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The tragedy of the 41st

Трагедия 41-го



Трагедия 41-го
Long wanted to bring together the numbers of the German trophies in the first months of the “Russian campaign” of 1941. The fact that “military strategists” from the camp of the Soviet patriots topychkanova spill, strongly downplaying the loss of prisoners. That is what the fighting was brutal and loss of life is enormous – it seems no one disputes. But about the prisoners somehow do not want to say strongly playing down their numbers. So just give a brief overview of the number of prisoners and military equipment captured by the Wehrmacht in the largest “pot” in the period until November 1941, i.e. in the first 4 months of the war.

A reasonable question: whence drovishki? That is, where to get data? Data extracted from the major work “history of the Second world war” by General Kurt von Tippelskirch, who served during the war in the General staff of land forces of Germany. Of course, Soviet patriots of the sample of 2009, the German General is not a decree. However, no one still has not refuted verified and accurate numbers Tippelskirch (although, I think, analytical tupikovy Department must then fill this gap and to declare Tippelskirch asshole and swept the liberal intellectual). Anyway, what the punctuality of the Germans does not hold, even in the unpleasant moments. So the data in General is accurate. Besides, frankly, more than anywhere else except the Germans, to take data on the number of Soviet prisoners of war – nowhere. The Soviet Union did not have accurate data on the number of dead and captured its soldiers and officers. It’s ironic, but it is a fact. Horrible expression “missing” hid behind the capture, death, desertion – Yes, anything. But even the exact number of “missing” by years and the fronts still unknown. So excuse me, but Tippelskirch is probably the most reliable source on numbers of prisoners and war booty.

So, first a very brief assessment of forces on 22 June 1941.

By 22 June the Germans in the areas of strategic deployment has been concentrated: 81 infantry division, 1 cavalry division, the 17th armored, 15 motorized divisions, 9 security and police divisions. As a reserve command at the approach there were 22 infantry divisions, 2 tank, 2 motorized divisions, and one police division. Total: 140 combined arms divisions plus 10 security and police divisions (including SS divisions).

In the three air fleets (one for each group of armies), there were 1,300 bombers.

In addition, Hungary has agreed in the event of war with the Soviet Union to devote 15 divisions. But most of it was not combat-ready. Mussolini put at the disposal of the German expeditionary corps consisting of 3 divisions. From Spain had received assistance in the form of the notorious “blue division” that fought in the autumn of 1941 on the Volkhov front.

In addition, Finland 17 June began covert mobilization, but political Union with Germany declined. Also were ready to take part in the war Romania, shortly before it lost Bessarabia and dreams of a political revenge. But the Romanian army even though the size was more Finnish, but it was worse trained and worse armed, that is, Romania itself was in need of German assistance in bringing the army to mind.

The number of red Army on German assessments (which generally proved to be correct) were as follows: 150 infantry divisions, 36 brigades, mechanized units, and 32 cavalry divisions, of which in the beginning of the war, 25 infantry divisions, 7 cavalry divisions and several mechanized brigades were connected to other boundaries, primarily on the border with China (occupied by Japan). The Germans used their own identification units and formations of the red Army. In fact, the organization of armored forces in CA was different: based on the mechanized corps, and tank and motorized divisions. But it’s the details, interesting only to specialists.

In General, according to German estimates, the Soviet Union in case of war is immediately able to mobilize up to 12 million reservists. Remained unclear just how the Soviet military industry will be able to equip the mobilized people. We now know that Soviet military industry to solve immediately are unable. Early in the war the new mobilized soldiers fought 2-3 people on one rifle when one shot from a rifle, and two others were waiting for them to kill, to take his weapon. However, as shown by the first months of fighting, not the lack of personal firearms was the main problem of the red Army.

