Win the war

Бесплатный фрагмент - Win the war

All in order

Объем: 565 бумажных стр.

Формат: epub, fb2, pdfRead, mobi

О книгеотзывыОглавлениеУ этой книги нет оглавленияЧитать фрагмент
Our task is to win the war. Of course, for this you need to carefully examine the faded, worn maps of the previous alignments of forces, battles and victories. Imagine that we have conceived to make a documentary, useful for civilization. The presented narrative, a set of pictures with comments is the basis of the work. … In the center of the 1940 Europe map, Germany is highlighted in brown. In fact, by this time it makes up the top of a huge spatial triangle. The countries below, to the left and to the right are either included in the Axis bloc, or, like Turkey, take a wait-and-see pro-German position. With the dominance of the Germans only Britain strongly disagrees. Island Misty Albion seems small. However, England rules the loyal colonies and dominions in one quarter of the earth’s land. Its rival and ally France after the devastating First World War, although winning, but loses morale. The French manage well with their own colonies, constituting about 15% of the land. However, the words «Somme», «Ieper», «Verdun» cause them to tremble. In 1918, Parisian politicians, fearing huge losses, refused to «put on» Germany on its territory. Hard Versailles Peace — Covenant on the surrender of the undefeated enemy. So, in 1918, the German soldiers left the position of 100 km. from paris. They leave the lands of the friendly former Ottoman Empire and many European countries without a fight. Russia is a special article. Presumably, leaving 40% of the European territory of the greatest continental power, the German soldiers are thinking about how to return here. In 1933, according to the results of the popular vote, Adolf Hitler came to power. Almost 45% of the seats in the government, 95% — 98% in banking and book publishing, 36% in heavy industry, sooner or later, are left by the Jews (0.7%). The ethnic Germans now believe that, since the Russian people remained subjugated by the Semites (constituting hardly 1.5% of the population), now they themselves, following the Bolsheviks, can seize the whole USSR. This conviction is whipped up by chemical «energetics» — legally, amphetamine distributed in various forms and huge quantities.
We do not know the whole kitchen of political struggle in pre-war Europe. It seems that, until a certain time, everything that happens in Germany, the United Kingdom is like. After the «Munich Agreement» with this center of power, the Sudetenland is transferred to Germany with all defensive installations. These territories, inhabited by 90% by ethnic Germans, lose the Second Reich during the first Great War. Skip Soviet aircraft to help the Czech Republic refuses to Poland. Further, on March 14, 1939, Hitler summoned Czechoslovak President Emil Gahu to Berlin and proposed a protectorate. Willy-nilly, the President has to agree. European Neighbors Take Independent Education
Resistance to the Wehrmacht has only one garrison of the Czech Republic, with the commander of which did not manage to contact the authorities in time. In the course of the forty-minute battle, twenty-four German soldiers are killed or injured. On the photo — Czech soldiers patrol the unreliable German quarter (until known agreement)
In addition to the 3.5 million ethnic Germans, Germany gets the Skoda plants and six hundred fully ready-to-use, quite good at that time 38 (t) tanks. England returns to the occupied country (that is, Germany already), the gold reserve that was previously exported — 1.4 billion marks. Slovakia becomes an independent state after it transfers the southern territories to an ally of Germany, Hungary, inhabited by Hungarians by 87%. Photography — German motorcyclists in Prague, March 15, 1939
The parade of the German fascist troops in Prague, spring 1939. Still just beginning
Ethnic Germans of ex-Czechoslovakia in national costumes are met by German troops.
rophy tanks Czechoslovak production LT vz.35 before being sent to Germany. Weight 10.5 tons, forehead hull, turret 25 mm., Lateral booking 16 mm. 37 mm cannon., Two machine guns. Total for 1939 produced 424 of these, very good for its time machine
Czech T-38 tank, 25 mm. armor, 37 mm. gun, suspension close to the Christie system. Produced more than 600 units. A rather successful armored vehicle is used in all subsequent Wehrmacht campaigns, until 1942.
The Hungarian tankettes of the Italian production Ansaldo enter the Czech city of Hust, 1938.
n the midst of the Sudeten crisis, Poland introduces its troops into the Cieszina region belonging to Czechoslovakia. Ethnic Czechs have long lived in these territories. The abundant influx of Polish migrant workers and entrenched immigrants of Galicia changes the composition of the region, although it does not level it: 80 thousand Poles, 120 thousand Czechs, 27 thousand inhabitants of other nationalities. Poland can capture the Cieszyn region — and only because of this it does. On the photo is a Polish tank of English production Vickers Mk. E Type B in the Czech town. The mass of armored vehicles 7.2 tons, armor 13 mm., 37 or 45 mm. a gun
From October 1, 1938, Czech troops depart from the border. Poland receives 227 thousand people speaking a mixed dialect and 805 square meters. km territory. Photography — ethnic Poles of the Cieszyn region in festive costumes meet Polish troops
Very soon the rejoiced Pospolit was delighted with the great fall. The territories of Poland acquired by it at the expense of Germany under the Versailles Agreement (West Prussia and part of Silesia) prevent the Reich from joining East Prussia, the «cradle of German militarism». After negotiations on the creation of a land corridor, or at least the transit of goods through Poland without bureaucratic obstacles, on September 1, 1939, the invasion starts simultaneously from Germany, Slovakia and Prussia. The Polish air force, having existed for three days, is shooting down 130 Luftwaffe planes. From September 22, the bombing of Warsaw begins. Under the roar of the sirens, 1,150 aircraft dropped 4,500 tons of bombs. Already on September 28, the Polish military command (the civilian government takes refuge in France) signs the act of surrender. The photograph is a view from the cabin of a German Junkers-88 bomber on the suburbs of Warsaw). The Germans are not afraid of Hitler. The bottom line is that they like to do it.
German troops in Poland, 1939. The thesis of the weak mechanization of Wehrmacht infantry units is being discussed in modern historical literature. However, as you can see, this is not quite true.
A significant part of ethnic Poles consider themselves to be an offshoot of the ancient Germanic tribe, or descendants of Iranian-speaking Sarmatians, but not Slavs. For some unknown reason, the unification of forces that has increased since 1938, 90 million Germany, and 35 million Poland, for their joint campaign to the East, will not take place. Otherwise, the USSR and its Anglo-Saxon allies could hardly count on winning in this war. Staged photography — a German soldier treats a wary Polish girl
Since September 17, Soviet troops have entered Poland. Their goal is the return of Western Belorussia and Western Ukraine captured during the Russo-Polish War of 1920, the safety of the Belarusians, Ukrainians and Jews who are there. Main idea. If Poland shows courage in opposing Hitler, France and England are actively helping her, the Wehrmacht will meet a fitting rebuff, and the status quo is observed by the USSR. The obvious victory of the Germans, inclined, of course, to occupy the whole territory, means entry into the game of the Red Army. A part of Poland is Vilensky (Vilnius) region with 490 thousand inhabitants are transferred to Lithuania. Some territories are being transferred to another satellite of Germany — Slovakia. The 78,000 refugees (including Jews) who refused to accept Soviet citizenship from Poland occupied by Germany are deported back, or receive 20 years of camps. Loss of parties. Poland — irrevocably 63,000 soldiers and officers in battles with the Wehrmacht, 420,000 in German captivity Nearly 230,000 are captured by the USSR (privates and non-commissioned officers are dispersed home). In 1942, most of the Polish military, in agreement with England, bypassing Iran, joined the British forces, forming the army of generals Anders or Sikorsky). Polish air forces lose all their 360 aircraft of various types. Germany — 15,000 killed, as well as 320 armored vehicles and 285 aircraft (as a result of air crashes, air defense operations and fighters). Red Army — 2000 dead, 17 tanks and 10 aircraft. Irretrievable losses of the Poles in the battles with the Red Army — 3000. Slovak army: 18 people. The photograph shows the Soviet tank BT-7 in the Polish city of 1939.
