A common thread throughout the article is the idea that the plan of the 1941 campaign of the year, both of the Nazi and Soviet command, is based not on one single document, but on several. Thus, in order to ascertain the intentions of the opposing sides, it is necessary to consider not separate separate documents, but their interrelated totality. The Soviet plan for the defeat of Germany and the liberation of Europe in 1941, undeservedly entrusted to oblivion, as well as its role in disrupting the German plan for the rapid defeat of the Red Army and the occupation of the territory of the USSR right up to the Urals, is particularly highlighted.
The German planning for the 1941 military campaign of the year is based on the OKH Directive No. 21, better known as the Barbarossa Plan, linked to it in terms of the Japanese attack on the USSR Kantokuen, the operation plan against the industrial area of the Urals, theses to the report on the occupation of Russian territory and the reorganization of the ground forces after the end of Operation Barbarossa, as well as the OKH Directive No. 32 “Preparations for the period after the plan of Operation Barbarossa”.
When planning the defeat of the Soviet Union, the High Command of the Wehrmacht proceeded from the message that Germany was opposed by a “colossus with feet of clay,” which in order for it to collapse on its own only needed to be slightly pushed. As a result, the stake was placed on a "lightning war" and another "blitzkrieg". The main forces of the Red Army were expected to meet up to the line of the Western Dvina - Dnieper rivers. As part of the troops of the Western Front, the presence of the largest grouping of Soviet troops was assumed, which was planned to be surrounded by forces of the 3rd and 2nd tank groups with two concentric strikes on Minsk from the area of Suwalki and Brest. The attacks on Leningrad and the Crimea were supposed to be delivered by the forces of the 4th and 1st tank groups with the support of the armed forces of Finland and Romania, reinforced by German formations in advance.
Four weeks were allocated to the Wehrmacht to crush the main forces of the Red Army to the line of the Western Dvina-Dnieper rivers, after which it was supposed to re-establish operational communications between Army groups Center and South in the area of Gomel behind the Pripyat Marshes. Army Group North after two weeks of hostilities by July 5 was to capture Daugavpils, Center - Minsk, South - Novograd-Volynsky, and two more by July 20 - Opochka, Orsha and Kiev, respectively. The week was allocated for the subsequent Wehrmacht capture by Pskov, Smolensk and Cherkassy by July 27, three for the capture of Leningrad and Moscow by August 17, as well as the exit to the Sea of Azov in the Melitopol region. 1050 km from Brest to Moscow was to the Wehrmacht to go for 8 weeks or 56 days - an average of 130 km per week, up to 20 km per day. At this stage, the organized resistance of the Red Army Wehrmacht was supposed to suppress, and the most densely populated part of the USSR to occupy.
After reaching the Leningrad-Moscow-Crimea line, the main part of the German divisions was to be withdrawn to Germany to reduce the Wehrmacht to 34 divisions from 209 to 175 and reorganize into tropical divisions to capture the British colonies. For the occupation of the western part of the USSR, it was planned to leave 65 divisions (including 12 tank, 6 motorized and 9 guard). The German satellites were supposed to mobilize in July, complete the regrouping and concentration of their troops in August, in order to launch a new offensive in late August - early September - Italy, Spain, Finland, Hungary, Slovakia and Romania together with the occupation forces of the Wehrmacht deep into the RSFSR and Japan to the Far East and Siberia.
By October 19, after nine weeks of the new offensive, the Wehrmacht was to capture the Urals. The active hostilities were supposed to end there, and the 1941 campaign of the year after 17 weeks of fighting ended. Japanese appetites spread to the Soviet Primorye and Eastern Siberia in Baikal and Buryatia, inclusive. 1800 km from Moscow to Chelyabinsk Wehrmacht had to go for 9 weeks or 63 days - an average of 200 km per week, to 30 km per day. The increased pace of the offensive was due to the absence of organized resistance of the Red Army and a sharp decrease in population density.
