Alive and dead of Buynich field
These events, perhaps, would not have become widely known in the turmoil of the first months of the war, but it so happened that a correspondent of the front-line newspaper Konstantin Simonov, a beginner but already a well-known writer, turned out to be in Mogilev at that moment. On July 13, he visited the battlefield, the 388 th regiment of the 172 Infantry Division, and what he saw there, so struck him and the people, fighters and commanders of the Red Army that he met there so impressed that he could not write about it. And his essay "Hot Day" about the battle near the Belarusian village of Buinichi was published in the newspaper Izvestia on July 20 of the year 1941.
In the future, the fate of the writer Simonov was a big war, there was a great literature, but the main thing his work - the novel "The Living and the Dead" - he dedicated to the defenders of the Buynich field, their fate, suffering, their life and death. Now, in the year of the 100 anniversary of the birth of Konstantin Mikhailovich Simonov, it is impossible not to recall the fate of his characters, with which the writer himself voluntarily linked his posthumous fate ...
September 2 A sad and solemn ceremony took place on the Buinichsky field near Mogilyov on September. Several people of the relatives and friends of 1979 who died in Moscow in August, the famous writer Konstantin Mikhailovich Simonov, carried an urn with the ashes of the writer onto the field and, fulfilling his will, dispelled his ashes over this field.
So he found his eternal rest in the land of Belarus one of the most amazing creators of the great literature about the Great Patriotic War, the bloodiest war in stories of humanity. Before telling what the writer associated with this field, it should be noted that Konstantin Simonov was born (and was given the name Cyril at birth, and why he refused him, I will say below), by a strange coincidence, also 28 number, November month 1915 year in Petrograd. In the current 2015 year he marks 100 years ... His mother Alexandra Leonidovna was born princess Obolenskaya, and the princes Obolensky come from Kaluga edges, exists there, not far from Tarusa, and now the village Obolensky is a former ancient Russian fortress city of Obolensk, which was abolished then for the lack of people Empress Catherine II. The father of the future writer was Major General Mikhail Agafangelovich Simonov of the Russian Imperial Army, also from Kaluga nobles.
The First World War was going on, and Mikhail Agafangelovich didn’t even have to see his son, he was at the front when his child was born, and then the revolution broke out, and the traces of the general are lost. It is only known that in 1922, he ended up in Poland, in emigration, from where he wrote his, by that time already former, wife, so that she would come to him with his son, but ... Alexandra Leonidovna was already married to Alexander Ivanovich for the second marriage , commander of the Red Army, and lived in Ryazan. She did not want to return to her first husband, he was 19 older than her, and apparently there were other reasons that history is silent about. In general, Simonov himself rarely recalled his own father. Maybe because he took part in the white movement and, like many of the former White Guards, took refuge in Poland? .. The question remains unanswered. Sources about this silent. But, apparently, it was already written for the clan Simonov all his life to be involved in the affairs of the army, and if one did not become a military man, then, in any case, glorify the people of this profession in his works. We can say that "the profession - to defend one's homeland" has become the main theme in the work of Konstantin Mikhailovich Simonov.
All his childhood was spent in military towns and garrisons, on which the Ivanishev family roamed. Kirill Simonov began working as a student of a turner in Saratov and, having earned a work experience, he entered the Litvin Institute of Literature. A.M. Gorky in Moscow. He began as a poet, but he rarely read his poems in public — there was a congenital defect: he did not pronounce the letters “p” and “l.” As a result, the name Cyril for him was difficult to pronounce.
He chose the name Constantine, first as a literary pseudonym, and then it became his official name. And how accurately he chose a name for himself! Konstantin, in Russian - permanent.
