German advance on moscow-Khimki

Discussions on WW2 in Eastern Europe.
Axl Rose
Member
Posts: 8
Joined: 05 Mar 2012 21:06

German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby Axl Rose » 30 Oct 2012 18:44

There has been discussion wether the German troops could actually see the spires of Kremlin or if this was just a myth. As fare as i know the clostest they got to Moscow was 18 KM from red Square, wich was in Khimki in the outskirts of Moscow. But i also read that some place longer west some regiments where only 10 KM from Kremlin.

Anyone got information on where the different troops who was closest were? Do you belive that some of the troops were able to see the spires of Kremlin?


5.20. This german soldier says he saw the golden towers one morning.
Last edited by Marcus Wendel on 30 Oct 2012 18:45, edited 1 time in total.
Reason: Corrected clip to be viewable in message

User avatar
Marcus Wendel
Forum Staff
Posts: 30742
Joined: 08 Mar 2002 22:35
Location: Sweden

Re: German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby Marcus Wendel » 30 Oct 2012 18:47

:welcome:

If you use the youtube-tags you can show the video directly in the post:

Code: Select all

[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rg_ndWU_vRI[/youtube]


This will be the result:


/Marcus

User avatar
Svetlana Karlin
Member
Posts: 402
Joined: 17 May 2010 06:43
Location: Oregon, USA; Moscow, Russia

Re: German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby Svetlana Karlin » 30 Oct 2012 21:57

It was not possible to see the "golden towers" of Kremlin simply because Kremlin was camouflaged at the time. The golden cupolas were painted over in dark colors. The Kremlin walls were painted to look like buildings with windows. Camouflage plywood/tarp structures were erected in the area in order to confuse the layout of streets and parks from the air. The Mausoleum was disguised as a small two-story residential building.

Photos and period drawings of the city camouflage:
http://tbrus.ucoz.ru/publ/maskirovka_moskvy/1-1-0-575

This article has a videoclip of TV feature on Kremlin camouflage during WWII showing architects' sketches and plans:
http://www.tvkultura.ru/news.html?id=717368&cid=178

According to the article, Kremlin was bombed 8 times. Over 150 incendiary bombs were dropped on it, but many of them did not go off, and no major damage or fire was caused.

I've been in Khimki area many times. It would be quite a stretch to see the Kremlin from there, although not entirely impossible with a telescope and from a high vantage point, like the 20th story of a modern high-rise apartment block. However, in 1941 Khimki had no high-rise buildings. It was essentially a small township in a fairly forested area.

German soldiers could mistake the rising sun reflecting from snow-covered city roofs for the golden glow of the Kremlin cupolas. In the youtube clip the man says that the night before was extremely cold. In Moscow area such severe frosts are typically accompanied by very clear skies. The snow literally sparkles in the sunlight on such days.
Scorched earth, scorched lives: http://svetlanakarlin.wordpress.com/

Axl Rose
Member
Posts: 8
Joined: 05 Mar 2012 21:06

Re: German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby Axl Rose » 30 Oct 2012 22:27

Iv read somewhere that Kremlin wasnt camuflaged until later in the war. But based on the the spires in kremlin, they would be much higher then any other building around. I managed myself to see a church spire from 20 KM at sea this summer, without telescope. So i think it would be possible from 30-40 KM.

found this from 1941 http://ww2today.com/26th-july-1941-the-kremlin-bombed


That guy on youtube is fare from the only one to claim he saw kremlinl.

User avatar
Svetlana Karlin
Member
Posts: 402
Joined: 17 May 2010 06:43
Location: Oregon, USA; Moscow, Russia

Re: German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby Svetlana Karlin » 30 Oct 2012 23:18

The photos in your link are dated July 26, 1941. According to the first article in my post the camouflage of Kremlin was completed by August 1, 1941. The work started on June 28th.

