22 June 1941 of the year, under the banner of Hitler's Reich, the military and economic power of almost the whole of continental Europe collapsed on the USSR. By that time, Germany controlled or patronized the territory in 3 million square meters. km, on which lived about 290 million. Even the so-called “neutral” Switzerland and Sweden made a considerable contribution to the growth of the military power of fascist Germany.
By 1941, Hitler was able to put himself in the service of the military industry, weapons and mobilization stocks of most European countries. This allowed him to create the most powerful military machine in the history of mankind. She rode across the expanses of our homeland like a fire rink ...
The Brest Fortress took the first blow. Her defenders kept the defense for more than a month. There were no detachments behind them that some modern “truth-seekers” like to refer to. The defenders of the fortress fought until the last breath.
I remember the words scratched on the plaster of one of the basements of the fortress for the rest of my life. “There were three of us. It was hard for us. We are dying, but not giving up. 22. 07. 1941.
Participants of the defense of Smolensk, Sevastopol, Odessa, Voronezh, Leningrad, and Moscow deserve no less piety. They detained, then stopped, and then drove the Nazi evil back.
Причем погнали так, что бывший пресс-секретарь нацистского министра иностранных дел Риббентропа, оберштурмбанфюрер СС (подполковник) Карл Шмидт (писавший под псевдонимом Пауль Карелл) после войны был вынужден признать, что в 1944 году «темпы наступления советских войск превышали темпы продвижения tank групп Гудериана и Гота по маршруту Брест-Смоленск-Ельня во время «блицкрига» летом 1941 г.».
I recall this fact for those Russian historians who savor the German "blitzkrieg", presenting it as something unsurpassed in the art of war.
Speaking of Soviet victories weapons, it is impossible to keep silent about its creators, heroes of the rear, by whose labor it was created. After the beginning of the war in a few months of autumn and winter 1941, the Soviet people transferred 2593 industrial enterprises to the eastern regions of the country! In addition, 2,4 million cattle, 200 thousand pigs, 5,1 million sheep and goats, 800 thousand horses were moved to the East. 10 million people were transported to the rear areas.
This required an incredible effort of strength, coherence and accuracy in the organization of rail transport. The volume of these shipments is staggering. Only for the evacuation of one Zaporizhstal plant it took 8000 cars. And enterprises of this scale were not one hundred. And all of them, almost from the wheels, began to give products that were so necessary to the front.
Aircraft designer Alexander Sergeevich Yakovlev recalled that "the Yak fighter aircraft factory evacuated from Moscow to Siberia exceeded the Moscow production volume three months later, and after eleven months made aircraft eleven times more than before the evacuation."
As a result, by the end of the 1942 of the year, the USSR was ahead of Germany in the production of tanks in 3,9 times, combat aircraft - in 1,9 times, guns of all kinds - in 3,9 times. Can any of the modern Russian "effective" managers repeat something like that?
Of course, it is impossible not to note the importance of Lend-Lease (American military aid). Paying tribute to this assistance, one should not idealize it, as a kind of highly moral, disinterested act of the administration and the industrial capital of the United States.
At the core of the Lend-Lease was a purely pragmatic calculation, the essence of which US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt described as follows. He said that “if your neighbor’s house is on fire, and you have a garden hose, lend it to your neighbor until your house is on fire”.
More specifically, the US Senator Harry Truman (the future president of the United States) spoke on Lend-Lease. 24 June 1941, he said that if Germany won, we would help Russia, and if Russia, then Germany. But the main thing is that they kill each other as much as possible.
The value of lend-lease supplies for the victory over Nazism is estimated differently. It is argued in the West, and some of Russian historians believe that without Lend-Lease, the Soviet Union would not stand. In the USSR, on the contrary, the significance of American supplies of arms, transport, materials and food was downplayed.
It was usually said that the share of these supplies in relation to domestic production during the war economy period was only about 4% and therefore could not have a decisive impact on the course of hostilities. Meanwhile, in monetary terms, the volume of American lend-lease deliveries amounted to about 11 billion US dollars.