Soviet troops in Western Belarus. The republic reunites and gets rid of violent polonization. At the same time, according to Stalin’s decision, 100,000 wealthy (hard-working) peasants, entrepreneurs, and landowners are sent to the Gulag «for re-forging». The same statistics for Western Ukraine. In the center of the photo is the Soviet armored BA-10. Weight 5 tons, crew of 4 people, armor 10 mm., Gun 45 mm., Two machine guns. In subsequent battles with the Wehrmacht, this machine will manifest itself mediocre. Made 3 400 units. Repression (a beautiful word that does not convey the essence of the phenomenon) affects the commanding staff of the Red Army. When it comes to this, many historians and writers transfer the conversation to Mikhail Tukhachevsky. This Marshal (just like everyone else) makes some mistakes and «excesses» in the Civil War, military construction, and serves as a kind of example of the «correct action» of the punitive system. A senior officer is bad or good, arrest, torture, execution, have a negative effect on the army and the people. Of the five marshals of the Soviet Union in the dungeons of the NKVD killed three. Their fate is shared by 15 thousand other military leaders. Excessive mind is an aggravating circumstance. From the memoirs of General A. Gorbatov «Years and Wars»: «… Three sat at the table. At the chairman, who was sitting in the middle, I noticed a wide golden stripe on the sleeve of a black uniform. Captain Rank 1, I thought. The joyful mood did not leave me, for I only wanted to see the court in my case. The trial lasted four to five minutes. My last name, first name, middle name, year and place of birth were verified. Then the chairman asked: — Why did you not confess to the investigation of their crimes? — I did not commit crimes, because I had nothing to confess, I replied. «Why are ten people already confessed and convicted shown on you?» — asked the chairman. At that moment I was in such a good mood, and I was so sure that I would be released, that I dared to take liberty, and later I regretted it bitterly. I said: — I read the book «The Workers of the Sea» by Victor Hugo. It says: once in the sixteenth century, eleven people were caught in the British Isles, suspected of having links with the devil. Ten of them admitted their guilt, though not without the help of torture, and the eleventh did not confess. Then King Jacob II ordered the poor man to cook alive in a boiler: the fat, they say, would prove that this one also had a connection with the devil. Apparently, «I continued,» ten comrades who confessed and pointed at me experienced the same things as those ten Englishmen, but did not want to experience what was destined to the eleventh. The judges, grinning, exchanged glances among themselves. The chairman asked his colleagues, «How is everything clear?» Those nodded their heads. I was taken into the corridor. Two minutes passed. I was again brought into the hall and a sentence was announced: fifteen years in prison and a camp plus five years of defeat in rights…It was so unexpected that I, where I stood, there and sank to the floor. On the same day, they transferred me to Butyrka prison, to a cell where only convicts were waiting to be sent. Upon entering, I greeted loudly and introduced myself in a military way: "Kombrig Gorbatov." After Lefortovo, this prison seemed to me to be a sanatorium. True, in a cell designed for twenty-five people, there were more than seventy, but here they were given a daily half-hour walk instead of ten minutes every other day in Lefortovo.
Lithuanian tanks, probably of their own production, on the border with the Polish Republic. The servicemen are awaiting an order to begin the occupation. The prize for this campaign, with the permission of the Germans, is the Vilnius region, the price paid for humiliations and ultimatums from Poland
Ideas of Great Finland uniting the peoples of the Finnish-Ugric group; Finns, Karelians, Estonians, from the Gulf of Bothnia to the Ural Mountains, spread with the separation of Finland from Russia in 1918. The Government of Suomi sends a petition to the warring Germany. The bottom line: the conclusion of the Peace of Brest with the condition of East Karelia’s accession to Finland. During their own civil war, April 29, 1918, the White Finns capture Vyborg. The Nazis arrange the genocide of all people who do not speak Finnish (retired military, high school students in Russian uniform, and even Poles). Three thousand people die. Two weeks later, on May 15, the government of Finland declares war to Soviet Russia. Its troops occupy, in particular, the Russian, from the sixteenth century, Pechenga. Later in «Petsamo» large reserves of nickel ore will be explored. From 1935, their industrial development by the Anglo-American corporations will begin. The Finnish military partially blocking Petrograd, contributing to the first great famine in this city. According to averaged data, 300 thousand people become victims of it, as well as the «red» terror. In the Mannerheim rate, a plan of «national uprisings» is being developed, Finnish instructors are singled out for creating hotbeds of insurrection. However, the plans of the field marshal to annex East Karelia, the Kola Peninsula and the attack on Petrograd, Germany does not support. After the Vyborg tragedy, joint operations to overthrow the Bolshevik government together with the Finns refused to conduct the White Army. By May 1920, the Red Army units were eliminating the puppet North Karelian state. In October of the same year, Finland and the USSR signed the Tartu Peace Treaty. According to this pact, in exchange for peace, Russia loses a part of its territories. In 1921, Helsinki unleashed the second Soviet-Finnish war. The divisions of the «forest partisans» commit sabotage and murder of supporters of Soviet power. The fighting ends in March 1922. A document is signed on ensuring the inviolability of the Soviet-Finnish border. About 30,000 people dissatisfied with the new order go to Finland. Right up to the end of the 20s, armed groups make raids on Soviet territory. Anyway, the mood in Finland does not seem friendly to the USSR government. The proposal of the Council of People’s Commissars of Commerce — assignment of the border from Leningrad at the expense of Finland, in exchange for twice the area of Eastern Karelia that exceeds the area. Rent Hanko Island to create a Soviet military base. Disarmament and demolition of the Mannerheim Line on the Karelian Isthmus. Finland rejects these conditions. On the map — the situation before and after the Soviet-Finnish (Winter) War
«Freedom to the oppressed» — such a slogan was put on board the I-16 fighter during the Third Soviet-Finnish War. Many citizens of the Soviet Union really consider Finnish workers and peasants an oppressed class. It seems that even Stalin, who suffers, I suppose, with a splitting of consciousness, believes that as part of the USSR, under the able guidance, the people of Suomi would live better. The intelligence network, adjusted to the needs of Dzhugashvili, helpfully confirms such a picture of what is happening. More plausible option. The dictator, as it is accepted by all dictators, collects all new territories.
Dot line Mannerheim 2nd generation, «millionth» (the name of the amount in the Finnish stamps spent on its construction). The thickness of the reinforced concrete walls is 2 meters, the length of the building is 30—40 meters. The usual armament is two 76 mm. anti-tank guns 37 mm. guns, machine guns. Addition — ditch, mines, barbed wire, concrete racks. In total, the 2nd generation pillboxes were built 7. Spring 1940 … Finnish Army Lieutenant Oiva Porras: «… Tanks that have passed out of holes, began to enter our sector of shelling. The gun fired a shot. The projectile hit the turret of one of the tanks was clearly visible. The tank turned left and stopped. Charge, sight, fire! Hit in the second tank, he stopped. A second after it hit, the tower hatch on the tank opened, arms and head in a leather helmet appeared from there. At that very moment, the tank engulfed the flames, the ammunition detonated, and the tank burned down. The flamethrower tanks continued to fight. One of them walked along the course of the message and drove up to Harkkil’s dugout, the second one had already stormed the Kelly stronghold. Sometimes the combustible mixture that the metal tank did not catch fire, and the target of the tank remained simply filled with fuel oil. After a moment, this tank headed through our trenches to the dugouts. At the same time, our anti-tank gun destroyed two more tanks in front of the Kelly team. The machine guns of the «Millionaire» were firing continuously, we also fired from our trenches with intense fire. Enemy infantry tried to move forward, not paying attention to the loss. Before us on the earth there were already many motionless black bumps and heaps of bodies. The enemy tried to support the advancing guns put forward to direct fire. They were shelling our firing points. Here and there shells exploded on the parapet. As soon as the flash of the shot was visible, the projectile was already breaking off at the target. With such a projectile, Yakkola and Sisto covered messengers. I think they did not even have time to understand what happened. At about noon I received a report that Harkkila was seriously wounded and his commander-in-chief was killed. The Messenger also reported that there were already many wounded and dead. The wounded were not evacuated, since the enemy tanks were among our positions, one tank was on the roof of the Harkkil dugout, and many more tanks were crawling back and forth near the road and in the rear. Part of our positions was captured by the enemy.
