|Soviet troops escort German Prisoners of War to rebuild the town of Poltava, Ukraine. Poltava was heavily damaged during the war. The Germans captured it during Operation Barbarossa on September 18, 1941, and it was in German hands for the next two years. On September 23, 1943, Soviet Premier Josef Stalin wrote, “Troops of the Steppe front, successfully developing their offensive, forced the River Vorskla, and after three days‘ fierce fighting, to-day, September 23, captured the regional centre of the Ukraine, the town of Poltava, a powerful German defence centre in the Ukraine to the east of the Dnieper. In the fighting for the liberation of the town of Poltava, troops commanded by Lieutenant-General Zhadov, Lieutenant-General Mana-garov and airmen commanded by Lieutenant-General of Aviation Goryunov, distinguished themselves, especially the Ninth Guards Airborne Division (Colonel Sazonov), the Thirteenth Guards Red Banner Infantry Division, bearing the Order of Lenin (Major-General Baklanov), the 66th Guards Infantry Division (Major-General Yaksh-in), the 95th Guards Infantry Division (Major-General Nikichenko), the 97th Guards Infantry Division (Colonel Antsiferov), the 8Fourth Kharkov Infantry Division (Major-General Bunyashin), the 42nd Light Artillery Brigade (Colonel Skoro-dumov), the 301st Anti-tank Artillery Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel Vlassenko), the 57th Tank Regiment (Lieutenant-Colonel Federov), the 431st Engineering Battalion (Lieutenant-Colonel Boltusevich), the 29Fourth Fighter Aviation Division (Lieutenant-Colonel Taranenko) and the 266th Stormovik Aviation Division (Colonel Rodyakin). In commemoration of the victory achieved, the formations and units who distinguished themselves in the fighting for the liberation of the town of Poltava are to bear the name of Poltava. Henceforth the above mentioned formations and units are named: The Ninth Guards Poltava Airborne Division, the Thirteenth Guards Red Banner Poltava Infantry Division, bearing the Order of Lenin, the 66th Guards Poltava Infantry Division, the 95th Guards Poltava Infantry Division, the 97th Guards Poltava Infantry Division, the 42nd Poltava Light Artillery Brigade,‘the 301st Poltava Anti-tank Artillery Regiment, the 57th Poltava Tank Regiment, the 431st Poltava Engineering Battalion, the 29Fourth Poltava Fighter Aviation Division and the 266th Poltava Stormovik Aviation Division. The 8Fourth Kharkov Infantry Division, which has for the second time distinguished itself in battle against the German invaders, is to be recommended for the award of the Order of the Red Banner. Today, September 23, at 2100 hours the capital of our Motherland, Moscow, on behalf of the Motherland, will salute with 12 artillery salvoes from 124 guns our gallant troops which liberated the town of Poltava. For excellent military operations, I express my thanks to all troops commanded by you who participated in the fighting for the liberation of the town of Poltava. Eternal glory to the heroes who fell in the fight for the freedom and independence of our Motherland. Death to the German invaders!“ Poltava was one of the bases used by American aircraft for Operation Frantic, the shuttle-bombing of Germany.
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|March 18, 1944
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February 5, 2024