Ros Gorbatov brisk; selling fishery goods, helped out more than the parents — where for a penny, where for a penny — a ruble, or even a few, was going to be a lot of money for the peasants. 8 rubles cost a horse. Well, like a horse - nag, which soon die from old age. A good horse cost 60 rubles, but the Gorbatovs could not buy one.
With 1899 I learned three winters at school. In 1905, he moved to the city, where, at the farm of one merchant, he settled in “boys” - to perform many duties for food and living. It was the usual beginning of a career then. The environment in which he lived was not very healthy - smoking, drinking, foul-mouthed. His intelligent acquaintance expressed his fear that the young Gorbatov would become the same. But that one - it was in 1907 - made an oath promise never to smoke, drink or swear. It was not easy to keep such a vow, but Gorbatov remained firm in his decision. Just drank some 9 wine on May 1945.
Of the boy, Gorbatov became a young man. First love came, but in the fall of 1912 he was drafted into the army. The recruit Gorbatov got into a hussar regiment. And the war soon began. I remember the attacks, collisions with the cavalry of the enemy, reconnaissance searches. The authorities noted in Gorbatov ingenuity and the desire to deceive the enemy. He was often called upon to volunteer for intelligence, in which he could realize these qualities of his nature. He was awarded the St. George crosses and medals.
But the war showed especially sharply that the closed privileged caste, which ruled the country, did it badly. Her inability, numerous miscalculations, were especially clear to the soldiers, since everything was paid for with their blood and hardships.
In February, 1917 received the news of the revolution and the king's abdication. In March, the 1918 division of Gorbatov was demobilized. “Only a soldier who has walked the roads of war from her first day can understand our exultation. “Alive! We're going home!"*
Gorbatov adopted a revolution and a new established system. And why was he to have an attachment to the old order? The Gorbatovs worked both adults and children, except for the peasant labor proper, found trade earnings — but they could not even hope to get out of poverty. Gorbatov's older brother took part in the 1905 riots; he was drafted into the war, but, as Gorbatov reported, he was shot for agitation among the soldiers, it was not yet 1917.
One of the moments of the civil war that Gorbatov remembered was: “in almost every village we found one or two poor peasants hanged, and in one village we took seven corpses out of the loop; each had a plywood plate on its chest with the inscription: "Rob the landowner."
In 1919, Gorbatov decided to go to the Red Army. He began his service as a private, then commanded a platoon, squadron, and in 1920 he commanded the regiment and the Bashkir cav. by the brigade. After the end of wars and the reduction of the army remained the regimental commander. He was already thirty years old, ten of which he spent in military service.
In training the regiment, Gorbatov devoted the main attention to combat training in the field, and not to occupations in the arena. In the figure riding the cavalrymen of his regiment were inferior to others. But it was Gorbatov who was assigned to lead the combined regiment from the division in the district exercises. There, the Commissar Voroshilov noted him for his correct tactical decisions. Soon came the order to increase - after seven years of command of the regiment, Gorbatov became a brigade commander.
In 1933, Gorbatov was already appointed division commander. Only he arrived in Belarus to accept the 4 Cavalry Division, as they called from Moscow - it turned out that an error occurred - he was assigned not to this division, but to the 4 Cavalry Division, which was located in Turkmenistan. I had to turn around and go to Central Asia. The service there had its own specifics; in particular, the regiments of the division, except for one, were manned by Turkmen. But in the Kiev district they remembered Gorbatov, believing that they themselves needed such a commander. In 1936, the district command achieved the return of Gorbatov to Ukraine.
Gorbatov took 2-th Kav. division. In his opinion, there was a lot of disorder in it that he began to resolutely correct. He sought to raise the level of combat training, to cover it with all personnel; he even took up cooks and doctors - so that they could do their work better. “At first, some people did not like my requirements, but then everyone understood that all this was necessary for business.”
In the spring of 1937, the newspapers reported: "A conspiracy has been revealed." Arrests began; then one, then another acquaintance of Gorbatov turned out to be an "enemy of the people." "Turned out" - it was at that time a kind of magic word. " The charge of “ties with the enemies of the people” was also brought against Gorbatov. He was removed from the command of the division, and in the fall of 1938-th dismissed from the army. Gorbatov went to Moscow to find out the reason. He was received by the head of the personnel department, Shchadenko, who finally asked where Gorbatov stayed in Moscow. At two in the morning a knock sounded at the door of the hotel room. Gorbatov was arrested.
The investigation methods were simple: the prisoner was brought to the investigator - he demanded to write confessions. The cellmates told Gorbatov: they wrote everything they asked for. From them, he learned what happens to those who refuse to write. The condition of the people who slandered themselves and others was terrible. Someone did it, unable to withstand the torture, someone broke down even before being called to the investigator under the impression of the stories of cellmates.
