4. výsadkový sbor [1941-1942]

4th Airborne Corps
4. výsadkový zbor - 1. formovanie
4-й воздушно-десантный корпус (4 вдк) - I. формирование
4. výsadkový sbor 4th Airborne Corps
Originální název:
Original Name:
4-й воздушно-десантный корпус
Datum vzniku:
- -
Datum zániku:
38. gardová střelecká divize 38th Guards Rifle Division
Nadřízené velitelství:
Higher Command:
01.06.1941-21.06.1941 Západní zvláštní vojenský okruh
10.07.1941-09.09.1941 13. armáda
DD.09.1941-02.08.1942 Povolžský vojenský okruh
01.06.1941-21.06.1941 Western Special Military District
10.07.1941-09.09.1941 13th Army
DD.09.1941-02.08.1942 Volga Military District
01.06.1941-22.06.1941 Puchoviči, ? /

DD.05.1941-28.06.1941 Kazankin, Alexandr Fjodorovič1) (Polkovnik / Полковник)
28.06.1941-02.08.1941 Žadov, Alexej Semjonovič (Geněral-major / Генерал-майор)
DD.08.1941-DD.08.1941 Grišin, Michail Danilovič (Polkovnik / Полковник)
28.08.1941-19.11.1941 Kazankin, Alexandr Fjodorovič1) (Polkovnik / Полковник)
20.11.1941-19.01.1942 Levašov, Alexej Fjodorovič (Polkovnik / Полковник)
19.01.1942-23.02.1942 Levašov, Alexej Fjodorovič (Geněral-major / Генерал-майор)
23.02.1942-13.05.1942 Kazankin, Alexandr Fjodorovič (Polkovnik / Полковник)
13.05.1942-DD.06.1942 Kazankin, Alexandr Fjodorovič (Geněral-major / Генерал-майор)
DD.06.1942-DD.07.1942 Mamontov, Alexej Georgijevič1) (Polkovnik / Полковник)
DD.07.1942-02.08.1942 Kazankin, Alexandr Fjodorovič (Geněral-major / Генерал-майор)
Náčelník štábu:
Chief of Staff:
DD.05.1941-DD.06.1941 Timčenko, Vladimir Sergejevič1) (Major / Mайор)
29.06.1941-27.08.1941 Kazankin, Alexandr Fjodorovič (Polkovnik / Полковник)
20.11.1941-23.02.1942 Kazankin, Alexandr Fjodorovič (Polkovnik / Полковник)
23.02.1942-29.04.1942 Kozunko, Mina Michajlovič (Major / Mайор)
29.04.1942-DD.08.1942 Kozunko, Mina Michajlovič (Podpolkovnik / Подполковник)
Podřízené jednotky:
Subordinated Units:
Čestný název:
Honorary Name:
v bojujúcej armáde:
22.06.1941 - 28.08.1941
24.02.1942 - 25.06.1942

1) dočasne poverený
in the army in the field:
22.06.1941 - 28.08.1941
24.02.1942 - 25.06.1942

1) temporarily
URL : https://www.valka.cz/4-vysadkovy-sbor-1941-1942-t277431#566083 Version : 0

4th Airborne Corps (1st forming)

4-й воздушно-десантный корпус - I. формирование

The corps began to form in late May 1941 on the basis of the Decree of the Central Committee of the Communist Party and the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR No. 1112-459ss of April 23, 1941 "On new formations in the Red Army". That resolution, issued at the suggestion of the People's Commissar of Defence, envisaged the creation of five airborne corps at the expense of the existing Red Army formations. Each airborne corps was to consist of a corps headquarters, three airborne brigades, a tank battalion, a liaison battalion, and a liaison platoon. The total strength of the corps was set at 8,020 men. The formation of the 4th Airborne Corps took place in the Western Special Military District, based on 214th Airborne Brigade, the corps headquarters was stationed in the town of Puchovichi (about 50 km from Minsk). By 1 June 1941, the corps was staffed, but by the beginning of the Great Patriotic War it had failed to be equipped with sufficient combat equipment.

