Seven and a half decades ago, the last salvos of the Great Patriotic War, the most bloody of all wars in the history of mankind, have seized. It ended on the battlefields, but not in people’s hearts and souls. Several generations of people have already grown up, whose fathers, grandfathers and great-grandfathers did not return from that fierce, merciless battle. They remained lying in their own or in a foreign land, went missing, were tortured in concentration camps …
The war goes farther and farther, and the memory of it does not fade away. Search teams are still operating, the ranks of caring people, volunteers who are still called from that irrevocable far away voice of the dead are growing. And not only their near and dear ones, but also those who fought alongside them together, forming one front-line fraternity.
A letter from Russia came to Ashgabat several years ago from such an indifferent person, which later came to our editorial office. It was written by Tatyana Kovalchuk, a resident of the city of Nizhnevartovsk, Tyumen Region, Khanty-Mansi Autonomous Area. Here’s what she said:
“For many years, my grandmother tried unsuccessfully to get at least some information about the place of death and burial of her husband, my grandfather Vdovin Maxim Nikiforovich. Searches had no results. And only thanks to the electronic Archive of OBD Memorial I found a place of death and a place of the last reassurance of my grandfather.”
Having carefully studied archival documents declassified not so long ago and published on the website www.obd-memorial.ru about the irretrievable losses of the Red Army in 1942, Tatyana Ivanovna discovered that our fellow countrymen fought and died along with her relative. In the mournful list of the fallen, their names stand nearby. Here they are:
BAZLIEV CHARSHUK, born in 1913, Private 744 Infantry Regiment, 149 Infantry Division of the 61 Army. Called by the Kizyl-Arvat RVC of the Turkmen SSR.
Relatives lived (as indicated in the Lists of Losses) at the address: Ashgabat Oblast, the city of Kizyl-Arvat, Kommunisticheskaya Street, house 47. Wife – Churshukova Tarmi.
ABRAKHMATOV TOKTOMYSH, born in 1923, Private 744 Infantry Regiment, 149 Infantry Division of the 61 Army. Called by the Charshanginsky RVK of the Turkmen SSR.
Relatives lived at: Chardzhou region, Karlinsky district, a / c Hadzhak, collective farm named after Molotov. Mother – Abdyrakhmetova Khatgi.
You may notice that Turkmen surnames and names are not written correctly. But so it is in the documents of that time. This is explained by the fact that unfamiliar-sounding names and surnames were often written down as they were perceived by the employees of military enlistment offices, army headquarters, military units, hospitals. As a result, the surname or name of another fighter was distorted beyond recognition.
In the Books of Memory published in Turkmenistan – “Khatyr” – both of these surnames are indicated. But the data on them were scarce. In the Book “Khatyr” on the Balkan Region (v. 1, p. 255) Bazliev Charshuk was listed as Bailiev Gardzhik, but nothing was known about him – neither where he fought, nor the place of death and burial. Just two words – “died in 1942.”
About Abrakhmatov Tokhtamysh in the Book of Khatyr on the Lebap Province (vol. 5, p. 729) it is reported that “Abrakhmanov (Abrakhmetov) Togtamysh, a private soldier, went missing in March 1942.”
Now, thanks to the Internet and the efforts of search engines, the details of the death of heroes of Turkmenistan have become known. Both of them served in the same division, in the same regiment. And they died almost at the same time – during the Kozelsky operation, which was included in the books on military art.
Kozelsk is a city in the Kaluga (during the Great Patriotic War Oryol) region. These were places of strategic tank battles. In the summer of 1942, Kozelsk and its neighboring areas became a huge tank training ground, where, during fierce and bloody battles with the Nazis, offensive tactics were worked out, which then laid the foundation for all the “technology” of the Victory. The 149 rifle division of the Western Front , in which the Turkmen fellow countrymen served, took part in these battles was at the very epicenter of the fighting. Later, the territory in which the battles were fought will be called the Field of Military Glory.
The Kozelsky operation, which served as a testing ground for future successful battles for Stalingrad and the “cauldron” of the Battle of Kursk, lasted from August 22 to 29, 1942. The battles were scary. In these battles, under the village of Bely Kamen of the Ulyanovsk district of the Kaluga region, which is fifteen kilometers from Kozelsk, Turkmen warriors Baylyev Gardzhik and Abdrakhmatov Tokhtamysh lost their lives.
The grandfather of the author of the letter to the editor Tatyana Ivanovna Kovalchuk shared the same fate with them. The information published on the website www.obd-memorial.ru indicates that for the period from September 1, 1942 to September 4, 1942, 16 people were buried under the village of Bely Kamen. However, there were much more “irretrievable losses,” as they were called in the front-line reports, as the battles went on continuously. Accordingly, mass graves grew throughout the region, on the ground of the battles that had just ended.
“There was a hospital near the village,” writes Tatyana Ivanovna. “As the locals say:“ … they only managed to bury the soldiers … ”From 1946 to 1954, all the dead were reburied in a single mass grave created on the site of the hospital in the village of Volosovo -Dudino. 2681 people rest in it. Their names are embossed on the plaques of the memorial cemetery. The necropolis is crowned by the figure of a Soldier, an ordinary World War II – the deceased, who was considered missing, but not broken, who defended peace, freedom and independence at the cost of his life.
“I can’t convey the feelings that I experienced when I came to the grave of my grandfather and his front-line brothers,” Tatyana Ivanovna continues, “here grief and sorrow mixed up with the joy that once nameless soldiers found names. It was very moved by the fact that monuments to the soldiers of the Great Patriotic War were erected in almost every settlement in the Kaluga Region. Modest but well-groomed. “People remember their feat and are very careful about this memory.”
The well-known phrase of the great commander A.V.Suvorov that the war is not over until the last soldier is interred, is only partially true. The war is not over, as long as there are caring people who do not let memory fall asleep, tearing out from oblivion and returning to history all the new names of the heroes of the past war.
Year after year, the events of the Great Patriotic War are necoming a thing of the past. Time runs, but it is not able to erase the historical memory of the people. And even after many years, other generations will gratefully recall and honor the memory of the war veterans, a memory that has no statute of limitations.