Najdin, Grigorij Nikolajevič

Naydin, Grigoriy Nikolayevich
Григорий Николаевич Найдин
Najdin Naydin
Given Name:
Grigorij Nikolajevič Grigoriy Nikolayevich
Jméno v originále:
Original Name:
Григорий Николаевич Найдин
Fotografie či obrázek:
Photograph or Picture:
plukovník Colonel
Akademický či vědecký titul:
Academic or Scientific Title:
- -
Šlechtický titul:
Hereditary Title:
- -
Datum, místo narození:
Date and Place of Birth:
18.11.1917 Saltykovo, Kurská gubernia /
18.11.1917 Saltykovo, Kursk gubernia /
Datum, místo úmrtí:
Date and Place of Decease:
10.12.1977 Berdičev /
10.12.1977 Berditchev /
Nejvýznamnější funkce:
(maximálně tři)
Most Important Appointments:
(up to three)
- -
Jiné významné skutečnosti:
(maximálně tři)
Other Notable Facts:
(up to three)
- počas jedného dňa (23.06.1941) zničil 15 nepriateľských tankov
- nositeľ titulu Hrdina Sovietskeho zväzu
- During one day (23.06.1941) destroyed 15 enemy tanks
- holder of the Title Hero of the Soviet Union
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Related Articles:

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Najdin Naydin
Given Name:
Grigorij Nikolajevič Grigoriy Nikolayevich
Jméno v originále:
Original Name:
Григорий Николаевич Найдин
Všeobecné vzdělání:
General Education:
DD.MM.1923-DD.MM.1932 základná škola
DD.MM.1936-DD.MM.1938 škola pre mechanizátorov
DD.MM.1923-DD.MM.1932 elementary School
DD.MM.1936-DD.MM.1938 School for mechanist
Vojenské vzdělání:
Military Education:
DD.MM.1938-DD.MM.RRRR povolaný do armády
DD.MM.1942-DD.MM.RRRR Čeljabinské tankové učilište
DD.MM.RRRR-DD.MM.1949 Vojenská akadémia tankových a mechanizovaných vojsk
DD.MM.1938-DD.MM.RRRR drafted into the army
DD.MM.1942-DD.MM.RRRR Chelyabinsk tank school
DD.MM.RRRR-DD.MM.1949 Military Academy of Armored and Mechanized Forces of the Red Army
Důstojnické hodnosti:
Officer Ranks:
DD.MM.1942 poručík
DD.MM.RRRR plukovník
DD.MM.1942 Lieutenant
DD.MM.RRRR Colonel
Průběh vojenské služby:
Military Career:
DD.MM.RRRR-DD.MM.1941 5. tanková divízia
DD.MM.1942-DD.MM.1943 103. samostatný tankový prápor 11. armády Severozápadného frontu
DD.MM.RRRR-DD.MM.1941 5th Tank Division
DD.MM.1942-DD.MM.1943 103. Detached Tank Battalion 11th Army North-Western Front
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Grigory Nikolayevich Najdin

A tanker becomes an ace after destroying five enemy tanks. Grigory N. Najdin became a triple ace in a single day, when a tank crew BT-7 under his command destroyed 15 enemy tanks in 24 hours. For this heroic feat, he was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union title, and even in the popular computer game World of Tanks, one of the medals is named after him - the Najdin Medal. The player receives it if he destroys at least three enemy light tanks in one game.

G. N. Najdin was born on 18.11.1917 in a Russian peasant family. He spent his childhood in the village of Saltykovo (Салтыково), which is now a residential district of the town of Gubkin (Губкин). He received his primary education in the local school and also took a mechanics course after finishing the ninth grade. For some time he worked in the local peasant cooperative as a tractor driver and turner, then he went to train as a mechanic in a machine-tractor station. From 1936 to 1938 he was trained in a special mechanics' school and obtained a certificate as a senior mechanic. In the fall of 1938 he was drafted into the army and served in a tank unit. In 1940 he joined the Communist Party.

The Soviet Union's invasion in June 1941 found him in the Lithuanian border garrison, where he served as commander of a light tank BT-7, belonging to the 5th Panzer Division. This division was stationed in the Lithuanian town of Alitus on 18 June 1941, with BT-7 tanks as its main armament. In addition to these, the division also had armoured cars BA-10 and BA-20 and tanks T-34, T-28 and T-26. It was the 5th Panzer Division that was one of the first to repel the massive strikes of the German troops after the invasion of the USSR on 22 June 1941. It was opposed by units of XXXIXth Army Corps Colonel General Hoth. The Hitlerite goal was to quickly cross the Neman River and attack Vilnius. They were prevented from advancing by border guards from the 128th and 188th Rifle Division. Due to the rapid advance of the German troops, the 5th Panzer Division was ordered to move to the west bank of the Neman River in order to seize the bridgehead. The underdeveloped troops were subjected to intense artillery fire, with noticeable blows also being dealt to them by the German Luftwaffe, which had almost complete superiority in the air. The remnants of the division managed, with heavy losses in manpower and material, to reach the east bank, where they defended the bridge over the river until nightfall. Under cover of night, the units of the division retreated towards Vilnius. All the next day (23.06.1941) there was fierce defensive fighting, hampered on the Russian side by a shortage of fuel, spare parts and ammunition, as a result of which a lot of equipment had to be left behind. However, the front command, which had only a minimal grasp of the situation at the front in those chaotic days, continued to insist doggedly on carrying out the division's tasks according to the pre-war plans. However, even with the best will, the division could not carry out these orders, as it lost almost 70% of its personnel (killed, wounded and missing) and almost 50% of its equipment in two days of fighting!