In addition, this situation should be considered at a specific time. For one dying of thirst in the desert, even a single flask of water is life and an opportunity to reach the oasis. At the same time, we note that until October 1941, the USSR paid for this “flask” in gold. Recall the German cruiser Edinburgh, sunk in April 1942, by the Germans, which carried Soviet gold for military supplies to England. And the "flask" in 1941 was insignificant ...
Americans began to supply their supplies to the USSR only after Roosevelt approved the USSR’s connection to Lend-Lease in October 1941. However, American Lend-Lease deliveries were fully implemented only after Stalingrad and the Battle of Kursk, that is, in the second half of 1943.
Nevertheless, the role of the Lend-Lease was highly appreciated by the former USSR Commissar for Foreign Trade Anastas Mikoyan, who from the year 1942 led the reception of allied supplies.
The People's Commissar recalled that “in 1941, we lost everything, and if it were not for Lend-Lease, not weapons, food and warm clothes for the army, another question is how things would turn out ... Without Lend-Lease, we would probably have another one or one and a half extra fought. "
Under the USSR’s Lend-Lease, 409,5 thousand vehicles (427 thousand with the help of other allies), 32 thousand army motorcycles and 13,3 thousand tractors and tractors, about 18 thousand aircraft of various types, more than 7 thousand tanks (with including shipments from England 12,5 thousand), 90 cargo ships and 105 anti-submarine ships, 2 million 317 thousand tons of steel, 1900 locomotives and 11 thousand cars, 295 thousand tons of powder and explosives, 387 thousand tons of copper, 328 thousand . tons of aluminum, 38,1 thousand. machine tools, 610 thousand tons of sugar, 665 thousand tons of canned meat and others.
In the "Short History" of the Great Patriotic War, it is noted that in relation to Soviet production, supplies under Lend-Lease were: for artillery guns of all systems - 1,9%, for tanks - 7%, for combat aircraft - up to 13%. In the car park of the Red Army in 1943, the import cars were 5,4%, and in 1944, it was already 19%.
However, the calculation of "from the general" is not always correct. Take, for example, the American aircraft P-39 "Air Cobra" ("Airacobra"). They were delivered to the USSR only about 5 thousand pieces. From 120 thousand aircraft manufactured by the Soviet industry, that's just 4,2%. But 15 Soviet pilots, led by three times Hero of the Soviet Union Alexander Pokryshkin, flying the Air Cobra from 1943 to the end of the war, shot down over five hundred German aircraft.
The Americans also delivered thousands of Studebaker cars to the Union 20. It would seem a little. But the Studebakers became the main chassis of the legendary Katyusha rocket launcher, which each volley brought the Victory closer.
The same situation was with the delivery of US 8 thousand artillery guns. If we compare them with the general production of tools in the USSR (482,2 thousand), then this is only 1,6%. But it should be borne in mind that these were anti-aircraft guns, which, according to Stalin, were so necessary.
Nevertheless, I want to repeat, to exaggerate the significance of the military technical assistance of the West should not be. As already mentioned, the main volume of supplies under Lend-Lease came in the period after the defeat of the Germans at Stalingrad and Kursk, when the military power of Germany was already broken down. Undoubtedly, these supplies helped the USSR survive and accelerated its victory. However, the main role in achieving this victory was played by the skill of Soviet military leaders and the heroism of Soviet soldiers. This is confirmed, for example, by the following fact.
6 June 1944, 10 thousands of aircraft, 1200 battleships, 804 transport ships and 4126 landing craft threw 156 thousands of Allied forces across the English Channel (83 thousands of British and Canadians, 73 thousands of Americans). It was the discovery of the long-awaited Second Front.
By the end of 1944, the group of allied forces in Europe totaled almost a million people who had over 10 thousand aircraft, 6,5 thousand tanks. America threw at the European theater of war the most advanced military equipment. Anglo-American aviation reigned supreme in the air.
