Military Review

Kharkov battle. Forced surrender of Kharkov in October 1941 year

Battle of Kharkov in stories World War II occupies a separate tragic page. The Soviet leadership perfectly understood the strategic importance of Kharkov, which was forced to surrender to the Germans in October 1941 with virtually no battle, and undertook four large-scale strategic operations to return it. All operations, except the last, ended in major failures, and only in August 1943 of the year Kharkov was finally liberated. In this regard, the reputation of the "cursed place of the Red Army" has entrenched in the city.

Kharkov battle. Forced surrender of Kharkov in October 1941 year

The strategic importance of Kharkov

What was Kharkov like by the fall of 1941? By its industrial, transit and human potential, Kharkov was the third city after Moscow and Leningrad and the largest city of the USSR occupied by the Wehrmacht during the war years. Kharkov was the largest industrial center of the Soviet Union, primarily heavy engineering, for example, here at the factory number 183 before the war, the T-34 tank was developed and mass-produced.

The city was also the largest strategic junction of railways, roads and air routes, passing along the directions west - east and north - south and in its significance was almost equal to the Moscow transport hub. The railway junction of Kharkov connected the central regions of the USSR with the Crimea, the Caucasus, Dnieper and Donbass. Kharkov provided a quick transfer of troops in both frontal and rocky directions of the front.

Before the war, there were 900 thousand people living in Kharkov (only 846 thousand in Kiev), by the end of August 1941, the population had grown to one and a half million due to refugees and wounded.

Evacuation in Kharkov

The defensive line of Kharkov was part of the defense system of the South-Western Front, which suffered two catastrophic defeats in July – September 1941. Under Uman’s, on 7 of August the 6 and 12 I armies of the South-Western Front were surrounded and destroyed, and on September 24 near Kiev the main forces of the South-Western Front consisting of five Soviet armies were surrounded and destroyed. Only in the "Uman boiler" 110 of thousands of Soviet troops were captured, and in the "Kiev boiler" an unprecedented number of our troops - 665 thousand were captured.

The southwestern front collapsed, and the Wehrmacht troops rushed to Kharkov in the resulting gap. The Germans already seized Poltava on September 18 of September, and Krasnograd on September 20 in the Kharkov region, in connection with which a ledge was formed towards Kharkov, and the fate of the city was in the balance.

Active offensive actions of our troops in the area of ​​Krasnograd with the goal of liberating the city and cutting off the wedged enemy grouping continued until October 5 of the 1941 year and did not bring success, parts of the 52 and 44 army of the Wehrmacht were able to maintain their positions.

Since the end of July, the city and stations of the Kharkov railway junction were subjected to massive air raids. The main objectives were railway and military facilities, as well as finished goods warehouses of the most important enterprises. The factories themselves were virtually unaffected - the Germans sought to preserve the production base of the Kharkov industrial region for themselves.

Reasons to leave the city

In order to cover the South-Western Front, the Wehrmacht went on the offensive on September 27-30, conducting concerted actions against the Bryansk and Southern Fronts. First tank a group of Colonel General Kleist broke through the defenses of the weakened Southern Front in the Dnipropetrovsk region and entered the operational space. At the same time, the 2nd tank group of Colonel General Guderian, breaking through the defenses at the junction of the Bryansk and Southwestern fronts, launched an offensive in the Oryol direction. Three armies of the Bryansk Front were surrounded, and on October 3, German tanks broke into Orel, cutting off the strategic railway and the Moscow-Kharkov highway and creating an immediate threat to Moscow. On October 16, panic began in Moscow and the question of evacuating the capital was considered.

As a result of the Wehrmacht offensive, the troops of the South-Western Front were covered from both flanks, and the depth of coverage was 60 — 200 kilometers. Under these conditions, on October 6, the command of the Southwestern Front decided to withdraw the right-flank armies at 45 — 50 kilometers to the Sumy – Akhtyrka line in order to cover Belgorod and the northern approaches to Kharkov.

It was not possible to realize these plans, the 29th army corps of the Wehrmacht broke into Sumy, and the 51th captured Akhtyrka. The intended line of retreat was occupied by the enemy and Soviet troops retreated further east. Taking advantage of this, the 17 Army of the Wehrmacht hit the joint of our 21 and 38 Army and broke through the defenses. The right flank of the 38 Army was upset, the enemy of the 7 October captured Bogodukhov and created an immediate threat to Kharkov from the north.

