Military Review

Soviet military industry through the eyes of German intelligence

43
Soviet military industry through the eyes of German intelligence

Thanks to the preserved documents, we have the opportunity to look at the Soviet military industry through the eyes of the Abwehr. The intelligence department of Army Group Center systematically interviewed prisoners of war and defectors about various military enterprises and facilities, taking particular interest in their location on the ground and in cities. As a result of these efforts, among the trophy documents of Army Group Center, a rather plump folder remained, which contained interrogation protocols, summarizing extracts, as well as diagrams and maps drawn up on the basis of stories (TsAMO RF, f. 500, op. 12454, d. 348).


The documents were collected within a little over a year, from the beginning of the war until September-October 1942. The geography of the objects of interest to the Germans turned out to be very extensive: Gorky, Penza, Kineshma, Ivanovo, Zlatoust, Kolomna, Yegoryevsk, Chelyabinsk, Ryazan, Yaroslavl, Ulyanovsk, Kuibyshev, Magnitogorsk, other cities, even Khabarovsk.

Judging by the content of the documents and the diagrams attached to them, the Abwehr was more interested in the location of military facilities and enterprises on the ground than in their detailed description. In the diagrams, landmarks on the ground were necessarily indicated, sometimes directions and distances on them. In principle, the drawn up schemes could already be used to orient the bomber pilots and prepare an air raid on them.


Here, for example, is a diagram of airfields near the city of Ivanovo with landmarks, azimuths and distance to targets: TsAMO RF, f. 500, op. 12454, d. 348, l. 21

In addition, the information received was often passed on to the command tank groups, since in the German army at the beginning of the war there was an order when the offensive of tank units could be directed at important military-economic facilities. Then the tankers had to know exactly where in the city and the surrounding area important objects are located that need to be taken under control.

It is interesting that in this case there is no data on the cities and enterprises that were actually captured in 1941-1942. Apparently, this folder contained information about the military industry and the objects of those cities that were still supposed to be attacked, while information about the cities that had already been captured was removed from it. Thus, we have in front of us the preparations for the future offensives of the German tankers, which never took place. The scouts from Army Group Center were most interested in the Middle and Upper Volga and Middle Urals.

Penza


The content of the information that became the property of German intelligence was highly dependent on the informants. Some of them tried to lay out everything they knew. Here is one of the most striking documents in this case - a copy of the translation of the interrogation of Nikolai Menshov, dated August 5, 1941 (TsAMO RF, f. 500, op. 12454, d. 348, l. 166). The protocol begins with Menshov's strongest statement: "Da ich tiefen Hass gegen das bestehende jüdisch-sowjetische Regimehege, strebte ich mein ganzes Leben danach, mit der deutschen Abwehr (Gegenspionage) in Verbindung zu treten." That is, all his life (born in 1908) he strove to enter into ties with the German Abwehr because of his deep hatred of the defenders of the "Judeo-Soviet" regime. This phrase is rather strange, since the "Judeo-Soviet regime" is a typical stamp of German anti-Semitic propaganda. It can hardly be assumed that the translator added something from himself; rather, he reflected the phraseology of the defector. But where could Menshov get all this, if he spent only a little time at the front and soon after the transition ended up in German intelligence? It can be assumed that he had connections with the Germans even before the war, and from them he learned anti-Semitic propaganda, especially since the content of his stories allows one to think so.


The beginning of the interrogation protocol of Nikolai Menshov, which sets out the circumstances of his transfer to the Germans: TsAMO RF, f. 500, op. 12454, d. 348, l. 166

Menshov lived and worked before the war in Penza and, apparently, immediately after the start of the war, he was drafted into the army. This is not surprising, he was 33 years old. He not only ran to the Germans, but did it in a passenger car, with maps and codes of the commander of the 61st Infantry Division, Major General Prishchepa.

German documents are best compared with other sources for the various facts mentioned in them. The 61st Rifle Division was indeed formed in Penza and from July 2 to September 19, 1941 was part of the active army, as part of the 63rd Rifle Corps. The division commander was indeed N.A. Prishchepa, who was promoted to major general on July 31, 1941. That is, Menshov fled to the Germans at the very beginning of August, perhaps on 2-3 August, not later and not earlier. The division at that time defended itself in the Zhlobin area, and on August 14 the Germans launched an offensive, on August 16 they surrounded almost the entire 63rd Rifle Corps on the western bank of the Dnieper and destroyed it almost completely. Apparently, Menshov stole very important cards that allowed the Germans to prepare this offensive and defeat.

What did the defector list from the military installations in Penza?

Plant No. 50 - artillery ammunition.
Plant No. 163 - aircraft parts: propellers, wings, rudders.
Watch factory - production of torpedo mechanisms.
Military uniform factory.
Factory for the production of bread nuts for military equipment.
Special secret plant 5-B.
Artillery warehouse.
An airfield with an underground fuel depot.


The layout of objects in Penza, compiled according to the testimony of Nikolai Menshov: TsAMO RF, f. 500, op. 12454, d. 348, l. 170

Having listed a total of about 30 military and important economic objects and even drawing up a diagram of their location in the city in comparison with the railway lines, Menshov also offered his services as a recruiter of agents for organizing arson and explosions at factories, power plants and warehouses in Penza. It's hard to say what came of it; it is possible that elsewhere documents will be found about how the German intelligence reacted to such a proposal and what happened to Menshov later.

