- World War 2 Russian Protective Corps Guide, battlefields map and tours
In September 1941, Major General Skorodumov ordered the formation of the Russian Corps in the city of Belgrade, with the goal of fighting the communists and marching to Russia to liberate it from the Red yoke. Russian military emigrants living in the territory of Banka and Banat (Yugoslavia), occupied by Hungarian troops, considered it their sacred duty to respond to this order, but encountered opposition from the Hungarian authorities. The Hungarian authorities said that the Russians could fight the communists as part of the Hungarian army. The borders were closed, so it was completely impossible for even single people to visit Belgrade, and of course it was impossible to send organized military units there.
Despite this situation, a registration point was opened in the city of Novi Sad, in the Russian officer assembly, for all military ranks living in Hungary. This point was headed by the head of affairs of the Imperial Army and Navy Corps, Lieutenant General Apukhtin and the Chairman of the Novosadsky district R.O.V.S. Major General Cherepov.
Having patriotic feelings and a desire to take part in the liberation of their homeland, Russian people responded to registration, leaving well-paid service and places, selling their property and houses for a small price, whoever had it.
Under pressure from the German command, the Hungarian War Ministry allowed the formation of units from Russians living in Hungary to begin. In the city of Novy Sad, on Tsar Nicholas II Street, a special house was rented, where Russian volunteers arrived and where the Representative Office of the Russian Corps, headed by Lieutenant General Apukhtin, was located under the head of the guard chancellery, Colonel Dvorzhitsky.
The work went intensively, it was decided to form several companies.
Initially, a squad consisting of three hundred began to form. Major General Cherepov took command of the squad; Colonel Treskin was appointed 1st hundred, consisting exclusively of officers of rank; The 2nd, consisting of cavalrymen (mainly soldiers) – Colonel Kozinets and the 3rd, consisting of Cossacks – Colonel Zozulin.
By mid-December 1941, hundreds were formed and transport by truck to Belgrade began. The 3rd hundred was sent first, followed by the 1st and then the 2nd hundred.
Upon arrival in Belgrade at the end of December 1941, the 1st hundred introduced themselves to the Corps commander, General Steifon, who was struck by their appearance. Despite the fact that many years have passed since the Russian officer took off his uniform and put on civilian dress, in which the heart of a real officer always beat.
On Banitsa, the Novosad squad laid the foundation for the 3rd regiment, becoming its 1st squad.
The formation of the 2nd squad of the 3rd regiment had not yet begun, when, after a review on March 4, 1942, the Novosad squad was loaded onto a train at the Topchider station on March 7 and sent by rail to Loznitsa, at the disposal of the 1st regiment.
After standing in Loznitsa for three days, the squad was sent in marching order to guard the antimonies of the mine in Zayach, where they arrived on March 12.
Here the 1st hundred began to guard the mine, putting everything in good order after the recent attack by communist partisans. Old bunkers were put in order, new ones were built, entire strips of forest were cut down for better shelling of the area ahead; in general, they were preparing for a worthy meeting of the enemy. The headquarters of the squad was located in the ravine where the mine buildings were located; hundreds occupied bunkers on the outskirts of the ravine on the hills.
On March 27, the Druzhina was ordered to allocate the 1st hundred from its composition, which was urgently sent to the left flank of the 1st regiment in the village of Rogachitsa, where the 5th hundred of the 1st regiment also went.
A prayer service was held in front of the hundredth ancient icon in honor of St. Andrew the First-Called. The hundred was blessed by the former Military Agent in Belgrade, General Staff Major General Artamonov, who had previously received the icon from the Athos Monastery. The hundred came out in marching order from Zayache, in the direction of Zvornik, while they had to go along the highway that ran along the right bank of the Drina River, the left bank of which was occupied by partisans. The transition of 118 kilometers, with combat precautions, was completed in 2 days and the 1st hundred joined the 5th hundred of the 1st regiment in the village of Rogachitsa, from where permanent outposts were sent by force by platoon, along the right bank of the river, right up to to the village of Lyuboviya, which was occupied by the 3rd cadet company of the 1st regiment.
