THE BATTLE PATH OF THE 23RD SHIPKA INFANTRY REGIMENT IN THE FATHERLAND WAR 1944 - 1945
At the end of September 1944 the headquarters of the regiment received an order for mobilization and reinforcement of the regiment with reserve troops. On 27 September the regiment moved to the village of Liubimets’ region. Starting from the railway station in Liubimets on 28 November, all members of the regiment, loaded on 4 troop trains, began their journey in the direction of the Nis railway station to Belgrade. Upon arriving at the Belgrade station on 3 December, the regiment headed towards its settlement region near the village of Tovarnik on foot. On 22 December the regiment, accompanied by the 12th infantry regiment, took the offensive in the direction of the village of Banovtsi – the village of Orolik – the Orolik railway station – the village of Slakovtsi.
During the period of 23-25 December the regiment led active battles but was not able to challenge their opponents’ defense, despite their significant losses. During the fights the 23rd regiment also sustained serious losses: 120 people were dead while 225 were wounded. On 8 and 9 January 1945 the regiment is transferred through the river Danube at the village of Ilok and during the period 17-19 January it covered the whole front line in the Bolho-Babocha region. Between 26 January and 26 March the regiment developed and supported the defensive strip, organized active intelligence and patrol attacks in front of the river Drava. As a result, surveillance and fire spots of the opponents were destroyed, tens of German and Hungarian soldiers and officers were killed, 57 Hungarian soldiers were taken prisoners and a huge amount of firearms was captured.
Lieutenant Colonel Martynov
On 24 March the 23rd regiment started its participation in the Mur offensive operation of the First Bulgarian Army. During the period of 28-31 March 1945 the regiment attacked the Margit defensive line and the villages of Birka, Terez, Dekenesh, Gotalovo, strong points of the opponents’ defense. The latter was broken and the resistance of the German-Hungarian troops along the river-bank of the river Drava was crushed. In the village of Dekenesh the opponents left over 500 dead people, 60 German and Hungarian soldiers were imprisoned in the railway’s region, while 2 troop trains with battle equipment and property were captured. At the village of Ertilosh the regiment imprisoned the 54th Hungarian border brigade consisting of 800 people with all of its weapons and property. After completing the offensive battle actions, the regiment was located along the Northern river-bank of the river Drava, from the outflow of the river Mur to the village of Novachka. In the beginning of May the 23rd regiment, as a member of the 8th Tundzha division, started chasing the retreating German-Hungarian parts in the strip between the rivers Mur and Drava.
On 8 May the regiment reached the region of the town of Chakovets and the village of Blagovets, where the troops learned about Germany’s capitulation. During the period 10-12 May the regiment continued its move on North-Western direction towards the town of Maribor-Dravograd and reached the Austrian village Distelhof where it situated its camp. On 18 May the regiment received orders to return to Hungary and after a 5-day march, on 23 May, it was located nearby Nadatiad. Starting from the railway station in Shomozhdob on 1 June, the regiment was loaded on train platforms and left for Bulgaria. On 2 June it arrived in Novi Sad. On 5 June the troops were loaded on troop trains at the Belgrade railway station and left for Bulgaria. On 6 June the regiment arrived in Kazanlak. In the evening of 8 June the whole regiment, together with the battle flag, was drawn up on the town square in Kazanlak. A solemn ceremony welcoming the regiment and commemorating the dead soldiers and officers began.
During the first and second phases of the Fatherland war from 1944/1945 a total of 118 officers, sergeants and soldiers from Kazanlak and the region died.
|Meeting the 23 Infantry Regiment shipchenski square in Kazanlak in June 1945.
The dam is located 7 km to the West of Kazanlak. Its construction began in 1947 and continued until 1954. The dam was opened to visitors on 6 September 1955.
The dam’s wall was built in accordance with the project worked out by the engineers Mincho Ivanov and Ivan Savov, while the main irrigation canal was designed by Eng. Razsolkov.
|Construction of the main irrigation canal
|The dam’s wall is 620 m long and 44 m high. Two canals branch off the wall: right main canal, 26 m long, and left main canal which surrounds the Kazanlak field. Through a system of canal equipment, the main canal continues under the Sredna Gora Mountains by tunnels with a total length of 12 km. The dam lake’s cup comprises a surface of 12 square km with a total volume of 143 million cubic meters of water.
|Construction of a Koprinka dam
Within the dam’s construction there are also two hydroelectric plants: one of them is situated next to the dam’s wall – the Koprinka hydroelectric plant with a power of 7000 KW/h, while the other one is located at the main canal – the Stara Zagora hydroelectric plant with a power of 22 500 KW/h
The ancient Thracian town of Sevtopolis, named after the Thracian ruler Seutus III, still remains under the dam’s waters. The town was discovered and examined by archeologists from the Archeological institute at the Bulgarian Academy of Science during the period 1948-1954.
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