A reader who is well versed in the work of this remarkable writer will, of course, pay attention to the immutability, the constancy of his moral and ethical attitudes, the unfailing commitment of the artist to the images of people who are strong, strong-willed, honest and truthful. Patriots in all their inner convictions and actions. They, these often modest workers and warriors, became the protagonists of the works of Konstantin Simonov. That was the era, and the writer's pen corresponded to it. After graduating from the Literary Institute, Simonov studies in the graduate school of the Institute of Philosophy, Literature and Art in Moscow, but leaves a quiet life in the capital for the complete danger of the fate of a war correspondent. Khalkhin-Gol 1939 of the year was a defining moment for his work. Since then, the topic "comrades on arms"will never leave the writer's creative workshop. This will be the name of his first novel, published in 1952 year. But before that, there will be the Great Patriotic War, there will be the Buynichskoye field in Belarus, which will deeply repay him and leave an indelible trace in his soul a lifetime wound. It was there, in this field, at the beginning of July 1941, that the war correspondent of the front-line newspaper, Simonov, truly learns the price of life and death, he will visit the hell of bloody carnage and comprehend the heights of the human spirit. with these people, neither in life nor after death. They will become his blood brothers forever, and therefore he will leave a testament - after his death, dispel his dust over this battle-field, which will be done by his loved ones. He will forever remain with his "living and dead comrades in arms, with those who were not born soldiers, but remained them forever.
Who were they - the warriors of Buynichsky field?
172-rifle division was formed in the Tula region, having its headquarters in the city of Stalinogorsk (now Novomoskovsk), but the regiments of this division were scattered throughout the Tula region. The division was staffed mainly by Tula and residents of the area. Before the Finnish War (autumn 1939), the division was replenished with recruits from the eastern districts of the Moscow Region. I came to serve in this division, in the 388 th infantry regiment, stationed in the city of Efremov, and my grandfather, Lieutenant Boris Yevdokimovich Zotov. He was not a professional soldier, but had a very peaceful profession — he was a forester in the Korobovsky (now Shatura) district of the Moscow Region.
He himself was from Penza, but during the Civil War his parents died of hunger, and he was among the street children who were millions in Russia in those years. However, my grandfather was obviously a man of uncommon abilities, he managed to learn and get into people. First, he graduated from the Forest Management School in Penza, and after that he managed to enter and graduate from 1936, the famous Forestry Academy in Leningrad, one of the oldest educational institutions of this profile in our country. Those readers who know Leonid Leonov’s novel “Russian Forest” know a lot from the life of this illustrious educational institution.
Not long my grandfather had to work as a district forester in the Moscow region, only three years old - from 1936 to 1939 a year. Further, before the Finnish War, he was drafted into the ranks of the Red Army, but during this time he managed to start a family, and by the beginning of World War II he already had three children. His last child, Valentina, my aunt, was born 3 on May 1941, and at that time my grandfather served as adjutant to the commander of the 388 regiment, Semen Fedorovich Kutepov in the city of Efremov. He was expecting the arrival of his wife, my grandmother, Olga Vasilyevna Zotova, with all the children to him in Yefremov just 22 June 1941 of the year ... The whole family sat on suitcases in the village Cherusti of the Moscow region, where my mother’s grandmother lived and where Olga Vasilyevna left to give birth to the third your child. Now she was going to return to her husband. But before Molotov spoke about the perfidious attack of fascist Germany on the Soviet Union, they brought a telegram from her husband, in which my grandfather informed his wife that they did not need to go anywhere, that their regiment had been alarmed and loaded into echelons. War…
Lieutenant Boris Evdokimovich Zotov will never see his newborn daughter in his life ...
4 July 1941 of the year The 172th Infantry Division, which was part of the 61 Infantry Corps of the 13 Army, began to turn around and take up defensive positions in the area of Mogilev, on the so-called “Dnieper Rim”. According to the plan of the Soviet command, the Dnieper frontier was to become the first frontier, where the advancing enemy would be stopped and, finally, the impetuous movement of the German armored divisions, striving for the heart of Russia, towards Moscow, would be interrupted. The 388 th regiment took up a position in the Buynichsky field, south-east of Mogilev, near the Belarusian village of Buinichi. The headquarters of the 172 Infantry Division itself was located in Mogilev. It was there that front correspondent Konstantin Simonov came to meet with the commander of this division, Major General Mikhail Timofeevich Romanov, but did not find him in the headquarters, but found out from the division's commissar Leonty Konstantinovich Chernichenko that it was better the 388 th regiment, located near the village of Buinichi, is fighting in the division; this regiment stopped the advance of Guderian’s 46 mechanized corps and burned 39 German tanks in one battle on the eve of the arrival of correspondents.