Kharkov defense map

In the south, the Wehrmacht captured the most important railway junctions, Lozovaya and Bliznyuki, cutting the line along the Kharkov-Rostov line and taking control of the crossing on the Seversky Donets. The 11-th Wehrmacht army corps advanced along the Krasnograd-Kharkov highway, covering the city from the south. As a result, by October 15 of October 1941, units of the Wehrmacht approached Kharkov at a distance of 50 kilometers and could attack the city simultaneously from three converging directions.

Kharkov by that time was seriously preparing for defense, by October 20 the evacuation of the main industrial facilities from Kharkov was completed, 320 trains with 70 equipment of large plants were sent to the rear.

Outside the city, a defensive area was equipped with solid lines of trenches with a total length of up to 40 kilometers, more than 250 artillery and about 1000 machine-gun bunkers and dugouts were prepared, and up to three thousand anti-tank hedgehogs and gouges were installed.

Barricades on the streets

In the city itself, on the central streets, several hundred barricades were built with a total length of 16 thousand meters, using more than four hundred public transport cars. 43 city bridges were also mined; over ten bridges were destroyed in advance. According to experts, Kharkov was well prepared for defense, even in the environment it could hold out for a long time.

But all this was not required, the situation changed dramatically in the evening of October 15 with the arrival of the Directive No. 31 of the Supreme Command Headquarters in the front headquarters, in which the front was tasked with 17 — 30 of October to withdraw troops to the line Kastornaya - Stary Oskol - Novy Oskol - Valuyki - Kupyansk - Krasny Liman and withdraw at least six infantry divisions and two cavalry corps into the front line reserve. This meant that the troops of the front had to retreat from 80 to 200 kilometers and leave Kharkov, Belgorod and the Donetsk industrial region. The Stavka’s decision was caused by the catastrophic situation that developed in the defense zone of neighboring fronts and the rapid pace of the German offensive in the Moscow direction. In order for the troops located in the Kharkov region not to be in the next "cauldron", they were ordered to conduct only rear-guard battles, holding back the enemy until October 25 and then leave the city.

Kharkiv Mining Events

When preparing Kharkiv for defense in the event of the city surrendering there, on September 27 a group of Colonel Starinov was sent to conduct a series of special measures to mine defensive lines, disable industrial enterprises, railway and communications centers, bridges, communications, power plants and other important urban facilities economy by undermining, arson and mining. For this, more than 110 tons of explosives, tens of thousands of anti-tank and anti-personnel mines, as well as radio-controlled mines and mines with time-limited fuses were allocated.

In the Kharkov region, over 30 000 anti-tank and anti-personnel mines were installed, about 2000 delayed mines, about 1000 min-traps and over 5000 false mines. Bridges, roads, railways, airfields were mined. In the city, the central telephone exchange, power stations, water and sewer networks, the city central heating system, workshops and premises of all large enterprises of the city are mined and destroyed, and the remaining equipment is damaged or mined. Using radio-controlled mines, several mansions were also mined in the city center, where the deployment of German headquarters was supposed.

As a result of the measures taken, Kharkov was deprived of strategic importance as the largest industrial and transport center. The German command planned to use the industrial and transport capabilities of Kharkov for their own purposes. However, German experts noted the extreme degree of their destruction. Having made tremendous efforts to restore the infrastructure, they were able to restore the capabilities of the Kharkov transport hub only at the beginning of the 1942 of the year, and the industrial infrastructure for repairing Wehrmacht military equipment was restored only by May 1942 of the year.

Dozens of enemy trains, more than 75 vehicles, 28 units of armored vehicles, over 2300 enemy soldiers and officers were destroyed by mines installed during the departure from Kharkov, and on November 14 a mansion was blown up by radio signal from Voronezh, where the commandant of the city, General von Braun, was blown up.

It should be noted that the destruction of power supply systems, water and sewer networks and central heating systems left the residents remaining in the city in terrible conditions during the German occupation.

Aspect ratio on the eve of a city assault

Kharkov was preparing to surrender. According to the plans of the headquarters of the front, the 38-I army was to hold its positions at a distance 23-30 kilometers from Kharkov until October 40. However, these plans were frustrated; on October 20, units of the 55th Wehrmacht army corps captured the key defense point of Lyubotin, and advanced patrols reached the suburbs of Kharkov. Over the next day, due to uncoordinated actions to withdraw formations of the 38 army, the Wehrmacht captured the village of Dergachi north of Kharkov, and part of the 11 army army - the city of Zmiev south of Kharkov. Kharkov was in a semicircle, enveloped on three sides by the enemy.

For the direct defense of Kharkov, only garrison forces remained in the rear-guard battles, which were commanded by the regional military commander Maslov. On October 20, the command was transferred to the chief of defense of Kharkov, General Marshalkov. The garrison forces included the 216 rifle division (11 thousand people), the 57 separate NKVD brigade, the Kharkov regiment of the people's militia, separate battalions of local rifle troops and an armored detachment. The total number of troops of the garrison was 19 898 people with 120 guns and mortars and 47 tanks.

