What kind of troops were these?
In June 1941, the Border Troops of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs of the USSR were under the general command of L.P. Beria. They consisted of 18 border districts, which included 94 border detachments, 8 separate detachments of border ships, 23 separate border commandant's offices, 10 separate aviation squadrons and 2 cavalry regiments. Their total number was 168135 people, the naval units of the Border Troops had 11 patrol ships, 223 patrol boats and 180 raid and support boats (414 combat units in total), the aviation of the Border Troops had 129 aircraft.
On the eve of the war, taking general measures to repel a possible aggression, the USSR leadership increased the density of protection of the western part of the state border: from the Barents Sea to the Black Sea. This area was then guarded by 8-th border districts, which included 49 border patrols, 7 border guard detachments, 10 separate border commandants, and 3 separate air squadrons. Their total number was 87459 people, of which 80% of the personnel were directly on the state border, on the Soviet-German border - 40963 people. From the 1747 border posts guarding the state border of the Soviet Union, 715 outposts were on the western border of the country.
Organizationally, each border detachment consisted of 4 border commandant's offices, each had 4 line gates and 1-on reserve gates, a maneuverable group (border-group reserve of 4-x gates, total number of 200 - 250 border guards), junior high command - XNX man , headquarters, intelligence department, political agency and rear. All in all, the squad had up 100 bayonets. Each frontier detachment guarded the land portion of the border with a length of up to 2000 kilometers, on the coast - up to 180 km.
Border outposts were part of border commandant's offices - border guards on 4. The border commandant's office, as part of the border detachment, provided protection for the border in the area up to 50 km and was engaged in the direct management of the border guards. The commandant of the border commandant's office was a combat reserve - a backup outpost of 42 frontier guards, in its arsenal there were 2 machine guns, 4 light machine guns, 34 rifles. Reserve outpost had increased ammunition, trucks or 2 - 3 parokonnyh carts.
The staff strength of the border posts in June 1941 was from 42 to 64 person, depending on the specific conditions of the territory and other conditions of the situation. The composition of the outpost in the 42 border guard: the head of the frontier post and his deputy, foreman and 4 squad leader, the rest of the ordinary border guards. It was armed with: 1-n Max machine gun, 3-ri of Degtyarev light machine gun and 37-m five-shot rifles of the model 1891 / 30 of the year; the ammunition of the frontier guard consisted of: 7,62 mm caliber cartridges - 200 pieces per rifle and 1600 cartridges per Degtyaryov light machine gun, 2400 pieces per heavy machine gun, RGD hand grenades - 4 units per each fighter and 10 anti-tank grenades per Nahr-gangs for each fighter and a gland of a number of gimballers in the form of a grief of the giants.
The composition of the border guard post numbering 64 border guard: the head of the outpost and two deputies, 1-n and foreman 7 branch commanders. The armament of the outpost: 2-va Maxim machine gun, 4-re light machine gun Degtyarev and 56 rifles. Accordingly, the amount of ammunition was greater than in the outpost with 42 fighters. At the direction of the head of the frontier detachment at the frontier posts, where the most threatened situation developed, the quantity of ammunition was increased by one and a half, but subsequent developments showed that this ammunition was only enough for 1 - 2 of the defense day. The telephone was the technical means of communication of the border post. The vehicle outposts were 2-ve paroknyh carts.
In April, 1941 of the border districts on the western frontier of the Soviet Union began to receive company mortars and submachine guns: 50 mm mortar units arrived - 357 units, 3517 units of Degtyarev submachine guns and 18 first anti-tank guns.
Each frontier guard round the clock guarded the permanent section of the state border with a length of 6 - 8 km, depending on the specific conditions of the situation, area. As a result, it is clear that the composition and armament of the frontier guard allowed it to successfully fight single border intruders, sabotage and reconnaissance groups and small enemy units (from the squadron to the 2-x infantry company platoons). Nevertheless, the frontier troops were able to adequately confront the Wehrmacht troops, much larger than they were in numbers and armaments, adding one more heroic page to history our homeland.
It should also be noted that the border troops were brought to full alert 21 June. They were distinguished by high combat effectiveness due to their service - danger could be threatened every day, in fact they were an elite part of the Armed Forces of the USSR.
Watch the Soviet border guards. Last Peace Days, June 1941
The outbreak of war
The first to discover the enemy and join the battle were the border guards who were in the service. Using pre-prepared firing positions, as well as natural shelters, the outfits entered the battle with the enemy and thereby gave a signal of danger to the outposts. Many of the soldiers died in the first battle, and the survivors moved to the fortifications of the outposts and joined in the defensive operations. In the strip where the main Wehrmacht strike groups were advancing, their advanced enemy units were mainly tank and motorized units, which due to their complete superiority in numbers and weapons, could overcome the resistance of outposts relatively quickly - 1-2 hours. In addition, usually the main units did not stop, but moved on, the outpost, if it was not possible to take it down immediately, was blocked by small forces, then they suppressed the resistance with fire, and finished off the survivors. Sometimes it was necessary to finish off the last fighters who sat in the basements, with the help of sappers, undermining landmines.
The outposts, which were not at the point of the main attack, lasted longer, beating off enemy infantry with machine guns and rifles, sustaining shelling and airstrikes. The reserves of commandant's offices and border guard detachments, in fights almost without participating, they usually fought already in the ranks of the Red Army units, participated in the destruction of enemy landings, sabotage and reconnaissance detachments of the enemy, or died in a fight with them. Some were defeated during the movement to the outposts, bumping into the advancing Wehrmacht columns. But one should not think that all the frontier guards were killed in fierce battles, some outposts received orders to withdraw, frontier guards along with units of the Red Army, continued to fight and participated in the victory over the enemy, in restoring the borders of the USSR.
