Military Review

Baltic special: the first hours of the war

Baltic special: the first hours of the war

At the end of May 1941, the I.F. Kuznetsov reported to the Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army about the completion of the formation of anti-tank brigades and the VDK district. At the same time, the commander of the district noted with bitterness that the recruiting of airborne units was made from personnel who had not even received initial training, and part of the personnel of formations and units was recruited "from the indigenous peoples of the republics of Central Asia and Transcaucasia, who had little or no knowledge speak Russian. Body parts are equipped with a wide replacement of specialties. " As a result, anti-tank brigades of the district were not fully trained, and half of the specialty personnel were not trained. Besides...

In August, 1940, the USSR included three Baltic states: Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia. Leaving behind the brackets of this article the problems of the actual occurrence of these states in the USSR and the subsequent policy of the Soviet authorities in these countries, we only note that the Baltic Special Military District (PribOVO), more precisely 17 August 1940, was created in the same year That is how it became known, and 11 was organized on July 1940 of the year, which included the national armies of Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia.

Initially Colonel General aviation HELL. Loktionov, however, by the end of 1940 it became clear that Alexander Dmitrievich was not quite able to cope with the powers assigned to him to command the district. The commander of the district did not arrive at the meeting of the leadership of the Red Army on December 23-31, 1940, citing illness, and there was also no member of the Military Council of the district corps commissioner I.Z. Susaykov. But the chief of staff of PribOV, Lieutenant General P.S. Klenov showed enviable activity at the meeting. After the end of such a landmark event, the commander of PribOVO and a member of the District Military Council were relieved of their posts. The commander of the district was appointed Lieutenant General F.I. Kuznetsov (the rank of Colonel General was received in February 1941), and the corps commissioner P.A. Dibrov. The district chief of staff retained his post.

Upon arrival in the district of F.I. Kuznetsov inspected the troops entrusted to him, the situation was very deplorable: his predecessor did almost nothing to improve the combat capability of the district. Instead of equipping the new state border and combat training, the troops were engaged mostly in the arrangement of military camps, storage facilities for equipment and other economic work. The situation was especially bad with the construction of fortified areas along the line of the new state border. At the request of the district commander from the central regions of the USSR, in the spring of 1941, a large number of construction battalions arrived, for example, only in the defense zone of the 11 army were 30 "alien" sapper and engineer-sapper battalions engaged.
To cover the 300-kilometer section of the Soviet-German border, 7 rifle, 4 tank and 2 motorized divisions. The defense of the Baltic Sea coast was entrusted to the Baltic Fleet and the coastal defense units subordinate to it, in addition, for the same purpose, 2 rifle divisions were allocated from the district forces.

The total list of Pribovo troops on 22 June 1941 was 325 559 people. The district included 19 rifle divisions, 4 tank and 2 motorized rifle divisions, 5 mixed air divisions (see “Combat and strength of the USSR Armed Forces during the Great Patriotic War” and Statistical compendium No. 1 of the RF Ministry of Defense 1994). As part of the state border armies, there were 11 rifle, 4 tank and 2 motorized divisions. The structure of these compounds were 183 500 people personnel, 1475 tanks in two mechanized corps districts (3-m and 12-m MK), 1271 weapon and 1478 mortars, 1632 antitank guns, 119 anti-aircraft guns, and 1270 combat aircraft (in 21 June regularly 530 fighter and attack aircraft and 343 bomber).

The balance of power of the parties on June 22, 1941 in the PribOVO defense zone was the most depressing for the Soviet side. The enemy concentrated against the troops of the district two (!) Tank groups of four - the 3rd and 4th, 1062 and 635 tanks, respectively [1]. The enemy forces advancing in the Baltic included 21 infantry divisions, 7 armored divisions, 6 motorized divisions, and 1 motorized brigade. A total of 562015 (18th Army - 184 people; 249th Army - 16 people; 225th Panzer Group - 481 people.) Personnel, 4 tanks, 152 guns, 285 mortars, 1697 anti-tank guns. More than 3045 aircraft operated in the interests of this group (4140st air fleet - 2556 aircraft and 1000 air corps of the 1nd air fleet - 560 aircraft).

The ratio in the PribOVO defense zone was 3: 1 for personnel in favor of the enemy, for tanks 1: 1, for artillery guns 2,4: 1 for the enemy, for mortars 2,8: 1 in favor of the Wehrmacht, for anti-tank guns and men for X-NUMX: 1,6: for artillery guns for anti-tank 1: 3 in favor of the enemy, and only on planes did Soviet troops have the advantage of 1: 1. And this is without taking into account the number of personnel of the 1,2 th TGr, and units of the 3 th field army of the GA Center also attacking in the PribOVO defense zone.