From now on, the Wehrmacht was supposed to gain a foothold in the conquered territories and begin preparations for the 1942 campaign of the year. The European territory of the USSR was divided into four formations - the Baltic states, Ukraine, Russia and the Caucasus. 9 security divisions and two army groups, North with headquarters in Moscow (27 divisions) and South in Kharkov (29 divisions), were allocated for their occupation. In the Army Group North, the Baltic states were allocated 8 front, to Western Russia (central Russian industrial region and the Northern Volga region) 7 front, 3 etc., 1 md and Italian corps, to Eastern Russia (Southern and Northern Urals) - 2 front, 4 td, 2 md, one Finnish connection. In the Army Group “South”, 7 PD, one by one Slovak and Romanian formation, Eastern Ukraine (Don, Donbass and Southern Volga) 6 DD, 3 td, 2 md, 1 cd, one Hungarian connection, the Caucasus (including Kavkaz-Iran group) 4 DD, 3HDX, 2 TD, 1 md and Spanish building.
In the 1942 campaign of the year, the Wehrmacht remained, capturing Western Siberia and Central Asia, to complete their campaign against the USSR. At the same time from Central Asia, Germany opened a direct road to India. After Japan captured China and Mongolia, the border between the Third Reich and the Japanese Empire could pass along the Yenisei. The naval and air forces of Germany were to resume in full scale the "siege of England." The preparation of the landing in England was to serve a twofold purpose: to bind the forces of the British in the metropolis, and also to cause and complete the emerging disintegration of Great Britain. To seize Egypt from Libya, two tank divisions, Palestine and Iraq from Bulgaria and Turkey — 14 divisions (5 front, 3 gd, 4 etc., 2 md) still stood out, and for the attack on Iran and Iraq from Transcaucasia as part of the occupying forces The Caucasus was formed the group "Caucasus-Iran" as part of 2 gds, 2 etc. and 1 md.
63 divisions were assigned to the occupation of Western Europe - 11 to Norway, 1 - to Denmark, 2 - to Holland, 43 - to France, to capture Gibraltar and transfer to Spanish Morocco to protect the strait, and, if possible, to seize the Atlantic islands, 6 - to Balkans. "The defense of the Atlantic coast of North and West Africa, the seizure of British possessions in West Africa and the territory controlled by de Gaulle, is given to the French, who will receive the necessary reinforcements during the development of military operations" (Directive No. 32. Preparations for the period after the plan of Operation Barbarossa) ). In reserve, OKH remained 31 division.
The Soviet plan to counter the aggression of Nazi Germany was based on the strategic deployment plan of the armed forces of the Soviet Union in case of war with Germany and its allies from 15 in May 1941, plans to cover the border with border military districts, orders to create anti-tank artillery brigades (PTR) and airborne corps , the offices of the 13, 23, 27, 19, 20, 21, and 22 armies, the proposal of G.K. Zhukov about the beginning of the construction of fortified areas on the border with Hungary and the rear line of Ostashkov - Pochep, an order to create an army group of the Russian State Control Committee, and with the beginning of military operations of new armies and divisions.
The military leadership of the Red Army envisaged a strike by the Wehrmacht from East Prussia in the direction of Daugavpils, an attempt to encircle Leningrad with the forces of the Finnish troops and an amphibious assault force landed by the Nazis in Estonia, a concentric attack from Brest and Suvalki on Volkovysk and Baranovichi to encircle the troops of the Western Front, with their subsequent advance on Minsk - Smolensk - Moscow, as well as from Poland to Kiev. The main grouping of the Wehrmacht, the General Staff of the Red Army expected against the troops of the Southwestern Front, whose troops, by virtue of this, surpassed the grouping of the Western Front.
To counteract the designs of Nazi Germany, the Soviet leadership plotted a huge trap for the Wehrmacht. The northern flank from Leningrad to Bialystok and the southern from Izmail to Lvov were reliably covered from deep tank breakthroughs by anti-tank artillery brigades. Two dispersed enemy tank groupings by the Pripyatsky marshes were passed to Orsha and Kiev, where they were guaranteed to be destroyed by concentric strikes of the RGK armies from Polotsk and Mogilyov to Minsk, as well as Chernigov and Cherkassy to Zhytomyr.
