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OGIII to machine gunner and ex-POW


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Hello! Little more on the OGIII, which I acquired in London this Christmas. Please meet machine gunner Jr. Sergeant Andrey Gerasimovich ASAULENKO, 1913. From Spring 1944 he served at MG company of 1042 rifle regiment, 295 rifle division, 32 rifle corps. Awarded Bravery Medal in September 1944 and OGIII in March 1945. Wounded twice in 1945: lightly in January, and severely in February.

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OGIII was awarded for the actions on 29 Jan 1945 and 02 Feb 1945. The later action was assault on the village Warnick, which was located just East to town-fortress Küstrin (today Polish town Kostrzyn nad Odrą). The OGIII citation reads:

"29.01.45 during enemy defence breakthrough on the German-Polish border near village Weitze, comrade ASAULENKO provided fire support to the rifle platoon in breaking through the enemy barbed wire obstacles. Being wounded in the leg, he didn't leave the battle ground until the village was captured.

02.02.45 in the battle for the village Warnick, comrade ASAULENKO was severely wounded and evacuated to the hospital. He is worthy of order of Glory III class.

Commander of 1042 rifle regiment, Guards Lt-Colonel CHAIKA. 13 March 1945."

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The map showing actions of 295 rifle division in battle for Küstrin. 
Warnick is marked on the Eastern outskirts of Küstrin.

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The village Warnick (Warniki in Polish) doesn't exist today, but became a part of expanded town Kostrzyn. Location: https://goo.gl/maps/63WrsT1pvYA2

An interesting detail is that it appears ASAULENKO was a POW before his service in 1042 rifle regiment. We was liberated on 19 April 1945. His original service is indicated as a Private of 656 artillery regiment, 116 rifle division, 26 army. I think, he was captured in summer 1941 (but needs checking). 

5a4a94d5c1e07_ScreenShot2018-01-01at18_42_16.thumb.jpg.57666e7985bddeb5712f493b0258de9e.jpg 

Edited by Egorka
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Looking into the POW document for ASAULENKO, I see there is a mistake. He was prior to captivity assigned to 656 rifle regiment, not 656 artillery regiment.
656 RR was part of 116 RD and was defending in Cherkasy area in August-September 1941.
It was dispersed/captured trying to break out of Kiev pocket app. 22-25 September 1941.

He was liberated by forces of 5 Shock Army, 3 Ukrainian front, and was sent to 237 army reserve rifle regiment.
From the reserve regiment he was shortly reassigned to 1042 RR, 295 RD, 32 RC, 5 Shock Army. He served there until his wound on 02.02.1945.

The map of Kiev pocket 1941 - the largest encirclement operation in history (app. 650.000 people captured; 4 armies completely captured, 2 armies partially defeated).

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Edited by Egorka
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  • 2 weeks later...
On 1/1/2018 at 15:09, Egorka said:

...An interesting detail is that it appears ASAULENKO was a POW before his service in 1042 rifle regiment. We was liberated on 19 April 1945. His original service is indicated as a Private of 656 artillery regiment, 116 rifle division, 26 army. I think, he was captured in summer 1941 (but needs checking). 

5a4a94d5c1e07_ScreenShot2018-01-01at18_42_16.thumb.jpg.57666e7985bddeb5712f493b0258de9e.jpg 

So much for stories of all POWs being sent to Gulag...

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