The task of Army Group North in directive No. XXUMX (Barbarossa) was as follows:
“... destroy the enemy forces operating in the Baltic States and deprive the Russian fleet of its bases by seizing ports on the Baltic Sea, including Leningrad and Kronstadt.


In accordance with this task, Army Group North is breaking through the front of the enemy, striking the main attack in the direction of Dvinsk, advancing as quickly as possible with its strong right flank, sending forward mobile troops to force the river. Zapadnaya Dvina, to the northeast region of Opochka in order to prevent the retreat of the combat-ready Russian forces from the Baltic states to the east and create prerequisites for further successful advance to Leningrad.

4-I tank group together with 16-th and 18-th armies breaks through the front of the enemy between Lake Vishtitissky and the road Tilsit-Siauliai, advances to Dvina in the Dvinsk region and to the south and seizes a bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Dvina.


The 16 Army, in cooperation with the 4 tank group, breaks through the front of the opposing enemy and, delivering the main blow on both sides of the Ebenrode-Kaunas road, rapidly advancing its strong right flank behind the tank corps as quickly as possible to the northern bank of the r. Western Dvina at Dvinsk and south of it.


The 18 Army breaks through the front of the opposing enemy and, striking the main blow along the Tilsit-Riga and east roads, quickly forcing the r. The Western Dvina at Plyavinas and to the south, cuts off enemy units located south-west of Riga and destroys them. In the future, it is rapidly moving in the direction of Pskov, the Island, preventing the withdrawal of Russian troops in the area south of Lake Peipsi ... "

Based on Soviet intelligence data on the transfer of the 4 Panzer Group of the Wehrmacht (TGr) to East Prussia, F.I. Kuznetsov began to constantly put before the People's Commissar of Defense the question of strengthening the anti-tank defense of the district. Perseverance yielded positive results: 20 April 1941 by the Military Council PribOVO was obtained Commissar of Defense directive on the formation of a 1 June 1941 years as part of the county 9-rd and 10-th anti-tank artillery brigades RGC (Reserve Command), Siauliai and Kaunas respectively . In addition, the formation of the 5 Airborne Corps (VDK) in Dvinsk (Daugavpils) was envisaged.

At the end of May 1941, the I.F. Kuznetsov reported to the Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army about the completion of the formation of anti-tank brigades and the VDK district. At the same time, the commander of the district noted with bitterness that the recruiting of airborne units was made from personnel who had not even received initial training, and part of the personnel of formations and units was recruited "from the indigenous peoples of the republics of Central Asia and Transcaucasia speak Russian. Body parts are equipped with a wide replacement of specialties. " As a result, anti-tank brigades of the district were not fully trained, and half of the specialty personnel were not trained. In addition, the district commander emphasized that "a large shortage of commanding personnel in the brigades cannot be covered from the district's resources."
As a result, Fedor Isidorovich’s complaints led to the visit of a regular commission to check the combat readiness of the troops - this, so to speak, instead of actually helping the command of PribOVO - but for the sake of justice it should be noted that there were no place for trained specialists, commanding officers and all educated people.

In modern Russian historiography, there is a kind of “sacred cow”: so they say, the command of the Odessa Military District has led, against the orders of the leadership of the Red Army, of the district force to alert; and everything, and the "Wehrmacht failed." However, it turns out that not only OdVO was engaged in “amateur activities”. Documents recently introduced into scientific circulation show that Commander PribOVO estimated the likelihood of a “big” war to begin very, very highly. Moreover, the enemy forces involved against OdVO and PribOVO are even ridiculous to compare.
At the beginning of June 1941, according to the results of the work of the commission of the People’s Commissariat of Defense, a special order was drawn up by the district commander behind the number 0052. In particular, it stated the following:
“A check on the combat readiness of units of the district has shown that some unit commanders have so far criminally not paid due attention to the provision of combat readiness and are not able to manage their units and units.” [2]

