One hundred years ago, the Red Army and the Red Navy were created to protect the young Soviet Republic from external and internal enemies. 23 February 1918, the troops received their first baptism of fire, defeating German units that were breaking into the depths of Soviet Russia near Pskov and Narva. This day is considered to be the birthday of the Red Army, although there are still heated debates around the date.
A number of researchers believe that the troops were completely defeated near Narva. But in any case, the army was created in battles and more than once defended our Fatherland in the most difficult time.
1917 year was extremely difficult for Russia. The First World War was still going on, but the country was actually left without an army. After the February revolution, liberal democrats came to power. By proclaiming the slogan “War to the Victory”, at the same time, by their actions they destroyed the tsarist army, which was still fighting for combat. In the first decree of the Provisional Government in the army, the subordination was abolished, democratic management methods were introduced, which instantly decomposed discipline in the ranks of tired soldiers.
Imagine: a tough war is going on, and Guchkov is appointed first as Minister of War, a complete ignoramus in this matter, and since May 1917, Kerensky, a lawyer by education, who soon became chairman of the Provisional Government, proclaimed himself Commander-in-Chief.
Having granted independence to Poland, the government thus caused a parade of sovereignties on the national outskirts of the empire. Already at the end of March, the Central Rada was formed on the basis of nationalist parties in Ukraine, which soon proclaimed an independent “people's republic”. The nationalists in Transcaucasia, Central Asia, and the Baltic States, who were generously funded from abroad, stepped up their activity. The Russian Empire was falling apart before our eyes.
Feat royal generals
By October 1917, the Provisional Government had lost its control of the country. And this despite the fact that the revolution was almost bloodless. After the victory of the armed uprising in Petrograd, and then in Moscow, the triumphal march of Soviet power began. But already in December, England and France concluded an agreement on the preparation of an armed intervention and the division of Russia into spheres of influence. They were joined by the United States, Japan, and other countries - both opponents of Russia in World War I, and former allies. 14 states in 1918 year sought to share among themselves the skin of an unkilled Russian bear, counting on an easy victory. The young republic was in the ring of fronts. In such conditions, the Red Army was created. How it all echoes what happened to the USSR in 1991.
At the beginning of 1918, the interventionists did not want to hear about any independence of Russia, but, having received an unexpected rebuff and fearing revolutionary sentiment in their troops, they decided to support internal counter-revolution on certain conditions. It was intervention that was the decisive factor in the outbreak of the Civil War in Russia.
England, France, USA, Japan, other countries provided the armies of Kolchak and Denikin, Yudenich and Wrangel weapons and ammunition, equipment and uniforms, modern equipment, including tanks and airplanes.
There is a lot of talk about patriotism, and even those who only recently had considered the concept of “patriotism” the “last refuge of scoundrels”. Pseudo-patriotic films such as Admiral appear. Monuments to the leaders of the White movement are established. I'm not against. But I want to remind military historians and bring to the general public that the true reconciliation of true patriots of Russia, regardless of their class, took place even then, during the years of severe trials for our Motherland. Together they fought in the fields of the Civil War and defeated both the interventionists and the internal enemies of Russia.
Of the 150-thousandth Tsarist officer corps, 72 800 ex-officers served in the Red Army, and in the White Army only 35 thousand. By the beginning of 1919, former officers and generals of the royal army accounted for more than 53 percent of the commanders of the Red Army. It turned out over 600 officers and generals of the General Staff. From 100 army commanders 82 - royal officers and generals. From the 20 front commanders - 17 royal generals and officers. And the chiefs of staff of fronts, armies and divisions are all generals and officers of the tsarist army. Many are hereditary nobles.
Thus, since August 1919, the Eastern Front was commanded by Vladimir Alexandrovich Olderogge, the “Red Baron”, Major General of the tsarist army. It was under his leadership that the troops finally defeated Kolchak. At the same time, another important red front — the Southern — was led by Vladimir Nikolaevich Egorev, lieutenant-general of the tsarist army. The troops under his command stopped and defeated Denikin’s armies, which were rushing toward Moscow. From the autumn of 1918, the Northern Front was headed by Dmitry Pavlovich Parsky, Lieutenant-General of the Tsarist Army, and in the spring of 1919 of the year in this post he was replaced by Lieutenant-General Dmitry Nikolaevich Nadezhny. Under their leadership, the Red Army threw the Anglo-American-French interventionists from the Russian North.
