Military Review

Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 5. Battle of Bulgaria

Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 5. Battle of BulgariaIn November 1940 - March 1941, the Soviet-German contradictions clearly became apparent in the Balkans. Although there was no official response from Berlin to the Soviet proposal, the situation around Bulgaria became a kind of "litmus test" of Germany’s real intentions. Despite direct statements by Moscow about Soviet interests, Germany ignored them, having achieved the accession of Bulgaria to the Tripartite Pact. Apparently, this clearly showed the Soviet leadership that its interests in Europe are not recognized by Berlin, and 11 March 1941 in the new operational plan of the Red Army in case of war with Germany was set a specific date for its beginning - 12 June 1941.
Meltyukhov M. Lost chance of Stalin

In the four previous parts, we successively examined all aspects of Soviet prewar planning — first developing the plan of N.F. Vatutina, then V.D. Sokolovsky, the collapse of the first Soviet plan V.D. Sokolovsky, then the German plan "Barbarossa". Meanwhile, our study will be incomplete without consideration of political events against which decisions were made by the Soviet political and military leadership in favor of a strategic defense plan or offensive. And the central place among the many events is occupied by “active consultations on the division of spheres of influence from November 1940 to March 1941 of the year” between Germany and the Soviet Union.

For the first time, the question of delimiting the sphere of influence in the Balkans between Germany, Italy and the USSR, as well as the participation of the USSR in the war with England was raised by Germany 4 March 1940, even during the war of the USSR with Finland, preparing Germany for the occupation of Norway, Holland, Belgium and France, as well as the end of France and England preparations for the occupation of Norway and the invasion of the Soviet Union from the territory of Finland. However, since Moscow was afraid of the penetration of Germany into the sphere of influence of the USSR, it first needed not to expand its sphere of influence, but to consolidate its influence in it.

In May, the 1940, in the Baltic republics, mass popular demonstrations took place. At the end of May, the USSR Charge d'Affaires in Rome Gelfand and German Ambassador Mackensen discussed the need to solve the Balkan problem by joint efforts of Germany, Italy and the USSR, and 3 June 1940 of the year V. Molotov asked the German ambassador to the USSR Schulenburg to immediately ask whether Berlin “reflects whether Mackensen's statement is the point of view of the Germans and the point of view of the Italian government on this issue. ” “9 June 1940 of the year with the active assistance of Germany and Italy between the USSR and Japan concluded an agreement on the demarcation of the Soviet-Manchurian border. In essence, this agreement was perceived by the Western political elite as the Ribbentrop-Molotov Pact in the East, which was actually embodied in the signing of the 13 April 1941 agreement on neutrality. And again, with active German-Italian mediation ”(M. Leontiev, The Great Game).

20 June 1940, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Italy to the USSR A. Rosso, who arrived from Rome after the exchange of ambassadors, announced Italy’s interest in destroying Anglo-French hegemony and Italy’s lack of intention to establish its exclusive influence or attempt on the territorial integrity of countries other than these two hostile powers, continuing policies of friendly cooperation and assistance of the USSR in the peaceful settlement of the Bessarabian question. 23 June 1940 of the year F. Schulenburg informed V. Molotov about the answer I. von Ribbentrop - an agreement concluded by the Soviet Union with Germany in August 1939, is also valid for the Balkan question, and the agreement on consultations applies to the Balkans.

17 – 21 June 1940 of the year in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia after the May mass popular demonstrations popular democratic governments were created and additional contingents of the Soviet troops were introduced, and 25 of June 1940 of the year V. Molotov made a statement to A. Rosso, calling it basic agreement of Italy with the USSR. The statement spoke of the territorial claim of the USSR to Romania, the Black Sea Straits and the entire southern and southeastern coast of the Black Sea in exchange for dividing the remaining territory of Turkey between Italy and Germany, as well as recognition of the USSR as the main Black Sea power Mediterranean Sea

Acting within the framework of the August Treaty of 1939 and the agreement on a joint solution to the Balkan issue, the Soviet Union presented Romania’s claims on the return of Besarabia and Ukrainians-occupied Bucovina to 28 on June 1940 of the year. The requirements of the USSR to Romania by Germany and Italy with regard to Bessarabia were fully supported, and with respect to Bukovina by the USSR, since the August 1918 agreement of the year did not extend to it, going towards Germany, limited its claims to the Northern part of it. As a result, Romania 1939 June - 28 July 2, the Soviet Union returned all Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina.