The order noted: poor knowledge of the commanders of their areas of combat use of units; in peacetime, units are sent to work for tens of kilometers from the places of permanent deployment without weapons and ammunition; disgusting alert and alarm collection; slow advancement to the assembly areas and huge traffic jams on the roads due to the inability to control the troops on the march, poor interaction of the armed forces; poorly established command and control of troops, especially in the division, the regiment. It was especially noted that "... the commanding staff does not know how to navigate the terrain, fornicates at night [like this in the document - V_P], does not know how to control, runs around the battlefield instead of messengers." [2]
In the mandative part of this document is noted:
“1. The commander of the 8 army personally with the division commanders to conduct exercises on the ground ... By 29 June, each division commander must work out a solution on the ground that the army commander will approve ....
2. The corps commanders conduct field exercises with each regiment commander to 24.6.
3. Division commanders to conduct exercises on the ground with each battalion commander - 28.6 division
4. The task of the exercise is to prepare the terrain occupation for a stubborn defense according to the worked out decision of the senior commander. The main thing is to destroy the enemy’s tanks and infantry, to cover their troops from enemy aircraft, tanks and artillery fire.
5. wire barriers to begin to install immediately, as well as to prepare the installation of minefields and the formation of debris ". [2]

Further, the district commander emphasized:
“The commanders of battalions, battalions, companies, batteries must know their positions and ways to conceal them, and as soon as they take up positions, pay special attention to the instillation of all types of weapons and personnel deep into the ground.” [2]

It was necessary to prepare in advance two firing positions for each machine gun, mortar and guns - the main and spare. It was recommended to pay special attention to the organization of artillery fire in order to massage its fire in any direction where you can expect the appearance of enemy tanks, for which you had to prepare in advance the maneuver with fire and wheels.
The district commander emphasized attention to management issues. He demanded that all commanders ensure reliable command and control in battle by preparing in advance the main and reserve command posts, ranging from the battalion to the division, as well as the main and spare lines of communication. In addition, the commander listed all the methods by which the adversary would try to disorganize control. He directly warned:
“It is necessary to take into account that poorly checked people work at communication centers, among which there may be spies working for the enemy. Therefore, from the very first day of the division’s exit into the area of ​​its operations, all communications centers in the divisional band’s area should be occupied by signalmen of military units. It is necessary to firmly establish the identification signal of the senior officer for the junior and the junior for the senior. To give oral orders has the right only direct and immediate superior. No verbal orders should not be given by telephone ... Written orders should be written briefly and clearly ... ”[2]

The order was set 40-minute period of readiness of raising parts of all the armed forces on alert. Some lines of the pre-war order of Commander PribOVO turned out to be truly prophetic:
"We must firmly understand that mistakes in the actions of one person, especially when this person is a commander, can cost a lot of blood." [2]

And at the end:
“The order to fully know the command personnel to the division commander, inclusive. The army commander, corps commander and divisional division must draw up a calendar plan for the implementation of the order, which will be fully implemented by June 25 on 1941. ” [2]

Isn't it a very remarkable document? It clearly shows that, unlike the Western Special Military District, where the expectation of “instructions from above” prevailed, Fyodor Isidorovich took measures to prepare for the invasion, however, unfortunately, all these measures were hopelessly late. Looking ahead, I will say that despite the incompleteness of measures to bring the district troops into combat readiness and the worst possible ratio of forces on the 22 of June 1941, F.I. Kuznetsov managed to prevent the complete defeat of the forces of his district in the border battle.
This order was signed by the commander, a member of the Military Council and the chief of staff of the district, printed in an 41 copy and sent to the addressees of 15 in June 1941. That is, a week before the start of the Second World War!
But Commander PribOVO did not stop there! On June 14, the redeployment of four rifle divisions (SD) and the control of the 65 rifle corps (SK) to the border zone began. Closer to the border were deployed 4 corps artillery regiment and 1 howitzer regiment (GAP) RGK. All of these compounds and parts were to be concentrated in the indicated areas to 23.06.41.

Despite the strictest warning by the People's Commissar of Defense regarding written documents to bring the border districts to high alert, the Central Archive of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation kept a telephone message of the PribOVO Military Council, dated 13 of June, sent to the commander of 48 SD (a copy of the 8 commander):
“1. The 48 th rifle division to withdraw and place in a parking lot in the forests south and north of Nemakshchay. Precisely areas for the regiments should be replicated and determined during 14 and 15 June.
2. To withdraw all parts of the division and take with them all the reserves calculated for the first mobilization echelon.
3. In the winter quarters, leave the minimum number of people required to mobilize the 2 tier of the division and store the warehouses with the property left for the 2 th mobilization echelon.
4. Perform the night of 16 on 17 June and move to a new area only at night crossings. Focusing the division finish completely by June 23.
5. During the day, settle down on halts, carefully masking parts and carts in the woods.
6. A plan for the division to move to a new area and an application for the necessary vehicles should be provided to me by 1.00 16 June 1941.
7. [handwritten - auth.] Pay special attention to the full combat readiness of the division. ” [3]