Then Gorbatov was told that the testimony of a 10 man was written on him. But Gorbatov himself decided not to write any falsified testimony. They began to beat out. "Sometimes I returned to the cell on a stretcher." “There were a lot of people who refused to sign false testimony, as I refused. But few of them were able to survive the beatings and torture - almost all of them died in prison or a prison hospital. ” Gorbatov endured.
8 May 1939, Gorbatov was introduced into a small hall, where three sat at the table - this was the court of the military college. "... I just wanted to see the court in my case." This trial lasted four to five minutes. Verdict: fifteen years in prison.
48-year-old Gorbatov was sent to a camp in Kolyma. The work was exhausting, the nutrition was insufficient. Many died in the first winter. Gorbatov’s health passed in the camp: “... misfortune happened to me: my legs began to swell up, my teeth were loose. My legs became like logs ... If you look like a sick man, then trouble; There is only one outcome ... ”Fortunately, the people on whom his life depended made human decisions: the medical assistant acted as a disabled person who must be removed from hard work, the camp head approved the act.
In the spring of 1940, the plenum of the Supreme Court, where S.M. Budyonny, decided to review the case. On the long journey to Moscow, Gorbatov met people at the stages, whose re-examination ended with a new conviction and being sent back to the camps. However, 4 March 1941-h was released. After the sanatorium restoration, Gorbatov was assigned to the 25 th infantry corps to the post of deputy commander. He was struck by the fact that parts of the corps were poorly prepared, but their commanders did not even realize it.
Soon the war began. The corps encountered the Germans south of Vitebsk. Hearing the cannonade, Gorbatov went to the front to find out the situation. Groups of soldiers were coming towards him. It turned out: the regiment, hitting a liquid German shelling, threw positions. “Everyone started to move away, and we went,” “the Germans are shooting, and our artillery is silent,” the soldiers said. He managed to stop the withdrawal. But as soon as he left, the regiment departed again. Neither the regiment commander nor the other officers could do anything. The division commander, which included this regiment, did not know what was being done there. Also, the corps artillery commander did not know: where the corps artillery regiment is located and what it does. He was informed that the artillery regiment was in a firing position. In fact, Gorbatov found an artillery regiment in the forest — his commanders, knowing about the swift attack of the enemy, being ten kilometers away from him, settled as if to rest without organizing either firing positions or observation points.
The 25 corps was quickly defeated, its commander and part of the staff surrendered. The wounded Gorbatov was evacuated to the rear. Almost immediately after his recovery, S. K. Timoshenko, commander in chief of the South-Western direction, took Gorbatov to his office. On October XNUM, he was appointed commander of the 1 Infantry Division.
Gorbatov and then met the commanders, who were sitting far from the front line, who did not see what was happening there; they judged this only by reports, which often did not reflect the actual situation. Gorbatov himself always personally studied the front-line, the location of his troops and the enemy on it. And he strictly demanded that commanders be closer to the battle formations. The results affected immediately: the commanders firmly held their units in their hands, and managed the battle better.
The tactical principles of our army at the beginning of the war demanded a platoon disperse throughout the defended zone. The soldiers sat in separate, distant from each other, pits, not seeing their platoon commander, or even the squad leader. Gorbatov was an opponent of such an arrangement; he consciously referred to the questions of tactics. “After serving as a soldier for five and a half years, I knew well what a soldier could do in a given situation.” He demanded not to disperse the platoon, but to place him in a common trench, not more than one hundred and twenty meters, so that the commander could see his subordinates, and they - his commander. Unoccupied spaces between platoons were to be shot through.
His division not only defended, but also undertaken private offensive operations. When Gorbatov could choose for himself where to attack, with what forces and at what time, then the attacks were usually successful. But, as a rule, the authorities wrote everything from afar: the place and the hour of the attack, the strength (not consistent with the capabilities of our troops and the enemy). As a result, there was often no success, and the losses were many times greater than those of the Germans. "I was particularly obscure orders: despite the failure, to re-attack ... from the same starting position, in the same direction ... to attack, not taking into account that the enemy had already strengthened this area."
25 December 1941, Gorbatov was awarded the first general's rank. In June, 1942 transferred him to another position. “It was not a shame to hand over to the new commander a division, which counted more than 400 captured prisoners, 84 guns ..., 75 mortars, 104 machine guns and many other trophies. At that time, not only many divisions, but also some armies could envy such a captured number. ”
Gorbatov was appointed inspector of cavalry in the headquarters of the South-West direction. After Gorbatov’s insistent requests to transfer him from headquarters to the troops in October 1942, he was appointed deputy commander of the 24 army. "The position of deputy was not in my character." But the commander did not hesitate to work Gorbatov: he was almost always in the divisions, and the commander in the command post.
