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|WorldWar2.ro Forum > Eastern Front (1941-1944) > Battle of Malaja Belosjorka sep 25th 1941|
|Posted by: bobby1974 February 25, 2010 07:59 am|
| Hello everybody
I'm lookin'for frontline photos or some testimonials regarding romanian mountain troops ("rumanien gebirgsjager" for german speakers), involved in eastern front in 1941 in battle of Malaja Belosjorka, Ukraine.These troops are fighting along with 1st German Gebirgsjager Division in these period of time.
My grandfather died in sep 1941 in these battle.He was enroled in 2nd Romanian Mountain Corp Brigade, the 9th battalion.I want to find more information regarding this battle.........photos, testimonials, maps, anything.....
Can you help me ?
So, many thanks in advance.
Have a nice day
|Posted by: Victor February 26, 2010 07:16 pm|
| It was the most bloody action in which the 2nd Mountain Brigade was involved in during the 1941 campaign. Between 24 September and 3 October, the brigade suffered 1,538 casualties (dead, wounded and missing) out of the total 1,926 casualties of the 1941 campaign.
There is a lot to be said about it and unfortunately it is not well described in the article on the website...yet. Unfortunately, a very detailed account of this battle has not been published.
|Posted by: Victor March 20, 2010 02:34 pm|
| I will try to make a presentation of the battle from the sketchy data I have at my disposal. The focus is on the Mountain Corps. The actions of the cavalry are also interesting
The Romanian Mountain Corps replaced the German 49th Alpine Corps on the front in the Nogayisk Steppe during the nights of 23/24 and 24/25 September. On the Northern flank was the 4th Mountain Brigade, which had its left flank on the Dnepr's Bend at Balki. In the middle was the 2nd Mountain Brigade of brig. gen. Ioan Dumitrache, which was defending the villages of Malaya Byelozherka and Ulyanovka. The right flank and the link with the German 30th Corps was secured by the 1st Mountain Brigade of brig. gen. Mihail Lascar, the future Oak Leaves Ritterkreuz recipient and then, ironically, commander of the Soviet sponsored HCC Division. This brigade was positioned by the AT ditch near Timoshevka. To the South of the Mountain Corps the divisions of the German 30th Corps were interleaved with the Romanian Cavalry brigades. Thus, linked up with the 1st Mountain Brigade was the German 170th Infantry Division, positioned around Veseloe. On its right flank was the German 72nd Infantry Division, which had entered Chisinau together with the 1st Armored Division two months before. The 5th Cavalry Brigade held the extreme right flank all the way to the Azov Sea. The Romanian 6th and 8th Cavalry Brigades were held in reserve at Ivanovka, behind the German 30th Corps.
In front of the Romanian Mountain Corps and of the German 170th Infantry Division was the Soviet 18th Army. It had deployed from the Dnepr in the North to the South the following units: 164th, 130th, 96th and the 270th Rifle Divisions. The 4th Rifle Division was held in reserve in the second echelon. For support, it had the 2nd, 7th and 15th Tank Brigades, the 266th, 394th, 267th and 437th Artillery Regiments and the 4th Antitank Brigade. The 9th Soviet Army was deployed in the sector of Melitopol in front of the rest of the German 30th Corps and of the Romanian cavalry. From the link with the 18th Army to the Azov Sea, the Soviets had deployed the 30th, 176th, 150th, 218th and 296th Rifle Divisions. The 136th Rifle Division was in reserve near Melitopol and the 30th Cavalry Division near Bogdanovka. For support, the 9th Army had only one brigade from the 8th Tank Division and the 521st Artillery Regiment. The 18th Army was weaker in infantry, but had more tanks and corps artillery, thus could theoretically deliver a stronger punch than the 9th Army could. The aim of the two Soviet armies was to brake through the Axis front and threaten the flank of the bulk of the German 11th Army fighting in the Perekop Isthmus, thus easing the pressure on the Soviet 51st Army in Crimea.
