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History[edit | edit source]
World War II[edit | edit source]
Shortly after the outbreak of the World War II on the Eastern Front, Belarus got heavily engaged in Soviet partisan warfare. By mid-1941, about 60 independent partisan detachments and groups were operating in the occupied territory of Belarus. They comprised 25-40 men each and were sub-divided into 2-3 combat units.
The lack of coordination among small detachments, their low morale, anarchy within those units, and incidents of looting of food and clothing lead to alienation of the generally supportive local population. To alleviate these problems the Central Committee drafted thousands of NKVD service members and created the network of 1,200 Communist Party cells within partisan detachments. In April 1942, by the resolution of the Central Committee of the Communist Party of Belorussia (CC CP(B)B), the special courses were formed in the Vladimir region. These courses came to be known as Special Belarusian Training [Особый белорусский сбор], as the cadets were mostly Belarusians. That initiative has considerably improved discipline and cleaned the situation. In May 1942, Ivan Sergeychik was sent to Vladimir where he underwent extensive special operations, psychological warfare and explosives training to prepare him for the future covert operation.
In September 1942, Ivan Sergeychik was parachuted into the forest somewhere in the region of Bogushevsk, Vitsebsk voblast and as a political commissar joined Sozonov Detachment #41 that was a part of the 1st Vitsebsk Partisan Brigade. To document his activity he kept a diary. His diary covered a period between 19 September 1942 and 27 July 1943. Throughout this period, his detachment actively participated in various diversions including placing improvised explosive devices along the roads and railroads; ambushed individual German units and involved in direct battles with regular German army. As a result of the direct confrontations with the German troops, 376 German soldiers and officers were killed and 314 were wounded. Throughout this period, the placement of the IEDs along the railroad tracks destroyed nine train engines, destroyed and damaged 135 cars with hundreds of German troops, heavy equipment and supplies. The detachment destroyed about half mile of railroad tracks and created transportation delays on the Smolensk line for 108 hours total. The detachment routinely destroyed communication lines and telephone poles.
By September 1941, Belarus was occupied by the Army Group Centre of the German Wehrmacht. The Vitsebsk and Mahilyow regions, the major part of the homel Region, the eastern districts of the Minsk Voblast and some districts of the Polesia Voblast were under administrative control the rear section of the group. The German administrative activity on the occupied territories was the continuation of their military campaign. German administration attempted to create such conditions for the local population that excluded possibility for the locals to conduct any business, communicate with the partisan detachments or allow partisans to infiltrate the occupied localities. Germans set up special "restricted" areas where locals could only be permitted if accompanied by the German soldier. Special boards and markings clearly demarcated such zones and areas. The local population was allowed to be within those zones only under special permits for a short and limited period.
Exit[edit | edit source]
Because of a malaria outbreak, in July 1943 Ivan Sergeychik was evacuated to Moscow and after his recovery he resumed his duties working for NKVD. He was awarded multiple Soviet awards for his participation in the partisan campaign, including the Medal "Partisan of the Patriotic War" 2nd class and the Medal "For the Victory over Germany in the Great Patriotic War 1941–1945".