Why do I think that Menshov was associated with the Germans before the war? Well here's a simple question. Can someone offhand list and plot three or four dozen important objects in their city? He not only listed, but also knew about an object that is not talked about at every corner - the plant (in fact, the workshop) 5B, a division of the bicycle factory, which assembled the fuses. It can be assumed that he was collecting information and someone could lead him, for example, a German agent.

Kineshma


The next история - Protocol of interrogation of political instructor Nikolai Katonaev (3rd company of the 2nd battalion of the 23rd airborne brigade). The 23rd Brigade landed on the night of May 26, 1942 in the forests between Dorogobuzh and Yukhnovo, then captured the village of Volochek, about 56 km southeast of Dorogobuzh, then fought surrounded on May 27-28, and escaped on the night of May 29 and left in a southeast direction through a remote wooded and swampy area. Somewhere between May 29 and June 2, political instructor Katonaev turned out to be with the Germans, as it is written in the document, he fled to the village of Ivantsevo, 34 km west of Yukhnov. The circumstances, however, are unclear. Either he fell behind his own people and lost his bearings, or deliberately broke away to go over to the Germans; it is not clear enough from the document. The protocol itself is dated July 31, 1942, which rather indicates that Katonaev was taken prisoner by accident, he was in no hurry to cooperate.

Once in captivity, political instructor Katonaev told a lot and in detail, in particular about the shops and production of the Kineshemsky chemical plant named after. Frunze (plant No. 756 of the USSR People's Commissariat for Chemical Industry). He listed in some detail the products of the plant: sulfuric acid, formic acid, nitrobenzene, saccharin, smokeless powder, and, probably, drew a sketch of the location of the workshops, on the basis of which the German headquarters officer drew a carefully executed diagram. This diagram also shows grain warehouses and flour mills, which were described by another prisoner of war, quartermaster 2nd rank Kuznetsov (TsAMO RF, f. 500, op. 12454, d. 348, l. 29-31).


The layout of the shops of the chemical plant in Kineshma: TsAMO RF, f. 500, op. 12454, d. 348, l. 31

No guarantee of reliability


In the folder of documents on information about military factories received from prisoners of war, there were several more similar reports. However, it must still be emphasized that out of the millions of Soviet soldiers and officers who were captured, only hundreds could say something about any military enterprise or important facility. For example, a defector from the 76th Infantry Regiment of the 373rd Infantry Division on May 20, 1942 (at that time the division was fighting for Sychevka near Rzhev), who was not named in the document, spoke about ... Khabarovsk. He enumerated railway stations, bridges, an airfield through which it was supposed to ferry American planes (TsAMO RF, f. 500, op. 12454, d. 348, l. 63). For the Germans, this information was not of practical importance, but they filed an extract from the interview of the defector with a diagram into the folder of intelligence materials.

Of these hundreds, only a few could characterize any military plant or an important facility deployed and provide details about it. However, even the most detailed story did not guarantee that the prisoners of war and defectors tell truthfully and accurately. Here and there in the reports of the Abwehr comes across a real fantasy. For example, on November 23, 1941, the Abwehrgroup I drew up a report that prisoners of war told about a huge underground storage of explosives 50 km east of Kaluga, on the banks of the Oka, between Aleksin and Petrovsky. As if it employed 80 thousand workers, including 47 thousand penalties (TsAMO RF, f. 500, op. 12454, d. 348, l. 165). And as if a railway leads to this warehouse, going underground, and it is also connected to the Oka by an underground channel. The Germans were not in the least embarrassed by this: they drew up an extract, signed, stamped “Geheim!”, Apparently deciding that when they get to this place, they will see if this warehouse actually exists or not.


This is not an Abwehr, but SD, as can be seen from the patch on the sleeve of the Oberscharführer typing. Detailed protocols of interrogations of prisoners and defectors were drawn up, most likely, in something like this.

The Germans were not embarrassed by this, obviously, for the reason that they were not faced with the task of collecting detailed and detailed data on the work of these military enterprises, on production output, capacities or detailed data on military facilities. It is quite obvious that such knowledgeable persons may be among the prisoners of war by accident and there will be literally a few of them. They focused on establishing the location of military enterprises and facilities, which would be useful in the planned hostilities.
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  1. Same lech
    Same lech 2 October 2020 04: 58 New
    +4
    Recently I read again the story of the Abwehr and its head Canaris ... fascinating reading ... you can make countless great action-packed action films about the fight against this German intelligence service.
    As for the article, I suppose the Abwehr revealed only the top of the possibilities of the economy of the USSR and the information that got to it had only tactical value ... only the State Defense Committee of the USSR had real information where the Germans were tightly closed.
    1. g1washntwn
      g1washntwn 2 October 2020 07: 38 New
      13
      But today there is almost complete openness and digitalization. A pile of sites, the darkness of obligatory disclosed information on the requirements of "authorities", procurement sites - generally a gold mine for analytics. Know through bots to monitor the activity and movement of resources, goods and services in the big date. Lyapota, even the backside of the chair in Langley does not need to be torn off, all the information flows to you by itself. With closed institutions, there are a little more difficulties, and they decided to switch to a domestic product. But as the Iranian centrifuges have shown, nothing is impossible. (I'm sure that I'm not the only one who understands this)
    2. Paragraph Epitafievich Y.
      Paragraph Epitafievich Y. 2 October 2020 13: 09 New
      +9
      Quote: The same LYOKHA
      you can shoot great action-packed action films in countless numbers about the fight against this German intelligence service.