The offensive began on 25 September after a strong bombardment, while the Axis line was still organizing. The Soviets had the benefit of a large AT ditch in front of the Romanian Mountain Corps, which they effectively used to prepare the infantry assaults. The 164th Rifle Division and regiments from the 96th and 4th Rifle Divisions managed to advance 1.5 km near the Dnepr in the sector of the 4th Mountain Brigade, which had to wheel South its left flank. On the front of the 1st and 2nd Mountain Brigades, the 130th Rifle Division and elements of the 96th Rifle Division carried out six attacks. Five were successfully repulsed. The sixth was directed against a bulge in the Axis line in the village of Ulianovka, where the 15th Mountain Battalion was stationed. It had already repulsed a Soviet incursion the previous day, but the assault was renewed with two or three battalions supported by 16 tanks and heavy artillery. The 15th Battalion was surrounded inside the village and was resisting. The 3rd Company of the 16th Mountain Battalion counterattacked around 1600 hours from the nearby town of Malaya Belozherka and reestablished the link, but eventually it was itself forced to retreat after it had lost around half of its men. The 15th Mountain Battalion managed to brake through the encirclement during the evening and retreated to Malaya Belozherka on the right flank of the 16th Battalion.
On 26 September, the 9th and 16th Mountain Battalions of the 2nd Mountain Brigade attempted to recapture Ulianovka. When the vânători were bogged down in street fighting, the enemy counterattacked the 9th Battalion and forced it to pull back towards Malaya Belozherka. Having its right flank uncovered, the 16th Battalion also pulled back. In the sector of the 4th Mountain Brigade, the 164th Rifle Division attacked at the junction with the 2nd Mountain Brigade, but was repulsed. During the night, the 8th Cavalry Brigade was inserted between the German 170th and 72nd Infantry Divisions, freeing up troops from the former.
The following day the fighting climaxed around Malaya Belozherka. With the support of tanks and powerful artillery and air bombardments, the 130th Rifle Division together with elements of the 4th and 96th Rifle Divisions attacked the town held by the 2nd Mountain Brigade. Around 1100 hours, the Soviets had breached the line between the 16th and 10th Mountain Battalions and had encircled the latter's left flank and then the entire unit. However, it continued to resist fiercely against the Soviet infantry and armor in the streets of Malaya Belozherka, waiting for the reserves to counterattack and relieve them. The command point of the 7th Mountain Group was as well encircled and had to use all available personnel to escape. Enemy spearheads had reached the positions of the 2nd Mountain Artillery Group, which had to fight hard to repulse them. The brigade was in no position to assist the 10th Battalion, because tanks had also encircled its command point. The 17th and 20th Mountain Battalions from the 4th Mountain Brigade, which had pulled back and were in the vicinity, intervened and repulsed them. The 20th Battalion was then directed to Malaya Belozherka. It counterattacked in the evening and managed to shortly regain the lost ground. The Soviets also brought in reinforcements, including tanks, and eventually took the town driving back the 2nd Mountain Brigade. The front stabilized 800 m South of Malaya Belozherka. The 10th Mountain Battalion had lost 20 officers, including the commander lt. col. Emanoil Bradateanu, and around 400 soldiers. The remaining men managed to brake through the encirclement and join the brigade. Brig. gen. Dumitrache estimated that the resistance put up by this battalion had saved the others from certain encirclement.
