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Artillery during World War II (period from 1941–1943)

Artillery during World War II (period from 1941–1943)


After unleashing World War II in 1939, fascist Germany invaded the Soviet Union on June 22, 1941. The war in Russia called the Great Patriotic War started, lasting 1418 days and nights, and finished with a crushing defeat of the aggressor. People in the USSR showed physical, combat, and spiritual steadfastness defending their homeland that had not been known in history any time before.

Beginning of the room display

The display starts in the room with documents characterizing the military-­political situation on the eve of war. The first stand shows a political map of Europe, photos of German guns and tanks. Here there is also a photo copy of the Blitzkrieg (i.e. "Barbarossa") plan. In the center of the stand is I. Toidze’s placard The Motherland Is Calling! which became a symbol of the time. Small-­arms and mortars adopted in the Red Army are displayed nearby. Samples of arms from different states, which were used by fascists during the war against the Soviet Union, are exhibited on a special podium.

The Motherland is Calling! I. Toidze. 1941.

Documentary sources from the first days of war, instructions of the Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR and the Central Committee of the All­-Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks dated June 29, 1941 for all local government bodies in the front­line regions, and a Pravda Newspaper dated July 3, 1941 containing the speech of I. V. Stalin, Chairman of the State Defence Committee, occupy a pivotal place in the display. Among the exhibits is another issue of the Pravda Newspaper dated June 23, 1941. It published decrees of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR dated June 22, 1941 concerning martial law and the mobilization of men liable for call­-up in 14 military districts. Also displayed is a common decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR, Central Committee of the All-­Union Communist Party of Bolsheviks and Council of People’s Commissars of the USSR dated June 30, 1941 concerning the organization of an extraordinary body, the State Defence Committee, with photos of members of the General Headquarters. In addition, a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR dated July 16, 1941 concerning the reorganization of bodies for political propaganda and introducing the institution for military commissars of the Workers’ and Peasants’ Red Army, as well as a number of other documents.

Small-arms of the Red Army from the period of World War II

The fascist commanders predicted it would take only 30 minutes to overcome the Soviet border. However, the enemy immediately came across the heroic opposition of frontier guards and soldiers at frontier garrisons who selflessly defended the sacred borders of their homeland. The defence of the Brest fortress is one example of the fortitude and faithfulness to the oath of allegiance. The enemy’s commanders sought to capture the citadel as soon as possible because this strong point made using the railroad junction and main roads near Brest difficult. Organized opposition of the fortress defenders lasted until July 20, 1941.

The display stand dedicated to the beginning of the war shows fragments of arms and equipment from the fortress defenders found during excavations on the territory of the fortress in the post-­war period. Photo portraits are seen of commanders of the defence, Captain I. Zubachev, regimental commissar E. Fomin, Hero of the Soviet Union Lieutenant, also Frontier Guard A. Kizhevatov who fought in the citadel, and Hero of the Soviet Union Major P. Gavrilov and political instructor S. Skripnik who commanded the defence of the Eastern front.

Fighters from the 13th picket of the 90th Vladimir­-Volynskii Frontier Detachment held the line courageously. Sixty soldiers under the command of Lieutenant A. Lopatin contained the enemy’s onslaught for 11 days. As a result, the fascists succeeded in capturing the picket only after all its defenders perished. The stand shows a photo portrait of Hero of the Soviet Union A. Lopatin. There are also photos of frontier guard heroes A. Ryzhikov and V. Petrov.

Artillery operations were attended with great difficulties in the dramatic situation of the first weeks and months struggling with fascist aggressors. This is explained by the fact that a number of artillery units and sub­units were on firing grounds far from the border and out of touch with their formations. So the artillery could not deploy in proper time everywhere or support all of the formations which joined the battle. In addition, many artillery units and sub­units appeared to be insufficiently prepared for military operations because of incomplete means of traction, un­readiness of artillery rears, and incompleteness of staff. A number of officers in the anti­aircraft artillery were absent for their periodical district training.

Nevertheless, units and formations common to all arms deployed their regular artillery near the state border, meeting fascist troops with organized fire and causing appreciable enemy losses.      

