Why fell Sevastopol?
Why in forty-second fell Sevastopol?
Why did the Germans occupy the Crimea in a couple of weeks in November 1941, and in June 1942 fell to Sevastopol? And, contrary to the claims of the Soviet Information Bureau, there was no evacuation, only the authorities flew away, and several dozen people reached the banks of the Caucasus on the boats that were in Sevastopol. About a hundred thousand fighters were left to fend for themselves.
The answer to this question has been given in dozens of books by Soviet and Russian authors. The Germans had a colossal advantage in tanks, artillery and aviation... Monographs of venerable military historians literally dazzle with the names of infantry divisions and brigades, and the enemy's tanks, it turns out, walked across the Crimea without any organization, like buffalo, huddled in herds of 200-400 pieces.
After the "restructuring" military historians prefer to keep quiet about thousands of German tanks, but rather convincingly, with the numbers and names of the ships, they prove that by May 1942 German aviation could actually block Sevastopol, the tonnage losses of the Soviet transport ships were extremely high, and Sevastopol was left without food, liquid fuel, and most importantly - without ammunition.
And in 2005, the AST publishing house published the book by Alexander Shirokorad “The Battle for the Black Sea”, where it was proved that Germans did not have tanks in the Crimea at all with numbers and references to both Germanic and formerly secret Soviet documents! Unless, of course, do not count the two battalions of assault 75-mm SAU on the chassis of the tank T-III. In addition, in April, 1942 Tank Division as part of 22 tanks was delivered to Crimea, but it operated only on the Kerch Peninsula, where the Red Army had over 176 tanks. And immediately after the capture of Kerch, the 500 Tank Division was sent from 22 to 21 in May and was sent to the 24 Army that was attacking the Caucasus.
Under Sevastopol, in May 1942 was sent 1520 trophy tanks KV-1 and French S-35. Thus, superiority in tanks was on the Soviet side. The same was with artillery. Red Army soldiers and sailors really showed miracles of perseverance and heroism. So why fell Sevastopol?
The fact is that since the 20s, the core of the Soviet naval doctrine was the defense of the main naval bases from the superior forces of the Anglo-French fleet. Therefore, for almost 20 years, our fleet has been practicing combat in a mine-artillery position. Thousands of mines were planned to be put around the bases, and after the destruction of part of the enemy’s ships, our ships and planes had to counterattack the adversary.
Alas, by June 1941 there was no such enemy on the Black Sea and could not be. The Romanian Navy (4 destroyer and one submarine) did not pose a serious threat, and until the fall of Sevastopol did not leave its territorial waters.
The British thoroughly nakostiyli Italians in the port of Taranto, at Cape Matapan and in other places. British battleships bombarded Italian cities with impunity. The Italian fleet, despite the help of the Germans, could not cope with the transportation of troops and ammunition to North Africa, which was the main reason for the defeat of Rommel's army.
I'm not talking about the fact that Turkey, from the very beginning of the war, declared its firm neutrality and, until May 1944, did not let a single war-fighting ship pass through its straits. In addition, none of the German surface ship failed to pass through the Strait of Gibraltar under the guns of the British fortress. And more than two dozen German and Italian submarines went to the bottom while trying to force Gibraltar.
Nevertheless, the Commissar of the Navy, stubbornly believed that the Italian fleet must invade the Black Sea. And now 22 June 1941. The Black Sea Fleet engaged the Italian one. In the first two months of the war at least two dozen Italian and German submarines were sunk, our boats attacked Italian ships several times, and coastal batteries opened fire on the Italians. Alas, the Duce fleet turned out to be virtual.
Worst of all, on the orders from Moscow, the commander of the Black Sea Fleet, Admiral Oktyabrsky, laid thousands of mines off the southern coast of Crimea, leaving three narrow fairways for the passage of his ships. It was necessary to pass along two fairways (the third did not use) only in the daytime and accompanied by Sevastopol minesweepers.
Without mines, a cruiser or destroyer could come to Sevastopol, unload and leave at night, the benefit of the 1941-1942. German aircraft had no airborne radar and did not operate on ships at night. And because of the mines, the transfer time of ships and transport ships from Novorossiysk to Sevastopol increased by a factor of 2-4. In some cases, during bad weather, ships could not pass the narrow fairway at all and went back. I'm not talking about the fact that over twenty warships and transports of the Black Sea Fleet were blown up on their mines near Sevastopol.
Moreover, Admiral Oktyabrsky, again on the orders of the People's Commissar Kuznetsov, in November and early December 1941 took out from Sevastopol about half of the ammunition (more than 8 thousand tons), half of the anti-aircraft artillery, almost all the medical staff, etc. According to the data of the Navy Art Department, there was no need for the removal of artillery ammunition. So, for the entire war, our fleet shot and lost only 20,6% 305-mm projectiles, 18,6% 180-mm projectiles, 25,9% 152-mm projectiles to Kane guns from the total number of ammunition. The rear bases were literally clogged with naval ammunition. For example, the ammunition brought to Batum lay in piles on berths right up to May 1942.
By the beginning of 1942 on the Black Sea there really was not enough transport vessels. But why then did the command of the Black Sea Fleet knock off the five largest transport vessels? So, at the beginning of November 1941, the disarmament of the auxiliary cruiser (former icebreaker) Mikoyan began, and at the end of the same month the Mikoyan together with the Sakhalin, Tuapse and Varlaam Avanesov tankers passed the Bosphorus and left for the Mediterranean sea. The best passenger liner "Svaneti" 22 June 1941 was held by the Bosphorus, returning from a passenger flight to the Middle East. And "someone" decided to turn it into a floating branch of "Lubyanka". As a result, the liner stood in Istanbul until February 21 1942. It is curious that he went to his native coast 22 hours before the unsuccessful assassination attempt in Ankara on the German ambassador von Papen of the NKVD agents. Presumably, this is just a coincidence?
