During the Great Patriotic War, Soviet partisans used various forms of struggle against the enemy. One of these forms was raids, which were a combination of battles, sabotage and reconnaissance and agitational and political activities.
In various periods of the war, partisan detachments leaving for raids also had different tasks. In the 1941-1942 years, they consisted in the deployment of guerrilla warfare in new areas, as well as establishing links with other units. A typical example of this was the raid of a group of partisan formations under the command of V.3. In the middle of March, Korzh, 1942 of the year, which was fought on the territory of six districts of the Minsk region, smashed enemy commandant's offices and police stations, destroyed communications, and carried out political work with the population. As a result of this raid, ties with the masses were strengthened, the authority of the partisan movement rose, and the number of soldiers in the units almost doubled.
In the summer of 1942, the 1 and 4 partisan brigades of the Leningrad Region together with the Latvian partisan regiment “For Soviet Latvia”, which carried out a raid on the borders of Latvia, and a partisan corps under the command of V.V. Razumova, who operated in the Kalinin region in the autumn of 1942, and many other partisan formations.
In general, the guerrilla raids in the initial period of the war were not widespread. The tactics of actions of such operations only developed. They were accomplished mainly to a small depth with limited forces and, quite often, had the goal of withdrawing detachments from the blows of fascist punitive divisions.
The transition of the Soviet Army to the offensive during the second stage of the war, the growth of the partisan struggle, the provision of partisan detachments with its own radio centers and modern mine-sabotage devices accumulated during the fighting experience made it possible to direct efforts in raids to larger-scale tasks.
Since the end of 1942, the raids were carried out mainly by large partisan forces, most of which involved several partisan units (detachments). Decisions to conduct them were taken by the governing bodies of the partisan movement and only in emergency cases - independently. In the second and third periods of the war, on the basis of the decisions of the headquarters of the partisan movement, more than 40 raids were carried out with the participation of more than a hundred large partisan formations. At the same time their depth increased. The guerrillas went hundreds and even thousands of kilometers from their bases, often leaving them forever.
In the spring of 1943, when the Supreme Headquarters developed a plan for the summer-autumn campaign and defined the south-west as the main direction, the raid units and formations were given the task of scouting the presence and condition of the enemy’s defensive lines along the western shores of Oskol, Seversky Donets, Desna, Dnieper, and identifying the forces and the nature of the fortifications around Poltava, Dnepropetrovsk, Zaporozhye, Kremenchug, Kiev, Chernigov, Zhmerinka, Nikolaev, Odessa, and also to check the status of some fortifications along the western border. At the same time, private tasks were also defined. So, the connection of the famous S.A. Kovpak was ordered: “to go to Chernivtsi region to influence the enemy’s communications there ...”, the partisan formation Ya.I. Miller was supposed to "go to Vinnytsia region for a systematic impact on communications that are suitable for Zhmerinka, Kazatin railway junctions". Compound M.I. Naumov was instructed to go through the southern steppe part of the Zhytomyr, Kiev and northern parts of Kirovograd region, to establish contact with the partisan detachments operating there, to sabotage the Fastov-Znamenka railway line, to disorganize navigation on the Dnieper and to form new partisan detachments in the Chyhyryn-Znamenka area. Most of these tasks have been completed.
Connection S.A. Kovpak came to raid in the Carpathians 12 June 1943 of the Gomel region, having 130 machine guns, 380 submachine guns, 9 guns, 30 mortars and more weapon. The hike was hard. It was necessary to fight not only with parts of the Nazis, but also with gangs of Ukrainian nationalists. Combined with battles passed through the territory of 13 regions of Belarus and Ukraine, crossed the Dniester, Goryn, Sluch rivers, crossed dozens of heavily guarded highways and railways, and by the end of July 1943 had reached the border with Hungary. More than 3800 enemy soldiers and officers were wounded and wounded, 19 military trains detonated, 52 bridge exploded and burned, 51 warehouse, 3 power stations were damaged, 20 communication centers, 198 km of telephone and telegraph wires, a lot of oil forces were burned, and the Beyrhivian forces degraded; oil, defeated several German garrisons, who were in the settlements, released from the fascist captivity several hundred people.
In 1944, guerrilla units in raids closely cooperated operationally with the advancing forces. Some of them, who had the greatest combat experience, conducted successful raids outside the USSR, on the territory of Poland and Czechoslovakia.