      nonsense. Intelligence / Counterintelligence is, first and foremost, routine, and all your "sharp plots" are sucked from the finger and you get serial dung like "Smersh" and similar soap for the imbecile "in countless quantities." The history of the Reich intelligence services is exciting not because it "abounds" with stories for your fighters, but for a completely different reason. You and Schellenberg's memoirs, go and believe it unconditionally?
  2. Far B
    Far B 2 October 2020 06: 02 New
    +8
    The circumstances, however, are unclear. Either he fell behind his own people and lost his bearings, or deliberately broke away to go over to the Germans; it is not clear enough from the document. The protocol itself is dated July 31, 1942, which rather indicates that Katonaev was taken prisoner by accident, he was in no hurry to cooperate
    It is unlikely that he was taken prisoner by accident, the Germans for some reason did not like political instructors, they immediately strove to shoot. Rather, myself.
    Khabarovsk. He enumerated railway stations, bridges, an airfield through which it was supposed to ferry American planes (TsAMO RF, f. 500, op. 12454, d. 348, l. 63). For the Germans, this information was not of practical importance, but they filed an extract from the interview of the defector with a diagram into the folder of intelligence materials
    Why didn't you? Telling the Japanese to organize a sabotage is quite practical. And the Japanese did not disdain at all by sabotage and provocations, both on land and at sea, they are now saying that they were cute and kawaii, and the treacherous USSR insidiously attacked them, violating the treaty, and squeezed the Kuril Islands.
    1. Paragraph Epitafievich Y.
      Paragraph Epitafievich Y. 2 October 2020 07: 20 New
      +3
      It is unlikely that he was taken prisoner by accident, the Germans for some reason did not like political instructors, they immediately strove to shoot. Rather, myself.

      The 'Order of Commissars' was canceled in June 42nd. Maybe not himself.
      1. Far B
        Far B 2 October 2020 07: 38 New
        +3
        Somewhere between May 29 and June 2, political instructor Katonaev ended up with the Germans
        Quote from the article. So even before the order is canceled. Although in any case the matter is dark, we were not there and did not hold a candle.
        1. Paragraph Epitafievich Y.
          Paragraph Epitafievich Y. 2 October 2020 08: 15 New
          +1
          Quote: Dalny V
          Although in any case the matter is dark, we were not there and did not hold a candle.

          I agree.
    2. Astra wild
      Astra wild 2 October 2020 12: 02 New
      +1
      Dalniy, on the whole, agrees with you, but: "to tell the Japanese to organize a sabotage" is debatable here: the Germans were practical people and therefore Khabarovsk was not very interested in it too far. To pass it on to the Japanese, but the Japanese intelligence knew better where the "snacks are".
      1. Paragraph Epitafievich Y.
        Paragraph Epitafievich Y. 2 October 2020 13: 30 New
        +4
        As the surrogate fathers of German intelligence Stieber and Nikolai taught - any information will come in handy)
        Everything was neatly stored by the Germans - even data on a pasta factory in Khabarovsk, even data on the number of rabbits in Chukotka. The question "Why?" as such did not get up. The database was stuffed.
    3. Captain45
      Captain45 2 October 2020 15: 44 New
      +2
      Quote: Dalny V
      Telling the Japanese to organize a sabotage is quite practical. And the Japanese did not disdain at all by sabotage and provocations, both on land and at sea,

      Moreover, the Japanese did not have to strain too much, they had a bunch of White emigre rabble on hand, from the Semyonovites to the RFP (Russian fascist party). There was someone to go abroad and arrange a sabotage.
      1. Alexey RA
        Alexey RA 2 October 2020 16: 45 New
        +6
        Quote: Captain45
        Moreover, the Japanese did not have to strain too much, they had a bunch of White emigre rabble on hand, from the Semyonovites to the RFP (Russian fascist party).

        EMNIP, on the old forum fortification uv. Vladimir Kalinin told what the Far East was like in the 30s in terms of intelligence coverage:
        - ours are starting to build a new SD;
        - the Japanese adjust their plans and outline new directions of strikes;
        - The Red Army begins to build the UR exactly in these directions or in the depths, forming a bag.
        The 981st battery was copied in the year of delivery, removing the landing party to Vladivostok from the fleet plans. True, the real range of its firing was kept secret - the Japanese believed that we had managed to increase the UVR of the guns, which had not been done in real life before the war.

        The Japanese "in general" knew almost everything about us, we - about them. Apanasenko in 1941 knew the size of the Kwantung Army up to a division - and in an enhanced version, according to Kantokuen.
        Quote: Captain45
        There was someone to go abroad and arrange a sabotage.