K 22. June 1941, all brigades of the corps were deployed near the Belarusian town of Pukhovichi. In the first days of the war, the troops of the Western Front suffered a heavy defeat. Part of its forces were defeated in border fighting and surrounded, while part retreated eastwards, that is, into the interior of the USSR. Heavy fighting was also taking place near the capital of the Byelorussian SSR - Minsk. On July 27, 1941, German troops broke through the Minsk-Slutsk fortified area and advanced rapidly along the state highway to Bobruisk. Late in the evening of 28 June, the headquarters of the 4th Airborne Corps received orders for the brigades of the corps to take up defenses along the east bank of the Berezina River near the village of Svisloch. (40 km east of Puchovichi). 214th Airborne Brigade was ordered to move to Stary Dorog (on the road between Slutsk and Bobruysk) and counter-attack together with units of 4th Army to defeat the enemy advancing towards Bobruysk. The brigade was then to operate separately from the other brigades of the corps. The corps 7th Airborne Brigade was tasked with covering the direction Berezino River - Mogilev. The bridge over the Berezino was ready to be blown up. The task of the 8th Corps Airborne Brigade was to prevent a German breakthrough in the direction of Svisloch, Mogilev.

By the middle of July 3, German troops managed to bypass the left flank of the 100th Airborne Brigade. Rifle Division (which was retreating together with the 161st Rifle Division towards Berezina in the direction from Minsk) and small groups of tanks and motorized infantry to penetrate into the Berezina River area. Although the Nazi attempts to break through to the bridge were repulsed in time, the fighting did not cease all night. The confusion in the Berezina area was unimaginable. To prevent the enemy from occupying the bridge, the Soviets blew it up. In spite of this, the Germans managed in several groups to cross to the eastern bank and wedge themselves into the gaps between the defensive positions of the units of the 7th Airborne Brigade. On the morning of 4 July, the 7th Airborne Brigade attempted a counterattack to drive the Germans from the captured bridgehead, but was met with heavy fire. The counterattack was unsuccessful and by the end of the day the brigade had to withdraw to the Kleva River line.

In the area of Svisloch, where the 8th Airborne Brigade was defending itself with the support of the 122nd Corps Artillery Regiment, the Germans succeeded in capturing a bridgehead on the Berezina River on 1 July. Here, the Soviet paratroopers encountered the 4th Panzer Division of the German XXIV Army Corps. The remnants of the Western Front units, defeated in the border fighting, retreated through the Soviet order of battle. By 7 July, the 4th Airborne Corps was fighting fierce battles on the Vdova, Pervije Rečki, and Knyazica lines. In each of the corps' two airborne brigades at this time there were up to 1,000-1,100 men and 15 45-mm caliber guns. On 8 July 1941, the corps was withdrawn from the 13th Army, was again subordinated to the 4th Army, and together with its formations was sent to replenish its forces across the Sozh River.

The rest, however, did not last long. On 10 July 1941, Guderian's 2nd Panzer Group crossed the Dnieper River at Shklov and Bychovo and launched an attack on Smolensk. On the evening of 12 July, the 4th Army was ordered to take up defenses along the eastern banks of the Pronya and Sozha rivers from Chausy to Propoysk (today Slavgorod) and from Mstislavl to Propoysk. By the decision of the army commander, the 4th Airborne Corps was deployed in the area of Mstislavl, Krichev. On 14 July, the 4th Army was tasked to strike Gorki from two directions: the 28th Rifle Corps - along the eastern bank of the Pronya River, and the combined forces of the 4th Airborne Corps and 25th Mechanized Corps from the area of Krichevo. At the same time, the 13th Army was to strike at Horki along the west bank of the Pronya River with the forces of one mechanized corps and two rifle divisions, as well as to eliminate the enemy in the Bychovo area.

By dawn on 15 July, however, the enemy air force began massive raids on Cherikov and Propojsk, and a little later a strong Hitler tank group unexpectedly seized the bridge over the Pronya River near Propojsk and began to develop along the highway to Cherikov. Marshal Timoshenko, commander of the Western Front, issued an order to delay the enemy and prevent them from crossing the Sozh River, entrusting this task to the commander of the 4th Airborne Corps Major General Zhadov (In November 1942, on the recommendation of Stalin, he changed his surname to Zhadov), as the front had no other forces there. On 15 and 16 July, the paratroopers, who had been fighting heavy holding battles, withdrew to the Sozh River, and at the end of 16 July moved to defend the river crossings near the town of Krichev. During 17 July the corps successfully repulsed enemy tank attacks. On the night of 18 July, however, the enemy, having withdrawn reserves as a result of further attacks, occupied Krichev, forcibly crossed the Sozh River, and seized the bridgehead on the left bank of the river.

At this time the situation on the western flank was very difficult. The order of the commander-in-chief of the western direction stated that the enemy, having concentrated large forces on the Vitebsk and Mogilev directions, had broken through the front in the Shklov and Bykov area and had gone out in mobile groups to the Velizha and Gorki area, trying to break through to Smolensk and encircle the Vitebsk-Orsk grouping of Red Army troops. Subsequently, the enemy groups continued to advance eastward with the aim of cutting the main communications and getting into the deep rear of the Soviet troops on that direction. The loss of the Sozh and Krichev water crossing further aggravated the situation of the Soviet troops in the early second half of July.

