The Bogoroditskoye Field is 24 kilometers to the north from Vyazma towards Khmelita, the estate of Griboyedov family. The most tragic events of the Great Patriotic War took place there in October 1941. The military formations of the Western Front and the Reserve Front - about a million people - were completely surrounded near Vyazma by German troops. It was the so-called Vyazma pocket.
In the first months of the war the things moved very unfavorably for the Soviet troops. Having retreated from Smolensk the large military formations of the Soviet army were concentrated around Vyazma. The Western Front and the Reserve Front were commanded by the generals I. Korenev and S. Budyonny, respectively. Both of them were cavalrymen and put the strongest emphasis on the layered defense of the direct Smolensk-Moscow highway.
However, to capture Moscow the German command developed the operation «Typhoon». One of the stages of this operation provided for the strong offensives of tank groups against the flanks of the Western Front and the Reserve Front.
The things moved very fast. The offensive of the main forces of the Army Group «Center» (1.9 million soldiers) began on October 2. But the Soviet General Staff misjudged not only the directions of the main strikes but also the might of the tank armies. The strike forces broke through quickly enough in the places where there were no such layered defense as around the Smolensk-Moscow highway.
As a result, on October 2-7 to the north of Vyazma there were surrounded the main forces of the Western and Reserve fronts (parts of 19, 20, 24, 32 armies and the group of Boldin). The main parts of the encircled troops were near the Bogoroditskoye Field. They made attempts to break away from the Vyazma pocket but the encirclement was tight.
And only on October 12 they managed to tear a small hole in the encirclement, along the river Kuryanovka. About 85 thousand soldiers were disentangled but the hole was quickly plugged up and the main forces remained in the encirclement. During the breakthrough along the river Kuryanovka the Russian troops were so congested that scores of soldiers were killed by every shot of German gun or mortar. From the accounts of the citizens of Vyazma, whom the Germans then brought there to bury the Russian soldiers, the «bodies lay there in seven layers». Later the Church of Intercession of the Holy Virgin was built above the site.
As a result of this operation, 600 thousand soldiers were captured by the Germans, over 400 thousand soldiers were killed and 85 thousand soldiers were disentangled. The Western front ceased to exist and the path to Moscow was cleared. And only the Herculean efforts of Marshal Zhukov who had time to strengthen the defense line near Mozhaysk prevented the Germans from fast capturing Moscow.
On the Bogoroditskoye Field there was built a big memorial devoted to those tragic events of October 1941. In the village Martyuki an Orthodox monastery was built, and on the hill opposite the memorial, near the church, a small museum was opened.