When in 1961 the film “Aleshkina’s Love” with Leonid Bykov in the title role was released on the screens of the country, it was watched by millions of viewers.
At the same time, a little-known Leonid-Alyoshka with an equally amazing love story lived in the Vyatka village of Oparino. And although it was not filmed, it deserves at least to be told about it. And the name of the hero deserves to be immortalized on a memorial plaque in the center of Oparin. Moreover, on the stone, they would not just knock out a surname, first name and patronymic, but inscribe the text that Alyoshka wrote to his girlfriend on the back of his photograph: “He killed 18.
So that the young generation of the village of Oparino, having read these words, asked the elders what kind of superman it was who exterminated a cloud of enemies and dedicated his feat to the unknown Marusa.
Photo: Daniil Onokhin
And then the story of the real Alyosha from Oparin will be retold by people of the older generation as many times as passers-by will be interested in the numbers “18 killed, 13 taken prisoner.” After all, if each soldier, as noted by Konstantin Simonov, “killed one invader, then the war would have ended long ago.” And the Great Patriotic War lasted four years …
Alyosha from Oparin accomplished his feat in 1941 – exactly eighty years ago, the Red Army was preparing a counterattack at Volkhov, where the regiments of the 311th Infantry Division (formed in the Kirov region) were brought up. Later, military historians will call those battles in November and December 1941 a “small victory” of our troops at Voybokalo (railway station near Volkhov. – Ed.).
The Red Army was still so weak that one fascist, equipped with the latest technology, then drove a dozen Red Army soldiers. Leningrad had been under blockade for three months. There was no food, no heating, no electricity, no public transport. There remained the last thread that connected Leningrad with the center of the country – through Lake Ladoga. A little more, and the Germans will come to the bank of Ladoga and liquidate the “Road of Life”. With such a development of events, Leningrad would not have been able to fight and would have completely died out of hunger. The freed German armies from the shores of Ladoga would have been transferred to Moscow.
It was at this decisive moment that the soldiers of the 311th Infantry Division entered the struggle for the “Road of Life”. They were in thin greatcoats, many without mittens, constantly hungry, since the food bases in the city of Tikhvin fell into the hands of the enemy. In order not to freeze their feet, inventive Red Army men stuffed their shoes with fallen leaves at night.
And the Nazis at this time firmly settled in their dugouts, basked near the stoves and ate their fill.
And so these poorly armed and hungry Soviet soldiers for three weeks attacked the positions of the Germans in the state farm “Krasny Oktyabr” in the present Kirovsky district of the Leningrad region. At the end of these battles, only 127 people remained from our 1067th regiment. And then all the remaining forces of the division were thrown into the assault on the Krasny Oktyabr state farm: scouts, sappers, chemists, drivers, clerks and other rear crew.
Among the chemists (chemical protection company), there was also a boy from Oparin, Aleksey Bagin. Here is a description of Alexei’s feat from the hero’s award list: “Bagin first adjusted the fire of the tank’s gun, standing on its armor. Direct fire, at Bagin’s instructions, destroyed two mortar batteries and two machine-gun points that hindered the advance of our units. When approaching the enemy dugouts, Bagin got off the ground. tank, under continuous enemy fire, crawled forward and threw anti-tank grenades through the chimneys two dugouts, while destroying 18 Nazis, and took four prisoners. “
Here they are, these unlucky conquerors who were captured by Aleksey Bagin and his comrades on December 17, 1941 at the Krasny Oktyabr state farm. Photo: Daniil Onokhin
For that battle, Alexei Bagin was awarded the Order of the Red Star. In fact, with the hands of Alyosha, the 311th Infantry Division finished off the remnants of the Germans who had settled in the Krasny Oktyabr state farm. And the threat of the seizure of the “Road of Life” was eliminated. It happened in December 1941.
War is war, and you cannot erase love from your heart. And Alexey Bagin sends his first military photograph, made by Daniil Onokhin (RG-Nedelya told about him in detail in the issue of June 22, 2021), by the photo chronicler of the 311th Rifle Division, to his beloved Marusechka. Who is this girl?
Alexey Bagin’s niece – the daughter of his younger brother Nina Borisovna Melnikova from Kirov – told the author of these lines that Marusechka, Aleshkin’s love, is Maria Avgustovna Neiman. They fell in love with each other even before the Great Patriotic War, although they had serious obstacles to create a family. And then for four years of war they wrote tender letters to each other. After all, how much warmth is in the word Marusechka!
Maria Neumann also did not sit in the rear, but fought with the Germans on the Karelian front as part of the 28th separate air defense artillery brigade. The memoirs of Maria Neiman were once recorded by Nadezhda Grabovnitskaya, a methodologist working with children at the Oparinskaya Children’s Library. Here they are:
“At first I was a scout, I stood for two hours with binoculars in a specially dug hole. Such a large hole, deep – one head above the ground. My task was to find the plane in time and determine whether it was his own or someone else’s. But the scout did not work out of me: Once I missed the plane, but it’s good that it turned out to be Soviet. But the battery commander figured out what was the matter: he quickly found out that I had poor eyesight. Then I was transferred to the kitchen as a cook’s assistant. The regimental paramedic was trying to get to lunch at 13 He would come, sometimes, ask: “Is there a fried fish?” And how can it not be? The river is nearby. So he eats and praises: “Nowhere is it so delicious to cook.”
Returning from the front in Oparino, Alexey Bagin made an annex to his father’s house and began to live there with Marusechka. She doted on him. She called him Alyosha until her death. The war severely undermined Alexei’s health. They had no children.
According to information transmitted by word of mouth in the Bagin family, once at the front, when Alexei was in reconnaissance, he received a through-wound lung and lay in cold water for a long time. And then all his life Alexei suffered from asthma. In the last years of his life, he wrote to Daniil Onokhin: “I have already received two letters from you, but I could not answer. Kirov. I would like to see my commander Yakov Kositsky from Slobodskoye. “
Shortly before his death, Aleksey Bagin arrived in Kirov, met with Daniil Onokhin and visited his former commander of the chemical defense company, Yakov Kositsky, in the town of Slobodskoy. About a year later, Aleksey Bagin died. In the same year, the commander of the chemical protection company, Yakov Kositsky, died with him.
The nephew of Maria Avgustovna, Sergei Alfredovich Neiman, who worked as the director of the Oparinskaya secondary school, told me that the marital marriage of Alexei and Maria Bagins lasted until the death of Alexei Ivanovich in 1969. After that, Maria Avgustovna lived as a widow for about 40 years, keeping the memory of her Alyosha.
Regarding the interchangeability of the names Alyosha-Lenya in everyday life, I recall a line from a poem by Leonid Safronov: “They called them Leonid, but they call them Alyosha.”