Combining the shock groups of the Western and Southwestern fronts near Warsaw, the Soviet command surrounded the troops of the German Army Group Center and South with their utterly extended communications. With the subsequent advancement of the Soviet troops to the Baltic coast, the remaining troops of Army Group North would be surrounded. For the liberation of the European countries enslaved by the Nazis, the formation of new armies with fresh rifle and cavalry divisions, in the capital of which one after another Soviet landing corps would be landed, was coming to an end. At the sight of the lightning defeat of Germany, its satellites would hastily disassociate themselves from the Nazis (see the 1 scheme).
What happened during the real clash of two opposing armies? In early June 1941, the weaker Army Group South was unable to cope with the stronger Southwestern Front. The 1 Panzer Group, which had failed to break the resistance of the 1 anti-tank artillery brigade and numerous Soviet mechanized corps in a grand tank battle near Rovno, Lutsk and Brody, was stopped at the distant approaches to Kiev. By this time in the north, the more successful 4 tank group had already captured Pskov.
However, the most dramatic situation developed in the defense zone of the Western Front. The 3-I tank group, having easily passed the Vilnius 7 and 8 pabr for the protection from it under Lida and Grodno, reached Minsk at the end of June (see the 3 scheme). Joining here with the 2 tank group, it was completely unexpected for the Soviet command, surrounded by troops of the Western Front. After receiving information about the environment of the Soviet troops near Minsk, Stalin personally went to the Defense Commissariat to ascertain the situation at the front.
Convinced of the imminent and inevitable catastrophe of the Western Front, as well as the complete failure of the Soviet plan and the absence of the slightest prospect of its realization, Stalin brought Zhukov to tears. Being tormented by vague doubts about the fate of the country he leads and his personal fate, in an extremely depressed state, he left the capital and went to his nearest summer cottage. According to Mikoyan’s testimony, “when they came out of the Commissariat, he said this phrase:“ Lenin left us a great legacy, and we, his heirs, all this asking ... Ali ... ”We were amazed by this statement of Stalin. It turns out that everything is irretrievably lost? ”(A. Mikoyan. So it was).
Meanwhile, the bulk of the Soviet troops were concentrated west of the Western Dvina-Dnieper line and south of the Pripyat marshes. Due to this circumstance, the defeat of the Western Front did not justify the hopes of the Wehrmacht command, which faced Smolensk with the new Western Front restored at the expense of the RGC armies (see the 2 scheme). Having torn off the lightning-quick defeat of the main forces of the Red Army by the Wehrmacht, the USSR not only was able to continue its struggle against the Nazis, but also acquired such powerful allies as England and America. In connection with the failure of the prewar plan of defeating Germany, the Soviet Union began implementing measures aimed at a long standoff with Nazi Germany.
With the filing of his associates, Stalin returned to ruling the country at the head of the State Defense Committee, which absorbed all the power in the country and unified the functions of the government, the Supreme Soviet and the Central Committee of the party. The formation of the partisan movement, the party underground and the sabotage war began in the occupied areas. From east to west of the country, echelons with evacuated enterprises and specialists were pulled, destined to restore the defense industry in the rear areas of the country. The formation of more and more new divisions and volunteer formations began. All material and human resources of the country of the Soviets were mobilized. For the Soviet people, the war became truly Great and Patriotic.
After suppressing 1941 in August instead of taking Moscow, the resistance of the Soviet troops near Smolensk, in September, the Wehrmacht, instead of advancing deep into the territory of the USSR, was forced to deal with the Soviet troops near Kiev. The schedule of the Wehrmacht offensive and the entry of Japan into the war against the USSR in the Far East and Siberia was thwarted. In view of Japan’s indifference to the west, the transfer of troops from Siberia and the Far East began from the east. In order to persuade Japan, frozen in indecision, to its side, and that instead of the USSR it had already set out to attack the United States, the German command decided to take Moscow in the deep autumn of the 1941 year.