Through the 2 of the day, the 15 of June the District Military Council sent the ciprogram to the head of the AU (artillery command) district. This document ordered "to withdraw from the Riga camp and transport to the winter camp sites" by the end of 23 June both corps artillery regiments (AP). By 26 June, the 402 th high-power howitzer artillery regiment (GAP BM) is to be withdrawn and located in the forest area of ​​the station Uzhpelkyai. At the end of the order is written by hand: “Carry out at night. Loading - before dark. Unload at dawn. " [4]
16 Jun. F. Kuznetsov sends to the troops a directive on the procedure for notifying district troops in the event of an enemy violating the state border:
"Division commanders, having received a message about border crossing from the commanders of border units, their reconnaissance units or VNOS posts and checking it, report to the district commander or district chief of staff first, and then the corps commander or army commander, taking simultaneously reflection. "

On the same days, Commander PribOVO bombards the People's Commissar of Defense and the Chief of the General Staff with constant reports on the concentration of German troops at the Soviet border, but Moscow is stubbornly silent.
Finally, 18 Jun. Moscow resolved under the guise of conducting exercises, removing the first echelon of PribOVO headquarters (250 generals and officers), who by 12.00 20 June occupied a previously prepared command post in the forest in 18 km north-east of Panevezys. The second echelon of the headquarters was launched on June 21.
On the same day, Commander PribOVO Colonel-General Fedor Isidorovich Kuznetsov issues order No. XXUMX, in order to quickly bring the district troops into combat readiness, by the end of the day of June 00229, to withdraw the armies of the state border, as well as to bring all alert to full combat readiness air defense and communications in the district - and implement a number of other measures to repel possible enemy aggression. But immediately followed by "pulling out" from Moscow. Bringing into full combat readiness of air defense systems for 18 June 21 was canceled by the Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army GK GK. Zhukov: “You, without the approval of the People's Commissar, issued an order on air defense for the introduction of Regulation No. XXUMX, which means to black out the Baltic States, which would damage the industry. Such actions can be carried out only with the permission of the government. Your disposition causes various rumors and unnerves the public. I demand that the illegally issued order be immediately canceled and cipher explanation given for the report to the Commissar. ” Alas, Kuznetsov’s explanation has not yet been found.
Despite this, Commander PribOVO continues to bring the district troops on alert. June 18 district headquarters gave subordinate troops the following order:
“In order to quickly bring the theater of military operations into combat readiness [even this way - auth.] Of the okrug I order:

The commander of the 8 and 11 armies:


c) proceed to the procurement of scrap materials (rafts, barges, etc.) for arranging crossings across the Viliya, Nevyazha and Dubiss rivers. Crossing points set in conjunction with the operational department of the district headquarters.
The 30 and 4 pontoon regiments are to be subordinated to the military council of the 11 army. Shelves should be fully prepared for building bridges across the Neman River. Next to the exercises, check the condition of bridge laying by these regiments, achieving the minimum deadlines;


f) commanders of the 8 and 11 armies - with the aim of destroying the most important bridges in the lane: the state border and rear line Siauliai, Kaunas, r. Neman reconnoiter these bridges, determine for each of them the number of explosives, teams of demolition men and in the nearest points from them to concentrate all means to undermine. The plan for the destruction of bridges to approve the Military Council of the army. Deadline for 21.6.41 ”[5]

19 Jun Kuznetsov sends a four-point directive to all commanders of the district armies:
“1. To control the equipment of the defense line. Impact on the preparation of positions on the main strip of the UR, the work on which to strengthen.
2. In the assumption to finish the work. But the positions of the assumption are to be occupied by the troops only in case of violation by the enemy of the state border.
3. In order to ensure the rapid occupation of positions both in the predpole and in the main defensive zone, the corresponding units must be completely alert.
4. In the area behind our positions, check the reliability and speed of communication with border units. ” [6]

Do not assume, dear reader, that F.I. Kuznetsov was the only person in PribOVO who considered the imminent attack of the German troops a fact solved. Intelligent commanders of the formations, and especially those whose units were located directly near the border, understood that this was a matter of several days — a maximum of a week or two. For example, the encryption of the commander of the 125 th SD of the 11 SC of the 8 th army from 19 June 1941 of the year has been preserved. Major General P.P. Bogaychuk writes to the district commander:

“According to the agent data and data of the defectors, in the Tilzit area up to seven divisions of the German troops are concentrated.

For our part, measures of a defensive nature, which guarantee against the attack of mechanized units, have not been undertaken, and it is enough for the Germans to allow one tank battalion, just as a held garrison can remain caught off guard. Inner outfit and patrols can only warn parts, but not provide. The band of the assumption without garrisons of the German troops will not delay, and the border guards can timely field troops and not warn. The division's pre-farm lane is closer to the state border than to parts of the division, and without preliminary measures for calculating the time the Germans will be captured before the withdrawal of our units there.