The USSR on April 10, 1941 decided to bring in the combat readiness of all military units in the West. And on may 1, activities were initiated military preparations. This is a very remarkable fact, and interpretiruya it differently. Known, for example, the view that this is indicative of the intentions of the Soviet Union to attack Germany. This view seems to be confirmed also by the fact that on may 6 Stalin had headed the Council of people’s Commissars, that is, United in his hands the Supreme party and state power. But he wanted the USSR to attack Germany, and Germany launched a preemptive strike? Or the USSR, just expect the German attack, getting information about these to the border of the German divisions. But the fact is that the German attack could not be unexpected. From childhood we are taught to believe that 22 June 1941 was so unexpected for the “party and government” (read – Stalin) that only this explains all the subsequent terrible defeat of the first months of 1941. But the fact remains that the division of the red Army began to prepare for war two months until 22 June. How would certainly this fact who or interpreted.

Трагедия 41-го

Strategic plans and razblokirovka divisions of the army group (of which, as we all remember, there were three: “North”, “South” and “Center”), omit. Focus only on the dry figures of the major war trophies and prisoners captured by the Wehrmacht in the first months of 1941, the various so-called “boilers”. Having done some work, I brought these figures in the following table.



The battle
End date
Prisoners (pers.)

Double boiler Bialystok (Bialystok and Minsk)
10 Jul
328 898
3 332
1 809

Pervomaisk-Archangel-Uman (Biol captured 2 army commanders)
8 Aug
103 000

5 Aug
310 000
3 000
3 000

8 Aug
38 000

the district of Mozyr
24 Aug
78 000

26 Sep
665 000
3 718

10 Oct
100 000

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13 Oct
663 000
1 242
5 412


2 285 898
9 381
16 419

Therefore, for 4 first months of fighting in the largest boilers in the German surrendered 2 million 285 thousand 898 soldiers and officers of the red Army, including many generals and even commanders of the two armies. The troops left the enemy in intact tanks and guns. As you can see, the Germans got almost 10 thousand tanks (a whopping!) and 16 thousand guns. The Germans were shocked, marching on Russian roads and looking at the abandoned Soviet crews fully functional tanks and guns. In addition to the large boilers, the prisoner gave up the scattered troops of the red army, who themselves “boilers” escaped.

Трагедия 41-го
Red army soldiers surrendering.

The exact numbers of prisoners of “small boilers” and just surrender to the mercy of the winner can be determined. Total German data by the autumn of 1941, they were in the hands of about 3 million people.

Трагедия 41-гоPeasant women crying, looking at the column of prisoners of war.

This proved to be a rather unpleasant surprise, because the Germans simply did not have food to feed so many fallen on the head of prisoners. All of us from childhood well-known films and books about the intolerable conditions languished prisoners of war in German captivity, literally podyhaya of hunger. It’s true, the way it really was. But the thing is that all this was the result not of some special animal cruelty of the Germans, and they just had nothing to feed the prisoners.

Who the minimum imagine what the questions of the quartermaster supply, he will understand, what even at all desire, even in time of peace to solve the problem of accommodation and feeding three million people – is extremely difficult. And the time was not peaceful, and, frankly, the Germans had no reason to particularly care about the prisoners the red army, if Stalin himself said that they are not prisoners of war, as traitors and that they will be not interested. Here is such a good uncle: he proclaimed traitors deserving death, almost three million of their recent citizens. And one more thing. The Germans simply had no place to take provisions to supply the prisoners as food for the Wehrmacht were sent centrally with German thoroughness and about any extra three million mouths to feed in the papers, nothing was said. And on the occupied territories since the food was tight. Why tight? And comrade Stalin is here, hurry up.

Here’s a snippet of the appeal of Joseph Stalin: “we Need to steal the entire mobile train, not to leave the enemy a single engine, a single wagon, not to leave the enemy a single kilogram of bread…”. Many may memorable poignant images from the film “They fought for the Motherland”, when the remnants of the regiment depart in the night blazing through the grain fields. So were ordered not to leave the enemy a single kilogram of bread. Understandable in this case the angry reaction of the peasants from the film after the retreat of the red Army doomed them to starvation in the winter because of the destruction of the crop. Leader of course things did not care. He believed that retreating, it is necessary to leave the enemy only scorched earth. The fact that thereby a terrible blow to apply for living on this earth population, Joseph Stalin worried a little. And that at the same time to starvation doomed millions of Soviet prisoners – the Leader of the people exactly excite could not.

