense is its organization, and here the Odessa defense region - OOR - was created for the first time under a single command (K.-Adm. Zhukov), which included all the naval defense forces - land, fleet ships, coastal artillery, aviation . The defense was carried out according to a unified plan and orders of the OER (which Port Arthur lacked in its time). This PR experience was later used in the defense of Sevastopol (COP). The most important in defense is its activity. An example of this is the landing in Grigoryevka 22.09.41, the result of which was the destruction of enemy soldiers and officers until 200, the rout of the enemy headquarters, and the capture of the 4 long-range gun battery that fired on Odessa and its port. And what a high morale the defenders had! The most unique was the operation to evacuate the OOR troops (by order of the Headquarters). The withdrawal from the battle and the withdrawal of troops from the frontiers of defense, the transition to the port and boarding the ships went unnoticed by the enemy, who for 6 hours after leaving the last echelon fired at the front line, bombed the city and port. At this time, the convoy was already approaching the coast of Crimea. 86 thousand military personnel, 15 thousand civilians (100 thousand people!), A huge amount of cargo were successfully evacuated. This operation was long taught at the military academies of the world as a model.
  14. svp67
    svp67 April 1 2013 19: 34
    Before writing an article, the author would read a story from the 1942 collection "Sea Soul" by L. Sobolev - "Nightingale"
    “On a hot, dusty day, six scouts walked through Odessa from a bath.
    I wanted to drink unbearably. But everyone wanted to drink in the city, and at the stalls
    crowded queues. Sailors walked three stalls with a sigh, glancing at the clock.
    They did not have enough time to queue. Suddenly they were lucky: from the sky
    the characteristic buzzing howl of a mine was heard. It was on the edge of the city, where mines sometimes flew, and their sound - disgusting, aching, long - was well known to the inhabitants of Odessa. The line broke up, people ran away from the stall under the protection of the stone walls of the houses .. "