The Soviet leadership had to conduct its foreign policy during the war years in difficult conditions. Intelligence information from reliable sources indicated that the final goals of the war for England and the United States were different from those for the Soviet Union. They were counting on maximum exhaustion during the war of both the USSR and Germany, so that after the war, to establish order in the world that would be beneficial for them, above all, limit the influence of the Soviet Union. Proceeding from these goals, our allies decided on the provision of material and military assistance to the USSR, the opening of a second front, the fate of post-war Germany, Poland and other countries of Eastern Europe.
Soviet foreign intelligence, thanks to the efforts of its agents, acquired in the prewar years, received almost complete data on all these plans and intentions of the allies, which allowed the country's leadership to pursue a flexible policy and firmly defend the interests of our country at meetings with the leaders of the allied states.
IRAN IN HITLER'S PLANS
On the eve of the Second World War, an important role was assigned to Hitler in the plans of Hitler. Iran is primarily oil and strategic communications. Through this country lay the path to Afghanistan and further - to India, where the Nazis intended to move the Wehrmacht troops after the victory over the USSR.
The closer the Second World War was, the stronger the Iranian dictator, Reza Shah Pahlavi, was in rapprochement with Germany in all areas, especially in the military. By the beginning of the war in Iran there were about 20 thousand German citizens: military instructors, intelligence agents and agents under the guise of traders, businessmen, engineers. Through the residencies of their intelligence and their network of agents, including numerous agents of influence, the Nazis influenced Iranian political circles, the command of the armed forces, the gendarmerie and the police. And although 4 September 1939, the Iranian government declared its neutrality, in fact it openly continued to follow the pro-German course.
Months went by, and Iran moved further from declared neutrality. In June 1941, Berlin demanded that the Iranian government enter the war on the side of Germany. Despite the hesitations of Reza Shah Pahlavi, the Supreme Military Council of Iran created by him rejected this demand. Then the Nazi intelligence services began preparing a coup d'état with the aim of overthrowing the Iranian dictator, who did not dare to enter the war. For this purpose, the head of the German military intelligence (Abwehr) Admiral Wilhelm Canaris secretly came to Tehran in early August 1941. At the same time, the reconnaissance and sabotage activity of the fascist agents was sharply intensified on Iranian territory.
It should be emphasized that with the beginning of the Second World War, Iran began to play a key role not only in the Middle East. The seizure of Norway and Spitsbergen by fascist Germany made it extremely difficult to use the sea roads leading to the northern ports of the USSR. And Iran with its non-freezing Persian Gulf and the railway crossing its entire territory could become and became a strategic way for supplying to our country under the lend-lease of weapons, ammunition, food, medicine and other goods necessary for waging war. The command of the Wehrmacht, of course, took this into account and tried in every way to prevent.
The Soviet government could not remain indifferent to the development of events in Iran. It warned the Iranian government three times about the threat of Iran’s involvement in the war. Since the statements of the USSR were ignored and the situation continued to deteriorate, Moscow, on the basis of Article Six of the Soviet-Iranian Treaty of February 26 of the Year 1921, and in agreement with London and Washington, decided to deploy Red Army units to Iran, informing the Iranian Government about it 25 August 1941 of the year.
By September 1941, the Soviet assault force in the two armies occupied the northern provinces of Iran. This step was taken in order to stop the subversive activities of Nazi agents and prevent the attack of Hitler's troops from this bridgehead on the southern borders of the USSR. At the same time, in accordance with an international agreement, units of the British troops entered the south-western provinces. Soviet and British units united in the Qazvin region, south of Tehran, and on September 17 entered the Iranian capital.
Although the Soviet-British military action and turned the tide in Iran, the position of the Nazi intelligence services in the country and their Iranian accomplices remained. The tough confrontation with Abwehr Wilhelm Canaris and the political intelligence of Walter Schellenberg (SD) in Iran continued until the end of the war. Moreover, Iran was used by the Nazi secret services and for conducting espionage and subversive work on the territory of the USSR. The Tehran residency reported to the Center in 1941: “The Germans from Iran are leading intelligence working in the USSR, they“ fly ”from Iran to the USSR and back like locusts.”
NKVD RESIDENTURA OPERATES
Tehran operated the main residency of the Soviet foreign intelligence, which was headed by a young but quite experienced intelligence officer Ivan Ivanovich Agayants. Peripheral residencies and reconnaissance points in various Iranian cities were subordinated to it.
The leadership of the NKVD set a priority task for the Soviet foreign intelligence residency in Iran to “create an agent network to identify employees and agents of foreign intelligence agencies hostile to the USSR, to prevent possible sabotage and other subversive work aimed at disrupting military and economic activities conducted by the USSR Iran. "
The activity of Soviet intelligence in Iran essentially paralyzed the activities of the underground pro-fascist organizations in the country, contributed to a crushing blow to the German special services: they could not fully reach their potential and solve many of their tasks, including the preparation of the assassination Big Three countries in the course of the Tehran Conference, which took place from November 28 to December 1 1943.