Due to the remoteness of the base (Loznica), these two hundred often had to receive local food, because the only truck called “Marina” made its trips irregularly.
In operational terms, both hundreds were subordinate to the commander of the German Pantsir (? Grenadier) regiment, Lieutenant Colonel von Geise, who met the hundreds halfway in all respects and left behind the best memories. Several expeditions to the mountains were made with him, and during one of them he was killed.
Since April, the Croats living on the left bank of the Drina waged a fierce campaign against the Serbs living on their territory, and the reprisal was so brutal that even children, women and the elderly were not spared. Sometimes the river was filled with corpses of people floating downstream. Serbian refugees, wanting to escape the persecution of the Croats in the Rogacica-Bajina Basta area, tried to cross the Drina River to the Serbian side by boat, raft or simply by swimming, abandoning their property, taking with them only the most necessary things. During the crossing, which took place at several points of the river, the Croats shot those crossing and it was necessary to send expeditions to the other side of the Drina River to facilitate the crossings. Over the course of some time, we managed to transport over 3,000 people under the control of our valiant “soldiers.” The platoon commander of the 1st hundred, Lieutenant Colonel Gunbin, showed particular energy.
At 2 o’clock in the afternoon on May 20, an order was issued to remove all outposts from the 1st hundred and urgently move in marching order to the city of Uzice. It is necessary to arrive the next day at 10 o’clock in the morning at the station for loading onto the railway, which was accomplished after a difficult night crossing of 40 kilometers through the mountains.
At 7 o’clock in the morning the hundred arrived at the Uzice station, and at 10 o’clock they began loading onto the train, which was intended to proceed to the Nis station.
On May 21, 1942, they boarded the train at 10 a.m. at the Uzice station, the 1st hundred of the 3rd regiment set off by rail and, approaching the Nis station, overtook the train with the Novosad squad, which they joined at the Nis station . The squad was already commanded by Major General Petrovsky, instead of Major General Cherepov, who remained in Belgrade to receive those arriving from Bulgaria to form the 4th regiment.
The composition of the 1st squad was increased by the 4th hundred, consisting of Cossacks, commanded by Major General Tikhotsky.
A few days later the squad arrived in the city of Vuchitrn.
In Vučitrn, the squad began intensive training according to German regulations, and officer training was also introduced – combat, tactical and field training up to and including the war game.
In May, the commander of the 2nd hundred, Colonel Kozinets, was dismissed, and Colonel Rubets was appointed in his place. Classes continued throughout the summer, with a full shooting course. Several expeditions were also made into the mountains to capture the partisans.
On September 19, Major General Petrovsky was transferred to the 1st Regiment, and in his place Colonel Jendrzeevsky was appointed commander of the 1st Squad.
After a short stay in barracks in Kosovo, Mitrovica, the 1st Hundred moved to guard the Trepce mine (overhead line), which they occupied for 2.5 months.
In November, the long-awaited transfer to the Wehrmacht took place, which brought disappointment to many, because… the new states provided for a company composition of 169 people with 3 platoon officers, while hundreds had 108 people each with 4 officers. A complete reorganization took place, due to which the total number of companies was significantly reduced, as a result of which many officers were left without the command positions they had previously occupied.
The 1st hundred of the 3rd regiment included the 7th (technical) of the 1st regiment, which consisted mainly of officers, which made up the 2nd company of the 3rd regiment, whose commander was Colonel Treskin. Of the 4 platoon officers of the 1st hundred, only Lieutenant Colonel Gunbin was retained. Colonel Myshlaevsky was appointed commander of the 1st company, which consisted of the 5th hundredth of the 1st regiment and reinforcements from other hundreds of the same regiment. All cavalrymen were brought into the 3rd company and Captain Schell was appointed its commander. The 4th hundred was separated from the 3rd regiment, as consisting of Cossacks, and sent to the 1st regiment, which was composed of Cossacks.
Upon reorganization, the 1st battalion of the 3rd regiment arrived in the city of Kraljevo on December 16, 1942, where, having replaced the Cossack units of Major General Morozov, it began guarding the Kraljevo-Kosovo Mitrovica railway line.