Interestingly, when in early 1945 Hitler decided to use the same schema, destroying the entire infrastructure in the bands the allied advance, Minister of industry Speer thought it was insane and sabotaged the orders of Hitler, began to develop plans on how to pump in the ventilation of the hopper poison gas. In the USSR was nothing like this. Soviet Commissars unquestioningly did everything, even the most ruthless towards their populations, to the orders of Stalin.

Трагедия 41-гоTemporary German camp for Soviet prisoners of war. 1941

But back to the captive soldiers of the red Army who died in camps from starvation. Known cases where German officers were just dismissed the prisoners, because they did not want to condemn people to a painful death. But these are minor details. To describe them is very painful, because the speech goes not about French prisoners or residents of Burkina Faso, and about captured Russian soldiers and officers. But a reasonable question: why did they surrender? It is possible to explain getting captured, as shown in the film “the Destiny of man” – soldier goes on the car, suddenly the explosion, the car overturned, came to, and all around is the Germans. What is there to do? Captivity then of course not be avoided. But surrender at once 100 thousand people or even 600 thousand, as it was in the Kiev cauldron and in the area of Vyazma, is how to explain? And they gave, not out of ammunition, having hundreds of serviceable tanks and thousands of guns with shells. But surrendered! Gave up after a very short environment. It’s about how to explain?

In principle, I agree here with comrade Stalin – they were traitors. They betrayed the country that encouraged them and gave up weapons, gave up the government of this country. It’s a fact! And who’s going to argue, will argue with himself, comrade Stalin. But I put the question differently: and what betrayed the country, those three million people? If it was ever in Russian history, that entire divisions one after the other surrendered to the enemy, and even with all the weapons and ammunition? No! Such in Russian history never happened! This happened only with the genius comrade Stalin. Why? Yes, because it was not Russia, and the Soviets. And betrayed these men are not Russia, and Stalin’s Soviets, which in the previous period showed itself in all its glory.

Scoops like to talk on the topic of what “people really loved Stalin.” You know, true love people’s well manifested in the hour of dashing tests, such as the war. Or dressed in a shirt guys, it’s not the people? Three million is not the people? Sorry, this is a real people. If today for reasoning about the opinion of people of three thousand respondents, which is considered a “representative sample”, that three million people in 1941 were more than a representative sample – it was mostly young people, that is supposedly something new that was created by the Soviets. And they surrender, said clearly and unequivocally: “We do not want to defend the Soviet power, the Soviet government and comrade Stalin. They burn with a blue flame and fail them all to hell”. A very representative sample.

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Links to the unprecedented strong Wehrmacht and its extensive experience gained in past campaigns, so de, the Red Army in the first months of the war simply could not have organized resistance – is unconvincing. Where and when troops wanted to resist, the Germans received an adequate response. Did you forget the feat of the defenders of the Brest fortress? Just think, well, put emotion aside: as it so happened, that the small garrison of the Brest fortress completely surrounded, with almost no ammunition lasted a month and a fortress by the Germans was taken only when he killed almost the whole garrison? And compare it with a month of the battle of Kiev, when a prisoner of the Germans after weeks of encirclement surrendered 600 thousand people with tanks and guns. The difference is blatant. The Brest fortress garrison wanted to fight heroically resisted, although it had almost no to money. A faction of the red Army in the Kiev area do not want to resist and even with all the opportunities to continue fighting, the Germans surrendered. Yeah just imagine what would have happened to the German offensive if the Kiev cauldron would be resisted as the defenders of the Brest fortress! And if also resisted Viazmensky the boiler? But they didn’t want to resist! And surrendered after a short simulation of defense.

