On February 14, 1922, in the village of Efremovka, Kharkov province, into a family of a Ukrainian peasant was born a participant in the Great Patriotic War, an orderly, a lawyer, Hero of the Soviet Union, guard foreman Maria Zakharovna Shcherbachenko.

At the age of 9, she lost her parents, so Maria was raised by her older brother. After finishing 7 classes and courses of bookkeepers, she worked as an assistant accountant on a collective farm.

During the Great Patriotic War with the occupation of the Kharkov region, Maria Zakharovna lived in her native village. With the liberation of Efremovka during the Third Battle of Kharkov in March 1943, Shcherbachenko was drafted into the Red Army, went to the nursing courses at the Samarkand Medical School, which she graduated by June. Then the girl ended up in the army. As part of the 40th Army, she took part in the Battle of Kursk, then in the Battle of the Dnieper.

On September 24, 1943, the orderly of the 835th Regiment of the 237th Infantry Division of the 40th Army (Voronezh Front) Maria Shcherbachenko with her unit crossed the Dnieper near the village of Grebeni, Kiev region. During the battles on the bridgehead for 10 days, Shcherbachenko carried herself and provided first aid to 112 wounded soldiers. Maria Zakharovna personally transported the seriously wounded through the Dnieper to the nearest first-aid post. In the first days of the fighting, she fought in the ranks of soldiers with a machine gun in her hands.

By a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on October 23, 1943, the Red Army soldier Maria Zakharovna Shcherbachenko was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. After the end of the war, the guard foreman Maria Shcherbachenko was demobilized.

She graduated from the Tashkent Law School, after which she worked as a lawyer. She lived in Kiev. In 1973, the International Red Cross awarded Maria Shcherbachenko the Florence Nightingale medal for her mercy, fearlessness and courage in rescuing the seriously wounded from the battlefield. Maria Zakharovna Shcherbachenko passed away quite recently - on November 23, 2016.
She was buried at the Lukyanovskoye cemetery in Kiev.

On February 14, 1943, Caesar Lvovich Kunikov, a marine, commander of an airborne detachment, hero of Malaya Zemlya, major, died of his wounds.

Born June 23, 1909, in Rostov-on-Don. Since 1918 he lived with his family in the city of Essentuki, since 1920 - in the city of Baku, since 1924 - in the city of Makeevka (now Donetsk region of Ukraine), in 1925 he moved to Moscow. He worked in Makeyevka at the Yugostal plant, in Moscow - as a mechanic at the Soyuz factory, then as a turner at a brake plant.

In 1928, Kunikov entered the Higher Naval School named after M.V. Frunze in Leningrad. After 5 months, he fell seriously ill and was expelled from the school. Having recovered, he remained in the fleet. He served as an active mechanic.

In 1930, Kunikov returned to Moscow. Since 1932, he has been the head of the defense industry sector of the Moscow Komsomol Committee. In 1935 he graduated from the Moscow Industrial Academy and the Moscow Machine-Building Institute, after which he worked as a foreman, span chief, shop manager, and from March 1938 as chief technologist at a grinding machine plant. Since October 1938, Ts.L. Kunikov was the head of the technical department of the People's Commissariat for Machine Building, the People's Commissariat for Tyazhmash, since May 1939 - the director of the Central Research Institute of Engineering Technology, since August 1939 - the executive editor of the newspaper "Mechanical Engineering".

Since July 25, 1941 Ts.L. Kunikov - in the ranks of the Navy. In the active army since September 1941. From September 1941 - commander of a detachment of water barrage boats of the 18th Army of the Southern Front, from October 1941 - commander of a patrol boat battalion of the Azov military flotilla, took part in the heroic defense of the cities of Kerch, Temryuk and Novorossiysk, fought near Rostov.

From July 1942 - commander of the 305th separate battalion of the Black Sea Fleet marines. In August 1942, a special-purpose detachment of the Novorossiysk naval base of the Black Sea Fleet was formed. Ts.L.Kunikov was appointed its commander.

On the night of February 3–4, 1943, an amphibious detachment of sailors under the command of Major Kunikov, during the South Ozerey landing operation, landed on the enemy-occupied and heavily fortified coast near the city of Novorossiysk, near the village of Myskhako ("Small Land"). With a swift blow, the landing detachment knocked the Nazis out of the stronghold and firmly established itself on the captured bridgehead. At dawn, a fierce battle broke out. The paratroopers repelled 18 enemy attacks during the day. By the end of the day, the ammunition was running low. The situation seemed hopeless. Then the detachment of Major Kunikov made a surprise raid on the enemy's artillery battery. After destroying the gun crew and capturing the guns, the paratroopers opened fire from them at the attacking enemy soldiers. In just the first day of the fighting, the detachment destroyed 10 firing points and dugouts, over 1000 enemy soldiers and officers, captured 9 guns, 8 machine guns, and many other weapons. All captured guns and machine guns were directed against the enemy.

For seven days, the paratroopers repulsed the fierce attacks of the enemy and held the bridgehead until the main forces arrived. With grenades in their pockets, the sailors climbed onto the roofs of houses and beat the Nazis, drove them from the attics, others cleared the basements of the enemy, kicked him out of the rooms, turned into firing points. During the period from 4 to 10 February, the detachment destroyed over 2,000 Nazis, 28 machine-gun points, 12 bunkers, 1 tank, 8 vehicles, damaged 2 enemy tanks.