Of stories It is well known that in the 1943 year, during the period of the Tehran Conference, the Hitlerite special services planned to destroy the leaders of the Big Three. The Germans called the operation to physically eliminate the heads of three states the “Long Jump”. Why is the "Long Jump" failed?
The operation was entrusted to Hitler's favorite - the most experienced paratrooper-saboteur Otto Skorzeny. It was he who previously led the operation "Oak" to free Mussolini from the arrest, captured by the Italian partisans. The German saboteurs headed by Xorzeni 106 landed on 12 amphibious gliders in the area of the mountain Hotel Sport, located in the town of Gran Saso in the Apennines, and repulsed Mussolini from the guerrillas who defended him, who did not have a single shot. Mussolini was taken on a two-seater plane that had flown in behind him.
But back to the events in Tehran. The advanced group of the Skorzeny unit, consisting of six German saboteurs, including two radio operators, was parachuted around the city of Qom, 70 km from the Iranian capital. The group was supposed to get into Tehran, establish radio contact with Berlin and prepare the conditions for the landing of the main landing force led by Skorzeny. It was planned to sabotage 30 in November on the birthday of the English premiere. More than two weeks saboteurs traveled with a lot of weapons and equipment to Tehran and housed in a safe house, prepared for them by German agents. The Tehran station of the NKVD was the first to extract information about the landing force and to locate the group’s location. All six German "commandos" were arrested. When the German intelligence services became aware of the failure of the advanced group, in Berlin they decided to abandon the direction to Tehran of the main perpetrators of the Long Jump operation.
In 1964, former head of the SS secret service Otto Skorzeny, who lived in Madrid, in an interview with the Paris newspaper Express, stated the following:
“Of all the funny stories that are told about me, the most funny are those written by historians. They claim that I had to kidnap Roosevelt with my team during the Yalta Conference. This is nonsense: Hitler never ordered this to me. Now I will tell you the truth about this story: in fact, Hitler ordered me to kidnap Roosevelt during the previous conference - the one that took place in Tehran. But ... Due to various reasons, this case could not be completed with sufficient success. ”
In the newspaper "Pravda" for 19 December 1943, the following message was posted:
“London, December 17 (TASS). According to a Washington Reuters correspondent, President Roosevelt said at a press conference that he was staying at the Russian embassy in Tehran, and not at the US, because Stalin became aware of the German conspiracy.
Marshal Stalin, Roosevelt added, said that perhaps a plot would be organized on the lives of all conference participants. He asked President Roosevelt to stay at the Soviet embassy in order to avoid having to travel around the city. Churchill was in the British representation, adjacent to the Soviet embassy. The president said that perhaps hundreds of German spies were around Tehran. For the Germans, it would be a good deal, added Roosevelt, if they could get rid of Marshal Stalin, Churchill and me at a time when we would drive through the streets of Tehran.
The Soviet and American embassies are separated from each other by a distance of about a mile ... "
At the end of 2003 of the year, speaking to reporters at the press bureau of the Foreign Intelligence Service of Russia, the chief consultant of the Foreign Intelligence Service, Lieutenant-General Vadim Kirpichenko, commented on the events now 70-year-old ago:
“I want to reply to those who continue the endless discussion about whether the operation to destroy the leaders of the Big Three in Iran’s capital Tehran was really being prepared.
The first secret report that such an attempt could be made came from Soviet intelligence officer Nikolai Kuznetsov after a confidential conversation with him Sturmbannführer SS von Ortel. This high-ranking German counterintelligence agent actually blurted out that the planned destruction of the three leaders of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition. It was Ortel who was appointed head of the sabotage school in Copenhagen and prepared the performers for this action. Later, the Soviet Union and Great Britain received other evidence that preparations for the assassination of Stalin, Churchill, and Roosevelt were in fact being made.
Knowledge by Soviet and British intelligence agents of the real situation in the host country made it possible in advance to thwart the plans of the Nazis, including preparations for the assassination of the leaders of the three great powers. On the eve of the Tehran Conference, Soviet intelligence was able to obtain reliable information about the landing party of the advance team of six German commandos dropped by parachute near the city of Kum, from where they went to communicate with the leaders of the upcoming operation. The diary of Untersharführer SS Rokstrok, who was captured during the arrest of this radio operator and was preserved in the archives of the SVR, confirms that the saboteurs traveled to Tehran for more than two weeks: they had a lot of equipment and weapons. All saboteurs were arrested.
