вязьма.JPG (382985 bytes)Vyazma defence operation 2-13.10.1941,

October 2, 3rd and 4th Germans Panzer Groups, 9th and 4th Field Armies began offensive from areas Roslavl and Duhovshina against Western and Reserve  Soviet Fronts. German command concentrated the main impact on a direction of cities Beley , Sychevka and along a highway Roslavl-Moscow. Having closed on October 6 to the west of Vyazma, Germans surrounded 16th, 19th and 20th Soviet Armies of Western Front, both 24th and 32th Armies of Reserve Front. On a boundary Ostashkovo-Sechevka 22th, 29th and 31th Soviet Armies were pushed aside. Soviet forces which were in encirclement fiercely resisted. The failure which has overtaken Soviet under Vyazma, appreciably was in wrong definition a direction of the main Germans impact  and wrong construction of   defense.

Instead allocating for Western and Reserve Fronts independent defense line, with complete responsibility for these line in depth, 24th and 43th Armies of Reserve Front, to the beginning of Germans offensive, defense in the first echelon. This armies were between lest-wing of Western and right-wing of Bryansk Fronts. Other three armies of the Reserve Front, which has been stretched in one line on a wide front, were on positions in direct depth of a defense of Western  Front on a line Ostashkovo- Olenino-Yelny. The operative construction extremely complicated management of Soviet forces and front's formations. Even in good result, correctly organized defense on the direction of the main enemy's impacts, Western Front had no the superiority.

The strongest impacts were between 30th and 19th Armies formations of Western Front, where four Soviet divisions were attacked by 12 German divisions, including three Panzer Divisions (415 tanks).

"Under attack of superior forces of the opponent, maintained by tanks and aircrafts, Soviet formations of 19th Army departed. A withdrawal on a new boundary 244th and 91th Rifle Divisions have lead is organized. The German offensive  restrained by our units. Formations of 89th Rifle Division and 127th Tank Brigade conduct counter-attack. The personal structure of 19th Army combat is courageous, some units were cut off, have got in an encirclement, but there was no panic and confusion... Bravely battled soldiers of 561st and 913th Rifle Regiment (244th Rifle Divisions). They covered a withdrawal of Soviet divisions and constrained German offensive, while all Soviet formations have not occupied a new boundary... Together with it, cause of a disorganization and the defaults of the order in units of army were available vain victims; it has enabled the opponent to breakon a joint of 19th and 30th Armies. Making a withdrawal, the units of 91st and 89th Rifle Divisions have not warned about it commander of artillery formations, which, having remained without covering infantry, have carried the large losses. The commander of 45th Cavalry Divisions, the general-major Dreer has not executed an order of Commander of 19th Army, has left occupied positions, weak a joint between 19th and 30th Soviet Armies, and on this site German tanks has filtered, which came in Badino area. 

On the other site of break, there was a following: " The main impact was put between Soviet 162th and 242th Rifle Divisions. Only on a site of 162th Division acted about two hundred German tanks and hundred aircrafts, 162th rendered persistent resistance. The commander of this Soviet division the colonel Holziner was lost. Having broken through front of 162th Rifle Division, the opponent has fallen on 1st Battalion of 897th Rifle Regiment of 242th Rifle Division, on which site there came still more than 70 tanks and fielf regiment, 1st battalion fight heroically, it in complete structure was lost, but occupied boundaries has not left". 

By huge losses Germans managed to break through Soviet front and to outcome of October 2,  advance in depth on 10-12 km. Since morning on October 3, 30th, 19th Soviet Armies and forces of  front reserve incorporated in group under command of the general I.V.Boldin counter-attacted with the purpose to stop the broken Germans and to restore situation. 

Soviet counter-attack, in a strip of Western Front was put during October 3- 5, by forces of front operative group under commander of the general V.I.Boldin, which structure included two Rifle, two Tank (107th and 101th) Divisions and two Tank Brigades (126th and 128th), all about 300 tanks. The group has received a task to put impact on the broken opponent in a joint of 30th and 19th Armies and in interaction with 31st Army to restore defensive on the Dnieper river. During three days, Soviet group beat off numerous attacks of German infantry and tanks, repeatedly were exposed impacts from air. 

Counter-offensive wasn't success. Germans taken Holm and has left in area to the south of Buleshovo, where 32th Soviet Army of Reserve Front was defended. In result, the break to Vyazma from the north was designated. The second impact Germans has put on Spas - Demensk direction against the left wing of Reserve Front (43th Army), where against 5 Soviet divisions  were 17 German divisions. 

Forces of 4th German Panzer Group and 4th Field Army, restricting from the east and north by Soviet formations of 43rd and 33rd Armies, to October 4, came in area Spas-Demensk-Yelny. On this line, where the attacks of Wehrmacht were reflected, Germans tanks bypassed positions of Soviet divisions, covering their flanks. The broken front  in this direction has created extremely difficult conditions for 24th and 43rd Armies of Reserve Front, and for Western Front. 20th,16th,19th Armies have appeared under threat of scope from both flanks. 32th Army of Reserve Front was also in the same situation. The threat of output  a large German Panzer Group from the south of Reserve Front line in Vyazma area was designated  and in rear armies of Western Front  from the north of Holm area. 

In the night of October 6, Soviet forces on the line Ostashkovo-Olenino-Buleshovo were withdrawed. 31th and 32th Armies subordinated to Western Front. 19th and 20th Armies, not having strong pressing of the coming Germans, covering the flanks, begun consistently remove from a boundary to a boundary. The first intermediate boundary was nominated on the river Dnieper, where was the positions of Reserve Front. October 7, Germans tanks came to Vyazma: 56th Panzer Corps from the north in the direction Holm - Girkovsky, and 46th and 40th Corpa from the south direction from Spas- Demensk. In this complex conditions, execute Soviet withdrawal was very difficultly. October 7, 16 divisions of 19th, 20th, 32th Soviet Armies of Western Front were encircled. Soviet 30th Army, incurred heavy losses, departed to the east through woods to the Volokolamsk derection. October 8, the order  make the way from encirclement was acted. 19th and 32th Soviet Armies make the way, depending on conditions, either on Sechevka, or on Gzhatsk, and 20th Army should make the way in the southwest direction.

October 5, the broken German tanks moves free on the Warsaw highway to the Uhnov city. At 15 o'clock the city was seized. The avant guarde of the opponent has grasped the important bridge on the Ugra river. For liquidation German bridgehead was made Soviet air-landing in Uhnov area. Six days battled the cadets of a Podolsk military school and soldiers of air-landing group between Ugra and Mozhaysk defensives. October 12, they wihtdrawel on the main line of a defense, with honour having executed the task - has lingered over of the opponent up to the approach of reserves. For this time the Soviet High Command has managed to move 312th, 316th and 32th Rifle Divisions from Ural. October 9,  Gzhatsk was fallen, on October 13-Kaluga. Germans advanced to Tarusa, having created threat of Serpukhov.

October 12, Soviet forces encirclemented on Vyazma came in break. In break has gone 2nd Rifle Division of the general Vashkevitch and 91th Rifle Division of 19th Army. The break was carried out in Gzhatsk direction. At village Bogoroditskoe the ring of an encirclement temporarily was broken through. 19000 Soviet soldiers were died near this village. From an encirclement came out: 107th Motorifle Division of the colonel Chyabanidze, 2nd R.D. and 45th Cavalry Division of the colonel Stuchenko. October 14, German 3rd Panzer Group have rushed in Kalinin and continued offensive on the Leningrad highway. It threatened to rears of Northwest Front and opened to an enemy an opportunity to bypass Moscow from the north.


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