The 4th Mountain Brigade was also attacked on the entire front by the Soviet 164th Rifle Division supported by 40 tanks, heavy artillery and aircraft. The initial attacks were repulsed, but eventually the mountain troops were forced to pull back. The 13th and 14th Mountain Battalions were surrounded, but they managed to brake free and rejoin the brigade's forces on the new line, which was to the South near Bolshe Belozherka. The left flank of the 2nd Mountain Brigade was thus left open. Soviet tanks entered through the gap and reached the supply columns and the command point. As we have seen, the 20th Mountain Battalion intervened to help the 2nd Brigade, after it had retreated to the new line. At the end of the day, the 2nd Brigade had pulled back its open flank and reestablished the connection with the 4th Brigade. The tanks, which lacked infantry support, were eventually eliminated or retreated, but 60% of the brigade's AT guns had been lost in the fight against them. On the right flank of the 2nd Brigade and in the sector of the 1st Mountain Brigade all attacks were repulsed.
Because of the dangerous situation developing on the left flank of the front, the German 11th Army stopped the offensive in the Perekop Isthmus and directed the 49th Alpine Corps to that area. The 170th Infantry Division had redeployed the 401st Grenadier Regiment behind the 2nd Mountain Brigade after it had been made available by the insertion of the 8th Cavalry Brigade into the front. German artillery had also been deployed to support the Romanian mountain troops.
On 28 September, the Soviets mounted a new powerful assault on the 2nd Brigade's right flank, where the 8th and 7th Battalions had resisted the previous days, but it was again repulsed with the help of the German artillery. Around 0800 hors, the 401st Grenadier Regiment, the 2nd Calarasi Regiment (from the 8th Cavalry Brigade) and the 20th Mountain Battalion attacked the Northwestern corner of Malaya Belozherka and managed to take it after an hour of fighting. In the afternoon, the Soviets counterattacked the troops inside the town and drove out all of them, with the exception of the 20th Mountain Battalion that held out in the Southern part. The assault was in fact carried out on a broader front, including the right flank of the 2nd Brigade, where tanks were also used. The majority of the remaining AT guns was concentrated there, because it was basically an opened field. They managed to take out most of the Soviet armor and the infantry was repulsed. To the South, the Soviets occupied Levitskoe in the sector of the 170th Division.
On 29 September, the daily air bombardment to which the Romanian and German troops were constantly subjected to was interrupted by the intervention of the 8th Fliegerkorps that had also stopped operations in the Perekop Isthmus and had been redirected to the endangered sector. The Soviets attacked again the entire front of the 2nd Mountain Brigade after an artillery preparation that lasted for two hours. On the left flank, tanks passed through the junction between the 7th and 8th Mountain Battalions, as well as through the junction between the 7th and 23rd Mountain Battalions (the latter was part of the 1st Mountain Brigade). In the sector of the 3rd Company/7th Mountain Battalion, the only existing AT gun took out two of the three tanks. The armor was however unsupported by infantry, because the mountain troops were holding their positions and the Soviet riflemen were repulsed wave after wave. The tanks roamed around the back of the first line units and even reached the brigade's command point were they massacred the wounded they found in the field infirmary. German tank hunters and a Romanian motorized cavalry squadron towing AT guns with their trucks eventually destroyed them or drove them back to their own lines. On the left flank of the 2nd Mountain Brigade, the Soviets broke through the junction between the 9th and 16th Mountain Battalions and advanced to the positions of the 2nd Mountain Howitzer Battalion. The artillerymen counterattacked with grenades and repulsed the enemy spearhead.
The German 49th Alpine Corps began its offensive along the Dnepr and the following day, on 30 September, it had restored the initial line of the front. The 4th Mountain Brigade regrouped behind the Romanian Mountain Corps. The Soviets made two assaults in the sector of the 1st Mountain Brigade, but both were repulsed. Similarly, on the front of the 2nd Brigade, the Soviets attacked at noon, but the infantry was scattered by the German artillery. In the evening, assaults were carried out on both flanks. Only on the right, at the 8th Battalion, did the Soviets managed to advance a little, before the counterattack, again with the support of the German artillery, drove them back.
The offensive of the 18th Army in the Northern sector had ceased. The 2nd Mountain Brigade had lost 1,538 men (killed, wounded and missing) during the operations, being the most affected of all three brigades.
