Military Review

Path strategist

To the 120 anniversary of Marshal of the Soviet Union Vasily Danilovich Sokolovsky

The outstanding commander of the Great Patriotic War, the author and developer of the classic work “Military Strategy”, one of the initiators of awarding Moscow the title of Hero City ...

In the family of Marshal Sokolovsky, a letter is kept as a relic, which Vasily Danilovich wrote to the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1965. It says that Moscow, near the walls of which in the fall of 1941, the Hitlerite hordes were not defeated, was undeservedly forgotten and that Moscow should be given the title of Hero City. This letter was also signed by Marshals of the Soviet Union Ivan Konev and Konstantin Rokossovsky.

For the first time, the title “Hero City” is mentioned in the Order of the Supreme Commander from 1 in May 1945 of the year, in which Leningrad, Stalingrad, Sevastopol and Odessa are named as hero cities. 8 May 1965, after the decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR approved the Regulations on the honorary title "Hero City", it is assigned to Moscow. And a huge merit in this belongs to Vasily Danilovich Sokolovsky - not only because he wrote the letter mentioned above, but also because he was chief of staff of the Western Front, who defended the Moscow direction and defended Moscow.

Marshal's granddaughter, Natalya Evgenievna Sokolovskaya-Sinyukova, recalls Vasily Danilovich’s stories about the war: “When we lived in Khlebny Lane and I studied at the institute, I always asked him which of the periods of World War II he remembered most of all. And he invariably answered that it was a battle for Moscow. ”

Path strategist

Granddaughter of Marshal Natalya Sinyukova-Sokolovskaya

The future Marshal 21 was born on July 1897 of the year in the village of Kozliki in the Belostok district, now located in Poland, in a poor peasant family. Since childhood, he was drawn to knowledge and in 1918 he graduated from Nevelskoy Teacher's Seminary. However, in the very first days after the creation of the Red Army, when they felt in their hearts that the Bolsheviks were those who expressed the aspirations of the same “cook children” and opened the way for them to a great life, he volunteered. Soon he was enrolled in the 1 of the Soviet Moscow infantry command courses of the Red Army, and then, having managed to make war with the White Czechs and White Guards in the Urals, and even become an assistant regiment commander, he was sent to the Academy of General Staff among the first 183 students. In the spring of 1920, Vasily Danilovich as the chief of staff of the 32 th rifle division of the 11 th army restores Soviet power in Baku, fights with interventionists and aspiring denikinians in the Caucasus. Having become ill with typhus, he meets Anna Bazhenova, an agitator of the 11 Army, who literally went out in the hospital. They met again in Moscow and no longer parted until the end of their lives.

October 14 1921 Vasily Danilovich graduated from the Academy and was sent to Turkestan to fight the Basmachis. Behind the Basmachis, hiding behind the slogans of "jihad", stood the Anglo-American imperialists who supplied them weapons and money. Sokolovsky, as Chief of Operations, Headquarters of the Turkestan Front, with the help of the legendary intelligence officer Hamrakul Tursunkulov, holder of the Order of the Red Banner, and later three times Hero of Socialist Labor, creates an intelligence network, which helped greatly in eliminating the Ferghana Basmatiya. As Tursunkulov later recalled, “Vasily Danilovich knew all the paths, mountains, villages, moods of people, the environment. I met Comrade Sokolovsky many times and later when he commanded a division and troops of the Fergana and Samarkand regions. From Vasily Danilovich I studied discipline in work, efficiency, brevity, the ability not to be sprayed over trifles, but to take on the main thing. ”

Basmachi responded with terror. Once they poured poison into a glass of water in Sokolovsky's office. He drank and fell dead on the floor. Doctors stated death and sent the body to the morgue. At night, he came to his senses and climbed out from under the pile of corpses, which he had already swamped. On another occasion, a man sent by the Basmachis shot at him with a gun at close range at the moment when Sokolovsky was circling the Red Army formation. However, at the moment of the shot, the horse reared up, and the charge fell in step. The injury was serious, and Sokolovsky had to be sent to Moscow, where he had an operation. All these episodes made up the plot line of the remarkable Soviet film “Officers” (1971), in which Vasily Danilovich Sokolovsky and Vasily Ivanovich Chuikov became the prototypes of the main characters, and Berlin after the war were neighbors in the village of Berlin after 2 in Berlin. Labor North.