The leaders of the White movement, under the leadership of foreign curators, tried to act in concert and simultaneously from different sides. In October, 1919 of the Year, on Petrograd, unexpectedly moved his troops Yudenich. He was met by the 7 Army under the command of Sergey Dmitrievich Kharlamov, a colonel of the tsarist army, and a separate military group under the command of Sergey Ivanovich Odintsov, the major general of the tsarist army. By the middle of November, Yudenich’s troops were defeated, and the remnants fled abroad.
Money for Russia
The headquarters of the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, headed by Lieutenant-General of the Tsarist Army, Mikhail Dmitrievich Bonch-Bruyevich, was created to lead the Armed Forces. It was under his command that the Red Army was created, and its units, advancing towards the German units, were headed by Lieutenant-General of the Tsarist Army, Dmitry Pavlovich Parsky. In many ways, thanks to him, we celebrate February 23 as the birthday of the Red Army.
At the end of 1918, the post of Supreme Commander of all the Armed Forces of Soviet Russia was established, a Field Headquarters was created for operational management of fronts and armies, and the All-Russian main headquarters for providing fronts and armies with all the necessary and training reserves.
Sergey Sergeyevich Kamenev was appointed to the post of commander-in-chief, who had a good account of himself as commander of the Eastern Front, colonel of the tsarist army, officer of the General Staff. The Chief of the Field Headquarters was Pavel Pavlovich Lebedev, Major General of the Tsarist Army, and the All-Russian General Staff was headed by Major General of the Tsarist Army Alexander Alexandrovich Samoylo.
Naval General Staff of the Russian fleet almost in full force at the beginning of 1918, he sided with the Soviet government and now led the Worker-Peasant Red Fleet throughout the Civil War.
Here is what Admiral Vasily Mikhailovich Altfater, his first commander, wrote in the application for admission to the RKKF: “I served until now only because I considered it necessary to be useful to Russia where I can, and as I can. But I did not know and did not believe you. I still don’t understand much now, but I made sure that you love Russia more than many of ours. And now I have come to tell you that I am yours. ”
Of the representatives of the higher generals of the tsarist army, a special body was created - the Special Meeting under the Commander-in-Chief of all the Armed Forces of the Republic, which included almost all full generals of the Russian army (the current rank is General of the Army). They are Alexey Andreevich Polevanov, Andrei Meandrovich Zayonchkovsky, Vladislav Napoleonovich Klembovsky, Alexey Alekseevich Manikovsky and the most prominent commander of the First World War - cavalry general Alexey Alekseevich Brusilov.
After the end of the Civil War, all these people served in various positions, worked in military academies and colleges, transferring the rich experience and knowledge of young people, and developing Soviet military science. In the prewar years, a theory of deep offensive operations was developed, using which we won the Great Patriotic War.
It is impossible not to name two more names: Sergey Georgievich Lazo, also a former officer of the tsarist army, and Alexey Alekseevich Ignatiev, count, the personal page of the empress (“The General of the Two Powers”). Lazo in 1920 year was the head of the Military Revolutionary Headquarters for the preparation of the uprising in Primorye, captured by the Japanese invaders. The Japanese managed to grab Sergei Georgievich, they cruelly tortured him and burned him still alive in the furnace of a locomotive. Since 1912, Ignatiev served as a military attache in France, and through him during the First World War, military purchases of weapons, ammunition and equipment for the Russian army were carried out. After the February Revolution, he transferred the remaining money - 225 million gold rubles (2 billion dollars at the current exchange rate) to his personal account and did not give this money to either the Provisional Government, or the allies, or the White Guard. But when diplomatic relations were established between France and Soviet Russia, he came to the Soviet embassy in Paris and gave a check for the full amount with the words: "This money belongs to Russia." Ignatiev was restored to military service in the Red Army, he was given the military rank of Lieutenant General. It was he who initiated the creation of Suvorov military schools.
None of the above has been subjected to repression. And those who are younger have made a worthy contribution to the victory of the Red Army in the Great Patriotic War. Boris Mikhailovich Shaposhnikov, Alexander Mikhailovich Vasilevsky, Fyodor Ivanovich Tolbukhin, Leonid Aleksandrovich Govorov - officers of the tsarist army who became Marshals of the Soviet Union.
Was there a conspiracy?
After the Civilian country began to restore the destroyed economy, but the leadership of the USSR was well aware that the enemies will not leave us alone, a new war is inevitable. And it will be of a fundamentally different character, it will require modern weapons and equipment, it will be a war of engines. Speaking at a party and business asset in 1931, Stalin said: “We are lagging behind the advanced countries of the West by 50 – 100 years. Either we run this distance in 10 years, or we will be crushed. ”
Therefore, solving the daunting tasks of industrialization, the collectivization of agriculture and the cultural revolution, the Soviet leaders laid in their decision and the military component. Thus, the plans of the first five-year plans envisaged the creation of such an industrial base so that our Armed Forces could wage war with the largest power in the world in the west or in the east and win it, and then with a coalition of states.
