Military Review

The truth about barrage units (part of 2)

Prodolzhenie, start here: Part 1

On the defense of Stalingrad

New stage in stories The detachments began in the summer of 1942, when the Germans broke through to the Volga and the Caucasus. July 28 issued the famous order number XXUMX of the People's Commissar of Defense of the USSR I.V. Stalin, who, in particular, ordered:

“2. Military councils of armies and above all commanders of armies:
[...] b) form 3-5 well-armed defensive squads (200 men in each) within the army, put them in the immediate rear of unstable divisions and oblige them in the event of a panic and indiscriminate withdrawal of division units to shoot on-site alarmists and underpants and help honest divisional fighters to fulfill their duty to the Motherland ”(Stalingrad epic: Materials of the NKVD of the USSR and military censorship from the Central Archive of the FSB of the Russian Federation. M., 2000. C. 445).

In pursuance of this order, the commander of the forces of the Stalingrad Front, Lieutenant-General V.N. Gordov, on August 1 of the year 1942, gave his order No.00162 / op, in which he ordered:

"five. To the commanders of the 5, 21, 55, 57, 62, 63th armies, within two days, form five barrage detachments, and the commanders of the 65st and 1th tank armies - three barrage detachments of 200 people each.
Barrier squads to subordinate the military councils of the armies through their special departments. At the head of the defensive squads to put the most combat-trained special forces.
Barrier squads staffed with the best select fighters and commanders of the Far Eastern divisions.
Provide road patrols.
6. In a two-day period, to restore in each rifle division the barrage battalions formed according to the directive of the Supreme Command Headquarters No. XXUMX.
Barrier division battalions staffed with the best worthy fighters and commanders. About the performance to convey to 4 August 1942 g. ”(TsAMO. F.345. Op.5487. D.5. L.706).

From the report of the Special Department of the NKVD of the Stalingrad Front to the Directorate of Special Departments of the NKVD of the USSR of 14 August 1942 of the Year “On the implementation of order No. 227 and the response of 4 Tank Army personnel to it”:

“In total for the specified period of time 24 was shot. So, for example, the commanders of the 414 SP, 18 SD and Starkov and Dobrynin offices, during the battle, chickened out, abandoned their units and fled from the battlefield, both were detained. detachment and the resolution of the Special Odzdiv shot before the formation.
The Red Army soldier of the same regiment and division Ogorodnikov self-injured his left hand, he was exposed in the crime committed, for which he was tried by the military tribunal. [...]
On the basis of order No. 227, three army detachments were formed, each by 200 people. These units are fully armed with rifles, machine guns and light machine guns.
Heads of the detachments appointed operational officers of special departments.
The specified detachments and barracks on 7.8.42 were detained 363 people in parts and formations in the army, of which: 93 people. out of the environment, 146 - lagged behind their parts, 52 - lost their parts, 12 - came from captivity, 54 - fled from the battlefield, 2 - with questionable injuries.
As a result of a thorough check: 187 people were sent to their units, 43 - to the staffing department, 73 - to special camps of the NKVD, 27 - to penal companies, 2 - to a medical commission, 6 people. - arrested and, as stated above, 24 people. shot before the formation "
(Stalingrad epic: Materials of the NKVD of the USSR and military censorship from the Central Archive of the FSB of the Russian Federation. M., 2000. C.181-182).

In accordance with the order of NKO No. 227, as of 15 in October, 1942 of the 193 army barrage detachment was formed, including 16 on the Stalingrad Front (the discrepancy of this figure to the one quoted from the order of Lieutenant General Gordov was due to a change in the composition of the Stalingrad Front, which was derived armies) and 25 on the Don.

At the same time, from 1 August to 15 in October 1942, the 140755 troops were detained by frontier detachments who fled from the front line. 3980 people were arrested from among the detainees, 1189 people were shot, 2776 people were sent to punitive companies, 185 people were sent to battalions, and 131094 people were sent back to their units.

The largest number of detentions and arrests was made by the barrage detachments of the Don and Stalingrad fronts. On the Don Front, 36109 people were arrested, 736 people were arrested, 433 people were shot, 1056 people were sent to penal companies, 33 people were sent to their units and 32933 man’s transit points. 15649 people were detained on the Stalingrad front, 244 people were arrested, 278 people were shot, 218 people were sent to penal companies, 42 penal battalions were returned, and 14833 people were sent to their units.

