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Russia - Commander Polosukhin and those who died near Moscow were honored on Poklonnaya Hill

Russia (, - The Victory Museum on Poklonnaya Gora paid tribute to the memory of the commander of the 32nd Infantry Division, Colonel Viktor Polosukhin, who died on February 18, 1942 during the counteroffensive on the border of the Moscow and Smolensk regions. And together with the divisional commander, they commemorated the fighters and commanders of his subordinate and neighboring units, who fought heroically, trying to push the German troops as far as possible from the Soviet capital.

The commemorative events were attended by the grandson of Divisional Commander Polosukhin Viktor Ponyakov and the grandson of Marshal Govorov Alexei Govorov - his grandfather in the winter of 1942 commanded the 5th Army of the Western Front, which included the 32nd Division.

Among the guests were leaders, teachers and schoolchildren from Mozhaisk and the Mozhaisk region, where the memory of Viktor Polosukhin is carefully preserved. And they do not just save it: through the joint efforts of public and veteran organizations, they managed to petition for the posthumous awarding of the title of Hero of Russia to him. Decree of the President of Russia No. 465 on such an award was issued on August 16, 2021. Some time later, Krasnaya Zvezda reported that the award was given to one of the relatives of the division commander by the Chief of the General Staff of the Russian Armed Forces - First Deputy Minister of Defense, General of the Army Valery Gerasimov.

In the museum on Poklonnaya Gora, relatives of the heroes-commanders and guests from the Moscow region were able to see the updated exposition "The Battle for Moscow. The First Victory!", where personal belongings of Colonel Polosukhin are kept among the relics. And even - a letter pierced by a bullet, which turned out to be in the breast pocket of the divisional commander in that last battle.

It came from the eldest daughter Aurora and was with her father until the last minute. For several decades, this relic was cherished in the family, and then they decided to transfer it to the Victory Museum.

In the Hall of Glory, where Victor Polosukhin is now listed on the marble pylons with the names of front-line heroes, the participants of the ceremony laid flowers and honored the memory of those who died 80 years ago in the battle near Moscow in silence.

And the grandson of the divisional commander Viktor Ponyakov contributed his grandfather's biography to the All-Russian historical project "Faces of Victory". In a dialogue with Rossiyskaya Gazeta, Viktor Igorevich said that he had visited Mozhaisk the day before and visited the place where, according to fellow soldiers, division commander Polosukhin died.

“Museum employees, search engines and local historians have different opinions about exactly where this happened,” our interlocutor shared. - The memorial stone was erected at a time when not all archival documents had open access, but now such an opportunity has appeared. We agreed that this summer, if the situation allows, we will once again visit the battlefields and check with maps, orders, operational reports ...

The ascetic stele at the 141st kilometer and four words: "They were ten thousand."

Maybe a hundred less or three more - for sure, and now no one will say. And in May 1966, when this obelisk was opened, there was even less reliable and accessible information. But then with us were the surviving participants of those battles and witnesses from the local residents. Now, alas, no one. Only papers in the military archives, if they survived the meat grinder of the first year of the war ...

The front-line fate of Viktor Polosukhin and the 32nd Rifle Division, which he commanded from March 1941 until the day of his death, is in many ways similar to the fate of Major General Ivan Panfilov, under whose command the 316th Rifle Division was in the fall of 1941. Both of them distinguished themselves in heavy defensive battles on the outskirts of Moscow. Colonel Polosukhin - near Mozhaisk, on the Borodino field and in the battles for Akulovo, Major General Panfilov - behind Ruza and near Volokolamsk. And both shared with their subordinates the battlefield where they met their death hour.

Panfilov's men, as the fighters of this division began to be called after the death of the division commander on October 18, 41st, stopped the German near the village of Kryukovo, when 41 kilometers remained behind him, to Moscow. And they pushed back from this line, drove the invaders to the west.

Viktor Polosukhin commanded the division for another four months, and in December-January-February he beat mercilessly, pursued the retreating enemy. And, of course, he lost people every day. He reached 141 kilometers with battles, if measured along the Minsk highway, and would move like this to the western border of the USSR ...

