Mozhaysk defence operation 1941, 10-30.10.
To the second half of October, when the armies of group "Centre", were came on Moscow, they again have met the organized Soviet defensive front and were compelled again to break through it. After formation of Kalinin Front, armies of Western Front owed, basing on mozhaysk defense line, cover Moscow from the west. But they required remaning by people and battle engineering. From a reserve of Soviet High Command on October 13, four rifle divisions, 4 tank brigades and several antitank regiments occupied defense line. Despite of it, in front line from Moscow sea up to Kaluga in structure of four armies were totaled only 90 thousand soldiers. Therefore Command of Soviet front has concentrated all forces on the main directions conducting to Moscow. Soviet forces were resulted in order on Mozhaysk defense line, retreated from Vyazma. 16th Army under command of the general K.K.Rokossovskiy - at Volokolamsk, 5th Army under command of the general D.D.Lelushenko — at Mozhaysk, 33th Army under command of the general of M.G.Efremov — at Naro-Fominsk, 43th Army of the general K.D.Golubev, 49th Army of the general I.G.Zaharov— at Serpukhov were unwrapped.
Since October 13, the fierce fights on boundaries Mozhaysk and Maloyaroslavets, and since October 16 on Volokolamsk fortification districts were developed. Perfect German's divisions have rendered persistent resistance heroic divisions of Red Army: 316th Rifle Division of the general-major I.V.Panfilov, covered itself by glory in fights at Volokolamsk; 32th Rifle Division of the colonel V.I.Polosuhin, earlier become famous in fights at lake Hasan and now multiplied glory in fights on the Borodino field; 1st Motor-rifle Division the Hero of the Soviet Union of the colonel I.I.lizukov, stopped Germans at Naro-Fominsk. Approached 82nd Motor-rifle Division, distinction in fights on the Halhin-Gol river, 93th Rifle Division and other units and formations.
The main fights on the Borodino field was taken out by 32th Rifle Division of the colonel V.I.Polosuhin. It was supported by 18th and 19th Tank Brigades and 121st, 367th and 421st Anti-tank Regiments. German's captives have informed, that on Mozhaysk direction come Motorized Division SS Das Reich and 10th Panzer Division of 40th Panzer Corps. Useing break in Vereya, German forces aspired to break through not finished concentration Soviet 32nd Rifle Division and cut a highway Mozhaysk-Moscow in Dorohov area.The advanced groups of the cadets together with 230th Reserve Regiment and Sapper Battalion on October 11, have fight with German units coming from the south-east of Gzhatsk, and then constrained the opponent in 10 kms from forward edge of a defense on a boundary of station Uvarovo. Only after Germans have bypassed 32th Soviet Rifle Division from flanks, its forces retreated to Mozhaysk. October 18, under powerful impact of Germans on the Soviet armies Mozhaysk was leave. Then Germans put impact on Borovsk, and as a result two days after grasped it. Having incurred heavy losses, home guard withdraw to Naro-Fominsk and on a boundary of the river Protva, where the main forces of 43-rd army were defense.With Borovsk lost, dangerous situation on Podolsk and Naro-Fominsk direction was created. On October 18, Tarusa was taken. The threat of exit on Moscow from the south was increase.
Soviet 16th Army of the general Rokossovsky covered Volokolamsk direction. To the north of Volokolamsk down to Volga reservuare defended 3rd Cavalry Corps of the general Dovator, arrived in operative submission of 16th army on October 13, when has came in Volokolamsk area from encirclement. To the left of it acted Military student Regiment. To the south, covering Volokolamsk from the west and southwest up to the Ruza river, 316th Rifle Division have occupied a defense. In a reserve of 16th Army were Regiment of 126th Division and 18th Rifle Division. The concentration was made in time, as in the morning October 16 Germas begine new offensive, against 16th Army.The main German impact was on 316th Division of the general Panfilov, covering approaches to Volokolamsk highway.
After success under Mozhaysk Germans came to Dorohov. The basis of Dorohov antitank area was form by 20th and 22th Tank Brigades and artillery Anti-tank Regiment. The tanks by two - three machines together with two - three guns occupied positions on suburb of villages. Ahead of them, on wide front line, were the formations of 50th Rifle Division of the general N.F.Lebedenko. On the east suburb of Dorohov there was a shock group of the commander of 22th Tank Brigade, consisting from battalion tanks and battery antitank artillery. Such construction of the battle defense line provided antitank covering Dorohov roads from the west. However indistinct interaction between ambushes and rifle forces at the beginning, has negative effect on stability of defense. Germans evaded from frontal attack Dorohov and bypassed tank ambushes from the south. The shock Soviet group of 22th Tank Brigade counter-attack Germans and stopped the further progress of its tanks on the east. Soviet 82th Motorize Division and 25th Tank Brigade, which have arrived from reserve have received a task in interaction with 22nd Tank Brigade attack Germans in Dorohov. In result German forces was rejected on 10 kms. The Soviet formations of 20th, 22th and 25th Tank Brigades with infantry of 82nd Motorize Division further has supplied strong stabilization of a defense of 5th Soviet Army in this area and eventually further of approaches to Kubinka enemy has not departed. 33th Army haven't allowed an enemy to advance further Naro-Fominsk was fixed on the Nara river. The forward edge of a defenses which were taking place on the northern bankof the Nara river, was occupied by units of 10th Air-landing Brigade and 93rd Rifle Division. On the second position in ambushes were tanks of 24th Tank Brigade.
By October 25, Germans have pressed units of 16th Army, forced the Ruza river ( on November 4, the commander of Soviet 133th Rifle Division the colonel A.G.Gerasimov and commissioner G.F.Shabanov, under the Zhukov's order, were shooted before soldiers, for a withdrawal division without the order from Ruza area). Rokosovsky has strengthened the left flank of 16th Army, having tightened there 126th and 18th Rifle Divisions. Germans have pressed 30th and 5th Soviet Armies, bypassing Volokolamsk from the north and the south, have hung above flanks of 16th Army and October 27, was grasped city. The German attempts advance to the east to a highway conducting through Istra on Moscow, were reflected in time arrived in structure of 16th Army by 50th Cavalry Division. October 28, 78th Rifle Division have arrived in structure of Soviet army.
All centre of Western Front has resisted. Though the enemy also tried to bypass Moscow from the north, but it has appeared impossible, because Kalinin Front has held down by a defense and counter-attack 9th German Field Army and threatened to the northern flank of group of armies "Centre".
[on main] [back]