For the start of the war this fact was amazing. Up to this point, the German tank attack groups easily broke through our unorganized defenses, thrust into the positions of the Soviet troops, took wide sections of the notorious “ticks” into the surroundings of significant groups of our army, brought disorganization and chaos, did not allow our troops to gain a foothold on the defensive lines.
This was the reason for the rapid advance of the Wehrmacht into the depths of our territory in the first weeks of the war. But for the first time since the beginning of the war, this was the end of the Buynichsky field.
The shock group of Guderian steadily moved to Mogilyov, seeking to seize this important city, the junction of roads and railways, where the center of the entire defense of the famous "Dnepr frontier" was. Geographically, Mogilev was in the center of the entire vast Soviet-German western front, stretching from the Baltic in the north to the Black Sea in the south. The strategic importance of this item has been known for a long time. It was not for nothing that in the World War I it was in Mogilev that the Supreme Headquarters was situated, which then was the emperor Nicholas II himself. Of course, the capture of this important defense center in the first days of July, 1941, would have cleared a wide path to Moscow before the advancing enemy, because further on the way to the capital there were no such significant water obstacles as the Dnieper River. In that case, as early as August, the fascist tank armada could be near Moscow ... But General Romanov's 172 Infantry Division, along with the entire 61 Infantry Corps, took Mogilyov under the protection, and in the westernmost sector of the defense, in Buynichsky field, and was 388 th Infantry Regiment of Colonel Kutepova. Konstantin Simonov went there to see with his own gas the broken German tanks, which had only recently been brazenly rushing towards Mogilev.
The readers of the famous novel “The Living and the Dead”, of course, remember the image of the stern warrior Colonel Serpilin, whom the hero of the novel met with the warlord Sintsov at the front line. This image is not fictional. 13 July 1941, when the correspondent Simonov and photojournalist Troshkin arrived late at night, almost at night, in the 388-th regiment, they were met by a man who immediately struck Simonov to the depths of the soul. This was the regimental commander Semen Fedorovich Kutepov. Here is how Simonov describes this meeting on the pages of his diary "Different Days of War."
"... A very tall man rose from the trench and asked who we were. We said that the correspondents. It was so dark that it was impossible to see the faces.
- what are the correspondents? He shouted. - What correspondents can be here at two in the morning? Who comes to me at two in the morning? Who sent you? So I will put you on the ground now, and you will lie until dawn. I do not know your personalities.
We said that the division commissioner sent us to him.
“But I’ll put you before dawn and report to the Commissioner in the morning so that he doesn’t send me strangers at night to the regiment’s location.”
At first, the bereaved attorney finally cast a voice:
- Comrade Colonel, this is me, Mironov, from the political department of the division. Well you know me.
“Yes, I know you,” said the colonel. - I know. Only therefore I will not put them until dawn. Judge for yourself - suddenly he softened, he turned to us. - Judge for yourself, comrades correspondents. Do you know what the situation is? You have to be strict. I'm already tired of the fact that there are all saboteurs, saboteurs. I do not wish that even the rumor was about saboteurs in the location of my regiment. I do not recognize them. If guarding is right, there can be no saboteurs. Welcome to the dugout, there your documents will be checked, and then we'll talk.
After we checked our documents in the dugout, we went out again. The night was cold. Even when the colonel spoke to us in an angry voice, there was something attractive in his manner of speaking. And now he finally replaced anger with mercy and began to tell us about the battle that had just ended, in which he and his regiment destroyed thirty-nine German tanks. He told about it with boyish enthusiasm:
- They say: tanks, tanks. And we beat them. Yes! And we will beat. See yourself in the morning. I have twenty kilometers of trenches and passages dug up. That's for sure.
If the infantry decided not to leave and dug in, then no tanks can do anything with it, you can believe me. Tomorrow, probably, they will repeat the same thing. And we repeat the same thing.
See for yourself. Here is one, please. - He pointed to a dark spot, seen two hundred meters from his command post. - That's where their tank stands. That's where I got it, but still nothing came of it.
For about an hour, he talked about how difficult it was to keep the morale in the regiment, to prevent him from coming to a loose state when his regiment saddled this highway, and within ten days hundreds and thousands of encircled soldiers passed from the west to the east - who was armed who without weapons. Passing them to the rear, it was necessary not to let the morale of the regiment, in front of which there were thousands of people, fall.
