The combat strength of the partisan unit of the Gomel region by the time the Red Army liberated the territory of the region consisted of 13 brigades, a regiment and two separate detachments with a total number of 16.3 thousand partisans. On the territory of the Gomel region, in addition to the brigades and detachments that make up the formation, the Vperyod brigade, the separate Second detachment, as well as the Friendship and Experienced groups, the total number of which was 872 people, operated independently. The commander of the Gomel partisan unit was Kozhar Ilya Pavlovich, the chief of staff was Barykin Emelyan Ignatievich.
With their continuous attacks on the communications of the Nazi troops, the partisans of Belarus sowed panic in the camp of the enemy, demoralized his personnel. Eloquent evidence of this is the letters of German soldiers who experienced the force of the blows of Soviet patriots. One of these letters was found in a corporal of the 455th Infantry Regiment Max Kron, who was killed on the Western Front, to his wife in Germany and was cited in the message of the Soviet Information Bureau on August 27, 1941: “While we reached Minsk,” the letter said, “our convoy stopped 6 times due to faulty bridges and 4 times fired from machine guns and rifles. The stop between Slonim and Baranovichi was especially long. Here we were all forced to repair a large bridge, destroyed two hours before our arrival. Before we had even driven two tens of kilometers, such a firing began that it became scary. This continued until we jumped out of the forest. Nevertheless, there were four dead and three wounded in our car … After Minsk, the column split up and went in different directions. We continued on foot. Until we got to the front, we did not stop fighting with them, with the “invisibles”. Not far from Berezino, we had a uniform battle with them, as a result of which 40 people were out of action in our company.
In total, in September-December 1941, the partisans of Belarus derailed over 80 German echelons. This was a significant help to the Red Army. The sabotage of the Soviet patriots on the railway transport of the occupiers, serious violations and disorganization of the enemy’s military transportation had the most direct effect on the supply of the Nazi troops at the front. It is no coincidence that on September 26, 1941, General of the German Army Wagner anxiously informed Halder, Chief of the General Staff of the Ground Forces, that the Army Group Center could not be supplied “directly through its area due to the destruction of railway lines by partisans.”
The blows of the partisans overtook the Nazi invaders not only on the way, but also in the settlements where garrisons were located, military depots, strong points, police stations, and occupation authorities were created.
The enemy took measures in the fight against the partisans. So in 1941, 3 security and 2 infantry divisions, the 1st SS cavalry brigade, artillery, tank and sapper units, motorized units of the field gendarmerie, police regiments and battalions were abandoned. The nature of the fighting of these formations was determined, on the one hand, by the special orders of the Reichsführer SS Himmler, on the other hand, by the “Directive on Combating Partisans” of October 25, 1941. Such actions, first of all, should have been punitive operations as a set of criminal, terrorist measures of a military, economic and political nature against partisans and the civilian population.
The first punitive operation on the territory of Belarus was carried out by the 1st SS Cavalry Brigade with the support of two infantry divisions in July-August 1941. It received its bloody name “Pripyat Marshes” from the area of operation. Punishers passed from the west to the east of the Pinsk, Polesie, parts of the Minsk and Gomel regions, leaving on their way the ashes of burned villages and about 14 thousand tortured and shot Soviet people.
The battles between the punishers and the partisans were stubborn and fierce. A soldier of the 8th company of the 747th regiment, Hans Rimmel, wrote home in August 1941: “The most dangerous thing is the partisans. They are worse than the front, since the Russians are well trained in this respect, and, unfortunately, we suffer from them losses in killed and wounded. Many of my comrades died at their hands. This is terrible… German soldiers are becoming more and more convinced that the whole people is fighting against us.”
And, indeed, the invaders were opposed by all Soviet people, young and old. The attempts of the Nazis to eliminate the partisan movement by force of arms did not bring them the desired results.
From the first days, the actions of the partisans in the Gomel region took on the character of an organized struggle of the masses. The core, cementing the partisan detachments and underground organizations, were the communists. They were participants in the most daring operations, acts of sabotage, by personal example they carried others along with them.
But throughout the entire occupation of Gomel, the people waged an active struggle against the Nazi invaders. On the eve of the occupation, the secretaries of the party regional committees of the city received an order: after leaving Gomel, they should gather in the area of the Shchekotovskaya forest dacha (10-12 km from Novobelitsa). On August 20, the secretary of the city party committee S. Antonov, the first secretaries of the district committees of the Gomel party M. Bolkhovitin and the secretary of the city committee of the Komsomol A. Isachenko, the head of the military department of the city committee of the party V. Lisovsky, the head of the military department of the Zheleznodorozhny district party committee A. Nesterovich, the instructor of this the district committee A. Zubarev, the communists of the Central District N. Zhigaltsov, P. Zorin and others. They were met by the secretary of the Gomel regional party committee A. Kutsak, the first secretary of the city committee of the party E. Barykin, the director of the Gomel car repair plant I. Fedoseenko. On August 21, the secretaries of the Novobelitsky district party committee S. Kasyanov and V. Yudin came to the Shchekotovskaya dacha area. They brought with them 14 Novobelitsky activists who were partisans of the local partisan detachment, the creation of which was originally planned for independent activity. At the same time, along with the Novobelitsk group, Red Army servicemen F. Kechko, K. Danilin, I. Shaevich and others came, who did not manage to get through to their own.
