year we have participated in the event "The Muds" for the fourth
The event takes place in the military training grounds in "Jince" as a
part of "Den pozemního vojska" (The Day Of The Land Forces). The main
program is the presentation of the contemporary military vehicles, not
only on the presentation field but mainly in the terrain.
As an accompanying program there is a WWII battle reenactment in which
we take part mostly as a Historical Squad Section. These reenactments
take place either near the "Jordan" training blockhouse or on the tankodrome.
In the area of the "Jordan" training blockhouse the battle reenactment
is outlined as the "Ostrava - Karviná Operation", on the tankodrome it
is the struggle for "The Dukla Pass". The battle reenactment is based
especially on the use of vehicles, mainly the T-34 tanks. These appear
in the amount of 2-4 pieces. Other used vehicles are the half-track armored
troop carriers (OT 810 customized to look like the German troop carrier
Sd.Kfz. 251 "HAKL"), period cars (KDF, Praga RN, Willis Jeep, Dodge, etc.)
and motorcycles (Zundapp, M72).
After the experience from
past years, we - those participating as the German army - decided to organize
our field camp accordingly to our ideas. As agreed within the participating
clubs these main parties were established: the organizing unit, the staff
unit, the liaison unit and the unit of period vehicles' drivers.
The organizing unit's task was to supervise the order in the camp and
to secure that unauthorized person would not have access to the camp.
The staff unit secured the registration, issuing food and other things
needed to keep the camp and the staff functioning.
The liaison unit ensured the connection between important parts of the
camp and the battlefield (e.g. the staff and the autopark).
The unit of period vehicles' drivers under the command of the commander
of the autopark ensured transports of organizers, commanders and material
as needed. The first battle reenactment took place on Saturday. It was
not big in scale or time and it was meant to represent seizing of a German
outpost with the use of tanks.
The main battle reenactment took place on Sunday in great heat from 14
to 16 o'clock. Participating were about 70 German period uniformed soldiers
and about 70 Russian and Czechoslovakian period uniformed soldiers, brought
up to strength by about 20 basic military duty soldiers.
The battle reenactment
was meant to represent roughly this:
A German motorized sentry retreats after running into Soviet armed
forces. It tries to hold in an outpost. Soviet motorized reconnaissance
scouts the strength of this outpost and tries to get through supported
by mortar fire. The German motorized sentry calls in reinforcements who
come in a half-track-armored troop carrier. They are able to force the
Soviet reconnaissance unit back but they are unable to stop the attack
of the Red Army supported by the feared T-34 tanks. Covered by mortar
fire the rest of the German motorized sentry retreats in hurry to the
main defense positions. The Russian commander sends the tanks forward
to determine the strength of these positions. But the foe is ready! Despite
the fact that he lacks heavy anti-tank weapons he did what he could to
prevent the tanks from getting through.
The engineers lay a large mine field on the left wing, on the right wing
the defense was strengthened by a couple of experienced veterans with
panzerfausts. The tanks on a scouting mission are welcomed by furious
gunfire, lucky for the tanks only from hand weapons. The main objective
of their mission has been completed and the tanks return to support the
main attack. During the return one of the tanks gets stuck in the muddy
terrain, is able to fire a few rounds and then turns to an easy game for
enemy long range artillery. Even so the commander of the Allied forced
had lost half of his tank support by this bad luck, the order is to attack.
Infantry shock troopers mount the remaining tank and it sets out at top
speed against the enemy positions. It breaks through the first defense
line but is then stopped by the minefield.
The carried infantry dismount and throw themselves to a merciless fight
against the enemy. If not for a hurriedly organized counter-attack, the
defense would have been broken through. Shock troop engineers take care
of the final destruction of the tank. But sacrificing the tank was not
in vain, the enemy defense was kept busy enough to enable the main strike
force to get so close to the front edge of the German defense line that
it is impossible to defend effectively. Wave after wave the Russian soldiers
threw themselves against the fanatically defending enemy. On many places
the combat goes hand-to-hand. The foe tried to force the attacking mass
back but he has no chance against the numerical and moral superiority.
The defeat is crowned with a victory salvo.
This description is a subjective
view of a participant. We hope to have captured the atmosphere, the course
of the fight and direction's aims of the organizers as accurately as possible.
Translation Jan Filip
See the photos in our photogallery
Against a tank with a panzerfaust - The Muds
The Muds 2001 will be from 1st to 3rd of June 2001 in the military training grounds "Jince" (near Pilsen).