Major-General Ivan Susloparov, whose 120 celebrates his birthday on October 19, received the terrible resolution of Stalin on one of his encryption before World War II, and at the end of the war he signed the Act of Germany’s surrender in Reims, for which he was recalled to Moscow.
A peasant by birth, a native of the Vyatka village of Krutikhintsy, from 1916 he served in the tsarist army as a private and junior noncommissioned officer. Member of the First World War and the October Armed Uprising in Petrograd. From October 1918 th - in the Red Army. He participated in the Civil War, in the battles against Kolchak and Wrangel, in the elimination of the gangs of the Makhnovists. From 1918 to 1932, he served as assistant platoon commander, platoon commander, division commander, pomkompolka on the part of the renowned 30 rifle name of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of the Irkutsk Division.
Since 1933, Ivan Susloparov studied at the Artillery Academy. F. E. Dzerzhinsky, from which he graduated in 1938. After a short service as an assistant chief of artillery of the Red Army for universities in September 1939, he was transferred to the Red Army Intelligence Directorate.
The author of the "English provocation"
It was a difficult time for the country and the Soviet military intelligence. After Hitler came to power, Stalin tried to inscribe the USSR into spontaneously lined up international relations by proposing a Soviet project of creating a European collective security system. However, to no avail.
In October 1936, Germany and Italy concluded an agreement on military-political cooperation, forming the axis Berlin-Rome. Meeting with the preparation of this treaty with Ciano, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Government of Mussolini, Hitler said that their countries would triumph together not only Bolshevism, but also the West. In November, 1936 Germany signed the Anti-Comintern Pact with Japan, a year later Italy joined it. The role of the main enemy was assigned to the USSR. The situation in Europe and the Far East has sharply escalated: two centers of potential armed conflict have emerged.
In this regard, Intelligence Agency has stepped up intelligence work against the participants of the Anti-Comintern Pact, creating new residencies in Germany, Italy, Japan, and in neighboring states. More and more people were required, moreover, they were qualified, trained, and not simply abandoned on an invisible front at the call of the Motherland. The question of the work of military intelligence was carried out at a regular meeting of the politburo of the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) 26 in May 1934. Special attention was paid to the limited selection of human intelligence officers and their insufficient training.
The hardest blow to Razvedupr was dealt by the purge of 1937-1939. The most experienced personnel were recalled from foreign business trips, dismissed or repressed, the agent network was actually destroyed not only in Germany, but also in other countries of Western Europe. The Soviet political leadership made an unjustified mistake. Susloparov and other military attaches and advisers had to correct it. They were Comcor Maxim Purkaev (later Army General), Pavel Rybalko and Vasily Chuykov (future Marshals). The Soviet military attaché Susloparov (Marot) headed the GRU apparatus in France in September 1939. On March 4, 1941, he reported to the Center: "This year Germany will oppose the USSR." March 27, he rejoiced: "The group of forces created by the Germans in the east is directed mainly against Ukraine, which should become the food and oil base of Germany." On April 3, Marot reports that the number of German divisions after regrouping in late February - early March in the occupied zone of France was reduced to 20–25, and the withdrawn troops aviation shipped mainly east. Within hours before the start of World War II, Susloparov transmits the encryption: “June 21, 1941 According to our resident Gilbert (the famous Soviet intelligence officer Leopold Trepper. - V.V.), whom I, of course, did not believe at all, the Wehrmacht command completed the transfer of its troops to the Soviet border and tomorrow, June 22, 1941, they will suddenly attack the Soviet Union. " On this report, Stalin drew a resolution in red ink: “Information is an English provocation. Find out who the author is and punish him. ”
As Leopold Trepper recalled later, on that memorable day - 21 of June, he and Leo Grossfogel came to Vichy, where the USSR Embassy was located. Having violated all the rules of conspiracy (the extreme situation dictated its decisions and actions), they entered the house where the Soviet military attache lived. General Susloparov, apparently, recently woke up. Rubbing his eyes, he was very surprised at the early and unexpected visit. Everyone understood that the Vichy police monitored those who dared to visit Soviet institutions. He rudely pronounced to Trepper, but he, apologizing, interrupted: "According to my completely reliable data, tomorrow, June 22, at dawn, the Nazis will attack the Soviet Union." Susloparov tried to convince the guests, saying that they were mistaken ... “I met with the Japanese military attache who had just arrived from Berlin. He assured me that Germany was not preparing for war against the USSR. You can rely on it. ” Trepper did not agree with the general's complacency and insisted on sending the encryption immediately to Moscow, referring to the absolute accuracy of his information, until he ordered to send an urgent message to the Center.
