Could World War II in 1943 develop into a third world war?
In 2013, the country will celebrate the 70 anniversary of the brilliant victories of the Russian weapons near Kursk, Orel, Smolensk (operation "Suvorov"). By tradition, they will say that these successes were admired in the anti-Hitler coalition allies. This is true of the peoples, but in the ministerial cabinets they caused irritation, sometimes turning into fits of rabies. British Prime Minister Winston Churchill said several times: "We need to prevent the Soviets from entering the Danube valley and the Balkans."
“Whenever the prime minister insisted on an invasion through the Balkans,” said Franklin Roosevelt to his son Elliot, “it was perfectly clear to everyone present what he wanted. He wants to cut a wedge into Central Europe in order to keep the Red Army out of Austria and Romania, and even, if possible, into Hungary. ” The Versailles plan to create a “sanitary cordon” against the USSR in Central Europe and in the Balkans was revived again. By the way, the idea of a sanitary cordon against Russia was not born at all in Versailles in April 1919. Another Cardinal Richelieu tried to use the Rzeczpospolita as a sanitary cordon against the Moscow State, although he expressed his thoughts with a different terminology. In 1940, Churchill, with the support of the United States, put forward the idea of creating the Balkan-Danube Federation - a block of Balkan and Danube countries, directed against the USSR. The federation should have included Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Turkey, Greece, Albania and Macedonia. The federation would be an independent state unit led by England.
TEMPORARY POLISH-CZECHOSLOVAK FEDERATION
One of the first steps in organizing the anti-Soviet bloc was the temporary “Polish-Czechoslovak Federation”, established in November 1940 by the emigrant governments of these countries in London. After the war, in this federation England thought to involve Romania, Hungary, and possibly Austria. The second stage in the formation of the anti-Soviet bloc was the political union agreement, signed in January 1942 by the Greek and Yugoslav emigrant governments. At the same time in London, a Polish-Czechoslovak agreement was signed on the creation of another federation of the Central European Union.
Immediately after the start of the Great Patriotic War, the Soviet government turned to Churchill with a proposal to conduct an offensive operation against Germany. The best way to divert part of the divisions of the Wehrmacht from the Eastern Front would be landing in France. The British could parachute into the German-occupied Norway. Given the superiority of the British at sea and the geographical position of Norway, London had great chances for success.
The British in 1942 began the development of Operation Jupiter, the invasion of Norway. On September 15, 1942, Churchill, at a meeting of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said: “Ultimately, it may happen that Operation Jupiter, despite the risk and high costs of carrying it out, is not only necessary, but also the cheapest.” According to the Jupiter plan, two infantry divisions, reinforcing units, including tank and artillery, special forces and others. In total - at least 25 thousand people. Churchill hoped to deceive both Hitler and Stalin. However, Stalin defiantly refused to discuss with the British representative a plan of interaction during Operation Jupiter.
What happens? Stalin broke the opening of the "second front" in the North? Not at all, just Joseph Vissarionovich was a very smart and in addition a well-informed politician. He knew perfectly well that Churchill was dishonestly lying. Catching the British Prime Minister’s lies during the fierce battles for Stalingrad was inappropriate. But the Soviet leader did not want to participate in the British bluff.
So, Stalin knew in advance about the preparations for Operation Torch, and Hitler bought himself in full. It was to Norway that almost all the large Kriegsmarine surface ships and hundreds of heavy coastal guns were sent, which could play an important role in the defense of Normandy and the south of France in 1944. And the Allied forces landed in French North Africa. To the nearest German soldier from the landing site was from 400 to 1200 km. However, Operation Torch was not a strategic mistake. On the contrary, it was the first step of a multi-pass operation to establish world domination of the United States and England.
After the seizure of North Africa, a landing in Sicily was to follow, and then a capitulation of Italy. Well, the Italian “boot” was the perfect base for invading the Balkans. At the same time, London and Washington relied not only on their armed forces, but also on palace coups in Italy, Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania and other countries.
WHOM DID GOD HELP DOWN?
A huge role in the plans to create the Balkan-Danube Federation was played by the Vatican. Pope Pius XII was an ardent anti-Communist and Russophobe. He openly supported the German attack on the USSR. No doubt, the Vatican led its game. The Holy See clashed with Hitler over the rights and property of the Catholic Church in Germany, the missionary activities of the Catholic Church in the occupied territories of the USSR, and so on. However, his main task Pius XII considered the conclusion of a separate peace between the Western allies and Germany. 5 January 1943, Pius XII addressed the US President with a message in which he stressed the need to rush to end the war and expressed his willingness to offer his cooperation at any time.