        EMNIP, in the LiveJournal of Shants, a case was described when our border guards slapped a 15-time recruited agent while illegally crossing the border - because he had already gotten to change sides so many times. smile
  3. The leader of the Redskins
    The leader of the Redskins 2 October 2020 06: 17 New
    +6
    Judas. There were always enough of them, but more often they are the same next to you. They work at the machine, joke, drink beer near the barrel after work. But the moment comes when you need to save the skin and then their rotten insides will come out!
    Thank God, most of the Soviet people honestly performed their duty. Even in this - they were silent, teeth clenched. But Judas drew plans, poked at cards.
  4. Paragraph Epitafievich Y.
    Paragraph Epitafievich Y. 2 October 2020 07: 14 New
    -2
    ... what from multimillion the masses of Soviet soldiers and officers who were captured,

    Be careful with epithets.
  5. Undecim
    Undecim 2 October 2020 09: 57 New
    14
    Thanks to the preserved documents, we have the opportunity to look at the Soviet military industry through the eyes of the Abwehr.
    Reconnaissance Department of Army Group "Center"
    The reconnaissance department of the army group is not the Abwehr, it is the "1s" department, which did not obey the Abwehr and did not belong to the Abwehr.
    Divisions 1c were the backbone of the military intelligence services of the German ground forces during the Second World War.
    The basis of the 1c division system in the ground forces of the Wehrmacht was the corresponding divisions in the headquarters of the infantry, motorized and tank divisions, which were subordinate to the chiefs of these headquarters.

    Organization of the intelligence department of the headquarters of the German army division
    (1c - intelligence and counterintelligence).

    With the help of 1c divisional divisions, the Wehrmacht formations received the bulk of intelligence and counterintelligence information, which went upstairs to the corresponding 1c divisions of the corps, armies and army groups headquarters.
    Generalized reconnaissance information came from the 1C divisions of the army group headquarters to the Foreign Armies - East department if this army group was on the Soviet - German front or to the Foreign Armies - West department if it came from the army groups operating against the US troops and Great Britain, or their other western allies.
    The "Foreign armies - East" department (its other name is the 12th division) and the "Foreign armies - West" department, which were part of the High Command of the Wehrmacht Ground Forces (OKH), were created in 1938.
    So we look at the Soviet military industry in this case not through the eyes of the Abwehr, but through the eyes of military intelligence officers.
  6. ccsr
    ccsr 2 October 2020 10: 49 New
    +5
    An interesting article, especially since this issue has been little studied, and there are not so many real specialists who understand the intricacies of reconnaissance at different levels, and their opinion is not always known. In my opinion, this information is not entirely reliable:
    Author:
    Dmitry Verkhoturov
    Menshov lived and worked before the war in Penza and, apparently, immediately after the start of the war, he was drafted into the army. This is not surprising, he was 33 years old. He didn't just run to the Germans, and he did it in a car, with maps and codes of the commander of the 61st rifle division, Major General Prishchepa.

    The fact that he could run with the maps of the division commander, I fully admit, although usually all the most reliable maps are at the chief of staff, as a rule. But about ciphers, in my opinion, this is a typical delusion, tk. most likely he could only bring the coding tables. He could hardly have captured the ciphers, because they were not with the division commander, but with the cipher, who never parted with them. And as far as we know, during the whole time of the war, not a single connection encryptor surrendered, and in general, no connection encryption tables were found. Although I admit that not everything is still known from those events, in this case, the information about Menshov and the ciphers is, in my opinion, fictional.
    The Germans were not embarrassed by this, obviously, for the reason that they were not faced with the task of collecting detailed and detailed data on the work of these military enterprises, on production output, capacities or detailed data on military facilities.

    The logic of reconnaissance by the Germans sometimes defies explanation, such as the well-known fact that the Germans took into account all numbers of captured military equipment and weapons in detail. It is still not clear what this could give with the millions of small arms circulations, but nevertheless they did it during the war.
    1. Marine engineer
      Marine engineer 2 October 2020 11: 48 New
      +2
      “... as far as it is known, during the entire war, not a single encryption ransomware surrendered, and in general, no connection encryption tables were found. Although I admit that not everything is still known from those events, "

      In the literature on the defense of Sevastopol I read that in July 1942 the cipher officer of the Black Sea Fleet intelligence department was captured, managed to get lost among the prisoners of war, went through German camps, after the war he served in Sevastopol in some warehouse.
      1. Marine engineer
        Marine engineer 2 October 2020 12: 10 New
        +3
        His memory let down a little, he called the secretary of the intelligence department a cipher, but nevertheless ...