In January 1928, Vasily Danilovich was sent to the Advanced Commander Advanced Training Courses, which in the same years graduated from George Zhukov, Ivan Konev, Konstantin Rokossovsky and other future commanders. After that, during 5 years, he commanded the 43 th rifle division of the Belarusian Military District, in 1935, he was transferred to the Deputy Chief of Staff of the Volga Military District. In the same year, he was appointed chief of staff of the newly formed Urals Military District. After 11 of August 1937 issued the order of the NKVD of the USSR No. 00485 on the liquidation of local organizations POV (Polish Army Organization) - first of all its sabotage and spyware and rebel personnel, Sokolovsky, as well as Rokossovsky, falls under suspicion. He is accused of hiding the fact of service in the tsarist army and is a Belopolsky spy. At the last moment, Vasily Danilovich is rescued by his wife, Anna Petrovna, who found a certificate in her husband’s file confirming that Nevel's senior military commander exempted Vasily Sokolovsky from military conscription until the end of the teachers' seminary.

At the exercises with Clement Voroshilov and Semen Budyonny. 1938 year

In April, the division commander, Sokolovsky, became Chief of Staff of the Moscow Military District, headed by Marshal of the Soviet Union Semyon Budyonny. From that moment on, the fate of Vasily Danilovich was inextricably linked with Moscow, which he would soon defend, and then, until the end of the war, lead the fronts and headquarters on the main western direction of the Red Army until the end of the war in Berlin.

18 December 1940 of the Year Adolf Hitler signed the secret Directive No. 21 “Barbarossa Variant” of an attack on the Soviet Union. Although at the end of the same month, Soviet intelligence, with the help of Ilse Stöbe (the operational pseudonym Alta), transferred its content to Moscow. Began preparing for war. In March 1941, the Politburo makes a decision on the covert mobilization of 900 thousand reserve troops. Completion of the troops was entrusted to Lieutenant-General Sokolovsky, who in February 1941 was appointed deputy chief of the General Staff of the Red Army for organizational and mobilization issues.

On May 13, the General Staff is deploying four army directorates and divisional personnel to the West. They were supposed to arrive at new locations in the period from June 10 to July 3. However, since the Germans attacked 22 on June, only 939 managed to arrive from 83 echelons with troops to their destination, 455 were on the way, and 401 echelon did not even start loading.

Nevertheless, it was these divisions that played a decisive role in stabilizing the front in July-August near Smolensk, after the Western Front, created on the basis of the Western Special Military District under the command of Army General Dmitry Pavlov, was completely defeated by the Germans in the first days of the war in Belostok. and Minsk "boilers". Under Smolensk, the 16 Army formed in Transbaikalia and the 19 Army formed in the North Caucasus, originally arrived in Ukraine in the Kiev Special Military District, were urgently redeployed. In addition, the 20 Army formed in the Oryol Military District is being deployed near Smolensk. On July 2, Marshal of the Soviet Union Semyon Tymoshenko was appointed commander of the Western forces, and Lieutenant General Vasily Sokolovsky was appointed Chief of Staff.

Within two months (from July 10 to September 10), the Battle of Smolensk unfolded on a vast territory (600-650 km along the front). As a result of the breakthrough of the German tank groups on July 16, the Germans broke into Smolensk. The 19th, 20th and 16th armies were surrounded. On July 17, Major General Rokossovsky arrived at the headquarters of the Western Front, who was instructed to deliver a counterattack in the Yartsevo area. And, although the offensive of the Rokossovsky group on July 18-20 was repelled, on July 23-24, counter hostilities of the operational forces of the Western Front began in the direction of Smolensk.

28 July Smolensk was abandoned. However, Rokossovsky's group, which occupied Yartsevo, managed to resume control over the crossings across the Dnieper, along which the remnants of the 16 and 20 armies crossed. The Germans, in turn, were forced to go on the defensive. This decision, as Richard Sorge transmitted from Tokyo, led Japan to abandon the war on the side of Germany until the end of this year. Thus, despite the great losses, the Smolensk defensive operation played a huge role in disrupting the plans of the German command to capture Moscow.

Nikolay Bulganin, George Zhukov, Vasily Sokolovsky, Vasily Khokhlov. 1941 year

The Germans could continue the offensive on Moscow only after they had closed the Kiev "boiler" and defeated the South-Western Front of the Red Army. 16 September, when the battle for Kiev was nearing its end, the command of Army Group Center issued a directive on the preparation of an operation to seize Moscow, codenamed Typhoon. By this time, western forces were divided into three fronts. Directly Moscow direction defended the Western Front under the command of Colonel-General Ivan Konev. The chief of staff was Lieutenant General Vasily Sokolovsky. It was assumed that the Germans would strike along the highway along the Smolensk-Yartsevo-Vyazma line, where the greatest density of defense was created by Rokossovsky's 16 army. However, the German Army Group Center, which controlled the 3-I and 4-I tank groups, dealt crushing blows to the north and south, surrounding 37 divisions to the west of Vyazma. The losses of the Red Army killed and wounded exceeded 380 thousand people, over 600 thousand were captured. The road to Moscow was open.

