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Years of the Great Patriotic War

The Great Patriotic War began on June 22 of 1941. Situation was bad in the Moscow direction already in October of 1941. A gap with width of up to 800 kilometers appeared in the defense of our troops in the Kalinin operational direction. The German fascist command sent the third tank group and significant forces of the ninth army to this gap. On October 14, the enemy seized Kalinin. The crew of Sergeant Yepancha made a feat on that day in the afternoon. It managed to stop the movement of the German tanks on the Tvertsa Bridge. A Soviet tank T-34 broke through into Kalinin occupied by Germans (its crew consisted of S. Kh. Gorobets, F. I. Litovchenko, G. V. Kolomiets and I. I. Pastushin), it passed through the whole city fighting and came to the positions of the Soviet troops in the area of Vlasyevo village.

The Kalininsky Front was established on October 17 (its commander was General I. S. Konev). A counter-offensive of the Red Army near Moscow began on December 5-6 of 1941. On December 16, Kalinin was fully liberated by troops of the 31st army (commander Major General V. A. Yushkevich) and 29th army (commander Major General V. I. Shvedov since December 11). Between December 5 and 16, troops of the Kalinin Front killed more than 7,100 soldiers and officers of the enemy, 11 tanks, 220 automobiles, 61 guns, 55 mortars etc.

The victory at Kalinin cost dearly: more than 20,000 servicemen of the Red Army died. In the city fascists destroyed 7,714 buildings and 510,300 square meters of housing, which accounted for 56% of the housing fund. More than 70 factories of the city were put out of order. Until March 3 of 1943, the day of liberation of Rzhev, Kalinin was exposed to systematic raids of the German aviation. Fighter pilot Ye. I. Pichugin died in the sky above Kalinin in an air battle after a ram attack at a fascist airplane on March 19 of 1942 (he received the title of Hero of the Soviet Union postmortem).

The city went out of the frontline zone and there began a difficult time of restoration work that was superseded with the rise of industrial construction.