Unique photos and documents tell about the unparalleled steadfastness of the warrior-­artillerists. The display includes colors of the 264th and 207th Corps Artillery Regiments which joined the battle on the first day of the war. On June 23–24, the 9th Anti­-Tank Artillery Brigade destroyed about 70 fascist tanks and the 1st Anti-­Tank Artillery Brigade destroyed more than 300 units of the enemy’s armored materiel. Soldiers from the 6th Battery of the 143rd Artillery Regiment heroically fought with fascists in the Murmansk line of advance. On September 14, 1941, its commander Lieutenant G. Lysenko died a hero’s death in hand­-to-­hand fighting. He was posthumously awarded with the Lenin Order. A model of the monument to the 6th Battery erected in Murmansk is on display.

B. Khigrin and Ya. Kolchak were the first artillerists named Heroes of the Soviet Union. Captain B. Khigrin, Commander of the 462nd Corps Artillery Regiment, replaced a gun-­layer who was wounded and personally destroyed 4 enemy’s tanks during the battles near the Drut River on July 5, 1941 and died a hero’s death. According to a decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Council of the USSR dated August 31, 1941, the title of a Hero of the Soviet Union was conferred to him. Red Army man, Ya. Kolchak, gun­-layer in the anti­tank battery of the 680th Rifle Regiment of the 169th Rifle Division, put 4 tanks out of action for an hour during a battle near the borough of Novaia Ushitsa on July 13, 1941. It had a decisive importance during the repulse of enemy tank attacks. 

General­-Lieutenant A. Smirnov, Commander of the 18th Army, commented on the valor and courage of Yakov Kolchak and wrote the following in recommendation for conferring the title of a Hero of the Soviet Union: “He fought until the moment when his gun was crushed by the enemy’s tank…”   Yakov Kolchak was found not far from the crushed gun. He was wounded and contused, and did not regained consciousness for a long time. The title of a Hero of the Soviet Union was given to him on August 2, 1941. Visitors can see photo portraits of war heroes in the room.

The next two stands display a scheme, photos, documents and some other exhibits elucidating the course of the Smolensk battle (July 10 — September 10, 1941). As a result of this fight, German­-fascist troops were forced to stop their offensive in the main line of advance for the first time during World War II and to shift to the defence. The Soviet Guards were born in the heat of this battle. According to the order of the People’s Commissar for Defence of the USSR dated September 18, 1941, the 100th, the 127th, the 153rd, and the 161st Rifle Divisions were named respectively the 1st, the 2nd, the 3rd and the 4th Guards Divisions. Photo portraits of commanders of the divisions, as well as the Guards breastplate are displayed on the stand.

The colors of the 305th Cannon Artillery Regiment are exhibited in the room. The regiment fought difficult actions with the enemy during the Smolensk battle. It was surrounded in one of the fights. The badly wounded regimental commissar handed over the regimental colors to a resident of the Bataly village, Olga Piskareva. The Russian peasant woman kept the colors for two long years under conditions of fascist occupation. After the liberation of the village on September 8, 1943, she passed it to the commanders of the Red Army. Olga Piskareva was awarded with the Order of the Red Banner for saving the regimental colors.

The famous fighting vehicle Katiusha (BM­13) is an especially notable exhibit on display. This multiple-­launch rocket system is a unique arm which no army in the world had at that time. The BM­13 was worked out by the initiative and under the guidance of A. Kostikov and I. Gvai in 1939. The lay­out scheme was worked out by V. Galkovskii. In February 1941, the Main Artillery Administration made an order to produce 40 Katiushas up to the end of the year. The machines were made in the Komintern factory in Voronezh and tested on a proving ground June 15–17, 1941. Representatives of the government and commanders of the armed forces attended the tests. The launches won high appreciation. As a result, the government made a decision to start serial production of BM­13’s and formation rocket artillery units.

Liberated land of Smolensk. B. E. Pamfilov. 1943.

The first individual rocket artillery battery (seven fighting vehicles) was formed from June 28 to July 1, 1941. Captain I. Fliorov, former student of the F. Dzerzhinski Military Artillery Academy, was appointed commander of the battery. The battery’s ‘baptism by fire’ took place in an area of the city of Orsha during the Smolensk battle. In order to stop the attack of the enemy, General G. Kariofilli, Assistant to the Chief of the Artillery of the Western Front, assigned the commander of the battery an urgent task in the morning of July 14; to fire a battery salvo at the accumulation of enemy troops trains, combat materiel, fuel and ammunition on the railway junction of Orsha. A few minutes after the salvo the railway junction turned into an ocean of fire. Everything was burning: people, iron, and even the earth. The panic­-stricken fascists rushed about in the burning-­hot smoke. Many enemy soldiers and officers were destroyed.

