Panfilovtsy

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Panfilovtsy

 

the soldiers of the 316th Rifle Division, who distinguished themselves in the Great Patriotic War (1941–45).

The division, under the command of Major General I. V. Panfilov, was formed in July-August 1941 in Alma-Ata. It was composed of the 1,073rd, 1,075th, and 1,077th Rifle Regiments and the 857th Artillery Regiment. In late August the division was incorporated into the Fifty-second Army of the Northwestern Front. From October 7 to 10 it was transferred to the Volokolamsk axis and, as part of the Sixteenth Army, fought in the battle of Moscow of 1941–42.

On October 14 the division began a fierce defensive engagement with superior enemy forces west of Volokolamsk. The personnel of the division displayed mass heroism in the fighting. A new fascist German offensive on Moscow began on November 16. On that day, 28 soldiers of the 4th Company of the 2nd Battalion of the 1,075th Rifle Regiment, headed by Political Leader V. G. Klochkov, accomplished an outstanding feat by holding the defensive line at the Dubosekovo siding near Volokolamsk. In a four-hour battle, the heroic Panfilovtsy crippled 18 enemy tanks, but almost all of them died, including Klochkov.

By a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on July 21, 1942, the title of Hero of the Soviet Union was conferred on the participants in the battle. On Nov. 17, 1941, the 316th Rifle Division was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for distinction in combat. On November 18 it was named the 8th Guards Division, and on November 23 it was named after I. V. Panfilov.