Many people know and remember the actor Alexei Makarovich Smirnov (02/28/1920 - 05/07/1979). He is best remembered for his comedic roles. One of his "Bigger" from "Operation Y ..." was worth what.
He was a great friend of Leonid Bykov and starred in some of his films on a military theme, such as "Scouts" or "Only" old men "go to battle" ...
Meanwhile, Alexey Makarych himself went through the entire Great Patriotic War and served not anywhere, but in military intelligence.
He himself repeatedly went to the rear of the enemy. Chevalier of two Orders of Glory, Chevalier of the Order of the Red Star, was awarded medals "For Courage" and "For Military Merit".
The exploits of platoon Smirnov
The central archive of the Ministry of Defense keeps in its bowels a red daddy with the personal file of the Red Army soldier Alexei Makarovich Smirnov. He commanded a fire platoon in the 169th Mortar Regiment. He went from private to lieutenant. Two Orders of Glory - 2nd and 3rd degrees, the Order of the Red Star, medals "For Courage" and "For Military Merit" ... And the future film actor brought from the war a severe concussion, "earned" in bloody battles for the Oder bridgehead.
The award list for the order for the third artillery division of September 15, 1944 briefly "accompanies" the first Order of Glory of Alexei Makarovich: "On June 20, 1944, in the area of height 283, the enemy attacked the battery by force of up to 40 Nazis. Comrade Smirnov, encouraging the fighters, rushed into battle, repulsed the attack of the Nazis. 17 Germans remained on the battlefield, he personally took 7 Nazis prisoner ... "
One can only imagine that fight. The four-gun mortar battery hardly numbered more than fifteen men. And to go to counterattacks is not artillery bread. And how in hand-to-hand combat one can single-handedly "tie" seven at once - the present masters of oriental martial arts will hardly explain.
He received the second "Glory" for a battle near the village of Postashevice. Apparently, the infantry did not cover the mortarmen, and what cover in the offensive? Again there was a German attack, hand-to-hand and - scanty lines in the award list: “Comrade Smirnov with three fighters rushed at the Germans and personally killed three Nazis from a machine gun and took two prisoners. On January 22, 1945, despite the intensive rifle-machine-gun and artillery-mortar shelling, with the calculation he transported a mortar on himself to the left bank of the Oder River, in this battle two machine-gun points and twenty Nazis were destroyed. "
How can you drag a 120-millimeter barrel with a cast-iron stove and mines on yourself in winter? The Oder, by the way, is not the narrowest river ... It turns out that our favorite artist Alexei Smirnov was such a desperate fighter. It is a pity that we learned about this quite recently - he never spoke about the war.
"And he died when he learned about the death of Leonid Bykov ..."
Director Leonid Bykov met Smirnov long before the filming of "Only Old Men Go to Battle" - even at Lenfilm, at the audition of the film "Bunny". And he invited the artist to his picture at a time when Alexey Makarovich was going through hard times.
- On the sidelines of the artistic council, they were curious: "Why do we need this type?" - recalls the editor of the film "Only" old men "go to battle, the Kiev film critic Emilia Kosnichuk. - It was rumored that Smirnov was drinking hard, filming a little, why additional difficulties are needed ... But Lenya did not see anyone except Smirnov in the role of a mechanic. And what a brilliant alliance has emerged! How we improvised on the go! Remember - a mechanic baptizes an aircraft flying off on a combat mission? This was not in the script, but it came from the truth of the war.
They teased at the studio: Smirnov looks at Bykov adoringly, like a mother at a newborn.
- Or as a Turgenev girl, - Kosnichuk smiles. - However, no one felt any other attitude towards Bykov. “Only 'old men' go into battle - more than just a film. It used to be found and still find incomprehensible interweaving of cinematic and real destinies.
Emilia Kosnichuk heard the story of how Alexei Smirnov died from a colleague who was filming in the crowd. When Bykov crashed in a car near Kiev, Smirnov was in a hospital in serious condition, and those around him did not dare to tell him the bitter news. On the day of discharge, Aleksey Makarovich, a broad nature, decided to thank the doctors. And he offered the first toast to his best friend and great director Leonid Bykov. Like, without Leonid it wouldn't be worth living! Someone in confusion dropped: "Don't you know - Bykov died ..." Smirnov fell silent, left the table, returned to his ward, lay down on his bed and died.
“I’m not going to say that this story is one hundred percent true, ” says Kosnichuk. - Although I remember Alexei Makarovich as a very sincere person and I think: such a blow could stop his heart ...
We will always watch these films with Smirnov:
Striped Flight (1961)
"I walk around Moscow" (1963)
"Welcome, or No Unauthorized Entry" (1964)
"Operation" Y "and other adventures of Shurik" (1965)
"War and Peace" (1965 - 67) "Aybolit-66" (1966)
Three Fat Men (1966)
"Wedding in Malinovka" (1967)
"Only" old men "go into battle (1973)
FROM THE DOSSIER
Fedya from Operation Y was an ace in hand-to-hand combat. And a holder of two Orders of Glory ... The Order of Glory is, according to experts, the Soviet counterpart of the legendary St. George Cross.
The order had three degrees, and they were awarded sequentially - from the third to the first. In 2000, 350 full holders of the Order of Glory remained alive in Russia.
The basis for the award is personal courage.
According to the status of the Order of Glory, it was awarded to privates and sergeants of the Red Army (in aviation - and junior lieutenants) who showed "glorious feats of bravery, courage and fearlessness." In the list of feats for presentation: rescuing the banner of a unit, destroying up to 50 soldiers and officers or two enemy tanks, capturing the "tongue", destroying a machine gun or mortar behind enemy lines, returning to service after bandaging, helping a wounded under fire