During the defense of Stalingrad, barrage detachments played an important role in establishing order in the units and preventing unorganized withdrawal from occupied lines, and returning a significant number of troops to the front line.

So, 29 August 1942, the headquarters of the 29 th rifle division of the 64 th army of the Stalingrad Front was surrounded by enemy tanks that had broken through, part of the division, having lost control, retreated to the rear in panic. The detachment detachment under the command of State Security Lieutenant Filatov, taking decisive measures, stopped the soldiers in disorder and returned them to the previously occupied lines of defense. On another part of this division, the enemy was trying to break into the defense. The detachment joined the battle and delayed the advance of the enemy.

On September 14, the enemy launched an offensive against units of the 399 Rifle Division of the 62 Army. The fighters and commanders of the 396 and 472 rifle regiments began to withdraw in panic. The head of the detachment junior lieutenant of state security Elman ordered his detachment to open fire over the heads of the retreating forces. As a result, the personnel of these regiments was stopped and after two hours the regiments occupied the previous lines of defense.

20 September the Germans occupied the eastern outskirts of Melekhovskaya. The combined brigade under the onslaught of the enemy began unauthorized withdrawal. The actions of the detachment of the 47 Army of the Black Sea Group of Forces in the brigade brought order. The brigade occupied the former frontiers and, on the initiative of the political officer of the company of the same detachment Pestova, by joint actions with the brigade, the enemy was thrown back from Melekhovskaya.

At critical moments, barrage detachments engaged directly in battle with the enemy, successfully restraining his onslaught. So, September 13 The 112-Infantry Division, under pressure from the enemy, withdrew from the occupied line. The detachment of the 62 Army, under the leadership of the Chief of the Lieutenant of State Security Detachment Khlystov, took up defenses at the approaches to an important height. For four days, the soldiers and commanders of the detachment repelled the attacks of the enemy’s submachine-gunners, inflicting heavy losses on them. The detachment held the line until the approach of military units.

15-16 September, the detachment of the 62 Army was successfully fighting for two days against superior enemy forces in the area of ​​Stalingrad railway station. Despite its small number, the detachment not only fought off the attacks of the Germans, but also counterattacked, inflicting significant casualties on the enemy. The detachment left its line only when it was replaced by units of the 10 Infantry Division.

In addition to the army detachments created in accordance with Order No. XXUMX, during the Battle of Stalingrad there were reconstructed divisional battalions, as well as a small number of detachments under armies of special divisions and armies staffed by NKVD troops. At the same time, the army detachments and divisions battalions served as an obstacle service directly behind the combat formations of the units, avoiding panic and mass flight of servicemen from the battlefield, while guard divisions of special divisions and companies under special divisions of the armies were used to carry foreign detachments at the main communications divisions and armies for the purpose of detaining cowards, alarmists, deserters and other criminal elements hiding in the army and front lines.

However, in an environment where the very concept of the rear was very conditional, this “division of labor” was often violated. So, October 15 1942 of the year during fierce fighting in the area of ​​the Stalingrad Tractor Plant, the enemy managed to reach the Volga and cut off the remnants of the 62 th division, as well as the 112 th, 115 th and 124 individual from the main forces of the 149 army rifle brigades. At the same time, among the commanding officers there were repeated attempts to abandon their units and cross over to the eastern bank of the Volga. Under these conditions, to combat cowards and alarmists, a special unit of the 62 Army was created by a task force under the leadership of senior security officer Ignatenko of State Security. Combining the remnants of special squad divisions with the personnel of the 3-th army frontier detachment, she did an exceptionally great job of establishing order, detaining deserters, cowards and alarmists who tried to cross to the left bank of the Volga under various pretexts. During 15 days, the operative group was detained and returned to the battlefield before 800 people of the rank and file and commanding personnel, and 15 servicemen, by order of special agencies, were shot before the formation.

