This document is preserved in an envelope glued to the album “Volkhov Battle”, which was published in limited edition in December 1942 of the 621 th propaganda company of the 18 German Army. He turned out to be at the disposal of a German collector who asked me for help in finding a Russian museum or a colleague who was interested in finding the find in Russia.
Fragments of the protocol published below have already been printed in 4 “Military History Journal” for 1991 a year (translated from a copy stored in the archive of the Lubyanka), but I read the full text for the first time. Here he is.
Report on the interrogation of the commander of the 2 th Soviet-Russian shock army, Lieutenant-General Vlasov.
Brief information about the biography and military career.
Vlasov was born 1.9.1901 in the Gorky region (as in the text. - B.S.). Father: a farmer, owner of 35 – 40 of earth morgans (morgen - 0,25 ha, therefore, the area was about 9 – 10 ha, that is, Vlasov's father was middle peasant, not a fist, as claimed by Soviet propaganda. - B.S.), old peasant family. Received a secondary education. In 1919, he studied at 1 for a year at the University of Nizhny Novgorod. In 1920, he joined the Red Army.
“Vlasov did not hide anything from the Germans and told the enemy everything he knew or heard. However, nothing indicated the possibility of his transfer to the service of the enemy "
V. was initially not accepted into the Communist Party, as a former seminarian.
1920 g. - attends junior commanders school. Then he commanded a platoon on the Wrangel front. He continues his military service until the end of the war in 1920. Then, until 1925, he served as platoon commander and acting company commander. 1925 g. - attends the school of secondary commanders. 1928 - the school of senior commanders (in the autobiography dated 16 on April 1940, commander A. A. Vlasov reported: "In the period 1928 – 1929 he graduated from tactical-shooting courses for improving the commanding staff of the Red Army" Vystrel "in Moscow." - B .WITH.). 1928 - the battalion commander, 1930 - joins the Communist Party in order to advance in the Red Army. 1930 - teaches tactics at an officer’s school in Leningrad. Starting from 1933, Assistant Head of the 1 Department (Operations Division) at the headquarters of the Leningrad Military District (in A. Vlasov’s autobiography, written on April 16 on 1940, says: “From February 1933 was transferred to the headquarters of the Leningrad Military District, where he served as: Assistant Head of the 1 Sector of the 2 Division - 2 of the Year; Assistant Head of the Combat Training Department - 1 Year, after which 1,5 of the Year was Head of the Training Department of Military Translators of the Intelligence Division of the Leningrad Military District. "2 Division in that time really was called operative th section. - B.S.). 1930 g. - regiment commander. 1938 - for a short time, the chief of staff of the Kiev Military District, after participating in the Soviet-Russian military delegation in China. During this period he was promoted to the rank of colonel. At the end of the trip to China, 1939 was the commander of the 99 division in Przemysl. 13 months is the commander of this division. 1941, the commander of the mechanized corps in Lemberg (Lviv. - B.S.). In the battles between Lemberg and Kiev, the Motomehkorpus was destroyed. After that, he was appointed commander of the Kiev fortified area. At the same time transferred to the newly formed 37-th army. Out of the entourage in the area of Kiev came out with a small group of people. After that, he was temporarily assigned to the general (in fact, the marshal. - B.S.) Tymoshenko in order to restore the material support units of the South-Western Front. A month later, he was transferred to Moscow to take command of the newly formed 20 army. Then - participation in defensive battles around Moscow. On March 7 - the commander of the 20 th army. March 10 - transfer to the headquarters of the Volkhov Front. Here he began his activity as a tactical adviser to the 2 shock army. After the commander of the 2 th shock army of General Klykov was removed, he took command of this army on April 15.
Data for the Volkhov Front and the 2 Shock Army.
The composition of the Volkhov front in mid-March: 52-I, 59-I, 2-I shock and 4-I army.
Commander of the Volkhov Front: Army General Meretskov.
Commander of the 52 Army: Lieutenant-General Yakovlev.
Commander of the 59 Army: Major General Korovnikov.