        “In captivity were the foremen-cipher officers, radiotelegraph operators, operators who served the stationary and mobile radio stations of the reconnaissance department, headed by their chief, Lieutenant Demidov. The senior secretary of the intelligence department, warrant officer Ivan Sharov, was captured. On July 26, he was sent to Kamyshevaya Bay to transfer secret documents on board the leader of the "Tashkent" with the prospect of evacuation on the same flight. Unloading sacks with secret documents on board the ship, he handed the SPS specialist an accompanying document, in which it was intended to evacuate "four bags of documents, plus warrant officer Sharov who delivered them." The receiver drew attention to the fact that there were five sacks, - naturally - the advantage during the evacuation belonged to the sack with top secret documents, and not to the midshipman. As a result, Sharov had to wait for the next "opportunity" and he found himself in a mass of thousands, eagerly wishing to escape from the fire trap by any means. Sharov was an adult and practical person by standard standards. Well aware of the possible course of events, he changed into a soldier's uniform and used the soldier's "book" of the killed Red Army soldier. Do I need to remind you that the soldier's book of that time did not include a photograph of the owner? Sharov did not manage to "get lost" in a huge mass of prisoners of war at once - on the very first night in a concentration camp, he was identified by one of the sailors who knew him from his service in the intelligence department of the fleet. I had to use the help of patriotic sailors, who readily dealt with a potential informer. According to Sharov's recollections, this scene resembled a similar episode described by the author of the script for the film "The Fate of a Man". Later, having passed all the tests, Sharov returned to his homeland and was able to convincingly confirm his worthy behavior in captivity and prove his reliability to the Smersh authorities. Since Sharov was taken prisoner in a soldier's uniform, he passed the harsh regime of penal concentration camps, which mainly contained sailors who were captured in the last days of the struggle for Sevastopol. "
        (C)
        1. ccsr
          ccsr 2 October 2020 13: 28 New
          +4
          Quote: Marine Engineer
          His memory let down a little, he called the secretary of the intelligence department a cipher, but nevertheless ...

          “In captivity were the foremen-cipher officers, radiotelegraph operators, operators who served the stationary and mobile radio stations of the reconnaissance department, headed by their chief, Lieutenant Demidov.

          I will immediately explain that the military intelligence used its encryption tables, which had nothing to do with the 8th department of the headquarters of the fleet, i.e. they used the codes that the Germans might have in the capture of our reconnaissance and sabotage groups or agents. That is why it is necessary to distinguish between the encryptors of the 8th division of headquarters and the encryptors of the intelligence department, although they are related to key documents.

          Quote: Marine Engineer
          The senior secretary of the intelligence department, warrant officer Ivan Sharov, was captured.

          The secretary of the intelligence department also has nothing to do with the key documentation, because everything connected with it gets to the encryptors in a sealed form, and he is not a cryptographer by definition.
          So these people, although they were related to key documentation, were not staff members of the 8th department (department) and therefore, as is known from the history of the Great Patriotic War, the cipher clerks did not surrender, and the facts of key tables hitting the 8th branch of connections not fixed. There were failures along the line of military intelligence, but there was a different situation, often associated with outright betrayal.
          1. Marine engineer
            Marine engineer 2 October 2020 15: 23 New
            +1
            Thanks for the clarifications.
    2. wehr
      2 October 2020 12: 58 New
      +4
      The photocopy contains exactly the place where it is stated with which Menshov arrived to the Germans.
      In my opinion, the situation was approximately as follows.
      1. Dexter was, devil. Apparently, he managed to get into the service at the headquarters during the formation of the division (it was formed in Penza). He was able to gain access to a passenger car, which at that time could only be a staff car.
      2. On July 31, Prischepa was promoted to major general, this order was signed. At the headquarters of the division it became known about this, most likely on August 1 or 2.
      3. On this occasion, they threw a booze, which made it possible for Menshov to get hold of cards and other papers, and leave by car to the Germans.
      4. The content of the papers is known to us only from a short German protocol, but I think in light of the defeat of the division and corps, which began with the German offensive on August 14, that Menshov brought them at least an operational situation.
      5. The corps together with the division was surrounded and then destroyed, Major General Prischepa was killed.
      1. ccsr
        ccsr 2 October 2020 13: 42 New
        +2
        Quote: wehr
        1. Dexter was, devil. Apparently, he managed to get into the service at the headquarters during the formation of the division (it was formed in Penza). He was able to gain access to a passenger car, which at that time could only be a staff car.

        He could have had such a VUS even during his military service, so he was sent with a registration machine from the national economy to the division headquarters for mobilization - this is a common practice in those years.
        Quote: wehr
        3. On this occasion, they threw a booze, which made it possible for Menshov to get hold of cards and other papers, and leave by car to the Germans.

        No matter how much they drank, they keep the documents in the safe, so most likely he just stole the briefcase or tablet, which the divisional commander left in the car, leaving somewhere - there is no smell of "James Bond" here.
        Quote: wehr
        4. The content of the papers is known to us only from a short German protocol, but I think in light of the defeat of the division and corps, which began with the German offensive on August 14, that Menshov brought them at least an operational situation.

        In fact, at best, the positions of the division and its closest neighbors were plotted on the map, so one should not exaggerate the significance of these documents for the defeat of our troops, although of course their hitting the enemy facilitated the work of German intelligence.
        1. Florian geyer
          Florian geyer 6 October 2020 16: 18 New
          0
          He was a Red Army soldier by rank, the division commander's personal driver. It is likely that he gained confidence in the commander and he could well have left the bag / briefcase in the car, which the defector could use.