In an hour and a half, the battery was expanded in the battle formation of the 413th Rifle Regiment and fired a second salvo at the enemy’s ferry which was going across the Orsha River. The ferry was spoiled and the fascists didn’t dare get over this water obstacle for a long time. Later on the battery under Fliorov destroyed the enemy near Smolensk, Yelnia, in the Roslavl area. However, the battery was caught in an ambush near the village of Bogatyr South far from the city of Viazma on the night of October 7, 1941. According to the order of Captain I. Fliorov the fighting vehicles were blown up. The commander and the staff of the battery perished, but the enemy did not succeed in capturing the secret arm. According to the order of President of Russia Boris Yeltsin the title of a Hero of the Russian Federation was conferred to Captain I. Fliorov (posthumously) in 1995.

A significant section of the display is dedicated to the 900‑day defence of Leningrad. The Leningrad area was in one of the most important strategic lines of advance of German­-fascist troops. The stands display a map of fights on distant and close approaches to the city. The enemy’s attempt to capture the city with a rush failed due to the courage and steadfastness of Soviet troops, especially those which defended the Luga line. One of the sub­units which participated in the defence of the Luga line was the Regiment of the Commander’s Artillery Advance Training Courses under Colonel G. Odintsov (later on, commander of the artillery on the Leningrad Front). Numerous exhibits tell about the heroic defence of the city and the conditions in which residents of the besieged city lived and worked. These are a 125 g. piece of bread (a daily ration for dependants); photo copies of small pages from the diary of Tania Savicheva, a Leningrad schoolgirl who lost all of her family during the siege of the city, and then perished herself from hunger; a German trophy map of Leningrad with marked targets; splinters from the high­-explosive fascist bomb thrown down on the territory of the Artillery Historical Museum on September 11, 1941; and an unexploded German 400‑mm shell. Artillery guns which participated in the Leningrad battle are on display, as well. The crew for one of them, a 76‑mm gun Model 1902/1930 commanded by senior sergeant V. Yakovlev, repelled enemy attacks for 12 hours and destroyed 150 enemy soldiers and officers, 2 self-­propelled assault guns, 3 guns and 5 machine­guns. 

Hitlerites mercilessly bombed Leningrad and its anti­aircraft gunners had to carry on a desperate struggle with fascist carrion crows.

37-mm anti-aircraft cannon. Сommander of the team – senior sergeant I.A. Shalov.

 The displayed 37‑mm anti­aircraft cannon was adopted in the 632nd Anti-­Aircraft Artillery Regiment and participated both in the defence and raising the siege of Leningrad. On its barrel are 18 five-­pointed tin stars meaning that 18 fascist aircrafts were destroyed by the gun­-crew, which was commanded by senior sergeant I. Shalov. Shalov’s cannon was the second most effective gun in the WWII period (each Soviet anti­aircraft gun destroyed 4–6 German aircrafts on average). Retired Guards Colonel Ivan Shalov now lives in Ukraine.

In addition to air strikes, the enemy exposed the city to fierce bombardments, which started on September 4, 1941, and lasted 611 days. The enemy daily threw down 245 artillery projectiles of different calibers, hundreds of high­-explosive and incendiary bombs. So it was only the artillery of the Leningrad Front which played a great part in preventing barbarous bombardments of the city. According to an order of the commanders of the Leningrad Front a special artillery unit, the 3rd Leningrad Artillery Counter-­Battery Corps, was organized. Guards General-Major of the Artillery N. Zhdanov was appointed its commander.  The corps neutralized and smashed enemy artillery and thus contributed heavily to rescuing the city on the Neva from complete destruction. Artillery operations in the counter-­battery struggle are shown with the help of a model electrified and scored for sound. Among the exhibits are also models of aerial reconnaissance means and guns used for struggling with enemy artillery. A glass­-case and a stand display exhibits dedicated to snipers’ movements on the Leningrad Front. There are also photos of Hero of the Soviet Union, initiator of the snipers’ movement, F. Smoliachkov, holder of the Order of Glory, N. Petrova, along with photos and the sniper’s rifles of N. Lepskii and N. Nikitin.