“They didn't give anything,” he concluded. “Yesterday’s fight is proof of that.” Go to bed here, right next to the trench. If the machine gun fire, sleep. And if the artillery starts to beat, then you are welcome down to the trenches. Or to my dugout. And I'll go around the posts. Excuse me".
So in the life of Simonov, this amazing man appeared, whom he would later call Serpilin on the pages of his novel, but unfortunately he would not mention his adjutant with a word. It is strange, because someone checked his correspondent documents in the commanding dugout, someone carried out the instructions of the regiment commander and drove the correspondents on the location of the unit. But it is easy to explain the then state of the journalist Simonov, who first came to the real battlefield of the Great Patriotic War: at the time of his short stay at the front line, all his thoughts and feelings were directed not at the particular, but at the battlefield itself, at the near confrontation line with the enemy , while still little studied, mysterious ... On these tanks, which were scattered lined throughout the Buynich field. This was reflected, by the way, later on in the pages of the novel, when Sintsov tells Serpilin that he wants to remain in his regiment not as a visiting correspondent, but as a fighter, really fighting with the enemy.
I don’t know if such thoughts took possession of Simonov himself, when he was in the Kutepov regiment’s location, he wished, as his hero, to forget about his correspondence and take up arms to fight the invaders, but I think they did.
And isn't it the roots of that testament of Konstantin Mikhailovich himself, in which he ordered to disperse his ashes over this field, in order to stay forever with the people who fought here before his eyes and whom he forcedly left, fulfilling his journalistic duty.
Perhaps this missed opportunity to stay and fight with them in July 41, and even die, sacrificing themselves, as they died, this lost opportunity lived in him for the rest of his life and was realized by him in the fate of his hero, correspondent Sintsov. Most likely, it was just like that.
But this desire to “correct” the fate of people dear to him and led to the fact that in the novel “The Living and the Dead” Colonel Serpilin remains alive, taking the remnants of his regiment out of difficult surroundings. But in fact, the fate of the real Colonel Kutepov was tragic. When, after a three-week battle, the 172-Infantry Division, defending Mogilyov, was completely surrounded, as the German-fascist troops managed to cross the Dnieper and north and south of Mogilyov and take this city into the ring, then the commander of this heroic division, which during almost monthly battles did not move from their positions near Mogilyov and on the Buinichsky field repelled all the frontal attacks of the Nazis, General Romanov decided to break through parts of the division from surrounded Mogilyov in different directions, since and the units of this division themselves were separated and fought virtually apart. But it was especially hard for Kutepov's regiment, since he was on the westernmost line of defense, eight kilometers from the Dnieper, and he had to break through with the battle to the Dnieper, then with the battle to the left bank. And in the future to leave the environment independently, in isolation from the main forces of the division.
But what is most surprising is that this truly immortal regiment managed to achieve such a breakthrough! With heavy losses, the remnants of the 388 Infantry Regiment, having traveled an incredibly hard road through the enemy’s rear, entered the connection with the main forces of our troops in the Smolensk region, having done, in fact, the entire path that is described in Simonov’s novel Living and the Dead. But Colonel Kutepov, unlike his literary colleague Serpilin, did not live to see this successful outcome ... This is how Konstantin Simonov himself recalls Kutepov and his fighters - the “living and dead” of the Buynich field.
"We arrived in the evening of July 388 by the commander of the 172 Infantry Regiment of the 13 Division Colonel Kutepov in the evening and left the Regiment the next day, 14. The term is short, less than a day. But I remembered this stay in the Kutepov Regiment for many reasons all my life, and I want to tell here about Kutepov, and about other people of his regiment, the little that came to know further. I am writing this, and in front of me lie old, pre-war photos of regiment commander Semyon Fyodorovich Kutepov, commissioner Vasily Nikolayevich Gobn to the chief of staff Sergei Plotnikov Paton, commander Dmitry Stepanovich Gavryushin battalion, company commander Mikhail Vasilyevich Horsheva ...
The oldest of them, Kutepov, was then, in the forty-first year, forty-five years old, and the rest was much less. Gavryushin - thirty-six, Plotnikov - thirty-one, Zobnin - twenty-eight, Horshev - twenty-three ...