The Allies effortlessly broke through, only in words the formidable and impregnable Atlantic Wall. All they had to do on the borders of Germany was to overcome the dismantled Siegfried Line. It would seem that the Nazis came to an end.
But 16 December 1944, Army Group B, under the command of Field Marshal Gerd von Rundstedt, which had more than 200 thousands of soldiers and officers, 900 tanks, 800 aircraft and 2600 guns and mortars, as well as selected tank divisions, struck in the Ardennes area, attacked in the area of Ardennes. US Army Group of General Omar Bradley, numbering 12 million soldiers.
The Germans in a matter of hours crushed the defenses of the Americans and developed the offensive.
In January, 1945, they stepped up the onslaught. The situation for the Americans was catastrophic. In this regard, the supreme commander of the expeditionary forces, General Dwight D. Eisenhower, suggested that the heads of the United States and Great Britain turn to the USSR for help.
January 6 The British Prime Minister Winston Churchill wrote to I. Stalin that there was a “disturbing” situation in the West, “very heavy battles were going on,” and in this connection he asked to say whether the Anglo-Americans could count on the Soviet offensive in January The next day, the Soviet government replied that the timing of our offensive across the Central Front, originally scheduled for January 1945, 20, was shifted to January 1945.
In the period from 12 to 14 in January of 1945, the Soviet front over the course of 1200 km (from East Prussia and the Western Carpathians) began to move. At the same time, a whole series of offensive operations were carried out: the Vistula-Oder, Sandomierz-Silesian, West Carpathian, East Prussia, Warsaw-Poznan. Each of them in scale substantially exceeded the Ardennes operation.
According to the rules of military art, it is believed that a successful attack on a fortified enemy requires the material advantage of 4: 1. But there are cases when with particularly strong fortifications such an advantage did not guarantee success. But on January 12, the Red Army's 1945, the Red Army's compound, broke through the German front with concentrated blows throughout.
To participate in the East Prussian operation, the Soviet military leadership concentrated 1,7 million, 25,4 thousand guns and mortars, about 4 thousand tanks and SPG, over 3 thousand combat aircraft. This group attacked Königsberg, the military fortifications of which were created for several hundred years. The city was defended by 780 thousand Wehrmacht soldiers, 8,2 thousand guns and mortars, 700 tanks and assault guns, 775 aircraft.
However, Koenigsberg was taken in three days. For comparison, we recall that Stalingrad withstood a siege of more than four months, and its main fortification was an ordinary residential house, known as the house of Sergeant Pavlov.
The success of the Red Army was obvious, but the losses of the Soviet fronts in the period from January 13 to April 25 1945 were also heavy. 126,5 thousand soldiers and officers died and went missing, more than 458 thousand soldiers were injured or were out of action due to illness. Troops lost 3,5 thousand tanks and self-propelled artillery, 1,6 thousand guns and mortars and almost 1,5 thousand combat aircraft.
However, the German losses were incomparably greater. Only in East Prussia 25 of the German divisions were destroyed, 12 divisions lost from 50 to 70% of their composition. Soviet troops captured more than 220 thousand soldiers and officers. About 15 thousand guns and mortars, 1,4 thousand tanks and assault guns, 363 combat aircraft and many other military equipment became trophies.
In general, the losses of the Wehrmacht in the Soviet January offensive were up to 500 thousand people. In the Ardennes, German losses amounted to 81 thousand people.
After the start of the Soviet offensive, the Nazis virtually ceased active hostilities in the West, leaving behind only battle barriers. Already 18 in January 1945 of the Year F. Roosevelt wrote to I. Stalin: “The exploits accomplished by your heroic warriors earlier, and the effectiveness they have already demonstrated in this offensive, give every reason to hope for the early successes of our troops on both fronts.”
The Allies were able to recover from the strike in the Ardennes only in the last week of March 1945. At this time, despite the fact that the Nazis threw all reserves to the East, the Red Army was successfully advancing deep into Germany. The grand January offensive led Soviet soldiers to the near approaches to the German capital. Before Berlin at the beginning of February, 1945 remained only 60 km.
