Music by Lind Erebros (Mikhail Kostylev) & Imagine Music Trailer production by EVEMEDIA (Egor and Ivan Nedelko)
In the autumn of 1941, German units stationed outside Volokolamsk were a mere two hours’ drive from Moscow. The road to the capital, however, was guarded by the 316th Rifle Division, commanded by General Ivan Panfilov. So highly-regarded was this commander among his men, that they referred to themselves as “Panfilov’s Men” (Panfilovtsy) and to the division as a whole as the Panfilov Division.
For proving itself to be such a battle-worthy and accomplished fighting force, the 316th Rifle Division was granted the status of a Guards formation, becoming the 8th Guards Panfilov Division on 17 November 1941. As fate would have it, General Panfilov was killed in action the very next day. Nonetheless, the division was permitted to commemorate his name in its own. Only one other Soviet division – the 25th Guards Rifle Division – was ever granted a similar honor when it was conferred the name Chapayevskaya in memory of the Red Army Civil War hero Vasily Chapayev.
And so, on 16 November (two days before the general’s demise), 4th Company, 2nd Battalion of the Panfilov Division’s 1075th Regiment came face-to-face with the enemy on a day that would go down in World War II history.
Having dug in at a crossroads in Dubosekovo, 28 of Panfilov’s Men barred the way to a German tank battalion – and stopped its advance.
This feat on the part of Panfilov’s twenty-eight heroes became one of the most emblematic symbols of the Battle of Moscow.