Also, by 1941 the towers and cathedrals of Kremlin did not dominate the Moscow skyline any more. In the 30's many multistory "Stalin" style buildings were built in the central part of Moscow, like this apartment block for government employees across from Kremlin http://mosday.ru/photos/?1_567 or the Moskva hotel http://mosday.ru/photos/?73_22 right next to Kremlin. Also, a series of multistory apartment blocks were built along Leningradskoe shosse, a major road (not a straight one!) leading from the center of Moscow to Khimki.
Scorched earth, scorched lives: http://svetlanakarlin.wordpress.com/

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 4122
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby Art » 31 Oct 2012 13:29

Already discussed:
viewtopic.php?f=55&t=130037
viewtopic.php?t=93201
I believe no German soldiers ever reached Khimki, Khlebnikovo area (25 kms from the center of Moscow) was the closest point of their advance to Moscow.

Axl Rose
Member
Posts: 8
Joined: 05 Mar 2012 21:06

Re: German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby Axl Rose » 31 Oct 2012 16:20

They reach Khikmki, no doubt about it. There is a memorial wich marks the farest advance in Khimki, and its just with IKEA 18 KM from Kremlin. Google Khimki and german advance...there u go

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 4122
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby Art » 31 Oct 2012 18:02

The memorial is devoted to the 25th anniversary of the Moscow counteroffensive (opened on 6 December 1966). Nothing on the memorial itself indicates that it was a farthest point of the German advance and I'm under impression that it is just an urban legend. The place is 22 km from the center of Moscow and was outside of the town of Khimki in 1941. The town itself was definitely not occupied by the German Army. Shirer's statement that the town was reached by elements of the 258 Infantry Division is clearly wrong, because the unit was on the other part of the front then.
The common Soviet version is that Krasnaya Polyana was the closest point ever reached IIRC.

Axl Rose
Member
Posts: 8
Joined: 05 Mar 2012 21:06

Re: German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby Axl Rose » 31 Oct 2012 21:51

in the book "Chronolology of the world war 2, ay by day" bu Christopher Argyle he writes this abut December the second 1941:

"German inf. detachmenent reaches Khimki tram station , 18 KM from centre of Moscow , but is repulsed by Russian "home guards" (Opolchenie)". Iv read other places that this was tropps from the SS Das Reich.

i think this Russian documentary says about the same. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=o35E68h_Kfs

Dr Henrich Haape writes in hes bio that he reached the tram stop in Khimki and baught a ticket(from a ticket machine) directly to Red Square.

But im more interested in what regiment wich came closer longer west.

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 4122
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby Art » 01 Nov 2012 10:10

Here are several relevant situation maps:
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/ ... 2_3_41.jpg
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/ ... _03_41.jpg
http://www.armchairgeneral.com/rkkaww2/ ... c05_41.jpg
These schemes don't indicate presence of German troops in Khimki or anywhere close.
A large staff with generals Liziukov and Vlasov was situated in Khimki in early December 1941 and it continued working uninterrupted. There isn't even a slightest doubt that the town remained in Soviet hands. There is a story about German patrols appearing in the town in October (!) 1941, but it is most likely an urban legend. Anyway information from documents or unit history of 2nd Panzer division would be welcomed.

GregSingh
Member
Posts: 2043
Joined: 21 Jun 2012 01:11
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby GregSingh » 02 Nov 2012 03:37

There is a difference between a village or town being “firmly in somebody’s hands” and “reached by”. According to Osprey Campaign 167 – Moscow 1941 – “around 1900hrs on 1 Dec 1941, a motorized patrol from German 62nd Panzer Pioneer Battalion managed to slip unobserved through a gap [..] Around dawn [..] reached the train station in the village of Khimki [..] After a brief stay in Khimki, the German troops drove back the way they come and reached the German lines [..] The German patrol was probably built around a Motorized Light Combat Engineer Company and supposedly had about eight motorcycles plus a few light vehicles.”
I don’t know what sources the above is based. Also I have a problem identifying “62nd Panzer Pioneer Battalion”...
Baranovskiy_05_Moscow picture shows an arrow towards Khimki. What does it mean?