However, October 4 Richard Sorge sent his latest radio message:

TOKYO, October 4 1941 of the year
Radio telegraph
Only 3000 of various trucks and other vehicles were dispatched (this is a transfer from North China to Manchuria). 1000 trucks before this were transferred from Manchuria to North China. During the first weeks of preparation for a demonstration against the USSR, the command of the Kwantung Army ordered 3000 to call on experienced railroad workers to establish a military post on the Siberian railway, but this has now been canceled. All this means that there will be no war this year. ”

October 18 Richard Sorge was arrested by Japanese police. Although his last radiogram allowed Joseph Stalin to transfer fresh Far Eastern divisions near Moscow. The main thing now was to stand up to their approach and determine the moment when the Germans would start to run out of steam. This task fell mainly on the shoulders of the chiefs of staff, and above all on Vasily Danilovich Sokolovsky.

He retained his post when, on October 10, the new army commander of the Western Front, instead of Ivan Konev, was appointed Army General Georgy Zhukov. The troops who left the encirclement (about 85 thousand people) retreated to the Mozhaisk line of defense, which in the Podolsk direction was kept only by cadets taken from classes. In the Volokolamsk sector, the Rokossovsky 16 Army completely defeated under the Vyazma Army was again formed, which included retreating units and the 316 Division formed in Almaty by Major General Ivan Panfilov.

At this time, the German 3-I tank group turned to Kalinin and October 14 took the city. To cover the capital from the north-west of October 17, the Kalininsky Front was created under the command of Ivan Konev. By the end of October, the German troops of the 4 Army and the 4 Armored Group managed to bring down the units of the Western Front from the Mozhaisk line of defense almost throughout its length and gradually push them back to Moscow, in which a state of siege was introduced. The fighting was already in 80 km from the capital.

At this time torrential rains began. The Germans were forced to stop and regroup. 7 November, on the day of the Great October Socialist Revolution, a military parade was held on Red Square, which undoubtedly increased the morale of the defenders of Moscow.

The German offensive resumed on November 15. The Germans sought to bypass Moscow from the north and the south and unite in the Noginsk area. 3-I tank group, advancing in the defense zone of the 30 Army, Major-General Dmitry Lelyushenko, 23 November captured Klin and continued to advance to the east with access to the line of the Moscow-Volga channel. The 4 Panzer Group was advancing in the 16 Army Band, Lieutenant General Konstantin Rokossovsky and November 25 with its right flank approached the city of Istra along with units of the SS division Das Reich. Here they were stopped by the 78-Siberian division of Colonel Athanasiy Beloborodov. Street fights with Siberians turned into hand-to-hand combat. This site was under the control of the front headquarters, and Beloborodov immediately recognized Sokolovsky’s voice in the receiver:

- Has handed over Istra?

- Passed ...

- Not good. And still the guardsman. The commander asked to tell you: you handed over to Istra, and you would take her back.

- I'll take it, comrade general!

And Sokolovsky read the order: “In the People’s Commissariat of Defense. On the conversion of the 2 and 3 caval corps and 78 rifle division in the Guards. In brackets it means: "The division commander, Major General Afanasy Pavlantevich Beloborodov." Congratulations to the division and you personally! "

Guardsmen kept their word.

When parts of the 16 Army crossed the Istra Reservoir and blew the waterways, the territory on the 50 km to the south was flooded. However, the Germans bypassed the Istra reservoir from the north, took Solnechnogorsk, and the 50 Army Corps rolled along the Leningradskoye highway to Moscow. Towards him in the area of ​​Kryukov, the Panfilov Division and the 1 Guards Tank Brigade of Mikhail Katukov, removed from the Istra border, was transferred. The front commander, Zhukov, was in the 16 Army and personally supervised military operations.

On the night of November 28, a battle group under the command of Colonel Hasso von Manteufel captured an intact bridge over the Moscow-Volga Canal and with a rush hit broke into Yakhroma. There was a big gap between the right flank of the 16 Army and the left flank of the 30 Army. On November 30, the Germans captured Krasnaya Polyana (Lobnya) and were already in 17 km from the Moscow border and in 27 km from the Kremlin. The Panfilov Division fought a fierce battle for Kryukovo, the station changed hands eight times. A threat was created surrounding the 16 Army.