Decisive battles took place on approaches to Moscow from autumn to winter 1941. The fascist commanders sent their main forces here striving to capture the capital at any price before the cold weather came. The defeat of the enemy near Moscow put to an end the myth about the invincibility of the German army. The display includes documents, photos, schemes, leaflets, paintings, placards, arms, and colors of the first Guards artillery units in the Main Headquarters Reserve, as well as a number of other exhibits telling about the battle for Moscow. Visitors can see a photo panel depicting the famous parade on Red Square on November 7, 1941, after which the Soviet warriors went right to the front.

A whole stand is dedicated to the exploits of warrior­-artillerists who defended the capital of the USSR. In its center is V. Pamfilov’s painting picturing the battle of Soviet artillerists in the Volokolamsk line of advance. Near the stand is a 122‑mm howitzer Model 1938. It was adopted by the 8th Guards Rifle Rezhitsa Division, which was awarded with the Order of Lenin, Order of the Red Banner, Order of Suvorov and named after Hero of the Soviet Union General­-Major I. Panfilov. The gun-­crew was commanded by senior sergeant P. Mikhailov. Soldiers of the crew heroically defended Moscow and then went a glorious way with their gun to the Baltic coast having destroyed about 500 Hitlerites, 4 tanks, 27 machine­guns, 12 pill­boxes, 26 guns and mortars. 

In winter 1941/1942 Soviet troops launched a counter­offensive and hurled back the enemy’s troops from Moscow’s walls. The displayed map­-scheme illustrates the course of offensive operations of the Red Army. The diorama made by artist P. Koretskii depicts an episode of the counter­attack of Soviet troops near Moscow in December 1941 and gives an idea about the events of those severe days.

The 440th and 471st Cannon Artillery Regiments (commanded by majors A. Briukhanov and I. Azarenkov) were the first which were named as the Guards in January 1942. They distinguished themselves on the battle­fields near Moscow. The staff of both regiments was notable for their hatred of the enemy and for the art of wielding their arms.

The Stalingrad battle was a turning­-point in the war on the territory of the Soviet Union. Two million people, two thousand tanks, up to 25 thousand guns and mortars and more than 300 aircrafts took part in this grandiose battle from both sides.

Passage near Stalingrad. G. K. Savitskii. 1944.

 The exhibits, photos and documents displayed in the room provide evidence of heroism by those who defended the Volga stronghold.

The 45‑mm anti­tank cannon Model 1937 with a shield covered by dents and shot-­holes, tracks of ardent fights with the enemy, may give an idea of the frantic zeal, persistence and courage with which warrior-­artillerists fought. The gun does not have wheels; they were broken off in the battle. In August 1942, the crew of this surviving gun under senior sergeant A. Alikantsev occupied a fighting position near Tundotovo station. This fight was only one of thousands during the Stalingrad battle. Only one person from the whole gun­-crew remained alive after the repulse of an enemy tank attack. It was the commander of the crew, who then brought projectiles, laid and pointed the gun, loaded it himself and then gave the command “Fire!” 12 tanks of the enemy were put out of action and 8 of them were destroyed personally by Alikantsev. It is difficult to look at Alikantsev’s gun and the earth with shell­-splinters from the Mamaev barrow without emotion. There were between 500 and 1,250 such splinters on each square meter. 

Wearing out the enemy, destroying its manpower and combat materiel in hard defensive actions, warriors of the Red Army prepared themselves for launching an offensive. The quantity of terrestrial and anti­aircraft artillery exceeded 17 thousand guns, mortars and combat vehicles in the rocket artillery by mid-­November. On November 19, the Red Army passed into an all­-out counter­attack. It was snowing heavily and foggy that day, what excluded operations by aviation. So the whole weight of hitting enemy targets fell on the artillery. The power of the blow it delivered stunned the enemy. The artillery attack near Stalingrad was undertaken in full measure and in all directions. The enemy’s defences were successfully penetrated. After that, tanks and mechanized corps rushed to the breach accompanied by artillery fire. A huge enemy group (330 thousand persons) was surrounded and destroyed.

As a result of the Red Army’s counter­attack near Stalingrad the enemy lost 800 thousand persons, up to two thousand tanks, assault guns, more than ten thousand guns and mortars, about three thousand combat and transport aircrafts, more than 70 thousand vehicles, a great number of arms, combat materiel and military property. The enemy was deprived of more than 30 divisions. 16 divisions sustained such losses that they had to be called off from the front to be brought up to strength again. It was the greatest defeat that the enemy had suffered since the beginning of World War II.