The 216th Infantry Division under the command of Colonel Makshanov was formed in early October from conscripts and servicemen of the rear units. The personnel of the division had no combat training, was not fired upon, and poorly prepared for fighting in the city, but was well armed. On the first day of fighting, the division commander showed cowardice, and he was replaced.

The Kharkov regiment of the people's militia and battalions of local rifle troops consisted of local residents of different age categories, enlisted as volunteers, and had a weak level of combat training, in addition, they were armed exclusively with rifles. A separate armored detachment included 47 units of obsolete armored vehicles: T-27, T-26 and T-35. Subsequent battles showed that only fighters of the NKVD brigade and the militia courageously fought, fighters of the 216 division were subject to panic, often fled the battlefield and deserted.

Padded five-tower Soviet tank T-35

The Soviet troops were opposed by the 55 Army Corps under the command of the infantry general Erwin Firov, which was part of the 6 Army of the Wehrmacht under the command of Field Marshal Walter von Reichenau. The 101 light and 239 infantry divisions were reassigned to the corps, and heavy artillery units were also assigned. The offensive was to be carried out by the forces of three divisions, another division was in reserve. The main blow was delivered by the 57th Infantry Division, which carried out a frontal attack from the western direction with the support of units of the 101th and 100th Light Infantry Divisions, advancing from the north and south.

Rear Guard fights in Kharkov

The troops of the Wehrmacht 19 October almost unhindered from the west occupied the suburban line of defense. To eliminate this protrusion, the commander of the 38th Army ordered the 216th Rifle Division, the main unit of the Kharkov garrison, to advance from the city to the suburb of Perezhechnoye. The division, making a march at night, became upset and lost its combat effectiveness, and one of the regiments got lost and was found only after a day and a half, moreover, during the marches, up to 30% of the personnel deserted. After the first nomination order, a few hours later another order was received - to return to the starting position. As a result, the division, not taking up frontiers in the suburbs, returned to its original position. By the end of October 20, German troops reached the city outskirts of Kharkov, and the Soviet units did not have a solid line of defense.

Under these conditions, the command of the 38 Army takes over the direct leadership of the defense of the city, subjugating the headquarters of the defense of Kharkov, headed by General Marshalkov. In practice, this led to the fact that the units defending the city sometimes received conflicting orders from two command centers at the same time - the army headquarters and the headquarters of the Kharkov garrison.

On October 22, unexpectedly for the enemy, Soviet troops launched a counterattack by the forces of the 57th NKVD brigade and two regiments of the 216th rifle division in the direction of Kuryazh - Pesochin. During the day, protracted battles continued, but by evening the Soviet troops retreated to their original positions.

On the morning of October 23, German troops launched an offensive from the west and entrenched in the residential neighborhoods of the New Bavaria region. At noon, the main forces of the 57 Infantry Division went on the offensive. Slowly moving along the city streets, assault groups, overcoming the barricades, ditches and minefields built at each intersection, reached the railway line in the evening.

Attempts to separate parts of the Wehrmacht to bypass the city and break into it from the north along the Belgorod highway were suppressed by militia units at defensive lines in Sokolniki.

German troops enter Kharkov

As a result of the first day of fighting, German troops managed to capture the western regions of Kharkov and reach the railroad, and in some sections and overcome it. Under these conditions, fearing encirclement, the commander of the 216th Infantry Division decided to withdraw his units to the eastern shore of Lopani, taking the second line of defense. Having learned about this, the command of the 38 Army canceled the withdrawal order and ordered the next day to counterattack the enemy from the western part of Kharkov. However, Soviet troops by this time had already crossed the river.

In general, the first day of fighting organized defense of the city did not work. Without proper combat training, the Soviet units immediately after the enemy managed to break into its western outskirts, panicked and hastily retreated to its center. Due to the lack of necessary means of communication and poorly organized interaction between units and subunits, the command and defense headquarters almost completely lost control over the actions of the troops in the first hours.

Map of street fighting in the city

On the morning of October 24 1941, German troops occupied the city blocks between the railway and the river. Parts of the Wehrmacht also reached the area of ​​the Balashovka and Levada railway stations and adjacent industrial enterprises. Having forced the Lopan River, the units of the 101 Light Division launched an offensive against the aircraft factory and on the central square of Dzerzhinsky. Fierce battles unfolded on Dzerzhinsky Square, where part of the people's militia kept the defenses under the onslaught of superior enemy forces for more than five hours. Parts of the 57 NKVD brigade, which were fixed in the area of ​​Osnova station, were still stubbornly defending themselves.

