Some would have stated the 25 Ukrainian troopers didn’t stand an opportunity. Nearly stranded at a small railroad station within the Kharkiv area of Ukraine, the small platoon of the 78th Guards Infantry Regiment confronted a crushing onslaught of German tanks on March 2, 1943. There was nobody to return to their support. But Lt. Piotr Shironin and the small band of males refused to surrender their battle. Decided to dam enemy entry to the railway station, the boys rallied round a 45mm subject gun. Though fellow Ukrainians manning the gun had been killed, Shironin’s group didn’t waver to make use of the weapon to blast approaching enemy armor.
Their prospects for victory seemed very dim. The advancing military of Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich possessed one of many largest and most technologically refined forces on the planet at the moment. Hitler’s troops dedicated wanton acts of brutality. German troops mowed down anybody who stood of their path as they pushed eastward with the objective of conquering the Soviet Union.
German forces hurled themselves on the tiny Ukrainian platoon with all their may, finally sending 35 tanks and armored autos to overrun the place. But the defenders held on. Utilizing the sector gun, Sr. Sgt. Sergey Nechipurenko and Pvt. Alexandr Tjurin destroyed three German tanks, whereas Ukrainians within the close by village of Taranivka supported the beleaguered group of males with artillery fireplace.
Finally a self-propelled German artillery car destroyed the sector gun. Nechipurenko was killed and his comrade wounded. Hope appeared misplaced. With out the sector gun, it was not clear how the boys would withhold the onslaught. The German armored car swept nearer, about to roll straight by way of the boys’s place.
Seizing an antitank grenade, Pvt. Andrei Skvortsov hurled himself beneath the encroaching German car and blew it up, sacrificing his life to cease it in its tracks. His comrades adopted swimsuit. A minimum of 4 of Skvortsov’s brothers-in-arms—Sgt. Ivan Sedih, Pvt. Piotr Shkodin, Pvt. Nikolai Subbotin, and Pvt. Vasily Tantsurenko—every seized antitank grenades and threw themselves beneath the roaring German autos with desperation and valor. Their fearless spirit transcended the desperation of their scenario.
Regardless of their merciless resolve, the invading Nazi forces have been thwarted by the small platoon. Shironin’s males inflicted heavy losses on the Germans, killing over 100 and wounding extra troops. The German advance foundered and ultimately got here to an surprising halt. Shedding a complete of 16 tanks and armored autos to the Ukrainians, the Germans pulled again from the railway station. They’d not succeeded in capturing it.
Of the 25 males in Shironin’s platoon, solely six survived. These survivors included Pvt. Vasily L. Isakov, who sadly died of struggle wounds later that yr in August 1943, Pvt. Alexandr F. Toropov, Pvt. Alexandr Tjurin, Pvt. Ivan P. Bukayev, Sr. Sgt. Ivan G. Vernigorenko, and their commander, Shironin. All members of the platoon have been acknowledged with the title of Heroes of the Soviet Union on Could 18, 1943.
The images of the boys could be seen at this time at a memorial at Taranivka close to the spot the place so lots of them misplaced their lives. On the middle of the memorial, beneath a monumental sculpture of a soldier hoisting a grenade, is the picture of Shironin. Severely wounded throughout the battle, he survived the rest of the struggle and died on June 30, 1968. The railroad station at Taranivka was named Shironino in his honor. MH