4 Army Commander: Unknown.
Characteristic of the Army General Meretskov.
Egoist. A calm, objective conversation between the army commander and the front commander proceeded with great difficulty. Personal antagonism between Meretskov and Vlasov. Meretskov tried to push Vlasov. Very unsatisfactory orientation and unsatisfactory orders from the front headquarters of the 2 shock army.
Brief description of Yakovlev.
He achieved good success in the military field, but was not satisfied with his use. Personnel officers often bypassed it with promotion. Known as a drinker ...
The structure of the 2 th shock army.
Famous brigades and divisions. It is noteworthy that those units of the 52 and 59 armies that were located in the Volkhov boiler were not subordinate to the 2 shock army.
By mid-March, the 2 shock army units looked very exhausted. They suffered heavy losses during heavy winter battles. Armament was available in sufficient quantities, but not enough ammunition. In mid-March, the supply was already bad and the situation was worsening day by day.
Information about the enemy in the middle of March was of poor quality.
Causes: lack of intelligence sources, only a few prisoners were captured.
The headquarters of the 2 shock army believed in mid-March that the armies were opposed by approximately 6 – 8 German divisions. It was known that in mid-March, these divisions received significant replenishment.
In the middle of March, the 2 th shock army had the following tasks: the capture of Lyuban and the formation of the 54 th army.
Due to the subordination of the 2 shock army to the Volkhov front, and the 54 army, the Leningrad front failed to coordinate orders for a joint attack on Lyuban.
Information about the real situation of the 54 army reached the headquarters of the 2 shock army very rarely and in the majority did not correspond to reality and exaggerated the successes of the army. Using such methods, Meretskov wanted to encourage the 2 th shock army to move faster towards Lyuban.
After connecting the 2 shock and 54 armies, the next task was to defeat the German troops concentrated in the Chudovo-Lyuban area. The ultimate task of the Leningrad and Volkhov fronts in the winter of 42, as Vlasov believes, is the liberation of Leningrad by military means.
In mid-March, the plan for connecting the 2 shock army with the 54 army was as follows: concentrating the forces of the 2 shock army to strike at Lyuban via Krasnaya Gorka, strengthening the flank in the Dubovik-Eglino area using the 13 th corps, carrying out auxiliary attacks on Krivino and New Village.
According to the commander of the 2 th shock army, this plan failed for the following reasons: insufficient strike power, too exhausted personnel, insufficient supply.
They adhered to the plan to move to Luban until the end of April.
In early May, Lieutenant-General Vlasov was summoned to Malaya Vishera to a meeting with the front headquarters, headed temporarily by Lieutenant-General Khozin from the Leningrad Front (M.S. Khozin, who commanded the Leningrad Front, from 23 in April to 8 in June included the troops of the temporarily abolished Volkhov Front also made a scapegoat for the death of the 2 shock. On June 8, he was dismissed from the post with the murderous wording: “For non-compliance with the order of the Bet for timely and quick withdrawal of the troops of the 2-th Shock Army, administrative methods of troop control, for detachment from troops, as a result of which the enemy cut the communications of the 2 shock army and the latter was put in an extremely difficult position. ”But strictly speaking, the enemy cut the communications of the 2 shock even before Khozin command the troops of the Volkhov Front. - B.S.). At this meeting, Vlasov received an order to evacuate the Volkhov boiler. The 52 and 54 armies were to cover the retreat of the 2 shock army. On May 9, a meeting took place between the commander of the 2 th shock army and the division commanders, brigade commanders and commissars at the army headquarters, whom he first announced that he would retreat.
Note. The defector's testimony about the 87 Cavalry Division was first received on May 10 at the headquarters of the 18 Army, and subsequent news came between 10 and 15 in May.
Between 15 and 20, May troops were given orders to retreat. Between 20 and 25 in May, the retreat began.
To evacuate the Volkhov boiler had the following plan.