Reporting on the situation at the border, I ask:
1. I can give instructions on what measures I can now put into practice, guarantee the German mechanic mechanics of the Germans against an unexpected invasion, or give me the right to develop an action plan myself, but there are few means for the division ....
4. Allow me to bring not two battalions, envisaged by the district directive No. XXUMX, but four, to work in the band of the supposition. ”

Very interesting is the reaction to a memorandum of Major General Bohaychuk higher authorities. Commander PribOVO imposed the following resolution on her: “Not to issue combat cartridges to your hands, but to prepare their extradition. To complete the work of the assumption, advance three battalions. More support. You have the strength and the means. Firmly manage, use all boldly and skillfully. Not to be nervous, but to be truly on full alert. ”

A completely different reaction bordering on hysterics was caused by another initiative of the commander of the 125-th SD in Moscow. Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army G.K. Zhukov urgently sends to the address of the Military Council of PribOVO the following cipher:
“To order the division commander, Bogaychuk, to give the PERSONAL code to the People’s Commissar of Defense, on what basis he evacuated the families of the commanding officers of the division. People's Commissar considers this an act of cowardice, contributing to the spread of panic among the population and provoking conclusions that are extremely undesirable for us. ” [7]

But the most decisive step by Commander PribOVO was the withdrawal of the troops of the 8 Army of the Okrug to the regions provided for by the plan to cover the state border. Unfortunately, the order was given orally. However, this is confirmed by the surviving documents of the 8 army formations. So, in the combat disposal of the headquarters of the same 125 th SD from 16.30 19 on June 1941 of the year (Taurogene), it was stated that “in fulfillment of the oral order of the commander of the 11 Infantry Corps, today 125 r. Goes out and takes defensive line at the front ... Readiness of defense for 19.6.41 4.00 g., System of fire for 20.6.41 21.00 g. Start the withdrawal of parts to the main defensive line immediately, make dismembered lines and finish by 19.6.41 18.00 g.…. Ready pillboxes immediately accept and occupy their garrisons with the appropriate weapons ... "
This combat order was executed. Already on June 20, Major General Bohaychuk reports to the district headquarters: “Parts of the division arrived in the predvolya region. I’m asking you if you can give out chemical protection products to the NZ. ”
But under the pressure of Moscow, the commander of PribOVO, doubts are beginning to prevail over whether he does this all the way when he is told one thing from the capital, and he sees something completely different in the district. Nevertheless, on the telephone message of the restless Bogaychuk, he writes an instruction to the chief of staff of the district: “Check that no one gets to the predpole early. Create a reason for provocations can not. " And the chief of staff angrily telegraphs to the 125 th SD: “What is it? Do you know that the assumption is forbidden to occupy? Find out immediately. ” Major General Bohaychuk can only be regretted - it's hard to imagine what he felt in the morning of 22 June 1941 of the year ...

Despite all the doubts, Kuznetsov withdraws the troops of the 8 Army into the areas provided for by the state border cover plan. Nevertheless, there is a steady feeling that the PribOVO command led a kind of “double game”. On the one hand, the district was clearly preparing to repel the enemy’s aggression, on the other hand, he carefully concealed this from his own higher command and braked the initiative “from below”. It is impossible not to note this paradoxical situation. But let's pay tribute to Colonel General F.I. Kuznetsov: he did much more than the same ZOVOVO commander, although he limited himself to half measures.