As we see, the decisive role in the success of military operations at the final stage of the Second World War was played not by motorized formations of the United States, but by Soviet commanders and soldiers. In their hands, military equipment made a miracle and ensured not only the salvation of the American and British troops in the Ardennes, but also the final victory over Nazi Germany.
It would seem that the heroism and blood of Soviet soldiers was a sufficient payment for military and material assistance, which the Allies provided to the Soviet Union in the fight against the common enemy. But the Americans regarded it a little differently.
After the defeat of Japan, the States sent a proposal to the Soviet government to return the surviving military equipment as of 2 September 1945 of the year and pay off the debt. Well, at least they didn’t demand compensation for the US military equipment destroyed during the battles.
Interesting was the process of putting military equipment to the Americans, in particular cars. According to eyewitnesses, this happened in 1946-1947 year. The Americans brought a ship to the port with a press and scissors. A special commission meticulously took the car, checked the conformity of the factory configuration, after which it was immediately sent ... under a press and loaded into the ship in the form of "cubes".
Soviet-American negotiations on payments for lend-lease supplies began in 1948, and continued intermittently until June of 1990. Then Gorbachev and Bush set a new deadline for the final payment of debt — 2030 a year, and the amount of $ 674 million.
Interestingly, if the United States carried the main burden of the battles with Germany in World War II and suffered casualties commensurate with the Soviet ones, would they agree to pay their creditor under the same conditions as the USSR?
Special mention should be made of the human losses of howling parties. First of all, about the Soviet losses. Today they have become the subject of sophisticated speculation, the essence of which is as follows. The USSR piled up the Wehrmacht with corpses, thereby winning the war. Meanwhile, according to the military historian Colonel-General G.F. Krivosheev in combat killed 8,7 million Soviet soldiers, of which more than 3 million were in German captivity. In total, 26,6 million Soviet people died during the war. Recall that the population in the USSR in 1940 was 194 million.
However, the Russian historian and publicist Boris Sokolov claims that the Soviet armed forces during the war years allegedly lost 26,4 million, and the total casualties of the USSR amounted to 43,4 million. It should be noted that Sokolov included demographic losses in Soviet losses (that is, those who could have been born but not born), but did not do this for Germany.
At the same time, Sokolov increased the population of the USSR in the 1941 year to 209 million, which, accordingly, in his calculations automatically increased the number of Soviet losses. Such conscious "blunders" Sokolov in his calculations made a lot. You can read more about them in Vladimir Timakov’s article “The Demography of Victory”, published by 09.05.2012 in the newspaper “Tomorrow”.
Sokolov deliberately did not take into account that by the fall of 1942, the USSR had lost the territory in which more than 80 million people lived.
As a result, Soviet conscription resources were almost equal to the resources of Nazi Germany. Therefore, the USSR had a small real opportunity to “cover the Nazis with corpses”.
Sokolov estimated the total human casualties of Germany in the war at 5,95 million. At the same time, he claims that the Wehrmacht and parts of the SS allegedly lost all 3,95 million, of which on the Eastern front - 2,6 million. The ratio of military losses of the USSR and Germany Sokolov estimated as 10,3: 1. (B. Sokolov. Price wars: losses of the USSR and Germany, 1939-1945).
The impression is that Sokolov sought to adjust the number of German losses to the figure voiced by Hitler. He in February 1945 of the year said that Germany had lost millions of people killed 6. Perhaps, therefore, Sokolov rejected the data of the West German military historian R. Overmans. He estimated the losses of the German armed forces in World War II in 5,3 million dead, including the dead in captivity.
However, Overmans, analyzing reports on the losses of the Wehrmacht, found that in some cases they used the reduction factor "2". Simply put, the Germans reduced their losses by half. So much for the vaunted German statistics.
In this regard, we list some variants of German combat losses, which are currently offered in Germany. According to official data of the German government, the irretrievable loss of life of the German armed forces in the war is defined in 4.192 thousand people. Former Wehrmacht Major General B. Muller-Hillebrand determined the amount of German combat losses in 4,0 million. Professor Helmut Arntz believes that the losses (only Germans) of the German armed forces in World War II amounted to only 3.250 thousand people.
