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MIL OSI Translation. Region: Russian Federation –

The Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation on the eve of the 80th anniversary of the beginning of the Great Patriotic War publishes a new historical and educational multimedia section “The day the blitzkrieg crashed”, telling about the first defensive battles of the Red Army, the courage and heroism of the Red Army, who took the first blow of the aggressor.

The section opens with archival materials that reveal the plan of the German-fascist command for the war against the Soviet Union and the methods of achieving it. Thus, in the published “Preliminary plan of operations in the East”, prepared by the main command of the German ground forces on August 5, 1940, it is reported: “To achieve success, it is necessary to act suddenly and swiftly, as was the case in Poland and in the West.” The document testifies that the Germans expected a lightning victory: “Since the Russians this time did not have a numerical superiority, as it was during the World War, they, most likely, will not be able to concentrate their troops stretched along the front and take an organized response actions; and then in battles of local importance they will quickly be defeated as a result of the superiority of the German troops and command. ” The total duration of the eastern campaign to complete the assigned tasks was determined by the military command of Nazi Germany – from 9 to 17 weeks. According to the plan presented, it was supposed to prepare 147 divisions for the war with the Soviet Union by the spring of 1941, of which 24 were tank divisions (excluding the European allies of Nazi Germany).

The published translation of the directive of the General Staff of the Ground Forces of Germany on the concentration of troops (plan “Barbarossa”) of January 31, 1941 contains a more detailed description of the preparatory measures of the German command. Here it was ordered to “smash Soviet Russia in a short-term company”, and the military “operations should be carried out so that the entire mass of Russian troops in Western Russia would be destroyed by tank wedges thrown deeply forward.”

Particular attention is paid here to the secrecy of the preparation and concealment of the true intentions of the Nazis: “In order to avoid foreign policy complications, absolute secrecy should be observed in the conduct and development of a plan for the concentration of troops to the east.” The transfer of troops to the eastern regions was ordered to be carried out gradually and covertly: “At the third stage (April to early May), in accordance with the order for concentration, the command of the army groups and armies takes over the areas assigned to them at first in a disguised form. The preparatory work must be carried out in such a way that the offensive (day “B”) can be launched on 16.5 ”.

The high secrecy of the preparations for the invasion of the USSR is evidenced by the lines of the directive: “The advance of concentrated formations to the border should occur as soon as possible at the last moment and unexpectedly,” – editor’s note) “

The Nazis kept the plans for the upcoming campaign in the strictest confidence, not disclosing them even to their military-political allies. Thus, the aforementioned directive (the Barbarossa plan) states that “the proposed transfer of troops from the Carpathians should be carried out in such a way, disguising this movement as a march to Romania, so that Hungary at the very last moment, namely only when turning towards the planned offensive, could recognize our intention. ” The Asian allies of the Nazis were not privy to plans for a war against the USSR. The text of directive No. 24 of the General Staff of the Wehrmacht “On cooperation with Japan” presented in the section testifies: “No statements should be made about Operation Barbarossa of Japan.”

The directive contains tasks for the Finnish allies of the Nazis. One of them – “with the simultaneous capture of the [semi] island of Hanko to cover the deployment of German troops in Northern Finland” – was never carried out by the Finnish fascists: the heroic Soviet defenders of the peninsula and the eponymous Naval Base of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet Hanko not only prevented the capture of their territories, but also during long active defensive battles recaptured many Finnish islands. The garrison left the Hanko base by order of the command only after almost six months of heroic battles.

Also, visitors to the section can familiarize themselves with the archival map, which presents the concept of the eastern campaign, the main and secondary directions of German strikes during the implementation of the main stages of the Barbarossa plan.

The Soviet command, realizing the inevitability of a large-scale war with Germany, prepared at a high command level for the upcoming possible hostilities, as evidenced, for example, by the mission for an aviation game with the command of the Baltic Special Military District published in the section, which states: “In the first few days May, an intensive transfer of German troops and their concentration to our state border was established … By the order of the Main Command of the Red Army, from 5.5.41, a cover plan was put into effect and the district began to raise units and concentrate them to the state border … By the same order, the North -Western Front with the transfer of the defense of the northern and northwestern coasts of the Estonian SSR to the Northern Front … “.

The Red Army command received information about the actions of German troops in the border areas: “In all directions, the pulling of units and means of reinforcements to the border is noted” – says the report of the Chief of Staff of the Western Special Military District to the Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army on June 21, 1941.