Soviet troops captured the colors of Hitlerite units, many combat materiel and arms. A number of these trophies are on display. Exhibited also are fascist awards, helmets, and a type­writer on which the order of the Hitlerite commanders to the surrounded group about capitulation was typed.

In commemoration of the artillery’s merits, as one of the most important branches of the service of the armed forces of the USSR, the day of November 19 (the start of the counter­attack near Stalingrad) became a holiday, the Day of Artillery (since 1964, it is celebrated as the Day of Rocket Troops and Artillery). 

The display in the room includes full-­dress uniforms, documents and personal belongings, as well as a bust (sculpture by E. Zakharov) of Chief Marshal of the Artillery N. Voronov, prominent military leader, commander of the artillery during World War II, representative of the General Headquarters and Hero of the Soviet Union. He took active part in organizing and planning the counter­attack near Stalingrad and other important operations on fronts during the Great Patriotic War.

The monumental canvas The Storm of the Mamayev Kurgan by A. Gorenko, P. Zhigimont and others depicts one of the most striking combat episodes of the operation for cutting down the group of German troops surrounded near Stalingrad.

Victories on the front would have been impossible without the selfless labor of Soviet people in the rear. Documents on another stand and numerous exhibits tell about this aspect of the war, as well. The display in the room includes some samples of artillery materiel made during World War II. These are a 45‑mm anti­tank cannon Model 1942, powerful rocket shells M­30, and a 76‑mm cannon #2812 Model 1942 made at the Stalin factory (ZIS­3), worked out under the guidance of V. Grabin. It eventually went all the way from Stalingrad to Berlin. The gun had a number of important advantages in comparison with other pieces of the same caliber and was much easier to produce. The gun proved to be more mobile and comfortable in exploitation, and adjustable for effectively placing fire on tanks.

A significant section of the display is dedicated to the battle for the Caucasus. A 122‑mm howitzer Model 1938 is especially notable here. Its crew commanded by senior sergeant I. Grabar started its service near Tula, then participated in the breach of the enemy’s defensive line near the Terek River, the liberation of Mozdok, Stavropol and other military operations on the North Caucasus. As well it helped rout the enemy in Crimea and the Baltic region. Soldiers of the crew went with their gun 11,750 km, destroyed 2 anti­tank guns, 4 tanks, 5 armored personnel carriers and 4 weapon emplacements. The gun-­crew was awarded with orders and medals for courage and bravery.

In January 1943, troops of the Leningrad and Volkhov Fronts ran the siege of Leningrad due to powerful blows to the South of Ladozhskoe Lake. A stand displays a scheme of battles and a photo panorama of the enemy’s first line of defence (near the city of Shlisselburg).   On the left from the stand there is a model showing artillery support of the forced crossing of the Neva River near the village of Mariyino. The battle near this village is associated with the feat of Capitan N. Rodionov, Commander of the 2nd Battery of the 596th Destructive Anti-­Tank Artillery Regiment. The battery occupied firing positions on the line of possible tank advance. As a result of a stubborn fighting which lasted many hours, soldiers of the division did not let the enemy escape to the rear of its units. Captain Rodionov replaced the gun­-layer who was killed, put out of action the enemy’s leading tank and then perished himself. He was posthumously awarded with the Order of the Red Banner for his selfless actions. The display includes V. Iskam’s painting The Exploit of Captain Rodionov.

An individual case displays the red flag which was hoisted by Lieutenant M. Uksusov and junior political instructor V. Mandrykin over Shlisselburg on January 18, 1943.

Visitors can see arms which participants had in breaking through the siege of Leningrad. Among them is a 12.7‑mm anti­aircraft large­-caliber Degtiarev-­Shpagin machine­gun (DShK) Model 1938, used by a crew under the command of sergeant I. Kubyshkin to participate in the breach of the siege, and then in battles for liberation of the Leningrad, Novgorod and Pskov regions. Here is also a 120‑mm mortar Model 1938.

120-mm mortar. Model 1938. Commander of the team – senior sergeant A. Shumov.

Its crew consisted of the Shumov brothers who voluntarily came to the front from distant Tuva. Three of the six Shumov brothers died a hero’s death in battles with fascist aggressors. 