First, the withdrawal of the services of the rear, heavy equipment and artillery under the protection of infantry with mortars. Then follows the retreat of the remaining infantry to three successive lines:
1 line: Dubovik - Chervinskaya Luka;
2 line: Finjev Meadow - Olkhovka;
3 sector: the line of the river Kerest.
The retreat of the 2 shock army was to be covered from the flanks by the forces of the 52 and 59 armies. The units of the 52 and 59 armies, which were inside the Volkhov boiler, were to leave it eastward last.
The reasons for the failure of the retreat: extremely poor condition of the roads (spill), very poor supply, especially ammunition and supplies, lack of unified leadership of the 2 shock, 52 and 59 armies from the Volkhov front.
The fact that on May 30 the broken circle of the encirclement was again closed by the German troops, the 2 of the shock army became known only after two days. In connection with this closure of the environment, Lieutenant-General Vlasov demanded that the Volkhov front: the 52 and 59 armies bring down the German barriers at any cost. In addition, he moved all the forces of the 2 shock army in his possession to the area east of Crechno in order to open the German barrier from the west. Lieutenant General Vlasov, it is unclear why the front headquarters did not follow all three armies of the general order to break through the German barrier. Each army fought more or less independently.
On the side of the 2 shock army 23, June, the last effort was made to break east. At the same time, the forces of the 52 and 59 armies, used to cover the flanks from the north and south, ceased to control the situation (literally: kamen ... ins Rutschen - slipped, slipped. In a fragment of the interrogation protocol published in the Military History Journal , more sparing for the command of the 52 and 59 armies, but not corresponding to the text of the German original translation: “At the same time, to cover the flanks, parts of the 52 and 59 armies began to move from the north and south.” - B.C. .). May 24 (probably, a slip of the pen, should be: June 24. - B.S.) a single leadership of the 2 shock army became impossible and the 2 shock army breaks up into separate groups.
Lieutenant General Vlasov especially emphasizes the destructive influence of the German aviation and very high losses caused by obstructive artillery fire.
As Lieutenant-General Vlasov believes, around 3500 the wounded from the 2 th shock army came out of the encirclement in the east, along with insignificant remnants of individual units.
Lieutenant-General Vlasov believes that around 60 000 people from the 2 shock army were either captured or destroyed. (most likely, Vlasov means losses for March - June. For comparison: during this period, the 18 German army lost 10 872 people killed and 1487 people missing, and 46 473 people injured, and the entire 58 832 person that is less than the irretrievable losses of the Vlasov army alone. German irretrievable losses are five times less than the irretrievable losses of the 2 shock army alone. But Lindemann's army at that time was fighting against the 52 and 59 armies, a significant part of the units which also turned out to be in and suffered no less damage than the Vlasov army. In addition, the 18 and 4 armies acted against the German 54. It can be assumed that the irrecoverable losses of these three armies were at least three times more than the irrecoverable losses of the 2 shock - B.S.). He could not give any information about the number of units of the 52 and 59 armies located in the Volkhov boiler.
Intentions of the Volkhov Front.
The Volkhov Front wanted to withdraw the 2 th attack army from the Volkhov boiler to the east and concentrate it in the Malaya Vishera area for reconstruction, while holding the Volkhov bridgehead.
After the restoration of the 2 shock army, it was planned to deploy it in the northern part of the Volkhov bridgehead in order to advance to Chudovo with the 2 shock army from the south and the 54 and 4 armies from the north. In connection with the development of the situation, Lieutenant General Vlasov does not believe in the implementation of this plan.
According to Lieutenant-General Vlasov, the plan of military release of Leningrad will continue to be implemented.
The implementation of this plan will significantly depend on the restoration of the divisions of the Volkhovsky and Leningrad fronts and on the arrival of new forces.
Vlasov believes that, with the forces currently available, the Volkhov and Leningrad fronts are not able to launch a large-scale offensive in the area of Leningrad. In his opinion, the existing forces are barely enough to hold the Volkhov front and the line between Kirishi and Lake Ladoga.
