The capture of Malgobek – Reference point 701

Finnisches Freiwilligen-Bataillon der Waffen-SS
The Soviets were continuously being reinforced. An enemy column consisting of approximately 1,000 men and numerous motorized vehicles was identified 5 kilometres east of the forward lines around noon on October 6 1942. The SS-Division Wiking finally captured Malgobek the very same day, however the objective of seizing the capital and opening a road to the Caspian Sea was not achieved. The closest point to Grozny, Reference Point 701, was captured at 1730 hours by the Finnish volunteers Battalion (Finnisches Freiwilligen-Bataillon der Waffen-SS) of SS-Infanterie-Regiment Nordland after two hours of hard fighting. In vain, the Soviets ran up against the newly won positions of the third battalion of Nordland for three days without breaking into the main line of resistance. All attacks were turned back by the tanks of SS-Panzer-Abteilung 5 Wiking. On October 12 1942, 18 Soviet bombers, escorted by fighters, conducted four bombing runs on the positions on high ground. According to various sources the SS-Division Wiking lost over 1,500 men during the fighting for Sagopshin and Malgobek. Several combat units were reduced to only dozens of men, and as a Waffen-SS veteran later wrote: Casualties weren't counted any more, just men left alive. Note: It should be pointed out that Reference Point 701 was not Hill 701, which is indicated in some writings. It was a target reference point for artillery purposes. There was no high ground of 701 meters between Malgobek and Wosnessenskaja. Credit: Viking Panzers. Image: Volunteers from Finnisches Freiwilligen-Bataillon der Waffen-SS. Public domain.

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