But here in the path of the Wehrmacht, newly-created Soviet divisions set up for a victorious march through Europe got up. Having destroyed one part near Vyazma in the fall, and the other thoroughly patting near Bryansk, in the winter near Moscow the Wehrmacht encountered Siberian and Far Eastern divisions, which not only defended the Soviet capital, but also threw the enemy far to the west. Japan’s entry into the war against the United States predetermined the defeat of Nazi Germany and militarist Japan, now acting separately, uncoordinated and disconnected - victoriously ending the war now Germany had to Vladivostok and Japan in Washington, which was completely unrealistic for them beyond their strength and capabilities.
Germany’s attempt in 1942 to capture the Caucasus and stall Soviet industry by cutting off the transportation of Transcaucasian oil on the Volga ended in a crushing defeat for the Nazis and their satellites near Stalingrad. The failure of the German offensive near Kursk in the summer of 1943 marked a radical change in the war. In 1944, the Soviet army began the liberation of Nazi territory occupied by the Nazis, and the Western allies, after the defeat of Germany became obvious, belatedly opened a second front in France. After the defeat in the spring of 1945 of Nazi Germany, it was the turn of militaristic Japan, which, after the defeat of the Japanese Kwantung Army stationed in China by the Red Army and the American as radioactive ashes, aviation Hiroshima and Nagasaki on September 2 accepted the terms of unconditional surrender.
It must be recognized that both the Soviet and Nazi plans for the 1941 campaign of the year remained unfulfilled. As a result, in the 1941 year, as the Wehrmacht in Siberia did not meet with Japanese troops, the Soviet Union did not liberate Europe from the Nazi yoke. The main reasons for disrupting Germany’s plan were the underestimation of the Soviet people’s determination to defend their freedom and independence, the error in determining the location of the main forces of the Red Army regarding the Western Dvina-Dnieper rivers and the Pripyat swamps, as well as linking Japan’s war on the Nazi side with the successes of the Wehrmacht Eastern front.
The main reasons for disrupting the implementation of the plan for the USSR should be considered the erroneous assumption of placing the main forces of the Wehrmacht as part of Army Group South, incorrect determination of the depth of the concentric strikes of the 2 and 3 tank groups of the Army Group Center for surrounding the Western Front troops in general and the direction of the strike of the 3-th tank group in particular. The strengths of the Soviet plan include the stationing of armies of the RGCs west of the Dnieper and the planned formation of a large number of divisions with the start of hostilities, which led to a two-fold restoration of the Western Front, a breakdown in the Wehrmacht offensive and Japan’s refusal to attack the USSR
Thus, despite the seemingly crushing defeat of the Red Army and the occupation of a large part of the USSR in 1941, the positions of the Soviet Union in the long run were more stable than that of Germany. Unable to embody his regular blitz, Hitler ran into a strong adversary motivated for a long time with powerful allies. While his ally in Japan, instead of helping Germany defeat the USSR, attacked America, which he strengthened not so much as weakened Germany. We can say that in the 1941 year, Germany, having won in tactics, lost in strategy, while the USSR lost in tactics and won in strategy. Ultimately, having won the 1941 campaign of the year, Nazi Germany naturally lost the Great Patriotic War to the Soviet Union.
1 schema. The actions of the Armed Forces of the Red Army in the European theater of operations according to the May plans to cover the border of the border military districts 1941 of the year and the task set in June 1941 to the group of reserve armies. Reconstruction of the author. Source: Soviet strategic planning on the eve of the Great Patriotic War. Part of 2. Plan for the defeat of the Wehrmacht on the territory of the USSR // https://topwar.ru/38092-sovetskoe-strategicheskoe-planirovanie-nakanune-velikoy-otechestvennoy-voyny-chast-2-plan-razgroma-vermahta-na-territorii-sssr.html
2 schema. Fighting in the West direction from June 22 to July 9 1941. Source: Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 3. The collapse of the plan for the defeat of the Wehrmacht on the territory of the USSR // https://topwar.ru/38337-sovetskoe-strategicheskoe-planirovanie-nakanune-velikoy-otechestvennoy-voyny-chast-3-krah-plana-razgroma-vermahta-na-territorii-sss .html
3 schema. Expected by the Soviet command and the real direction of attack 3-y tank group. Source: Soviet strategic planning on the eve of the Great Patriotic War. Part of 3. The collapse of the plan for the defeat of the Wehrmacht on the territory of the USSR. Ibid