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Medal for Bravery- artillery scout-spotter on Narew bridgehead

Article about: Hello guys I would like to share with you my latest find-medal "For Bravery" nr. 1427593 with some interesting results of research- awarded to scout-artillery spotter for very firs

  1. #1

    Post Medal for Bravery- artillery scout-spotter on Narew bridgehead

    Hello guys

    I would like to share with you my latest find-medal "For Bravery" nr. 1427593 with some interesting results of research- awarded to scout-artillery spotter for very first days of combat on Narew bridgehead of gen. Pavel Batov's 65th army of 1st Belarussian Front.

    Ogorodnik Andrey Vasilyevich was born in 1920 in village of Lipchani, near Vinnitsa on Ukraine.
    He was drafted in RKKA in September 1939, his early war fate is barely known, he arrived at front line on Western Front in July 1941 (awarded medal "For defense of Moscow" in May 1944), wounded 1st time on 14 February 1942, must have joined 1st tank guards corps probably when they still carried name of 26th tank corps, they gained name "guards" in December 1942 for vital role in closing Paulus 6th army in a pocket in November 1942. In both Ogorodnik citations Stalingrad Front is mentioned. Was wounded for second time on 28 December 1943.

    In summer 1944 gen. Mikhail Panov's 1st guards tank corps was attached to 65th army of 1st Belarussian Front, participied in combat through Belarussia and Poland.
    In September 1944 after first unsuccesful attempt to capture Warsaw district of Praga and wipe out Germans from Vistula-Bug-Narew trident in August, 1st Belarussian Front again started to close to Polish capital from north with forces of 70th army while 65th army being on the right bank of Bug slowly was closing to new water obstacle-Narew river between cities Serock-on southern flank and Pułtusk on the north.

    On september 5th German 2nd army on eastern bank of Narew was in full retreat, though leaving some large rear guard groups in forests east and south-east from Pułtusk.
    At morning German columns were moving to the major river crossing-wooden bridge built by German pioneers in place of pre-war ferry in village Holendry.
    Suddenly close shots were heard, panic spread all around German troops fearing not to be left on eastern bank without way of retreat. Bridge was already preparred to be blown up.
    Shots were getting closer and closer, drivers were abandoning their trucks and gun crews leaving their PAKs just to get to the western shore.
    Suddenly between feldgrau uniforms appeared brown-green gymnasterkas. These were the men under command of guards captain Lukyanenko, from 3rd battalion, 1st guards motorized rifle brigade. Being on the head of his improvised assault group he was the first to cross the river and held the bridge.
    Germand left their trenches on the right bank which were took by coming troops from 1st Guards motorized rifle brigade, they repelled 3 counterattacks capturing 50 abandoned horse carts, 10 vechicles and 7 artillery pieces.
    Lukyanenko for his deed was nominated to Hero of Soviet Union.
    However at some point some German menaged to find detonator and blow up bridge and 13 soldiers with platoon commander who were on it. Coming tanks from 1st guards tank corps were forced to cross river on a nearby shallow but by the end of a day bridge was repaired. Chaotic flee which started in vicinity of bridge caused that through all day Germans didn't set up any defense positions and enabled to capture that day 15 villages laying on the western bank. Units of 65th army took defense lines in vicinity of Dzierżenin-church and cementry, Obrębek, Łubienica.

    Germans awared of situation in southern Narew flow immidiately pulled forces from IV SS Panzerkorps in the area of Warsaw.
    on 5th September arrived in frontline area: 35th infantry division, 542 infantry division, 1131 grenadiere brigade and elements of 5th SS panzer division "Wiking" in strenght of 4 tanks in vicinity of Łubienica, 5 tanks north of Pokrzywnica and 15 tanks and SPGs near Piskornia.

    On September 6th Germand immidiately came to counterattacks supported by massive artillery barrages and high activity of ground-attacks of Luftwaffe.

    In the morning of September 6th to the right bank was also moved corps artillery commander col. Vladimir Kukin with his observation point. One of soldiers being on commanders observation point was Andrey Vasilyevich Ogorodnik.