During the following days, the Soviets attempted a breakthrough to the South, in the area of the 8th Cavalry Brigade, but the Liebstandarte Adolf Hitler SS Division restored the front. As the 1st Panzer Group swept down from the North to cut off the two Soviet armies, the German and Romanian forces completed the encirclement.
|Posted by: bobby1974 March 30, 2010 10:34 am|
| Thank you Victor si "multumesc mult".
I've just find out today from ONCE (Romanian Office for Heroes Worship) some dates regarding my grandpa....place of death, place of bury.....
Indeed it was a bloody fight in Malaja Belosjorka.
I found out that my grandpa died near the city according to ONCE...
Unfortunately the graveyard is unknown....
Anyway many thanks ...
|Posted by: bobby1974 March 30, 2010 12:59 pm|
| By the way, there is some posts, other facts and photos regarding 16th mountain battalion involved in eastern front ....into this forum?
Or maybe in your personal collection ?
many thanks....you help me a lot with those informations regarding battle of Malaja Belosjorka
|Posted by: Alexei2102 April 01, 2010 10:25 am|
| I will search through my album... I recollect that I have a foto or two from there.
|Posted by: bobby1974 April 01, 2010 11:47 am|
| Thank you Alexei
Have a nice day...
|Posted by: Alexei2102 April 01, 2010 04:18 pm|
|Posted by: bobby1974 April 01, 2010 08:55 pm|
| thanks Alexei.
...for the future, do not hesitate to post some photos, testimonies......if you have some....i'm so close to find some facts regarding my grandpa...he died in 27th september 1941 near the village of Malaya Belosjorka....
anyway...thank you very much....
by the way, in a second picture , the guy with beret is gen. Dumitrache?
|Posted by: bobby1974 May 19, 2011 11:36 am|
My grandfather fought in 16th Mountain Battalion.He was lieutenant (captain - post mortem).
He died in september 1941, in Malaja Belosjorka (Ukraine) battle, along with captain Marcel Marinescu and medic-captain Constantin Cosma , both decorated with the Order of Michael the Brave, 3rd Class......and so others of course.
I tried to find details on the fight .... I found partially, with precious help of "Victor" and "Alexei2102" whom we thank you on this way....
I'm about to find some facts, with the help given by someone from Ukraine, where they were buried those who fell in that struggle - both soldiers and officers.
When I have time and money of course, maybe I'll make a visit to Ukraine when I have enough tangible information on where these officers were buried and soldiers.
Perhaps with the support given by the administrator of this forum will open a topic about a meeting, possibly a trip to Ukraine to see these places.
|Posted by: contras July 27, 2012 08:57 pm|
|Posted by: bobby1974 July 30, 2012 06:12 am|
| Thank you "contras" ...I've already seen this blog....
|Posted by: contras August 21, 2012 08:16 pm|
| Here is a documentary that include some aspects about malaja Bielosjorka and Caucasus campaign
|Posted by: bobby1974 August 24, 2012 03:34 pm|
| Interesting documentary "Contras"
Im lookïng forward to seeing the testimony of a veteran who fought at Belosjorka...although I do not think that any of them is alive to tell us some...
Anyway...."jos palaria pentru ei" (sorry but i cannot translate)
|Posted by: contras August 25, 2012 10:39 pm|
You are right, Bobby, the French uses the term Chapeau bas, we use "Jos palaria". Anyway, we could tell "Jos basca verde!", because Romanian Mountain Troops wore green berrets.
|Posted by: bobby1974 September 03, 2012 12:51 pm|
|"contras" I feel like you're descendant of mountain trooper too...right ?|
|Posted by: contras September 07, 2012 09:46 am|
Yes, you can say this . My grandfather and one of one of my grandmother brothers were mountain troopers (the later died about illness during eastern campaign by meningite). When I was little child, I have seen my grandfather's green berret many times, after he passed away, I never found it.
|Posted by: contras September 07, 2012 09:48 am|
| Another epic story about 2nd Mountain Division in Caucasus.
|Posted by: Alexei2102 September 11, 2012 09:27 am|
| My favourite Caucasus foto of all time... hope you like it too.
|Posted by: bobby1974 September 11, 2012 11:22 am|
| Yeap , Alexei....