          According to the documents, he ran over on 14/08/1941 (according to the documents, he left on 14/08 as killed - see the photo) or even a couple of days later. So the version with a drunk at the headquarters on 01/08 is not confirmed. The interrogation was removed from him already on 20/08. The Germans got with him not ciphers, but maps and notebooks of the division commander.


          1. Florian geyer
            Florian geyer 6 October 2020 16: 30 New
            0
            He informed the Germans about the division commander's injury, and he was wounded on 16/08
          2. ccsr
            ccsr 6 October 2020 18: 57 New
            +1
            Quote: Florian Geyer
            It is likely that he came into the confidence of the commander and he could well leave the bag / briefcase in the car, which the defector could use.

            I think that most likely the divisional commander just turned around and forgot his briefcase in the car.
            Quote: Florian Geyer
            So the version with a drunk at the headquarters on 01/08 is not confirmed.

            This is not a version at all, but speculation.
            Quote: Florian Geyer
            The Germans got with him not ciphers, but maps and notebooks of the division commander.

            I wrote about this right away - the driver could not have the codes, because the division commander did not have them. A map and a notebook — he really could have stolen it and brought it to the Germans. I think that everything became clear with this. It's a pity that there is no complete professional translation of the German document - it's interesting.
            1. Florian geyer
              Florian geyer 6 October 2020 19: 38 New
              +1
              53rd ak
              Corps headquarters, 20.08.1941/XNUMX/XNUMX
              Intelligence department

              Prisoner of war testimony
              Defector, car driver Nikolai Vasilievich Menshov, 33 years old, was born and lived in Penza, married, mechanic, non-partisan, since he grew up in a priest's family, very intelligent, was called on 23.06.1941/61/63 and immediately became the driver of the commander of the 61st Rifle Division in Penza, 66- 221st rifle corps (reserve corps Saratov and Penza). The 307st Rifle Division consisted of 55, 66 and XNUMX rifle regiments, a light XNUMXth artillery regiment and XNUMXth guards.
              Corps commander Lieutenant General Petrovsky.
              Commander of the 61st Rifle Division, Major General Prishchepa. He was in Penza the head of the garrison (military commandant?) With the rank of major. After becoming commander of a division, he was promoted to colonel. After the capture of Zborovo, he became a major general.
              Major General Prischepa is very courageous and very similar to Tymoshenko. He was bold and energetic, often bypassed the positions of the division, and even under fire he could not be forced to turn off the road and change speed. He was ruthless to himself and his subordinates.
              The division commander's representative ("deputy", probably) is Lieutenant Colonel Orekhov.
              Chief of Staff of the 61st Rifle Division (I f) - Colonel Hoffman.
              His assistant is Kuvshinnikov.
              Commissioner - Bochkarev.
              Chief / art - Colonel Okunev.
              Chief of Staff of Artillery - Major Oleinev.
              The head of the Special Department is Senior Lieutenant Kucherenko (a Jew by nationality).
              The head of the encryption department is senior lieutenant Shartanov.
              Captain Befani was also constantly at the headquarters.
              Commander of the 307th Rifle Corps - Major Fixel
              Commander of 66th Rifle Corps - Lieutenant Colonel Luch (Luch)
              Commander of the 221th cn -?
              The composition of the division: a lot of Volga Germans.
              After mobilization, the division was sent on 27.06.1941/2.07.94/XNUMX by rail to the front. On XNUMX, the division headquarters disembarked in Saltanovka, the rest of the divisions at neighboring stations. The divisions of the division gathered in the area of ​​Krasnitsa - Fundamenka - Kamenka - Rushkavtsy - Tursk - Pahari in the woods.
              4.0.71941 attack from the direction Tursk - Gadilovichi to the height of Zborovo and its occupation. Taking Gemini and Lushka.
              Here we took up defensive positions.
              Location of units and headquarters:
              21st Army - in the forest near Gomel.
              63rd sk - pioneers' camp near Rogachev.
              67th sk (building adjacent to the south) - forest beyond Tursk.
              61st Rifle Division - first at the intersection of the Tursk - Rogachev roads, then the forest at Gemini. The position changed frequently due to shelling. The last location of the headquarters before the departure was at Madora.
              102nd Rifle Division - Tursk
              117th Rifle Division - Bolshaya Zimnitsa
              167th rifle division - Nikolaevka
              A large ammunition depot in Saltanovka, another in the woods at the front. The combat areas of the regiments Menshov does not know exactly.
              10.08.1941/465/102 61 joint venture 66 sd (I f) was withdrawn from the front line west of Rogachev and directed to Gadilovichi. Accordingly, the front of the 307st SD expanded to the south, XNUMXth rifle divisions were sent there. The XNUMXth RV defended itself in the Madora - Ozerishche region.
              Menshov could not say anything significant about the hostilities in recent days.
              Reconnaissance: information about the enemy was very scarce. Therefore, the artillery fired indiscriminately just at the area. The civilian population in the regions liberated from the Germans did not say anything significant about the Germans.
              The effect of our fire: the prisoner was under fire from our mortars. The fire was very good and had a great effect. In the village of Kolos, a dive bombers attack with a devastating effect took place. The divisional commander was wounded.
              Equipment: very poor car fleet. One small Ford passenger car left at the headquarters passed from headquarters to headquarters until it was left in the army.
              German propaganda: pretty good, but lacking in factual comparison with the Russian press, and above all of an economic nature.
              Mood: lack of will to win. Active soldiers describe the service as a "prison", no recruits. Everyone's mood is influenced by the difficult economic situation in 1937. The officers are in most cases non-partisan. Thus, the Russian army is not an army, but simply a gathering of people without unifying ideals.
              The reason for the transition: I have long wanted to run across with another driver of German origin by the name of Schmidt, and that he knows very well the locations of all headquarters and batteries, which can be very useful.
              Menshov hates communists and wants to actively participate in the fight against them. He offers his services for use behind the Russian front. Since he possesses some radio knowledge (knowledge of direction finding), he wants to indicate targets by radiotelegraph to our aircraft. In addition, he proposes, together with like-minded people, to organize acts of sabotage in the military industry.
              German prisoners: Menshov saw only five German prisoners of war, who after a short interrogation, feeding and good treatment were sent to the headquarters of the corps.
              Russian minefields: Madora, Gemini and Shibrin.
              Here the Russians suffer significant losses.
            2. Florian geyer
              Florian geyer 6 October 2020 19: 42 New
              0
              Something like this. In general, it looks like he, fearing for his life, tried to prove his usefulness to the Germans. By the way, in the accompanying materials (maps, etc.) it is written that they were found in the captured car of division commander 61, and not that they were delivered by a defector, so he might not know about the maps.
              In addition, he hardly collected the information reported to the Germans on purpose, but most likely heard from the conversations of the officers in the car and being at the headquarters, he knows the location of the headquarters, he drove the division commander there, but he knows nothing about the combat units because the rat is rear. There is a suspicion that he was just deserters and was caught by the Germans, well, on the move he invented that he was purposefully driving towards them. He creeps before them very much
              1. ccsr
                ccsr 6 October 2020 20: 12 New
                +1
                Quote: Florian Geyer
                Something like this. In general, it looks like he, fearing for his life, tried to prove his usefulness to the Germans. By the way, in the accompanying materials (maps, etc.) it is written that they were found in the captured car of division commander 61, and not that they were delivered by a defector, so he might not know about the maps.