Naturally, Shirokorad’s book aroused the anger and indignation of official historians. And in the October issue (2007) "Militaryhistorical the magazine “spawned with two fiery reviews:“ Pseudoscientific studies of military operations in the Northern Black Sea Region ”by Lieutenant Colonel A. Lobanov and“ Chronicle Diluted with Jokes with Numerous Errors and Inaccuracies ”by the head of the Navy's research and historical group Captain EG Machikin .
The essence of the last review is obvious: he took, they say, Shirokorad secret chronicle of the hostilities, put in a few jokes about the virtual Italian fleet, the removal of ammunition, etc., and that's it. The review of Lobanov is much more interesting.
On a bright July night, 1941 from the French port of Brest, sneaking, the Sharnhost, Gneisenau and Prince Eugene cruisers left and went to the distant African port of Dakar, where they took the French battleship Richelieu, which was damaged by the English, and then went back north. Without losses, they passed under the guns of giant cannons of the British fortress of Gibraltar into the warm Mediterranean Sea. All the personnel of the British fleet on this occasion took a month off. The battle-line cruiser "Strasbourg" went out to join the squadron from Toulon. When meeting with the German ships, the French sailors lined up on the deck and sang together: "Deutschland, Deutschland Hubert Alles." Then the whole friendly company, welcomed by the Turkish authorities, went through the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus and moved to Sevastopol.
However, Admiral Oktyabrsky foresaw this action and laid mines near Sevastopol. Upon learning of this, Admirals Raeder and Darlan burst into tears from grief and canceled their villainous plan of attacking our hero city.
"What nonsense!" - the reader exclaims. Sorry, I just popularly described a part of Lobanov’s article: “Yes, there were no enemy ships near Sevastopol Bay, but in Brest (France) there were German battleships Sharnhost, Gneisenau and the cruiser Prince Eugen, a breakthrough through Gibraltar into the Mediterranean the sea and further through the Dardanelles and the Bosphorus to Black was by no means a fantastic option. Support for these ships could have the battleship Strasbourg, the battleship Richelieu and the heavy cruisers at the disposal of the French Vichy government. "
It is good that this magazine is not read in France. There, the members of the Strasbourg team are considered national heroes. They sank their ship in November 1942 in Toulon, when the Germans captured the southern part of France. And then our diplomats would have to apologize for this passage.
It would be too foolish to dispute the facts about the export of ammunition, since there are links to official sources. And Lobanov began to prove that the ammunition exported from Sevastopol did not fit the guns that protected the city. In fact, shells were taken out to be standard for the available guns, and a list of types of shells and guns is given in my book in many places. Lobanov found fault with my statement that the vast majority of types of domestic shells were interchangeable. He writes sarcastically: "122-mm guns cannot use howitzer shells of a similar caliber under any circumstances, and 122-mm howitzers cannon-guns." But Lobanov did not run into this. For many years I have been engaged in the interchangeability of domestic artillery supplies. I take from the shelf the first available book "152-mm howitzer-cannon Model 1937 and 122-mm gun. 1931 / 37, Service Manual" (M .: Military Publishing House of the Ministry of Defense of the USSR, 1957). And here on the 266 page in the table of regular shots to the 122-mm cannon arr. 1931 / 37, along with cannon shells of the OF-471 type, I see howitzer shells of the OF-462 type, and in the table of standard shots of the 152-mm howitzer-gun mod. 1937 I see the OF-540 cannon grenades and a number of the RP-530 howitzer grenades and the G-530 howitzer concrete shells. And so it was with all domestic howitzers and guns. By the way, during the war years 152-mm howitzers M-10 and D-1 fired at Bronzels 152-mm naval semi-light armor shells of arr. 1928 g., The same from which shot from Kanet 152-mm guns.
In order to fire shells from another artillery system of the same caliber, it was only necessary to turn the page in the corresponding firing table approved by the GAU, and, according to the tables, it was necessary either to change nothing, or, in extreme cases, remove one beam of gunpowder from the sleeve and change the angle elevation for a few minutes compared with the installation of a sight for a regular projectile.
From 1922 to 1941, domestic gunners, highly skilled people, conducted thousands of shooting and compiled hundreds of firing tables, instructions and other documents to ensure almost complete interchangeability of projectiles that were in the warehouses of the Red Army and Naval Forces. But, unfortunately, there were too many incompetent lieutenant colonels in 1941. Now the problem of the interchangeability of shells in the Russian army is no less acute than in 1941-1942.
Publication in "VISH" is not the first abusive review of the Shirokorad books. All of them flatter me in one thing: they do not poke a finger at other publications. They do not perform the main task of the critic - “a pilot in the book sea” - not only to note the shortcomings of the book, but also to show the reader much more successful publications on the same topic. The essence of such reviews was expressed by one venerable military historian: "It is terrible to think that if Shirokorad’s books fall into the reader’s hands, the reader must be patient and wait for competent authors to write ideologically literate publications."
So, the shelves of bookstores are crammed with military-historical literature, but I have nothing to put as an example. After that, it remains only to say: "Thank you very much, gentlemen of critics!".
- Alexander Shirokorad