... A brief meeting with Kutepov was one of the most significant for me during the war years. In my memory, Kutepov is a man who, if he stayed there, near Mogilyov, would be capable of very much later "...
As we can see, for Simonov himself, Kutepov’s fate remained unknown. Who was this legendary man?
He was born 19 in May 1896 of the year in the village of Big Kalmyks, now Kireevsky district of the Tula region, in a peasant family. He studied at the village school. In 1915, he graduated from a commercial school, was drafted into the Russian Imperial Army, graduated from the Alexander Military School, and fought in the First World War on the South-Western Front as a lieutenant. In 1917, a volunteer joined the Red Army, fought with the White Poles and bandits, commanded a platoon and company, was wounded. He graduated from the postgraduate courses for staff commanders and, with honors, the correspondence department of the Military Academy named after M.V. Frunze. Learned German. I did not enter the party ...
Apparently, this was due to the fact that he was slowly moving up the career ladder. For four years he served as chief of a division commander of a division, two years as battalion commander, three years as chief of staff of a regiment, four years as assistant commander of a regiment, and two years as commander of an 388 rifle regiment of the 172 rifle corps. In this position, he met the Great Patriotic War.
By the way, it is interesting that Simonov noted this peculiarity of Kutepov's fate - his slow promotion in the service, despite obvious merits, a modest post - the regiment commander, despite his age and differences. This gave him the idea, as the author of the novel, to invent his hero Serpilin the fate of an unjustly repressed military soldier in the camps in 1937, rescued by the leader’s will, when experienced personnel were needed before the war. In fact, there was nothing similar in the fate of Kutepov (the red commander with the surname of the famous White Guard general!). He was not subjected to any reprisals, but simply slowly and diligently pulled his service strap.
In this way, he seems to resemble Captain Tushin from Leo Tolstoy’s epic War and Peace - a diligent servant, a man who, in fact, holds the army.
He served quietly and passed away lifelessly, before performing his military duty to the end. According to indirect data, he died in the evening of July 25 1941, having managed to withdraw his regiment from the environment and received serious injuries, from which he died. His grave is unknown ...
The fact that he did not “go missing” and was not captured by the official version says that already August 10 1941, Colonel Semen Fedorovich Kutepov was decreed by the Order of the Red Banner for defensive battles near Mogilyov by decree of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. Missing and, moreover, who surrendered in captivity, did not award orders, and, moreover, considered them almost traitors. I say this with skill, as my grandmother's brother Red Army soldier Nikolai Dmitrievich Nistratov, and he was a sapper, "went missing" at the beginning of 1942, in the battles of Kalinin and his mother, my great-grandmother Praskovye Mitrofanovna Nistratova, did not pay for him even a penny pension which she received for her second son 18-year-old Red Army soldier Mikhail Dmitrievich Nistratov, abandoned in the fall of 1941 of the year under Naro-Fominsk, where thousands of beardless boys lay in mass graves, of which the 33-I army was formed, almost all of which fell under Moscow Oh...
The grave of my grandfather, Lieutenant Boris Yevdokimovich Zotov, who served as adjutant (according to the Podolsky Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense) in the 388 regiment of the 172 rifle division, is also unknown. Apparently, he, like his commander, Colonel Kutepov, died when leaving the encirclement. His last letter, which he sent to my grandmother, Olga Vasilyevna, was preserved even before the ring of the fascist entourage had closed around him and his friends in the Buinichsky field. In it, my grandfather writes to his wife. "Do not worry about me, I’m serving at the regimental headquarters ... Take care of yourself and the children ... I can’t write anymore, enemy planes are flying, they will now start bombing, then the battle ...". What was left of the regimental headquarters, if the regiment commander himself died ... And my grandmother, after paying the same pension for her officer’s murdered husband, was not considered to be “missing”, despite the fact that his official papers death is stamped indefinitely - with a difference of several months!
... Read the novel The Living and the Dead by Konstantin Simonov, this mournful epic of the beginning of the Great War and commemorate with the kind word those Living and the Dead to which the remarkable Russian writer Konstantin Mikhailovich Simonov went, ordering him to combine his ashes with their immortal ashes on the Great Buynichsky field of sorrow and glory.
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