Among the irretrievable losses of border guards in the battles in June 1941, more than 90% were in the category of so-called. “Missing”. Their death was not in vain, it was justified by the fact that, by dying with whole outposts, they won time to reach the defensive positions of the Red Army border guard units, and the cover troops, in turn, ensured the deployment of the main forces and armies for their further actions. Already at the beginning of the war, the “blitzkrieg” “stumbled” about the Border Troops of the NKVD of the USSR.
Examples of fights of frontier guards
- The 12 frontier detachment of the NKVD troops, at the beginning of the war, consisted of 1190 manpower, and defended the border on the Baltic coast from Cape Kolka to Palanga. On 6.25 in the morning of June 22, the 25-I frontier post was attacked by the advanced units of the Wehrmacht 291 Infantry Division. The frontier posts were withdrawn from their positions to Rutsavu, where the headquarters of the 5 commandant's office and the 5-i reserve outpost were located. In Rutsava, platoons and companies were formed. By 13.30 22 June, the consolidated frontier unit took up defensive positions in the Rutsava area. In 15.30, an enemy division reconnaissance of 14 motorcyclists appeared in front of the border guard defense area, they were let into location and destroyed. In 16.20, the enemy's 2 reconnaissance group, which already included 30 motorcyclists, appeared; it was also destroyed. In 17.30, an enemy convoy with a force up to the 1 Infantry Battalion approached the border guard area. The border guards also managed to take it by surprise - under the fire of the border guards, the enemy did not even turn around in order of battle and immediately ran. From the rear hit the reserve platoon of border guards, ended up in a fierce battle, which escalated into a melee, the enemy forces were destroyed. The losses of the Germans were more than 250 people, it was captured - 45 motorcycles, 6 machine guns and 12 light machine guns, many more weapons. In 20.30 the Wehrmacht took into account the mistakes and threw an infantry battalion into battle, reinforced by a company of armored personnel carriers and the defense of the border guards, was broken, they retreated to the area of the railway station Pape, and then, after 2's battle hours, to the area of the town of Nitsa. In 14.30 23 June, the remnants of the detachment were again attacked and surrounded in the area of Bernashi, where everyone laid down in the last battle.
The other, most of the squad, including its headquarters, was surrounded, along with part of the 67 th infantry division, in Libau. On June 10, the border guards, along with the 25 rifle regiment, tried to break out of the encirclement, but failed. As a result, only 114 frontier guards could break through from the Libavsk entourage.
- 22 June 1941 of the year, after artillery attacks, the enemy tried to organize numerous crossings from the territory of Romania across border rivers, in order to capture bridges and bridgeheads, to develop further offensive. But the enemy everywhere was met by well-organized fire by border guards. The frontier guards everywhere were supported by artillery fire and the help of the personnel of companies and battalions of the Red Army cover forces. The advancing advance units of the German, Romanian and Hungarian troops suffered heavy casualties and they retreated to their original positions. The main battles took place near the railway and highway bridges across the Prut River, as a result, in order to prevent them from falling into the hands of the enemy, they were destroyed.
An interesting feature of the situation on this section of the front of the outbreak of World War II was the conduct of not only defensive but also successful offensive operations of the Soviet troops with the landing of assault forces on the territory of Romania. The 23-25 of June, the fighters-border guards of the Izmail detachment, along with a detachment of border ships that guarded the state border of the Soviet Union along the Danube River, carried out successful landings on Romanian territory. They were supported by units of the 51 Infantry Division. After the first successful actions, the Military Council and the Commander of the 9 Army Cherevichenko decided to carry out a large landing operation with the seizure of the Romanian city of Kiliya Vek. There were located artillery batteries, which interfered with the actions of the Soviet ships on the Danube. The command of the landing force was headed by a sailor-border guard, Captain-Lieutenant Kubyshkin I. K.
On the night of 26 on June 1941, border ships of the Black Sea detachment landed troops from border guard units, along with units of the 23 rifle regiment 51 rifle division, they attacked the positions of the Romanian army. Romanians fiercely resisted, but by 10 o'clock in the morning the paratroopers captured the bridgehead to the width of 4 km and depth to 3 km, defeating the Romanian infantry battalion, the frontier post and eliminating the artillery division. During June 27, the enemy almost continuously attacked our landing force, but the Soviet soldiers, supported by the artillery of the border ships, successfully repelled these attacks. This allowed the command to withdraw the Soviet military, transport and passenger ships and vessels located on the Danube from under enemy fire, the possibility of being captured by the enemy was excluded. On the night of June 28 by order of the army command, the Soviet landing force was successfully returned to its shore.
25 June 1941 was issued a special decree of the Council of People's Commissars (SNK) of the Soviet Union, according to which the NKVD troops were given the task of guarding the rear of the active army. 2 July 1941, all border units, units that were under the operational control of the combined arms command throughout the Soviet-German front, switched to the implementation of new combat missions. Having joined the ranks of the Red Army, along with it, the border guards carried the brunt of the fight against the German invaders, their main tasks were: fighting enemy intelligence agents, guarding the rear of fronts and saboteurs, destroying broken groups, remnants of surrounded enemy groups. The border guards everywhere showed heroism, ingenuity, resilience, courage and selfless devotion to their Soviet homeland. Honor and praise them!
The photo is sitting to the left of the machine gun "Maxim" in the list Ivan A. Kichigin. Passed the whole war.