Information about the preparation of the German invasion came from German defector soldiers, which, for example, was recorded in a report to the chief of staff of the Baltic Special Military District of June 20, 1941: offensive. According to the defector, hostilities will begin in 8-10 days. For 2 months now, officers have been agitating the soldiers, saying that the USSR is Germany’s main enemy. “

Knowing about the preparation of the Nazi army for war, the Soviet command was preparing to repel a possible aggression, but hoped that Germany would not dare to start large-scale military operations. Thus, in the directive of the People’s Commissariat of Defense of June 21, 1941, it is indicated that a possible German attack is expected on June 22 or 23, and it “may begin with provocative actions.” At the same time, “the task of our troops is not to succumb to any provocative actions that could cause major complications. At the same time, the troops of the Leningrad, Baltic, Western, Kiev and Odessa military districts should be in full combat readiness to meet a possible surprise strike by the Germans or their allies. “

Despite the fact that the Red Army, in response to the preparation of the Wehrmacht for war, began to strengthen its own defenses, the surprise attack of the Nazis played its tragic role. This, for example, is evidenced by the combat report of the command of the 3rd Army from 4:45 am on June 22, 1941 to the commander of the Western Special Military District: “The wire communication with the units was broken, they switched to radio, two radio stations were destroyed,” the document says.

A special place in the section is occupied by a copy of the handwritten Combat Order of the People’s Commissar of Defense No. 2 dated June 22, 1941, personally drawn up by the Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army G. Zhukov three hours after the start of the war – at 7:15 am. The order instructs the troops of the Red Army “to attack the enemy forces with all their forces and means and destroy them in areas where they violated the Soviet border”, and bomber and assault aviation to destroy enemy aircraft at base airfields and groupings of ground forces “to a depth of German territory up to 100 150 kilometers “. At the same time, it was indicated that “no raids should be made on the territory of Finland and Romania until special instructions are given.” On the back of the last page of this document is G. Zhukov’s postscript: “T [s]. Vatutin. Bomb Romania. “

Behind the handwritten lines of this unique document – in fact, the first combat order of the People’s Commissariat of Defense – one can read the colossal tension and tragedy of the first hours of the outbreak of war.

The surprise of Germany’s attack on the USSR is also indicated by the first operational report published in the section at 10:00 on June 22, 1941, by the Chief of the General Staff, General of the Army Georgy Zhukov: “The enemy, having preempted our troops in deployment, forced the Red Army units to take battle in the process of taking the starting position under the cover plan. Using this advantage, the enemy managed to achieve partial success in some areas. “

In operational report No. 2 of the General Staff of the Red Army at 22:00 on June 22, it was reported about stubborn, bloody battles with superior enemy forces in the Baltic direction, the Western and Southwestern Fronts. At the same time, the document points to the counterattacks of the Red Army units, at some lines pushing back the enemy and even forcing him to retreat.

Another unique document of the first days of the war is interesting – Order of the People’s Commissar of Defense of the USSR No. 219 of June 23, 1941. This order announced the Decrees of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR of June 22, 1941 “On the declaration of martial law in certain areas of the USSR” and “On martial law”. – Already on the first day of the war, the supreme authority of the Land of the Soviets introduced martial law in 24 republics and regions of the western part of the Soviet Union, as well as in Leningrad and Moscow. The introduction of martial law in the declared areas transferred “all functions of state authorities in the field of defense, ensuring public order and state security” to the military councils of fronts, armies, military districts, and where there are no military councils – to the high command of military units. By this decree, the military authorities, in particular, were granted the right “to issue decisions binding on the entire population, establishing administrative penalties for non-compliance with these decisions in the form of imprisonment for up to 6 months or a fine of up to 3,000 rubles.”

Having lost contact with each other, finding themselves in many places surrounded in the rear of the enemy, Soviet units and subunits, holding strong points and road junctions to the last, continued to defend the lines entrusted by the command. Their fierce resistance took away the enemy’s time and resources, discouraged the attackers, and knocked the Wehrmacht’s arrogance down after the successes of the lightning-fast war in Europe. A significant part of the published archival materials tells about such centers of heroic resistance of the troops of the Red Army.

