Monday 28 September 2015

Kolobanov's Battle

"August 20th, 1941
One tank company from 1st Tank Battalion, two companies from 2nd Tank Battalion, and one company from 3rd Tank Battalion received their orders.

The 1st Bank Battalion company, 5 KV tanks, sets up an ambush. Two tanks near Greater Bornitsa, 2 tanks near Voyskovitsy farm, one tank near Greater Chernitsy.
Objective: in cooperation with tank destroyer groups from the 3rd Battalion, 2nd Guards Division, delay the progress of enemy tanks towards Vavgo-Starosta, Ilkino, and Golyadino.
2nd tank battalion, 6th company, 8 T-26 tanks as a part of a tank destroyer group, in cooperation with 3rd Infantry Battalion and an AT gun squadron, move along the Lesser Bornitsa-Ilkino-Greater Tyaglino route, flank the enemy group at Greater Bornitsa, and destroy it.
5th company, 7 T-26 tanks, in cooperation with a tank destroyer group from 3rd Battalion, moves along the Repuzi-Nedlino-Mochino-Mutalova route with the objective of flanking and destroying the enemy group at Vokhonovo.

3rd Tank Battalion company, 6 T-26 tanks, set up a guard
  • Two tanks in Aropakkozi
  • Two tanks in Tikhvinka
  • Two tanks in Greater Verevo
with the objective of preventing small enemy groups from reaching Krasnoye Selo.

The KV tank ambush at Greater Bornitsa encountered a column of up to 40 enemy tanks. As a result of the battle, the KV tank of the company commander, Senior Lieutenant Kolobanov, destroyed 22 enemy tanks. The enemy column, taking heavy losses, stopped its progress towards Ilkino and retreated in the opposite direction. Senior Lieutenant Kolobanov's tank, having exhausted its ammunition, retreated to Lesser Paritsa and later to Gatchino to restock.

From 16:00 and until the end of the day of August 20th, 1941, Lieutenant Sergeev's tank from the 1st Tank Battalion contained the enemy offensive near the forest at Greater Boyaritsa. He destroyed 4 tanks near Vyselka and 4 tanks near Ryabisy. Lieutenant Sergeev's tank was damaged by a direct hit from a large caliber shell; the machinegun ball was knocked out, the recoil mechanism compressor was damaged, another shell disabled the engine. The crew left the tank on the battlefield.

A KV tank commanded by Jr. Lieutenant Lastochkin from the 1st Tank Battalion was fighting alongside Lieutenant Sergeev, and suddenly met with 4 enemy tanks that flanked him at a very close range. Seeing that the tanks must be destroyed by ramming, driver [Starshina] Iovlev rammed two enemy tanks at a high speed. The rest were destroyed by cannon fire. All enemy tanks burned up.

The gunner from Lieutenant Yevdokimenko's crew, Red Armyman F.S. Kutsevich, carried out the orders of his commander. Seeing a passenger car, a tankette, and several enemy motorcyclists, he snuck up to them and pelted them with grenades, killing all of them.

Yevdokimenko's driver, comrade Sidikov, rammed and destroyed one enemy tank when returning from the battlefield.

A KV tank commanded by Jr. Lieutenant Degryar from the 1st Tank Battalion destroyed three enemy tanks, a flamethrower battery, and a large amount of enemy infantry.

In total, Lieutenant Kolobanov's company destroyed 42 enemy tanks that day with 5 KV tanks, plus one tankette, one passenger car, a flamethrower battery, and up to a company of infantry. One motorcycle was captured."

The knocked out KV was later recovered and repaired.

Here is an aerial reconnaissance photo of the battlefield, taken the day before.

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