Military operations begin after the delivery of an ultimatum to Finnish diplomats on November 30, 1939, with shelling by the ships of the Baltic Fleet and the bombing of Helsinki. The Soviet Union is expelled from the League of Nations. European countries supply Suomi with weapons, including free of charge (350 aircraft, 500 guns) and volunteer troops. Two months advancing on forest roads columns of Soviet troops dissected by Finnish skiers, surrounded and destroyed. Photography — Soviet armored column defeated in Karelian forests. Finnish soldiers inspect frozen tanks T-26. December 1939
In February, having filled the troops with heavy artillery, tanks, and increased food allowances, the USSR achieved success in breaking the Mannerheim line. Almost a day before the vote in the British parliament on the war with the USSR, on March 13, Soviet troops enter Vyborg. Peace is made. The irretrievable losses of the Red Army — 130,000 people, 650 tanks, 640 aircraft. The Finns lose 26,000 people, with 450,000 refugees, as well as 62 aircraft. From the Finnish captivity returned, 4,354 people are being filtered by the GUGB NKVD. Only 450 of them are released. The rest receive from 5 to 8 years camps. The photo shows a Soviet armored column dissected by Finnish skiers into several parts and destroyed. In the foreground — a truck with anti-aircraft installation. December 1939
A large-scale military operation could have a special meaning if the USSR had kept Petsamo (Pechenga) with reserves of nickel ore, much-needed in the German military industry. However, the international community, including primarily the UK, is strongly opposed. Petsamo area is returned to the Finns. Those organize large-scale supply of nickel to the Axis countries. Pechenga will be part of the Russian Federation only in 1944. The photo shows a Soviet howitzer B-4. Caliber 203 mm. This is almost the main character of the Finnish War. The nickname «Stalin sledgehammer», or «Karelian sculptor», for the fact that a large-caliber gun turns Finnish pillboxes into a kind of avant-garde sculptures. The result of the action of the B-4 — if not breaking through the walls, then the psychological impact on the defenders of the DOTs. Many of them, after prolonged shelling of the B-4 go crazy. Karelian Isthmus, February 1940 … Corporal of the Finnish army Toivo Aholla: «… The shelling of our positions was moved to the depths (exactly according to the rules!) And the full strength of the armed forces of the Soviet Union fell on our positions. Games are over, everything was in earnest. About fifty tanks were at the front half a kilometer, the largest of which were eight meters long, three wide, and three high. They moved fairly quickly along a level field and fired continuous cannon and machine gun fire, despite the fact that their fire was inaccurate on the move. For tanks in several trains went a huge amount of infantry. Although the ground was already covered with snow, the Russians did not yet have white camouflage. For us it was a clear advantage, it was very clearly visible where to shoot. Our artillery made several volleys on the mass advancing on us, but in order to achieve at least some effect, it was necessary to launch ten times more projectiles!Our anti-tankists managed to “put down” several tanks in the neutral zone, some tank hit a mine, but there were enough of them after the losses. The bravest tankers crossed the trenches and headed towards our rear. Other tanks began to deliberately level the barbed wire fences with the ground, while others stopped and began to make passes in the teeth. The tanks that went to our rear were at a disadvantage, and our tank hunters immediately attacked them. The tank is bad enough for a close view, and a brave soldier hiding in a funnel or cell with an anti-tank grenade or incendiary bottle is a dangerous enemy for the tank. Towards evening, the shouting and moans of the wounded were heard from the neutral strip, among which “Comrade Medical Officer!” Was clearly heard ... A couple of tanks that had broken through to the rear managed to return to their positions ...
Among the advantages in combat training of troops, after such a harsh school, is the abolition of the institution of political commissars, the experience of breaking through long-term fortifications, the winter war as a whole, and the return to the production of a submachine gun (PPD). Cons, in addition to the most severe losses — the loss of at least some prestige on the world stage. The German government understands that it is fully capable of achieving comprehensive success in the war against the «colossus on clay feet.» The sight of a surviving Soviet soldier in a camera. On the ruins of the Finnish DotA, spring 1940
Soviet officers pose against the backdrop of «Karelian sculpture.» April 1940
…Denmark and Norway are threatened to capture two centers of power at once: England and Germany. Denmark is leaning towards the protectorate of Germany. The leaders of the country (ethnic Germans, as a rule) give the order not to resist the invasion. It will take place in March 1940, and costs the lives of thirteen Danish and two German soldiers. Reich acquires a reliable supplier of agricultural products, a half dozen warships and a six-thousandth volunteer corps. Photography — German T-2 tanks on the streets of Copenhagen
In April 1940, the German warships attacked Norway, which had received help from the British, and by June 16 of the same year, with the support of airborne assault forces, captured it. The irretrievable human losses of opponents are approximately equal. The Norwegians — 1,400 people, as well as 60,000 prisoners, the British 1,800, the French and Poles 500. Wehrmacht loses about 4,000 soldiers and officers. Allied forces lose a total of 15 warships, including the aircraft carrier. Germany — 34 large and 10 small. These losses make the landing operation to the UK quite doubtful. As a result of the submarine war, England loses 485 ships, which is one third of the entire merchant fleet. Germany exchanges them for their 9 submarines.Photography - German paratroopers on the rocks of Norway
Harbor of the Norwegian city of Narvik, after the battle of the British with the German fleet
The French Renault tanks, delivered to the Norwegian allies, despite their good performance characteristics, still seem frivolous. Narvik, 1940
Not very beautiful on May 10, 1940, Belgium and the Netherlands receive from the German command an ultimatum reproaching the violation of neutrality — the passing of British aircraft over their territory. The note calls on Holland not to hinder German troops entering the country, not as enemies. However, by this time the German soldiers are already on the land of the Netherlands. The government of the country dams and cheese requests help from the British and French. Their expeditionary corps are nominated to establish contact with the Dutch. German paratroopers capture a strategically important bridge at Rotterdam. This move allows German tanks to block large Dutch infantry units. Under the threat of bombardment of the capital, there is a demand for complete surrender. The ultimatum is accepted, however, as a result of the error, or the deliberate action of 60 Heinkel 111 bombers dropping 97 tons of bombs on Rotterdam. Holland surrenders five days after the declaration of war. Losses of the Dutch side: 2330 soldiers and officers, 70 aircraft, (68 «Typhoon» lose the Air Force of England), as well as 2000 civilians. Germany — 3000 military, 275 aircraft. The photograph shows the outskirts of the Dutch Rotterdam after the bombing.
The idea of the ambitious German officer Erich von Manstein — to attack the superior in number (4 million versus 3 million Wehrmacht) Anglo-French army through the mountainous Ardennes, from the north, by the few cohesive tank units, is found in the Fuhrer.Photography - German soldiers inspect the British tank "Matilda", shot down during the Ardennes operation
The battle continues to unfold in neighboring Belgium. Here, on May 10—11, French, British, Belgian troops and Wehrmacht units converge. The first really grand operation of the Germans begins almost a failure. In the vicinity of Luxembourg, a motorized column of 41,000 units of equipment, a bumper to the bumper, gets into a 250-kilometer traffic jam. However, the bewildered allies never bombard this light target. Finally, 1,100 tanks break away from infantry clusters and break through mountain serpentines into Belgium. Three days later, steel cars, with crews tightly tucked in pervitin, almost seamlessly cross the borders of France.Photography - German scouts are moving along the street of the destroyed French city
From the battles of this period, we note a large tank battle at Annu. 623 German (Panzer 1—2) and 415 French (Renault, Hotchkiss) tanks converge here. The shortcomings of German armored vehicles are revealed — thin, 14, 5 mm. armor and weak 20 mm. a gun. They are opposed by 45 mm. armor and 37 mm. the guns of Hotchkiss, whose crews, however, consist of only two people. The tactics of the panzerwaffe — to beat with a steel fist, with a clear coordination on the radio and a clear goal, shows superiority over the manner of the opponents to place the tanks in a shaky line. The armed forces of Belgium withdraw from the fight on May 28.The photo shows the dead French tanker near the Renault tank, France, 1940.
During offensive operations of the Wehrmacht in the Benelux countries, and in France, in addition to parachute assault forces, towed gliders are actively used. This method of landing is associated with the loss of the aircraft, but allows the fighters to remain in the group with the cargo. It seems that war for these soldiers is just such an adventure.
German fighter «Messerschmitt Focke-Wulf 190». The basis of German domination in the air of the first half of World War II. The take-off weight is 2200 kg. The maximum speed after replacing the engine in 1938 is 570—580 km. h. Armament — four 7.92 mm. machine gun, or two machine guns and 20 mm. a gun. During the war years produced 33,000 units (the most massive combat aircraft in history).