The published map of the heroic defense of the Brest Fortress gives a visual representation of the course of fierce defensive battles, and the reports, orders and the combat log of the 4th Army stationed in the area testify to the courage and heroism of the defenders. As follows from the report to the army commander, the hostilities began with prolonged artillery and aviation preparations: “I report at 4:15 at 22.6 the enemy began shelling the fortress of Brest and the area of ​​the city of Brest. At the same time, the enemy began bombarding the airfields of Brest, Kobrin, Pruzhany. By 6:00, the shelling intensified in the Brest region. The city is on fire. “

The lines from the combat log of the 4th Army indicate that every day the combat situation became more and more difficult. Soviet subdivisions tried to push back the enemy with active actions, but “the counter-offensive was unsuccessful.” It became more and more difficult to contain the onslaught of the enemy: “An insufficient amount of artillery does not make it possible to stop the advance of enemy tanks … There are few ammunition left in the units.” As evidenced by this document, on June 26, 1941, the situation was so difficult that “personally the commander of 4A (4th Army – ed.) With the staff apparatus went to the front line and not only delayed the offensive, but also brought the retreating units back to Slutsk “.

The courage, self-sacrifice and heroism of Soviet soldiers and commanders were massive.

The award list for the Order of the Patriotic War of the 1st degree for Private Alexei Shugurov confirms the high spirit of Soviet soldiers: “Comrade. Shugurov, in the absence of commanders, having shown ingenuity, took command of the battalion upon himself, ordered the clerk of the battalion, if necessary, to destroy the documents of the headquarters, and to the head of the warehouse to issue weapons to the personnel of the battalion; the drivers of tanks and armored vehicles – to take firing positions to defend the fortress ”- says the document.

The feat of the acting chief of staff of the Brest Fortress, Lieutenant Pyotr Koshkarov, who was awarded the Order of the Red Banner, will forever remain in the memory. As stated in the award document, on the first day of the war, many officers were out of action, and he was appointed acting chief of staff of the fortress, began to build up the defense, and morally supported the soldiers. “In the battles for the fortress he was twice lightly wounded and on June 30, 1941, when the fortress was bombed from the air, he was shell-shocked. Being shell-shocked, he was taken prisoner, but escaped from captivity on the same day. Then, joining up with a group of officers, Pyotr Koshkarev took part in defensive battles. On July 16, 1941, after receiving severe injuries to his legs after an air raid, he was again captured, in which he remained until March 15, 1945, until the time when he managed to escape. In captivity, he “behaved courageously: he was one of the leaders of the underground party organization, conducted educational work among prisoners of war, gave assignments to disrupt work plans at German enterprises, hid senior officers through doctors from sending them to heavy work, for which he was arrested and placed in concentration camp”.

The section contains award documents for other participants in the heroic defense of the Brest Fortress: pupil of the musical platoon of the 44th rifle regiment Kazmin Vladimir Pakhomovich; the first commander of the detachment that defended the Eastern Fort of the fortress, Lieutenant Kolomiets Yakov Ivanovich; Private Vladimir Petrovich Puzakov; senior sergeant Anatoly Petrovich Bessonov and private Vyacheslav Vasilyevich Gorizontov, one of the last defenders of the fortress defense and other famous heroes of the first days of the war.

Examples of selfless and sacrificial attitude to one’s military duty to defend the Fatherland are contained in the documents on the heroic defense of the Soviet naval base on the Hanko Peninsula, which became the longest border defensive battle of the Red Army. The defenders conducted an active defense for almost six months and left their positions only by order of the command.

As follows from the operational documents presented in the section, the fascist Finnish troops incessantly subjected the peninsula and the base to intense artillery and mortar attacks. Only “during the day by 15:00 on 17.8.41, the enemy fired 1,067 shells and mines,” says one of the numerous reports of the 8th rifle brigade defending the peninsula. In other reports of the brigade, it is noted that “there is not enough infantry and fire weapons” to create a continuous defense of the peninsula. Despite the severity of the fighting, Soviet troops not only successfully held the defense, but also “during the period of hostilities (by August 18, 1941 – ed.), Thanks to selfless actions, they occupied the islands: Bjerholm, Bokholm, Bjerkholm (…) Gunholm, Starkern , Elmulm “.

The report of the political administration of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet cites the most vivid example of the landing of an amphibious assault: “On July 30 of this year. the island of Gunnarsholm is occupied by parts of the coastal defense sector of the Hanko naval base. Our losses during the occupation of the island: 4 people were killed, 17 injured. Enemy losses: 3 boats with people were drowned, about 150 people were killed, there were no prisoners, no wounded. At the same time, “the Finns put up stubborn resistance during the occupation of Gunnarsholm Island. The garrison of this island consisted of regular border troops … up to 200 people, our landing consisted of one reinforced company of 150 people. “

The sailors’ successful actions brought them fame, as evidenced by the illustrated historical sketch of the Hanko naval base. It tells about “Children of Captain Granin” – this is how the sailors called themselves, in tune with the name of the famous novel. It is said about them: “From the first day of the war, the Gangut people chose the best method of defense – offensive. They repulsed all enemy attacks from the sea, from land and from the air. Not a single inch of land was captured by the enemy. On the contrary, the defenders of Hanko themselves occupied 17 Finnish islands ”.