June 22, 0 hours 25 minutes Chief of Staff Pribovo PS Klenov sends a report to the General Staff of the Red Army (copies to the Chief of the Red Army Intelligence Agency, chiefs of staffs of the 8, 11 and 27 armies, chief of the ZOVOVO headquarters). In the report, he reports that the concentration of German troops in East Prussia continues. Also, the units of the Wehrmacht are led to the Soviet-German border. The construction of pontoon bridges across the Neman River has been completed in a number of areas. Border guard from the German side is assigned to the field of the Wehrmacht. In the Klaipeda region, the civilian population was asked to be evacuated inland from the border by 20 km. In the Suwalki district, residents are evicted 5 km from the border. 16 June 1941, in the Suwalki region, an account was taken of the horses that should be taken into the army of 20 June. [8]
In 1.30, a telegram of the General Staff of the Red Army was received, and in 2.15 it was duplicated by the District Military Council in the 8 and 11 army.
On the morning of June 22, 1941, the troops of the German Army Group North, after massive bomb attacks and artillery preparation (held at 5.30 in the morning Moscow time), launched an offensive.
The outbreak of hostilities in the PribOVO defense zone for engineering battalions engaged in the equipment of the border defense zone was completely unexpected. These battalions did not even have small arms. Therefore, as Colonel Firsov, head of the engineering troops of the 1 Army, recalls, they “crumbled and immediately lost any military organization, turning into crowds of people fleeing from destruction, like someone who knew how ... They randomly accompanied the army units until it left for the line p . The Western Dvina and only intensified the nascent panic. ” [9]
In the very first hours of the invasion, the headquarters of Pribovo tried in vain to organize the control of subordinate troops. Wired lines of communication were partially destroyed by German aviation, but to a greater extent, were cut by saboteurs and local residents, from among agents of German intelligence. Therefore, the first combat report of the PribOVO headquarters to the Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army, sent on the morning of 10.00 on June 22, was of a general nature. It talked about the beginning of the offensive of the enemy troops and about the entry with it into battle of individual units of the district.
Meanwhile, the situation from the very beginning of the fighting was the hardest. To 12.00, one of the 10 SD regiments in the area of ​​Kulei was surrounded, which forced this division to withdraw to the line of the Minya River. Parts of the 125 BD waged heavy fighting in a semi-environment in the Tauragen region. 33-I SD came under the concentrated blow of the 28-th and 2-th army corps of the Germans and moved to the east. Also under the pressure of the enemy, the 128-I and 188-I SD retreated to the east. There was no connection with the district headquarters and neighbors; each unit commander acted at its own discretion.
In 2,5 hours, the headquarters of the North-Western Front (now called PribOVO) were sent to the Red Army General Staff by sending a new combat report to 14.30. And again in it only common phrases sound. The same report mentions losses among aviation of the district, which are recognized as “significant”.
The first day of the war was ending, but there was still no connection between the headquarters of the North-Western Front and the troops. But already began to arrive delegates of communication on airplanes, cars and motorcycles.
The messages were disappointing.
The chief of staff of the front realized that he would not be able to get rid of vague wording.

In 22.00, the General Staff of the Red Army sent an operational report from the North-Western Front (NWF) headquarters, which specifically stated: “The defense of the 8 Army is broken in the direction of Kryting by enemy tanks and motorcycle units. The connections of the 11 Army under the onslaught of the enemy are moving away. Communication with individual compounds is lost. ” [10] Immediately, it should be noted that the NWF headquarters report was the most realistic and honest of all the fronts of all the fronts received by the General Staff of the Red Army during the 22 day of June 1941 of the year.

On the night of 22 on 23 June, the headquarters of the NWF did not manage to restore the wired communication with any army headquarters. Therefore, 23 of June was decided to prepare control of front forces from a spare communications center (Dvinsk), where in the morning of 24 June part of the units of the 17-th separate front communications regiment was sent. In the evening of the same day, the front headquarters dropped out of Ponevezhes and in the morning of June 25 arrived in Dvinsk, which the enemy troops were already approaching at that time.
But Dvinsk was the largest railway junction, and was constantly bombarded by enemy aircraft. German planes literally "hung" over the city. In addition, numerous groups of saboteurs operated on the railway and around Dvinsk. Under these conditions, the front headquarters began to advance from Dvinsk on the road to Rezekne. At 44, in the second half of the day, the front headquarters was finally able to communicate with 8 and 11 armies by radio, and by telegraph with Riga and Moscow.
Thus, despite the measures taken by the district command, none of the connections of PribOVO could not detain the enemy on the line of the state border. More than that, the first three days since the beginning of the war, the troops of the first echelon of the front conducted defensive actions on the decisions of their own commanders, not having control from the front headquarters and a general plan of warfare.
It is interesting to see how hostile hostilities were perceived. From the log of military actions of GA “Sever” it follows that this army group, having taken initial positions in 3 hours 05 minutes (Berlin time) 22 June 1941, launched an offensive and crossed the border in the Vistitis - Baltic Sea sector. The resistance of the Soviet troops directly at the border is estimated as “insignificant”. It is emphasized that the enemy was taken unawares, and all the bridges in the offensive zone of the North Severum fell into the hands of the Germans intact.
Acting through the gaps in the battle formations of the Soviet troops, by the evening of 22 June, the GA "North" broke through the line of border fortifications and advanced along the whole front to a depth of 20 km. In the area west of Siauliai, German aircraft were destroyed and burned from 150 to 200 Soviet tanks and trucks.
Further in this journal it is written that “based on the testimony of prisoners of war and local residents, as well as documents found, it can be assumed that the enemy pulled out large border forces about 4 a day ago, leaving only a small rearguard cover. Where his main forces are now is unknown. Therefore, it is necessary to establish contact with them as quickly as possible so that before leaving the Western Dvina, engage in a battle with them and destroy them. ” [11]
June 23 German offensive continued, almost without resistance. Considerable movement of Soviet troops on the road to Kaunas, Dvinsk (Daugavpils) and on the road from Vilnius to the northeast was noted. This gave grounds for the German command to believe that the enemy was moving in the direction of the Western Dvina. The Wehrmacht Field Army 16 is its forward units, on the right flank it made its way to the region of Kaunas (18 km to the south-west). But by the end of this day there is a strong resistance of the enemy.
In the records of June 24, it is noted that the Soviet troops launched a counterattack on a number of sectors, and in the evening a counterstrike was carried out by significant forces of tanks in parts of the 18 th field army. It was immediately noted that counterattacks are made separately, held frontally, as a result of which they do not achieve success, or achieve short-term success, and the Soviet tank units suffer great losses. [11]
From the foregoing, it can be concluded that the North-Western Front lost the border battle, but despite the fact that the German offensive against the North-Western Front troops was developing successfully and at a fairly high rate, the enemy failed to completely destroy the Soviet forces in the Baltic States operation to encircle our armies. The Baltic Special Military District, by the way, the weakest of the special districts of the USSR, managed to avoid a catastrophic development of events according to the Belarusian scenario. Despite this, at the beginning of July, the full-time command of the NWF was removed from its posts with the wording "for the inept command and control of the troops."

