Jun 30, 2020
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The last hand-to-hand fight of the red commanders

© RIA Novosti / Konstantin Chalabov

Kirponos Mikhail Petrovich (1892–1941): Colonel General, Commander of the Southwestern Front. Hero of the Soviet Union. He died.

© RIA Novosti / Pavel Balabanov

Gold Star Medal of the Hero of the Soviet Union

Mikhail Petrovich comes from poor Chernigov peasants. Already in his youth he was a desperate couple. At the age of 15, he participated in an uprising in his village, for which he then spent two months in prison. His education, of course, was useless. The legendary Zheglov has at least “nine classes and three corridors”, while Kirponos has even less - a year of a parish school and three - of a district school. It is only later that he graduates from the Military Academy. And in his youth, war became his “university”. First World War, then Civil. In 1918, during the occupation of Ukraine by Germany, he joined the partisans. And I think that these partisans can well be put on a par with the Makhnovists of the Revolutionary Postan Army of Ukraine and the brotherly dad Angel. These were the times! Then Kirponos fought under the command of the red commander Schors, even received an award Mauser.

The next serious military experience for Mikhail Petrovich was the Soviet-Finnish War. He distinguished himself during the capture of Vyborg, for which he received a star of the Hero of the Soviet Union. He was noticed by senior commanders, and in January 1941, Kirponos received a responsible position as commander of the Kiev Special Military District, which, with the outbreak of World War II, was transformed into the Southwestern Front.

© RIA News / RIA News

Fighters of the Red Army shell Finnish fortifications

The first strike of the Wehrmacht was very powerful. Our troops began to roll back everywhere. In addition, the Germans were superior in manpower and in technology. What did the red commanders have to do? Repeat the maneuver of old Kutuzov? Yes, he retreated for some time, but retained most of his troops, which ultimately predetermined the destruction of the "Great Army" of Napoleon. But Stalin ordered Kirponos to never leave Kiev. However, it all ended in failure. Most of the front’s formations fell into the Kiev Kotel. At least 600 thousand soldiers of the Red Army were captured, the death toll was also huge. Modern scholars believe that if it were not for Stalin’s order, the South-Western Front might have been able to conduct an organized retreat and survive as a strong military unit. But the front died. Killed and Kirponos. This happened in the Poltava region, not far from his native Chernigov village. September 20, 1941 a column of front-line staff was attacked by a German tank group. There were no more than a thousand people in the Kirponos detachment, of which about 800 officers, generals, and commissars. They took their last battle at the Shumeikovo grove. The enemy launched an offensive from three sides. A hand-to-hand battle ensued, in which everyone fought - from a soldier to a front commander.

© RIA Novosti / Fedor Levshin

Residents of Kiev are preparing for defense. September 1941

Later, Julia Drunina will write soulful lines:

I only saw melee.

In reality. And a thousand in a dream.

Who says war is not scary

He does not know anything about the war.

Kirponos was mortally wounded by a fragment of a grenade ...

Our military leaders later remembered Mikhail Petrovich as a brave and courageous commander, but nevertheless noted that he was not ripe for his high post. But let me ask: who in 1941 "matured"? In the first months of the war, all our commanders looked rather pale against the background of Guderians, models and sides. Therefore, it is difficult to judge who Kirponos might have become, but he never did.

I recall the French general Cambronn, who had great personal courage and determination, but, it seems, without any inclinations of the commander. Caret Cambronn was surrounded by the British at Waterloo. On the offer to capitulate, the brave general shouted the legendary: "Shit! The guard is dying, but not giving up!"

Handsomely! Kirponos did not utter any "historical" tirades before his death. (Eh, somehow it’s all in Russian, mug, without shine! They don’t even know how to die! ..) And fate was more favorable to Cambronn: after his aphorism, he would live for many, many years.

In 1898, Knut Gamsun, an aspiring writer, was not yet a Nobel laureate in Russia. In his enthusiastic travel notes, he wrote, in particular: “I learned to say“ cabbage soup. ”Not many people can learn it, but I learned. And I can write this word not like the Germans, without“ this. ”Cabbage soup is meat soup. But this is not an ordinary beef soup, which is no good, but a wonderful Russian dish with all kinds of beef, eggs, cream and herbs. "

© / minadezhda

Nettle and Sorrel Soup

Here you go! The Norwegian, but caught the characteristic features, felt the inner harmony and speech of a stranger to him. And all these German "these" (more precisely - schtschi), of course, are superficial, because they stem from the centuries-old European arrogance and egocentrism. The same Wehrmacht soldiers at first called our legendary rocket launchers “Stalin’s organs” (Stalinorgel). They kind of reminded them of the appearance and sound of this musical instrument. But later the Germans perfectly learned our name Katyusha - Katjuscha. When did you learn? No, not in the 41st, but a little later - near Stalingrad and on the Kursk Bulge.

Posted by Vladimir Bychkov, Sputnik Radio

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