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During the Second World War, the front line passed near the city of Protvino. In early December 1941, the forces of the 49th Army stopped the advance of the 13th Army Corps of the Army Group "Center" of German troops in the direction of Moscow. Near Protvino, they continue to find the remains of dead soldiers, fragments of military equipment and weapons. In the forest belt within the city, craters formed as a result of shell explosions have been preserved.
In all existing reference books, approximately the following is written: in October-December 1941, the troops of the 49th Army, under the leadership of Army Commander Zakharkin, defeated the XIII and XII Army Corps of the enemy, stopped his advance at the Vysokinichi-Serpukhov-Sukhodol line and then forced him to retreat.
The army's defense density was 6.2 guns and mortars per 1 kilometer of the front. The general ratio of forces: in terms of people - 1.8 : 1; for artillery and mortars: 2.5 : 1 in favor of the enemy, for tanks and aircraft - dozens of times. These are not made up numbers. These are the results of intelligence, tested by time and calculations of generations of historians. The German army was much stronger.
So, the XIII and XII army corps went through Kaluga towards Tarusa and Serpukhov. They included two infantry divisions: the 17th and 260th. Parts of the 134th Infantry Division, which belonged to the right-flank 2nd Panzer Group of General Guderian, also stormed. The 263rd, 268th, 137th, 52nd Infantry and 19th Tank Divisions also acted against the 49th Army from Aleksin to Vysokinichi.
The 49th Army of Lieutenant General Zakharkin closed a rather large section of the front - 85 kilometers. The defense zone included a coastal section north of the Oka River. He reliably blocked the approaches to Moscow through Serpukhov along the Tula highway. In order to get to the Tula highway and rush, then directly to Moscow or go to Tula, the Germans had to punch holes in the Serpukhov direction. What they did.
In the first echelon of the 49th Army, the 415th, 5th Guards, 60th (with the regiment of the 7th Guards attached to it) rifle divisions and units of the 194th rifle division defended. In the second echelon were the 7th Guards (before its transfer to the northern sector of the Western Front, in the area of operations of the 16th army of K.K. Rokossovsky), the 229th machine-gun battalion, and other units. Near Aleksin stood the 238th Rifle Division, reinforced by the 288th Regiment of the 7th Guards Rifle Division.
The Supreme Commander-in-Chief believed that it was necessary to thwart the enemy's impending strikes with his own preemptive counterattacks. One counterattack must be launched in the Volokolamsk region, the other - from the Serpukhov region to the flank of the 4th German army. Regarding the second counterattack, the Supreme Commander-in-Chief clarified that the reconnaissance at the disposal of the General Staff confirms that large forces, including tank ones, are concentrated there for the upcoming strike on Moscow.
It was just about the area of Vysokinichi, Maleevo, Kremenki, Troitskoye, where the 194th and 60th rifle divisions of the 49th army fought. On November 17, 1941, the army commander of the 49th gave his divisions, which had dug in the Kremenki area back in October, the order to attack. Of course, those battles at Kremenki cannot be called a counteroffensive in the full sense of the word. Most likely, these were counterattacks.
Our victory in the Moscow battle is the result not only of a bayonet, but also of military thought, which precisely and correctly directed this bayonet. The German divisions and corps were initially exhausted not only in large and notable battles in the history of the Great Patriotic War, but also in battles of local importance. And near Kremenki and Serpukhov, October and November 1941 passed in incessant battles and skirmishes of local significance. It was in them that the XII and XIII army corps of the Wehrmacht disappeared, in fact the whole army. On December 16, 1941, the Nazis began to be pushed back to the west.
The commander of the 60th Infantry Division, Hero of the Soviet Union, Colonel M.A. Zashibalov, in his memoirs about the first day of the counteroffensive on the right wing of the 49th Army, wrote as follows: “The long-awaited day of December 17, 1941 has arrived! An artillery attack began. Tons of metal fell on the strongholds and nodes of the enemy's defense. Direct fire guns destroyed the bunkers, the German fire system at the forefront. Thirty minutes after the start of the artillery offensive, the rifle regiments with a swift attack broke through the front line of the enemy’s defense and immediately took the village of Kremenki, the forester’s house and continued to advance in the direction of Nizhnyaya Vyazovnya. The 1282nd Rifle Regiment captured the village of Maleevo with one rifle battalion.
Partisans from Vysokinichi acted in the ranks of the shooters. Among them were those who fought against Vysokinichi in October. Now they stormed the village, recapturing the enemy house by house, street by street. December 27, 1941 Vysokinichi were taken.
Until now, the forests in the vicinity of the villages of Vorontsovka, Stanki, Vyazovnya, Yekaterinovka are slashed with trenches and funnels, and the village of Maleevo has been completely destroyed. The metal detector rings from the fragments with which the earth is literally stuffed. And every year the remains of dead soldiers are found here. There are two monuments between Ekaterinovka and Maleevo. Two mass graves. One grave of Soviet soldiers. The other is a German soldier.
The ceremonial opening of the Memorial “Rubezh Oborony” took place on December 6, 1981 in honor of the 40th anniversary of the defeat of the Nazi troops near Moscow.