Dmitry Vasilyevich Shurpenko was the platoon commander of the 151st Rifle Regiment of the 8th Rifle Division of the 13th Army of the Central Front, a petty officer. He was born on February 11, 1915 in the village of Shumyachi, the Klimovichi district, the Mogilev province (now it is an urban-type settlement of the Smolensk region), in a peasant family. At the age of sixteen, he left for the Rostov region, lived and worked in Taganrog. In 1937-1939, he served in the ranks of the Red Army, served as a part of an aviation unit in the Moscow Military District. After being discharged from the army in 1939, he joined the militia. He was a post militiaman of the 9th police department in Moscow. In 1941, he, like many militiamen, had not yet been drafted into the active army, since it was decided that the militia, together with anti-aircraft gunners, pilots, local air defence and fire protection fighters, should «hide» Muscovites from enemy air raids and, of course, ensure order in the city. Together with firefighters and other law enforcement officers, he climbed to the roofs of institutions, multi-storey residential buildings to defuse incendiary aviation bombs. He also helped residents to take shelter in bomb shelters, rescued the wounded. One night he personally defused more than forty incendiary aviation bombs, for which he was one of the first in the Moscow militia to be awarded the medal «For Courage». In 1943, he was sent to take accelerated courses at Yaroslavl Military Infantry School: among the commanders of companies and platoons, losses were great, and for offensive operations, replenishment of the command staff was required. At the end of the course, Petty Officer Dmitry Vasilyevich Shurpenko was sent to the 8th Infantry Division, which fought in Ukraine. He was assigned as a platoon commander in the 151st Rifle Regiment. September 24, 1943, Petty Officer D.V. Shurpenko distinguished himself during the crossing of the Dnieper near the village of Navozy, now Dneprovskoye, the Chernigov district, the Chernigov region. Under enemy fire, he skillfully organized and carried out the crossing of the Dnieper without losses on improvised means of fighters and weapons of the regiment. Having crossed the Dnieper, the 151st Rifle Regiment led a successful offensive against the city of Chernobyl in the Kiev region. However, on October 5, 1943, in the interfluve of the Pripyat and the Dnieper, the battalions came under a powerful blow from a counterattacking German division. The fighters did not flinch, immediately went on the defensive. Sacrificing themselves, they covered the rest of the division’s regiments, giving them the opportunity to turn around, take an advantageous position and prepare for battle. For three days, the soldiers of the 8th Infantry Division fought bloody, grueling battles with the Nazis, holding back the advance of enemy tanks and infantry. On October 8, 1943, our fighters, having finally escaped from the encirclement, went out to their own, suffering heavy losses. Among the many who fell in those terrible days was Petty Officer Dmitry Vasilyevich Shurpenko. By the Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR dated October 16, 1943, for the successful crossing of the Dnieper River north of Kiev, the solid consolidation of the bridgehead on the Western Bank of the Dnieper River and the courage and heroism shown at the same time, Petty Officer Dmitry Vasilyevich Shurpenko was posthumously awarded the title of the Hero of the Soviet Union.
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