Churchill's idea of the Balkan-Danube Federation Pius XII received with enthusiasm. According to the pope, the Catholic Church should dominate the administration of this federation. Curiously, while Italy and England were in a state of war since June 1940, the British ambassador to the Holy See remained in the Vatican. And it was not an ordinary MFA official, but Sir Francis d'Arcy Osborne, Duke of Lida. Pius XII regularly gave audiences to Osborne, and after the most important conversations the ambassador flew to London to report to Churchill.
There is information that the Vatican simultaneously probed the issue of federation with German diplomats and SS representatives. Apparently, the generals of the Wehrmacht and the leadership of the SS were not in a hurry to discuss the issue of federation with the Führer. The federation was planned to be created without it. I would note that negotiations on the withdrawal of Italy from the war by London and Washington were conducted not only with the Vatican, but also with the king's entourage, the Italian generals, and even with the mafia, using its "branches" in the United States for contacts.
The unlimited ruler of Hungary, the regent Miklos Horthy, already at the end of 1942, entered into negotiations with Britain and the United States to withdraw from the war. 30 – 31 January 1943 was held in Adana, Turkey, where Winston Churchill met with Turkish Prime Minister Ismet Inonu. 10 February 1943, the Hungarian envoy to Ankara, Inos Vernlé, presented the conference report to the Hungarian Prime Minister and Minister for Foreign Affairs of Hungary Miklós Kallai. He reported: “According to Foreign Minister Menemenjoglu, after the eventual defeat of Germany in Europe, the balance will break and chaos will occur, the spread of which should be somehow prevented. Therefore, he believes that those countries which, in fact, are not related to the ongoing war, should form a block of order and security that would limit the spread of chaos. These include Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, Yugoslavia, Romania and Hungary. ” Inos Vernle mentioned Hungary several times: Churchill did not object to him. This is understandable, because the Turkish minister was repeating the idea of Churchill himself.
PROJECTS OF POST-WAR DEVICE OF EUROPE
The subject of discussion was also post-war Europe. At that time, Churchill did not have a definite opinion on this issue. He only spoke in general terms that, possibly, three groups of states are formed: the Baltic, Central European, and Southern European (Benes Plan). In his opinion, this plan will not meet with difficulties, because every state will feel that it is a question of its national existence. Any resistance would call into question the very existence of the state, and therefore it would prefer to come to terms with such a settlement. The police will carry the functions of a giant Anglo-American air force (he spoke of 50 thousand aircraft, which will suppress any aggression in the bud).
The latter thought also pleased the Turks, and they immediately picked it up, asking if the air police would suppress any aggression, no matter where it came from? To Churchill’s affirmative answer, they even more sharply raised the question: would such a measure be applied in the event of a Russian attack? Having received an affirmative answer again, they asked whether a possible Russian breakthrough in the Balkans would lead to the actions of the air police? Churchill again answered in the affirmative.
Needless to say, in the ministerial offices of Sofia and Bucharest, they willingly heeded the plans for the creation of the federation. This plan by September 1943 was on the verge of implementation. The seizure of most of Italy could have led to the Western allies of the governments of Hungary, Bulgaria, Romania, Albania, and possibly Yugoslavia. It is clear that the creation of a new sanitary barrier would seriously complicate the further advancement of the Red Army. A forceful breakdown of the barrier was not ruled out, which, in turn, would lead to conflict between the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition, that is, simply to the outbreak of World War II into a third world war.
Why didn't Churchill and Pius XII’s multistage plan work? September 8 at 19 hour. 45 min. The commander-in-chief of the Italian army, Marshal Badoglio, announced the unconditional surrender of Italy. Surrounded by the king, a cunning plan was invented - to send the king with his family and ministers to the Italian island of Maddalena, located near the Strait of Bonifacio, which separates the islands of Corsica and Sardinia. The island is located in 2 – 3 km from Sardinia and in 18 – 20 km from Corsica. Thus, the small resort town of Maddalena was to become the capital of the kingdom of Italy. That is, the Italian people should have had the impression that the king and government in Italy act independently of their allies.
