Part I here: http://ftr.wot-news.com/2013/12/27/the-legion-part-i/ In the pale moonlight Right before the midnight (still on 3.6.1918), the flanking of Lt.Gayer started advancing. It was a cold night with clear skies, everything was silent and the Czechoslovak had to move slowly and carefully not to draw attention. After 20 kilometers of such march, the group has reached the Voskresenske village. During the march, the group stopped every five kilometers to rest, so the men wouldn’t be exhausted, when they reached the battlefield. The men were clenching their rifles, everyone knew about the defenses and was ready for a tough fight. During the advance, a horse courier from Lt.Čeček caught on the group with good news: the Legion rearguard repulsed a bolshevik attack from Bezenchuk a few hours ago, routing the bolsheviks and sending them running. This news helped to lift the morale of the unit greatly and everyone was eager to prove their worth fighting the bolsheviks. The group, using skillfully the terrain to cover its advance, reached the village of Voskresenske around 6 AM. By that time, they already heard distant gunfire coming from the railway: the railway group had already engaged the enemy, grabbing their attention as planned. Lt.Gayer ordered 1st Batallion to advance towards the village. What the Czechoslovaks did not know however was that they weren’t alone. A unit of bolshevik cavalry of around 30 men has stopped in the village for some rest. When the Czechoslovaks saw the horsemen, they immediately opened fire. Two of the cavalrymen were killed, but the rest managed to escape – around 6:45, the entire village was in Czechoslovak hands – this part of the plan was thus a success, Lt.Gayer’s unit managed to flank the bolsheviks. The Russians were however already aware of the Czechoslovak presence in the village and the comissar gave out a ruthless order to shell the entire village with artillery despite the civillian presence. Luckily for the Czechoslovaks, the bolshevik artillery fire was very inaccurate with shells landing mostly outside of the village – no casualities were sustained whatsoever. Lt.Gayer in the meanwhile sent a courier towards the first unit, describing the situation and informing Lt.Čeček that he is ready to assault the Soviet flanks. The first group started its advance around 3 AM under the leadership of 2ndLt.Nosek towards Mordovskie Lipyagy – at this point without the support of the Orlík armored train, that was delayed because of the repairs on the bridges in Tomylov. When the group reached the village on 5:45AM, it was welcomed by (somewhat inaccurate) fire from another bolshevik cavalry unit, assigned to patrol the area. After a short firefight, the bolsheviks retreated towards Russkie Lipyagy – at first the retreat was organized, but then the Czechoslovak support artillery started a murderous barrage. Shells were landing amongst the bolshevik horsemen, who immediately panicked, their retreat changing into a fullblown rout. One Czechoslovak long-range gun covered Russkie Lipyagy also, including one fortified position near the small local cemetery, discovered by a recon unit. Czechoslovak artillery battery under Lt.Cholyavin (a pro-tsarist Russian, who decided to join the Legion to fight the bolsheviks) also joined the action, targetting the fortified boslhevik positions around the Lipyagy railway station. For now, its fire was harassing the enemy, keeping the Russians pinned. Around that time, Lt.Nosek group (the first one) captured Mordovskie Lipyagy. They tried to pursue the fleeing Soviet cavalry, but were immediately attacked by the Soviets, dug in near the Russkie Lipyagy cemetery. The Russians here had even a few machineguns and their precise and powerful fire pinned the Czechoslovak units to the ground. In addition, one part of the group came under fire by a Soviet artillery battery (12 guns). The air was full of dust and the smell of burned gunpowder. The bullets and shrapnels were everywhere and the Czechoslovak soldiers suffered their first losses. However, not even the machinegun and artillery fire stopped the Czechoslovak advance, althought Lt.Nosek’s command unit was reeling from the massive amount of fire the Soviets were dishing out. And to make matters even worse for the Legion, left flank of the unit was also assaulted by Soviet cavalry, that charged the Czechoslovaks into the fire with their sabres drawn. The line of advance was temporarily broken and the 7th Company was in danger of being cut off, forcing Lt.Nosek to send his reinforcements (8th Company of the 4th Regiment) into the breach. The line was sealed by the company, but it did not speed up the unit’s advance – in fact, the odds got even worse: on the left side a bolshevik armored car appeared, supporting the cavalry! The car was of the Garford-Putilov type. While not a significant armored asset when compared to even a WW1 tank, its armor (cca 7mm) protected it from rifle bullets and it had two or three Maxim machineguns, making it a dangerous opponent to infantry, not equipped with anti-tank rifles. As a result of this onslaught, the left side of the group was pinned and forced to assume defensive positions. The situation was very bleak for the Czechoslovak, reeling from the combined force of machinegun fire, artillery fire, cavalry charge and the armored car assault. The Soviets – now convinced of their victory, closed in for the kill. However, at this point, a chilling sound of a whistle pierced the air and an ominous light appeared in the morning mist. Like a mythical monster, the silhouette of an armored train appeared, roaring its rage at the Soviets and blasting away with its massive firepower towards the Soviet positions. The train arrived at full speed and positioned itself before the beleagured Czechoslovaks to shield them from the bolshevik fire. Train’s Maxim machineguns started to spit death at the bolshevik troops, who were still shocked by the way the tide of the battle was turned in seconds. Concentrated machinegun fire from the train was destroying the MG nests, located in the village buildings. The train suffered a hit by an artillery shell that damaged one of its platform wagons, but kept on taking a bloody toll amongst the Russians. The train’s 76mm gun (commanded by 2ndLt.Cholyavin, a brother of Lt.Cholyavin, who was commanding the artillery units) devastated one enemy position after another, knocking out strongpoints located in the local mill and behind the trenches. Taking heart by the destruction the armored train was causing, pinned Czechoslovak units stood up and charged the village. Seeing the armored train move around, unstoppable as Death itself along with the charge of the Czechoslovaks was too much for the bolsheviks. Their confidence was gone, they were dropping their rifle and running towards the main Lipyagy defenses. By 10:00 Continue reading →

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