Guarding the section of the Kraljevo-Ushce railway line alternated with training in Bogutovačka Banya, where the headquarters of the 2nd company of the 3rd regiment was located. Reconnaissance was periodically sent to both sides of the protected area and all measures were taken to adequately meet the enemy in the event of an attack on the bunker from his side.
Returning from Kosovskaya Mitrovica from the regimental holiday, to which I went as a representative of the 1st battalion, messages reached me in the area of the Ushche station that at night there was an attack on the 2nd company, and there were killed and wounded.
On May 22, at about 12 o’clock at night, a gang of the enemy, numbering up to 1000 people, began to cross the railway behind the last bunker No. 129, approximately 2.5 km from the bunker towards Kraljevo, in an area guarded by Serbian state guards. The commander of bunker No. 129, captain Bureau, with privates Mazur and Mazaraki, who were walking at that time along the highway running parallel to the railroad, without being confused, lay down on the highway and opened fire on the passing column. Having shot all their cartridges, as evidenced by 3 piles of cartridges and 3 large pools of blood, these 3 warriors died a heroic death. All three corpses were mutilated, bore signs of obvious abuse, all of their hands were badly cut, apparently from the last hand-to-hand fight.
Upon returning early in the morning to the company headquarters, I sent a platoon under the command of Lieutenant I in pursuit of the enemy. The team crossed the Ibar River and, at the direction of local residents, discovered two corpses, quickly covered with earth, one of which was beautifully dressed and in whose wallet it was found a certificate in the name of the commander of this gang, Miletic, who was still wanted in the area of the Drina River by the Serbian national troops, who offered a fairly large sum of money for his head. In the wallet, many photographs were found that confirmed the murdered gang leader, and a fairly large amount of money. All this was sent to the regimental headquarters. Residents said that the gang took with them the wounded, some of whom were seriously wounded.
The bodies of all the dead Russians were buried in the ground in the cemetery in Kraljevo with military honors in the presence of the Corps commander, General Steifon.
In June, the commander of the 1st battalion, Colonel Jendrzeevsky, became seriously ill and I took temporary command of the battalion, whose adjutant was an exceptionally honest and decent man – Colonel Dumsky of the General Staff, who was treacherously killed in the Chachka region by the Chetniks in 1944 due to his unwillingness to surrender his weapons.
On the birthday of the Bulgarian King Simeon, the head of the division located in Kraljevo, General Grozdanov, organized a parade, after which the invited guests were invited to dinner, held in the “Soldatenheim”. The dinner was served for 150 people and featured an abundance of food and drinks. After lunch, the division chief invited the corps commander, General Fischer, and several senior officers to a separate room for a cup of coffee. The German General Fischer, who was sitting next to me, having learned from me that I was a colonel in the First World War, at a time when he was only a captain, invited me to talk completely at ease, as with an old comrade, albeit an enemy. Taking advantage of this, I asked General Fischer a question – why don’t they send us to the eastern front to liberate Russia from the communists. Why are we kept in bunkers where Russian officers serve, most of them simple privates, who represent excellent personnel for the formation of the Russian Liberation Army, into which prisoners of war could be poured.
General Fischer replied that the Fuhrer did not trust us monarchists. I objected to this that I personally, as I have been a monarchist all my life and will remain one, and also think that the majority of Russian officers share my opinion. Russia, as a country that is not similar in its spiritual make-up to other countries, must be monarchical, otherwise it will perish forever. This remark of mine did not please General Fisher, who declared that there would never be a monarchy in Russia. General Fischer became completely furious when I noticed that not only in Russia, but also in Germany, after a certain number of years, when there is order, they will come to the conviction of the need to restore the monarchical system of government in it.
