Hero-Cavaliers of the Soviet Union:
Andrei Vasilyevich Alyoshin
by Henry Sakaida (continued)
ZIS-3 in action
Alyoshin fought with the 76.2 mm ZIS-3, 1942 modification, division artillery gun (pictured above). Innovations in this variation included the elimination of excess metal for increased maneuverability, and enabling the gunner to aim the gun at a moving target and fire without moving away from the panorama sight. It was a dual purpose gun, targetting tanks with high-explosive shells, and infantry with case shot. Captured pieces and ammunition found their way into German and Axis Allied troop formations.

his position during the fighting. The gun team helped repulse the fierce enemy counterattacks.
Alyoshin soon rose to the rank of sergeant in the 142nd Guards Artillery and Mortar Regiment of the 4th Guards Cavalry Division. He commanded an anti-tank gun team and was an excellent marksman.
On July 27, 1944, Sgt Aloyshin helped liberate the Polish town of Mendzy-Podlyaski. His well-placed shot eliminated two machine gun nests and an ammunition depot. On August 11, he was decorated with the Order of Glory 3rd Class.
On January 28, 1945, Aloyshin's unit fought in Dandsburg, Germany (now, Ventsbrook, Poland). He and his gun team beat back the enemy counterattack, killing ten and destroying a machine gun. Two days later, he helped repulse three counterattacks, destroying two machine guns and over 20 men. On March 11, Aloyshin was awarded his second 3rd Class award (it should have been a 2nd Class).
At the beginning of May, the war was winding down, but the German resistance was fearsome as the Soviets advanced toward Berlin. In the town of Noi, Sgt Aloyshin and his gun team were nearly overwhelmed by the enemy.Open view of Alyoshins award book Firing at point blank range, they foiled three counterattacks within 24 hours. They annihilated a platoon and destroyed a machine gun. For this feat, Sgt Alyoshin was decorated with the Order of Glory 2nd Class on June 18, 1945 (at this point, he should have received the 1st Class!). For his numerous acts of valor leading up to and including the last feat, he was awarded the title of Hero of the Soviet Union on May 31st.
After the end of the war, Alyoshin went back to his old job at the collective farm where he raised seven children. On August 19, 1955, Alyoshin turned in his duplicate 3rd Class Order of Glory and received the 1st Class, making him a Cavalier.
The many war wounds undermined his health, and Sgt Andrei V. Aloyshin died on April 11, 1974. A street in Kozelsk was named after him, and a bust was erected in his memory in the town Sosnenskiy.

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