Soviet intelligence frustrated the Nazi conspiracy, as they say, even on the distant approaches to the meeting of the heads of great powers. ”
At the same time, the significant role played by the special task forces of two central counterintelligence agencies that arrived in Tehran, the NKVD under the leadership of Lieutenant-General Pavel Fedotov and the FMSC SMERSH of the NKO of the USSR led by Lieutenant Colonel Nikolai Kravchenko, who acted in cooperation with the Tehran foreign intelligence station.
Anatoly Tereshchenko, a historian of domestic special services, in one of his latest works, says:
“The operation to neutralize the planned terrorist act surprised and promptly carried out by the Soviet state security organs surprised the allies. Roosevelt wanted to see someone from the people who saved the trinity of life. Stalin introduced Nikolai Kravchenko, officer of SMERSH, a participant in front-line operations, Lieutenant Colonel. Roosevelt was surprised at the low rank of counterintelligence officer and wished him to become a general. Churchill also joined this request. Stalin did not refuse the allies.
“Before you, Major General Kravchenko,” the leader of the USSR solemnly said ... "
From myself, we add that the young general was then thirty-two years old. By nature, a modest, even somewhat shy person, until the end of the war he had repeatedly brilliantly established himself on an unspoken front in the fight against the special services of Nazi Germany.
SOME CONFERENCE RESULTS
The meeting of the “Big Three” took place in Tehran at a time when the situation on the Soviet-German front radically changed and there was a clear turn in the war in favor of the USSR.
Stalin, Roosevelt, Churchill. Tehran, December 1 1943 of the year.
By the end of 1943, the strategic position of the USSR was considerably consolidated. In February, 1943, the victory of the Red Army ended the Battle of Stalingrad. The battle on the Kursk Bulge marked the fundamental success of the Soviet Armed Forces. In November 1943, the Red Army, forcing the Dnieper, liberated Kiev. It was becoming increasingly clear that the Soviet Union was able to single-handedly defeat Hitler's Germany and occupy all of Europe, especially since, despite earlier given promises, the Allies were not in a hurry to open the second front and in every possible way delayed the solution of this issue.
Back in 1942, the Soviet foreign intelligence informed the country's leadership that the allies of the USSR in the anti-Hitler coalition intended to open a second front only in two cases: if the USSR is on the verge of defeat and they have to save themselves and their colonies and if it turns out that the Soviet Union alone defeat the enemy. Then the Allies will hasten "to help" in order not to be late to the division of the German pie. By the beginning of the Tehran Conference, the second situation emerged.
Stalin and the Soviet delegation were located on the territory of the USSR Embassy in Tehran. As noted above, soon there, at the invitation of the head of the Soviet delegation, US President Roosevelt also moved. Churchill was displeased that Roosevelt settled in the Soviet embassy. He believed, and not without reason, that this was a tricky move on the part of Stalin, who made it possible for the Soviet leader to meet in Roosevelt in an informal setting and discuss important issues without Churchill, inclining Roosevelt to his side.
The main issues discussed in Tehran were the military, especially the question of opening a second front in Europe. Initially, Churchill did not want to bring this issue up for discussion by the Big Three. He hoped to delay the landing of the Allies in France and concentrate their military efforts in the Mediterranean region, in the north of Italy and in the Balkans, in order to cut off Soviet troops from Austria and prevent them from reaching Europe.
Stalin easily guessed this maneuver of the British prime minister. Relying on figures, he showed that in the 1943 year, due to the passivity of the Allies, the German High Command was able to concentrate new assault groups against the Red Army. With reference to the data of the Soviet General Staff, Stalin reported on the aggravation of the situation on the Soviet-German front and on the state of affairs near Kiev, where the Germans are trying to launch a counteroffensive.
One of the central issues at the conference was figuring out what should be considered the second front and where it should be opened. Beginning with 1942, the Allies developed two possible options for opening a second front: the invasion of Anglo-American troops into North Africa (Operation Torch) and the US-British invasion of France (Operation Overlord). During the Tehran Conference, the Soviet delegation literally forced its British colleagues to recognize that Operation Overlord should be the main operation of the Allies and that it should begin and be carried out without fail in the territory of Northern France. Stalin competently conducted a critical review of the possibilities of the Allied offensive against Germany from other directions. The most detailed description of operations was in the Mediterranean and the Apennine peninsula, where Allied forces were approaching Rome. These operations he considered as minor.
Stalin offered his Western allies a militarily well-grounded variant of the implementation of three interrelated operations, fully consistent with the essence and scope of this second front. The main forces of the Allies were to act in northern France, and an auxiliary strike was made in the south of this country, followed by a northward attack to join the main forces. They must use the offensive in Italy as a diversionary maneuver. At the same time, Stalin set forth in some detail the most expedient procedure for the interaction of the above three operations in time and tasks. He was actively supported by Roosevelt, who did not like Churchill’s desire to secure England’s dominant position in the Big Three and establish its dominance in the Mediterranean after the end of the war. As a result, the Soviet proposal for the timing of Operation Overlord and support operations in the south of France was accepted. At the insistence of Stalin, the participants in the Tehran Conference adopted a written decision to open a second front in France in May-June 1944.