When General Fischer calmed down, I told him that the Germans were making another huge political mistake, pursuing an aggressive tendency in Ukraine, dreaming of joining Germany, with which the Russian people would never agree. To this, the general pointed out that the generals and officers of the Wehrmacht were against this and said that General Brauchitsch ended his career on this issue. General Brauchitsch, before the attack on Moscow, had a conversation with Hitler, who came to headquarters, demanding that the Fuhrer, after the capture of Moscow, form a Russian government. Hitler did not agree and removed General Brauchitsch from command when the latter declared that it was not the party, but the Wehrmacht, who would make peace with the Russians. (by L. Treskin).
Replenishment of the Russian Corps from Bulgaria.
In the last days of March 1941, from beyond the Danube steppes, the armies of the 3rd Reich, clad in steel and iron, came like a stormy stream, heading towards the borders of Serbia and Greece.
For us, always ready for battle, agonizing expectations began for us to soon participate in the events. In the fall of the same year, real opportunities emerged, but they did not yet have an official form. Information about some Russian formations began to arrive from occupied Serbia, and only in the spring of 1942 did the Headquarters of the III Department of the EMRO announce the formation of the Russian Corps, which was temporarily of a security nature.
This message caused a storm of jubilation. Volunteer registration has begun.
Of course, not all emigration showed enthusiasm, but military emigration undoubtedly did. For example, we should point to Rushchuk and Pernik. The first of the 45 people of the Association gave 43 volunteers, and Pernik almost completely rose. Group after group, consisting of two class cars, departed from Sofia to Belgrade almost weekly, starting in mid-March until June, when the pace of dispatch began to slow down, and then soon the dispatch stopped altogether.
By the time the Bulgarian reinforcements arrived, two regiments had already been formed and occupied their areas. At the expense of our contingents, the 3rd regiment began to deploy, and soon after its formation – the 4th.
It is not possible to list the names and indicate the number of fallen and wounded from among the volunteers of the Bulgarian reinforcement, but judging by the number of deaths from the highest ranks, this number is large. We must remember their names with reverence: General Zinkevich, General Zhdanov, Colonel Kondratyev, Lieutenant Colonel Chibirnov, the first three of whom are former commanders of volunteer colored troops. Let the memory of them always live in our hearts and serve as living proof of the sacrifice that Volunteerism was capable of after almost 25 years of exile. His corrupting spirit did not touch the white warriors, who were ready at the first call, at the first opportunity, with a youthful impulse to go into battle for Great Russia.
Concluding the essay, I will say in conclusion: the Bulgarian reinforcements conscientiously fulfilled their duty and honestly served in the Corps, merging with it in spirit and body, and regrets those who left its ranks, succumbing to a momentary outburst (by V. Goetz)
Russian Protective Corps 4th Regiment of the 1st formation in 1942
On April 29, the formation of the regiment began.
On July 26, the 1st Battalion was sent to guard the Krusevac-Usce railway, while the 1st Hundred occupied the Kraljevo-Krusevac section; 2nd and 4th – Kraljevo-Ushce and 3rd – Kraljevo.
On August 15, the 5th company departed for Nis for security duty.
On October 8, the formation of the 6th company was completed.
On November 30, as a result of the new organization of the Corps, the 4th Regiment was disbanded, with the 1st Battalion transferred to the 1st Regiment, and the 5th and 6th Companies to the 2nd Regiment (Essays: “4th Regiment” and ” In the 4th regiment of the first formation”).
In the 4th regiment of the first formation.
In May 1942, the formation of the 4th Detachment began under the command of my father from reinforcements arriving from Bulgaria. My old friend and fellow soldier, Cornet Gunther and I, who were non-commissioned officers and squad commanders, were appointed commanders of the cadet scooter and horse platoons of the Hundred Directorate of the newly formed 4th Detachment. As non-commissioned officers – squad commanders, our old friends, classmates at the Nikolaev Cavalry School – cornets V. Varchenko and the prince – were assigned to us along with others. N. Kudashev.
The commander of the Hundred Directorate, the General Staff, Lieutenant Colonel Podolsky, immediately established friendly, sincere relations with all of us, which made joint work easy and pleasant. The hard work began again – drill and combat training, studying regulations, machine guns and other military wisdom.
