Tuesday 12 November 2019

On to Tallinn

"Award order
  1. Name: Gorban, Vasiliy Moiseyevich
  2. Rank: Major
  3. Position and unit: commander of the 2nd tank battalion, 152nd Leningrad Independent Tank Brigade.
  4. Year of birth: 1916
  5. Nationality: Ukrainian
  6. Party affiliation: VKP(b) member
  7. Participation in the Civil War and subsequent action in defense of the USSR or in the Patriotic War: in the Patriotic War since June 22nd 1941, Leningrad Front
  8. Wounds and contusions in the Patriotic War: wounded twice lightly in 1941, once heavily and once lightly in 1942
  9. In the Red Army since: 1937
  10. Recruited by: career officer
  11. Prior awards: Order of the Red Banner, Order of Aleksandr Nevskiy, Order of the Red Star, Defense of Leningrad medal.

Brief and specific description of heroism: in battles to penetrate the German defenses north of Tartu and capture Magdalena, Raestvere, Vajatu, Avinurme, Paesvere, Simuna, Rakvere, the capital of Soviet Estonia Tallinn, and the port city of Hapsalu on September 17th, 1944, Major Gorban demonstrated himself as the example of resilience, bravery, courage, and heroism at the head of the vanguard of the mobile tank group.

In battle on September 18th Major Gorban's tank was hit from an ambush by two enemy SPGs and caught fire. Major Gorban leapt out of the burning tank and destroyed the SPGs along with their crews from another tank. During the combat for Magdalena, Rakvere, and Avinurme he personally led his tank into the attack, his heroic behaviour and personal example leading his personnel into heroism in battle.

Near the Rasiku station, leading the vanguard of the tank group, he caught up with the enemy rear guard and retreating units. The enemy tried to escape and covered the road with broken tanks, cannons, APCs, and lit them all on fire. Then the vanguard approached this place, the unit stopped. Major Gorban ran ahead in his tank and rammed the barricade, opening it up. Major Gorban caught up to the enemy column of up to 150 APCs, cars, and carts with ammunition and various military cargo and destroyed it completely. After dealing with the column, Major Gorban rushed forward and reached a bridge that was being prepared for demolition. He destroyed the group trying to blow the bridge and led his vanguard to Tallinn. His tank was the first to enter Tallinn, where he destroyed over 150 enemy soldiers and officers, dispersed two companies of submachinegunners, and destroyed two barges with enemy forces that tried to escape with cannon and machine gun fire. 

His heroic actions and exemplary completion of objectives aided significantly the completion of the brigade's objectives.

For excellent completion of objectives, bravery, personal initiative, and heroism in the battle against the enemies of our Motherland, Major Gorban is worthy of the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.

Commander of the 152nd Leningrad Independent Tank Brigade, Colonel Kovalevskiy
September 26th, 1944"

1 comment:

  1. In case anyone was curious, Gorban survived the war and reached the rank of Lieutenant-General and commanded the 3rd Red Banner Combined Arms Army during the 1960s.