But, as they say now, "the German rested his horn" on the western border of the Moscow region.According to military historians, this was due to a tough order from Hitler. Forced to give consent to the withdrawal of units of Army Group Center from the near approaches to Moscow, he could not accept the loss of already conquered positions and "his" territories, as seen from Berlin. Therefore, already at the end of December 41st - early January 42nd, when the battles in this direction were going on in the Ruza region, moving towards Mozhaisk and Vereya, the German engineer units began to prepare a belt of defensive fortifications in their rear. This was the last line for the withdrawal and consolidation of the Wehrmacht units in the Moscow direction.

Some time later, it will be called pompously "the line of the Fuhrer" - from Rzhev in the north through the regional centers of Zubtsov, Karmanovo, Gzhatsk and Yukhnov to the south. In February 1942, there was still no continuous line of fortifications, and battles were fought at various distances from Moscow, but large defensive sections on the path of the advancing Soviet troops had already been formed.

It was precisely such a knot of resistance in the area of ​​​​the villages of Vasilki, Ivaniki, Oshchepkovo that Polosukhin's 32nd division came across, and with it two more rifle divisions - the 50th and 144th, as well as the 43rd rifle and 20th tank brigades from composition of the 5th Army under the command of (then) General Govorov. The attackers had the task of saddling the Moscow-Minsk highway in the Gzhatsk region from the south and cutting the railway to Vyazma. Thus, they wanted to alleviate the situation of the 33rd Army of General Efremov, which fought the hardest battles surrounded southeast of Vyazma.

Such a task for the advancing units, bled white in the previous weeks, almost without tanks and artillery, turned out to be beyond their power. Moreover, our two divisions, the remnants of the rifle and tank brigades themselves ended up in a "bag".

In a critical situation, the 108th Rifle and 82nd Motorized Rifle Divisions came to their rescue. The actual encirclement is avoided, but the losses in personnel are the hardest. On February 18, at the time of reconnaissance at the forefront in the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe village of Ivaniki, he came under machine-gun fire and the commander of the 32nd Infantry Division, Colonel Viktor Polosukhin, was killed.

Two days later, the divisional commander was buried with military honors in the center of the already liberated Mozhaisk. Hundreds, and out of hundreds - thousands of ordinary and junior commanders in the snow-covered fields and in the copses around the entire perimeter of the German defense center, there was no way to bury.

And then it was not possible to fulfill the main task - to cut the highway and the railway to Vyazma. At the suggestion of Army Commander Govorov, offensive operations in this area will be stopped. The German line of defense will last here for a whole year, until March 1943, and will be broken only after the liberation of Rzhev and Gzhatsk ...

And then, in March of the 42nd, an order was received to transfer the 32nd division, already with the new commander Stepan Gladyshev, to the right flank of Govorov's 5th army. It will occupy a section of the front near the villages of Klyachino, Churilovo in the Gzhatsky district of the Smolensk region and until the end of April will carry out the orders of the Headquarters, the front commander and the commander to break through the German defense lines, which have noticeably strengthened here too ...

Everything that happened to the division later is the subject of a separate story. And today we will only designate the key, turning events. By order of the NPO dated May 24, 1942, the 32nd Red Banner Rifle Division will be transformed into the 29th Guards Rifle Division.

Under her already guards banner, she was at the forefront of the Rzhev-Vyazemsky offensive operation in the spring of 43, liberated Gzhatsk, Yelnya, advanced on Orsha, participated in the liberation of the Pushkin Mountains, the museum-estate of Pushkin in Mikhailovsky. The war ended in battles against a group of Germans in Courland.

Today, the successor to the 32nd Rifle Division - 29th Guards Rifle Division is the 144th Guards Motorized Rifle Elninskaya Red Banner, Order of the Suvorov Division.

Its subdivisions are deployed in the Smolensk and Bryansk regions, the administration is in Smolensk. And the entire formation is part of the 20th Guards Combined Arms Army of the Western Military District.

From 1993 to 1995, the division was commanded by a colonel, then by Guards Major General Valery Gerasimov, now by Army General, Chief of the General Staff of the RF Armed Forces - First Deputy Minister of Defense. In August 1994, he also led the withdrawal of the division from Estonia (the Baltic Military District) to the territory of Russia.

In July 2022, the first 100 years since the formation of the division will be celebrated.

Russia - Commander Polosukhin and those who died near Moscow were honored on Poklonnaya Hill