Before the final solution of this task, we did not have two years, but judging by the course and results of the Second World War, when we confronted virtually all of Europe in the west and were forced to have a significant grouping of troops to prevent possible aggression from Japan in the east, and the group of troops in Transcaucasia and Iran, our management plans were mathematically accurate.
Collectivization has allowed a dramatic increase in agricultural productivity and ensure a steady supply of food to both the population and the Armed Forces, despite the considerable loss of territory during the war. And the cultural revolution is to raise a generation of people who are boundlessly devoted to their homeland, heroes and creators.
The Red Army was not born from scratch, gradually absorbing the best features of its predecessor, albeit in new historical conditions, with different ideologemes. Soviet military art is not an empty phrase. Many people now ask a legitimate question: then what are the reasons for our failures in the initial period of the war, why did we suffer such huge losses and were forced to retreat to Moscow and Stalingrad? The answers were different. This is both a surprise attack and serious mistakes in the tactics of our troops, in the organization of anti-tank defense and control. For example, according to our pre-war views, the artillery was supposed to be located on the tank-inaccessible directions. Therefore, the German wedges almost unhindered burst into the depths of our defenses and, carrying with them motorized infantry, surrounded significant groupings of our troops.
This and lack of training, especially command personnel, their lack of combat experience. The Germans, having two years of experience in waging war, gained a huge advantage in this.
Let's think about it: only from September 1939-th to June 1941-th, we had again formed 125 divisions, opened 77 military schools and 10 academies. Command personnel was sorely lacking. Training, combat coherence were insufficient.
Some historians claim that one of the main reasons for the defeat was the massive political repression of the Red Army commanding personnel in the prewar years. I declare with confidence that this is a blatant lie. Even while studying at the MV Frunze Academy at lectures on the history of wars and military art, I found out that there was still a conspiracy to overthrow the Soviet regime, led by Marshal Tukhachevsky. Therefore, most conspirators were convicted quite deservedly, and most importantly, in strict accordance with applicable law.
Alas, it was not possible to avoid judicial errors. For example, General K. Rokossovsky was convicted on a false denunciation. But these errors were corrected already then. Konstantin Konstantinovich was rehabilitated back in 1940, and he met the Great Patriotic War as the commander of the mechanized corps. For all the prewar years - from 1936 to 1941 - for political reasons, 2218 people from the command and political personnel of the Armed Forces of the USSR were convicted, which in June 1941 was 0,5 percent of their total. Although, of course, every life is invaluable and unique.
There are other reasons, but the main one is that on 22 on June 1941, a military vehicle of unprecedented power fell on our country, a blow which no state in the world could have withstood. One quarter of this force was enough to defeat the French armed forces along with the British expeditionary force in a day's 44. In addition to Germany, Finland, Hungary, Romania, Italy, Spain, Slovakia and Croatia entered the war with the Soviet Union. Volunteers from all countries of Western Europe fought on the Soviet-German front. Of these, legions were formed, then transformed into divisions: "Wallonia", "Flanders", "Charlemagne", "Netherlands", "Denmark", "Bohemia and Moravia" and others. More than half a million soldiers and officers from these countries were in Soviet captivity.
In the resistance movement in occupied by the fascists of France, about 20 thousands of French were killed. And on the Soviet-German front, fighting on the side of the fascists, more than 50 thousands. In the battle for Moscow, the Germans specifically sent French volunteer units to the Borodino field.
Confessions of enemies
The war on the territory of the Soviet Union for fascist Germany was fundamentally different from the campaign in Western Europe, our units and units fought bravely, causing enormous losses to the enemy.
Here are some entries in the diary of the Chief of the General Staff of the Land Forces of Germany, Colonel-General F. Halder:
4 July. The headquarters of the Goth tank group reported that 50 percent of the standard number of vehicles remained in the ranks;
13 July. Losses in tanks are on average 50 percent;
23 July. In some compounds, officer officer losses reached 50 percent;
1 August. In reserve, the main command divisions - 0.
The fact is that almost all of the German reserves were linked in combat with the surrounded formations and units of the Red Army. The encircled troops chained themselves to the 50 divisions (26%) of the Army Groups Center, South and North, which prevented them from building up their efforts in the Moscow, Kiev and Leningrad strategic areas.