By three o'clock in the afternoon, German troops captured the central regions of Kharkov. Resistance began to be focal in nature by the forces of disparate separate units and detachments. By the evening of October 24, parts of the Wehrmacht reached the eastern outskirts of Kharkov, and the remnants of the garrison began to move east. The withdrawal order was given by the commander of the 216th Infantry Division, Makshanov, who was dismissed from the post already in the morning on the orders of the army commander, but since the division headquarters had no contact with the army headquarters, the latter continued to lead the troops during the fighting for the city. The new division commander, brigade commander Zhmachenko, managed to find and reassign himself only two battalions. Until October 27, the division was actually controlled by two centers.

Formation of a new line of defense

The withdrawal of Soviet troops was carried out in the conditions of roads wet with rains. Fuel for equipment was running out, it had to be delivered in buckets. On the night of 25 in October, the commander of the garrison forces, Major General Marshalkov and the brigade commander Zhmachenko, on possible routes of withdrawal of the troops, several special barrage units were put up, whose duties were to detain the troops leaving the city. By morning, the units assembled overnight, with forces of up to two regiments, Soviet troops defended themselves in the area of ​​the tractor factory, located outside the city limits. On the night of October 25 on October 26, Soviet troops withdrew beyond the Seversky Donets River, and Belgorod was also surrendered on October 24. While the formations of the 38 Army held back the enemy in the Kharkov direction, the remaining armies of the Southwestern Front continued to withdraw.

The main forces of the October 27 front held the defenses along the Seversky Donets. By the end of October, German troops, having created several bridgeheads on the eastern shore, switched to defense. The command of the Southwestern Front decided to stop the withdrawal of troops and go on the defensive in the Tim - Balakleya - Izium section and further along the Seversky Donets River. This configuration of the front line allowed us to prepare for further operations with the goal of liberating Kharkov.

In October, the German command did not set out to squeeze out Soviet troops, but to encompass a grouping of the Southwestern Front with the subsequent possibility of encircling due to deep penetrating attacks. After the development of the German offensive and the defeat of neighboring fronts, the troops of the Southwestern Front found themselves in a kind of ledge, which could lead to a repetition of the "Kiev boiler." Under these conditions, the Stavka’s decision to abandon the Kharkov industrial region, part of the Donbass and withdrawal of troops was, apparently, the only correct one. In the second half of October 1941, all the actions of the Soviet troops, including the direct defense of Kharkov, were strictly linked to the schedule for withdrawing formations of the South-Western Front.

Considering that by the end of October the troops of the Southwestern Front had moved to a solid defense at the lines designated by the Headquarters and the enemy did not show activity in this sector, the Soviet command found the results of the Kharkov operation as a whole satisfactory. The Soviet leadership was well aware of the significance of the loss of Kharkov and made serious efforts to return the strategically important city. In January 1942, the first attack on Kharkov began.

To be continued ...
Photos used:,

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  1. 210ox
    210ox 11 September 2019 06: 03
    Yes, this is understandable. The personnel divisions were defeated, and try to fight with untrained soldiers and commanders who have no leadership experience in this situation. But in Kharkov, a mine-blasting operation was successfully carried out.
    1. svp67
      svp67 11 September 2019 06: 49
      Quote: 210ox
      Yes, this is understandable. The personnel divisions were defeated, and with the untrained soldiers and commanders who have no leadership experience in this situation, try to fight

      So yes, not quite so ...
      "The formation of the 216th rifle division was started on September 29, 1941 in Chuguev of the Kharkov military district, on the basis of the 10th reserve rifle brigade. The division was staffed mostly by personnel of various rear services of the district and partly by the personnel of units of the 289th rifle division. According to the order of the People's Commissar of Defense, the formation of the division was to be completed by November 1, 1941. "
      That is, there were soldiers and commanders in the division with combat experience, of course it is not known how many there were, but nevertheless, the division was still staffed with not quite "youths"
      A separate armored detachment included 47 units of obsolete armored vehicles: T-27, T-26 and T-35

      To be precise, then 25 T-27, 13 T-16 (KhTZ), 5-T-26, 4 T-35
      T-16 (KhTZ) are such "armored tractors"

      What is surprised is the lack of BT and T-34 tanks in this squad. T-35, produced in Kharkov was already 4 units, but they were not. Which is pretty strange. It turns out that in Kharkov they could not establish their repair.
      In general, of course, Kharkov is the only such large city for which heavy battles fought for many years. Four times fought for Kharkov, while he was released.
      1. Serg koma
        Serg koma 11 September 2019 10: 55
        Quote: svp67
        To be precise, then 25 T-27, 13 T-16 (KhTZ)

