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the conventional name of an operation of Soviet partisans from Sept. 19 to Nov. 1, 1943, during the Great Patriotic War (1941–45).
Operation Kontsert was carried out on the territories of Byelorussia, Karelia, Leningrad and Kalinin oblasts, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia, and the Crimea, which were occupied by fascist German troops, on a front of about 900 km (excluding Karelia and the Crimea) and at a depth of more than 400 km. It was closely linked with the impending offensive by Soviet troops along the Smolensk and Gomel’ operational axes and with the battle for the Dnieper. The operation involved 193 large partisan units (brigades and separate detachments, a total of more than 120,000 men) and was directed by the central staff of the partisan movement.
The mission of Operation Kontsert was to put large railroad sections out of commission with a view to thwarting the military transport of the enemy. On the basis of the overall plans of the operation, each partisan unit was given a specific combat task that included blowing up railroad lines, organizing the wreckage of enemy military trains, destroying road equipment, and putting means of communication and the water-supply system out of commission. Detailed plans of combat actions were drawn up, and mass training of personnel in demolition actions was set up.
Because of bad meteorological conditions, Soviet aviation delivered to the partisans only 50 percent of the planned combat cargo by September 19, and the beginning of the operation was therefore postponed until September 25. However, some partisan brigades had already left their basing areas for the starting positions and struck at enemy communications on the night of September 18. The bulk of the partisan units opened combat actions on the night of September 24. After routing the enemy guards and seizing railroad runs, they started the mass destruction and mining of railroad beds.
The fascist German command took steps to restore traffic on the railroads; new railroad repair battalions were moved to Byelorussia, the local population was forced to do repair work, and rails and crossties were shipped from Poland, Czechoslovakia, and Germany. But the partisans again blew up the sections that had been repaired. In the course of Operation Kontsert, the Byelorussian partisans alone blew up about 90,000 rails, derailed 1,041 enemy trains, destroyed 72 railroad bridges, routed 58 enemy garrisons, and killed or wounded more than 53,000 Hitlerites. Operation Kontsert caused great difficulties in the transport of the fascist German troops; the transportation capacity of the railroads dropped by 35 to 40 percent. This greatly complicated the maneuvering of forces by the fascist German command and was of great help to the advancing Soviet troops. Operation Kontsert gave an incentive to the struggle of the Soviet people against the fascist invaders on occupied terri-tory, and during it the influx of the local population into the partisan detachments increased.
REFERENCESSovetskie partizany. Moscow, 1961.
MachuPskii, R. N. Vechnyi ogon’, 2nd ed. Minsk, 1969.
Lipilo, P. P. KPB — organizator i rukovoditel’partizanskogo dvizheniia v Belorussii v gody Velikoi Otechestvennoi voiny. Minsk, 1959.
V. N. ANDRIANOV