Battle sites are shifted to the French Dunkirk. Promotion of the German Panzerwa is ruined by rugged terrain. Also, they do not seek to enter the zone of the British ship artillery. Surrounded by the Anglo-French troops, taking advantage of the weather that interferes with the actions of aviation, they are evacuated by sea, leaving the enemy with all heavy equipment. The idea to create a springboard, a thorn in the body of Continental Europe, is not considered. Photography — evacuation of British soldiers on ships coming close to the shore. Dunkirk, June 1940
taly is entering the war on the side of Germany. Although its three hundred thousandth army is not successful, it finally demoralizes the French. And, on June 21, in the Compiegne Forest, in the same place where an armistice was signed 20 years ago, France’s capitulation is announced. The loss of Belgium: 6,000 people irrevocably, 202,000 prisoners, 112 aircraft. France: 84,000 killed, 1.8 million prisoners (they are sent to forced labor in Germany), 50 aircraft. United Kingdom: 68,000 people, 1,000 aircraft, 64,000 units of vehicles. And, victorious Germany — 18,000 soldiers and officers according to German data and 45,000 according to the calculations of English historians. Luftwaffe lose 432 aircraft. In addition to the French economy, Germany gets 2,000 battle-capable tanks (used against partisans or converted into self-propelled guns), 1,400 aircraft, and seven thousand French volunteer legions. Photography — rescued «Tommy» move to the shores of Albion, Pas-de-Calais, June 1940
Burning storage tanks Dunkirk. Exodus ends. On the right is a British aircraft patrol
Dunkirk through the lens of a German camera
The wagon in Compiegne Forest (France), the one in which 22 years ago was signed a humiliating world for Germany. The capitulation of France, or, more precisely, its northern half, is taken by the once glorious Marshal Petain, the hero of the First World War (right in the center)
The occupation of France, Germany and Italy, 1940. The main part of the French fleet, maintaining a high degree of combat effectiveness, is based in Toulon. The resort town of Vichy becomes the capital of the government
German children and soldiers welcome the success of Nazi Germany, 1940
On the night of July 3, 1940, British units seize French ships in British ports. Not without bloody incidents. On both sides, several people die. The meaning of the operation is not to allow the French, if they wish, to transfer the fleet to the Germans (or go over to their side). Similar actions are being taken in all the bases of the Mediterranean Sea, where the ships controlled by Vichy are located. In the Egyptian port of Alexandria, the initiative of the British captain-negotiator allows you to come to a compromise. In July 1943, the battleship, four cruisers and several destroyers joined the Anglo-American allies. But, in other places, everything is much more complicated.
To neutralize part of the French fleet, stationed in the harbor of Mers-el-Kebir (Algeria), the British equip a squadron of three battleships, two cruisers, an aircraft carrier and eleven destroyers. In the ultimatum filed by the French, there is a requirement to go to the ports of the West Indies, or to scuttle ships. The British commander orders to open fire at 16.45, without waiting for the expiration of the submitted note. Shells cover the crowded, anchored battleships, cruisers, destroyers, navigation vessels and submarines. Three battleships are hard to repair damage and are stranded. The survivors are finished off by torpedo bombers from the aircraft carrier Ark Royal. One battleship, the newest Strasbourg, took advantage of the lull and the help of the destroyer who shot part of the minefields, leaving for Toulon. On the way, this ship meets, almost aboard, an almost defenseless now British «Royal Royal». However, the captain orders not to open fire. The British do not appreciate such a gift and send six «Suordfish» to «Strasbourg». Anti-aircraft guns left without damage to the battleship bring down two attacking aircraft
Similar battles will take place in Dakar (French North Africa, now Sinegal). An attack on a group of ships in the West Indies, the island of Guadeloupe, prevents the personal intervention of the President of the United States, Franklin Roosevelt. In two days of the «Catapult» France loses 1,400 people, England -2 pilots and 6 aircraft. Tens or hundreds of thousands of French become collaborators with a light heart. Photography — ships breaking through from Mers-el-Kebir harbor
The battleship Richelieu, seriously damaged in the port of Dakar, is being redeemed from France by the US government. Powerful 380 mm. guns are reamed to the American standard, and after this war they shoot off the coast of Burma. But the most interesting is contained in the holds of this halo-covered secret ship. Gold of the French National Bank, also Poland, Belgium and the Netherlands, for 2.5 billion dollars of that time. What happens to the precious metal further, and by what agreement it falls into the hands of Americans, we do not know the details. It is believed that in 1945 its monetary equivalent is transferred to European countries, as part of the Marshall Plan, as a loan for exclusively American goods.
From July 10 to October 30, 1940, Britain and Germany lead a fierce battle in the air. England loses a little more than a thousand airplanes, the enemy loses 1,800 winged cars. In Western historical literature, a series of air battles are considered to be the greatest battle that will be remembered for thousands of years. The air battle for the Kuban (RSFSR, 1943) is characterized by similar numbers of aircraft shot down, but remains in the shadows. In Soviet and Russian historiography, the air battle for Britain is also a minor episode among the epic land battles on the territory of the Soviet Union. Be that as it may, Germany is losing interest in Britain and concentrates on preparing for an invasion of the USSR. Photography — Luftwaffe bombers raid on the English port of Dover, 1940
The USSR government sends an ultimatum to the Romanian government demanding the return of Bessarabia (the former Russian province, rejected by Romania in 1920) and Northern Bukovina as compensation for the exploitation of the population of Bessarabia. It takes place on June 27, 1940. A few hours before the Soviet invasion, the Romanian king accepts the conditions. The resulting land is divided between Soviet Ukraine and Moldova. The USSR receives 3.7 million people and 50 thousand square meters. km territory. 28 thousand heads of wealthy families are deported to Siberia
The population of Bessarabia, indeed, has suffered humiliation from the Romanian authorities, it turns out loyal to the Soviet government. Ethnic Romanians and Ukrainians (85%) of Bukovyna, 0.8 million people who did not experience such a relationship, belong to annexation without enthusiasm. The photograph shows a parade of Soviet troops and a festive demonstration in Chisinau, July 3, 1940.
Representatives of the young generation of Bessarabia (Moldavia) present flowers to the soldiers of the Red Army
In October 1940, the Soviet Union proposed to Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, according to the mutual assistance agreement, to place on their territory a military contingent of 25,000 people, for protection against Germany. It is already clear that the Red Army is inclined to achieve its goals, despite the loss. Two weeks later, the governments of these countries are accused of conspiring with Germany (which is partly true), repressing foreigners and shifting. In the summer of 1940, according to the results of the popular vote, the republics form communist governments and adopt the Declaration of entry into the Soviet Union. These decisions are immediately approved by the Supreme Soviet of the USSR. According to the documents of the NKVD dated June 17, 1941, 5,663 people were imprisoned in Lithuania, mainly police officers and «classical capitalists», 10,186 people were relocated, 5,624 and 9,547 Latvia, respectively, 3,179 and 5,979 Estonia. Lithuanian President Antanas Smyatona emigrates to Germany, then Switzerland and the United States. His Estonian colleague Konstantin Päts is deported with his family to Siberia, gets 25 years of camps, has been detained in a prison psychiatric clinic since 1942, dies there in 1956 with the pro-Soviet government, and in particular, publishes the «Pest Control Act.» Later, he begins to realize the situation and asks the Kremlin for permission to travel to Switzerland. As a result, he enters the camp of the NKVD near Krasnovodsk (Turkmenistan), where, in 1942, he dies. Photography is a demonstration of the population of Latvia for joining the Soviet Union. June 1940
Karlis Ulmanis, Head of Latvia
Anastastas Smyatona, the prudent head of Lithuania
Konstantin Päts, head of Estonia
Parade of Soviet troops in Riga, autumn 1940
Soviet soldiers in Riga, 1940
Since July 1940, the battle for the Atlantic has intensified. Germany receives new naval bases. France comes out of the war, and fascist Italy, on the contrary, enters it. The photograph shows the death of the British heavy cruiser «Hood», the morning of May 24, 1941. Until then, the ship was marked by the holding of Atlantic convoys and the flooding of the battleship «Brittany» during Operation Catapult. Thousands of French sailors leave their lives at once. Now the Hood, in a group of battleships and 6 destroyers, goes to intercept the German battleship Bismarck and the heavy cruiser Prince Eugen. The British cruiser opens fire from 24 km., And in full swing approaches with opponents. A volley of one of the German ships covers the developing «Hood» from 15—18 km. The cruiser for some time follows the same course and, a kilometer away from the «Prince Eugen», from a powerful explosion, it breaks in half. On the German cruiser falls hail of debris. 1415 people die. 3 sailors are saved
The German battleship «Bismarck», the largest ship of its time. The displacement curb — 50 000 tons (two times higher than that of the aircraft carrier), length 251 meters, width 36 meters, draft 10 meters. The maximum speed of 55 km. hours, autonomous navigation range of 17 000 km. The main armament is eight 380 mm. cannons in four towers.
In the evening, the same on May 24, 1941, the Bismarck receives a torpedo into the board from one of the seven Suordfish torpedo bombers that took off from the deck of the approached aircraft carrier. The British extremely painfully perceive the death of the «Hood» and intend to by all means get rid of the battleship. The torpedo gets into the armored belt (145—320 mm.) And does not produce any particular effect. Sailor dies. The air attack is repeated on May 25, more successfully. One of two or three torpedoes damages the steering, so that the ship begins to describe the circulation (moves in a spiral). In this state, «Bismarck» has to take the battle with two battleships, a heavy cruiser and several destroyers. German submarines do not have time to come to the rescue. Photography is the last minutes of a superlinked flame.
