Memorial sign to the soldiers of the 21st Division of the People’s Militia of the Kievskiy district of Moscow
The 21st Moscow Rifle Division of the People’s Militia of the Kievskiy district formed from July 3 to July 6, 1941. It was joined by workers, collective farmers, employees of Mosfilm and scientific institutions, young people who have not served in the army yet. On July 7, the division made a 40-kilometer march, concentrated in a forest camp west of Moscow near the village of Perkhushkovo and took part in the creation of the Mozhaisk line of defense. On July 24, the presentation of battle flags was organized in the camp. On August 15, the division occupied the defense strip on the Rzhev-Vyazma defensive line and became part of the 33rd Army of the Reserve Front (it was northeast of Spas-Demensk, near the village of Milyatino). At the end of September 1941, the division occupied the line southwest of Kirov (Kaluga region). On October 2, 1941, German troops began the offensive opperation against the troops of the Western, Reserve and Bryansk fronts. The enemy occupied the Kuibyshevskiy district of the Kaluga region, railway bridges. The first battle with German units began at 13.00 on October 3, 1941 . The first attack of the advancing enemy was repulsed. The German units, without getting involved in further protracted battles, bypassed the combat formations of the People’s militia division. Repeated attempts to contact the army headquarters and clarify the current situation were unsuccessful. The division had to fight surrounded. 1311 regiment took the brunt. At night, the division command, the 3rd battalion of the 1315th regiment and a small group of partisans reached the village of Kotorets. The withdrawal of the main forces of the division was provided by the 1313th regiment, which continued to hold the defense at the occupied line. About 80 km south-east of Kirov, in the area of Kholmishchi – Medyntsevo, the division command joined with the 1313th and 1315th regiments (the 1311th regiment was killed on October 5). By order of the command of the Western Front, the division was withdrawn to the reserve and manned in early November. On September 25, 1941, it was renamed the 173rd Rifle Division. A memorial sign dedicated to the 21st Division of the People’s Militia of the Kievskiy district of Moscow is located on Kutuzovskiy Prospekt.
Address: Moscow, Kutuzovsky ave., 39