The commander of the 4th Airborne Corps major-general A. S. Zhidov was called to the command post of the western direction, where Marshal S. K. Timoshenko was given the task of restoring the situation on the Sozh River and pushing the Germans out of the town of Krichev. With the task of coordinating the activities of the corps and other units to accomplish the set combat task, on July 18, the commander of the 13th Army lieutenant-general V. F. Gerasimenko. On the morning of July 19, the units of the 4th Airborne Corps moved to the initial position for the attack on Krichev. The paratroopers reached the left bank of the river after a strong onslaught, however, they were unable to develop their success further. Having neither air nor sufficient artillery support, the corps units were unable to overcome the German defenses, forcibly cross the river, and therefore withdrew to the Krasnyj Bor, Michejevichi, Velikan line, where they began to put themselves in order and prepare for a new counterattack. A repeated attempt to recapture Krichev was also unsuccessful. The 8th Airborne Brigade reached the line of attack belatedly and could not take part in the fight.

On Monday morning, July 21, units of the 4th Airborne Corps again attacked the enemy in the direction of Krichev. The 7th Airborne Brigade reached Korenoy and the forest west of it, where it was stopped by enemy fire from the direction of Mikheyevichi. After reaching the forest east of Pondochovo, the 8th Airborne Brigade was also stopped by concentrated enemy artillery and mortar fire. Heavy fighting for Krichev continued for several more days. On 22 and 23 July, the 4th Airborne Corps continued to attack relentlessly the enemy defending the left bank of the Sozha River near Krichev. However, its attacks were not successful. On the evening of 29 July, a combined detachment of paratroopers under the command of Major V. S. Timchenko, chief of the operations department of the corps headquarters, despite heavy enemy fire, forcibly crossed the Sozh River and penetrated into the town. Throughout the night fierce fighting with the Nazis took place in the area of the railway station, near the military commissariat, as well as in the villages of Voronevo and Zadobrost adjacent to the town. Two enemy battalions were almost completely destroyed, only some soldiers managed to escape from the town. At dawn, however, the Germans threw a considerable force of infantry and tanks into the counterattack. The paratroopers were forced to abandon the town. Major Timchenko was killed in this battle.

On 10 August, the German 2nd Panzer Group launched an offensive operation in the direction of Starodubsk and 12. On 12 August, the German 2nd Army went on the offensive against Gomel. On the morning of 10 August, units of the 4th Airborne Corps captured the Osmolovichi - Lobza line. On the same morning, the headquarters of the 13th Army received a report from the commander of the airborne corps: "The enemy broke through the front near Osmolovichi, putting 100 tanks and motorized infantry into action. The strike is developing on Kukuyevka...". After a full day of fierce fighting, in the evening the corps command proposed to withdraw the entire corps at night to the Kostukovichi area, to take up defences north of the town for 2-3 km, and to occupy the railway line to the Zhadunka River. However, the paratroopers did not get far from the enemy. At midnight on August 10, 150 enemy tanks, after breaking the headquarters of the 8th Airborne Brigade, surrounded the corps headquarters, which was located in the village of Vysokaya Buda. Moreover, the 8th Airborne Brigade, retreating south, thus exposed the right flank of the 7th Airborne Brigade. To help the paratroopers, the 155th Rifle Division moved swiftly on vehicles from the Propojska area (incidentally, on 12 August it was from the Propojska area that the German 2nd Army in the area, which was weakened by the transfer of the 155th Rifle Division to the 13th Army). The Airborne Corps also had the 462nd Corps Artillery Regiment assigned to it. In the afternoon of 11 August, the paratroopers, along with reinforcements, formed a segmented anti-tank defense using obstacles and minefields on likely enemy movement routes.

In the afternoon of 12 August, the movement of tanks (up to 150) in the direction of Rodnja - Mglin was detected. The remaining 50 tanks moved in the direction Rodnja - Kostukovici and reached the right flank of the 4th Airborne Corps' defensive line in the afternoon. With a tank attack from Osmolovichi, the enemy dispersed the 8th Airborne Brigade and surrounded the headquarters of the 4th Airborne Corps. As a result, the 13th Army headquarters lost contact with the corps. On 13 August, the enemy, in a force of over a motor regiment with tanks 4th Tank Division, 258th Infantry Division and three artillery batteries continued the offensive from the line Rodnya - Autuchovka in the direction of Kostukovich. Against the front of the 4th Airborne Corps a large tank and infantry grouping of the strength of an army corps was deployed. Lingering on the line Semenovka - Autuchovka - Antonovka - Zhadunka - Borovaja - Veprin, the enemy continued his attack bypassing the right flank of the Soviet troops.