The roll negatively affects the accuracy of the Bismarck. British shells destroy the main ranging post and damage the tower. English heavy cruiser hits superlinkor with three torpedoes. The ship flips up the keel. Out of 2,220 people, 114 are saved (three are taken up by a German submarine that has approached). Since then, the German command covers the strike force of the surface fleet, especially in the winding Norwegian fjords. German kriegsmarine go to the tactics of unlimited submarine warfare. If before, before sinking the transport vessel, the crew of the submarine was obliged to give the appropriate signals, wait until the seamen sail into the boats, now there are no such tenderness. Photography — the surviving sailors of the Bismarck ascend a British ship
The Prime Minister of Yugoslavia signs the protocol on the accession of his country to the Tripartite Pact, March 25, 1941. On the same day, an 80,000-strong demonstration against the alliance with Germany is held in Belgrade. Above all, it is marked by the defeat of the German Information Bureau. A new government is being formed. Already on April 5, the USSR and Yugoslavia signed a treaty of friendship and non-aggression. These events, Hitler sees as a reason for the invasion. And, on April 6, the armed forces of Germany, Italy, Hungary attack Yugoslavia. Stalin to assist the allies, in accordance with the concluded agreement, is in no hurry. 2000 tons of bombs fall on Belgrade, and on April 16 the Yugoslav army capitulates. About 344,000 people are captured (Croats, Hungarians and Germans are later released). Irretrievable loss. Germany: 165 people, 40 aircraft, 3 tanks. Italy: 3300 people, 13 aircraft, 11 tankettes. Hungary: 130 people, 1 plane. Yugoslavia: 5,000 military, 57 shot down, 150 planes destroyed on the ground. In the photo — the Yugoslavs celebrate the signing of a treaty of friendship with the USSR, April 5, 1941.
Italian Bersaliers (arrows of elite units) in the street of the Serbian city, April 1941
For some reason, the capture of Yugoslavia prompts Hitler to provide more effective assistance to the Italian allies. And, on April 6, 1941, from the territory of Bulgaria, German troops invade Greece. Athens surrenders on April 27th. After three more days Greece surrenders. A month later, the Wehrmacht occupied the island of Crete, considered primarily as an airfield to control the waters of the Mediterranean. Photography — Greek city after shelling. April 1941
Brave but poorly armed Greek soldiers prepare to meet German troops. April 1941, Greece
Serious losses among parachutists do not allow further operations to capture Cyprus and the Suez Canal immediately. Losses of Greece: 14,000 killed, allies — 900, with 14,000 prisoners. The Wehrmacht is losing 1,500 soldiers, Italy is about 20,000. It is believed that the need to seize Yugoslavia, as well as the stubborn resistance of Greece, postponed the time of invasion of the USSR from May 15, 1941 to June 22, and these five weeks had a decisive effect on the course of the war. Photography — German soldiers deployed a flag near the Acropolis. May 1941
In the battle for Crete (May 20–31, 1941) elite skydivers are the decisive force. On both sides die 5 thousand people. More than 5 thousand Greeks and 12 thousand allies (British, New Zealanders, Australians) are captured. The operation is generally successful. However, since then the German command has abandoned the practice of large landing forces. This decision allows the UK to preserve the strategically important island of Malta
Calculate the forces of the parties in the Battle of the Titans. The population of the Soviet Union in the census of 1939 is 170 million. The census leaders of 1937, which showed the result of «only» 162 million for the «undercounting» of the population were shot. In 1940, territories with a population of 18 million people, which were not always loyal to the new system, were attached to the USSR. We will assume that the results of the «firing» population census are correct. Then, by 1941, the population of the colossus was 180 million people. The Third Reich, 1941, i.e., Germany, Austria, the Sudetenland and other territories inhabited by ethnic Germans subject to conscription — 90 million people. Hungary — 9.3 million (800,000 Hungarians were killed on the Eastern Front), Romania — 20 million (453,000 died). These two countries are the unconditional allies of Germany, whose human reserves she is free to dispose of as her own. The contingent of volunteers in 64 thousand is allocated by 44 million Italy (during the war years the corps was updated several times, 374 thousand died), and also 25 million Spain — 18 thousand (15 thousand dead). Slovakia — 36 thousand, 3 thousand died, Croatia 2 thousand people, the number of dead is unknown, Finland — 300 thousand people, 70 thousand losses (against 108 thousand Soviet casualties on this front, including 18 thousand dead in captivity)The Wehrmacht also owns the resources and industry of France, Norway, Belgium, Holland, Denmark, Poland, Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia and the Czech Republic. Photography - German soldiers on the border with the Soviet Union are conducting a reconnaissance, June 21, 1941. On the left - 20 mm. automatic anti-aircraft gun 2 cm FlaK 30, on the right - an early-release T-4 tank, with 75 mm. the instrument
The only ally of the USSR at this moment is the 47-million Great Britain with 1.2 million (including the units located in the colonies), the army pretty battered after Dunkirk. Her war with Germany until 1944 is similar to a ritual battle, a knightly tournament, where, according to the established rules, knights hung with glands seize. England has one and a half thousand aircraft, a dozen aircraft carriers, many cruisers, destroyers and submarines. After Dunkirk, the British have no more than 100 tanks left, but, thanks to developed industry, their number is constantly increasing. Fighting here rather technique, not people. The interest of Germany, whose spirit is now ruled by the ancient Germanic gods, lies in the Northeast. According to the plans of the command, German colonies should be organized in the USSR on the model of Ancient Sparta, with an autochthonous population reduced to 50 million. In the photo — Soviet pilots near fighters I-16.
On June 22, 1941, Germany and Romania entered the war with the USSR. The basis of military operations for Bucharest is the rejection of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina a year earlier. A day later, Slovakia is included in the war. On the night of June 26, the Hungarian city of Kosice, three years previously owned by Slovakia, was bombarded by unmarked aircraft. 27 tons of bombs dropped. It is still not known whether the Soviet air force that bombed the city because of the confusion was German or even Romanian (to push an ally to action), but on June 27, Hungary declares war on the USSR. At the same time, on June 25, Soviet aviation strikes 18 Finnish airfields. Some of them are really based on German aircraft. On the same day, Suomi declares war. By the end of the year, it is occupying a significant part of Karelia, including the capital Petrozavodsk (which has become Eyslynnom). About 70,000 civilians from non-Finnish peoples fall into concentration camps. One third of them will die of malnutrition, disease, and mistreatment. A photograph is a Soviet I-16 fighter that failed to take off (or made an emergency landing). The curb weight of the aircraft 1,300 kg., The speed of 450 km. hours, the range of 480 km., weapons — two machine guns 7.62 mm. Produced about 10,000 units. The second half of June 1941, USSR
Soviet fighters shot down at takeoff, I-15 and I-16, June 22, 1941
The «Decree of military jurisdiction of the Barbarossa Plan dated May 13, 1941 states:“ For the actions that Wehrmacht officials and allies will perform against the enemy civilian population, no prosecution is provided, also if this action is simultaneously a war crime or misdemeanor… I release you from the chimera called conscience. "Further: «I reject Christianity, because it is a product of Judaism, because it is internationalistic and because it preaches peace on earth.»(Adolf Gitler). In the pre-war photo - military pilots of the USSR near the I-15. These people will have to understand what a total war is and do the impossible.
On June 23, 1941, the battle for Dubno-Lutsk-Brody (320 km west of Kiev) starts. G. Zhukov, who came to the scene of the events, rejects the idea of the chief of staff of the South-Western Front about withdrawing troops. The new plan is a strike by five mechanized corps of 2,800 (later 3,100) tanks in four (later — five) German tank divisions, 720 tanks and 70 assault guns. Photography — German soldiers inspect abandoned heavy tank T-35. Weight 50 tons, 11 crew members, booking — 30 mm front body., 20 mm board., 20 mm towers. The speed over rough terrain is 10—12 km. h. Armament — one 76.2 mm., two 45 mm. guns and six-seven machine guns. Made 59 units. Until June 1941, these tanks were not involved in the fighting, limited only by the demonstration of the power of the Soviet Union at military parades.
