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By October 1941, the German invaders had advanced quite a lot into the depths of Russia. Such rapid progress was explained by the huge advantages in military equipment.
It is known that Guderian was considered one of the most talented generals. A number of successful operations carried out by him confirms this. Before reaching Tula, he managed to take the Eagle on the move, cutting our defenses on the distant approaches to it, quickly passing a long distance on tanks and, in fact, catching quite strong units that were in the city by surprise.
From Orel to Tula is only 180 kilometers. In Tula in 1941, all defense factories were operating at full capacity. There were practically no military units between Orel and Tula at that time. In Tula itself, except for the NKVD regiment guarding defense factories, fighter battalions of workers and employees, the 732nd anti-aircraft artillery regiment, which covered the city from an enemy air raid, there was nothing.
In the current situation, the stavka transferred the 5th Airborne Corps to Tula. The 34th Border Regiment, which was guarding the rear of the Bryansk Front, also turned out to be there. The fighting broke out immediately fierce. The Germans began to develop an offensive. They soon took the Rabble and Plavsk. On October 29, they occupied Shchekino, Yasnaya Polyana, Oblique Mountain, went to the Ivanovo dachas, the Underground gas station, in Novo-Basovo and came close to Tula.
Since the Nazis captured Orel and Tula became a frontline city, all life here has been transferred to a military way. Consolidated workers' fighter detachments were created under the command of Captain A. P. Gorshkov and miner G. A. Ageev. Both detachments were shelled in the battles near Likhvin, and later became the backbone of the Tula Workers' Regiment, the commander and commissar of which Gorshkov and Ageev were appointed. Tula was girded with ribbons of trenches, pre-equipped combat positions. Fortifications have been formed inside the city, anti-tank ditches have been dug, hedgehogs and gouges have been installed, barricades have been built, defense strongholds have been created in tank-hazardous areas. The entire population of Tula rose to defend the city. A state of siege has been imposed in the city. The construction of defensive structures has begun. They employed from 2 to 4 thousand people daily, most of whom were women. In a short time, 2 strips of fortifications with deep anti-tank ditches, barricades, obstacles were built. By the beginning of the siege, 3 defensive lines were created around Tula, and 4 powerful defensive sectors were built within the city, 7700 shelters for 141 thousand people were built, 681 basements were transformed to hide from German bombs and shells of fighters and the population.
In parallel, huge work was carried out on the evacuation of defense plants. It was impossible to risk them in any case. The Nazis threw selected units on Tula: the 3rd, 4th, 17th tank, 29th motorized divisions and the Great Germany regiment. In essence, it was the Hitler Guard. The Workers' Guard, along with anti-aircraft gunners and security officers, stood up against them.
The Fascist attacks were fierce. Up to a hundred tanks participated in them. We had a lot of dead and wounded, but the enemy could not break through in any area. And not only did not break through, but also lost 31 tanks and a lot of infantry in one day on October 30.
Fierce fighting continued in the following days. The 32nd Tank Brigade, the 34th Guards Mortar Division "Katyush", the 154th, 217th, and later the 258th, 290th, 413th rifle divisions, other units and divisions of the Red Army immediately joined the battle and fought selflessly, heroically, spared neither their strength, nor life itself. During these days of brutal and bloody battles, we lost many of our comrades. Including the commissar of the Tula Workers' Regiment G. A. Ageev, who was posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. The workers' regiment was replenished six times during the 45 days of the city's defense. The Red Army units also suffered heavy losses.
Tula herself lived a harsh but full-blooded life. Under the roar of shells and the howl of mines, vital issues were solved. The city telephone exchange, in addition to its worries, actively helped the units that came out of the encirclement to establish field communication. Hospitals were working. Weapons and military equipment were repaired at factories. The issues of supplying the defenders of Tula with ammunition, warm clothing, and provisions were promptly resolved.
Tula survived those harsh days. The enemy could not capture the city. For the courage and heroism shown by the Tulyaks, the city was awarded the title of "Hero City".
During the war, over 250 Tulyaks were awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.