Military Review

The landing of the first throw

The story of the Hero of the Soviet Union Makar Andreevich Babikov about the fighting of the Pacific Special Forces fleet, about the Leonov scouts, who in broad daylight seized the moorings of the four largest ports in the rear of the enemy and thus accelerated the liberation of North Korea from the Japanese invaders.

... The 25 Army, commanded by Colonel-General I. M. Chistyakov, broke through the defensive area of ​​the Kwantung Army and advanced rapidly to the south and southeast on the territory of Manchuria and Korea.

In this situation, the command of the Pacific Fleet decided to seize enemy naval bases on the east coast of Korea and thus cut off the mainland territories subordinate to Japan from the metropolis, paralyzing the large naval forces of the enemy.

A detachment of naval intelligence officers consisting of 80 man, commanded by the Hero of the Soviet Union, Senior Lieutenant V.N. Leonov, was assigned the task of disembarking from torpedo boats in the port of Ungi in the afternoon, seizing a bridgehead, reconnoitering the forces and intentions of the enemy and sticking to the main landing.

So 11 August, on the second day after the start of the war with Japan, we went to sea with a landing force of the first throw.

... On the right side of the nose, the outlines of the city appearing from behind the peninsula are more clearly visible. Combat calculations in the field, all the paratroopers on the deck. Taking weapon at the ready, they, clinging to each other, polupriseli along the sides. The engines are muffled, the speed is reduced, the boats carefully, as if gropingly, approach the berths. The shore is silent. Everything is frozen in uncertainty.

Without waiting for the boats to come close, the paratroopers standing along the side jump to the pier and, crouching, with guns and rifles at the ready, run to the nearest buildings. Hiding behind them, we throw first to the warehouses, and from them - to the port streets.

I am sending my liaison officer to report to the detachment commander that the first part of the task, the seizure of the coastal bridge, has been completed.

The command ordered us to hold out until the morning. In the evening, a retreating group of Japanese attacked us. Samurai, deciding that the city was occupied by Soviet troops, fell back to the south with their hills. And in the morning of August 12 the advanced units of the 393rd division of the 25th army approached. Not returning to the base, we went on boats further south, to the next port - Nachzhin. And here we landed again in the afternoon. On the eve of ours aviation and torpedo boats delivered a powerful, blow to the city. Therefore, in its port part we found continuous fires. We landed in a hell of smoke and fire. As now, in front of my eyes are flooded vessels sticking out from under the water of a mast, logging ...

Having knocked out the enemy from the port, we held out until the main landing approach. Army units from Unga were also on their way. The nearest hills soon appeared tank the columns.

We received an order to return to Vladivostok. But, going out to sea, our boats began to be undermined by mines. Mines, most likely, were American. Literally on the eve of the offensive of our troops, American naval aviation dropped a huge number of new mines along the Korean coast ... The boats received serious damage. Killed several of our scouts. Somehow on August 12 we reached Vladivostok around midnight. And already at 5 in the morning we were alarmed. New troops, and again in the afternoon!

The command suggested that the Japanese were pulling up forces in the Chonjin-Nanama area and that it was here that the enemy intended to stop the advance of the Soviet troops. To clarify the situation, the fleet commander ordered an urgent landing of our detachment at the port of Chongjin (80 man of naval reconnaissance and a company of machine gunners - 100 man). We went out on six boats. Four patrol boats, having overtaken us, went to the Cheongjin to find out if there were any large naval forces there. The fact is that on the eve of the pilots discovered in the Sea of ​​Japan enemy squadron. And in order to prevent our collision with large naval forces, the fleet command decided to misinform the enemy. Submarine and cruiser commanders were ordered to prepare for combat operations. Yes, so that the Japanese could intercept and decipher the orders given by radio. This "game" was a success. The Japanese squadron went to Genzan, and from there to Japan. But we learned about it after the fight. In a word, the patrol boats met us on the way to Cheongjin, and in broad daylight we flew into the bay at top speed.

... Boats maneuver at full speed, and from above, from capes, squall fire of enemy coastal batteries. The moorings of the ports: military, fish and trade ports are terribly snapping. Because of the warehouses they beat rapid-fire guns and machine guns. Boats whirl, dodge explosions and shoot too. Solid multicolored dotted lines of machine-gun and machine gun bursts, exploding shells, fountains of water.