User avatar
Svetlana Karlin
Member
Posts: 402
Joined: 17 May 2010 06:43
Location: Oregon, USA; Moscow, Russia

Re: German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby Svetlana Karlin » 03 Nov 2012 01:35

GregSingh wrote:There is a difference between a village or town being “firmly in somebody’s hands” and “reached by”. According to Osprey Campaign 167 – Moscow 1941 – “around 1900hrs on 1 Dec 1941, a motorized patrol from German 62nd Panzer Pioneer Battalion managed to slip unobserved through a gap [..] Around dawn [..] reached the train station in the village of Khimki [..] After a brief stay in Khimki, the German troops drove back the way they come and reached the German lines [..] The German patrol was probably built around a Motorized Light Combat Engineer Company and supposedly had about eight motorcycles plus a few light vehicles.”
I don’t know what sources the above is based. Also I have a problem identifying “62nd Panzer Pioneer Battalion”...
Baranovskiy_05_Moscow picture shows an arrow towards Khimki. What does it mean?


According to the map legend the top two arrows toward Khimki seems to indicate a German attempt to break through to Khimki. The dashed lines seem to show areas reached by German reconnaissance units. The map legend is not very clear, though.

I'm not sure how a German motorized patrol could drive in the snow to the train station in Khimki. Some stations on Oktyabrskaya railroad were (and some still are now) mere stops in the forest. Two platforms in the middle of the woods with a small wooden hut as a ticket office. They were even called not 'stations' (stantsiya) but 'platforms' (platforma). Upon unboarding a train at a 'platform' passengers often had to walk through woods and fields to nearby villages.

A German unit could wander under the forest cover into such a train platform with no human soul around. Driving wouldn't be really an option. Any roads leading to a small platform wouldn't be likely to be cleared from snow if there was no train traffic. However, Khimki was definitely a 'station' with rather prominent buildings, as this 1900 photo shows:
Khimki 1900.jpg

Source: http://www.oldmos.ru/photo/view/60509
This German aerial photo of Khimki shows open fields west of Khimki and buildings near the railroad:
Khimki German aerial.jpg

Source: http://www.oldmos.ru/photo/view/76352

My guess would be that if Germans indeed reached a train station in or near Khimki, it could be Planernaya platform in a less developed area west of Khimki, and just west of the intersection of Leningradskoe shosse and Oktyabrskaya railroad. Another possible version would be that the German patrol was wearing Red Army uniforms and ushankas in order to do some spy reconnaissance.
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Scorched earth, scorched lives: http://svetlanakarlin.wordpress.com/

Art
Forum Staff
Posts: 4122
Joined: 04 Jun 2004 19:49
Location: Moscow, Russia

Re: German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby Art » 03 Nov 2012 14:46

An illustration in "Osprey" creates an impression that Khimki was merely a village with a handful of peasants' houses. In fact it was a town with a large aircraft construction factory (shown on the aerial image posted by Svetlana). On the photo above location of the memorial to the Moscow defenders (IKEA-Khimki) is near the left edge (right of SU-7466 inscription). Khimki rail station is approximately at the tip of the south-north arrow on the photo. I find it surprising that a patrol allegedly could go all the way through the town filled with Soviet troops, the versions needs a confirmation IMO.

GregSingh
Member
Posts: 2043
Joined: 21 Jun 2012 01:11
Location: Melbourne, Australia

Re: German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby GregSingh » 05 Nov 2012 00:54

Ospray book lists Werner Haupt - Assault on Moscow 1941 as one of Further Readings. I have a copy and I found this - “pioneers of 62nd army pioneer battalion reached station Khimki and destroyed it”. There is no bibliography, so no sources for this on as well... 62nd pioneer battalion - panzer or army one is still a mystery... I couldn't find any record of unit like that even existed in late 1941... Looks like this story gets better and better every time someone repeats it...

User avatar
Svetlana Karlin
Member
Posts: 402
Joined: 17 May 2010 06:43
Location: Oregon, USA; Moscow, Russia

Re: German advance on moscow-Khimki

Postby Svetlana Karlin » 05 Nov 2012 10:48

After some search on yandex.ru, a Russian search engine, several interesting bits of information surfaced.

