Forgotten feat artillery
The feat of senior sergeant Alexander Serov, accomplished by him in the first days of the war, June 23, 1941, remained, by and large, without reward, since in general 18 shot down tanks stand for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union. But it did not work out. But the hero himself was able to recover from a severe wound, get a funeral and live up to 83 years.
At the beginning of the war, the artillery regiment, in which 22-year-old Serov served as a battery back-up battery leader, turned out to be in positions near the highway to Siauliai. According to him, the Germans threw into the attack about 40 tanks.
Serov himself said that after the gunner of one of the guns was killed, he himself took his place and did not retreat before the shell dropped by the fragments that exploded nearby. During the battle, the artillerymen let the German tanks down for a minimum distance of about 300 meters and hit them with direct fire. At the same time, during the first attack, the Germans for some reason lost sight of his gun and began purposefully hitting him only during the second attack.
For quite a while the German shots could not hit the gun, but all the fighters from the gun crew were wounded by shrapnel. Serov himself was wounded for the first time when his calculation hit the 11th tank. Then the third attack began, which became the most fierce. After we managed to destroy the 17th tank, only Serov remained alive at the gun, who fell after hitting another tank.
As a result, according to various sources, a total of 18 tanks were destroyed by the Serov calculation. This number is mentioned in the memoirs of veterans and journalistic literature.
Serov himself was lucky. He was seriously wounded, he went to the hospital, then he was "written off" and again called up at the very end of the war. It is interesting that in a number of books he is referred to as a Komsomol member, who was posthumously awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. But in reality, all he received as awards during the war years was the medals "For the Victory over Germany" and "For Valiant Labor in the Great Patriotic War." And only after the war, he was given two orders of the Patriotic War.
Yes, and about his feat, he especially did not spread, and he became aware of him thanks to the search for Lithuanian local historians 20 years after the war.
So it happened. And often.The feat is, but the reward for it did not happen.