The first Gomel partisans were the actor of the drama theater A. Titov, the railway worker I. Suslikov, the pupils of the orphanage V. Mayants, A. Malashenko, E. Shcherbakov and others. The administrator of the Drama Theater A. Levin and the engineer D. Zarkh were the messengers.
A few days later, a meeting of the Gomel underground city party committee was held. The Gomel partisan detachment was called “Bolshevik”. I. Fedoseenko was appointed commander of the detachment (he took part in the civil war and had experience in partisan activity). The secretary of the city committee of the party, S. Antonov, became the commissar of the detachment. Initially, the Gomel partisan detachment included 37 people. They were armed with two light machine guns, rifles, pistols, one machine gun, grenades and Molotov cocktails. At the end of August, the combat groups of the Bolshevik detachment under the command of I. Fedoseenko, V. Lisovsky, G. Klimovich went on their first combat missions. On the Rechitsa highway, a group of I. Fedoseenko blew up a car with German soldiers. The remaining groups operated in the Chernihiv highway area. They also burned several enemy vehicles, while destroying over 20 enemy soldiers and officers.
In early September, a platoon of V. Lisovsky made successful attacks on a light aircraft beacon, which was located near the village of Ulukovye, Gomel region, and destroyed it along with the attendants. A few days later, a car repair track near the village of Kalinin was destroyed.
By this time, the invaders already had accurate information about the location of the Gomel partisan detachment “Bolshevik”, the number of warehouses, as well as weapons. But the leadership of the detachment was warned that the Nazis were preparing for a punitive operation to comb through the Shchekotovskaya dacha. In this regard, the underground city committee of the party and the command of the detachment decided to leave the area of u200bu200bthe dacha, near the village of Skitok, to cross to the other side of the river. Sozh and set up a temporary camp in the interfluve of the Sozh and the Dnieper near the village of Borshchevka (Rechitsa district). Here the detachment continued its military activity. At the end of September, a search was launched for the partisans of the Gomel rural region. The first on the trail of this detachment was A. Isachenko. In the forest between the villages of Tsykuny and Borshchevka, representatives of the Bolshevik detachment and the rural detachment met. It was decided that the Gomel rural detachment under the command of the former director of the state farm named after. Gorky A. Bury will become part of the Bolshevik detachment. Thus, the Bolshevik detachment increased by another 13 people.
The first combat operation of the enlarged detachment was an attack on the German police garrison, located on the territory of the former state farm named after. Gorky. But the local police managed to escape to the village of Mikhalki, where the fascist detachment was located.
At the end of the autumn of 1941, the Gomel underground city committee of the party and the Bolshevik detachment crossed into the territory of the Chechersk region, to the north of the Gomel region. Separate groups made their way to the new place of deployment. Only a group under the command of E. Barykin was able to arrive in the area of the village of Peredovik without loss. Until May 1942, on the territory of the Chechersky district of the Gomel region and the Krasnogorsk region of the Bryansk region, the fighters of the Gomel Bolshevik detachment, together with the people’s avengers of the Chechersk region, destroyed several enemy strongholds and garrisons. Especially successful was the raid of a large group under the command of I. Fedoseenko in the direction of the large village of Nisimkovichi. The partisans, unexpectedly for the Germans and policemen, drove on sledges into the villages and immediately destroyed the German police stations there.
On May 12, 1942, the Bolshevik detachment left the Chechersk region and headed for the Gomel region. Due to the fact that the partisan camp on the territory of the former Shchekotovskaya dacha was destroyed by the invaders, the detachment was forced to cross to the right bank of the Sozh and set up a camp on the territory of the Loevsky district.
Beginning in the summer of 1942, residents of the Loevsky and Gomel regions began to come to the partisan detachment “Bolshevik” with their whole families. The detachment grew significantly and therefore, having crossed the Dnieper, set up a new camp on the territory of the Khoiniki region. From here, the battle groups headed for the enemy’s communications between Mozyr and Rechitsa, to the section of the Vasilevichi-Khoiniki railway.
The Bolshevik detachment, together with the Loevsky and Rechitsa partisans, took part in a raid along the triangle Recheevka – Novaya Borshchevka – Capricorns (Loevsky district). During this operation, serious losses were inflicted on the enemy. In Recheevka alone, the partisans destroyed about 30 Nazis and policemen. The forces of two detachments – them. Voroshilov (Rechitsky) and “Bolshevik” – a strong enemy garrison in the Rechitsa region was destroyed. In order to inflict constant blows on the enemy on the highway, country roads and on the section of the Vasilevichi-Khoiniki railway, the command of the Bolshevik detachment formed several battle groups. The group led by V. Yudin was the most successful. It consisted of 15 people. For 2 weeks, the partisans blew up and burned 7 bridges on the railway and many bridges on country roads, in ten places disabled telephone communications. A. Isachenko, F. Kotchenko, F. Kechko, A. Nesterovich and others were real masters of the subversive business. Demolition groups often went on combat missions for several days, covering distances of tens of kilometers. From Ser. In 1942, combat groups Otrada “Bolshevik” regularly attacked the Nazis’ railway communications around the Gomel junction.