A large stand is dedicated to the Kursk battle. Schemes, photos, documents and placards elucidate the preparation and course of fighting, especially the courage and heroism of warriors. The battery commanded by Captain G. Igishev showed an example of selflessness in the battle. It fought with enemy tanks for two days and held off all attacks. Towards the evening of the second day the enemy threw about 300 tanks into attack against the battery, supported by infantry. All the crew and the commander perished, but nevertheless did not let the enemy in. In the process they destroyed 19 German tanks. A bust of Hero of the Soviet Union G. Igishev, and P. Shumilin’s painting The Repulse of the Tank Attack depicting the wounded captain are on display. Among the exhibits are also photocopies of his letters to relatives.

A model of an observation point for the commander of an artillery battery with vision devices, instruments for preparation of fire and means of communication is of interest. Especially notable among the samples of artillery arms are two guns. One is a 76‑mm cannon Model 1942. Its crew was commanded by Hero of the Soviet Union sergeant A. Sapunov who died a hero’s death in a battle of July 1943. Another one is a 37‑mm automatic anti­aircraft cannon, the crew of which, commanded by senior sergeant I. Korotkikh, brought down 7 enemy’s aircrafts. The diorama placed nearby shows artillerists, anti­aircraft gunners from the team of Korotkikh, taking the crew of an enemy’s aircraft as prisoners after they were brought down. This episode took place on July 5, the first day of the battle at the Kursk Bulge.

The counter­attack near Kursk turned into a general strategic offensive for the Red Army in the summer-­autumn 1943. The German­-fascist commanders made urgent arrangements to stabilize the situation on the Soviet-­German front. Taking the eastern rampart, the enemy paid special attention to the strengthening of the Dnieper and considered this line to be inaccessible. However, the expectations of the Hitlerites were again unjustified.

In late September, Soviet troops came out to the Dnieper, forced a crossing over the river with battles along the 750‑km front and captured 23 places of arms. On November 6, 1943, the capital of Ukraine, the city of Kiev, was liberated. Titles of Hero of the Soviet Union were conferred to about 600 warrior­-artillerists for their heroism shown during the forced crossing of the Dnieper.

Among the heroes to whom documents on the display are dedicated, especially notable are A. Shilin and V. Petrov, twice Heroes of the Soviet Union and the only among artillerists. In October 1943, Guards Lieutenant A. Shilin, Commander of the platoon for firing the battery of the 132nd Guards Artillery Regiment at the 60th Rifle Division, with a radio operator and a scout were the first who crossed the Dnieper in the Zaporozhie area for artillery spotting. The landing party engaged in hand­-to-­hand combat. Shilin, while adjusting the artillery fire, once called for fire around himself during the repulsing of one of the counter­attacks. The counter­attack of the enemy was held off, and the captured place of arms was kept. 

Soon after recovery from a contusion, Shilin participated in the forced crossing of the river in another place. Upon capturing the next place of arms, violent fights started again. Shilin showed inventiveness and opened fire point-­blank at fascists from a trophy howitzer. The battle was won. The title of a Hero of the Soviet Union was conferred to A. Shilin for his courage and heroism shown in these battles. He received the second Gold Star (i.e. the title of a Hero was conferred to him for the second time) in battles for the liberation of Poland in January 1945.

Visitors can see a 76‑mm cannon Model 1942 that was adopted by the 5th battery of the 1217th Light Artillery Regiment of the 31st Artillery Brigade. It is further evidence of the unparalleled courage of artillerists. The gun team headed by sergeant Kotelnikov participated in the battle for the Dnieper and destroyed 12 enemy’s tanks, four self­-propelled guns, four cannons, a large number of soldiers and officers of the enemy. All men of the crew perished in a battle near Kirovograd on December 27, 1943, but completely discharged their soldier’s duty.

76-mm regimental cannon. Model 1943 on the raft used to force a crossing.

A 76‑mm regimental cannon Model 1943 worked out under the guidance of M. Tsirulnikov is displayed nearby. It is placed on a raft similar to those used during the forced crossing of the Dnieper. This exhibit not only shows the way pieces of artillery were conveyed, but also gives a feeling of authenticity, and the possibility of feeling the atmosphere of those distant and heroic days. 

Final stands tell about the partisan movement on the territory of Belorussia, including the formation and participation of the 1st Polish Division named after Tadeusz Kociuszko in the struggle with fascist aggressors.

The display finishes by elaborating on the work of the military industry in the USSR. Visitors can see here samples of small-­arms, artillery ammunition, photos, schemes and figures visually demonstrating the role of the home front during World War II. The display is crowned with N. Gorenyshev’s sculpture The Rear-­Toiler symbolizing the valorous work of the people that made their great contribution to gaining victory over the enemy.