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> 16. The Liberation of Hotin
Posted: January 07, 2004 07:10 pm
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by Nicolae Ciobanu

The military operations for liberating the town of Hotin, an old Romanian border fortified city on the Dniester, were launched in the morning of July 6, 1941 by the 8th Cavalry Brigade's 2nd Cavalry Regiment which - although it was not equipped with artillery, repelled through a frontal attack, conducted with its advanced squadron and strengthened with two platoons - and through the maneuver on the east made by another small unit -, the Soviet forces in the Rates Mansion area. The fights continued vigorously at about 1 km north-west in the area called "The Four Pubs", where the enemy had articulated a continuous line of resistance and responded with heavy artillery fire and counterattacks initiated by a company strong forces. That evening, the offensive was resumed with fresh forces, the 2nd "Calarasi" (horsmen) Regiment attacking frontally, while the Reconnaissance Group and the 3rd "Calarasi" Regiment's 1st Squadron maneuvered to the direction: Rates Mansion - Rucsin with a view to get at the flank and rears of the enemy deployed on the plateau south of the town of Hotin. By conducting their energetic attack, the Romanian troops succeeded in pushing the Soviet forces, "step-by-step", up to the southern outskirts of Hotin. During that night units of the 5th Mountain Group joined the fights.

Since July 7, after the 8th Cavalry Brigade was regrouped, the military operations for the liberation of Hotin were continued by the 2nd joint Mountain Brigade.

The final attack was launched on July 8, and was based on the following plan: a pinpointing operation executed by the 5th Mountain Group, a maneuver carried out by the "Colonel Badescu" Detachment (the 15th Mountain Battalion, the "Lieutenant-Colonel Ciubotaru" Group, the 2nd Mountain Howitzer Battalion) in the direction: Darabeni, Hotin and a demonstration crossing of the Dniester at Darabani. The entire operation was supported by the 52nd and 57th Heavy Artillery Battalions. Based on this plan, the operation was launched at 02.00 p.m. and was concluded by 05.00 p.m., when the Soviet troops of Hotin and its environs were defeated and started to retreat destroying many buildings in the town.

In praising the bravery and the sacrifices made by the mountain troops, General Petre Dumitrescu, commander of the 3rd Army, wrote in a Daily Order "Here the enemy, superior in number, put up new resistance. Yet, the 2nd joint Mountain Brigade attacked and, after two days of fierce fights, succeeded in hoisting again our forefathers' flag on Stefan cel Mare's old citadel... Their is the honour! Let them never be forgotten!".
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