During the day of August 13, the enemy pushed the 4th Airborne Corps out of the occupied line and by the evening reached the line Nizhki - Norkino - Vysokij Bor - Paluzh. The commander ordered the Airborne Corps to gather all forces and strike the flank and rear of the enemy, then go on the defensive on the line Kostukovichi - Vetuchna - Kokoysk - Paluzh - Krasnopole. On this day, the last forces and reserves of the commander of the 13th Army were used in the fighting at Kostukovichi, including the surrender of the tanks that served as protection for the army's command post.

On Thursday, August 14, the corps' temporarily authorized commander Colonel A. F. Kazankin ordered to withdraw the corps from the occupied positions and prepare a new defensive line on the Klyayevichi-Medvedi line. By the morning of 15 August, one half of the corps was carrying out this order, while the other half was fighting the enemy on the Vyotuchna-Paluz line. During 15 August, the troops of the 13th Army, due to the threat of encirclement, move to new defensive lines. Army commander major-general Golubev justified his decision to withdraw the army as follows: "The army is forced to operate in the presence of the enemy from the north, east and west in conditions of operational semi-encirclement, which has reached 250 km. The Army's real forces: the 155th Rifle Division, the 52nd Cavalry Division, the weak units of the 4th Airborne Corps and the 50th Airborne Corps. Panzer Division, which together have about 1,600 bayonets and 20 tanks .... We are also not receiving weapons."

As a result of the retreat of the 13th Army, by the end of 15 August the 4th Airborne Corps was fighting under siege on the Samotevichi - Medvedi defensive line. The enemy was coming up the rear of the corps by flank attacks. August 15 was indeed an unfortunate day for the troops of the entire Central Front: on this day, the commander of the 45th Rifle Corps was killed by the commander of the E. J. Magon, commander of the 6th Rifle Division Colonel M. A. Popsuy-Shapko and many other commanders and fighters. In connection with the creation of the Bryansk Front, the STAVKA decision passed 13th Army to the subordination of the Bryan Front as of 00.00 on 16 August 1941. On 18 August, the corps, cut off by Guderian's tank group which had broken through in the Starodub area, was tasked with breaking through the enemy defences between Unecha and Starodub and reaching the line Lipka, Alenovka, Ryukhovo, Neutopovichi and going on the defensive. The paratroopers successfully accomplished this task, improving the overall situation of the 13th and 21st Army. Next, the corps conducted a defense for seven days, delaying the enemy breakthrough on the eastern direction. By 24 August, the corps reached the Suzemka area, where it was withdrawn from subordination to 13th Army.

In September 1941, the corps was sent to the Povolzhsky area for re-formation, and in December 1941, after training, it was moved to Kaluga, already in the formation of the 8th, 9th and 214th Airborne Brigade. On 15 December 1941, one battalion of the 214th Airborne Brigade (415 men) was deployed west of the town of Klin, where it captured the road to Terjayevskaya Sloboda and prevented the enemy from retreating to Volokolamsk.

On 15 January 1942, it was decided to land the corps in the Ozerechna area (35 km southwest of Vyazma). Only the 8th Airborne Brigade was dropped, as it was impractical to drop the entire corps due to the overall change in the situation, and the remaining parts of the corps were withdrawn from their starting positions to Lubertsi.

During the Rzhev-Vyazma operation in 1942, corps units were airborne into the enemy rear 25 kilometres south of Vyazma between 18 and 23 February, dropping 7,373 paratroopers and 1,524 ammunition and equipment parcels. In March, the corps occupied the area of the stations of Klyuchi, Tynovka, Yurkyno, Petrischevo, Novaya, and Verterchovo. From 18 March it was practically divided in heavy bloody defensive fighting. On 11 April 1942, the corps was transferred to the subordination of the 1st Guards Cavalry Corps and operated behind enemy lines in complete separation from the main forces until June. In June 1942, the corps abandoned its positions under orders and broke out of encirclement on 28 June 1942.

In August 1942, the corps was reformed as the 38th Guards Rifle Division.

URL : https://www.valka.cz/4-vysadkovy-sbor-1941-1942-t277431#753574 Version : 0
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