We have established excellent relations with the cadets. These were wonderful young people who took up the hard science of military science with zeal and subsequently valiantly proved that they were worthy of Russian officer’s shoulder straps. Many of them entered the Corps with their fathers. The average age of the cadets was 25-27 years old with deviations in both directions, there were several 16-17 year olds, but there were also 43 year olds, like the gray-haired, always cheerful fan of Bacchus, joker and singer Misha Klimov. Among these older ones, one cannot help but remember my great friend, 37-year-old Yuli Mariyushkin (who died after the war due to severe wounds received in the Corps). I happened to overhear his conversation with the cadets when he stated:
– From here, from the Corps, brothers, they can only kick me out, but I myself, voluntarily, will never leave!
In September 1942, the Corps headquarters found that Ponter and I (forty-year-old cornets) were too young to command cadet platoons, and sent two dear captains (lieutenants) Mikhailov and Silin to this position. We handed over our positions to them, and we ourselves moved to the position of their assistants, squad commanders, without experiencing the bitterness of degradation, because remained in non-commissioned officer rank all the time. Unfortunately, many worthy officers had to experience this bitterness after some time.
On November 30, 1942, the German command demanded the disbandment of the 4th Detachment and the replenishment at its expense of the shortage in the other three, as well as the transfer of all Cossack hundreds and, in general, all Cossacks to the 1st Detachment. Thanks to this reshuffling, a lot of officer positions were abolished, and the officers themselves found themselves left behind, degraded without any fault on their part, with appointment to non-commissioned officer and sergeant-major positions and ranks, and those who had held these positions until that time were degraded in turn. This made a very difficult impression not only on the victims themselves, but on all of us. Indeed, it was very unpleasant and offensive to see yesterday’s battalion and company commanders in the position of sergeant majors, non-commissioned officers and privates (and what was their state of health?!).
With pain in our hearts, we watched as the fruits of persistent, hard work were destroyed and the cobbled together, friendly military unit was scattered. It was hard to part with my fellow soldiers, because… The common friendly work made us all – both bosses and subordinates – great friends. Only a few people, my closest friends, know what it cost my father to ruin his brainchild, into which he invested all his soul, strength and many years of experience and knowledge. Upon the disbandment of the 4th Detachment, my father was appointed commander of the III Squad of the 3rd Detachment and left for Kosovska Mitrovica.
Our Cossack cadets were transferred to the 1st Otrad, and the rest were consolidated into one platoon and transferred to the 6th hundred of the 2nd Detachment. (by V. Cherepov)
4th Regiment (first formation).
The formed 3rd regiment left the barracks and it was the turn of the 4th regiment to be formed. General Alexander Nikolaevich Cherepov was appointed commander. Eliminating all personal sympathies, but only for the sake of pure truth, we will allow you to express feelings of deep respect and say the truthful word about him: we had a valiant commander who combined courage, knowledge, heightened honesty and deep devotion and love for Russia and its Army. The complex of these military virtues allows us to include our general in the pantheon of glory of the Russian Corps.
General Cherepov, before his appointment as commander, had extensive combat and combat experience. The famous St. George Knight of the Order and Arms for a number of exploits in the 1st World War, which he graduated with the rank of major general. A glorious participant in the Civil War from the first Ice Campaign, he held several high positions, including the head of the 2nd Infantry Division. Strict, demanding, tough, impulsive at work, easy-going and even gentle in leisure hours. Army enthusiast. Calm and balanced in the lulls of battle and flaming brightly from the first shot in the elements of fire. The whistling of bullets and the roar of exploding shells, forming the music of the battle, inspired the old warrior. At this time the general straightened up, his eyes sparkled, his voice grew stronger, his speech turned into a curt command. Looking at General Cherepov, one imagined long-gone commanders from the times of shock tactics, ahead of their victorious regiments, inspiring them with their example to feat of arms. This personal courage was and is an integral feature of our commander of the 4th regiment.
The general’s closest assistant was the adjutant of the regiment – the general staff, Colonel S.A. Zhukov, dedicated to his work and knowledgeable of it, able-bodied, hardworking, precise, efficient. The regiment commander could be calm that all his instructions would be developed and carried out on time.