Wehrmacht formations, in addition to armored vehicles, include large units of infantry, artillery, and qualified repair brigades. The bulky (400 tanks) mechanized corps of the Red Army make marches of 300 km each, losing at least one third of the vehicles from mechanical damage. The Soviet production system of the equipment does not seem to provide for the delivery, which is not worth even a half-word, «small things» for repair. Guidelines for driving and maintenance of new tanks, at this time — are classified even from the driver. Sometimes, so carefully stored by the crews of the car, at a crucial moment refuel not with diesel fuel, but with gasoline. In order to avoid equipment breakdowns and charges of sabotage, grassroots commanders sabotage real military training. The fact that in the German educational units is punished with reprimand, in the Red Army can end with execution. The photograph shows Soviet BT-7 tanks damaged and abandoned by crews. Weight 14 tons, crew 3 people., Booking 15—20 mm., Cannon 45 mm., 1—3 machine guns. Speed, according to the designers, is the main advantage of the «high-speed» tank. On tracks, on the BT-7 highway, it develops 52 km. hours, on wheels — an unthinkable 72 km. h
In a society of formal equality and «territorial organization of the community,» any insignia is qualified as belonging to a particular caste. The commander of the Red Army at any cost seeks to secede from the masses of soldiers. These maxims agree with the observations of the author during his military service in the Soviet and then Russian army. The German army from the middle of the nineteenth century implies, with strict observance of the chain of command, the attitude of the officer to the soldier as an equal. Cohesion, trust, even if, as they say, on the basis of blood-related ties, determines a high level of governance. Photography — T-34-76 tank as part of a broken Soviet column. June-July 1941. The mass is 26 tons, the crew is 4 people, the armor is 45 mm in all directions (feed 40 mm.) The gun is 76 mm., Course and twin machine guns. The speed on the highway is 54 km. hours, rugged terrain — 36 km. h. if you manage to stick the transfer
So, tank battles, frontal attacks on the positions of German anti-tank guns, maneuvering without communications and maps, separation from supply and repair lines occur near Kiev. Total. By June 30, the Red Army lost 2,600 tanks, the Wehrmacht — 170 (irrevocably). The southwestern front collapses.Photography - a German soldier inspects a damaged T-34-76 tank on the sidelines. The surroundings of Kiev, July 1941
Stalin has to put aside executions, empty slogans, and work with the problem, now really delving into the essence of what is happening. The control system is being rebuilt. It works from the second half of 1942 to May 1945, and for two and a half years it allows us to escape from the collapse to victory.Photography - burning T-34-76. At this stage of the war, "steel monsters" still do not impress the top officers of the Wehrmacht. The Red Army has by this time only 60 trained crews for the T-34. Battle for Dubno-Lutsk-Brody. Summer 1941
Kiev strategic defensive operation. Summer 1941. Retreating and confused Soviet soldiers
German cars and armored vehicles follow the T-38 tank with four towers removed from the hull. Ukraine, August 1941
A Soviet tank KV-1 defeated by dozens of shells. July 1941, south of the USSR. Armament: 76 mm. a cannon, 90—114 shells, three 7.62 machine guns. Reservations: forehead, body side 75 mm., Forehead, side turret 75 mm. (protection against armor-piercing projectile 50 mm. German cannon further 200 meters). The crew of 5 people. Weight 48 tons. Transmission problems are common. The speed on the highway is 34 km. h.. Cruising range over rough terrain 120 km. Specific power 11.6 hp, pressure on the ground 0.77 kg. cm. From 1939 to 1942 produced 2770 cars.
German soldiers in the offensive. USSR, summer 1941
Captured Soviet soldiers. Summer 1941
Captured in the Kiev boiler soldiers of the Red Army. From the memoirs of Vasily Ivanov, a former prisoner of war: «… Another question, also generated by hunger, was the question of who eats the food that is given out. Some said that they are eating now — as soon as they receive, since they can hardly wait for this moment. Others said that it is better to divide each diet into 2 times. After all, then you will eat 6 times a day, not three. And one said that he collects all 3 rations together and eats them after receiving the last teaspoon. — And I eat all this for almost 8 hours, and therefore I don’t feel hunger a third of the day, and I sleep almost 10 hours a day. What only mental phenomena did not cause hunger. In the camp appeared typhus, which spread rapidly, besides this, there was some kind of epidemic of diarrhea… In addition to these diseases, signs of illness of prisoners of scarf began to appear in March of 42 years. The grass that appeared at the camp’s territory in the end of March was quickly destroyed by prisoners. She was eaten both raw and boiled. The prisoners, wanting to pick herbs, which remained only under the beginning of the wire fence, thrust their heads and hands towards her. And the soldiers and officers walking behind the wire fired pistols at the heads. If in December — January, 25–30 prisoners died daily, in March, 40, in April, 75–80, and so on. The dead were demolished in the morgue in stripped form, and at the end of the day they were immersed in carts and taken to the cemetery, where a deep, large moat was dug. The dead were dumped into this ditch, and they began to dig in only upon the arrival of warm days. By May, only half of 9,000 POW commanders survived. In the second camp of captured privates, in which in December 1941 there were about 7,000, in the month of June only 700 people were taken to work, and the camp was closed.
Kiev outskirts, 1941
After the fight in the Kiev boiler. In the background, for the dead soldiers — the Soviet tank BT-7
German armored and burning T-34-76. Ukraine, 1941
Hot August 13, 1941 Odessa leaves the last train echelon. The defense of a large Black Sea town is successful, but the Headquarters of the Commander-in-Chief decides on the evacuation of troops to the Crimea. The losses of the Soviet and allied German-Romanian troops are equal — 18 thousand people each
The Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran (Operation Consent) will take place on August 25, 1941. Without declaring war, the forces of the British Empire attack the Shah’s army from the Persian Gulf. Soviet units invade Transcaucasia. The main strike force of the Red Army is a thousand T-26 tanks, the Caspian flotilla, the British — the fire of naval artillery and the Air Force. Major cities, including Tehran, are being bombarded. Hundreds of civilians die. The Iranian army is densely saturated with money, but it is even more corrupt. Iranian divisions lose control (senior officers tend to leave the battlefield), crumble, surrender. Some units intend to fight to the end. However, on August 29, the Shah gave the order to lay down their arms. In the photo — the Soviet military convoy enters the city of Tabriz.
Already on September 17, the Red Army and British units occupy Tehran. A month later, having formed a loyal government (now no side unrelated to the Germans), the Allies leave the capital. The country is divided into Soviet and British zones of influence. According to the treaty, Iran is declared an ally of Britain and the USSR. The parties pledge to withdraw troops within six months after the cessation of all hostilities. This operation has a background. Great Britain is occupying Iraq. The course of action. May, 1941, landing of the expeditionary corps in Basra, air force strikes on airfields. The Germans are trying to come to the aid of the allies, but without the proper enthusiasm and scale. As a result, the British establish control over the oil fields, and in the future they get the opportunity to conduct a corridor for deliveries to the USSR. Photography — Soviet and British officers (in characteristic shorts and cork helmets) communicate near the armored car. Iran, August 1941
The loss of the parties in the Anglo-Iraq war. Britain — 1,200 people, 30 aircraft, Iraqis — 8,500 troops, 20 German, 4 Italian aircraft. Losses during the occupation of Iran: the USSR — 50 people irrevocably, 3 aircraft. Britain — 25 fighters, 8 aircraft. Iran — 800 soldiers, 300 civilians. The result of the operation «Consent» is unhindered delivery of more than 5 million tons of military cargo to the USSR. A small bonus — a significant part of the grain harvest in Northern Iran is being used by the army. But now, in the autumn of 1941, the capture of a considerable country of the East seems only a small drop of honey in a huge barrel of tar.Photography - British correspondent talks with a Soviet officer who was injured during the battle with Iranians
The defense of Soviet troops near Smolensk, 1941, July 10 — September 10. T-26 tanks in the background
The onset of the fascist German troops near Smolensk, autumn 1941. Infantry with all the tackle equipment, mortar gunners and the first T-4 tank releases
Soviet gunners with 45 mm. a cannon. The outskirts of Smolensk, autumn 1941. In the background — a padded German self-propelled gun
German military inspect the Soviet KV-2 tank with a broken chassis. Even without enemy shells, the overloaded KV-1 and KV-2 chassis often fail. Memories of German corporal Helmut Claussmann: «… Once in our division a soldier was shot, who wrote a defeat letter home in which he scolded Hitler. And after the war, I learned that during the war years, for such letters, several thousand soldiers and officers were shot! One of our officers was demoted to the rank and file for „defeatist talk“. Especially feared members of the NSDAP. They were considered informers, because they were very fanatically minded and could always submit a report to you on command. There were not very many of them, but they were almost always not trusted. Attitude to the local population, to the Russians, to the Belarusians was restrained and suspicious, but without hatred. We were told that we must defeat Stalin, that our enemy is Bolshevism. But, in general, the attitude towards the local population was correctly called „colonial.“ We looked at them in the 41st as a future labor force, as in the territory that would become our colonies. Ukrainians treated better. Because the Ukrainians greeted us very cordially. Almost like liberators. Ukrainian girls easily romances with the Germans. In Belarus and Russia, this was rare. There were contacts on the ordinary human level. In the North Caucasus, I was friends with the Azerbaijanis, who served as auxiliary volunteers (khivi). In addition to them in the division served Circassians and Georgians. They often cooked kebabs and other dishes of Caucasian cuisine. I still love this kitchen very much. From the beginning, they took a little. But after Stalingrad, every year they became more and more. And by the 44th year they were a separate large auxiliary unit in the regiment, but they were commanded by a German officer. We called them Schwarze for their eyes — black. They explained to us that it was necessary to them, as comrades, that they were our assistants. But a certain distrust of them, of course, remained. They were used only as providing soldiers …»
Overwhelmed, probably by a bomb hit, KV-1. The advantage of the Wehrmacht at this stage is high coordination between the branches of the military. As part of the infantry, tank, and other units necessarily have aircraft manufacturers, guiding the Luftwaffe on target.