With the beginning of World War II, Major-General Susloparov returned to his homeland and was appointed to the post of chief of staff of the artillery commander of the Red Army, then chief of the Red Banner artillery advanced training courses for officers of the Red Army. From February 1943 to June 1944, he is at the front - deputy commander, then commander of the artillery of the 10 Army of the Western Front.
In June, 1944 was the representative of the USSR to the United Nations Control Commission in Italy. From October 1944-th to September 1945-th - Head of the USSR military mission in France. At the same time, he must be a military representative at the headquarters of the commander in chief of the expeditionary forces of the United States and Great Britain, General Dwight Eisenhower. The choice is not accidental, Susloparov has a rich experience of military and diplomatic work, knows France well. Susloparov was also liaised with the allies, who finally opened a second front in Europe.
The difficulty lay in the fact that Susloparov was in Paris, and the headquarters of the allied forces in Reims. This is a town in the north-west of France, in 125 kilometers from the capital. However, it was necessary to monitor the situation in the headquarters all the time, it was there that the German emissaries were looking for ways to conclude separate agreements. Moscow foresaw the possibility of such steps ...
Directing General Susloparov to Paris, the General Headquarters and the General Staff gave him the right to represent the USSR in case of the surrender of the German troops to the Anglo-Americans. Chief of the General Staff Alexander Vasilevsky reported on the authority of Susloparov to the French and Dwight Eisenhower. It was an exact political and diplomatic move. The allies were informed that for the Soviet political leadership it was no secret the secret attempts of the German representatives to sign a surrender agreement with the Anglo-Americans without the participation of the USSR. This information was obtained by Soviet military intelligence officers.
Army General Sergei Shtemenko recalled: “On May 2 – 4, a meeting of the top military leadership of Nazi Germany was held at Doenitz Headquarters. Present were Doenitz, Keitel, Yodel, and others. There was a question about the surrender to the Anglo-Americans and the further resistance of the Red Army. 5 May ended the bar of negotiations of the German command in the west regarding a truce on a number of fronts. Doenitz extended the scope of some agreements to the northern regions. We received regular reports from our missions abroad about all the talks and their results, especially detailed ones from General I. A. Susloparov. ”
In the evening of May 6, Adjutant Eisenhower flew to the head of the Soviet military mission. He conveyed an invitation to the commander-in-chief to urgently arrive at his headquarters, where the signing of the German surrender act is planned. Ivan Alekseevich reported this to the Center and asked for instructions. Permission to travel to Reims came immediately, but instructions on how to proceed should have been received later.
Eisenhower received Susloparov and, smiling, said that General Jodl had arrived with a proposal to capitulate before the Anglo-American troops and to fight against the USSR. “What do you say, Mr. General, to this?” Asked the commander-in-chief. Susloparov also smiled. He knew that it was not the first day that the German general Friedeburg was sitting in the headquarters of the commander-in-chief, who was unable to persuade Eisenhower to make a separate agreement. The head of the Soviet military mission replied that there are obligations jointly adopted by members of the anti-Hitler coalition regarding the unconditional surrender of the enemy on all fronts, including, of course, on the east.