In April 1943, Gorbatov became commander of the rifle corps. And in June he was appointed commander of the 3 Army of the Bryansk Front. There was a preparation for the big offensive. In the front line, the 63-i army from the bridgehead on the Zusha River delivered the main attack. At the meeting, Gorbatov expressed his opinion about the upcoming operation: will one 63 army succeed in breaking through the enemy defenses? After all, the Germans strengthened the site against our bridgehead especially. He proposed that the 3 Army withdraw its sector for a breakthrough. Her strike will distract the enemy, which will help the 63 Army.
The Germans did hold the main forces against the bridgehead, not expecting that our troops would strike even more by forcing the river elsewhere. The impact of Gorbatov’s army turned out to be sudden for the enemy, his defense could not stand it. The rapid (compared to other) advance of the 3 Army led to the fact that the liberation of the city of Oryol was assigned to it. August 5 Gorbatov army threat of coverage forced the Germans to clean Opel.
In the course of the further offensive, the 3-I army became part of the Belarusian Front, commanded by K.K. Rokossovsky. The left wing of the front had deep offensive missions. Right-wing armies, including 3, had to conduct local battles so that the enemy could not transfer troops to the main attack area.
The offensive of the army of October 10 did not bring success. The Germans occupied positions on the high bank of the river Sozh, looking through all the approaches to the river. Lacked ammunition. It was not possible to climb the high bank and gain a foothold there.
“I always preferred active actions, but avoided unsuccessful loss of people ... I always personally followed the course of the battle and when I saw that the offensive did not promise success, I didn’t shout:“ Come on, come on! ” rule, profitable and dry terrain, having a good overview and shelling. " Gorbatov reported to the front headquarters that further activity would be fruitless and would only increase losses. But Rokossovsky private attacks did not cancel. The offensive on the main line developed heavily, so the front command demanded that the armies of the right wing continue active operations, holding down the enemy.
Gorbatov always studied the situation not only in the band of his army, but also from his neighbors. At the right neighbor, 50-th Army, he noticed a suitable area - on the river Pronya, with a ford and a good approach from our side. He asked Rokossovsky to put this section in 3 km to the 15 Army. "It seemed to me that the proposal to kill the lane ... surprised the front commander: usually the commanders are asked to reduce, not increase their lane."
The transfer of the offensive to a more convenient sector was justified - with a small loss a significant foothold was captured. The Germans were forced to transfer large forces against the bridgehead. The front command demanded an expansion of the bridgehead. But Gorbatov understood that the Germans had already intensified in this direction. Attempts to attack here will only lead to protracted battles - bloody and virtually fruitless.
He turned to Rokossovsky with a new solution: return the lane from the 50 st army. And the 3 Army will concentrate all forces on the old bridgehead and strike there - in order not only to expand the bridgehead, but to make a deep breakthrough, creating a threat to the flank of the Gomel enemy group. “I wouldn’t be surprised if the front commander thought badly of us at that moment ... a month ago, Gorbatov asked to kill the lane, now he asks to take it back.” Gorbatov also asked Rokossovsky, so that the neighboring armies would be active, keeping the enemy in front of him
Gorbatov decided to strike where the offensive had not been successful a month ago - on the river Sozh. The Germans were expecting an offensive from a bridgehead on Prone, aided by a disinformation campaign conducted by the 3 Army. The army secretly regrouped and unexpectedly for the Germans struck through Sozh. The front of the enemy was broken. The Germans had to weaken their grouping on the main line, moving troops against the 3 Army. As a result, the overall situation has changed dramatically. The Belarusian Front liberated a vast territory and a large center - the city of Gomel.
3-I army reached the Dnieper and received the task to capture the bridgehead. But there were only five incomplete divisions in the army — forces too small for a serious operation. In the next, 63-th army, the forces were also not enough. Before the 63 th army, the enemy retained its foothold on the east bank of the Dnieper, its attempts to eliminate the enemy foothold were unsuccessful. Gorbatov proposed a solution: to unite the troops and bands of both armies under his command. Gorbatov was aware of the "unusual offer." Rokossovsky didn’t answer right away: “But what if you believe ... But just where should we put the headquarters and commander of the 63 army?”
The headquarters and commander of the 63 Army were withdrawn to Headquarters reserve. Rokossovsky only asked to reduce the preparation to coincide with the attack on February 23. After the unification of forces 3-th army doubled, but doubled the strip of its front. Gorbatov concentrated almost all the divisions into a strike force in a narrow sector. And on the rest of the army front, only weak barriers were left. Of course, the regrouping was carried out in such a way that the Germans did not notice it.
