Myasnoy Bor - as if by an evil mockery of fate, a small settlement in the Novgorod region was named, for which fate prepared a terrible role - to become a bloody meat grinder, which in 1942, during the Luban operation, grinded tens of thousands of lives of Soviet, German and Spanish soldiers.
During the war at the end of 1941, as part of operations to break the blockade of Leningrad, the Red Army managed to break the defenses of the German army near Myasny Bor. The fighters of the Second Shock Army moved into the gap formed and began to rapidly advance in the direction of the strategically important settlement of Lyuban.
The attacks of our troops were thrown back by hurricane fire of the enemy, which the artillery was unable to suppress. The onset of the spring thaw sharply disrupted the supply of the army. The enemy tried to close the throat of the breakthrough and, pulling in fresh forces.
In April 1942, the Headquarters appointed General Vlasov as commander of the encircled and exhausted in battles of the 2nd Army. The woodland had turned to mush by his arrival. Trying to get out of the hell, our soldiers with incredible efforts managed to break through a corridor for the withdrawal of the remainder of the troops or the passage of reinforcements. The Headquarters did not allow the withdrawal of the troops. The defense remained.
Fierce battles unfolded for the formed corridor in the Myasny Bor area. During the entire period of this operation, its width varied from 3-4 kilometers to a narrow area of fire of 300 meters.
On June 25, the enemy eliminated the corridor. Vlasov refused to abandon his own soldiers when the last plane flew in for him to evacuate the commander deep into Soviet territory.
8 divisions and 6 brigades were surrounded. The army headquarters unit was defeated. The command of the troops was disrupted. The cars stopped, the fuel ran out. The removal of the wounded stopped. The breakthrough failed. General Vlasov fled, dressed in a woman's dress, leaving the army and surrendered, later he began to serve the Nazis. On May 20, hordes of swamp mosquitoes attacked the exhausted and bloodless soldiers. Finally, the army headquarters gave the order to destroy the equipment and break through to Myasnoy Bor, leaving the seriously wounded. It was all over by July. More than 11 thousand corpses were left to rot in forests and swamps.
More than 70 years have passed since those tragic events, and local residents are afraid to go far into the forest even during the day. And it's not just the unexploded ordnance left over from the war. Too many people saw the ghosts of the military in these places. There were even cases when members of the search teams heard voices that helped them find this or that soldier. Moreover, this is one of the rare places where there are so-called chronomirages. That is, people sometimes see events that took place in the same place, but at a different time.
Many are in a hurry to cash in on the common misfortune - in the forests of Myasny Bor, there is a high activity of the so-called "black archaeologists" looking for weapons and valuable things. But there are also detachments that are actively working on the search and further burial of dead soldiers, and it does not matter - their own or German ... After all, the war continues until the last soldier who died on it is buried.