                Thank you very much for the translation of the document, especially since there is something to pay attention to. First text
                Commander of the 61st Rifle Division, Major General Prishchepa. He was in Penza the head of the garrison (military commandant?) With the rank of major.
                best of all proves why the Germans so easily destroyed our troops in the initial period of the war. The commandant of the garrison, the major, suddenly becomes the commander of the division, the major general, and naturally, he simply could not grow up qualitatively during this time. he didn't even have the skills to command a regiment.
                Second text
                Effect of our fire: The prisoner was under fire from our mortars. The fire was very good and had a great effect. In the village of Kolos, a dive bombers attack with a devastating effect took place.
                confirms the words of one front-line soldier who went through the entire war from an infantryman to the commander of a mortar crew and at the end of the war the commander of an artillery gun, who said that our infantry suffered the greatest losses from mortar fire.
                Thirdly, after reading carefully the entire text of the interrogation, I got the idea that it was a person specially sent by our intelligence (possibly the NKVD), who was supposed to penetrate the Wehrmacht intelligence structures, and then return with an assignment to us in order to participate in the liquidation of German agents ...
                Quote: Florian Geyer
                ... There is a suspicion that he was simply deserters and was caught by the Germans, and on the move he invented that he was purposefully driving towards them. He creeps before them very much

                And I have a suspicion that he was carrying out a special assignment, because in fact he did not harm us much, he did not kill anyone, and the Germans could have had lists of our officers from other sources.
                1. Florian geyer
                  Florian geyer 7 October 2020 00: 36 New
                  0
                  But I have a suspicion that he was carrying out a special assignment, because in fact he did not harm us much, did not kill anyone, and the Germans could have had lists of our officers from other sources.


                  Too insignificant character.

                  Well, I did not translate it myself, but honestly fired it on the forum from smart people
                  1. ccsr
                    ccsr 7 October 2020 11: 20 New
                    +1
                    Quote: Florian Geyer
                    Too insignificant character.

                    Here's how it actually was then:
                    It should be noted that there was no shortage of volunteers to carry out combat work behind enemy lines. The military registration and enlistment offices were flooded with reports with requests to send them immediately to the most dangerous sector of the front. The choice was presented in a large age range - from 15-year-old boys and girls to 70-year-old old men, participants in the Russo-Japanese War. The offer to serve the Motherland in military intelligence was regarded as a manifestation of the special trust of the command and, as a rule, was unconditionally accepted.
                    ...... As a result of the combined efforts of the RO of the fronts and the Center, already in the first 6-7 months of the war, up to 10 people were thrown into the rear of the enemy, including a significant number of intelligence officers with radio stations.

