Nikolai Batyuk- From Regular Soldier to Guard Major General
Nikolai Filippovich Batyuk ( December 19, 1905 – July 27, 1943 ) – Soviet military leader, during the Great Patriotic War, the commander of an infantry division, distinguished himself in the defense of Stalingrad. Guard Major General (1943).
Nikolai Filippovich Batyuk was born on December 19, 1905 in the town of Akhtyrka, now the Sumy region of Ukraine. After graduating from school, he worked as a bricklayer at the Trostyanets sugar factory, then in the Kharkov kommunstroy.
In October 1927 he was drafted into the Red Army. He served in the 23rd Infantry Division. In 14 years of service, he went from a Red Army soldier to a regiment commander. In 1938 he graduated from the higher officer courses. In September 1939, he took part in the liberation campaign of the Red Army in Western Ukraine, where he was wounded by shrapnel from a Polish shell. This was one of the reasons for his death in 1943.
In 1940 he graduated in absentia from the Military Academy of the Red Army. He met the beginning of the Great Patriotic War near Kaunas as the commander of the 89th Infantry Regiment of the 23rd Infantry Division. He fought on the North-Western Front, during the Baltic strategic defensive operation he brought the regiment out of the threat of encirclement. In battle on September 15, 1941, he was slightly wounded near Demyansk. In December of the same year he was sent to Tomsk (Siberian Military District ) to form the 284th Infantry Division and was soon appointed its commander.
In early July 1942, the division arrived at the Bryansk Front and during the Voronezh-Voroshilovgrad defensive operation in the area of the Kastornaya station near Voronezh received the baptism of fire. For 5 days, the division fought stubborn battles, delaying the advance of the German troops.
In the second half of September 1942, the division under the command of N.F. Batyuk arrived at the Stalingrad front and was included in the 62nd army defending the city. By order of the army commander, on September 22, the division took up defensive positions in the Mamayev Kurgan area, while Lieutenant Colonel Batyuk took measures in advance to study and introduce new tactical methods of combat in urban conditions in the subordinate troops. On the spot, the division commander skillfully organized the division’s defense and fire system, which allowed it to hold its positions for a long time. He spent a lot of time on the front line, studying the situation and controlling the battle. Among the soldiers received the nickname “fireproof”. He paid great attention to the development of the sniper movement. It was in his division that the combat glory of Heroes of the Soviet Union V.G. Zaitsev and V.I. Medvedev was born.
The Chief of Staff of the 62nd Army N. I. Krylov wrote about Nikolai Filippovich:
… the divisional commander, he was talented, courageous in decisions and actions. Batyuk belonged to the commanders who deeply understood the specifics of urban combat and its nature. The divisional commander is a fighter, on critical days, it happened that he himself led the soldiers in a counterattack…
For two months of defensive battles, the division inflicted heavy losses on the enemy in manpower and equipment and at the same time retained its combat effectiveness.
The award list noted:
Under the leadership of the division commander, Colonel NF Batyuk, 284 Rifle Division from September 1942 with exceptional persistence repulsed numerous attacks by superior enemy infantry forces, tanks, aviation and did not allow breakthrough.
In January 1943, units of the division switched from defense to offensive and soon cleared part of the city from the encircled German troops, capturing about 3,000 soldiers and officers and three generals.
At the end of the Battle of Stalingrad, the 284th Rifle Division was awarded the Order of the Red Banner and transformed into the 79th Guards Rifle Division. NF Batyuk was awarded two orders, and on March 1, 1943 he was awarded the military rank of “Major General”.
In the future, until mid-July 1943, the division took up defensive positions along the right bank of the river. Seversky Donets and with the beginning of the Izyum-Barvenkovo offensive operation went over to the offensive. On the last day of the operation, July 27, 1943, Nikolai Filippovich Batyuk died suddenly of a heart failure.
He was buried in the city of Svyatogorsk on Mount Artyom; Heroes of the Soviet Union Ilya Zakharovich Shuklin and Alexander Kirillovich Sechkin are buried nearby. There is also a mass grave of Soviet soldiers who died in the battles for the liberation of Slavyanogorsk and the Slavyansk region.
“We buried him at the monument to Artem, on the banks of the Northern Donets, then transferred his remains to Stalingrad, to Mamayev-Kurgan, because he was the soul of the battle for Mamayev Kurgan, for the city on the Volga”.
The commander of the 62nd Army V. I. Chuikov recalled:
In this commander, three invaluable qualities were especially well combined: commanding perseverance, courage and partisanship. He knew how to be strict and fair, he was feared and loved; he was often in sight of his warriors. He had sore legs, sometimes he could barely move, but he did not sit out in the dugout… He did not hesitate to tell any boss and subordinate the truth in the eyes, even if it was bitter. His reports did not require clarification and verification, they were always true.
- Order of the Red Banner (02/08/1943)
- Order of Kutuzov 2nd degree (31.03.1943)
- Medal “For the Defense of Stalingrad”
- personalized gold watch from the commander of the military district (11/01/1936)
By the resolution of the Executive Committee of the City Council No. 20/508 of 25.08.1954, a street in Volgograd was named after NF Batyuk. Also streets in Slavyansk, Akhtyrka and Gorlovka bear his name.