The contribution of Soviet meteorologists to the Victory in the Great Patriotic War
In books and materials devoted to the events of the Great Patriotic War, we often find information about the exploits of Soviet infantrymen, tank crews, pilots, radio operators and partisans. At the same time, few people know that meteorologists also made a significant contribution to the Great Victory of the Red Army.
Moreover, the hydrometeorological service sometimes played a key role in battles and in planning offensive operations. These specialists contributed to the organization of work aviation и fleet, helped to take into account the conditions for setting up smoke screens at crossings and calculate the consumption of smoke agents, and also chose the most convenient directions for maneuvering troops.
For example, during the defense of Moscow, meteorologists were able to accurately determine the permeability of the snow cover for tank formations, which allowed the Red Army to successfully launch a counteroffensive on December 5, 1941.
In addition, hydrometeorological service specialists also contributed to the liberation of Rostov. Thus, the forecast of meteorologists about the onset of cold weather and the end of the thaw allowed the Southern Front to plan and carry out a counter-offensive, which lasted from November 17 to December 2, 1941.
There were also cases when violating the recommendations of meteorologists led to disastrous consequences. Thus, during the planning of the landing of troops near Novorossiysk by the command of the Red Army, hydrometeorological service specialists recommended using two “windows” - at the end of January and in the first three days of February 1943.
February 3 was eventually chosen for the operation. However, initially everything did not go according to plan and the landing took place a day later - on February 4.
As is known, the above-mentioned landing operation failed. Of course, the main reason was the unsuppressed Wehrmacht artillery, but deteriorating weather with strong seas also made significant adjustments.
Finally, Soviet meteorologists played a key role in holding the parade on Red Square on November 7, 1941. Experts forecast unflyable weather for aviation, which made it possible to hold an event that significantly raised the patriotic spirit of USSR citizens, without fear of Luftwaffe raids. The forecast was completely justified.
- archive photo
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