"An unpleasant surprise". With the T-34, the Germans had to fight with gasoline bottles, like ours in films. Photo O. Buzin
Every spring, when Victory Day is approaching, television begins to show feature films dedicated to the Great Patriotic War. Hand on heart: most of them simply speculate on a great topic. It is necessary to push a man in the street who belches in front of the TV with a bottle of beer in his hand, something “interesting”, pleasant for his little eyes, settled from the peaceful life. So there are serials like “Fighters”, the main intrigue of which is who climbs under the skirt of a female pilot: “bad” political officer or “good” son of a repressed pre-revolutionary aristocrat with a volume of Goethe in German under his arm played by actor Dyuzheva? Those who did not fight, or even those who did not serve, tell others who did not fight, that war is very interesting and erotic. Even, they say, there is a time to read the Russian soldier Goethe. Frankly, I turn up from such films. They are immoral and deceitful. False as an American Pearl Harbor. Because the same cliches are made - war and girls. And nothing like these films add to the answer to the question: why did our grandfathers then win? After all, the Germans were so organized, so well armed, and had such excellent command that any “realist” could only surrender. How Czechoslovakia surrendered (without a fight!), Poland (almost without fighting), France (easily and pleasantly - as a Parisian prostitute “surrenders” to a client), as well as Belgium, Denmark, Norway, Yugoslavia, Greece ...
But in the East it didn’t work out - everything went awry and ended for some reason not in Moscow, but in Berlin. Where it started.
It seems to me that the memoirs of the most publicized "commandos" and "super-saboteurs" - Obersturmbannführer SS Otto Skorzeny will help clarify this issue somewhat. The same - the liberator of Mussolini and the kidnapper of Horthy, a hunter for Tito, and at the same time a man who sniffed gunpowder precisely in the offensive campaign of 1941 in Russia. As part of the SS division "Reich", which was part of tank Guderian's group.
Next to Hitler. Skorzeny always idolized the Fuhrer
CLEANING 1937-GO STRENGTHEN THE RED ARMY. Otto Skorzeny attacked through Brest and Yelnya, participated in the encirclement of the troops of the South-Western Front in Ukraine, admired through binoculars at the distant domes of Moscow. But so it did not hit. And the whole life of a retired obershurtmbanführer was tormented by the question: why didn’t they take Moscow anyway? After all, they wanted to. And prepared. And they were great with themselves: Skorzeny describes with a sense of deep satisfaction how he made a full-figured 12-kilometer march and shot almost without a miss. But life had to end in faraway Spain - in exile, running from post-war German justice, poisoning it with the German pedantry of “denacification”, as the cockroach housewife poisons. It's a shame!
Memoirs of Skorzeny in Ukraine never translated. In Russia - only with bills. Basically those episodes where it comes to special operations. The Russian version of the memoir begins from the moment when Skorzeny, after his adventures near Moscow, enters the hospital. But in the original it is preceded by more 150 pages. About how people went to Moscow and why, according to the author, they still suffered embarrassment.
One of the reasons for the defeat of the Germans, according to the SS veteran, was the hidden sabotage among the German generals: “In the sanctuary of the old Prussian system - the General Staff of the ground forces - a small group of generals still fluctuated between tradition and innovation, some departed with privileges ... People like Beck and his successor Halder ... it was hard to obey a man whom some called the "Czech Corporal". Skorzeny devotes a lot of attention to the conspiracy of the military and believes that it existed in the form of a secret opposition to the Führer long before 1944.
