Andrei Ivanovich Eremenko ... We know and honor this commander as a hero of the Great Patriotic War, as one of the heroes of Stalingrad. He is the only commander whom Stalin visited at the hospital after being wounded. Marshal Eremenko’s fame is well-deserved, although his firm hands were a little afraid, as well as verbal directness.
Much less known is the combat path of Andrei Eremenko during the First World War. Probably, this is logical: in those years he did not play the first roles in the fate of the army and the Fatherland, modestly pulled a soldier's shoulder strap. But the determination of the young Eremenko is amazing even with a cursory retelling of the facts of his biography. Of course, his exploits of 1910's are difficult to rank with the Stalingrad victory. But it was precisely in the battles of the First World War that the commanding character was tempered.
The future Marshal of the Soviet Union 2 was born on October 1892 of the year, in the village of Markovka, Kharkiv Province, in a peasant family. In our time, this village belongs to the Luhansk region. That is, he was born in the New Russia itself, lived for a while in the city that Grigory Potemkin founded - in Yekaterinoslav. His father - a hereditary peasant and soldier - fought against the Japanese, returned from the war wounded, soon died. At fourteen, Andrew becomes the head of the family, working as a shepherd and groom. Behind his back are four classes of the Zemstvo school and no hope of continuing education. The main features of Eremenko in childhood are courage and inquisitiveness. He will keep them in future years.
Andrei Eremenko is one of those whose military plan began with the first volley of the First World War. There he was formed as a soldier and commander. There made a choice for life. There he received his first wounds - and by the end of his life many wounds had accumulated. Scars are known to adorn the brave.
When military marches began to sound, and the Russian soldiers went to defend the Fatherland from the German-Austrian divisions - Andrei Ivanovich was already twenty. Shoulder, sharp-witted guy sought military service.
The scale of mobilization, the level of armaments, the provision of the army in the first days were amazing: of such magnitude история dont know. It was believed that very soon the Russian army would reject the Germans and Austrians, give freedom to the Slavic peoples, gain control over the straits, and return Constantinople to the Orthodox Greeks ... Eremenko experienced a patriotic upsurge, although he appreciated the fighting qualities of the enemy, he showed the first battles. The war turned out to be worse than it seemed to our "miracle heroes" ...
Eremenko went to war readily, perhaps with a feeling of finest hour. Comrades on arms immediately noticed his zeal and, as usual, friendly podnachivali him - the favorite officers of the 168-th Mirgorod regiment. Some considered him an ambitious campaigner. And he just from the first steps in military uniform decided to devote himself entirely to service. He did not look back at the past, did not ask the fate of indulgences. I was looking for tests, I was ready to sacrifice myself. Even in conversations with his comrades, he showed savagery, such hussiness.
When his military uncle - the first non-commissioned officer - gave out the rookie Eremenko a satchel, he joked: "Well, lad, poke around at the bottom, you can find the marshal's baton there." Eremenko took these words with all seriousness, and began to sort through the contents of the pack in search of an unknown rod. The soldiers watching this scene laughed together. Andrew realized that he had fooled and looked unkindly at the laughter. It will take several weeks - and nobody will dare to tease him. And he remembered the joke of the noncom, all his life with undisguised pleasure, because it turned out to be prophetic.
Private Eremenko immediately saw the death, immediately drank soldier porridge full. In the first battle, the platoon commander dies. And Eremenko takes command of the platoon. Feels that he is able to lead the soldiers forward, to stand to the death.
It was a true baptism of fire. Many young soldiers were lost in fire and smoke, in this military unit. But Eremenko seemed born under a machine-gun chatter: nothing surprised him, nothing could knock him down. The prudent, strong soldier is one of those who do not drown in water and do not burn in fire. After the first campaign, patriotic courage dried up, many were disillusioned with the military service. And Eremenko in the army found himself. In the service he found food for the mind and heart. Soul lay to the military way of life, to discipline and accuracy, to the Spartan life, to the daily risk. Eremenko could subscribe to the lines of Denis Davydov: "I love a bloody battle." Reaching a high degree, he did not stop to risk himself, often found himself in the thick of battle, as evidenced by numerous injuries and contusions. In the heat of battle, he often did not notice wounds. Yeremenko liked to remember how in 1914, in hand-to-hand fighting, he destroyed more than ten opponents. Perhaps this was not without exaggeration - he knew how to fantasize in Hussars, but soldier Eremenko did terrify his enemies in a bayonet attack and in a deadly fight.
From August 14, he is on the South-Western Front. During the Battle of Galicia receives a heavy wound. Next - the infirmary, awards, and then the Moscow hospital. A brief respite in the frontline biography, first impressions of the White Stone. At the front, he returned a seasoned fighter, in the rank of corporal. He is sent to the 12 Infantry Regiment of the Third Infantry Division. The glorious Carpathian operation began. Eremenko distinguished himself during the siege of Przemysl.
He recalled his first battle as a marshal: “I remember, as it is now, a platoon under my command, by an agreed signal, rose in the attack at 9 in the morning. At first we moved at an accelerated pace, then ran. Unpleasant bullets sang and squealed shells. And now the attacking platoon with a shout of hurray in wicked rage burst into the enemy trench. Started melee. A terrible sight when the enemies thrust bayonets into each other. I do not remember how many dead Germans were on my account. The commander was to serve as an example for the soldiers, and I carried out this commandment. Russians were masters of bayonet fighting. In hand-to-hand we always won. So it was this time. But I was not lucky. In the third trench of the enemy, I was seriously wounded by a shot at close range, the bullet went through and hurt my lungs. 31 August Attack 1914 was remembered for a lifetime. ”
In the 1916 year, he was transferred to the Romanian front, in horse reconnaissance - a suitable duty station for the brave. On the chest - soldier George, and in his heart - the desire to take revenge on the enemy.