The commander of the 1st battalion, General Morozov, gained great fame during the Civil War, commanding the Don Division. The outstanding deeds of this cavalry division earned it the honor of being named after Morozov in the army. As a battalion commander, General Morozov turned out to be an equally valiant and talented infantry commander. Subsequently, he valiantly commanded the 1st Regiment of the Corps, after General Zborovsky was wounded. The commander of the 2nd battalion, general staff, General Pulevich, is a highly educated officer with combat experience. Full of strength and energy. Popular lecturer on military and general history. Company commanders: 1st – Colonel Folometov, 2nd – Colonel Shmelev, 3rd – Colonel Sivolobov, 5th – Colonel Luchaninov, 6th – Colonel Shebalin, 7th – Colonel Kondratyev. All are combat and experienced officers; among them were wounded several times, such as Colonel Kondratyev and the St. George cavaliers, like Colonel Shebalin.
As reinforcements arrived, company after company entered the line. The barracks, which had just been empty after the departure of the last battalion of the 3rd regiment, began to come to life again. The silent training ground began to speak again in different voices: the teams multiplied, the formation at evening roll calls expanded, the surroundings were resounding with battle songs. Zeal for learning not only satisfied the commander, but often earned him praise. The following case can serve as an illustration of what has been said. One day, while going around the companies, the commander found the 1st battalion studying during the lunch break, which he saw as a violation of internal order and demanded an explanation from the battalion commander. The latter replied:
– We were brilliant cavalry, we want to become equally brilliant infantry, and therefore, at the expense of free time, we are increasing our training. – Such a reasonable answer, of course, satisfied the regiment commander. However, the battalion commander did not abuse these additional hours of training and used them in moderation and out of necessity, but all this spoke of a serious attitude to the matter, which was confirmed more than once by the regiment commander, who never found his companies in an idle pastime.
The 1st Battalion completed its training. Soon the 5th and 6th companies deployed, and it was the turn of the 7th; A PAK platoon was formed. The regiment lined up in a powerful front for the evening roll call, which was carried out according to all the rules of the regulations. All this was intended to merge the parts of the regiment, put together companies, introduce the general spirit of the regiment, dissolve individuality in the mass, give a community – one face. The evening roll call was followed by prayer, and how it was reminiscent of similar moments in the camps of the old army, when the lined up regiments, on their front lines stretching for several miles, sang a divine song, but then the last echo fell silent somewhere in the distant horizons and immediately the bugles began to sing, the drums beat, and sometimes this concert was complemented by the music of the regiments, and the Russian army retired after the end of the labor camp day.
Our 4th regiment also went to the barracks, but after the ceremonial march, this daily parade was received either by the head of the garrison, General Kiriyenko, or by the regiment commander.
Our commanders prepared us for formation and battle and used the opportunities that presented themselves to bring us closer together, elbow to elbow, and psychically merge into one whole, and this was helped by our evening roll calls and ceremonial marches.
The regiment lived and trained in such sentiments, but unexpectedly, at the request of the Germans, it was disbanded to strengthen the combat effectiveness of the already existing three regiments.
One can only imagine the emotional drama our commander suffered when he lost his beloved brainchild. We were all left to bitterly mourn our fate. (by V. Goetz)
Junker platoon of the 6th company of the 4th regiment of the first formation.
I dedicate these lines to the glorious cadet platoon of the 6th company of the 4th regiment of the first formations.
The 6th company subsequently became part of the 2nd regiment, under the same number. The cadet platoon was the third platoon of the 6th company, representing its front part. I was appointed platoon commander. Introducing myself to the commander on the occasion of my appointment, I secretly learned from him that in the near future my platoon would be deployed to the cadet company No. 8, as soon as young reinforcements arrived from Bulgaria, which were expected in early August 1942. I. You can imagine the joy that overwhelmed me in connection with such an honorable appointment – a teacher of youth. These young people were an excellent element in all respects – their education was at a high level: they had completed secondary education or were in the last high school, a large percentage of students. In general, there is a ready contingent for officer cadres, physically strong and healthy young people. The mood of these young men, who passed through national patriotic organizations, reflected the spirit of the older generation – their fathers, participants in the Civil War and uncompromising enemies of the invaders of national power.