But the boats broke through the fire barrier and entered the south-western part of the bay with a fan. One by one they roll over to the pier of the fishing port, the sailors jump ashore. And the boats immediately depart, continuing to shoot, covering us with a fire shield. So we fought. By fire and grenades, we pressed the enemy, suppressed the machine-gun points disguised in port buildings. The Japanese did not succeed in keeping us on the berths. Pursuing the samurai on our heels, we broke through to the port part of the city. The Japanese began to depart. Shoot back, cling to houses, to fences, but depart. Viktor Leonov makes his way through the center with a command group, to his right a platoon of midshipman Nikandrov, and to my left I go with my platoon. To the right of Nikandrov is attacking a company of cover-gunners of Senior Lieutenant Yarotsky ...

Telling, Makar Andreevich habitually throws on a piece of paper a plan of the bay, port and city lying among the hills, designates the River Susonchon flowing into the Sea of ​​Japan, to which his platoon breaks through, inflicts bridges, railways and highways. Carried away, as if obeying the rhythm of the attack, he speaks faster and faster ...

- I was advancing with my guys on the left flank towards the Susonchon River. Ahead - the railway bridge and the highway. Breaking out on the outskirts, we saw rice fields, dams and irrigation canals. There, in the direction of the mounds, representing good shelter, firing back, the Japanese moved away in rushes.

For about two hours, our squad occupied part of the city blocks. And with my platoon I made my way first to the railway bridge, and then to the highway bridge. At this time, a convoy of cars attempted to escape from the city. We managed to intercept the highway bridge and not let this convoy leave. We stopped the car, throwing grenades. The Japanese, firing, jump out of the cabs and bodies. And then my sailors went hand to hand ...

Having decided that the battle was almost over, I rose to full height to look around. I hear suddenly, someone shoots from the side. Because of the concrete square at the bridge. I ordered a grenade to be thrown there and ran to the shelter ... It turned out that several Japanese lay there, and one of them, a second lieutenant, shot me from the rifle at close range, from two meters away. The bullet cut me the end of the eyebrow and temple. Any other centimeter ... and the end. Pure chance. Luck. Let's go, essentially, to the last battle of the war, a shot at close range - and nothing!

We captured several prisoners. Immediately they were interrogated. By the way, this time with us was the head of the fleet intelligence, Colonel A. 3. Denisin. It turned out that the garrison, numbering about four thousand people, is not leaving, is preparing for battle. But the Japanese did not expect such a quick disembarkation, they were stunned by the bold daytime troops. They expected that we would come in about a day. Having come to their senses, the Japanese launched a strong counterattack against our detachment and against the company of Yarotsky. And although we had only one hundred and eighty people, we could not knock us down from our position.

Our squad even suffered almost no losses. Scouts we had experienced. From the Northern Fleet with Leonov came. And young Pacific - our replenishment - we did not leave without attention for a moment. The roles were distributed as follows: one experienced intelligence officer from the North takes care of two newcomers. Near himself, it means he had to keep and teach. And the company of machine gunners was from the undecided guys. And therefore suffered heavy losses.

I'll give you an example, says Makar Andreevich. - Near the bridge, I see a soldier has come to us. In a cap with a bright band. The Japanese took him for a commander and started aimed fire. The bullet hit literally a star on the cap ... Here is some triviality, hindsight. I wanted to be painted in battle, but it was worth it for a guy's life ...

By 10 hours of the evening, the counterattack choked, and the night passed relatively quietly.

The calculation of our command was approximately as follows: the scouts will land and hold on for four hours until the main landing party approaches. But it did not turn out timely ships. For an hour, two longer loaded, hit the fog ...

We were ordered to hold a bridgehead at least until tomorrow morning, and maybe even until August 15. But this is our third shot. Sleepless nights, heat, high humidity, many injured, and ammunition melted. Instead of four hours, we had to stay almost two more days.

So as not to take the landing force again with the moorings.