Each raid required careful preparation. The headquarters of the partisan movement when setting up combat missions for a raid, usually indicated the forces involved, the purpose of the raid, the approximate direction of movement, the starting and ending points of the route, the duration of the journey, tasks in a new area. The connection headquarters clarified the received task, drafted a raid plan, made a breakdown of the entire route for daily crossings, planned parking places and days, thought out the hiking order, organization of management and communications, measures of material support, security on the march and parking lots, anti-tank and anti-aircraft defenses, agreed on place, time and purpose of action of the partisan units among themselves, with aviationif it stood out to support the connection with local partisan formations whose combat zones were in the lane. During a group raid, interaction issues were also worked out with neighboring compounds (detachments), which usually followed parallel routes.
Particular attention was paid to the thorough exploration of the route and the objects of the forthcoming actions. The collection of information about the enemy was ensured by the purposeful work of partisan intelligence. The necessary intelligence information was obtained by the partisans and from the headquarters of the partisan movement, in the operational subordination of which they were. An important role was assigned to the previously sent military intelligence. Thus, at the end of 208, the command of the 1943 guerrilla regiment (commander N.Ye. Bespoyasov) prepared for redeployment from the Klichevsky district of the Mogilev region to the Graevsky district of Belostok, through the regimental intelligence, carefully checked the entire route, found out the situation on the way. 5 days before the regiment’s entry into the raid P.T. Terekhov sent to headquarters three reports with information about the deployment of enemy garrisons, their numbers, weapons, combat capability and morale. In them, he described in detail the communications and reported how they are used, recommended places for halts and days. The reconnaissance unit established contact with the partisan formations located on the regiment's path, and agreed with their command about combat interaction.
Preparation for the raid usually took place on the territory of the partisan region. The detachments accumulated weapons, ammunition, and prepared a wagon train. Personnel strenuously engaged in combat training. Such topics as “March and oncoming battle”, “Getting out of the battlefield”, “Forcing water obstacles”, “Overcoming the railways and highways intensively exploited by the enemy”, etc. were worked out in the classes. Guerrillas studied fire and disruptive business, conspiracy rules, learned navigate the terrain, walk in azimuth.
All preparatory activities were conducted covertly. The command was especially concerned with keeping the goal, timing and route of the raid, the number of troops and their weapons secret. For this purpose, measures were taken to disinfect the enemy: false rumors were spread, route reconnaissance was sent in false directions, etc. Thus, the command of one of the partisan brigades (commander A. V. Romanov) prepared in summer 1943 for the raid from the Vitebsk region to the city Vileyka, issued a fictitious order to relocate the brigade to the Sirotinsky district of the Vitebsk region, the release date was not specified. From time to time, a demonstrative search was made on the wrong direction (it took about two months to prepare for the raid), while the planned route of movement was studied with the help of neighboring partisan formations.
The specifics of the guerrilla actions in the deep enemy rear with constantly open flanks did not allow the use of templates in building a marching order of the compound. Ahead of the convoy was, as a rule, a reconnaissance unit, followed by the main forces and guard units. It was important that the marching construction of the partisan forces ensured ease of command, speed of movement and deployment, and reliable protection against sudden attacks by the enemy, especially from the flank and rear directions.
Thus, the marching order of the partisan connection AF Fedorov (6 units, mortar battery, cavalry group, medical unit and other combat and special units, more than a thousand and a half people in all), who made the transition from Chernihiv to Kovel in March-June 1943, was as follows. Ahead, on the flanks and in the rear, at a distance of 25 km and more from the column of the main forces, reconnaissance and sabotage groups operated. The movement of the column was headed by the head marching post (company), the vanguard moved behind it, and at a distance of 4 - 6 km from which the main forces followed. From the possible flank attacks of the Nazis, the column was guarded by side marches (1 - 2 platoon), allocated from each unit. The rear marching post (company) covered the column from the rear. The sanitary unit and the wagon train moved in the center of the column. The cavalry group and the mortar battery made a march in the head of the main forces and in the event of an unexpected appearance of the enemy by active actions, together with security, provided an organized entry into the battle of the unit or allowed him to maneuver in order to bypass the enemy and go to his rear.
The location of the headquarters on the march was determined by the situation. Usually the commander and commissar led the main forces in front, and the chief of staff led the main outpost. The command and headquarters of the detachments were controlled by radio, by means of communications, using sound and light signals and "beacons" that were displayed at the crossroads.