It would be possible to believe in it, if it were not for the obvious facts. Princess Vasilchikova, in her “Berlin Diary” in 1943, wrote that everyone who could be mobilized was mobilized into the army. Then in Germany was declared "total" mobilization. Newsreel of the end of April 1945, shows how Hitler goes along the line of mobilized adolescents and the elderly.
In total, during the war years, Germany mobilized according to various sources from 17,8 to 19,0 million. Where are these millions gone? Some work in this direction was done by the Russian historian-economist A. Kozinsky. He was able to convincingly prove that in all calculations of German losses killed and dead strangely disappears around 5,0 million Wehrmacht soldiers. (A. Kozinsky. "The history of military losses in the Second World War: how many Hitlerite armed forces lost their killed?").
Major-General V. Gurkin, member of the USSR Ministry of Defense Commission on casualties in the Great Patriotic War, in the article “On the human losses on the Soviet-German front in 1941-1945”, believes that the irretrievable human losses of Nazi Germany on the Soviet-German front, including Austrian, Luxemburg, Alsatian, Lothing, Sudeten Germans and voluntary formations from other states made up 6.923.700 people. (“New and Newest History”, No. 3, 1992).
Consequently, the ratio of casualties on the Soviet-German front is no more than 1: 1,3 in favor of Germany. This ratio of losses is confirmed by the analysis of the human balance of the Wehrmacht and the Red Army at the end of the war.
Then, in the Wehrmacht, about 7,0 million military personnel (33% of the conscripted) remained under arms, and in the Red Army - 12,8 million (37% of the conscripted).
According to Gurkin’s calculations, the total casualties of the German armed forces in World War II were 13.448.000 people, or 75,1% of the number mobilized and 46% of the total male population of Germany for 1939 a year, including Austria.
The Germans suffered the majority of these losses on the Eastern Front. Recall that in just three weeks of fighting in June-July, the Wehrmacht 1941 lost 100 thousand people. The Germans did not carry such losses even in battles with the strongest European army, the French. And in the USSR, the Nazis went through battles near Moscow, Rzhev, Leningrad, Voronezh, Stalingrad, Kursk, Kiev, etc. These battles became for the Nazis a genuine "meat grinder".
But, according to Sokolov, who emphasizes the commanding talent of the Nazi generals, it turns out that the Germans in these battles simply got tired of shooting at the Russians. They allegedly retreated almost without loss, straightening, as Goebbels argued, the front line. In this way, “saving” ammunition, shells and people, the Nazis retreated all the way to Berlin? And completed this whole epic of his surrender? Can you believe it?
It remains to remind Mr. Sokolov that for any soldier and officer of the Wehrmacht, the direction to the Eastern Front was the most terrible punishment. On this front, Germany lost 72% of military personnel, 75% of tanks, 78% of aircraft.
And what were the losses of the civilian German population? The previously mentioned prof. Mr. Arntz identified these losses in approximately 3-3,5 million. This figure seems to be understated for the following reasons. Arntz believes that 500 thousands of people died from the bombing in Germany. At the same time, he himself cites information that 250 thousand people were killed by Allied bombs only in Dresden. (G. Arntz. Human casualties in World War II).
Similarly, five more large German cities, including Hamburg, Cologne, and Juelich, were destroyed (by 90%, like Dresden). 56 German cities were destroyed by bombing more than 50%. It is estimated that the Allies dropped a number of bombs on Germany equal to 75 Hiroshima.
According to the directory Japan-Hanbuch, hrsg. Von H / Hammitzsch in Zusammenarbeit mit L. Brull / 2 / Aufl. Stuttgart, 1984 (p. 155, 195) in Hiroshima killed more than 260 thousand people and more than 100 thousand were injured. If we draw an analogy with Hiroshima, it turns out that the casualties among the civilian population of Germany from the Allied bombings should have counted more than one million victims.
