August 18, 1941, the Red Army, retreating from Zaporozhye, blew the main strategic object of Ukraine – the Dnieper. This used more than 20 tons of explosives-ammonal. The result of the operation, according to different sources, killed about 100 thousand people, mostly civilians from nearby villages and towns. Also the victims were Soviet soldiers. In addition, the explosion paralyzed the activity of the industrial enterprises of the city.
The explosion in the dam formed the giant hole of 165 meters, which provoked a wave height of several tens meters, which washed away the coastal urban strip, marshes O. Khortitsa and reached a nearby Ukrainian towns of Nikopol and Manganese.
In the Soviet Union suppressed information about the tragic events in Zaporozhye associated with the explosion of the Dnieper. Later it became known that the explosion was made by Boris Epov and Alexey Petrovsky, on the orders of Joseph Stalin. About the upcoming explosion of the detonator was not notified neither the local population nor the military leadership.
Thus, the NKVD wanted to attack German army, says channel 5. However, the Wehrmacht is not damaged. In addition, the Soviet special services have spread information that the Germans blew up the dam.
According to Russian historian Boris Sokolov, red army, the incident caused more damage than the Germans. So, killing the Soviet soldiers, who at that moment crossed the dam, was also flooded large parts of the Soviet troops which were downstream and were forced to surrender to the enemy.
Subsequently, the executors of orders were taken for spies and arrested by the Soviet counterintelligence, but after the intervention of senior management, they were released from custody.
Restoration of the Dnieper began after the capture of the Zaporozhye army. In the summer of 1942 for hydroelectric power station has earned a new equipment of German production.