The memorandum of the Special Department of the NKVD of the Don Front, dated 17 in February of 1943, to the Office of Special Departments of the NKVD of the USSR “On the work of special agencies in fighting cowards and alarmists in parts of the Don Front for the period from 1 in October 1942 of the year to 1 in February 1943 of the year” gives a number of examples of actions barrage detachments:

“In the fight against cowards, alarmists and the restoration of order in the units that showed instability in the battles with the enemy, army detachments and battalions of divisions played an extremely important role.
So, on October 2 1942, during the offensive of our troops, separate units of the 138 divisions, met by the enemy’s powerful artillery and mortar fire, broke and ran backward through the 1 battalion of the 706 SP battalion, 204 SD, which were in the second echelon.
The measures taken by the command and detachment division of the division have been restored. 7 panties and panickers were shot in front of the line, and the rest returned to the front line.
16 October 1942 of the year, during a counter-attack by the enemy, a group of Red Army 781 and 124 divisions, the number of 30 people, showed cowardice and in panic began to flee from the battlefield, dragging other servicemen along.
Located on this site army detachment 21 army, by force weapons eliminated panic and restored the previous situation.
19 November 1942 of the year, in the period of the onset of parts of the 293 page of the division, with a counterattack of the enemy, two mortar platoon 1306 joint ventures with platoon commanders, ml. Lieutenants Bogatyryov and Egorov, without an order from the command, left the occupied line and, in panic, throwing their weapons, they began to flee from the battlefield.
The platoon of machine gunners of the army detachment who was on this site stopped the fleeing soldiers and, after shooting two alarmist men in front of the line, returned the others to their former lines, after which they successfully moved forward.
20 November 1942 of the year, during a counterattack of the enemy, one of the 38 companies' mouths of the division page, which was at its height, did not resist the enemy, without a command order, began to randomly depart from the occupied area.
The 83 detachment of the 64 army, serving as an obstacle service directly behind the combat orders of the 38 SD units, stopped the running company in panic and returned it back to the previously occupied section of height, after which the personnel of the company showed exceptional endurance and perseverance in battles with the enemy ”(Stalingrad epic. .. C.409-410).

End of the road

After the defeat of the Nazi troops at Stalingrad and the victory at Kursk in the war, a turning point came. Strategic initiative passed to the Red Army. In this situation, barrage detachments lost their former importance. 25 August 1944, Major General A. Lobachev, Head of the Political Directorate of the 3 of the Baltic Front, sent Colonel-General Shcherbakov, Chief of the Main Political Directorate of the Red Army, with a report “On the shortcomings of the activities of the detachments of the front’s troops”:

“According to my assignment, employees of the PU front in August inspected the activity of six detachments (total 8 detachments).
As a result of this work installed:
1. The detachments do not perform their direct functions, established by order of the People's Commissar of Defense. Most of the personnel of the detachments used to protect the headquarters of the army, the protection of communication lines, roads, combing forests, etc. The activity of the 7-th detachment of the 54-th army is characteristic in this respect. According to the list in the squad consists 124 people. They are used as follows: the 1 th automatic platoon guards the 2 th echelon of the army headquarters; The 2 th automatic platoon is assigned to 111 ck with the task of guarding the lines of communication from the corps to the army; shooting platoon assigned 7 ck with the same task; a machine gun platoon is in reserve for the detachment commander; 9 people work in the departments of the army headquarters, including the platoon commander st. Lieutenant GONCHAR is the commandant of the army rear management; the remaining 37 people are used at the detachment headquarters. Thus, the 7-th detachment is completely not engaged in foreign service. The same situation in other detachments (5, 6, 153, 21, 50)
In the 5-th detachment of the 54-th army from 189 people. State only 90 people. bear guard KP army and foreign service, and the remaining 99 people. used in various jobs: 41 people. - on service of the administrative staff of the army as cooks, shoemakers, tailors, storekeepers, clerks, etc .; 12 people - in the departments of the army headquarters as liaisons and orderlies; 5 people - At the disposal of the commandant of staff and 41 people. service headquarters detachment.
In the 6-m detachment of 169 people. 90 fighters and sergeants are used to protect KP and communication lines, and the rest are on economic work.
2. In a number of detachments, staffs have become extremely swollen. Instead of the state 15 people. officers, sergeants and privates of the headquarters of the 5-th frontier detachment consists of 41 people; 7 of the second detachment - 37 people., 6 of the third detachment - 30 people., 153 of the second detachment - 30 people. etc.
3. Army headquarters do not exercise control over the activities of the detachments, left them to themselves, reduced the role of detachments to the position of ordinary commandant companies. Meanwhile, the personnel of the detachments was selected from the best, proven fighters and sergeants, participants in many fights awarded orders and medals of the Soviet Union. In the 21-th detachment of the 67-th army from 199 people. 75% of participants of fights, many of them are awarded. In the 50, the detachment awarded 52 people for combat service.
4. The lack of control on the part of staffs led to the fact that in most of the detachments the military discipline is at a low level, people disbanded. Over the past three months in the 6 detachment for gross violations of military discipline imposed on the soldiers and sergeants 30 penalties. No better in other units ...
5. Political departments and deputy. the political headquarters of the army headquarters for the political part forgot about the existence of detachments, do not lead the party political work ...
15.8 reported on the shortcomings in the activities of the detachments XNUMX to the Front Military Council. At the same time, the heads of the political departments of the armies gave instructions on the need for a radical improvement of party political and educational work in the frontier detachments; revitalizing the inner-party activities of party organizations, strengthening work with party and Komsomol activists, conducting lectures and reports for personnel, and improving the cultural services for fighters, sergeants, and officers of detachments.
Conclusion: Most of the detachments do not perform the tasks defined by the order of the People's Commissar of Defense No. XXUMX. The protection of headquarters, roads, communication lines, the performance of various chores and assignments, the maintenance of commanders and commanders, and the supervision of internal order in the rear of the army are by no means part of the functions of the detachments of the front forces.
I consider it necessary to put the question before the People’s Commissar of Defense about reorganizing or disbanding detachments as having lost their assignment in the present situation ”(Military history magazine. 1988. No. XXUMX. С.8-79).