Recall the loss of life of our former allies: the United States and Britain. Today, they position themselves as powers that have made a decisive contribution to the defeat of Nazi Germany.
It is known that the United States lost in the 418 war thousands of people. But for this they received very substantial material compensation.
The United States turned out to be the only belligerent country in the world that, during the war, created a powerful military-industrial complex and concentrated in itself 73% of the world gold reserves.
Recall that after the First World War, the United States also increased its gold reserves from $ 1,9 billion to $ 4,0 billion. If we proceed from the price of gold, then a billion dollars 1920 of the year corresponds to modern 55 billion dollars. To whom the war, and to whom the mother is native!
Britain declared war on Germany in September 1939. In 1940, she sent the 300-thousandth expeditionary force to the aid of France. However, he, like the 5 million-strong French army, was defeated by the Germans in a matter of weeks. After that, Britain focused its efforts on repelling German bombing raids, V-1 aircraft and V-2 airplanes on London.
The main military operations of Britain led the North African theater of military operations, and since 1944, in Europe.
Today, British and Western historians stubbornly impose the view that the battle of El Alamein (October-November 1942, Egypt, 106 km from Alexandria) was the decisive battle of the Second World War, which determined its outcome.
Recall that in this battle 8-I British Army under General Bernard Montgomery number 220 thousand. Man with 1100 tanks, 750 airplanes and 908 guns defeated the German-Italian group, under the command of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel number 115 thousand. Man with 600 tanks, 900 aircraft and 552 guns.
The British lost the 13.560 killed and wounded in the battles of El Alamein, the 332 of the tank, the Germans and Italians lost the 30.542 of those killed and wounded and the 232 of the tank. The total losses of Great Britain in the war amounted to 450 thousand people.
Speaking of the Battle of Stalingrad (July 1942 - February 1943), we note that in it the total irretrievable and sanitary losses of the warring parties (the Red Army and the Wehrmacht) amounted to almost two million people (1,12 million Soviet and 840 thousand German) . It is known that the total irretrievable losses of the Germans on the Western Front amounted to 340 thousand people killed.
In the Battle of Kursk (5 July - 23 August 1943), the Soviet grouping of troops numbering 1,3 million, 3,4 thousand tanks, 19,1 thousand guns and mortars and 2,2 thousand planes (excluding reserves) was opposed by the German group numbering 0,9 million, 2,7 thousand tanks, about 10,0 thousand guns and mortars and 2,0 thousand aircraft. The total losses of armored vehicles near Kursk were more than 7, 5 thousand tanks (6,0 thousand Soviet and 1,5 thousand German).
Note that modern German historians claim that the Wehrmacht won tank battles near Kursk. Yes, the Soviet losses of armored vehicles were significantly higher than the German ones. But they did not become fatal for the USSR. Industry quickly replenished them. And for the German tankers, the victory star at Kursk finally rolled.
It is no accident that the German "tank genius", Colonel-General Heinz Guderian, admitted that German armored forces had suffered a "decisive defeat" near Kursk. As a result, the Germans were not able to carry out any large-scale offensive on the Eastern Front using large groups of armored vehicles, as happened in the 1941 and 1942 years.
Finally, in April-May 1945, 1,9 million people took part in the operation to block and take Berlin from the Soviet side, 6250 tanks, more than 7500 aircraft, from the German side - 1,0 million people, 1500 tanks and more than 3300 aircraft.
All in all, during the fighting, the Red Army defeated the 640 divisions of Germany and its satellites, while the troops of the United States, Britain and France - 180.
The above gives the right to declare that the fate of the world in 1941-1945 was decided not at El Alamein or in the Ardennes, but in the battles for Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk and Berlin.
There is no doubt that neither the United States nor the United Kingdom can claim a decisive role in the defeat of German fascism. Perhaps, on the eve of the Victory, this could not be talked about. However, today the concern is the policy of our former allies who, having survived the Second World War without any particular problems, nowadays inspire regional conflicts that can develop into the Third World War.