Raudonosios armijos 16-oji lietuviškoji šaulių divizija: kelias nuo suformavimo iki katastrofos prie Aleksejevkos (1941-1943 m. vasaris-kovas)
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AbstractThe 16th Lithuanian rifle company was active on the fronts of the war between Germany and the USSR on the strength of the Red Army. After the Germans failed to form an analogical military compound – Lithuanian SS division on the other side of the front line, the Lithuanian rifle company got an exceptional place in the history of the war: it was the biggest Lithuanian compound, formed during the war between Germany and the USSR in a foreign army, it had a hard battle path, which required huge losses and sufferings. The historiography of the Lithuanian rifle company characterizes with extremities. The historiography of Lithuanian expatriates manifests nihilistic, negative and even scornful views of the Lithuanian rifle company, its soldiers and the meaning of their fights. The soldiers of the “Bolshevik Division” are contrapositioned with the so called own, i. e. German formed Lithuanian military and police compounds, self-defense battalions and other compounds of German origin, which fought against the Bolshevik “monster” for the freedom of Lithuanian nation. Another extremity is the idealized, single-sided and uncritical view of Soviet (and also Jewish) authors of the Lithuanian rifle company, which, in essence, complicates the entire situation of the Soviet historiography and its heritage, although one cannot state that the view is utterly worthless. The article aims at description of the initial phase of the history of the Lithuanian rifle company: the reasons and circumstances of its long formation in 1941-1942; provides a detailed examination of the first battles of the division in February – March 1943 in Russia, Oryol area, Pokrovskoye area and the surroundings of the Alekseyevka settlement.