The tasks for the detachments were set for the nearest transition, usually a day ahead, based on the general idea and the specific situation. The final goal of the raid was kept secret.
Marches took place mostly at night. During the day, partisans rested in the forests or deaf settlements, conducted deep reconnaissance. On the days of the detachments dispersed, occupied a perimeter defense. A third of the existing forces was allocated to the reserve in case of repelling a sudden enemy attack. Particular attention was paid to the observance of conspiracy, discipline, accurate execution of orders.
Before performing the main task of the raid, the main forces sought not to get involved in protracted battles, they walked, observing all the precautions, with blind paths and little-known roads. The enemy’s small garrisons encountered on the way were destroyed. Aside from the main route of the formation, sometimes at a considerable distance, numerous reconnaissance and sabotage groups operated, diverting the attention of the enemy from the column of main forces. Such tactics justified themselves. The enemy suffered heavy losses, while the main raiding forces of the partisans remained elusive for him.
During the raids, partisans often had to overcome heavily protected land and water communications. This caused great difficulties and required well-known skills. Special strike groups seized a section of the road that was planned for the crossing and ensured the passage of a column of main forces along it. On the flanks all the ways were mined, ambush barriers were set, various distracting actions were also taken. Rivers guerrillas forced on improvised means, boats, ferries, or ferries seized from the enemy, and ford. In this case, they acted suddenly and decisively, showing ingenuity. So, when approaching the Dnieper reconnaissance sent forward from the connection A.N. Saburova, who in the autumn of 1942 had raided the Bryansk forests to Right-Bank Ukraine, found that coastal points had no means of crossing and only Loyev had a ferry on the opposite bank. The number of the garrison of the city, according to her, was about 200 people.
After receiving such information, the command of the compound decided to take a daring maneuver. So far, the compound has moved north. The enemy, who constantly monitored the actions of the partisans, had the impression that they were moving towards Gomel. The fascists began to urgently push troops to him, reducing the garrisons in other cities and villages. The garrison of Loyev was sharply reduced. The partisans suddenly turned to the south, thereby confusing all the calculations of the enemy, and on the night of November 7 came to the Dnieper against Loyev.
Immediately a reinforced company of machine gunners secretly crossed the river. Having suddenly made a night raid, the brave souls seized the Loev commandant's office and captured the crossing. The remnants of the garrison, not knowing what forces the attackers had, fled in panic. Soon on the ferry partisans delivered reinforcements. The remnants of the Nazis in the city were completely destroyed.
Having received information that the partisans occupied Loew, the Hitlerite command pulled up reserves and launched an offensive, intending to sink the partisans in the Dnieper.
At the same time, the underground workers who were in the town were engaged in a battle with the Nazis who attacked them, across the Dnieper, south of Loyev, by order of A.N. Saburova crossed on the boats of the 8 Battalion P.V. The roars. He captured the town of Radul in the Chernihiv region and, having made a round-up march, struck a sudden blow from the rear on the enemy who attacked Loyev. Caught in the bag of fire, the Nazis retreated in disarray. In the 8 and 9 battles of November, partisans exterminated 130 and wounded 75 of the Nazis, destroyed 5 armored vehicles, 12 trucks and 2 cars.
Despite the disguise, the partisans could not always avoid collisions with an overwhelming enemy. Frightened by the appearance of raiding units in the new area, the Nazis sought to surround them and destroy them. Faced with punitive, the partisans sought to hide behind the camp guard, wait for darkness and, changing the direction of movement, quickly break away from their pursuers. If this maneuver failed, a breakthrough was prepared.
Having studied the enemy grouping, the partisans in its weakest place struck and left the encirclement. The breakthrough was organized mainly at night or at dawn, when the vigilance of the enemy dulled. Practiced and such a way as a covert leakage for the battle formations of the enemy. Guerrillas left in a predetermined assembly area on the orders of the command in small groups, each of which, fulfilling the general plan, acted independently in the indicated direction. There they re-united into a unit or a detachment. Such a maneuver, for example, was undertaken by guerrilla compound S.A. Kovpak when it turned out to be surrounded by the superior forces of the fascist regular troops in the Carpathians.
