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Tiger Defender

"Award Order
  1. Name: Agafonov Yakov Grigoryevich
  2. Rank: Senior Sergeant
  3. Position, unit: Gun commander, 1st battery, 1840th Tank Destroyer Artillery Regiment, 28th Independent Tank Destroyer Brigade
    Is nominated for the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
  4. Year of birth: 1921
  5. Nationality: Russian
  6. Party affiliation: none
  7. Participation in the civil war, subsequent combat in defense of the USSR and in the Patriotic War (where, when): [illegible] in 1941, Voronezh Front since 1942
  8. Wounds and contusions in the Patriotic War: wounded once
  9. In the Red Army since: 1941
  10. Recruited by: Kuybyshev regional recruiting office
  11. Previous awards: Order of the Red Banner, Medal for Combat Merit
Brief and specific description of the heroism or achievements: In the night leading up to November 13th, 1943, the enemy was firing on the Schevchenkivka village. Under the cover of exploding shells, 17 tanks came around the rear of our units from north-west of Schevchenkivka and opened fire at the battery, attempting to catch them unawares. Comrade Agafonov's crew was the first to take the blow. Comrade Agafonov displayed tenacity, courage, and heroism, firing at the German tanks and soldiers at point blank range. He destroyed three tanks (2 of them T-4 and one T-6) and up to 50 enemy soldiers. When his crew died the death of heroes and the gunner was wounded, comrade Agafonov continued to fight the enemy and remained with his gun until the end of the battle. 

Comrade Agafonov is worthy of the title of Hero of the Soviet Union.
Regiment commander, Guards Lieutenant Colonel Mescheryakov"

Let's see if any Tigers were actually in the area at the time. North-west of Schevchenkivka lies Fastov, where the 509th Heavy Tank Battalion was kicking around at the time. A lot of action is recorded on the night from the 12th to the 13th, so it's possible that one of the Tigers happened to come across Agafonov's battery. Loss figures in Schneider's book are sparse as always, but the battalion spends several days idle after the fighting for Fastov, three of which are spent on "urgent maintenance work", so they definitely took a lot of damage around this time.

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