1. Jentz TL ‛Panzertruppen. The Complete Guide to the Creation and Combat Employment of Germany, s Tank Force. 1933-1942 “. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publshing Ltd., 1996 | 2003 P. 190-193, 206.
2. TsAMO RF, F. 344, Op. 5554, d. 19, cor. 11696, l. Xnumx
3. TsAMO RF, F. 344. Op. 5554, d. 19. cor. 13073, ll 24-25
4. TsAMO RF f. 344, op. 5554, d. 19, cor. 13073, l. Xnumx
5. TsAMO RF f. 344, op. 5554, d. 31 ll. 12-13
6. TsAMO RF f. 344, op. 5584, d. 1 ll. 23-24 |
7. IOA f. 48, op. 3408, d.14, l. Xnumx
8. TsAMO RF f. 221, op. 1394, d. 23, l. Xnumx
9. TsAMO RF f. 15, op. 977441, d. 2, cor. 23343, ll 65-67
10. TsAMO RF f. 221, op. 1351, d. 57, q. 10593, ll. 3-4
11. TsAMO RF f. 500, op. 12462, d. 180, ll. 24-26 collection of captured documents
12. "The Great Patriotic War. Collection of documents. In 25 volumes edited by V.A. Zolotarev. Russian archive. TERRA 1997-1998.
13. Ib Moschansky, A.V. Isaev "Triumphs and tragedies of the Great War". Even 2010.
14. B. Müller-Hillebrandt "Land Army of Germany 1939-1945", "Isografus" M. 2002 g
15. V.A. Runov “1941. First Blood »Yauza, EKSMO M. 2009