    According to citations of other soldiers being on 1st Gu.TK artillery commander observation point, immidiately after crossing Narew on the bridge in Holendry they came under artillery fire and despite this they were able to set up observation point.

    Scouts-srtillery spotters

    Role played by Ogorodnik was not sneaking behind enemy lines in search for "tongue" or researching enemy defense positions. He was the man who would stand by huge binoculars on a tripod and give coordinates to telephoneman or radio operator passing them to artillery firing positions.
    There were two types of observation point- forward observation (PHP) point in ranks of infantry on the first line and commanders observation point (KNP-komandnyi nablyudatyelnyi punkt). RKKA artillery manual advised that KNP should be placed 1,5-2km from enemy's first line of defense on a higher ground-hill, tree or roof or higher floor of a house. Usually there should be few scouts observers on KNP. While forward artillery spotters would look for single tanks, gun emplacements and small groups of enemy, observers from KNP would look for larger groups of enemy vechicles, infantry units and whole defense instalations.

    "Guards sergeant Ogorodnik A.V. from 6th to 8th September was on observation post of artillery commander on the right bank of r. Narew serving as artillery spotter. Constantly he followed moves of enemy giving precise coordinates allowing to open fire on groups of man power and technics of enemy.
    On 6th September area in which was scout Ogorodnik came under enemy's strong artillery bombardment. Comrade Ogorodnik not caring about strong fire continued to fulfill gaven job-spotting movments of enemy.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Medal for Bravery- artillery scout-spotter on Narew bridgehead   Medal for Bravery- artillery scout-spotter on Narew bridgehead  

    Medal for Bravery- artillery scout-spotter on Narew bridgehead   Medal for Bravery- artillery scout-spotter on Narew bridgehead  

    Medal for Bravery- artillery scout-spotter on Narew bridgehead  

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  3. #2

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    What's interesting Ogordnik was geaven medal "For capture of Konigsberg" which he shouldn't as he stayed till the end of war with 1st guards tank corps which later participied in capture of Gdańsk/ Danzig and west Pommeranian operation.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Medal for Bravery- artillery scout-spotter on Narew bridgehead   Medal for Bravery- artillery scout-spotter on Narew bridgehead  


  4. #3

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    Map of situation and location of units of 06.09.1944.
    Blue trangles with numbers signify number of German tanks in certain area. Bridge in Holendry barked with two red lines. This bridge was once again destroyed by attack of FW-190 in the evening on September 6th.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Medal for Bravery- artillery scout-spotter on Narew bridgehead  

  5. #4

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    View of 65th Army bridgehead 1944-2021 from Soviet positions.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Medal for Bravery- artillery scout-spotter on Narew bridgehead   Medal for Bravery- artillery scout-spotter on Narew bridgehead  

    Medal for Bravery- artillery scout-spotter on Narew bridgehead  

  6. #5

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    Exact place where stood provisional bridge in village Holendry, main way of transport for 65th army and 1st guards tank corps in early existence of Narew bridgehead.

    What's worth to add is what had commander of 65th army gen. Pavel Batov written in his memories "In marches and in combat" about 1st guards tank corps:
    "We used to think about it (corps) as our own. Theoreticaly it should be resupplied with technics and with men from front's reserve but we often gave them better commanders and soldiers from guards units. Our army in grateful guardsmen-tankists of Don corps."

    In combat on September 6th 1944 1st Gu. Tank Corps lost 721 killed or wounded, 26 T-34s burned and knocked out and 1 SU76 burned.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture Medal for Bravery- artillery scout-spotter on Narew bridgehead  

  7. #6

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    Great research once again...and the Bravery medal looks great with original suspension!

  8. #7

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    Superb thread with outstanding research

    Nick
    "In all my years as a soldier, I have never seen men fight so hard." - SS Obergruppenfuhrer Wilhelm Bittrich - Arnhem

  9. #8

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    What a fantastic thread!

  10. #9

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    Quote by Marcel Banziger View Post
    Great research once again...and the Bravery medal looks great with original suspension!
    Thank you!
    That’s what I like about this medal, untouched piece with original kolodka, ribbon and enamel, well, remains. In reality looks better.

  11. #10
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    God, could you imagine what a nightmare attacking across those fields and rivers must have been.

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