AF Burtsev’s contribution to the Great Victory received medals and orders of the Red Banner and the Patriotic War. Photo: Photo from family archives
Andrey Fyodorovich Burtsev was born in 1917 in the Altai Territory, where he graduated from six classes of a local school. But it turns out that the main events of his life took place far from his native country, in Belarus. Here, during the Great Patriotic War, he bravely fought for the common homeland, and here he found personal happiness.
… At the beginning of the war, Andrei Burtsev already had experience as a soldier. He was drafted into the Red Army in 1939, he even managed to fight Finland for ten days. Then in 1940 he took part in the campaign of Soviet troops in the Baltic countries, was in the 5th separate sapper battalion in Daugavpils. And shortly before the war, in March 1941, part of it was transferred to the Grodno region of Belarus for the construction of defensive structures. At that time, Andrei Burtsev was already a senior sergeant. They built pillboxes on the border with Nazi-captured Poland. This is where the war came.
p class=””>The superior forces of the Germans crushed the soldiers of the construction battalion, armed only with guns and shovels, while Burtsev himself miraculously survived. He was in a car with Battalion Commander Goncharov when an enemy plane bombed them. I had to march, together with other military units, to withdraw from the encirclement in the direction of Mosty – Slonim – Baranovichi – Minsk. And from there – even further east, to the connection with the Red Army. Crossing the Berezina, he fought an unequal battle. He received a shock from a shell, was taken prisoner in an unconscious state, was taken to a concentration camp in the Bialystok region.
The fighter did not reconcile and submit to the enemy. Having come to his senses and having strengthened himself a little, he fled in November 1941. He went east in the hope of reaching his own. But the front was already very far, near Moscow, which Burtsev did not even guess at that time. Hosted by good people. In the village of Kastrovichy, Slonimsky district, the patriot spent the winter with the peasant Ivan Yeremeichik. And with the onset of spring, he decided at all costs to find the partisans, who were already talking about, and continue to fight the invaders. In April 1942 he joined the Aleksandrov group, which by June 1943 had become the Invincible partisan detachment. He was an ordinary soldier here, the commander of a reconnaissance platoon, then, given military experience, he became chief of staff.
Andrei Burtsev’s award documents, available in the database of the portal “Participants of Belarus”, reflect the most significant combat episodes. Here are a few. AF Burtsev participated in the derailment of three enemy echelons with equipment and manpower, while 179 invaders were killed. He also participated in numerous battles with invaders and policemen, set up ambushes, destroyed enemy garrisons, as a result of which dozens of Germans and policemen were destroyed, rifles and machine guns were captured , which were soon used against the enemy. Burtsev also destroyed bridges and locks, hampering the movement of invaders. He blew up a paper mill and a sawmill, wagons and a locomotive so that they could not be used by the enemy. He also drove cattle into the forests, leaving the invaders on starvation rations. And so on – until July 12, 1944, when the partisan detachment joined the advancing units of the Red Army. AF Burtsev’s contribution to the Great Victory was rewarded with the Orders of the Red Banner and Patriotic War medals.
Along with the victory, the Russian found personal happiness in Belarus, having created a family with a friend in combat work, a native of these places and partisan liaison Nadezhda Demyanovna Miskel, who was awarded the Order of the Patriotic War and medals. His track record is also displayed on the partisany.by website. After the expulsion of the invaders, Andrei Fedorovich remained in Belarus.
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