As an example to Hitler, the author of the memoirs puts Stalin and 1937 a year: “The giant purge among the military, carried out after the same mass shootings among politicians, misled not only Heydrich and Schellenberg. Our political intelligence was convinced that we had achieved decisive success, and Hitler was of the same opinion. However, the Red Army, contrary to the general opinion, was not weakened, but strengthened ... The posts of repressed commanders of armies, corps, divisions, brigades, regiments and battalions were occupied by young officers - ideological communists. And the conclusion: “After the total, terrible purging of 1937, a new, political Russian army appeared, capable of resisting the fiercest battles. Russian generals carried out orders, and did not engage in conspiracies and betrayal, as often happened at our highest positions. ”
One cannot but agree with this. Unlike Hitler, Stalin created a system completely subordinate to him. Therefore, in the autumn of 1941, when the Germans were standing near Moscow, there was no generals' conspiracy in the Red Army. And in the Wehrmacht in three years was. Although to Berlin at that time was much further. It is impossible to imagine that Stalin would be blown up by someone from “his own” in the Kremlin, as Colonel Stauffenberg tried to do in Wolfsan with the adored Führer.
Skorzeny: "Our losses exceeded 75 percent"
ABVER DID NOT REPORT ANYTHING IMPORTANT. “In war,” writes Otto Skorzeny, “there is another little-known, but often decisive aspect - a secret one. I am talking about events taking place far from the battlefields, but having a very large influence on the course of the war - they entailed enormous losses of equipment, deprivation and death of hundreds of thousands of European soldiers ... More than any other, the Second World War was a war of intrigue " .
Skorzeny directly suspects the head of the German military intelligence, Admiral Canaris, in secret work for the British. It was Canaris who convinced Hitler in the summer of 1940 of the year that landing in Britain was impossible: “On July 7, he sent Keitel a secret report in which he reported that the Germans landing in England were expecting 2 first-line divisions and 19 reserve divisions. The British at that time had only one unit ready for battle - the 3 Division of General Montgomery. The General remembers this in his memoirs ... From the very beginning of the war and at the crucial moments, Canaris acted as the most formidable opponent of Germany. ”
If Hitler had known then about the misinformation that his intelligence chief had shoved him, Britain would have been crushed. And in the summer of 1941, Hitler would have fought a war not on two fronts, but only on one — Eastern. Agree, the chances of taking Moscow in this case, he would have been much higher. “I talked to Canaris three or four times,” Skorzeny recalled, “and he did not impress me as a tactful or exceptionally intelligent person, as some people write about him. He never spoke directly, was cunning and incomprehensible, and this is not the same thing. ” And be that as it may, "The Abwehr never told the OKW anything really important or significant."
"WE DID NOT KNOW". This is one of the most frequent complaints of the great saboteur: “We did not know that the Russians in the war with Finland did not use the best soldiers and outdated equipment. We did not realize that their hard-won victory over the brave Finnish army was only a bluff. It is about concealing a huge force capable of attacking and defending, about which Canaris, the head of intelligence of the Wehrmacht, had to at least know something. ”
Like everyone else, Skorzeny was struck by the "gorgeous T-34." The Germans also had to rush to these tanks with bottles filled with gasoline. In the films, such an episode is characteristic of the depiction of the heroism of a Soviet soldier who was forced to fight almost with his bare hands. But in reality it happened and vice versa. Moreover, regularly: “German anti-tank guns, which easily hit tanks such as T-26 and BT, were powerless against the new T-34, which suddenly appeared from uncompressed wheat and rye. Then our soldiers had to attack them with the help of “Molotov cocktails” - ordinary bottles with gasoline with a lit ignition cord instead of a cork. If the bottle hit the steel plate that protected the engine, the tank caught fire ... “Faust-cartridges” appeared much later, therefore, at the beginning of the campaign, some Russian tanks were held back by direct fire only by our heavy artillery. ”
In other words, the entire Reich anti-tank artillery proved useless against the new Russian tank. It could only be held by heavy cannons. But no less impressed by the memoirist, were the engineer units of the Red Army and their equipment - it made it possible to build a 60-meter bridge, making it possible to transport vehicles to 60 tons by weight! Wehrmacht did not possess such a technique.