        Probably the "armored tractor" is more of a tank than the T-27 ....
        By 1941, the T-27s were deprecated and removed from the front line. There is evidence of their use in battles in 1941, but it was just trying to use everything at hand

        It turns out that the defenders did not have any tanks at all, only numbers - "an armored detachment 47 units"....
      2. bubalik
        bubalik 11 September 2019 11: 03
        svp67 (Sergey) Today, 07: 49

      3. Pedrodepackes
        Pedrodepackes 11 September 2019 15: 27
        Quote: svp67
        the personnel of the units of the 289th Infantry Division, which left the encirclement

        the division was, nevertheless, not fully staffed with "youths". In the novel "Volokolamskoe Shosse" by A. Bek, the following episode is mentioned: the fighters who had escaped from the encirclement came to the part of the division covering the withdrawal, the commander reluctantly included them in the l / s lists, so then he spat, this group was the main source of panic in the unit. And the article also provides an example. that the untrained militia held out much better than the army division.
        Quote: svp67
        What is surprised is the lack of BT and T-34 tanks in this squad. T-35, produced in Kharkov was already 4 units, but they were not. Which is pretty strange. It turns out that in Kharkov they could not establish their repair.
        So the plant was already evacuated by that time, what kind of repair was there. And judging by the quantity and quality of troops left to cover the Kharkov direction, they left what they themselves did not need. Most likely, the T-34 was taken to more important lines of defense.
        1. svp67
          svp67 11 September 2019 21: 01
          Quote: Pedrodepackes
          Most likely, the T-34 was taken to more important lines of defense.

          May be. The Germans in the shops of the plant started repairing our captured tanks, mainly the T-34, and carried it out until they were released

          1. Pedrodepackes
            Pedrodepackes 11 September 2019 21: 04
            Quote: svp67
            The Germans in the shops of the plant have established the repair of our captured tanks

            Yes, it was like that, it only took them almost a year to do it, it is not even clear why they did it in Kharkov, just like that could have been done in any other city.
            1. svp67
              svp67 11 September 2019 21: 05
              Quote: Pedrodepackes
              in the same way it could be done in any other city.

              They used part of our former staff that was not evacuated. The photo shows people in caps
              1. Pedrodepackes
                Pedrodepackes 11 September 2019 21: 08
                Quote: svp67
                They used part of our former staff

                I also thought about this at first, but, most likely, after evacuating the plant, the personnel were also taken away, especially the most qualified personnel, so the Hans, most likely, attracted ordinary hard workers, and not necessarily, "tankmen" Look in your photos, in caps the tracks are brought up, and they are fiddling with the motor in caps (Germans)
                1. svp67
                  svp67 11 September 2019 21: 14
                  Quote: Pedrodepackes
                  Look at your pictures, in the caps the trucks bring

                  This must also be done skillfully
                  Quote: Pedrodepackes
                  and fussing with a motor in caps (Germans)

                  I do not agree, the neighbor is similar from ours.
                  Here is another photo ...

                  1. Pedrodepackes
                    Pedrodepackes 11 September 2019 21: 18
                    It’s hard to argue, because, according to the person’s nationality, it’s not possible to determine the captured tankers.
                    Quote: svp67
                    neighbor similar from ours

