Part 1: http://ftr.wot-news.com/2014/01/03/t...ion-at-samara/ Ride accross the river, deep and wide… They almost made it. Immediately after the arrival of both flanking batallion to Samarskaya Slobodka, the units took all the barges and rafts they had and started their trek accross the river. Night fell upon the land and all that could be heard were silent whispers of the men, organizing the transport – and soft water splashes, as first makeshift boats touched the murky waters of Samarka river. Across the river, the enemy was waiting, hidden in the evening mists. A part of the 12th Company, led by 2ndLt.Tajbr would go first. They had no paddles, so they used their trench shovels instead. The men were grim and silent, paddling, or clutching their rifles nervously. There was constant danger that the enemy would see them and start firing on the defenseless barges and rafts. As soon as the barges were about one third into the stream, there was a commotion on the other river bank. A hidden bolshevik patrol spotted the invaders and alerted the defenders. Suddenly, the Legion troops found themselves in hell. Several Russian machineguns opened up on them and there was nowhere to run and nowhere to hide. Later it was found that the patrol, that got away earlier from Slobodka alerted the command in Samara and despite some difficulties and chaos, the information got to front line troops too and the patrol was already waiting there, expecting the Czechoslovak troops to cross at that point, because there was no other suitable ford anywhere nearby. The world of the Legion was suddenly laced with streams of red hot lead. The air smelled of gunpowder and blood and was filled with the curses of the living and cries of the dying. Furious machinegun barrage hit the boats, ripping apart wood, metal and flesh alike. First Czechoslovaks fell in seconds and the rest of the paddlers wavered, instinctively covering their faces, but the commander yelled for them to continue – and they did. Into the firestorm they sailed. Men fell left and right, but the boats still continued onward and a part of the 12th Company was the first to reach the enemy river bank, taking cover in the muddy holes and bushes near the river and providing some meager covering fire. 10th Company would go next. Once again, despite seeing the fate of their comrades and friends wounded by the gunfire, the company boarded the barges and rafts and begun to transport itself to the other side of the river – once again, men fell, wounded or killed by the gunfire, but there was no stopping the Legion. Rallied by their officers, the men with their fists and teeth clenched paddled on. Bolshevik fire was only growing as more men arrived from Samara. The worst part of the journey was through the field of fire of a machinegun nest, located in the nearby mill and granary, from where the bolsheviks were blasting at the Czechoslovaks. To make matters even worse, two steam patrol boats arrived down the river, raking the already beleagured Czechoslovaks with more machinegun fire. The situation was critical – within minutes, 11 men fell and 30 more were wounded, some of them heavily. The operation had to be halted, because the patrol boats were just wreaking havoc all across the river. However, despite the losses, 50 men managed to get to the other bank, let personally by 2ndLt.Tajbr, who stood there, seemingly oblivious to the gunfire, directing support fire with the waves of his hand. In this situation, salvation came from the other bridge. Cpl.Šára, seeing the situation of his comrades, moved his artillery gun from the safe position directly to the bank of the river and started shelling bolsheviks with direct fire, aimed at the lights in the mist, indicating the machinegun nests. Bolsheviks only heard the roar of his gun in the mist, as first shells started to land in their positions. One of them managed to hit the fuel tank of the mill, setting it ablaze and neutralizing the entire fortified position, incinerating the bolsheviks in fiery inferno. One of the steamboats was also routed by the shell fire – realizing discretion being the better part of valor, it withdrew. Seeing this, 2ndLt.Tajbr and his 50 men on the bolshevik bank stood up, left the relative safety of their improvised foxholes and charged the bolshevik into the machinegun fire. The position nearby was held once again by Hungarian internationals. Seeing the Czechoslovaks emerge from the fire and smoke, yelling like demons gave pause to the machinegunners and that was all the Czechoslovaks needed. Overcoming the machinegun fields of fire, they smashed into the bolshevik lines, crushing the enemy and capturing several of the machineguns, turning them swiftly against their former masters. Behind them, one of the patrol steamboats was targetted by the batallion gunfire from the Czechoslovak bank. Steamboat captain, realizing the danger of coming under fire from both sides of the river, quickly retreated. After the danger of the steamboat was neutralized, the transport of the rest of the batallion could proceed. Charging the bridge Back at the Samarka railway bridge, Czechoslovak leadership decided that the only way to break the stalemate and to help their friends up north would be to quickly destroy the bridge defenses and meet up with the flanking unit as soon as possible. In order to do that, 50 grenadiers were handpicked under the leadership of Pvt.Vašátko. These were the bravest of the brave, men tall as mountains, each selected for his personal bravery. Under the cover of the armored train Orlík, they slowly advanced onto the bridge and into the bolshevik machinegun fire, taking cover wherever they could. The bolsheviks saw them, but couldn’t hit them very well. The grenadiers got close and shelled the bolshevik positions with rifle grenades. That was the signal for the rest of the regiment. Seeing the defenses of the bridge suppressed, the entire 1st Batallion of 1st Regiment of the regiment stood up as one man and charged with thundering “HURRRAH” battlecry. In the meanwhile, various strongpoints within the city itself, such as the building of the local Soviet and military HQ, were shelled by precise fire of the armored train and four remaining guns of the group. Dashing accross the bridge, the men quickly slammed into the trenches and firing pits of the bolsheviks and captured them after a short, brutal and merciless combat. Most of the bolsheviks however bailed when they saw the charging Legion and disappeared swiftly into the night. The rest fell or was captured. The batallion however also suffered some losses and Lt.Čeček, seeing this, Continue reading →

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