Hakenkroitz over Elbrus



21of august 1942 the group of mountain huntsmen set a flag with swastica on the top of Elbrus.
In European cinemas showed on the screen German shooters on Elbrus: yunkers 88 flew over biheaded giant, shooters waved machine guns on snow wight hills at the famous hotel ” Shelter of eleven”. Huntsmen set on the tops state flags and pennants of Third Reigh.

Berlin radio informed : The flag of powerful Germany is proudly waving over the highest Caucasus mountain.German weapon courage dimbol was set on Elbrus by hero’s from general lieutenant Hubert Lantz division and Haintz Grot headed the operation.
The first motoshooting division of Vermaht  known as Edelveis consisted of locals from mountain regions of southern Germany, Bavaria and Austria. They invited soldiers over 24 with experience of mountain fights.


Division soldiers were taught all kinds of military art in mountains. Move, choose positions, attack, resist and observe.their equipment met all requirements of that time. Everything was adapted for riding.
All kinds of guns were extra light, specially selected for mountains shooting. Besides Captain Grot twice visited Elbrus before the war taking part in numerous climbing.

Svetlana Holobaeva, mountain tourism instructor told in the museum of Prielbrusye defense:” They came here  to rest a few years before the war, locals were surprised to see so many Germans climbing persistently. They were welcomed to live in Defence Ministry resort, and the instructor added that punctual Germans made very exact maps of mountains used in Baksan canyon up to now.
In the mountains those who keep the height are winners. August 17, 1942, without shooting Germans occupied the highest hotel  ” Priyut – 11″  on 4200 m. Their is a perfect view from there. Two soldiers and meteo personnel were released and told to inform Russian commanders about German capture of Elbrus. They were shot down by Russian secret service for spreading panic.

Russian commanders did not expect Germans to climb such height and ordered to defeat Germans,but it was possible to make up the group from Budeniy riders: medical workers and cooks, who were unable to fight in mountains. And Grgoriyantz,ex women hairdresser, headed the group. He got a task to expulse Germans from Elbrus at any price.

Early in September 1942 Grigoriuantz’ group who had never been in the mountains before, under the cover of the night climbed up Terskol to reach Germans in the morning and attack unexpectedly. The task was unreal, soldiers were not skilled but in the morning they managed to get to the top. As there was no fog Germans easily shot down our soldiers from the height. Grigiriantz group had no chances at all, thee was nowhere to hide from bullets not to say about soldiers clothes.


They did not have special uniform and their green jackets were perfectly seen on the snow.

According to vermaht veterans germans ciuld nit believe their eyes seeing climbing russian army alpinists, it was absolute suicide.

 Later, nowadays, extracting rests of soldiers,guns and belongings  from under the snow, rescuers never found special equipment, just ordinary worn boots and clothes. All the group of russian soldiers dtayed for ever in glacier. None of them was awarded,as they were gatbered in a hurry without havind names list.
By the end of september russian commanders sent well trained special group to Elbrus, but they also failed to defeat germans there.
At thatctime fierce battles for every house took place in Stalingrad, so german leaders took away their soldiers from  Elbrus finishing Edelveis operation realising they would lose.
Only in febtuary 1943 after germans had left Elbrus long ago, a group of 20 headed by captain Alexander Gusev was formed snd in 1943, february 17, they throw down german flags setting USSR ones.
Gusev and Grot knew about each other but never met. They were alike, both were in lovecwith mountains,set their countries fkags on the top of Europe,read same poets and died in the same year.
Shelter of 11 untouched by germans  burnt in 1998, due to a drunk tourist. Nothing reminds modern tourisrs about terrible battles 70 years ago. Just glacier keeos the secret of russian soldiers who left their youth there. None of their rests were fiscivered till2014, when body of Grigoriysnts found on the 70 m depth of canyon was recognized by tatoo. 
Haintz Grott was awarded for Elbrus with medal” Top of Hitler”, and got a month holiday. 1945, May 9, he got a Knight cross. After 1945 he was a rescuer, civil judge and author of guides around the Alps.
Haintz read in russian, collected russian books and studied russian in 1939 in Terscol.

1987 german climbers arranged exoedition celebrating 45 anniversary of setting flags on Elbrus. Grot was too old so his son participated.
General Hubert Lantz gave himself up to americans, got 12 years of prison but was released by american authorities after 4 years with apologies.

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