Lieutenant-General Vlasov denies the need for commissars in the Red Army. According to him, in the period after the Finnish-Russian war, when there were no commissioners, the commanders felt better.
interrogation of the commander of 2 th Soviet-Russian shock army, Lieutenant-General Vlasov
The oldest age group among those called up, known to him, is 1898, born, the younger age group, 1923, born.
In February, March and April, a large-scale deployment of new regiments, divisions and brigades was carried out. The main area of new formations should be in the south, on the Volga. He, Vlasov, is not well oriented in the new formations inside Russia.
In the Kuznetsk industrial region, in the southeastern Urals, a significant military industry was created, which is now strengthened by industry evacuated from the occupied territories. There are all the main types of raw materials: coal, ore, metal, but no oil. In Siberia, there can be only small, underutilized oil fields. Production increases by reducing the duration of the production process. The opinion of Vlasov is such that the industry in the Kuznetsk region will be enough to ensure the minimum needs of the Red Army in heavy weapons, even with the loss of the Donetsk region.
Food situation can be said to be stable. Fully impossible to do without Ukrainian grain, but in Siberia there are significant land areas that have recently been developed.
Newspapers pay great attention to deliveries from England and America. According to newspaper reports, weapons, ammunition, Tanks, aircraft, as well as food in large quantities. He only had American-made telephones in the army. Of foreign weapons in his army he did not see.
On the creation of a second front in Europe, he heard the following: in Soviet Russia there is a general opinion, which is also reflected in the newspapers, that even this year the British and Americans will create a second front in France. This was supposedly firmly promised to Molotov.
According to Stalin’s order No. 130 from 1, the Germans were supposed to be finally expelled from Russia during this summer. The beginning of the big Russian summer offensive was the offensive near Kharkov. To this end, a large number of divisions in the spring redeployed to the south. The northern front was neglected. This may explain the fact that the Volkhov front could not get new reserves.
Tymoshenko's offensive failed. Vlasov, despite this, believes that, perhaps, Zhukov will launch a medium or large offensive from Moscow. He still has enough reserves.
If Tymoshenko’s new tactic, “elastic defense” (to escape in time), would have been applied on the Volkhov, then he, Vlasov, would probably have left the encirclement unscathed. He is not competent to assess how widely this tactic can be applied, despite the current installations.
According to Vlasov, Tymoshenko is in any case the most capable leader of the Red Army.
On the question of the significance of our offensive on the Don, he explained that the supply of gasoline from the Transcaucasus could be of critical importance for the Red Army, since the substitution of Transcaucasian oil can hardly be found in Siberia. Gasoline consumption in Russia is already strictly limited.
In general terms, he notes that it is very remarkable that, as the army commander, he was not informed about the operational situation on a wider scale; this is kept in such a secret that even army commanders do not have information about the plans of command in their own areas of responsibility.
He did not hear about the construction of super-heavy 100-ton tanks. In his opinion, the best tank is the T-34. The 60-tonne KV, in his opinion, is too cumbersome, especially considering that its armor protection needs strengthening.
Relatives of defectors.
In principle, they were no longer shot in Russia, with the exception of relatives of the defected commanders. (Here, Vlasov deliberately or accidentally misinformed the Germans. Order No. 270 of the Supreme High Command Headquarters of August 16, 1941 provided only for the arrest of deserter families, that is, those who voluntarily surrender to the enemy, and only then if the deserters are commanders or commissars. True G.K. Zhukov, when he was the commander of the Leningrad Front, sent the cryptogram No. 4976 of September 28, 1941 to the Political Administration of the Baltic fleet: “To explain to all personnel that all families who surrendered to the enemy will be shot and that upon returning from captivity they will also be shot.” It is unlikely that this threat was brought to the attention of military personnel on the Leningrad Front either. However, it had only propaganda significance. In practice, Zhukov’s hands were short to shoot families of defectors. After all, the NKVD was engaged in executions, and it was guided by order No. 270, which did not provide for such severe repressions. Vlasov might have heard something about the Zhukovsky order, formally canceled as illegal only in February 1942. Perhaps he also knew about Stalin's telephone message to the military council of the Leningrad Front of September 21, 1941, in which the leader demanded, without hesitation, to use weapons against women, old people and children whom the Germans allegedly sent to the front lines of the Soviet troops to persuade them to surrender . However, nothing was said there about the possible shooting of families of defectors. It is possible that the former commander of the 2nd shock army was already thinking of enlisting in the Germans and was pushing his own price: they say, then I would have to risk the lives of my relatives and friends. - B.S.).