The second front itself, as a result of the victory of the Soviet Union, no longer played the role that it could have in the most difficult years. Now it was needed more by the allies themselves in order to keep the countries of Europe under their influence. And about this, Soviet foreign intelligence also received convincing documentary information revealing the Allies' intentions for the end of the war and the postwar period.
Thus, for the Soviet foreign intelligence service, the main source of information was what the post-war plans of the USA and England were aimed at. Believing that the USSR would be exsanguinated, they hoped to gain from this one-sided advantages. Churchill defended the "Balkan version" of the end of the war with the creation of a kind of cordon on the way of the Soviet troops in Central and especially Southern Europe. The United States hoped to weaken Germany as much as possible as a possible competitor, dividing it into a number of small states. Greece and Italy were considered by the allies as a zone of their predominant influence. Poland became one of the central bridgeheads of the struggle. Churchill sought to question her borders with the Soviet Union, established in 1939 year. At the conference there was a tense struggle for influence over Yugoslavia.
In response to the requests of the US government, the Soviet delegation declared the USSR’s readiness to enter the war against Japan at the end of hostilities in Europe. This was her trump card at the conference.
It was not by chance that Stalin chose Tehran as a meeting place for the Big Three. Iran was in close proximity to the fronts of the fighting, which he continued to lead from Tehran. Thus, Stalin seemed to emphasize that, unlike his colleagues, he represented a country that was delivering deadly blows to the fascist beast, while the allies were marking time and hesitating to open a second front, which would hasten the end of the war.
After the Tehran Conference, it became clear to the whole world that the war was coming to an end and the defeat of Germany and Japan was inevitable. 6 June 1944, US and British troops landed in Normandy. Operation Overlord has begun.
However, by the end of 1944, the American and British forces in Europe unexpectedly faced a very difficult situation on the German front. December 16 German troops suddenly launched a powerful blow in the Ardennes, which put the Anglo-American allies in a difficult position. Although against the forces of the anti-Hitler coalition on the Western Front, the Germans set up far from the best divisions, consisting mainly of vaults, people of rather old age and soldiers who had recently left the hospital, the allies under their blows rolled back and forth. The Nazis managed to seriously upset the management of the American and British armies. The United States and Britain, which concentrated their efforts on improving air power during the war, began to feel an acute shortage of ground forces. The American command has already brought 87 out of the divisions at its disposal to 89 and is left without reserves in the face of the German offensive.
Things were no better for our former allies in Italy and the Far East. In the Apennines, at the end of 1944, their troops stopped in front of the powerful defensive lines of the German army. In the Far East, the imperial army of Japan, which had suffered a crushing defeat at sea from the Americans, suddenly launched a major offensive in mainland China, trying to gain time and prolong the war as much as possible. The failure of the Allies in Europe and the Far East led Churchill and Roosevelt to turn to Stalin with personal messages asking him to speed up the Red Army's offensive on the Eastern Front.
In a return message, Stalin assured his allies that the beginning of the Soviet offensive in Poland would be accelerated and happen as soon as the "weather conditions allow." It was an almost overt hint of Churchill’s excuse in 1943 to open hostilities against Germany in the North of Europe under the pretext that “the weather is not conducive to this.” In response to a request from the Allies, the Red Army 12 in January 1945, two weeks ahead of schedule, launched an offensive against Germany in Poland. On the Eastern front of the German Wehrmacht disaster struck. The German command was forced to abandon the offensive in the Ardennes and to transfer the liberated divisions to the East. US-British troops on the Western Front were rescued and soon resumed the offensive. 18 January 1945, US President Roosevelt wrote in a secret message to Stalin: "The exploits accomplished by your heroic warriors earlier, and the effectiveness they have already demonstrated in this offensive, gives every reason to hope for the quick success of our troops on both fronts."
The Ardennes catastrophe of the allied forces reaffirmed that without close cooperation of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition, a quick victory in the war against Germany and Japan is unreal. In particular, the Commander-in-Chief of the American forces in the Far East, General MacArthur, reported to US President Roosevelt that for the final defeat of Japan he would need the help of 60 Soviet divisions. Otherwise, the war will drag on to 1947 and cost the United States in the form of a loss of one million people.
There is an urgent need for urgent coordination of further actions by the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition for the final defeat of Germany, Japan and speeding up the end of the Second World War. Demanded careful study and problems of post-war device in Europe. The representatives of the USSR, the United States and Great Britain agreed on the next meeting of the leaders of the Big Three. Yalta was elected its venue, shortly before this liberated by the Red Army from the Nazi occupation.