Eisenhower said that he demanded that Jodl completely surrender Germany and will not accept any other. The Germans were forced to agree. Then the American asked Susloparov to hand over the text of the surrender to Moscow, get approval and sign it on behalf of the USSR. The ceremony, he said, is already scheduled for 2 hours 30 minutes 7 May in the premises of the operational department of Eisenhower headquarters.
The draft document received right there spoke of the unconditional surrender of all land, sea and air forces under German control. The German command was obliged to give the order to cease hostilities in 0 hours 1 minute (Moscow time) 9 May. All German troops were to remain in their positions. It was forbidden to incapacitate weapons and other combat weapons. The German command guarantees the execution of all orders of the commander-in-chief of the allied expeditionary forces and the Soviet Supreme Command.
In Reims, it was past midnight, time to sign a surrender, but there was no indication from Moscow. The position of Susloparov was very difficult. To put his signature on behalf of the Soviet state or refuse?
Shtemenko in the book “The General Staff during the War” explains: “Susloparov perfectly understood that the maneuver of the Hitler’s last days with surrender only to the Allies could turn into a great misfortune in the event of any oversight. He read and re-read the text of the surrender and did not find in it any hidden malicious intent. However, before the eyes of the general rose pictures of the war, where every minute claimed many human lives. The head of the Soviet military mission decided to sign a document on surrender. At the same time, he provided an opportunity for the Soviet government to influence, if necessary, the subsequent course of events, made a note to the document. The note said that this protocol of military capitulation does not preclude further signing of a different, more perfect Germany surrender act, if any federal government declares. ”
Eisenhower and representatives of other powers at his headquarters agreed with Susloparov’s note. On 2 hours 41 minute 7 May 1945, the Germany surrender act was signed. Eisenhower congratulated Susloparov. After already from the mission, Ivan Alekseevich sent his report and a copy of the act to the Center. And from there, meanwhile, there was a dispatch prohibiting the signing of any documents.
11 May 1945 was recalled to Moscow by order of Marshal Zhukov Susloparov. The head of the GRU GSh, Lieutenant-General Ilyichev explained the reasons for the decision. Firstly, this participation in the absence of authority in signing the Act of unconditional surrender to Germany and, secondly, the failure to take measures to ensure fast and reliable radio communication between Reims and Moscow, which led to the untimely receipt of the prohibiting telegram of the Chief of the General Staff General of the Army Antonov.
Susloparov in an explanatory note addressed to the NGSh noted that, at his insistence, he included a clause stating that the act would not be an obstacle to replacing it with another, more important document on the surrender of the German armed forces. With regard to radio communications with Moscow, the radio operator cipher was left in Paris for security reasons. As a consequence, the mentioned telegram was received three to four hours later.
7 May Stalin phoned Marshal Zhukov and said: “Today in the city of Reims, the Germans signed the Act of unconditional surrender. The main burden of the war was borne by the Soviet people, not the allies, so the surrender must be signed before the High Command of all countries of the anti-Hitler coalition, and not just before the High Command of the allied forces. I did not agree with the fact that the Surrender Act was signed not in Berlin, the center of fascist aggression. We agreed with the allies to consider signing the act in Reims as a preliminary protocol of surrender. Tomorrow representatives of the German high command and representatives of the Allied High Command will arrive in Berlin. You are appointed the representative of the Supreme Command of the Soviet Forces ... "
Major General Susloparov was present at the signing of the Act of unconditional surrender in the Berlin suburb of Karlshorst. In the absence of Eisenhower commander in chief, Ivan Alekseevich was the only one of the allies who participated in such an event in Reims. At the same time in Berlin, he learned that Stalin personally told the USSR Deputy Commissar Andrei Vyshinsky on the phone that there were no complaints about the general’s actions in Reims.
Six months later, Susloparov was appointed head of the course of the newly established Military Academy of the Soviet Army. He was actively involved in conducting seminars and practical classes with students in relevant disciplines. Awarded the Order of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, Orders of Suvorov, II degree and the Red Star.
Ivan Alekseevich Susloparov died on December 16 of 1974 of the year, buried in the Vvedensky cemetery of the capital.