Wednesday 19 August 2015

Tank Siege

"Award Order
  1. Name: Sokolov, Aleksei Ivanovich
  2. Rank: Senior Sergeant
  3. Position, unit: mechanic-driver, 328th Tank Battalion, 118th Tank Brigade
    is nominated for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
  4. Year of birth: 1918
  5. Nationality: Russian
  6. Party affiliation: none
  7. Participation in the Civil War, subsequent combat action in defense of the USSR, Patriotic War (where, when): 2nd Baltic Front since October 1943
  8. Wounds or concussions in the Patriotic War: died of wounds on December 31st, 1943
  9. In the Red Army since: 1941
  10. Recruited by: Krasnooktyabrsk recruitment office, Stalingrad
  11. Previous awards: none
Brief and specific description of heroism: On December 17th, 1943, the tank battalion crossed Dolysitsa river near Gatchino and concentrated north of Demeshkino to attack. Some tanks were knocked out or destroyed by enemy artillery and mortar fire.

The tank commander, Lieutenant Tkachenko, driver Sokolov and radio operator Chernyshenko burst into the Demeshkino village in their tank. The tank became bogged down and had to be evacuated. Lieutenant Tkachenko and the turret gunner exited the tank to determine how it can be extracted into cover, but were both killed. Only the driver and radio operator were left in the tank. By then, Sokolov was already thrice wounded by bullets and shrapnel. From their tank, Sokolov and Chernyshenko began an uneven battle against the enemy. Inside the tank, their emergency rations consisted of 3 tins of preserves, some biscuits, 200 grams of salo, and no water at all. Despite that, Sokolov and Chernyshenko, with no order to retreat, continued to destroy attacking submachinegunners with the cannon and machineguns for 13 days. Hungry, cold, and bleeding, they continued to defend their tank.

On December 30th, as a result of our offensive, the area where the tank was bogged down was liberated. Sokolov and Chernyshenko were removed from the tank and sent to the medical battalion, where Sokolov died of his wounds on the next day.

Comrade Sokolov demonstrated patriotism and heroism, he is worthy of the posthumous title of Hero of the Soviet Union."

CAMD RF 33-793756-44

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