Tuesday 12 May 2015

Grenade Juggler

"Award Order
  1. Name: Sizintsev, Ivan Ignatyevich
  2. Rank: Guards Junior Lieutenant
  3. Position, unit: light SPG battery commander, 953rd Noviy Bug Red Banner Light SPG Regiment
  4. is nominated for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
  5. Year of birth: 1912
  6. Nationality: Russian
  7. Party affiliation: VKP(b) member since August, 1942
  8. Participation in the civil war and subsequent actions in defense of the USSR: Stalingrad and Voronezh Fronts from November 19th, 1942 to February 2nd, 1943, 3rd Belorrussian Front from May 27th, 1944 to July 12th, 1944.
  9. Wounds or concussions in the Great Patriotic War: light wound on November 27th, 1942 at the Stalingrad front, light wound on February 2nd, 1943, Voronezh Front, heavy wound on July 7th, 1944, 3rd Belorussian Front. (ID series #BY000001 #150505)
  10. In the Red Army since: 1942
  11. Recruited by: Stupino recruitment office, Moscow oblast.
  12. Previous awards: "For Defense of Stalingrad" medal, in 1944
Brief and specific description of heroism or achievements: From July 22nd to 25th, during a penetration of enemy lines in the Vitebsk direction at the rivers of Sukhodrovka, Luchesa and Serokorotenka, comrade Sizintsev's battery of SU-76 SPGs was assigned to the 69th Infantry Regiment, 97th Infantry Division. With the task of crossing Luchesa as quickly as possible, comrade Sizintsev reached the Greater Kalinovichi region at the end of July 23rd, 1944. Having encountered strong enemy resistance, he retreated, flanked with his infantry across the 144th Infantry Division's sector, and then defeated the enemy garrison in Greater Kalinovich with the help of the 144th. Without stopping his pursuit of the enemy, he crossed Luchesa, captured the village of Rudaki, and held it until our infantry arrived. With no losses in men or vehicles, comrade Sizintsev's battery supported our infantry with fire and tracks, dealing great damage to the enemy between July 22nd and July 25th. 1 PzIII tank was destroyed, 5 75 mm guns, 27 machinegun nests, 3 pillboxes made with BT-7 turrets, 2 carts, 6 hourses, 4 cars, and up to 110 soldiers and officers of the enemy.

On July 11th, 12th, and 13th, comrade Sizintsev fought on the streets of Vilnius, supporting 3rd company, 69th Infantry Regiment, 97th Infantry Division. His battery received the order to destroy the enemy in a 0.5 km wide sector between the train station to the eastern bridge over Neris river. The surrounded enemies were resisting fiercely. Comrade Sizintsev had cleverness and daring to counter the enemy's ferocity. Here is how comrade Sizintsev's crews destroyed strongholds set up in basements where guns could not reach them: SPGs would drive up to the porthole at full speed and the crews would throw grenades into it. In an attempt to take advantage of the SU-76's open fighting compartment, the enemy would fire from upper floors and throw grenades in, but the crews could throw them out before they exploded. Comrade Sizintsev showed initiative by personally throwing out the first two grenades. Concealing his vehicles behind building corners and in alleyways, comrade Sizintsev managed this without any personnel losses. The SPGs continued to destroy the enemy, moving relentlessly along with the infantry, gradually clearing street after street of enemies: Algidra, Novgorodskaya, Pilim, Messin Lane, Rudnichki Lane, Nemetskaya, Vilniusskaya.

These battles had many harrowing moments. For instance, on the night of July 12th, the enemy surrounded the 3rd Company and comrade Sizintsev's battery in the Messin and Rudnichki lanes, cutting through their rear through Pilim street. The infantrymen panicked. It was necessary to act quickly and decisively. After careful reconnaissance, comrade Sizintsev burst out to Pilim street at full speed, and shot up two German guns at a range of 50 meters, at which point the whole battery came out onto the street. With their combined fire, the guns destroyed 10 cars, 2 tractors with ammunition and infantry, another 75 mm gun, and up to 80 Germans. Inspired by the SPGs' success, the infantry attacked the enemy and completely destroyed those who broke through. The situation was rectified and communications restored. In total, during fighting in the streets of Vilnius, comrade Sizintsev's battery destroyed the following with no losses of their own: 8 75 mm guns, 1 88 mm AA gun, 1 PzIII, over 40 machineguns, 16 cars, 3 tractors, and up to 440 soldiers and officers of the enemy. 246 Germans were taken prisoner in cooperation with 3rd Company.

On the morning of July 13th, the enemy ceased resistance, an the city was taken. Comrade Sizintsev was heavily wounded in the evening of July 12th, but continued to command the battle despite repeated orders from the commander of the 69th Infantry Regiment to evacuate to the rear.

For exemplary organization of infantry cooperation, daring and decisive action, skilled control of the battery, personal bravery and heroism demonstrated near Vitebsk and in Vilnius, comrade Sizintsev is worthy of the top government award: the title of Hero of the Soviet Union."

CAMD RF 33-793756-43

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