Raids of large units were a characteristic feature of the Soviet partisan movement. Alternating movement with battles, maneuvering over a wide area, appearing in the most unexpected places for the enemy, the partisans inflicted significant damage. Experience has shown that middle-rugged terrain with forests, which makes it possible to maneuver and on which there is where to hide and rest, is most suitable for conducting raids. In the steppes and on flat terrain, as well as in areas with a dense network of communications, small mobile units and reconnaissance and sabotage groups successfully operated. Large partisan formations also came here for a short time to carry out certain tasks of the command. So acted, for example, connection M.I. Naumov.
1 February 1943 of the year it went to a raid from Khinelsky, forests for the destruction of enemy communications in the territory of Sumy, Kharkiv and Poltava regions, which were intensively used at that time by the Germans. Total 7 units of the compound went on a raid on horseback and sleigh rides, overcoming 50 - 80 km per day on long winter nights. The enemy did not have time to concentrate around the compound sufficient to defeat the forces. In addition, the snow-covered fields and woods deprived of its superiority in maneuvering. The guerrillas rapidly passed through the southern woodless regions of the Sumy region, undermined five railway bridges on the Sumy-Kharkov, Sumy-Gotnya, Sumy-Lyubotin highways. Due to the influx of fighters from the local population, the compound almost doubled by mid-February.
Further raid took place in more difficult conditions. After crossing the Dnieper, the partisans waited several days for the cargo from the Soviet rear to arrive. Even a slight delay in the movement allowed the enemy to make a strong punitive squad. The compound had to move further with heavy fighting. Only the release of 6 on April 1943 of the year into a vast partisan region in the north of Ukraine saved the unit from being defeated. During this heroic raid, partisans forced 18 rivers, crossed 15 operating railways, conducted 47 battles, as a result of which enemy soldiers and officers were incapacitated around 3000. The actions of the partisans showed the effectiveness of the raid tactics in the steppe areas under the condition of continuity of movement, as well as the great importance of the partisan edges as bases for rest, treating the sick and wounded, re-forming and replenishing the ammunition of the raiding units.
It is characteristic that, adhering to the tactics developed in raids, guerrilla formations suffered much less casualties than the enemy. An example is the so-called Neman Raid of the 1 of the Ukrainian partisan division under the command of P.P. Vershigora, committed by her on the instructions of the Supreme Command rates. In the summer of 1944 of the year, interacting with the troops of the 1-th Ukrainian, 1-th and 3-Belarusian, 2-Baltic Fronts in the front line, more than 3 km passed through the territory of Pinsk , Baranovichi, Grodno, Belostok, Brest regions, forced the Neman, Berezina, Shchara, Svisloch, Dnepro-Bug Canal five times, twice overcame the Moscow-Warsaw highway, which the Hitlerites turned into a real defensive position with mined rubble in the direction of the forest, the bunker and armored covers on the highway that took fire relationship. The compound conducted 7 battles, during which more than 1100 Nazis were put out of action. The guerrillas during the raid lost 90 people killed, 3000 wounded, 32 missing.
Success was achieved thanks to the skillful leadership of the compound on the part of the command, the high political and moral state of the partisans, the great combat experience accumulated by the personnel in previous raids. By this time, the compound had grown into a mobile pedestrian-mounted light division. The raid was carried out in the conditions of the enemy's retreat, so the Hitlerite command was not able to reconnoiter the intention of the formation and take concrete measures against it. Reid once again proved the advantage of mobile connections in comparison with those tied to a certain territory.
During the raids, the guerrillas were not only fighting, but also political work with the population. “Entering the village,” S.A. Kovpak of his subordinates - raise the people to the struggle, use everything for this: leaflets, radio, agitators. Help and arm the local partisans, give them your experience so that tomorrow, when you will be far away, the flame of fires will not go out behind you, the roar of explosions will not stop. ” These rules were followed by other raiding guerrilla groups. Thus, the personnel of the partisan division under the command of SF Malikova, during a raid on the western regions of Ukraine in the winter and spring of 1944, held 632 meetings with local residents, attended by over 35 thousand people, distributed 50 thousand leaflets and newspapers, both sent from the Soviet rear and issued by the printing press of the compound.
Despite the difficult conditions in which it was necessary to act: long exhausting transitions, difficult weather conditions, lack of ammunition and food, constant battles with superior forces of the enemy - the partisans, during the raids, inflicted significant damage on the enemy, diverted significant forces of the Nazi troops to protect the logistics .
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