The catch phrase "Russians don't give up!" flew around the world during the First World War. During the defense of the small fortress Osovets, located on the territory of present-day Belarus. The small Russian garrison only needed to hold out for 48 hours. He defended himself for over six months - 190 days!
The Germans used all the latest weapons achievements, including aviation, against the defenders of the fortress. For each defender there were several thousand bombs and shells. Dropped from airplanes and fired from dozens of guns, 17 batteries, including two famous "Big Bertha" (which the Russians managed to knock out at the same time).
The Germans bombed the fortress day and night. Month after month. The Russians defended themselves in the midst of a hurricane of fire and iron to the last. There were very few of them, but the same answer always followed to offers of surrender. Then the Germans deployed 30 gas batteries against the fortress. A 12-meter wave of chemical attack struck the Russian positions from thousands of cylinders. There were no gas masks.
All living things on the territory of the fortress were poisoned. Even the grass has turned black and withered. A thick, toxic green layer of chlorine oxide coated the metal parts of the guns and shells. At the same time, the Germans began a massive shelling. After him, over 7, 000 infantrymen moved to storm the Russian positions.
It seemed that the fortress was doomed and had already been taken. The dense, numerous German chains resembled closer and closer ... And at that moment from the poisonous green chlorine fog ... a counterattack fell upon them! There were just over sixty Russians. Remains of the 13th company of the 226th Zemlyansky regiment. For each counterattack, there were more than a hundred enemies!
The Russians walked to their full height. Into the bayonet. Shaking from coughing, spitting out, through rags wrapping faces, pieces of lungs on bloody tunics ...
These soldiers plunged the enemy into such horror that the Germans, not accepting the battle, rushed back. In panic, trampling each other, getting confused and hanging on their own barbed wire fences. And then the seemingly already dead Russian artillery hit them from the clubs of the poisoned fog.
This battle will go down in history as the "attack of the dead". During its course, several dozen half-dead Russian soldiers put 14 enemy battalions to flight!
The Russian defenders of Osovets never surrendered the fortress. She was abandoned later. And by order of the command. When the defense has lost its meaning. Neither cartridge nor nail was left to the enemy. Everything that survived in the fortress from German fire and bombing was blown up by Russian sappers. The Germans decided to occupy the ruins only after a few days.