In the morning the Japanese launched a new offensive. Blowing down on us the fire of artillery, mortars and machine guns, they crossed the rear of the river. They tried to take the entire assault group here, near the bridge, into the environment and destroy it. We unraveled their plan and did not allow ourselves to be squeezed to the ground. They broke into the city and reached the northern outskirts in urban areas. Around noon 14 August we made our way to the height of Pohkhodon. We contacted by radio with the base. It turned out that a machine-gun company was landed in support of us at night and that a battalion of marines was landed on the other side of Komalsandan Peninsula at 5 in the morning hours. They began to search and after about two hours they found a platoon of a machine-gun company. The rest died in a night battle.

In addition to the machine-gun platoon, several more mortar gunners broke through to us. Leonov, the detachment commander, decided, after a short rest, to go out to the morning frontier, to the river and to the bridge. And we really made it there in the evening. The Japanese pulled and artillery, and heavy mortars, and machine gun installations on vehicles. We were surrounded, but we were fighting again, on the already familiar port part, we passed in the evening of 14 to the berths of the military port. It was necessary to hold on until morning. The Japanese pulled up large forces and continuously attacked all night.

And now, when we already ran out of ammunition, the last (for ourselves!) Grenade was left, at dawn, at four o'clock, two Soviet ships, a minesweeper and a frigate, entered the bay. They supported us with fire. The Japanese, seeing the ships, firing, rolled back into the hills. And about two hours later, a large landing force began to land on the piers withheld by us. Part of the 13 Brigade of the Marine Corps of Major General V. P. Trushin. And in the afternoon of August 16, the entire line of defense of the Cheongjin-Nanam was occupied by Soviet troops.

... Having returned to Vladivostok, we had a little sleep off. And after three days they again went out on boats to Wonsan. This is almost the 38-I parallel. Following us on two escort ships, two large minesweepers and six torpedo boats, on the destroyer "Voikov" there was a landing consisting of more than 1800 people. Our task was the same as before, to come to Wonsan before the main landing for several hours and reconnoiter the situation. But since the Japanese emperor had already announced surrender on the radio, we were ordered not to enter the battle on the approaches to Wonsan.

The landing of the first throwWe approached the port around 8 in the morning. There are no military courts on the approach to the bay. But on the Khodou and Kalma peninsulas and on the islands of Yodo and Sindo, in the mouth of the strait are visible the vents of powerful guns aimed at us ... Observing utmost caution, we passed the shelling zone and landed at the port moorings. The Japanese did not shoot. We enter into negotiations. We declare to the commandant of the city that we have come to demand surrender. The commandant replies that we should meet with the commander of the fortress, Colonel Todo. Go ahead. At the fortress - soldiers with machine guns, prepared to shoot like. And we go with the weapon. God knows what will happen! We pass by, as if not noticing the guards, and demand a senior officer. Colonel Todo comes out. He is carrying a chair. The colonel slightly nods to us instead of a greeting and sits down: “I will slant, Ivan.”

We demand to sign the act of surrendering the garrison. "Well," says Todo, "the answer will be given after such and such a time." We returned to the port, told the command about the results of our attack. And in the afternoon ships arrived at the port. Moored. But the landing remained on the ships.

Negotiations went on for three days before the Japanese agreed to capitulate. Rear Admiral Hori, who commanded the base (8 thousand men of the garrison), said that he was not authorized to sign the act of surrender, that there was no connection with the command, that the statement of the emperor was only a political statement. In a word, he was delaying time, hoping with a fight to break out to the south or to bargain for comfortable conditions. Officer Code, you see, it does not allow him to surrender, he was obliged to do hara-kiri. And if only there will be an order to surrender, then he can surrender without hara-kiri.

Particularly disturbing was the night from 21 to August 22. In the evening our troops landed, and the Japanese immediately pulled into the port. And here on the street on one side along the sidewalk are the Japanese with weapons, on the other - our troops with weapons. That's how they stood all night. Imagine for a moment, someone fell asleep and accidentally pressed the trigger ... Shoot, then figure out who started. The war is almost over. Night and all these last days have passed in such a nervous state. Two troops stand in the streets, only the roadway separates them ... Fortunately, thanks to our perseverance and perseverance, the operation ended with disarming and capturing the entire garrison. Moreover, we disarmed the garrison of the air base - 1200 people. Having executed the order, we captured the Japanese anti-submarine schooner, manned the crew and returned to the base with our own power. And this is where our combat activity is over.

Victory over Japan, we celebrated in Vladivostok.
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