Visitors to the section will learn about the heroic combat deeds of Captain Boris Granin himself from the published award list for the Order of the Red Banner. The document says that the captain commanded a combined detachment of sailors, and “during July and August, under his direct leadership, the islands of Gunholm, Elmholm, Furuen were captured from the enemy, and an attempt by the Finns to land troops on the island was repulsed. Elmholm “.

One of his best fighters, one of the “best men of the Red Gangut,” was the Hero of the Soviet Union, Private Petr Sokur. The award document for the soldier testifies: “In the battle with the White Finns on July 1, he proved himself as a courageous, brave and fearless patriot of our Motherland. Sniper Sokur killed 4 snipers, 6 machine gunners, 3 enemy soldiers; being surrounded, he destroyed machine gunners, submachine gunners and officers with well-aimed fire, when the enemy retreated, he disarmed three Finns and presented them to the command post. “

Another significant example of the heroic resistance of the Red Army units surrounded in the early days of the war is the defense of the naval base in the city of Libava (Liepaja), located in the Latvian SSR on the Baltic Sea coast.

The report on the combat activities of the Libau naval base for the period from 22 to 27 June 1941 states: “The land defense of Libau was not yet sufficiently organized. There were no trenches, bunkers, shelters, etc. (…) No concrete points were made ”. At the same time, “stocks of food, fuel, uniforms – for 3-4 months of the war, and with a reduced rate – for 5-6 months.” But “there was not enough ammunition.”

The military operations log of the base notes: “The plight of Libava, which had limited ammunition and which, moreover, from 24.06 (…) was deprived of any assistance of the air forces, was promptly reported to the commander of the Baltic Naval Base and the headquarters of the Baltic Military District.” Following the results of the defense of the city, the magazine contains the following conclusion: “The base had absolutely no fortifications and was taken from land.”

The section contains the pages of the journal of military operations of the headquarters of the coastal defense sector of the Libau naval base, in which the events of June 22, 1941 are minutely entered with naval care. Thus, it appears from the document that the sector’s anti-aircraft batteries opened fire on enemy aircraft at 11:02 and 19:10. And at 12:30 after Molotov’s radio speech about the beginning of the Patriotic War, a rally was held with the personnel of the sector.

The pages of the published report on the combat operations of the submarines of the Red Banner Baltic Fleet are full of the tragic events of the first day of the war and the heroism of the Red Navy submariners. Among the descriptions of the actions of the submarine crews, the fate of the crew of the submarine “S-3” Lieutenant-Commander Kostromichev is told. The submarine, being under repair in Libau, on June 22 received an order from the brigade commander to relocate to Ust-Dvinsk. Kostromichev decided to carry out the order of the brigade commander, despite the impossibility of diving due to a technical malfunction on the ship. During the crossing, the Soviet submarine was discovered and attacked by German torpedo boats, with which it “fought for 1 hour and 30 minutes, repelling their attacks with artillery and evading maneuvering.” When, as a result of a long battle, the calculation of the artillery gun and the command staff, who were at the top, died, the commander decided to throw the boat ashore. “But at that time, 2 torpedoes were fired at the submarine, the boat broke into three parts. They tried to tow the stern part / German / boats, shooting the personnel on the floating parts of the submarine. “

The award list for the commander of the torpedo boat Lieutenant Alexei Afanasyev for conferring the title of Hero of the Soviet Union describes one of the last episodes of the defense, when, while evacuating the headquarters of the naval base from Libava, he collided with four enemy torpedo boats, of which he knocked out one. The document also sets out other military merits of the officer: “Participating in the attack of a detachment of light forces of the enemy, during intensive shelling of the latter and an attack from the air by enemy aircraft, one cruiser of the Cologne class, two destroyers, and one leader was blown up. After that, by setting up a smoke screen, he covered the withdrawal of the boats and made it possible for the detachment commander, Senior Lieutenant Humanenko, to remove the personnel from the burning TK (torpedo boat – editor’s note) and return to the base. “

The publication of documents about the beginning of the Great Patriotic War from the funds of the Central Archives of the Russian Ministry of Defense is a continuation of the activities of the military department aimed at preserving and protecting historical truth, countering falsifications of history, and attempts to revise the results of World War II.

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EDITOR’S NOTE: This article is a translation. Apologies should the grammar and / or sentence structure not be perfect.

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