At South Ozereyka - the landing site of the main forces - as a result of stubborn enemy resistance, the bridgehead could not be captured. Therefore, the Kunikov detachment, landed as an auxiliary, acquired the main value during the battles. The landing force took Stanichka, Myskhako and fought for Novorossiysk. Kunikov personally participated in the battles of the paratroopers, fired at the enemy from a machine gun, and repulsed enemy counterattacks. On February 12, 1943, Kunikov, on the shore of the Tsemesskaya Bay, met the units arriving at the bridgehead when an absurd stray mine exploded nearby. The landing commander was seriously wounded and taken to a hospital in the city of Gelendzhik. The wound was fatal. February 14, 1943 Major Ts.L. Kunikov died.

He was buried in a mass grave in the hero-city of Novorossiysk. In his honor, the village of Stanichka was renamed into the village of Kunikovka. By a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of April 17, 1943, Major Kunikov Caesar Lvovich was posthumously awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union for the exemplary performance of combat missions of the command on the front of the fight against the German invaders and the courage and heroism shown at the same time.

By order of the Minister of Defense of the USSR in 1950 Ts.L. Kunikov is forever enlisted in the lists of the personnel of the Marine Corps battalion of the Red Banner Black Sea Fleet. Since 1988, the name of the Hero has been borne by a large landing ship (BDK) of the Red Banner Black Sea Fleet of the Russian Navy. The name of the Hero is on the Memorial Board at the Museum of the Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol.

In fact, this man is one of the founders of the famous Soviet special forces. There was a fearless man. By the way, you can tell about him to those who believe that Jews were allegedly persecuted in the USSR (apparently, these people did not hear about Leon Trotsky, Lazar Kaganovich and Lev Mekhlis). Kunikov was just a Jew by nationality.
Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, the future leader of the USSR in 1964-1982, was also a participant in the battles on Malaya Zemlya.

Brezhnev entered the army in October 1935. He served in the Red Army as a cadet and political instructor of a tank company at an armored school in the Trans-Baikal Military District. He studied at the courses of motorization and mechanization of the Red Army, after which he received his first officer rank - lieutenant. In 1982, after the death of Leonid I. Brezhnev, his name was given to the Peschansky Tank Training Regiment.


Brezhnev in 1936. In his youth he was, it seems to me, a very handsome man. My late great-grandmother liked these very much - tall, with black eyebrows and bold eyes.

Was drafted into the Red Army for the second time on 06/28/1941. Before conscription, he had the military rank of regimental commissar of the reserve. On July 23, 1941, Leonid I. Brezhnev was appointed head of a special group at the Military Council of the Southern Front. Then he served in political positions in the army: from September 16, 1941, deputy head of the political department of the Southern Front, on December 26, 1941, he was awarded the military rank of brigade commissar, from August 10, 1942, deputy head of the political department of the North Caucasian Front, deputy head of the political department of the Black Sea Group of Forces North Caucasian Front (1943), head of the political department of the 18th Army of the 4th Ukrainian Front (04/01/1943).


In the photo (from left to right): the head of the political department, Colonel L.I. Brezhnev and the head of the Political Directorate of the 18th Army, General A. Mamonov, with cameraman M. Troyanovsky. Spring 1943.

On March 27, 1942, Brigadier Commissar Brezhnev was awarded the Order of the Red Banner for his participation under the command of R. Ya. Malinovsky in the offensive Barvenkovo-Lozovskaya operation in the south of the Kharkov region. On March 16, 1943, Colonel Brezhnev was awarded the Order of the Red Star. As a brigade commissar, when the institute of military commissars was abolished in October 1942, instead of a general's rank, he was certified colonel.

In 1943 he took part in the liberation of Novorossiysk. During the preparation of the operation to liberate the city, he repeatedly visited the Malaya Zemlya bridgehead on the western shore of the Tsemesskaya Bay with an amphibious assault. For the liberation of Novorossiysk he was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree.

Kolonin S.E., member of the military council of the 18th army (left), Brezhnev L.I., head of the political department of the 18th army, 1943

"The head of the political department of the 18th Army, Colonel Leonid Ilyich Brezhnev, sailed to Malaya Zemlya forty times, and this was dangerous, since some ships on the way were blown up by mines and died from direct shells and aerial bombs. Once the seiner, on which Brezhnev was sailing, ran into a mine, the colonel was thrown into the sea ... he was picked up by the sailors ..."
- S. A. Borzenko in the article "225 days of courage and courage" ("Pravda", 1943)

“The head of the political department of the 18th army, Colonel Comrade Brezhnev. Once the calculation of the easel machine gun (privates Kadyrov, Abdurzakov, from the replenishment) was confused and did not open fire in time. Two platoons of Germans, taking advantage of this, crept up to our positions to throw a grenade. Comrade Brezhnev joined the battle with the machine gunners. Having suffered significant losses, the Germans retreated, leaving several wounded on the battlefield."
In 1943, Colonel Brezhnev was wounded, was being treated in a hospital
Participants of the Victory Parade of the combined regiment of the 4th Ukrainian Front before the start of the parade: Hero of the Soviet Union Lieutenant General A.L. Bondarev, Commander of the 322nd Infantry Division, Major General P.I. Zubov, Head of the Front Political Directorate, Major General L.I. .Brezhnev, the commander of the 13th artillery division, Major General V.I. Kofanov, the commander of the 31st tank corps, Major General G.G. Kuznetsov, and the commander of the 10th fighter aviation division, Major General V.P. Ukhov. June 24, 1945


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