Vyazemsky defensive operation, October 2—13, 1941. Catastrophe. To the west of Vyazma, the forces of Army Group «Center» surround four Soviet armies. The irretrievable loss of the Red Army — 250 thousand people, and 600 thousand prisoners. Losses Wehrmacht unknown. Now only scattered small Red Army detachments remain before Moscow
Carried in freight cars like cattle, soldiers captured in the Vyazma boiler. Photo on the cover of a German newspaper. October 1941
Captured from Vyazemsky boiler. Autumn 1941
Soldiers of Army Group North in the suburbs of Leningrad. The offensive is somewhat delayed. Residents of the city manage to create the necessary fortifications. Defense effectively keep heavy tanks KV-1 and KV-2, manufactured by the Kirov plant
September 8, 1941 Leningrad, the second largest and most important city of the USSR, as well as the surrounding areas are surrounded. The rates of distribution of bread, the main or only food in the first two months are reduced five times. Since November 20, the minimum bread-making rate (for employees, children and dependents) is 125 g. We will read several pages from the story of front-line writer Nikolai Nikulin («Memories of War»). «… In the spring of 1941 in Leningrad, many felt the approach of war. Informed people knew about her preparation, the inhabitants were alarmed by rumors and gossip. But no one could have imagined that within three months after the invasion the Germans would be at the walls of the city, and in six months every third inhabitant would die a terrible death from exhaustion. Moreover, we, yellow-headed chicks, who had just left the school, did not think about what was coming. But the majority was destined to die in the swamps near Leningrad soon. Others, those few who return, waited a different fate — to remain crippled, legless, armless, or turn into neurasthenics, alcoholics, forever lose composure. The declaration of war, I, and, as it seems, the majority of the inhabitants met, not so indifferently, but somehow alienated. We listened to the radio, talked. We expected quick victories of our army, invincible and the best in the world, as it was constantly written in the newspapers. Battles so far played out somewhere far away. About them came less news than about the war in Europe. In the first days of war, a peculiar holiday atmosphere developed in the city. It was clear, sunny weather, green gardens and squares, there were a lot of flowers. The city was adorned with ineptly executed posters on military themes. The streets came to life. Many new recruits in a new form were busily walking along the sidewalks. Everywhere you could hear singing, the sounds of phonographs and accordions: the mobilized hurried to get drunk one last time and celebrate their departure for the front. … There was still food in the stores, and the queues did not look gloomy.»
A part of workers not engaged in military production is sent to the front. Photography — workers of the Kirov factory. The line of fortifications is sometimes only 5—7 kilometers from important industrial sites, and 16 km. from the Winter Palace… N. Nikulin: «… The houses were transformed. Everywhere, the glass of the windows was crossed crosswise with strips of paper. Storefronts were scored and covered with sandbags. Inscriptions appeared on the walls — signs of bomb shelters and shelters. Observers were on duty on the roofs. Anti-aircraft guns were installed in the gardens, and some not-so-young people in wide ski pants marched there from morning to evening and were stuffed with bayonets. On the streets, girls in ridiculous riding breeches and poorly made tunics appeared every now and then. They carried monstrously sized gas balloons for barrage balloons that rose above the city on long cables. Recalling the huge fish, they clearly loomed in the cloudless sky of the white nights. And the war, meanwhile, was going on somewhere. Something was happening, but no one really knew anything. In the hospital began to bring the wounded, mobilized left and left. The scene of the sending of marines ran into the memory: right in front of our windows overlooking the Neva River, soldiers fully armed and equipped were loaded onto a pleasure boat. They quietly waited for their turn, and suddenly a woman ran up to one of them with a loud cry. She was persuaded, reassured, but without success. The soldier was tearing his hands together convulsively, and she continued to cling to the duffel bag, the rifle, the gas mask bag. The boat swam away, and the woman howled for a long time, banging her head against the granite parapet of the embankment. She felt what I learned much later: neither the soldiers, nor the boats, on which they were sent to the landing, no longer returned.»
On the ice of Lake Ladoga, bypassing the positions of the Wehrmacht, the «Road of Life» is being laid. Under attacks from the air, grain is brought into the city. Children are evacuated on return flights. From December 25, 1941, the norms for bread production are somewhat increasing. N. Nikulin: «… Then we all signed up for the militia… We were given rifles, ammunition, food (for some reason, herring — apparently what was at hand) and loaded onto a barge that stood near the Malaya Neva River. And here for the first time I was saved by my Guardian Angel, who took on the image of an elderly colonel, who ordered everyone to disembark from the barge and build ashore. At first we did not understand anything, and the colonel carefully looked at everyone with his red eyes for insomnia and ordered several to break down. Among them was me. «Go home! Said the colonel. «And without you, the snotty, TAM is sickening!» It turns out that he was trying to fix something, to do it properly, to prevent the senseless death of yellow-headed youths. He found time and energy for this! But I understood all this later, and then returned home, to the bewildered family…The barge, meanwhile, proceeded along the Neva and beyond. On Volkhov, it was rumored to have bombed and drowned Messerschmitts. The militiamen were sitting in the holds, the hatches of which the prudent bosses ordered to lock-so that good things would not run away, darling!I returned home, but a week later I received a formal mobilization agenda ... ”
Finnish soldiers pose with tortured Soviet prisoners of war, early 1942. In the summer and autumn of 1941, Finland regains territories lost in the Winter War. The German-Finnish Karelian army continues the offensive, seizes Petrozavodsk and blocks Leningrad from the north. In the occupied territories, the Finns carry out segregation of the population according to their nationality. All responsible Soviet officials, business leaders, newspaper editors, police officers, and the like, are sent to concentration camps. A justified hatred of the Bolshevik regime, the Finns mingle with nationalist aspirations. Finland is hardly better than fascist Germany. The ambitions of a sparsely populated country are not shackled by spiritual ideals, but only by its technical capabilities. But, July 30–31, an ally of the USSR, the UK inflicts air strikes on Petsamo and Kirkenes. Damaged ship, two go to the bottom. British Air Force lost 16 aircraft.After this prelude, December 6, 1941, the United Kingdom declares war to Finland.One way or another, Suomi refuses to conduct active hostilities. N Nikulin:“... In early November, we were returned to the cold, without glasses, Leningrad barracks. Before being sent to the front, the companies were instructed to patrol the city. Checked documents, detained suspicious. Among the latter were the entourage, who came out of the Luga and other "boilers". They were terribly emaciated people - bones covered with brown weathered skin ...The city was very different from what it was in August. Everywhere traces of splinters, a lot of houses with destroyed facades, opened the apartment as if in a section: in some places were kept on the remnants of the floor bed or chest of drawers, on the walls there were clocks or paintings. It's cold, dank, gloomy. Klodt horses removed. Yusupov Palace is damaged. From the bottom to the top of the Museum of Ethnography there is a huge crack. The spiers of the Admiralty and the Peter and Paul Cathedral are in dark cases, and the dome of Isaac is painted in neutral paint for masking. In the squares buried anti-aircraft guns. Occasionally, German shells rush with a howl and rush away. Dimensionally knocking metronome. The wind is wearing yellow foliage, branches, some dirty paper ... "
German soldiers on the outskirts of Moscow. According to the directive of Hitler, the assault is carried out without proper preparation and strengthening of communications, since September 30, 1941.
Sevastopol, 1941. The first assault on the base of the Black Sea Fleet will take place on October 30 — November 21
Sailors of Sevastopol. On land, sailors form elite infantry, aware of the value of combat brotherhood, accustomed to handling sophisticated equipment.
The outskirts of Sevastopol, autumn 1941
The battleship Sevastopol is firing. The first and second storming of the city of military glory is frustrated thanks to the artillery support of the ships in the bays.