Or another example. In October 1941 in the region of Rostov, the red Army counterattacked by forces of three army and even November 29, repulsed the Germans Rostov (the counter-attack, however, bogged down on the river Mius). But the fact is: in October 1941 near Vyazma give up 663 thousand people at a thousand tanks, and five thousand guns, but where troops can organize such resistance, which even beat off the German-occupied Rostov. And indeed, everywhere the Germans met scattered resistance small detachments of the red Army, with periodic breaks. Out who wanted to fight, he fought. And fought very well. But this only makes it more appalling facts “one-time” delivery of tens and hundreds of thousands of troops in the “pot”. This, incidentally, is understandable from the point of view of Mat.statistics. In small groups the presence of a few fanatical Commissars, Communists and Komsomol members, who of course was going to defend the USSR to the last, has a strong influence on other fighters and small connection resistance even in the environment. But large contingents of the influence of Communists already leveled and at first was deaf General dissatisfaction with the Communists and Stalin, hence huge number of prisoners. Known cases when Communists and Commissars soldiers were killed before the surrender, or to neutralize them, giving the Germans.

In General, the period of June–December 1941 still waiting for their researchers. Researchers do not of military strategy and tactics here-just about everything has already been chewed. And researchers of the social processes that operated during this period. So far, during very brief study, we can say that in 1941 it was no Patriotic war, and the continuation of the Civil war. This, of course, a very simplified statement, but only from this angle, the events of 1941 can be explained without contradictions.

And so, a sort of epilogue.

The largest military defeat of Nazi Germany, which served as the starting point for a decisive breakthrough in the war – Stalingrad. As you know, the act of surrender was signed by Paulus on 30 January 1943. As a result, in Soviet captivity were 90 thousand soldiers and officers of the 6th army. It was the first, after Jenskoi disaster 1804, the military defeat of Germany in the form of a surrender of the whole army. According to the memoirs of Manstein, February 5 at the meeting at the headquarters, on the death of Paulus, Hitler said: “For Stalingrad I’m the one responsible! I could, perhaps, say that Goering misinformed me about the possibility of the supply air, and thus to shift at least part of the responsibility on him. But he’s my successor, whom I have appointed to myself, but because I can’t afford to lay the responsibility for Stalingrad.” Despite the fact that Paulus had signed the order to surrender and he surrendered, Hitler not only deprived of his rank of field Marshal (awarded to him shortly before the surrender), but announced in Germany of national mourning, and all officers and soldiers of the 6th army lost at Stalingrad, were declared heroes.

Why I gave the example of Stalingrad? In order to plead with the military success of the red Army? No, of course, Stalingrad really was a major military success of the red Army. But I just want the example of Stalingrad, comparing it even with the defense of Kiev, to show what happens when the troops really want to fight.

Army Paulus ceased resistance when virtually ran out of all supplies – martial and grocery in conditions of complete encirclement, which lasted more than two months in the bitter Russian cold. While in captivity were 90 thousand people. Kiev battle lasted a month, and completely surrounded the red army were only one week. In German captivity, recall, gave up 665 thousand people (against the German 90 thousand in Stalingrad), with 884 tanks and 3.7 thousand (in Stalingrad from the 6th army and I hardly had much tanks and guns). I’m not saying that the battle for Kiev took place in ideal weather conditions, and the soldiers of the red Army have not experienced any problems due to the weather. Likewise, they experienced problems with ammunition and food. Well, very striking against its prisoners. Hitler called soldiers of the 6th army, including Pauwels, heroes, Stalin called all the prisoners – traitors (his famous Maxim: “the red Army no prisoners, only traitors” – a few million traitors, much!). And finally, Hitler forbade Paulus to leave Stalingrad, fully admitted his guilt for the death of the 6th army, anyone not shifting responsibility. After Stalingrad no one was shot or dismissed. Stalin never admitted his guilt for the military losses of the red Army and only and did that put the responsibility on the generals of the Red Army. As they say, the comparison is very striking.

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