Monday 24 August 2015

Tiger Dominator

"Award Order
  • Name: Frolov, Mikhail Pavlovich
  • Rank: Lieutenant
  • Position, unit: T-34 tank company commander, 389th Tank Battalion, 178th Tank Brigade, 10th Tank Corps
  • Location at time of award: hospital
is nominated for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
  1. Year of Birth: 1916
  2. Nationality: Russian
  3. Party affiliation: VKP(b) member since 1942
  4. In the Red Army since: 1940
  5. Participation in battle in the Great Patriotic War: Western and South-Western Fronts from June 22nd, 1941 to February 10th, 1943, Voronezh Front from July 7th, 1943 to August 16th, 1943.
  6. Wounds or concussions: heavily wounded.
  7. Previous awards: none.
  8. Recruited by: Alma-Ata recruitment center.
Brief and specific description of heroism: While in battle from July 7th, 1943 to August 16th, 1943 in the Belgorod direction north-east of Kharkov and south-west of Sumy Lieutenant Frolov Mikhail Pavlovich demonstrated his mastery in battle and courage many times. In the recent battles for Gaponovka and Bratskiy, he showed himself to be an exceptionally courageous commander and good organizer of close quarters combat. He is a brave and decisive commander, showing initiative, uses his tank with skill. With careful maneuvering, he destroyed 10 enemy tanks, including 7 Tiger tanks, 8 cars, 4 guns, and over 80 enemy soldiers and officers. On August 9th, 1943, the enemy counterattacked our units with tanks and infantry. With his tank in ambush, Lieutenant Frolov climbed up to a hill and located enemy tanks. Choosing convenient avenues of attack, his tank could withdraw from enemy fire and shoot them in the side, setting one after another alight. This duel ended with him personally destroying 4 Tiger tanks and knocking out a PzIV. The enemy attack failed. During the battle, the company commander was wounded, and the courageous tank commander took command of the company, fighting until the end. In the last battle, while repelling an enemy attack, Lieutenant Frolov was heavily wounded.

Conclusion: due to his bravery and heroism, Lieutenant Frolov is worthy of the highest state award, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union."

CAMD RF 33-793756-50

7 Tiger tanks in a T-34, that's quite a feat! The tank unit he was beating up was 13./Panzer-Regiment "Grossdeutschland", which wasn't doing so well at the time. Since they go from 9 tanks to 1 tank between August 8th and August 10th, it seems like the battle of August 9th was pretty feasible.


  1. Cool story bro. Sooo Frolov has single handedly destroyed 7 "Tigers", while Tereshuk further 4 "Tigers", and the rest of the Heroes of the Soviet Uniondestroyed only God knows how many further Tigers, while GD reported the loss of six tanks at the time, many of which were rapidly coming back to operation, the story is somehow still "feasible".

    Sorry but the confirm the combat reports it just needs a good deal more digging. A tank may become unoperational for a day if its track got hit, or if its turret get jammed and re-enter service the next day, as it happened with GD (see 7 operational tanks on the 7th July, and 9 on the 8th, despite loosing 6 vehicles on the same day, yet only 1 on the next day.). The causes for vehicles becoming unoperational are many as well and cannot be equalled to a single cause - "destoreyed by brave soviet heroes in their t34". Breakdown, mines, minor combat damage and even accidents can render a tank unoperational for a day or two, until mechanics fix it.

    Destroyed is the not the same thing as damaged but repairable on the spot.

    1. Do recall the German habit of only recording irrecoverables and total write-offs as losses...

      Also for just about all practical intents and purposes it's good enough if the enemy vehicle stops moving and shooting. Whether that's due to now raining down on the neighbourhood in pieces or some downright trivial damage only really matters for post-battle recovery considerations.

    2. Irrecoverables and total write offs are the only permanent losses. The rest is just unservicable machinery. Its not a German habit, altough they did have the habit to distinct between the effect of their own anti-tank operations, i.e. tank hunter aircraft reported the effect observed (effectively shot, burning, destroyed), and not just destroeyed. I pretty sure the actual Soviet military reports did such distinction, too, if they wanted to have any realistic picture of the battlefield.

      But I do agree that temporary unservicability for normal operation does have an effect on the immidiate tactical situation.

      The pont was rather, that tanks forced into 1-2 days of repair in the units workshop do not translate, in any sense of the word destroyed, and and not even in all cases as "knocked out", and may not even translate into crew losses, i.e. an otherwise harmless hit to the transmission that results in repair and replacement of the transmission, and it may not even caused by combat results but simple breakdowns or malfunctions. Yet these series of articles somehow blur the lines between and tend to equal the number of u/s tank to tanks reported to have been destroyed. It is incorrect.

    3. If you want to be technical about it the proper term is "knocked out" or "disabled", since the main thing that matters to people in shooting matches is that the enemy is made hors de combat - and their opportunities (and for that matter motivation) to assess the exact level of damage that causes such tends to be understandably limited.

      In practice that amounts to "destroyed" since the enemy unit is off the list of active combatants. Any finer granulation of the level of damage is for the salvage crews and suchlike to determine once the shooting has stopped.

  2. No. it´s not "destroyed". It´s correctly called "damaged". A damaged unit can be repaired and eventually restored to service, a destroyed unit can not. Therefore, a damaged unit is not lost to the war effort while a destroyed unit is. Depending on the degree of damage and the ability to affect repairs, some of the damaged, may later be reclassified as "damaged beyond repair". These would be the only irrecoverable losses from tanks disabled or knocked out but not burned out.