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  1. Lech e-mine
    Lech e-mine 4 February 2012 18: 46
    Full of bedlam. As always, trouble came unexpectedly while they were waiting for it.
  2. Strabo
    Strabo 4 February 2012 20: 02
    Very informative article, a lot of interesting things. The photograph is not clear, what kind of unit is there, strange weapons. Automatic rifles for everyone.
    1. Klibanophoros
      Klibanophoros 5 February 2012 18: 12
      It was planned that self-loading rifles completely replace the three-rulers of soldiers on the battlefield, leaving them only to the rear. Apparently this is a photo of one of the parts where the rearmament took place.
  3. dmitri077
    dmitri077 5 February 2012 12: 17
    the USSR "took under its protection" the Baltic countries and did not PROTECT! the strength and intelligence was not enough .. YEAR is not clear what they were doing ... The Airborne Corps generally touches ... why is it needed? for defense? .. or did you want to attack yourself? yes therefore, one should not be surprised at the entry of the Baltic countries into NATO ... there they will MUCH be better protected from the unpredictable Russian regime ... everything fell into place ... historical truth has triumphed ...
    1. Yazov
      Yazov 5 February 2012 16: 16
      What? What truth has triumphed there? Balts already from E.S. they want to jerk, but about NATO ...... NATO will soon decay itself under the pressure of the global crisis. When every euro is on the account, the Baltic states will be told to maintain and defend themselves.
    2. Visitor
      Visitor 24 October 2016 16: 02
      How long has the "Russian regime" become unpredictable? Hussein, Gaddafi and Assad were not bloody dictators either, but they became as soon as the eyes of politicians in Washington opened. But the Saudis, who, scary to say, can put gays on a stake, is another matter, they are democrats.
  4. Nechai
    Nechai 5 February 2012 14: 31
    "... it turns out that not only ODVO was engaged in" amateur performance " - They simply FULFILLED the instructions of the Kremlin. And Pavlov and Kirponos sabotaged, with the support of the chief of the General Staff Zhukov. Stalin's directive of 19.06.41/XNUMX/XNUMX on covert bringing to BG "FULL", in modern terms. The article does not boast about the fact that the chief of the operations department of the headquarters of the North-Western Front, having taken off for "coordination" with Pavlov, landed at the location of the German troops. And immediately he gave the enemy everything he had with him - maps, codes, orders, etc. Pavlov was obliged to deploy the command post of the Front to the west of Minsk, and he gave instructions to deploy the command post east of Minsk, as it later turned out, "purely by accident" behind the Minsk encirclement ring. I WAS NOT GOING TO LEAVE AND START WORK THERE. He attended the opera. And he fed Moscow with comfort. In general, the pre-war period and the beginning of the war are VERY AND VERY MUDDY EVERYTHING, Stalin's weekly "illness", but actually house arrest. The chief of the General Staff rushed to Kiev to realize his dream - a tank attack on Lublin - Warsaw (the greatest tank battle near Dubno). In the memoirs of a soldier who was captured in the first days of the wars in the Lvov region, I CUT into his memory: when the Germans, having carried out the initial "selection", drove them in a column, in one of the villages, most likely at some German headquarters, the war fighters saw a group of German and SOVIET Eminent COMMANDERS Leading a lively, cheerful, casual conversation through translators. Combined with a smoke break. Well-fed, satisfied, all the participants have such faces. The death of Stalin put an end to the work of clarifying what happened in the initial period of the war, conducted by the Military-Historical Journal.
    1. Klibanophoros
      Klibanophoros 5 February 2012 19: 37
      and a reference to the memories can be?
      1. Kibb
        Kibb 6 February 2012 13: 00
        There are many such memories, and they are different. And about the boots thrown out at the border, too))))) What does all this have to do with the REAL WAR that was?
    2. Kibb
      Kibb 6 February 2012 12: 54
      Can you offer your deployment plan for the western borders?
      1. Yevgeny
        Yevgeny April 11 2017 22: 07
        The plan deployed by the Red Army in the West was very good, but it had one drawback: the General Staff of the Red Army did not have the slightest idea about the plans of the Germans. The cited order indicates the dates of execution: June 24, 28, 29. It means only that the Germans didn’t know about the attack of June 22 even in 4 days, on the 18th !!!!! As for the KOVO and ZAPOVO, there we were simply going to come first - the lines of lines ended on the territory of Poland.
    3. Yevgeny
      Yevgeny April 11 2017 21: 25
      As for the chief of the operational department of the headquarters of the NWF "flying to the Germans" - at that time it was General Klyonov - it would be desirable to refer to the source. where this nonsense was printed. Klenov was shot along with Pavlov. As for the group of Soviet commanders, who had a nice conversation with the Germans - this is not impossible. The Germans had not yet decided. what to do with prisoners. especially with senior officials. Most Soviet captive generals survived captivity. Some collaborated with the Germans. like a deputy. Klenova - Trukhin. Their problems began after returning to the Union in 45. Koba’s grandfather remembered them all at once!
  5. Yazov
    Yazov 5 February 2012 16: 12
    Everything as usual. Winter came unexpectedly, in December! Affected repression. The command staff was intimidated. We’ll create a provocation.
  6. Tarawa
    Tarawa 8 September 2012 00: 57
    But ...
    Why not spend the extra 15-20 minutes checking your spelling?
    Namely cities and us. points
    Nothing personal, but it hurts your ears
  7. Oles
    Oles 8 November 2012 15: 06
    all nonsense .. manstein in 2 days waved 160 km. to the bridges across the dvina ..... an absolute record of all times and peoples .. what a war ... this is so if you can estimate .. the Germans just sat down and drove along the labus ahead ..... no resistance ... disgrace ... .
    1. Yevgeny
      Yevgeny April 11 2017 21: 26
      Not a disgrace. but a natural reaction to 25 years of bullying.
  8. Head Physician
    Head Physician 4 November 2017 17: 23
    Well done author
    Quality article, built on archival data
    7 points forward different Sams