In a word, working with such young people seemed extremely interesting.
However, events prevented the work from being carried out on a large scale and I had to limit myself to a small one – instead of a company I had to take on a platoon, from which I was not separated for 9.5 months.
Being part of the 6th company of Colonel Shebalin, the platoon lived a separate life, having its own interests and its own internal way of life, in relation to the cadets of old times. Unfortunately, the circumstances of our service depended largely on the arbiters of destinies of that time, to whom our national intentions were alien.
From the first days of the platoon’s existence, work with it was carried out with full tension. Drill training soon passed to German instructors, but the previous training was carried out and mastered using Russian means in such a way that the new knowledge was very easy and aroused the praise of the “teachers.” It was more difficult to organize teaching in classes due to the lack of free time, but these difficulties were overcome. I had to sacrifice several evening hours of rest; the teaching staff was relatively easy to find among the educated officers of Banitsa, among whom were: a learned artilleryman, a teacher of many generations, Colonel S.S. Pashkov, General Staff Colonel Chernysh – a talented lecturer, Colonel Akvilonov, Captain D.P. Kovalevsky. The excellent teaching staff aroused great interest in the lectures and even outside listeners began to attend the lectures.
The cadets began to work seriously, saw the fruits of it and strengthened their hopes for the future. The full five months of our stay in Banjica were productively used. Unfortunately, classes were interrupted with the departure of the company after its training and transfer to the Wehrmacht in Dolni Milanovac on the Danube River. Here we were faced with a difficult, restless service with frequent expeditions into the deep forest wilds of Homolya – this den of robbers and partisans. Training sessions were suspended, it was necessary to adapt to the circumstances of the new service. At the same time, the thought of continuing our education did not leave us for a minute. Due to the lack of trained teaching staff, I decided to take on lecturing in the uncompleted departments of education. I managed to prepare lectures, but, unfortunately, I could not give them on the occasion of my appointment as a company commander in a special battalion on Banitsa.
My undertakings were carried out by my deputy, Captain Gussakovsky, conducting classes in an environment even more difficult than it was with me. A high interest in military education was not the only commendable quality of these thoughtful and serious youth, but they also showed fighting spirit and courage in dangerous expeditions, where everyone tried to show their fearlessness. The Lord had mercy, no one was hit by an enemy bullet during this battle, and I didn’t have to lower anyone into a cold grave; I left all my valiant cadets in health and well-being, but subsequently I more than once had to take off my headdress and pronounce the name of the deceased with the sign of the cross, already being far from them.
Without exaggerating at all, but keeping the pure truth in my story, I declare that the most gratifying memory of my entire service since April 1942 is the command of the “junker platoon” in the 6th company of the 2nd regiment and its origins in the 4th disbanded regiment , where we spent the best time and lived with bright hopes.
Sweet, disciplined, well-educated youth, striving for knowledge, ready to make all sacrifices in the name of the Motherland, attracted me to them with all my heart – I fell in love with them, as a father loves his good sons. Meeting with them at morning prayer and inspection, I only parted with the cadets late at night, going to bed with one thought about them. I saw in them the continuers of sacrificial love for the Motherland and service to it.
For me, she is the basis of our outgoing generation. Strong in spirit, preserving love, devotion and fidelity to their educators and leaders of their childhood, adolescence and youth, these youth resisted the destructive propaganda of all sorts of newly-minted unions and did not betray them, the leaders, and did not violate the creative unity of generations. Never and under no circumstances will I forget this time spent in service, full of interest and mutual benefit, and I will keep the dear faces of my dear cadets forever in my memory.
Concluding these lines, I would like to remember with gratitude my glorious assistants: Captain D.V. Gussakovsky, staff captains: Yushkevich and Beckman, and cornets: Cherepov and Ponter, who with their conscientious attitude helped to train and unite the platoon of cadets.(V. Getz)