Three days of the Caucasian Division: new evidence of the Caucasus’s contribution to the Great Victory has been found
In the Kaluga region, near the village of Kuvshinovo, work began this year to find the remnants of the Caucasian Division, all the members of which had gone missing while fighting in this area at the front of the Great Patriotic War for only a few days. The existence of this division of 141 people became known thanks to a discovery by the local research association ‘Frontier’ of a document in the archives titled ‘List of personnel missing in the area of the village of Kuvshinovo-Pitomnik on March 23-26th 1942’.
A feature of the findings is that all of these soldiers listed in the document had been conscripted from the Caucasian republics of the Soviet Union, the Azerbaijani SSR, the Armenian SSR, the Dagestani ASSR and the Georgian SSR. According to the fighting magazines, they arrived for a marching replenishment of the troops, then were immediately unleashed, and, apparently, died within three days of fighting.
The chairman of the supervisory board of the research association ‘Frontier’, Rashid Ismailov, told about the beginning of the search for the bodies of the fallen soldiers, who arrived in the spring of 1942 in the Kaluga region to protect their common homeland from invaders. He noted that in the first place this document is a very recent discovery, and a search has just started, it can be carried out only in the spring and summer. "This year we have only just begun working directly on digging the land and searching. The relatives of the soldiers have not been found yet either,’’ he said.
However, representatives of the Azerbaijani diaspora and the Dagestani friends association have been attracted to help the researchers. "Now we're taking the first public steps to disclose this information and try to spread it as much as possible. The information on the operation and deployment of the division was kept secret, so the whole picture is not yet clear. There is no scheme of the battlefield or location of the forces,’’ Rashid Ismailov said.
The chairman of the supervisory board of ‘Frontier’ said that this case is unique due to the fact that the missing division was represented by four Caucasian nationalities, although usually the researchers find the bodies of individual fallen soldiers. "Before that we had certain episodes. For example, we found Dagestani soldiers. I have created a project ‘The Heroes of Dagestan – the Pride of Russia’ along with my Dagestani colleagues, this event is held annually, at which we reward the relatives of the heroes of Dagestan. Occasionally Azerbaijanis are found, but such a unique event, when they were all brought together and went missing all together, has never happened before in the Caucasian heritage of the Great Patriotic War,’’ he explained.
One of the objectives of this research of the Caucasian Division is a demonstration to the descendants of the winners of World War II, the modern generations, of the fact of the extraordinary solidarity of the Soviet people, who were not split into nationalities or religions in those days, and were united defending their homeland.