TECHNICAL DIFFERENCE. The entire calculation of the German offensive doctrine was based on the high mobility of the motorized units. But motors require spare parts and constant maintenance. And with this in the German army there was no order. Interfered with the different types of cars in one unit. “In the 1941 year,” Skorzeny complains from his own experience of service in the Reich division, “every German car company continued to produce different models of its brand just like before the war. A large number of models did not allow to create an appropriate stock of spare parts. In motorized divisions there were approximately 2 thousands of vehicles, sometimes 50 of various types and models, although 10 — 18 would be enough. In addition, our artillery regiment had more than 200 trucks represented by 15 models. In the rain, in the mud or in the cold, even the best specialist could not provide quality repairs. ”
And here is the result. Just outside Moscow: “We continued to move forward on 2 December and were able to occupy Nikolaev, located in 15 km from Moscow — during clear sunny weather I saw binoculars from the domes of Moscow churches. Our batteries fired on the outskirts of the capital, but we no longer had gun tractors. ” If the guns are still there, and the “all out” tractors, it means that the German “supertechnik” had to be left on the road due to breakdowns. And in the hands of heavy guns do not drag.
The German army approached Moscow completely exhausted: “The 19 of October began torrential rains, and the Army Group Center was stuck in the mud for three days ... The picture was terrible: a column of equipment stretched for hundreds of kilometers, where thousands of cars were stuck in mud sometimes on the hood. Not enough gasoline and ammunition. Provision, on average 200 tons per division, was delivered by air. Three invaluable weeks and a huge amount of material resources were lost ... At the cost of hard labor and hard labor, we managed to build 15 kilometers of logs from the logs ... We dreamed that we could quickly get colder. ”
But when frost struck 6 on 7 on November, and the division in which Skorzeny served served ammunition, fuel, some food and cigarettes, it turned out that there was no winter oil for engines and weapons - engines start problematic. Instead of winter uniforms, sand-colored kits intended for the African corps and equipment painted in the same light tones fell into the troops. Meanwhile, the frost reached 20 and even 30 degrees. With sincere amazement, the brave SS man describes the winter outfit of Soviet soldiers - fur coats and fur boots: “An unpleasant surprise - for Borodino we first had to fight with the Siberians. They are tall, excellent soldiers, well armed; they are dressed in wide fur sheepskin coats and hats, and on their feet are fur boots. ” It was only from the captured Russian that the Germans learned that the shoes in winter should be a little spacious so that the foot did not freeze: “Having carefully studied the equipment of the courageous Siberians captured under Borodino, we learned that, for example, if there are no felt boots, then leather boots should not be shod and, the main thing, they should be free, not to press a foot. This was known to all skiers, but not to our specialists in clothing services. Almost all of us wore fur boots, taken from the dead Russian soldiers. ”
EXCELLENT RUSSIAN EXPLORATION. Almost the main reason for the defeat of the German army, Skorzeny considers great Russian intelligence. The Red Orchestra - a spy network in Europe, most often from committed anti-Nazis - allowed the Soviet General Staff to have information about the strategic intentions of the Germans. He also recalls the superagent Richard Sorge, thanks to whose information that Japan would not enter the war, 40 divisions deployed from the Far East appeared near Moscow.
Under Moscow. The counteroffensive of the Siberian divisions redeployed from the Far East became possible thanks to Richard Sorge.
“The Reich's strategy for war was better,” Skorzeny said, “our generals had a stronger imagination. However, from the ordinary soldier to the commander of the company, the Russians were equal to us - courageous, resourceful, gifted masking agents. They fiercely resisted and were always ready to sacrifice their lives ... The Russian officers, from the division commander and below, were younger and more determined than ours. From October 9 to 5, the Reich Division, 10-Tank Division and other parts of the 16-Tank Corps lost 40 percent of their regular staff. After six days, when our positions were attacked by the newly arrived Siberian divisions, our losses exceeded 75 percent. ”
Here is the answer to the question why the Germans did not take Moscow? They just knocked out. Himself Skorzeny no longer fought at the front. As a stupid man, he realized that the chances of surviving in this meat grinder are minimal, and he took the opportunity to go to the service in the SS commando unit. But he was no longer attracted to the front line - to steal dictators is much nicer and safer than to face Siberians in boots, fighting with the support of T-34 and the best intelligence in the world.