                    on the "near" jumpsuit is dressed, you can see when you zoom in on the frame, and those that bring the tracks in gymnasts or some kind of zipun.
                    1. Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko
                      Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko 12 September 2019 09: 22
                      The Germans did not liquidate the suburban collective farms and state farms near Kharkov during the war, and they continued to work, except that the portrait of the leader in the chairman’s office was different ... but this is easily fixable! ...
          2. tank-master
            tank-master 12 September 2019 00: 01
            Only in the photo tanks of the sample are 42 years old, and the upper photo was taken in March 43 years.
          3. LeonidL
            LeonidL 12 September 2019 04: 16
            The fact is that in addition to the Malyshev plant - a steam locomotive, where BT tanks were first produced, and then T-34 tanks were created and went into production, there was also a tank repair plant in Kharkov. I will not tell you where I took the pictures. The Germans, like the Plyushkins, used captured armored vehicles from all over Europe, and they captured, according to some estimates, 12-13 thousand units, mainly French, Czech, and British. They transferred a lot to the Allies, used a lot themselves - the same Soviet tanks, French, Czech. The obsolete ones were converted into smokers. so these shots are not surprising. But after the Battle of Kursk, hundreds of tanks that had arrived for repairs and for evacuation to Germany were captured at the tank repair enterprise, on the access roads of Kharkov, Orel. When they talk about the number of lost tanks and are "touched" by the modest official losses of the Wehrmacht, they unknowingly forget about the very tricky statistics of calculating losses in the Panzerwaffe. There were 4 (?) Or even five criteria, and even a converted broke could be sent to the Reich as subject to restoration, and only there it was written off and sent to remelting. Everything that could be pulled out did not go into losses. So you shouldn't really trust the modern writing fraternity. Here it is worth believing Guderian, who called Kursk an inglorious end to the Panzerwaffe and fell seriously ill on this occasion.
      4. karabass
        karabass 12 September 2019 18: 14
        and what kind of hats do the soldiers have in the first photo? I’ll answer your question - I read somewhere that during the evacuation of KhTZ it was possible to remove valuable equipment and engineering, the workers received labor books and travel documents, disappeared and did not go to the evacuation! In addition, the equipment was cleared in order not to be left without work, scum! More than 200 trophy tons 34, which repaired these renegades, was armed with the SS division (in my opinion, great Germany) I do not remember exactly
  2. Kaetani
    Kaetani 11 September 2019 07: 35
    Thank you for the article.
  3. Olgovich
    Olgovich 11 September 2019 08: 44
    and on October 3, German tanks broke into Orel, cutting off the strategic railway and the Moscow-Kharkov highway and creating an immediate threat to Moscow. October 16 in Moscow The panic began and the question of the evacuation of the capital was considered.

    It began after the start of battles near Volokolamsk on October 14, after the defeat of the Western and Reserve Fronts and the adoption by Headquarters of a decision on the evacuation of institutions on October 15.

    The surrender of the city took place in ... two incomplete days. And this is with dozens of km of barricades, hundreds of minefields, thousands of bunkers ...
    There was practically no leadership, and what was, was incompetent.

    Obviously, this is the main reason for such a tragic development of the situation.

    PS destruction of their own water and sewage system in a million-strong city does not fit in my head ....
  4. Town Hall
    Town Hall 11 September 2019 09: 41
    Kharkov was the third city after Moscow and Leningrad and the largest city of the USSR occupied by the Wehrmacht during the war ..

    Larger than Kiev?
    1. avia12005
      avia12005 11 September 2019 10: 46
      Larger. Until 1934, it was the capital of Ukraine.
    2. Serg koma
      Serg koma 11 September 2019 10: 58
      Quote: Town Hall
      Larger than Kiev?

      Text from the article
      Before the war, 900 thousand people lived in Kharkov (in Kiev, only 846 thousand), by the end of August 1941, the population increased to one and a half million due to refugees and wounded.
      1. avia12005
        avia12005 11 September 2019 15: 08
        Kharkov still regrets the transfer of ukrostolitsy in 1934 year. They wouldn’t have endured, if it weren’t for now. Kiev is a trading and farmer city that will fall under anyone. Now Kharkov has become so after the destruction of industry.
    3. Pedrodepackes
      Pedrodepackes 11 September 2019 15: 31
      Quote: Town Hall
      Larger than Kiev?

      why be surprised in the early years of owls. power (1919 - 1934) he was the capital of Ukraine
  5. avia12005
    avia12005 11 September 2019 10: 46
    Eternal memory to the heroes who defended Kharkov. And eternal shame on cowards and deserters. Handed over Kharkov in 1941, passed it in 2014.
  6. bubalik
    bubalik 11 September 2019 11: 19
    The withdrawal order was given by the commander of the 216th Infantry Division, Makshanov, who was dismissed by order of the army commander in the morning

  7. Igoresha
    Igoresha 11 September 2019 20: 06
    The central telephone exchange, power stations, water and sewer networks, and the city central heating system are mined and destroyed in the city

    the Soviet government loved its fellow citizens in full, involuntarily and you will believe that the local inhabitants gave the Germans to Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya
    1. naidas
      naidas 11 September 2019 21: 06
      The question of the survival of society: everyone chooses whether he is a boy Kibalchish or a boy Bad Boy or my hut from the edge.
      Quote: Igoresha
      involuntarily and believe that Zoya Kosmodemyanskoy locals gave the Germans