We all know that the Soviet aviation in the early days of the war lost a huge number of aircraft, including at airfields. And at the same time, during the first month of the war, Soviet pilots shot down 1284 enemy aircraft in air battles. For comparison: during the entire period of the air attack on England, the Germans lost 1733 aircraft.
The courage and heroism of Soviet soldiers and officers in 1941 not only thwarted the strategic plans of the Wehrmacht for a blitzkrieg, but also became the basis for a decisive counteroffensive near Moscow. In the future, the Red Army troops acted not only courageously but skillfully. The famous German commander Field Marshal Manstein was forced to admit in his memoirs that on the Soviet-German front the Wehrmacht lost one and a half times more divisions than the Red Army.
The Soviet commanders, gaining combat experience, utterly surpassed the praised German generals. In March, Goebbels wrote 1945 in his diary: “I got the impression that we are not able to compete with such leaders at all. Stalin has every reason to honor, just like movie stars, the Soviet marshals, who showed outstanding military ability. The Fuhrer totally agrees with me. ”
It should be noted a huge contribution to the victory of the Communist Party. During the war she became truly belligerent. Three million communists died on the fronts. But in the same years more than six million people joined the party. “Please consider me a communist” is not a propaganda invention of Soviet ideologues, but the true convictions of the soldiers of the Red Army and the Navy, who, joining the party, received the only privilege of being the first to rise in the attack.
In the autumn of 1945, with the permission of the Soviet government, Western experts came to our country to assess the extent of the damage caused to our country by the Nazis. They visited Donetsk, Zaporozhye, Dnepropetrovsk, other major cities, as well as large industrial facilities (Dneproges, Zaporizhstal) and concluded: “To restore the cities, factories, power plants of the Soviet Union destroyed by the fascists during the occupation take at least 25 years. ” I do not doubt the competence of these Western experts, but I want to say with pride that they were mistaken many times. Six months later, the Dneproges gave electricity, and Zaporozhye Metallurgical Plant smelted the first tons of steel. During the first post-war five-year plan, the USSR almost completely restored the national economy destroyed by the war, canceled food ration cards, laid the foundations for a breakthrough into space.
All this is due to the socialist mode of production, when enormous human, technical, financial and other resources are concentrated on solving specific national economic problems. The Soviet army, as it began to be called from 1946 onwards, acquired a nuclear weapon. Its organizational and staff structure, combat and mobilization readiness system, management were improved. New types of Armed Forces were created: the Air Defense Forces and the Strategic Missile Forces. The army and navy became reliable guarantors of freedom and independence of our Motherland.
However, the enemies were not appeased. A fierce cold war was unleashed against the USSR and its allies. Through the efforts of Western intelligence services within the country, the “fifth column” has grown. Huge financial resources were thrown against the USSR — Baker recalled the US Secretary of State at that time: “To destroy the Soviet Union and win the Cold War, we spent trillions of dollars.”
After the collapse of the USSR, the army began to interfere with the "democrats" who seized power. As a result of ill-considered reforms, it was brought almost to collapse, just like the country. From able to repel the aggression of any geopolitical opponents, the army turned into an army, unable to effectively fight even with militant groups. Politically, it was justified by the fact that democratic Russia had no enemies left.
We must learn from this the necessary lessons. Today, the military-political situation in the world is seriously aggravated and resembles the one that took shape before the Second World War. The US and its allies are acting against Russia more and more resolutely and brazenly, unleashing a civil war on the very borders of ours, in Ukraine, openly supporting terrorist organizations in Syria. Russia is almost declared enemy number one, economic and political sanctions are imposed against it.
By deploying a missile defense system around the perimeter of the Russian Federation’s borders and implementing the concept of a fast global strike developed earlier (https://www.vpk-news.ru/articles/35866), the United States plans to neutralize our strategic nuclear missile weapons, and finally by the actions of the ground forces defeat the army, for which additionally placed in the Baltic States and Poland 1300 units of armored vehicles. More than ever, the country faces the challenge of further strengthening our Armed Forces, the defense industry and military science.
It is necessary to restore the military districts, to recreate the combined-arms, divisions and regiments in the Ground Forces, to revive the Navy, to strengthen the VKS. It is necessary to provide them in sufficient quantities with modern WWTE. So, create a new industrial base of the defense industry. And time for this, as well as before the war, is sorely lacking. We need new managers, competent initiative professionals. You may have to think about the ways of transition to a mobilization economy (for more details, see the article “Zero Reserves” on page 05). Our government sees a way out of this situation in the further privatization of state-owned enterprises, which was announced at the next Gaidar Forum. This is hardly a reasonable solution.
The question is again, as before the Great Patriotic War: either we will solve these tasks, or they will crush us.