Two months later, the order issued by Commissar of Defense JV Stalin No. 0349 of October 29 of 1944 of the year “On the disbandment of individual protective units” was issued:

“Due to the change in the general situation on the fronts, the need for further maintenance of the barrage detachments has disappeared.
I order:
1. Separate defensive squads to 13 November 1944 year disband.
The personnel of the disbanded units used to replenish rifle divisions.
2. On the disbanding of the barrage units to be brought to 20 in November 1944 of the year ”(Ibid. S.80).

So, defensive squads detained deserters and a suspicious element in the rear of the front, stopped retreating troops. In a critical situation, they themselves often engaged in battle with the Germans, and when the military situation changed in our favor, they began to perform the functions of curfew companies. In carrying out their direct tasks, the detachment could open fire above the heads of the fleeing units or shoot cowards and alarmists in front of the ranks - but certainly on an individual basis. However, none of the researchers have yet been able to find in the archives of a single fact, which would confirm that the barrage detachments shot to kill at their troops.

Such cases are not given in the memoirs of the front-line soldiers.

For example, in the “Military History Magazine,” an article by Hero of the Soviet Union, General of the Army, PN Lashchenko, reads:

“Yes, there were barrage detachments. But I do not know if any of them would shoot at their own people, at least in our sector of the front. Already, I requested archival documents on this subject; there were no such documents. The detachments were located at a distance from the front line, covered the troops from the rear from the saboteurs and the enemy assault, detained deserters, who, unfortunately, were; brought order to the crossings, sent soldiers who had strayed from their units to assembly points.
I will say more, the front received replenishment, of course, not fired, as they say, not smelling powder, and protective detachments consisting exclusively of soldiers already fired, the most persistent and courageous, were like a reliable and strong shoulder of the elder. It often happened that the detachments found themselves face to face with the same German tanks, chains of German machine gunners and suffered heavy losses in battles. This fact is irrefutable. ”

Almost the same words described the activities of detachments in the newspaper "Vladimirskie Vedomosti" the holder of the Order of Alexander Nevsky A.G.Efremov:

“Indeed, such detachments were displayed at the menacing sites. These people are not some fiends, but ordinary fighters and commanders. They played two roles. First of all, they were preparing a defensive line so that the retreating could gain a foothold on it. Secondly, they stopped panicking. When the turning point came during the war, I did not see these detachments anymore. ”

If you want this kind of memories, you can bring more than a dozen, but also given along with the documents is enough to understand what the defensive squads really were.
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