      Here it is necessary not to believe, but the nobility issued the elder.
    2. Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko
      Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko 12 September 2019 08: 18
      By the way, read - in case of surrender, Moscow would have the same fate! And the inhabitants? Women’s children are still being born, I don’t remember who these words belong to - either Alexander the First, Stalin, or Zhukov ...
      1. hohol95
        hohol95 12 September 2019 08: 29
        Or maybe it was invented by M. Weller?
        The Tribunal of Mikhail Weller (first published in The Twinkle No. 24/4699 for 2001):
        “Budyonny was covered with small beads and scratched with a feather. Gorky coughed loudly, blowing his nose, and wiped his tears:
        “My dear, do you feel sorry for the soldiers who have been killed in vain?” With a card bullet in his stomach on the ice writhe - it's not comme il faut ... in the sense of not comfort. Worse loops. But all the Russian people, yesterday's peasants ... you deceived them, they trusted you.
        And for us nobles, only our tummy is dear. - Budyonny was happy about breaking away from the letter. - A soldier, cannon fodder, gray cattle - it’s smoke to us, it doesn’t.
        Zhukov waved his hand:
        Soldiers give birth to new women. Russia is great. I would put it for the cause - it’s not a pity. The operation failed unsuccessfully. Criminally! ”
        1. Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko
          Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko 12 September 2019 09: 19
          No, no, before him! And in general I do not believe this word Weller !!!
          1. Darcs
            Darcs 12 September 2019 11: 34
            In fact, there is not a single written evidence that someone from our generals spoke like that, or there are only leaders, this Generals know that we still have many soldiers in Russia, and therefore they do not spare lives, but these words are from the wife of Nicholas II
            1. Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko
              Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko 12 September 2019 12: 42
              Maybe she! Although somewhere I remember that this man said, and not a woman! Specify!
              1. Darcs
                Darcs 12 September 2019 12: 52
                There is another phrase that came from the British Navy when the ship went down to the bottom. The captain of the ship spoke to the King.
              2. hohol95
                hohol95 12 September 2019 15: 04
                A similar phrase was attributed to Field Marshal Apraksin during the Seven Years War - Take care of the horses - it’s crying for them in gold, and the women will give birth to soldiers!
                "During the next Japanese bombardment of Arthur, several shells fell into the city. There are no serious losses. Two horses and five soldiers were wounded ", - recorded in the memoirs of one of the officers participating in the Port Arthur defense.
  8. nnz226
    nnz226 11 September 2019 21: 31
    The industry of Kharkov was evacuated so "well and carefully" that they left the Germans all (!!!) technical documentation for the production of 120-mm mortars - an exclusive of the Red Army. And the soldiers of the Red Army should "thank" those responsible for the evacuation of the "comrades" for the large-caliber mines falling on their heads !!!
  9. Vadim T.
    Vadim T. 11 September 2019 22: 09
    The article is very good and informative, many thanks to the author for a detailed analysis of the events. The main conclusion that begs is the mess in the management of the Kharkov garrison. There is no other way to say it. One gets the impression that none of the representatives of the generals who were in Kharkov wanted to take responsibility for the fate of the city and its inhabitants. Therefore, Kharkov was captured in just 2 of the day, despite prepared positions, hundreds of bunkers and dozens of barricades.
    The same thing happened with the underground. The first secretary of the Kharkov regional committee Epishev, who was personally responsible for the defense of the city, left him to fend for himself and joined General Moskalenko in a warm place - the head of the political department. He ended the war as a general and many times an order bearer. His deputy, the second secretary of the regional committee Profatilov, was responsible for preparing the underground in Kharkov and the region. Having done nothing and wasting stupidly time, I found the last - institute teacher I. I. Bakulin, shoving off his duties to him. He left no money for Bakulin, no appearances, no weapons. But even in such conditions, this man managed to organize the work of the underground. Unfortunately, the lack of experience and the mistakes made led to the defeat of the underground and the death of almost all of its participants. They were initially doomed due to the criminal negligence of the regional leadership, but, nevertheless, honestly fulfilled their duty to the Motherland. But those who were responsible for the defense of the city and fled, saving their own skin, remained unpunished. Moreover, they lived royally and enjoyed all the benefits of the party nomenclature.
    1. tank-master
      tank-master 12 September 2019 00: 11
      you described everything for sure .. only Khrushchev ... the first secretary of the Central Committee of the Ukrainian SSR Party .. traveled around Kharkov in a KV-1 tank .... his "oops" .. could not ride another .. but it was safer. There are very good monographs on the defense of Kharkov .. and I want to congratulate the author on the last holiday, the Day of the Tankman and say hello from Kharkov. Kharkov is occupied again .. but I think it won't be for long.
    2. LeonidL
      LeonidL 12 September 2019 04: 00
      You're right! In his youth he lived in the suburbs of Kharkov, next to a forest-park zone, then there was still a lot of military "trophies", which my friends and I actively collected, as well as mushrooms of which were full. Once we stumbled upon an overgrown, neglected obelisk with an inscription about the dead underground workers - it was overgrown with bushes and no one lived in it. The old men said that the entire Kharkov underground was shot here, someone gave it away. They also found strange hillocks and ditches, they said that the Germans shot either 35 thousand or 65 thousand prisoners of the Red Army and civilians there, in the 80s a memorial was built there. I don’t know if he remained now, whether he survived under the modern Nazis. At the Tractor Plant, Jews were shot in an anti-tank ditch, but there were no memorial signs at all. By the way, in the defense of Kharkov, they tried to use even a captured English tank from the Historical Museum as an Armored OT, it stood in front of the museum even in the 60s.
      1. Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko
        Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko 12 September 2019 08: 20
        This tank stood in front of the historical museum in the 1980s!
  10. Ragoz
    Ragoz 11 September 2019 22: 43
    Strangely blind article. The troops (soldiers) retreated, and where there were comkors, divisional commanders, commanders and other higher army ranks not mentioned in the article, what they were doing at that time - they also fled or commanded a flight.
  11. LeonidL
    LeonidL 12 September 2019 03: 51
    An excellent, highly reasoned article based on real facts. Thank.
  12. Andrey VOV
    Andrey VOV 12 September 2019 07: 52
    Where is my great-grandfather near Kharkov missing ...
  13. xomaNN
    xomaNN 12 September 2019 11: 33
    It was no longer June 1941, was. They fought for several months, but the strategic mistakes of Stavka and Stalin, in the first place, ruined hundreds of thousands of red army personnel in Kiev’s boilers. And if they left Kiev, without waiting for the environment, and created a line east? Maybe Kharkov would not be handed over? And then politics prevailed over military strategy
  14. Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko
    Andrey Zhdanov-Nedilko 12 September 2019 17: 09
    My mother-in-law was a native Kharkiv woman. Before the war they lived on Katsarskaya St. in the center of the city, but they still had a private house with their grandmother on the Cold Mountain. In those days, they did not dare to be in the apartment and lived in a private house. She very picturesquely told the moment the Germans entered the city. Well, about how the day before our people simply quietly left him ... They did not say anything to the population.
    Then she talked about our hanged on the balconies of the house in the city center. The Germans were not allowed to remove the bodies for more than a week. And the executions of civilians in anti-tank ditches. Especially the Jews ... They did not expect this from the Germans. Apparently, the WWII was remembered when there were no atrocities against civilians.
    PS In August 1943, after liberation, our Germans also paid back - several large officers of the Wehrmacht and SS, atrocities in the city, were hung on the same balconies in the center. There were gallows nearby - they quickly found traitors and they were also hanged. This place is on the square near the Historical Museum; now there is the entrance to the subway. Like this.
  15. yehat
    yehat 13 September 2019 17: 27
    fighters of the 216th division were subject to panic, often fled from the battlefield

