In Cherkasy oblast in Ukraine there is world’s unique memorial to 150 border guard dogs that killed Nazi in bloody battle. The battle of men and dogs took place in Ukraine many years ago during World War II.
In was the third month of war since The Third Reich invaded Soviet territories (June, 1941). Desperate resistance of people spoiled plans of Hitler to seize Kyiv until August 3 and have a victory parade on August 8. Then they made a decision to come to Kyiv from the south and this is when words ‘Green Brama’(Green gateway) became terrible.
This territory is not marked on the maps of war and is located on territories of Kirovograd and Cherkasy oblasts in Ukraine.
Battles in that region were of the most tragic ones.
Mystery of these battles were discovered when poet Eugene Arovonich Dolmatovskiy, who participated in these battles, published a book about them in 1985.
According to him, two Soviet armies consisting of 130 thousand people were encircled in green gateway and only 11 000 soldiers escaped it. The other were either taken prisoners or remained to lie there forever.
There was separate border detachment of the rear guard of the Southwestern Front and it had dogs.
The detachment took its last battle on April 30 when it covered up retreat of army units of Uman command grouping.
500 border guards opposed regiment of Nazis. At the critical moment decision to use the last reserve – border guard dogs – was made.
They say it was a terrible sight. 150 (different sources vary in data from 115 to 150) trained dogs attacked soldiers who fired at them with guns.
Sheepdogs bit nazi’s throats even in death throes. German soldiers were literally bitten and were forced to retreat. That is when tanks came. Terrified German soldiers jumped on tanks and fired at dogs that had bitten them. All 500 border guards were killed in this battle.
According to witnesses – residents of the nearby village of Legedzino, the dogs remained loyal to their masters till the end. They lied next to their masters and wouldn’t let anyone approach them.
Nazi soldiers killed almost every dog, the ones who weren’t shot died of hunger later.
Germans even killed big dogs in the village. Only one sheepdog survived and village residents took care of it.
After the battle when Germans left, villagers gathered bodies of soldiers and their dogs and buried them in the field.
Memory of heroism of border guards survived till our day and was strong during the war. Despite Nazi control, boys in village proudly wore green berets of killed soldiers. Locals tore off photographs of killed soldiers from their documents before burying them (it was dangerous to have such documents).
Bodies of all soldiers were collected only in 1955, and then they all were re-buried.
On May 9, 2003 unique monument to man and a dog, his loyal friend, was installed on voluntary donations of veterans.
This monument is the only one in the world. The inscription on the stone says the following: ‘Stop and take a bow. In July 1941 soldiers of separate Kolomiya border commendatory rose to their last battle here. 500 border guards and 150 service dogs perished in a heroic death in battle. They remained faithful to the oath and native land forever’.
As of today, only 2 faces of perished border guards have been recognized.