The Germans are increasing the pressure in the center of the USSR. Wrecked tank KV-1 with marks from dozens of shells in the city of Venev, Tula region
The defense of the city of Tula, November 1941. The most important center of the Soviet defense industry is almost completely surrounded by German units. The city holds a siege, and does not allow the Wehrmacht to strike at Moscow from the south
On December 28, 1941, the Red Army and the fleet landed troops in Kerch. A day later, landing in Feodosia. This operation is successful. The German division occupying Kerch evacuates into the depths of the Crimea peninsula, throwing heavy equipment
Subsequent, poorly prepared and indecisive attacks on Wehrmacht fortified positions only exhaust the mechanized units of the Red Army in the Crimea.
The downed tank KV-1. District of the city of Old Crimea. This is the last frontier of the advancement of the Soviet marines. December 1941
The construction of earthworks for the streets of the capital of the USSR
Panic in Moscow, October 16, 1941
To overcome the fear of the Wehrmacht forces, an exhibition of German military equipment is organized in the center of Moscow.
Moscow, 1941. MiG-3 fighters. The capital is covered by impressive air defense forces. Hitler’s plan for the destruction of the city from the air is not carried out
Two hundred thousand civilians are mobilizing to the aid of the Red Army in Moscow. Almost all of them die in the coming months.
American poster in support of the Lend-Lease
In November 1941, supplies under Lend-Lease start. The Soviet Union receives the first 670 aircraft, about 400 tanks and 3,000 other military cargoes from the United States and Great Britain. In the battle of Moscow, the armored vehicles «Valentine» and «Matilda II» account for 35% of all tanks used by the Red Army. Fighters «Tomahawk» and «Hurricane» form 16% of the capital’s air defense fleet. Photography is one of the first Lend-Lease sea convoys. November 1941
Moscow, November 1941. The BT-7 tanks are sent to the front.N. Nikulin: “... At the end of November, our offensive began. Only now I learned what war is, although I still did not participate in the attacks. Hundreds of wounded, dead, cold, hunger, stress, a week without sleep ... On one relatively quiet night, I sat in a snow-covered hole, unable to fall asleep from the cold. Scratching lousy sides and crying from longing and weakness. That night a fracture occurred in me. From somewhere there were forces. In the morning I crawled out of the hole, began to scour the empty German dugouts, found frozen like a stone, potatoes, made a fire, cooked a brew in a helmet and, having filled my belly, I felt self-confidence. From that moment my rebirth began. Appeared defensive reactions, energy appeared. There was a gut feeling, telling how to behave. There is a snap. I began to get grub. Then he chopped horseflesh with an ax from the thigh of a killed German batyuga - he froze from the cold. That found an abandoned potato pit. Once a mine was killed by a passing horse. Twenty minutes later, only the mane and entrails remained, as craftsmen like me instantly cut the meat into pieces. The driver did not even have time to recover, and remained sitting in a sleigh with the reins in his hand. Another time, we were marching along the road, and suddenly, ahead of us, the projectile turned over the kitchen. Buckwheat gruel spilled on the snow. Immediately, without saying a word, everyone took out the spoons and the feast began! But the movement on the road can not be stopped! A cart carrying hay, a truck, went through the porridge, and we all ate and ate while there was what was left ... I collected breadcrumbs and crusts near warehouses, kitchens - in a word, I got food where I could ... "
«Siberian», in fact — the Far Eastern divisions, transferred to Moscow after the intelligence officers’ assurances that there would be no war with Japan, are the most prepared military units
Moscow strategic offensive operation. T-70 tanks and well-trained soldiers of the Red Army. November 1941
As a result of the Moscow battle, the German troops are moving back 100–120 km. from the capital. For the first time Soviet soldiers see such a significant amount of damaged and abandoned German equipment.
The German motor convoy, defeated near Moscow, January 1941. N. Niulin: «… The offensive continued, at first successfully. The Germans fled, abandoning guns, cars, all sorts of supplies, shooting horses. I was convinced that the stories about their atrocities were not an invention of newspapermen. I saw the corpses of burned prisoners with stars carved on their backs. The villages in the way of withdrawal were all broken, the inhabitants were driven out. There were very few of them left — hungry, ragged, miserable …»
German prisoners of war. For the first time, Soviet troops take German soldiers prisoner in groups of 10—15 people.
Pearl Harbor, the most important Pacific naval base of the United States
Pearl Harbor, modern photography. Something like this, in color, 80 years ago (assuming that it is now 2019), the Japanese pilot sees it all
The full-scale war in the Pacific gives the first visible sprout on November 26, 1941. The United States, seeing the ambitions of the Pacific power as a threat to its security, announces an ultimatum to Japan: to leave China, Indonesia and Korea already conquered. In response, on December 7, 1941, Japanese aircraft hit the US base in Hawaii (Pearl Harbor, Pearl Harbor, in the middle of the Pacific Ocean). The official declaration of war is late (which gives America moral superiority). 2,400 people die. Four battleships of the First World War, four destroyers, 188 aircraft are sent to the bottom. Twenty-three submarines and, we note, six aircraft carriers, the main striking force of the US Navy, which had just emerged into the open ocean, remain intact. The loss of the Japanese side — 29 aircraft, 55 pilots, 9 submariners from five ultra-small submarines. The photo — the attack «Zero» Imperial Air Force
Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941
Japan has a major initial success. On December 8, 1941, the samurai stormed the dominion of Great Britain, Hong Kong. After 18 days of defense, the garrison capitulates. 9 thousand British and Canadian soldiers are taken prisoner. The irretrievable loss of Japan - 2 thousand people. Anglo-Saxon allies lose 4 thousand. Expansion throughout the Pacific and mainland China is gaining an unprecedented scale. The photograph shows the parade of Japanese troops in Hong Kong, January 1941.
Since June 1941, thousands of trains with people and equipment being evacuated rush to the East of the USSR
New factories built in Siberia and beyond the Urals are sometimes leveled earthen areas, without walls and roofs, with rows of machines on which military products are manufactured. Mostly women and teenagers work here.
Teenager 12—13 years at work. For adults, work shifts last for 15—16 hours
The production of KV-1 tanks at the monstrously expanded Chelyabinsk Tractor Plant since 1941. New huge tank-building plant called «Tankograd»
After the fairly successful Moscow battle, Stalin perks up and stops listening to the advice again. The Supreme Commander believes that 1942 is the year of the «final defeat of the German fascist troops.» As a continuation of the battle near Moscow, the Rzhev-Vyazma operation starts on January 8 — the general offensive of the Soviet troops on the enemy’s well-trained positions, without concentrating forces and assets in certain areas. N. Nikulin: «… — Attack! — Calls the owner of the Kremlin. … Well, if the colonel tries to think out and prepare the attack, check whether everything possible has been done. And often he is simply inept, lazy, drunk. Often he does not want to leave the warm shelter and crawl under the bullets… Often, the artillery officer revealed the targets is not enough, and, not to risk, shoots from afar at the squares, it’s good, if not his own, although it happened quite often… It happens that the supplier washed it down and had fun with the women in the nearest village, and the shells and food are not delivered… Or the major went astray and took his battalion along the compass not at all where it should be… Confusion, confusion, deficiencies, fraud, non-fulfillment of the debt, so characteristic of us in peaceful life, to War appear brighter than anywhere else. And for all one pay — blood. Ivana go on the attack and die, and the one sitting in the shelter drives everything and drives them. The psychology of the person going to the assault and the one who watches the attack differs remarkably — when you don’t have to die yourself, everything seems simple: go ahead and go!..»
Soviet soldiers on the front line. Rzhev-Vyazemsky operation, January 1942. Front-line writer N. Nikulin: «… Otherwise we could not and could not. I read somewhere that English intelligence has been training its agents for decades. They are taught in the best colleges, create athletes, intellectuals, capable of all experts in their field. Then such agents handle global affairs. In Asian countries, the task is given to a thousand or ten thousand somehow, hastily trained people in the hope that even if almost everyone fails and will be destroyed, at least one will fulfill its mission. There is neither time, nor funds for training, nor experienced teachers here. Everything is done in a hurry — they did not have time before, did not think, or even did a lot, but not so. Everything is done by gravity, by intuition, mass, number. This is the second way we fought. In 1942, there was no alternative. The wise Master in the Kremlin understood everything perfectly, knew and, suppressing everyone with iron will, commanded one thing: „Attack!“ And we attacked, attacked, attacked… And the mountains of corpses near Pogosti, Nevsky Pyatachkov, nameless heights grew, grew, grew. So was preparing a future victory. If the Germans had filled our headquarters with spies and saboteurs, if there was mass betrayal and the enemies developed a detailed plan for the collapse of our army, they would not have achieved the effect that was the result of idiocy, dullness and irresponsibility of the soldiers …»

Бесплатный фрагмент закончился.

Купите книгу, чтобы продолжить чтение.