And at this critical moment Vasily Sokolovsky, the head of the front headquarters, said his word. He felt that the Germans were getting exhausted, because they were rolling east along the “snow-white fields”, not having a clue what was in store for them ahead. And there the Siberian parts were continuously unloaded. Sokolovsky monitored the correlation of forces and reported this to Zhukov. November 29 Zhukov phoned the Supreme Commander and offered to deliver a counterstrike. Late in the evening of November 29, the General Headquarters made a decision to launch a counter-offensive and demanded an operation plan from the Military Council of the Western Front. This plan was developed by Vasily Danilovich during the night and presented on the morning of November 30 as a map with an explanatory note. This note, written by Sokolovsky, on which there are signatures of him, Georgy Zhukov and a member of the Military Council Nikolai Bulganin, was recently published. It is written with a flourish: "I AGREE" - and the signature: "STALIN".

For putting the November 30 counterstroke, the 20-I army under the command of Lieutenant-General Andrei Vlasov was formed on the basis of the operational group of Colonel Alexander Lizyukov in the Lobnya-Shodnya-Khimki area. Between her and the 30 army came the 1-I shock army of Lieutenant General Vasily Kuznetsov, formed in Zagorsk (Sergiev Posad) from the arriving Siberian rifle brigades and ski battalions.

December 1 units of the 1 Shock Army knocked out the Manteufel battle group from the eastern bank of the channel and advanced 5 – 7 km. On the morning of December 2, units of the 20 Army went on the offensive with the task of encircling and destroying the enemy in the area of ​​Krasnaya Polyana. By December 5, German troops were forced to go on the defensive along the whole front. During the Klin-Solnechnogorsk operation, units of the 20 Army, in conjunction with the troops of the 16, 30 and 1 attack armies, defeated the main forces of the 3 and 4 tank groups of the enemy, drove them to the line of the Lama rivers and Ruza and December 20 released Volokolamsk.

According to the memoirs of Vasily Kuznetsov’s son, when in November there was a discussion about the candidacy of the commander of the 1 shock army, Vasily Ivanovich was in the hospital. Stalin summoned him to Headquarters and announced his appointment as commander-in-chief. “Well, are you satisfied with the appointment?” Stalin asked. “I am satisfied, only the army is very short — only ski battalions, only one division ... And what a fool of the corps has been canceled!” Answered Kuznetsov. Already after the Victory, in May 1945, when the troops of the 3 shock army, Colonel-General Vasily Kuznetsov took the Reichstag and hoisted the Victory Banner over it, Stalin unexpectedly returned to this conversation: “Do you remember how you called me a fool then? .. ”- and expressing gratitude for the battle of Moscow and for the capture of the Reichstag, congratulated Vasily Ivanovich on being awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union.

1 May 1945 of the year KP Commander of the 8-th Guards Army Colonel-General Vasily Chuikov arrived to negotiate a truce, the Chief of the Army General Staff, General of the Infantry Hans Krebs. The negotiations with him on behalf of the Soviet command were conducted by the deputy commander of the 1 of the Byelorussian Front, Army General Vasily Sokolovsky. General Krebs told Sokolovsky that Hitler committed suicide, a new government was formed, and he was authorized to ask for truce terms. Vasily Danilovich calmly replied: "Military actions can be stopped only if complete unconditional surrender." Having achieved nothing, Krebs left. The same evening, he shot himself in Hitler's bunker.

In the morning of May 2, the commandant of the Berlin garrison, General of Artillery Helmut Weidling, appeared at the same command post of Chuikov. And again Sokolovsky came to negotiate with him. At the same time there was a writer Vsevolod Vishnevsky, who recorded this conversation.

Sokolovsky (to Weidling). You must give the order of complete surrender.

Chuikov. Our units stopped firing, while the Germans were still firing at certain sites.

Weidling. I will willingly help to stop the hostilities of our troops ...

Chuikov. Write an order of complete surrender, and you will have a clear conscience ...

Sokolovsky. So, Comrade Vishnevsky, the Second World War ends.

Vishnevsky. Yes, it ends ...

Weidling silently handed the draft order to Sokolovsky: “On April 30 of the year 1945, the Führer committed suicide, leaving to the mercy of all those who swore allegiance to him. According to the Führer’s last order, you, the German soldiers, must continue fighting for Berlin, despite the fact that your ammunition is running out, and in the current situation further resistance is meaningless. I order to immediately stop all resistance. Every hour of battle prolongs the horrendous suffering of the civilian population of Berlin and our wounded. By mutual agreement with the highest command of the Soviet troops, I urge you to immediately cease hostilities. Weidling, the former commander of the Berlin Defensive Area. "

On the night of 8 on 9 in May in the Berlin suburb of Karlshorst, the Act of Unconditional Surrender was signed.