By the end of 1916, disarray began in the army, as well as in society. Soldier arbitrariness triumphed, officers were forced to maneuver between the groups of "propagandized" soldiers. This process can not be called obsession: there was a systemic failure, the empire could not stand the social tension of the war years. Yeremenko was interested in the proclamations of the socialists, and in 1917, he welcomed the February revolution. But he appealed skeptically to appeals. He intended to fight to the bitter end. The rivalry with the Germans and the Austrians was principled for him: the junior non-commissioned officer sought to prove his own primacy, the primacy of the Russian army. In the summer of 1917, he meets the program of the Bolsheviks. The construction program of the workers 'and peasants' state, in which the latter will be the first, attracted him. But the anti-war, defeatist rhetoric raised doubts. Eremenko could not calmly desert, if the enemy is not defeated, if he is still walking around Russia. And Russia was for him the whole space of the empire.
After the February Revolution, soldiers elect Andrei Eremenko to the regimental committee from the reconnaissance squadron. In battles he was distinguished by courage, was extremely initiative, he was able to communicate with officers on an equal footing, but he had features that could have aroused suspicions in those days.
He was loved by officers; among the soldiers, some considered the nonterra to be something like a strike-breaker. In addition, Yeremenko’s temper - a strong, purposeful personality - was quarrelsome, anyone could have a strong word “to stun.” He, the St. George Knight, was considered a proud man. Young soldiers were respected, but they were also afraid of him. When, after October, the Romanians tried to disarm the Russian units, Eremenko took power over the remnants of the regiment. Under his command, the fighters resist the Romanians in the winter and 1917 - 1918-st with the fighting make their way to Ukraine. He even managed to capture some trophies from the enemy: weapons, food. In a revolutionary confusion, the detachment collapsed, the soldiers went home.
Eremenko came to his homeland, but he was not going to lay down his arms. Russia left the Brest peace in the tragic atmosphere of disintegration. Skeptics did not doubt: Russia will lose the army and turn into fragments. But even then, front-line officers and soldiers such as Yeremenko were looking for ways to revive the army. Non-commissioned officer Eremenko did not wait for orders, just stitched where it had broken, just continued to perform soldier’s duty.
A unique case: after the Brest Peace Treaty, when the army was actually disbanded, the future marshal, a modest noncommissioned officer, gathered a partisan detachment of the same patriots as himself. They attacked the German and Austrian troops, snooping around Ukraine, and drove them. Armament also got from the enemy. For the partisans, Yeremenko was the father-commander, they continued to fight with him, joining the ranks of the Red Army. Such soldiers as Yeremenko did not allow the Germans to feel the spirit of victory even after the Peace of Brest. Not only short-lived, but also their triumph was incomplete.
By the end of the Great War, he had learned to act boldly and prudently, not afraid to take responsibility for the lives of soldiers. He didn’t just want to distinguish himself on the battlefield, Eremenko in 1917 dreamed of a higher military education, a career as a commander. The Soviet power was born - and Eremenko reasonably believed that with his working-peasant biography it would now be easier to reach for the academies. By the way, Eremenko will be serious about studying, he will not allow indulgences to himself.
"A characteristic feature in Comrade Eremenko’s combat style is that he was always close to the troops, was in the thick of the most difficult events and on the most important combat areas and sectors. He skillfully, with great strength of will and terrible persistence organized the troops to fight back the enemy and achieved success in this, despite the superiority of the enemy in the means ", - wrote about Eremenko Marshal Tymoshenko, a colleague and commander, when the noncommissioned German war had already become a Soviet army general.
Eremenko did not get along with Marshal Zhukov, he could not agree with the Zhukov interpretation of the Stalingrad battle. Many copies are broken around the conflict of two generals, two noncoms of the First World War.
Not having time to grow old, the marshal became a chronicler of wars. He wrote several books - from the commanders of the Great Patriotic War he became one of the first memoirists. Here are some editions: “To the west” (1959), “Against falsification of the history of the Second World War” (1960), “Stalingrad” (1961), “At the beginning of the war” (1965). Years of Retribution (1969), Remember the War (1971).
He loved literature, sincerely rejoiced that his daughter had become a philologist and a publicist. In those years, without exaggeration, the officers maintained the reputation of "the most reading country."
Most recently, a year or two ago, the publishers found the Eremenko diary entries. They became the most valuable source on the history of the beginning of the Second World War, on the history of the Great Patriotic War.
Vivid, emotional and sensible, very biased, subjective records. In his youth, he did not keep diaries, at least they were not preserved. But this book helps us to understand not only the general and marshal, but also soldier Eremenko. It helps to understand something in the psychology of a young man who has found himself in the flames of world war.
Marshal was in his fifties when he began to write poems - and solid, serious. He will devote a large poem to Stalingrad, but there are echoes of his first battles. In a few words, Marshal Eremenko expressed his motto, which he was faithful with from 1914:
And now my story is ready,
I do not expect any reward
I only calmed my conscience
I only fulfilled my duty.
Who owns Eremenko, his heroic fate - Russia or Ukraine? Yes, there was no difference for him, he loved Ukraine by sons, but as part of a large Russia, which he served without sparing his stomach.
"I only fulfilled my duty ..."
- Arseny Zastoyanov
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