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OPWII #172026 lost and found

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Please, meet sr.lt. VOROSCHENKO Maksim Ivanovich, 1916, former company commander 1177 rifle regiment, 377 rifle "Melitopol" division.
After sustaining severe through and through chest wound in March 1944 moved to the reserve officer regiment of 4 Ukrainian front.
The OPWII is awarded after his wound . Citation is signed in June 1944.
By October 1944 , he is back in line as a company commander of 896 rifle regiment, 211 rifle division.
Note the condition on the photos.
More details are to follow...


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Award recommendation for the OPWII order:
Comrade VOROSCHENKO  has been on the front line of Patriotic war since July 1941 and participated in liberation of Caucasus and Crimea. 
Being in the ranks of 1177 rifle regiment, 347 rifle "Melitopol" division, comrade   VOROSCHENKO revealed himself as a courageous warrior. Personally participated in recognisance missions. 
Comrade VOROSCHENKO has received commendations for his exemplary execution of the orders on the front of struggle against the German invaders: from the commanders of 347 rifle "Melitopol" division and 1177 rifle regiment.
On 01.03.1944, while assisting a wounded soldier under enemy fire, Sr. Lt. VOROSCHENKO sustained severe through and through chest wound.
Personally eliminated 10 Hitlerites during the war.

The recommendation was written on 06 June 1944, when VOROSCHENKO was in the reserve officer regiment after recovering from this last wound. 
In fact this was not his fist wound during the war. The first one (light wound) he received on 02 August 1941 when he served in a cavalry unit on the position of chemist. After recovery he was sent to a foot rifle unit - 271 rifle division (1st assembly). By March 1944 in the 347 rifle division (see above).

After his recovery from the severe chest wound, he was assigned as a company commander to the 896 rifle regiment, 211 rifle division. His unit participated in the Battle of the Dukla Pass in the Autumn 1944 at the borderland between Poland and Slovakia. The Soviet army and Czechoslovak 1st Army Corps engaged in fierce fighting in mountainous terrain, where initial objective of "Five days to Prešov" turned into fifty days to town Svidník alone with over 70,000 casualties on both sides.

Sr.Lt. VOROSCHENKO was one of the fallen. He was killed on 30 October 1944 on the hill side near the Slovakian village Svidnička. Three officers: 2 company and 1 platoon commander was killed on this day in 896RR. I suspect they fell victim of an artillery strike (the combat journals mention German superiority and constant artillery barrages). 

VOROSCHENKO's initial burial site was one of the 2 in village Svidnička. Here they are on the map. 

I visited this village this Summer and tried to locate them. After looking up and talking the locals, it was clear that no graves remained in Svidnička. It is almost certain, they have been relocated to the war memorial in near by town Svidnik in 1950s. But, unfortunately, some names had been lost during the process. In Svidnik there are 450 known and 18000 unknown soldiers of the Soviet army and Czechoslovak 1st Army Corps.

We visited a few places, but not all... 
Me and one of my sons at the tank monument in Svidnička. And the memorial plaque at the villages community center.

In fact the whole valley is declared a huge memorial complex called "Udolie smrti" - "Death Valley" - with numerous monuments and sites. See the text in English:


Take a look at some photo and behold the monuments complex at the village Kapisova - a reconstruction of an armoured assault. See the photo and try counting the tanks installed.  


This is the place where the vetran's 896 rifle regiment was stationed on the day he was killed. I went up the hill and into the forested creek. 
Had no metal detecter with me (regretted), but found some barbed wire in the forest. Not 100% sure it is war time, but looks like German made...


The panoramic view down the hill from the positions held by the veteran's unit on the day he was killed in action:


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