1. Like everywhere else, the Russian sources present a number of conflicting accounts on what actually happened in Khimki. Of course, this is not news here;

2. Remarkably enough, the date of a supposed appearance of a German patrol/reconnaissance unit/tank brigade in Khimki is either October 16th or November 30th. Could there be not one but two incidents in Khimki area?

3. According to this article http://www.1mig-taxi.ru/himki-history on the history of Khimki, in 1941 the railway tracks were dismantled from Skhodnya to Khimki, then all the way to Moscow in order to impede the German advance.The bridges were guarded by antiaircraft batteries. There are two bridges across the channel in Khimki: the Oktryabrskaya railway bridge and the Lenigradskoe Shosse automotive bridge.

4. The website of the Dzerzhinsky Division http://odonrex.ru/-12 (OMSDON - Independent Motorized Rifle Special Purpose Division, part of NKVD at the time) has an article on the events in Khimki on October 16, 1941. Here is my abbreviated summary in English.

In 1971 a city newspaper, Evening Moscow, published a small article by a veteran of the Moscow Battle titled "The Battle on the Khimki Bridge". Journalist Lev Kolodniy took interest in it and investigated the facts further. In 1975 Kolodniy published an article in another city newspaper, Moskovskaya Pravda, on little known events from the Battle of Moscow and included the incident in Khimki. Soon, the newspaper received a letter from a participant of the skirmish in Khimki, Lieutenant Colonel Mashnin who described the event in more detail. Later, Kolodniy included Mashnin's account in his book on the Moscow Battle.

In 1941 Mashnin served as a senior lieutenant in the tank unit of Dzerzhinsky Division. They were stationed in Pokrovka Street in Moscow, about 30 min drive from the junction of Leningradskoe Shosse and Volokolamskoe Shosse and were designated as a reserve response unit. In the morning of October 16, 1941, the command received orders to go to Kryukovo on Leningradskoe Shosse and annihilate the Germans there. The 2nd Tank company together with a motorcycle squad headed from the city center northwest on Leningradskoe Shosse. As they approached the Leningradskoe Shosse bridge in Khimki, they saw a group of motorcyclists with sidecars driving over the bridge. At first they thought it was a Red Army motorized unit. But when the strangers opened fire, it became clear that it was the Germans. The head tank started firing, and two enemy motorcycle crews were killed. Three German motorcyclists managed to get through using the pedestrian sidewalk under the cover of the metal bridge structures. The Germans reached the Dynamo aquatic sports arena, which is shown on this German map: http://www.retromap.ru/mapster.php#right=0619411&zoom=14&lat=55.840000&lng=37.492904(Wasserstadion Dynamo). The dashed line is the border of Moscow. There they were destroyed by the motorized squad of the Dzerzhinsky division who were following the tank unit.

The incident became top secret immediately in order to avoid worsening the panic in the city. As the article states, no documents have remained in the OMSDON archives but they are likely to be in the NKVD archives.

Here is a photo of the Leningradskoe Shosse Bridge in Khimki in 1941, most likely taken in mid-November judging by the snow cover:
Trenches near Leningradskoe Shosse Bridge 1941.jpg

Source: http://www.oldmos.ru/photo/view/79231 The town of Khimki is on the opposite bank of the channel.

If to look at the aerial photo in my previous post, Leningradskoe Shosse appears to pass along the southern fringe of Khimki (the diagonal road below the horizontal line of the railroad), while the railway goes straight through the center of the town. It would be more realistic for a German motorcycle unit to drive up to the Leningradskoe Shosse bridge in October than to the train station in Khimki in December.

The article on the OMSDON site provokes other questions: what kind of clothes were the Germans wearing if they were mistaken for Soviet troops at first? What was their purpose? If it was a spy reconnaissance, why didn't they try to slip by unrecognized?
You do not have the required permissions to view the files attached to this post.
Scorched earth, scorched lives: http://svetlanakarlin.wordpress.com/


Return to “WW2 in Eastern Europe”

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: CommonCrawl [Bot]