                    Vitaly Nikolsky
                    GRU
                    IN THE GREAT YEARS
                    Patriotic War
                    1. The comment was deleted.
                      1. ccsr
                        ccsr 7 October 2020 19: 37 New
                        +1
                        Quote: Florian Geyer
                        Well, this did not mean surrender to the Germans and creep in front of them and fawn like Menshov

                        It was a cover legend - sometimes even policemen were recruited when they were captured, and then sent back to the front, giving them the opportunity to atone for their guilt.
      2. Astra wild
        Astra wild 2 October 2020 14: 54 New
        +4
        The author tried to post a comment this morning, but the Internet ...
        In my opinion, Menshov was demagoguery, where he should reprimand: "Glory to the great and wise leader! Death to enemies" was not lazy to run away with denunciation.
        It's a pity not to say who he was before the war, probably the driver of the city committee or city executive committee, and this may explain how he knew the location of the objects.
        If he was a driver of a city committee or city executive committee, and therefore he could become a staff driver. It is unlikely that a random person will become a staff chauffeur.
      3. Paragraph Epitafievich Y.
        Paragraph Epitafievich Y. 2 October 2020 18: 12 New
        +2
        Quote: wehr
        Dexterous was, devil

        Actually, Dmitry, the most tsimes in the other two sheets of the interrogation protocol, kmk - there "Ostap is carrying" - mom don't worry) Ampute 2-3 fingers on the left hand, give a radio operator, parachute drop or crossing the front line, plans for arson oil depots, sabotage at power plants, explosion of a warehouse, etc. And the names of the accomplices in Penza, they say, I won't tell you, only the Abwehr .... The song, in short.
        For some reason it seems to me that he was a quartermaster or a technician
        1. wehr
          2 October 2020 21: 36 New
          +1
          He asked to pick up a German with amputated fingers (so that they would not be taken to the front), who spoke Russian, and so on. He had a huge plan. He must have had many adventures afterwards.
          I mentioned it briefly because the topic of his proposals was secondary.

          In my opinion, the assumption that he was a driver at the headquarters is closer to the truth.
          1. Paragraph Epitafievich Y.
            Paragraph Epitafievich Y. 2 October 2020 22: 09 New
            0
            Well, yes, he also offers to go through the hospital, etc.
            Thank you, by the way, for the incentive to flip through the 500 fund .. That's cool. I sit with port, leafing through. Friday was a success. Thanks!
            1. wehr
              2 October 2020 22: 29 New
              0
              Yes, the fund is good. wink
        2. Florian geyer
          Florian geyer 6 October 2020 16: 38 New
          0
          The division commander's personal chauffeur. The German report specifies the civilian profession - mechanic.
        3. Florian geyer
          Florian geyer 6 October 2020 16: 48 New
          0
          Here is the report


  7. Astra wild
    Astra wild 2 October 2020 11: 52 New
    +1
    "he was in no hurry to cooperate," but he did not refuse either. This can be judged by what he said about Kinishma
  8. Knell wardenheart
    Knell wardenheart 2 October 2020 12: 29 New
    +3
    I think that most likely the defector, on his own initiative, was engaged in data collection, without contact with agents. It must be understood that in those years there were quite frequent so-called "Public trials", at which, for the purpose of propaganda, the next "agents of Trotskyism, fascism and the world bourgeoisie" were savagely rolled out, and they did not particularly filter the fantasy about what such agents (imaginary and real ) are interested. It is quite possible that an ardent anti-adviser drew from this an approximate direction of information that may be useful during the transition.

    Often the defectors of those years (and the pre-war years) acted precisely according to this scheme - when they did not like the government or they felt a growing threat to themselves, they tried to collect the entire array from their point of view of valuable information, sometimes showing simply miracles of dexterity and social engineering.
    1. Astra wild
      Astra wild 2 October 2020 15: 32 New
      +2
      I think so myself. He could be the driver of the city executive committee, and his boss could simply blurt out that the enemy agents are very interested in Toto and Toto.
      If he was connected with German intelligence, he would have said about it 10 times, and the Germans indicated in the protocol
    2. Captain45
      Captain45 2 October 2020 15: 55 New
      +1
      Quote: Knell Wardenheart
      I think that most likely the defector was engaged in data collection on his own initiative, without contact with agents.

      It is unlikely that at that time a person would begin to collect any information of a military nature, given the atmosphere of general vigilance and the whisk of repression in 37. Rather, on the contrary, they tried to be invisible, but here they were collecting information. Rather agree with the version
      Quote: Astra wild
      He could be the driver of the city executive committee, and his boss could simply blurt out that the enemy agents are very interested in Toto and Toto.
      and yes
      Quote: Astra wild
      If he was connected with German intelligence, he would have said about it 10 times, and the Germans indicated in the protocol

      as any agent, finding himself in an "acute" situation, seeks first of all to contact the curator, well, or his colleagues from the relevant special services.
  9. The comment was deleted.
  10. samosad
    samosad 5 October 2020 18: 33 New
    0
    Throughout the war, the Germans did not manage to get to the strategic materials of the USSR, neither economic, nor, especially, military!
  11. Python 57
    Python 57 4 November 2020 14: 05 New
    0
    The Abwehr was still an office! We were terribly surprised to meet the KV tank. Who fought in the Finnish war! However, the GRU was no better! Gold workers ...