Hero of the Soviet Union Abdul' Teifuk.
(From Kholm Slavy (The Hill of Glory). By G.N. Rokotov. Izdatel'stvo "Kamenyar" L'vov, 1965. Third edition with changes, 1972. Pages 61-63. The "Hill of Glory" in the city of L'vov [Lviv, Lemberg] in the Ukraine is a large war cemetery.)
Guards Major Abdul' Teifuk was commander of the 2nd Rifle Battalion of the 175th Guards Rifle Regiment of the 58th Krasnograd Guards Rifle Division. He was born in 1915 in the Crimean, a Tatar. Member of the party since 1942. In the Soviet army since 27 November 1939. Drafted by the Alushta regional military committee. In the operational army from 27 June 1941. Wounded four times. Awarded the order of the Patriotic War 1st and 2nd classes.
Abdul' Teifuk went through the ranks from private to officer and battalion commander. In the fighting for the Dnieper his talent was displayed in full. Here is how the commander of the 175th Regiment, Guards Colonel Bylinkin, characterized his subordinate: "During the night of 24/25 September 1943 comrade Abdul' Teifuk completed a daring maneuver, the result of which enemy resistance was broken between the villages of Shul'govka and Yakovlevka in Petrikov District of Dnepropetrovsk Oblast. The 175th Regiment was able to advance 10 to 12 kilometers and dug themselves in on the left bank of the Dnieper. On 26 September his rifle battalion forced the river and without any casualties or loss of materiel dug in on Pushkarev Island."
The Nazis decided to push Abdul' Teifuk's battalion into the Dnieper. With this intent they began bringing their reserves to the area around the village of Pushkarevka. But Abdul' Teifuk was on his guard. Guessing the enemy's intentions, he did not wait for the Germans to finish their redeployment of forces and begin a counterattack. Abdul' was known in the division as a master of the night battle. But this time the situation developed so that the 2nd Battalion had to advance in the daytime, and against an enemy superior in both manpower and materiel. Abdul' decided to use a smoke screen.
Precisely at noon, when the wind was blowing toward the Nazi positions, sappers set off smoke pots all along the battalion defense line. A thick curtain of smoke crept toward the enemy positions. Concentrating the battalion like a fist, Abdul' led it forward without firing. The Germans unleashed a continuous fire, but the blind shooting did not cause significant casualties to the advancing soldiers. Upon nearing the enemy positions, the guardsmen rushed on them with a hailstorm of automatic fire and "pocket artillery" ["karmannaya artilleriya"] (as frontline soldiers called their hand grenades). The accompanying wind pushed the clouds of smoke forward, baring the objective, and Abdul', made master of the situation, captured it in a matter of minutes.
Nazi resistance was decisively broken when the guardsmen destroyed the headquarters of the unit occupying the eastern edge of Pushkarevka. As a result of this battle the enemy lost over 700 soldiers and officers killed or captured.
In ending his report, the regimental commander summed up: "on 26 September 1943, thanks to the daring and initiative of the 2nd Battalion's actions, the 175th Regiment acquired a significant bridgehead on the right bank of the Dnieper for the advance on Verkhne-Dneprovsk." He concluded: "The 2nd Battalion commander, Guards Major Abdul' Teifuk, is worthy of receiving the title of Hero of the Soviet Union." The order of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR awarding him this honor was published on 20 December 1943.
Abdul' Teifuk led his eagle guardsmen from victory to victory. But beyond the Oder on 18 March 1945 an enemy bullet cut down this hero. By a decision of the front Military Council his body was brought to L'vov and buried on the Hill of Glory.
Recently we learned something of what happened to Hero of the Soviet Union Abdul' Teifuk's family afterwards. His wife, Mariya Stepanovna Kochkina brought up their only son Yurii wonderfully. Following the example of this father, Yurii decided on a professional military career. He graduated from the Suvorov School and then the Military Medical Academy. Yurii Abdul' now serves as a senior doctor in a Soviet army unit.
Translated by Mark Conrad, 2004.