    order to form a division formed - March 1941
    in June 1941, its formation was just completed by completely untrained conscripts,
    the division did not even have a normal location. Surely the completeness of weapons was a big question. A month later, the fighting began.
    It took several weeks to train, and this was mainly not about tactics and combat coordination, but simply about existence according to the charter. The division didn’t even have an appointed commander, only some acting (before reformation in Kharkov)
    The question is - what division with such a composition and history would not run ???
    Now they say that the Soviet army fled. THIS is not an army.
    the NKVD division, which fought alongside it, did not run. So she was an army not only in name.
    Further, the Germans and many historians are working on the captured 665 thousand soldiers near Kiev, they just forgot to mention that 180 thousand were actually captured. And you just saw who the majority of them were, and the rest were unarmed workers, rear services, wounded, just accidentally caught.
    there were many overstates in quantity.
    It's just that I'm really tired of the stream of lies. The Germans with the encirclement of Kiev captured only about 30 thousand personnel, about 150 thousand weak-willed recruits and almost 400 thousand non-combatants in general (more accurate estimates converge to 380 thousand) This is what is the encirclement of Kiev, and not hundreds of thousands of captured soldiers.
    That's when everything falls into place and explains why the Germans easily advanced.
    And now compare this with the Stalingrad boiler, where 284 thousand people were surrounded by real soldiers - 10 times more! Moreover, they were helped by Manstein’s grouping from the outside in 125 thousand seriously reinforced by tanks.
    And now compare the two events - the first in Kiev is considered a major victory, accomplished by a "miracle" and Hitler's genius, although in reality it is just cheating statistics.
    And the second, which, which was a real big victory.
    And after that it’s clear why German historians grumble at Hitler - in Kiev the Germans had a LITTLE victory.