In February 1943, the Red Army led an offensive operation against Germany’s Army Group North to liberate the ancient Russian city of Pskov. The 91st Separate Siberian Voluntary Brigade acted on this direction. On February 27, 1943, the brigade’s 2nd battalion was tasked with attacking a stronghold near the village of Chernushki in the Loknyansky district of the Pskov Region.
As soon as the Soviet soldiers reached the woodline, they came under heavy enemy machinegun fire – three enemy machineguns in emplacements covered access to the village. One machinegun was suppressed by an assault group of assault riflemen and armor riflemen. The second emplacement was destroyed by another group of armor personnel. But the machinegun from a third emplacement continued to fire the entire hollow in front of the village. Attempts to make it keep silent fell flat. Then Red Army soldier Alexander Matrosov crawled to the emplacement. He reached the embrasure from a flank and threw two grenades. The machinegun stopped firing. But as soon as the soldiers rose to attack the enemy, the machinegun went firing again. Then Matrosov covered the embrasure with his body. By taking his life he contributed to fulfilling the task of his unit and saved the lives of his comrades-in-arms.
Matrosov’s feat was used by a journalist who accidentally found himself near the unit for a patriotic article. Though Alexander Matrosov was not the first one who sacrificed himself, his name is used to glorify the heroism of Soviet soldiers. Later, over 300 people did such heroic deeds. The feat of Alexander Matrosov became the symbol of courage and military valor, fearlessness and love for the Motherland.
Streets of many Russian cities are named after Alexander Matrosov. Matrosov’s name was given to the 254th Guards Motorized Rifle Regiment.