Attitude towards Russian prisoners of war in Germany.
People do not believe that Russian prisoners of war are being shot in Germany. Rumors are spreading that, under the influence of the Fuhrer, attitudes toward Russian prisoners of war have recently improved.
The evacuation of Leningrad continues day and night. The city will be held by military means under any circumstances for reasons of prestige.
For about three months, Colonel-General Vasilevsky has served as chief of the General Staff of the Red Army.
Marshal Shaposhnikov left this post for health reasons.
Marshal Kulik no longer commands. He was stripped of his marshal's title.
Marshal Budyonny, according to unconfirmed information, received a new appointment - to form new units in the army rear.
Voroshilov - a member of the Supreme Military Council in Moscow. He no longer has troops under his command. ”
In principle, it cannot be said that the interrogation of the ex-commander helped the Germans to get some particularly valuable information. From June 24, when communication with the front headquarters was lost, and until July 12 was captured, Vlasov had no information on the position of the troops. It is not by chance that the 2 shock connections listed by the general were not even recorded in the protocol: German intelligence had already identified them long ago.
There was no interest for the enemy and the characteristics of certain Soviet military leaders. What is the use of the fact that Meretskov is “a very nervous, absent-minded person” (will you be nervous after spending a few months visiting Beria)? And what benefit did the German command bring that the commander-52 Yakovlev drinks heavily? All the same, the attack on the positions of this army under the booze of its commander does not fit. And information about the Lend-Lease and the timing of the opening of the second front, outlined by Vlasov, was at the level of rumors.
But historians of the Great Patriotic War, I believe, should pay attention to the analysis of the Luban operation. Vlasov placed the main blame for her failure on the command of the front and neighboring armies. Moreover, there are certain reasons for the testimony of a captive general. After all, the lack of interaction between the 2 shock and the armies trying to rescue her, the fact that the divisions of neighboring associations that were with him in the “boiler” were not subordinated to Vlasov, were the fault of the front command. And Stalin didn’t seem to charge the commander of the army surrounded by the army he was in charge of, since he consistently removed from the post the front commander Meretskov and Khozin precisely because he did not render assistance to Vlasov. The failure of the supply of the 2 shock, which Vlasov indicated as one of the main reasons for the defeat, was predetermined by the weakness of the Soviet transport aviation.
It is curious that Vlasov put Tymoshenko as commander above Zhukov, although it was precisely under the command of the latter that the general managed to achieve the greatest success. Probably, Andrei Andreevich was more impressed by the “elastic defense” of Tymoshenko, who in many ways saved the Red Army during the implementation of the Blau plan, than the Zhukovsky desire to attack at any cost. It is possible that Vlasov and Zhukov had some kind of conflict and Georgy Konstantinovich tried to fuse the obstinate commander on the Volkhov front.
I think Vlasov did not hide anything from the Germans and told the enemy everything he knew or heard. However, nothing but testimony about the executions of the families of defecting commanders did not indicate the possibility of his transfer to the service of the enemy. By this Andrei Andreevich differed significantly, for example, from Lieutenant General M. F. Lukin taken prisoner under Vyazma, who at the first interrogation of Field Marshal von Boc 14 December 1941, commander of the Army Group Center, made up the formation of an anti-Bolshevik government in Russia "Can be a new hope for the people." Collaboration Mikhail Fedorovich was saved from the fate by the fact that von Bock was soon removed from his post and was unable to undertake anything to support the initiative of the Commander-19. Vlasov, as is known, ended his life on the gallows.