Stepped into immortality: little-known heroes of the Great Patriotic War
During the years of the Great Patriotic War, the highest Soviet award – the Gold Star of the Hero of the Soviet Union – was awarded to 11,657 soldiers and officers of the Red Army, 3,051 posthumously. Feats were performed on land, sea, in the air. Not all heroes are widely known. RIA Novosti recalls some of them.
Guard Captain Vladimir Bochkovsky is a true ace in tank combat. During the war years, he destroyed 36 units of enemy armored vehicles. He was on the verge of death more than once, seriously wounded four times, burned five times.
Bochkovsky Vladimir Alexandrovich
On March 21, 1944, the deputy commander of the battalion of the 1st Guards Tank Brigade, Captain Bochkovsky personally led the fighters on the attack – he crossed the Trebna River and captured a bridgehead on the enemy bank. His tanks turned 16 enemy cannons, four assault guns and more than 200 vehicles into a pile of metal. The next day the Germans counterattacked. And they lost three tanks, five mortars, up to 50 armored vehicles and a platoon of soldiers from the fire of Soviet vehicles. For these fights, Vladimir Bochkovsky was awarded the title of Hero.
go to the attack line
During the Vistula-Oder offensive on January 15, 1945, Bochkovsky’s tank rammed a train with German “tigers”. The T-34 side pushed a steam locomotive running at full speed from the embankment, and it collapsed, dragging platforms with armored vehicles behind it. For this feat, the tank hero was presented with the second Gold Star, but in the end the award was replaced with the Order of Suvorov III degree.
Anatoly Nedbaylo was considered one of the best attack aircraft in combat aviation. He made more than 220 sorties on his IL-2.
Nedbaylo Anatoly Konstantinovich
Nedbailo personally destroyed dozens of tanks on the battlefield, hundreds of objects in the near rear of the enemy, and an uncountable number of Nazis. Participated in the Mius, Donbass, Melitopol, Nikopol-Krivoy Rog, Crimean, Vitebsk-Orsha, Minsk, Vilnius, Kaunas, Memel, East Prussian, Koenigsberg and Zemland operations.
The captain was twice awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union – in April and June 1945. Three times his Il-2 was shot down, once he miraculously survived, colliding with a wingman in the fog.
The attack aircraft crashed to the ground, the pilot received serious fractures and lost consciousness. The infantrymen who arrived in time to the crash site pulled him out of the cockpit in a matter of seconds before the plane caught fire. Nedbaylo returned to duty just a month and a half later.
Captain-Lieutenant Valentin Starikov served in the Northern Fleet, commanded the M-171 submarine of the Malyutka type. Its crew completed 23 military campaigns and sank 13 enemy ships: seven transports, a tanker, two submarines, two minesweepers and a boat. “Baby” became a real thunderstorm for the sailors of the Kriegsmarine – the Russians were hunted, but every time Starikov left the depth charges.
institution of culture and art “Central Naval Museum” of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation
Starikov Valentin Georgievich
The elusive submariner twice penetrated well-defended enemy naval bases. So, on October 2, 1941, M-171 secretly passed through a narrow fiord into the harbor of Linahamari and torpedoed two enemy transports literally under the noses of guard ships and coastal batteries. Already at the exit from the bay, where enemy boats with depth charges were prowling, the “Malyutka” got into an anti-submarine network. Starikov managed to break out of the trap, float unnoticed and pass over the barrier.
By January 1942, there were already seven enemy transports on the account of the M-171. And in April, the crew of the boat received the honorary title “Guards” for military merit. The commander was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
Senior Sergeant Gennady Barykov met the war as an armor-piercer in a rifle regiment, fought on the Central, Bryansk and South-Western fronts, burning German tanks with an anti-tank rifle in the Kursk direction. In December 1941, he was seriously wounded.
Barykov Gennady Ivanovich
The fighter recovered, underwent retraining, and from July 1943 commanded a gun in a battery of 76-mm guns of the 753rd Infantry Regiment, having met Pobeda in East Prussia. Barykov especially distinguished himself in the Koenigsberg operation. On April 6, 1945, during a breakthrough of the enemy defenses near the village of Vargen, his direct-fire crew destroyed three anti-aircraft guns, five machine guns and two dozen enemy soldiers.
The next day, Gennady resisted the counterattack of German tanks. One of the shots seriously wounded the gunner and loader. The senior sergeant, replacing his comrades, stood behind the panorama and single-handedly destroyed two heavy aircraft.