It is a moment of respite....
Late autumn 1942 i presume ...right?
Sadly,...my grandfather didn't reach the Caucasus heights....he's stopped in Ukraine.
P.S. I found some pictures from the front (late summer 1941) with my grandpa...., I will scan it and upload it....
|Posted by: MRX October 09, 2012 04:38 pm|
| Part 2
|Posted by: contras October 10, 2012 12:25 pm|
You can find it the same article, but with many maps and photos here:
|Posted by: bobby1974 October 11, 2012 08:29 am|
| Thanks MRX, thanks Contras ..... interesting article indeed
However, I intend to contact the authors...
Maybe they can manage to put me in touch with grandchildren or nieces of these soldiers, to exchange information, possibly pictures, of these soldiers, who fought with my grandfather in 2nd Mountain Division...
If you accidentally know any descendant of any soldier or officer, or veteran (although I do not think anyone would live) who fought in the 16th Battalion, please contact me ....
P.S. In my approach to find my grandfather, I received a big help from the researchers and specialists from ONCE .... I take this opportunity to thank them again....
|Posted by: contras January 04, 2014 10:00 pm|
| You can find some interesting testimonials in these memories about Malaia Bielosjorka, Caucasus and others, including Western Front here:
|Posted by: contras January 04, 2014 10:03 pm|
|There are many photos, too. And those memories are very intense, the autor was officer in charge between 1941 to 1945.|
|Posted by: Victor January 06, 2014 07:42 am|
|I have the first version, printed in the 90s or early 2000s and called "Memorii de razboi". It is a very good book and I highly recommend it.|
|Posted by: bobby1974 January 15, 2014 02:21 pm|
| Ok...thanks guys for information...Contras, Victor, Mrx, Alexei.....and others
I ordered this book today and can't wait to read it ....
|Posted by: contras January 15, 2014 09:03 pm|
| Another book about 2th Romanian Mountain Division in Caucasus come from Mihai Balaj, from 10th Batallion, who was there too. He died in 1976, but his diary was published after 1990.
|Posted by: bobby1974 January 24, 2014 08:03 am|
| Hello guys....
Yesterday I received those two books.
For one, I've already started to read ...
What can I say? ...sacrifice, blood, heroism
This is true history, not as presented in school textbooks....
Anyway, I'm not leaving until I find a war diaries or stories of any veteran of the 16 th battalion VM.
Now, I am in search of other books, and the one I heard is well documented ...
It is : "Prizonieri de război români în Uniunea Sovietică. Documente 1941-1956"
The book is edited by Institutul Diplomatic Roman....
From what I've heard, this book is not in bookstores[I]
Anyway, thanks again guys
Have a nice day
|Posted by: mabadesc February 25, 2014 07:05 pm|
| I don't know if this book has been mentioned before on this forum, but I found it to be excellent. The memoirs of Lt-Col Vasile Scarneci, mountain hunter from 1919 until 1945. His memoirs document day-to-day combat from June 21 1941 to Oct 30, 1943. More importantly, it is a journal of personal operations and memoirs written from the perspective of a battalion CO (1st Mountain Div,3rd Battalion).
"Viata si Moartea in Linia Intai"
By Vasile Scarneci
Editura Militara, 2013
|Posted by: contras February 28, 2014 10:10 pm|
Indeed, a great book, with many photos. I strongly recomand it.
|Posted by: contras September 07, 2014 10:54 am|
| A new Military History Magazine, in Romanian (96 pages full color):
First edition, main part about Romanian Mountain Troops in ww1, ww2, Comunist Era and today.