The 3 Army quickly captured a large bridgehead on the west bank of the Dnieper (this bridgehead later played a major role in Operation Bagration). At the same time, the army created a flank threat to the German bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Dnieper. The Germans were forced to leave the bridgehead without a fight - and without loss for our troops. 63-I army previously unsuccessfully attacked this bridgehead in the forehead, putting a lot of people.
Gorbatov had his own commanding style, thanks to which he made a considerable contribution to the victory. With each blow he tried to use surprise. Always sought to reduce losses. And not afraid to defend their decisions. He was an uncomfortable, restless subordinate. It was usual: Rokossovsky lowered Gorbatov’s order - what the army should do in the upcoming operation. Gorbatov answers: no - I know better on the spot what to do; and that for better results the neighboring armies should do. That is, Gorbatov invaded the prerogatives of the com-front.
To Rokossovsky's honor, he did not begin to crush. Marshal knew how to listen to reasonable suggestions. Although not everything between them was smooth. In thin in the film “The General”, in which Gorbatov played Gostyukhin, there is a scene, not that Rokossovsky’s rude but hard enough pressure — he demanded that Gorbatov advance. However, Gostiukhin-Gorbatov stood his ground: to attack in the existing conditions means to waste soldiers. And Rokossovsky did cancel the order for the offensive.
According to Gorbatov himself, the army successfully captured a bridgehead on the Dnieper, but then “the enemy’s resistance increased ... the Nazis pulled a large number of fresh troops here ... to avoid wasted losses, we decided to go on the defensive, but ... the front commander ... categorically demanded to continue the offensive .. Moscow intervened in the case. Bid judged that we are right. I was afraid that after that, relations with KK Rokossovsky would deteriorate. But Konstantin Konstantinovich is not like that ... ”
Gorbatov's initiative and military ingenuity was normally accepted not only by Rokossovsky. During the war, Gorbatov’s army was subordinated to several front commanders. Chernyakhovsky had a similar attitude towards him - “the front commander, closely watching our plans and actions, never hampered manifestations of independence and initiative.”
It was somewhat more difficult with GF. Zakharov. In October of the 1944, the 3 Army participated in an expansion operation on the Narew River. The front command lowered the artillery preparation schedule - but in it, according to the headquarters of the 3 Army, the actual outline of the German defense was not taken into account. The 3 Army developed its artillery preparation plan. The front commander insisted on his schedule. On the eve of the operation, Gorbatov once again addressed him and received an irritated reply: “You are all strange, you want to be smarter than everyone.” Gorbatov decided to interpret such an answer as an agreement to act in his own way. On the first day of his offensive, the troops captured all three German trenches. His neighbor, acting on the schedule of the front headquarters, took possession of only a forward position.
Before the Berlin operation, the 3 Army was included in the 1 Belorussian Front under the command of G. K. Zhukov. At a meeting before the operation, Gorbatov expressed concern that the night offensive would inevitably entail mixing the compounds. Isn't it better to wait for the dawn? “I thought again, although this did not say that the battle formations on the bridgehead were too tight, and this would lead to unnecessary losses; it is inappropriate to take Berlin by storm, it is better to block it and go to the Elbe. ” If it were in place of Zhukov Gorbatov, maybe it would be so. But the front was commanded by G.K. Zhukov.
Military service A.V. Gorbatov lasted from 1912 to 1974. (with 1958 - in the group of inspectors of the General Staff).
* All quotes are from A.V. Gorbatov "Years and War."
Reviews about A.V. Gorbatov:
G.K. Zhukov: “Throughout the war, he coped excellently with the role of army commander. And it can be said that he could well have successfully coped with the command of the front. ”
Rokossovsky: “Brave, thoughtful ... put the suddenness in the fighting in the first place ... throws ... with access to the flank and rear of the enemy. Gorbatov and in everyday life behaved like Suvorov - refused any comforts, ate from the soldiers' boiler ”.
A. Kochukov from the newspaper “Krasnaya Zvezda”: “Tall, fit. In his manners, in his desire not to crush ... his high position immediately felt a high internal culture. " “In the times of perestroika, Alexander Vasilyevich they tried to turn them into some kind of symbol (suffered from the Stalinist repression of a military leader. - Auth.). But he didn’t meet the frameworks required then, because, even after seven laps of hell, he remained a real Soviet general. ”
PS Mentions A.V. Gorbatov in his memoirs and Stalin's phrase: "Gorbatov will only correct the grave."