By the end of October 1942, by order of the Central Committee of the Communist Party (b) B and the Belarusian headquarters of the partisan movement (BShPD), the Gomel underground regional party committee formed the Gomel partisan unit. Secretary of the underground regional party committee I. Kozhar was appointed its commander, and E. Barykin was appointed chief of staff.
In November 1942, the Bolshevik detachment met with the Ukrainian partisan formations of S. Kovpak and A. Saburov. Together with the Ukrainian partisans, the fighters of the Bolshevik detachment defeated the enemy garrisons in the villages of Rashevo and Gorishkovo (Khoinitsky district). Forty fighters of the detachment helped the partisan formation of A. Saburov in defeating the garrison in Khoiniki.
In January 1943, the Nazis began a blockade of the Amelnikovsky forests, in which significant partisan forces were stationed, including the fighters of the Bolshevik detachment. Under these conditions, the command of the Gomel partisan unit led the partisans out of the enemy encirclement and headed for the partisan zone in the Oktyabrsky district. After a temporary respite, the Gomel partisan unit in February 1943 left the Oktyabrsky district and returned to its zone.
With the onset of spring, the Bolshevik detachment’s bombers intensified their sabotage activities on the railway. F. Kotchenko’s group derailed several enemy echelons, an armored train.
At the beginning of the summer of 1943, people who had previously served in the police, in security units, increasingly began to come to the Bolshevik detachment. They did everything to regain their good name. But often, under the guise of defectors, the invaders sent their agents to the detachment. So, in the village of Repishche, A. Kuzumbaev’s platoon was ambushed when the partisans came here to meet the “defectors” of the Borkovsky and Chebotovichsky garrisons. The partisans fought bravely. But the losses were heavy: six were killed, three were seriously injured.
Preparing for the Battle of Kursk, the Nazis pulled up a large amount of military equipment and manpower to the Orel and Belgorod regions. The partisans did everything to prevent the echelons from reaching their destination. Practically every day, the demolition workers of the partisan detachment went on a mission.
In the second half of June, the Nazis made an attempt to destroy the Gomel partisan unit. SS units with tanks and artillery were thrown against the partisans.
Punishers were also supported by aviation. But the partisans put up a worthy rebuff to the enemy. In the center of the defensive line of the compound was a detachment of them. Chapaev, to the right of him – the Rechitsa detachment. Voroshilov. The left flank of the defense was held by the fighters of the Bolshevik detachments, who controlled the road to the village of Khutor. The partisans withstood four attacks. The Bolshevik detachment repelled all attempts by the Nazis to break through to the partisan camp.
After an unsuccessful attempt by the enemy to destroy the Gomel partisan unit, the Bolshevik detachment continued active sabotage activities. In September, the command of the Gomel formation developed an operation to deliver a massive blow to the enemy’s railway communications with the forces of all detachments. The Bolshevik detachment operated in three sectors between Rechitsa and Kalinkovichi. The railway in their sections was put out of action for a long time.
If at the beginning of the summer of 1943 the Bolshevik detachment numbered 300 fighters, then in September it already had more than 1,000 people. On October 20, the headquarters of the unit decided to create a partisan brigade under the same name on the basis of the Bolshevik detachment.
On November 10, 1943, the Gomel-Rechitsa offensive operation of the Soviet Army began. The partisans of the Gomel formation were entrusted with the task of preventing the planned withdrawal of the enemy unit by all means. The partisans made blockages on the roads, dug out anti-tank ditches, liquidated areas through which enemy tanks and other armored vehicles could break through.
For three days, the Nazis unsuccessfully tried to establish a crossing near Gorval. On November 16, help came to the partisans from the Byelorussian Front – a battalion of submachine gunners. The partisans and the Red Army men dealt a joint powerful blow to the enemy. After the Gorvalsky operation, the Bolshevik brigade returned to the camp near the village of Shelkovitsy. On the morning of November 18, the fighters of the brigade, together with a company of the 37th Guards Rifle Brigade of the Belorussian Front, drove the invaders out of the village of Borovik. This was the last battle of the brigade. On November 19, partisans and army units joined. On November 25, the command of the Bolshevik brigade received an order signed by I. Kozhar and the chiefs of staff E. Barykin to disband the formation. Some of the fighters were sent to replenish the 37th Infantry Division, the rest remained at the disposal of the Regional Party Committee.
Thus, for 27 months partisan detachments fought in the enemy rear, and then the Bolshevik brigade. During this time, hundreds of enemy soldiers and officers were destroyed, more than 100 enemy trains, dozens of bridges, a depot of shells and fuel, etc. were blown up. partisans were awarded military orders and medals.
In 1967, for active participation in the partisan movement, courage shown in the fight against the Nazi invaders, as well as for success in the restoration and development of the national economy, the Gomel region was awarded the Order of Lenin.
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