From the German side the act was signed: Field Marshal General, Wehrmacht Supreme Command Chief Wilhelm Keitel, representative of the Luftwaffe - Colonel General Hans-Jürgen Stumpf and Kriegsmarine - Admiral Hans-Georg von Friedeburg. Unconditional surrender was accepted by Marshal Georgy Zhukov and Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the Allied Expeditionary Forces Marshal Arthur William Tedder. General Carl Spaats and General Jean-Marie de Latre de Tassigny put their signatures as witnesses.

When the Act of unconditional surrender was signed, Sokolovsky reminded the generals present: "Shakespeare was right a thousand times, who said at the time:" He who started evil, will be mired in him. "

The letter sent to the Presidium of the Central Committee of the CPSU in 1965, which we mentioned at the beginning of this article, said: “In May of this year, our whole country will celebrate the twentieth anniversary of the Great Victory. The greatest contribution to the achievement of Victory was made by the great battle near Moscow in 1941. The heroic feat of the Muscovites in the great battle under the walls of their hometown will never fade. It would be necessary to correct the mistake made and in commemoration of this victory to assign Moscow the title "Hero City". The working people of the capital won this title in fierce battles with the enemy in the most difficult days for our Motherland. ”

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  1. Thunderbolt
    Thunderbolt 10 December 2017 06: 44
    And the marshal’s life is glorious and the article is read in one breath. That's the Polish spy! What would we do in the 41st without all these “spies” if the flywheel of repressions against command personnel, scientists, engineers would not be stopped? It’s possible that then our headquarters generals would not be in a limp stupor and be able to explain to our great commander, Stalin, how dangerous our western special districts are in front of the Wehrmacht divisions concentrated for the strike. Maybe then universal mobilization could have been carried out without waiting for the invasion, at the end of winter or the first months of spring.
    1. Monarchist
      Monarchist 10 December 2017 08: 04
      With a thunder, I agree with your statement about the "spy" Sokolovsky. Regarding the flywheel of repressions, I agree here: it really spun up and mostly on those not guilty. The concentration of troops in the Western direction is debatable here: the latest publications of Migranyan and Zhukov are thought-provoking.
  2. parusnik
    parusnik 10 December 2017 07: 08
    And all the same they mocked the marshal ... Sokolovsky since May 8, 1965 was an Honorary Citizen of Berlin, and when the unification of Germany took place and the withdrawal of troops began, he was deprived of the honorary title on September 29, 1992.
    1. antivirus
      antivirus 10 December 2017 07: 27
      not what to sit in someone else's garbage
      Homeland alone.
  3. Monarchist
    Monarchist 10 December 2017 08: 34
    I read it with great interest: Sokolovsky somehow remains in the “shadow”, there are few publications about him, or I was not lucky. My opinion: there are modest hard workers who are pulling everything and remain as if aloof, and more cheeky, even if they are deserved, but they always manage to be in sight. For example: Antonov, his contribution to the Victory is hard to miss, but less is known about him than about Zhukov, Rostovsky or Sokolovsky: he worked for the Victory and then did not say: "I won Hitler alone." And if you read Eremenko or Chuikov or some other authors: if it weren’t for me or: I even prompted, etc. "I am annoyed by such a boast, Eremenko, Chuykov, Konev or some others did a lot for the Victory, but others tried to win , and they remain in the shade. This is not fair
    1. voyaka uh
      voyaka uh 10 December 2017 17: 38
      He was a good staff officer, but a useless commander of troops and fronts.
      He planned well, but directly at the front he failed operations.

      "... In a word, it was a great clever, educated commander with great experience.
      And in the role of front commander, he did not succeed. And it’s even hard to explain why it happened. He carried out one after another a whole series of very heavy losses of unsuccessful operations facing us. And after all these failures, he was removed by a special commission from Moscow.
      State Defense Committee. "
      - Conversation with the former chief of staff of the Western and Third Belorussian fronts, Colonel General Pokrovsky Alexander Petrovich. Recorded by Konstantin Simonov. Preface and publication of L. Lazarev // “October”. 1990. No. 5.
  4. Conductor
    Conductor 10 December 2017 20: 38
    Yes De Latr De Tassigny, strategist and winner of the Reich.
  5. Conductor
    Conductor 10 December 2017 20: 42
    The exhibition was several years ago, a photo, of an English photographer, Paris during the occupation, Shibko did not like the French like them. This is not Stalingrad or Leningrad.