One of the few battles of armored trains in the history of the Great Patriotic War took place June 4, 1944, when the battle came together our “Ilya Muromets” and the German train “Adolf Hitler.” With the progress of the battle to introduce you to this position. Our facilities near Kovel, a major transport hub in the Volyn region in Ukraine, were subjected to a very short (two or three minutes) morning shelling, and in the same time. To find out whereabouts of the enemy battery could not be any onshore exploration or aviators. It was assumed only that the acts of the enemy armored train. Using the thoroughness of the Germans and terrain features Armored Division headquarters has developed a plan of operation. Gunners had to simultaneously destroy the railroad tracks, to cut off the enemy’s armored escape route, and “Ilya Muromets” should be parked close to the battery of invisibility. In order not to frighten the enemy, we decided to start operations without adjustment. Soon observers “Ilya Muromets” found a German armored train, moving to firing positions. They discerned faint bands of smoke. The commander’s cabin received the report, which was followed by the team: “As the goal! Ten rounds per gun! Rocket launchers, two volleys! Armored train! Fire!”
Shots rang out from both sides almost simultaneously. Gunners “Ilya Muromets” shoot better opponent.German armored train was covered with the first volley. True, he had to return a volley, but the shells lay off target. “Katyusha” completed the rout of an enemy armored train. Soon it was all over. Above the armored train hanging clouds of steam. Apparently, the bomb hit the boiler of a steam locomotive.
When 6 July 1944 Kovel was liberated from the Nazis, the soldiers of the 31st battalion visited the broken enemy armored train. It has not been removed from the place where he found his end. Learned men and what an enemy armored train carried the name of the Fuhrer of the Third Reich. It is symbolic was that the “Ilya Muromets” destroyed “Adolf Hitler.”
The first fight of course, not only the episode on the glorious path of armored admired. Gift Murom front of people, “Ilya” started the war against the invaders at the beginning of 1942, the Bryansk Front. He was armed with heavy guns, quick-firing anti-aircraft guns, machine guns and rocket-propelled mortars “Katyusha” (for the first time in the history of armored trains). Silently leaving on enemy positions, “Ilya Muromets” destroyed fuel depots, weapons, artillery batteries, infantry and vehicles. In April 1942, the train was “Ilya Muromets” took the first battle at the station Vypolzovo. A little later, took part in the raid on the Nazis seized the Mtsensk with the order to paralyze the work of the station, where at that time there was an intensive unloading trains. Hovering rustle in the German rear, and destroying a large number of cars and warehouses, armored train came back from a mission without suffering losses, but enraged the Germans announced it hunt. Nazi aircraft tracked down the train tracks and stations, and May 12, 1942 Staff could damage the car that killed the commander of the 31st division of armored trains, Major JS Grushelevsky, Division Chief of Staff, Senior Lieutenant SV Pisemsky, correspondent of the newspaper “Whistle” AS Beech.
Nevertheless, “the ubiquitous Russian ghost”, so-called “supermen” “Ilya Muromets” is not ruled out.Despite the claims of the German propaganda that shamelessly lied that the train was for the Soviet Union built the Americans, then the glory that the angels “Luftwaffe” pelted Russian monster phosphorus bombs, “Ilya” every time continued to fight against the Nazis:
Firepower our bronekreposti led the Germans in wild horror and the emergence of “Elijah” caused panic in the enemy positions. Which is not surprising, because for a moment the armored train hit an area 400 by 400 meters. And that’s just gunfire, but there were still and “Katyusha”.
Winning score 31 minutes special Gorkovsko-Warsaw Order of Alexander Nevsky division of armored trains.
The structure of 31 ODBP consisted of two armored trains. The first was assembled in Nizhny Novgorod, and the second in Murom.
Based on the order of the chief GBTU SC number 1109420 on December 5, 1942 armored got new numbers: № 1 “Kozma Minin” – № 659 and № 2 “Ilya Muromets” – № 702 .
During the war, the 31st division separate division conducted 150 raids powerful fire on the leading edge front-line defense and supply stations, participated in the breakthrough and repelling enemy attacks.Artillery and mortar and machine gun fire destroyed 15 German aircraft, 1650 officers and soldiers (875 soldiers and officers), 94 machine-gun point, 42 artillery and mortar batteries, 24 individual instruments, 14 bunkers, a German armored train, ammunition depots. 7 Shot down aircraft.
For the liberation of Warsaw Division has been awarded the name of Warsaw, and on October 31 1944, he was awarded the Order of Alexander Nevsky. After the path is almost 2.5 thousand km from Oka to the Oder, “Kozma Minin” and “Ilya Muromets” stopped 50 km from Berlin, Frankfurt an der Oder. The bridge over the Oder was destroyed. Here, they celebrate the victory.
Armament The design of the armored train number 1 and 2 were similar – they consisted of broneparovoza (Approx number 139 and OB number 4635, respectively, armor hardened, OK 30 – 45 mm at Ov 30 mm), two artillery broneploschadok (number 847, 848 and number 873, 874, respectively, armor hardened 45 mm weapons every two 76-mm cannon F-34 in the towers T-34 tanks and 6 machine-guns) and two areas of air defense (or number 849, 850, on each February 25-mm anti-aircraft guns and 2 rocket launcher M-8-24 and the number 891, 892 on each 276-mm anti-aircraft guns Lander and 2 rocket launchers M-8-24).