Alas, 9 September German bombers from a height of 5 km, using two guided bombs, sank the newest battleship "Roma" and damaged the same type battleship "Italy". After receiving the news of the death of "Roma", the king was frightened and instead of Civitavecchia fled from Rome to the south of Italy to the port of Brindisi, where he surrendered to the allies. At the same time, a battalion of German paratroopers seized the headquarters of the Italian high command in the town of Monte Rotondo, located northwest of Rome. The complex of buildings and underground structures in Monte Rotondo was guarded by several hundred carabinieri, as well as field and anti-aircraft artillery. Nevertheless, paratroopers seized headquarters with 35 generals and hundreds of staff officers. Three days later, another group of paratroopers led by Otto Skorzeny released the arrested dictator Benito Mussolini.
After negotiations with the Fuhrer Mussolini, under German guard, went to Lombardy. There, in the small resort town of Salo on the picturesque shore of Lake Garda Mussolini 23, April 1945 of the year announced the overthrow of the Savoy dynasty and the founding of the socialist republic of Italy. Soon Salo became the capital of this republic. Demagogue Mussolini promised to establish the power of the working people in Italy and take the land from the landlords.
The actions of the paratroopers paralyzed the will of the Italian command, and the German troops occupied almost the whole of Italy in a few days without a fight. Left without a bridgehead in the Apennine Peninsula, Churchill and Pius XII did not abandon the idea of creating the Balkan-Danube Federation. But here the Red Army intervened. August 31 1944, our tanks entered Bucharest, September 16 - in Sofia, October 20 - in Belgrade, February 13 1945 in the year - in Budapest.
KATERNIKOV STOPPED ONLY ORDER FROM MOSCOW
At the end of August 1944, the Soviet Danube flotilla moved up the Danube. In the early years of the war, the Allied aviation fundamentally did not lay mines on this strategically important waterway of the Wehrmacht. But since the summer of 1944, mine productions began in full swing. And by the end of September, the Allies dropped 2445 of the latest magnetic bottom mines into the Danube. It was much more difficult for Soviet sailors to trawl them than for German sailors, and the trawl lasted until 1948. Nevertheless, the Danube flotilla with battle passed Belgrade, Budapest, Bratislava and Vienna. On May 9, 1945, our armored boats near the Austrian city of Linz noticed tanks with white stars on the towers. But the sailors stopped only by order from Moscow.
Of course, the cross on the Balkan-Danube Federation was helped not only by tankers and sailors, but also by our diplomats and intelligence officers. It is useful to recall the role of the Russian Orthodox Church. With the beginning of the war, the Soviet government suspended the criticism of the Soviet press against the Catholic Church. Moscow took a number of steps towards the Vatican. However, the efforts of the Holy See in the organization of a separate peace and the creation of the Balkan-Danube Federation could not fail to change the position of the Kremlin. "The first salvo" on the Vatican made the leadership of the ROC. At the beginning of 1944, the anti-Catholic publication of Patriarch Sergius was published in the Journal of the Moscow Patriarchate. An article entitled “Does Christ have a viceroy in the Church?” Was spotted in the West and caused a resonance in church and political circles. In his article, Patriarch Sergius asserted that the very idea of any leadership in the Church is unthinkable and partly blasphemous.
6 February 1945 at the Local Council was sharply criticized by Pius XII’s proposal for a “soft” world for Germany. In 1944 – 1945, the ROC held important negotiations with the leadership of the Orthodox Churches of the supposed Balkan-Danube Federation, especially with the Serbian, Romanian and Bulgarian. At the end of 1944, the leadership of the ROC came out in favor of creating a “system of Orthodox unity”, which was expressed in close cooperation of the Local Orthodox Churches.
Immediately after the end of the Yalta conference, where the idea of the Balkan-Danube Federation was finally buried, the Moscow Patriarchate issued a statement by Patriarch Alexy, where he expressed “the greatest satisfaction and joy” about the outcome of the conference:
“A firm foundation has been laid for the future world peace. What the Church constantly prays for: “about the world of the whole world,” is already seen in the near future. The hammer of the whole earth (Prophet. Jeremiah. 50, 23) will finally be crushed - violent and offensive German fascism - not only by the strength of the valiant soldiers of the allied states, but also by the wisdom of our Great Stalin and the Heads of the Allied Governments with us. All this with certainty stems from firm and clear decisions of the Conference, which set itself the task of “ensuring a situation in which people in all countries could live their whole life without knowing either fear or need”.
- Alexander Shirokorad