Part I here: http://ftr.wot-news.com/2013/12/27/the-legion-part-i/ Part II here: http://ftr.wot-news.com/2013/12/28/the-legion-part-ii/ …..to victory Just as the first group (advancing near the railway along with the armored train) was engaging the bolsheviks, the flanking units under Lt.Gayer got into a very nasty firefight. The 1st and 3rd Batallion of the Regiment were attacking and the field guns of Lt.Cholyavin and Cpl.Vondra were in support. The situation was tough though – advancing Czechoslovaks had to assault up hill, that was fortified with several machinegun nests. Withering fire from the Maxim machineguns was literally pinning the Czechoslovaks down in the bolshevik artillery storm of fire and shrapnels. In their fortifications above them, the bolsheviks were certain they’d repel the Czechoslovak assault. But there was no stopping the Legion – the onslaught was relentless. Czechoslovaks were slowly advancing towards the fortified positions, inevitable as a sea tide itself – and the bolsheviks were starting to get desperate, throwing everything they had at the advancing legionnaires, including danger close artillery barrage. This time, there was nowhere to run – the town was behind them, the news of the “encirclement” (caused by the marauding Czechoslovak infiltrators) had already reached them and the Russians knew it was a “fight or die” situation for them and so they didn’t retreat, fighting (on some places) to the last man. The hardest part of the fighting took place near the fortified farm, held by interbrigadists and Russian sailors. The farm was assaulted by the carriage driver company of Cpl.Urban and the training company of Cpl.Skandera. But even when supported by the machinegun platoon of Cpl.Kavan, the soldiers didn’t manage to dislodge the bolsheviks from their fortified positions – in fact, they couldn’t get closer to it than at 700-800 meters because of the strong and precise bolshevik fire. On the right wing of the flanking group, 3rd and 4th Company didn’t fare much better. They were outnumbered 3 to 1 by the bolsheviks, but they still were attacking. They managed to reach the distance of 250 meters from enemy lines, when the bolsheviks sent for reinforcements – an armored car appeared (probably the same one, that retreated from the Russkie Lipyagy earlier), spitting death at the exhausted Czechoslovaks. However, in a display of incredible skill, Cpl.Vondra – leader of the artillery unit, that just arrived to support the attack – managed to bring his field gun to bear and knock it out with a single shot! Seeing the blazing wreck of the armored car, the legionnaire commander, Cpl.Nohel, stood up and rallied his men, leading the assault against the bolsheviks outnumbering the Legion three to one personally. The attack was however repelled by the concentrated bolshevik fire. Cpl.Nohel rallied the troops immediately again and again he attacked, but the heavy fire already took too great a toll. Several of the men already fell, others were on the ground, wounded by the gunfire. During this attack, even the brave Cpl.Nohel fell to the ground, gravely wounded. In the meanwhile, panic has struck the bolshevik HQ – the Russians were fearing a defeat the comrades in Samara would surely have no understanding for. A part of the bolshevik officers therefore started to prepare a “contingency” plan and instead of commanding their units, they started gathering money, jewelry and everything else of value they could find, preparing for escape in case the defense was breached by the Czechoslovaks. At the same time, Lt.Gayer was looking over the entire battlefield of the 2nd group from an artillery observation post on a nearby hill with a frown on his face, worrying about the fate of his men. He did notice immediately that the key to breaking the bolshevik lines is to destroy or capture the fortified farm on the nearby hill, along with the entrenchement around it. He ordered Cpl.Vondra and his artilleryment to start shelling the farm. From that point on, Czechoslovak field guns were shelling the farm with precise bombardment until almost all of their ammo was spent, suppressing the bolsheviks and allowing the carriage driver and the training companies to get close to the building. When nearly all the shells were gone, another artillery unit appeared on the battlefield. Lt.Cholyavin’s field gun battery charged in, the guns being towed by the horses in full gallop. Under the withering bolshevik fire, they got close to the farm, turned their guns towards the enemy and started firing canister shots straight into the bolshevik line. The effect was absolutely devastating – there were pieces of bodies everywhere, torn apart by the point-blank shrapnel barrage. Seeing the guns blasting away at the bolsheviks, Czechoslovak infantry rallied for a bayonet charge and with thunderous “Hurrrraaah” war cry, it swarmed the bolshevik trenches. Along with Lt.Cholyavin’s guns, the infantry caused heavy losses to the bolsheviks. Facing such brutality, many Russians in the trenches just threw away their rifles and gave up. Fury of the Legion After this success, Lt.Gayer arrived personally at the frontline only to find out that his men are almost out of ammunition. Many were wounded during the assault on the trenches, they were outnumbered by the bolsheviks, who also had plenty of ammunition and the second line was firing its rifles and machineguns at the Czechoslovaks – clearly, they had plenty of ammunition left. The situation was critical. Outnumbered, outgunned and with the bolsheviks gaining their self-confidence back every second, it was not looking good for the Czechoslovak units. With grim expression, Lt.Gayer ordered everyone to fix their bayonets again. Oblivious to the storm of bullets and shrapnels, the lieutenant rose, turned to his pinned legionnaires and yelled “Okay, boys, let’s go”, waving his signature item, a wooden walking stick towards the enemy. Seeing his nearly suicidal bravery, the Czechoslovaks rose to their feet and begun their charge towards the enemy. Running towards the Russians, loud “HURRRAAAH” sounded all along the battle lines. In order to reach the Russian possitions, the Legion had to overcome 800 meters of clear field with no cover, raked by the machinegun fire. At first, the bolsheviks were taken by surprise by the insane bravery of the Legion, but the fire intensified almost immediately and the Russian artillery started firing too. Many Czechoslovak soldiers found their death on that field, but the units pushed ever onwards, soldiers running for their lives. The air smelled of smoke, blood and death. When the Legion was about 150 meters away from the bolshevik positions, some Russians lost their nerve and started to run away. But then a disaster struck. Lieutenand Gayer, running at the forefront of the assault, was hit by a machinegun fire in both legs, immediately falling down into the mud, blood spilling from Continue reading →

More...