The remnants of the division halted in front of the city of Vilnius, but time had to be bought to prepare the defence of the city. To gain it, the division command decided to make several local counterattacks on the advancing German troops. The commander of the 9th Panzer Regiment 5th Panzer Division suggested that this task be carried out by volunteers. And it was one of them, Sergeant Grigory Najdin, who had opened his combat score the day before, on 22 June, when his crew destroyed one German tank. His task was simple yet essentially suicidal - to slow the enemy's advance for as long as possible near the Lithuanian village of Rudiškjajij (Рудишкяй), which was located about 20 km south-west of Vilnius. Grigory Najdin and his tank crew arrived at the site of the later commemorative battle on 23 June and thoroughly familiarised themselves with the topography of the terrain. He decided that the road, lined on both sides by marshy meadows, would best suit his task. The crew carefully camouflaged their tank in the middle of a small copse of trees and awaited the enemy's arrival.

Fresh forces of the 19th Panzer Division under the command of Lieutenant General of Panzer Troops Heinrich Otto von Knobelsdorff were advancing on Vilna at the time. His second-string units had not participated in previous battles and, as they encountered almost no resistance, moved without sufficient reconnaissance and hedging. First on the road was an incomplete tank company, composed of tanks Pz.Kpfw. II and Pz.Kpfw. III with attached guns. When the distance between the German tanks and Sergeant Najdin's camouflaged tank shortened to about 400 meters, the Russian tank opened fire. The first shot set fire to the lead tank of the column and the second knocked out the last tank. This is a classic method of attacking a column, which was later used to perfection by, among others, SS-Hauptsturmführer Michael Wittmann in the infamous Battle of Villiers-Bocage. But let us return to the heroic fight of the crew of the BT-7 tank of Sergeant Najdin. With precisely aimed shots, his tank destroyed German tanks that had lost the ability to maneuver due to the swampy terrain. One by one, the German armoured vehicles exploded, and although their crews tried to return fire, they failed to hit a Russian tank with a single shot. After less than 30 minutes, the brave crews had destroyed 12 German tanks and ten towed guns and retreated out of sight. With its tracks removed, the tank then caught up with its unit and rejoined it. A few hours later, in the Battle of Vilna, Sergeant Najdin's tank crew destroyed three more enemy tanks. The battle report of the front headquarters, which was sent at 22:45 on 24.06.1941 to the People's Commissar (Minister) of Defence, stated that "the 5th Panzer Division was fighting the enemy in the area of Rodziškis at 14:00 on 23.06.1941". However, there was no mention in the report that the battle was actually fought by a single tank!

The remnants of 5th Panzer Division were still trying to hold the defenses of Vilnius during 24 June, but catastrophic losses (only 15 tanks remained mobile) and the enemy's many numbers forced the Soviets into a rapid and disorganized retreat. Vilnius thus fell into German hands at 1700 hours. By the end of the following day, the remnants of the unit were moving around Molodechno (Molodechno), and on 26 June they had already retreated in an organized manner to Borisov, where they rejoined the fighting with the German troops. By the end of the month, the surviving equipment (4 armoured BA vehicles and 2 BT-7 tanks) and personnel were incorporated into the Borisov troop group and subsequently moved to Kaluga.

Sergeant Grigory Najdin was proposed by the division commander for the Hero of the Soviet Union title for his heroic deed, but in the chaos of those days, this proposal was lost to who knows where. Najdin took part in defensive battles until the end of 1941. After suffering a wound he was sent to the Chelyabinsk Tank School to upgrade his qualifications. As chance would have it, the commander of the apprenticeship was the former commander of the 5th Tank Division, Colonel F. F. Fyodorov (Ф. Фёдоров), who was very surprised not to see the Hero's Star on the chest of his former subordinate. Therefore, he re-wrote all the necessary documents, managed to get the necessary testimonies from the surviving members of the unit and sent them for approval. Despite this, Lieutenant Najdin, at that time already a heavy tank commander, was awarded this highest military decoration only on 03.07.1944 (under No. 3685). Both the proposal for the award and the decree on the award of the title incorrectly state the date of the battle as 25.06.1941, which, however, does not correspond to reality, since on that date the remnants of the 5th Panzer Division were already near the Belarusian town of Molodechno.

Lieutenant (Lieutenant) Grigory Najdin fought in the ranks of the 103rd Independent Tank Battalion of the 11th Army Northwest Front after completing his apprenticeship, and was wounded twice.

After the end of the war, he continued to serve in the USSR armed forces. In 1949, he successfully graduated from the Military Academy of Tank and Mechanized Troops, and Colonel Najdin retired in 1966. After leaving the army he lived in the town of Berdychev, which now belongs to Ukraine.

He died on 10.12.1977 at the age of 60 and is buried in the city cemetery in Berdychev.

Solonin, M.: 22 June. Anatomy of Catastrophe, Yauza, 2009, ISBN: 978-5-699-36124-3
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