In July, 1940, parliamentary elections were held in the Baltic republics. 21 July The 1940 of the year of the Seimas of Latvia and Lithuania, as well as the Estonian State Duma, proclaimed Soviet power in the Baltic States and appealed to the Soviet government for admission of these countries to the USSR. 2 August 1940 at the VII session of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR, it was decided to establish the Moldavian SSR on the basis of the liberated Bessarabia and the Moldavian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, as well as the inclusion of the Northern Bukovina and three counties of Bessarabia on the Black Sea coast (the Great Intermission) in the Ukrainian SSR. After the final establishment of the western borders of the USSR, the General Headquarters of the Red Army, in the event of an attack by Germany with an unsuccessful outcome of negotiations on the division of spheres of influence, began to develop a plan of a counter attack on Germany.

In August 1940, the General Staff of the Red Army proposed a strike bypassing East Prussia from the Bialystok salient (part 1, diagram 3). Subsequently, this option was supplemented with a strike option south of the Pripyat swamps. At the end of September 1940, it was announced that a meeting of the highest command and political staff of the Red Army was to be held at which the most effective option was to be determined. "Draft reports were required to be submitted by November 1, 1940." The proposed September 1940 strike by 94 divisions and 7 tank brigades from the Lvov salient to Krakow (40% of 226 divisions of the Red Army - part 1, scheme 4) in October was deepened by 126 divisions and 20 tank brigades first to Breslau (47% of 268 divisions of the Red Army - part 1, scheme 6), and then 134 divisions and 20 tank brigades to the Baltic coast (46% of the 292 divisions of the Red Army) with the aim of encircling and then destroying the main forces of the Wehrmacht in the East. Having insured itself with a plan to repel German aggression, the Soviet leadership at the November talks on the division of spheres of influence made very ambitious claims, not fearing to cause discontent, anger and even aggression from the leadership of Nazi Germany.

The entry of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina into the USSR intensified territorial claims against Romania, Hungary and Bulgaria. On August 30, by the decision of the second Vienna Arbitration of Germany and Italy, Hungary transferred the territory of northern Transylvania, Romania received a guarantee of its new borders, and 7 of September 1940 of the year signed the Romanian-Bulgarian agreement on the transfer of the territory of South Dobrudja to Bulgaria.

The arbitration decision of Germany and Italy of the Romanian question without the participation of the USSR and the guarantee of new pages of Romania caused dissatisfaction in Moscow, because it put an end to the claims of the USSR on Southern Bukovina, violated 3 article of the August 1939 agreement on non-aggression between Germany and the USSR about consultations on issues of interest to both parties , as well as an agreement on a joint solution of the USSR, Germany and Italy to the Balkan issue. 22 September 1940 Germany entered into an agreement with Finland on the transit of German troops to Northern Norway through Finland, which was perceived in Moscow as an invasion of the Soviet sphere of influence. The invasion of 28 in October 1940 of Italy into Greece again violated the agreement on the joint solution of the Balkan issue of the USSR, Germany and Italy.

As before, Moscow was most afraid of Germany’s penetration into its sphere of influence, and, first of all, it needed not to expand it at the expense of the “section of the British heritage”, but to strengthen its security. Therefore, the main point of the November negotiations between Germany and the USSR for the USSR, in addition to Finland, was the inclusion of the Black Sea straits into the sphere of influence of the USSR and the provision of Bulgaria guarantees similar to those of Germany Romania. Finland needed the USSR to guarantee the security of its northern borders, the Straits — the southern, and Bulgaria — to guarantee the safety of the Straits. Since Germany was almost ready to create a new German sphere of influence in the Balkans, "Count Schulenburg from Moscow ... advised Ribbentrop October 30 not to announce the expected accession of Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Bulgaria to the Axis powers before Molotov's arrival and consult first with the Russian foreign minister" (Papen F. Vice-Chancellor of the Third Reich. Memoirs of a politician of Hitler's Germany. 1933 – 1947).

With a favorable outcome of the negotiations, V. Molotov planned to offer a peaceful action in the form of an open declaration of 4-s powers (Germany, Italy, Japan and the USSR) "on the condition of preserving the British Empire (without mandated territories) with all those possessions that England now owns and subject to non-interference in the affairs of Europe and the immediate withdrawal from Gibraltar and Egypt, as well as with the obligation to immediately return Germany to its former colonies and immediately grant dominion rights to India. ” Already on the eve of the talks, I. Stalin hastily telegraphed V. Molotov: “If it comes to the declaration, then I am submitting an amendment on behalf of the comrades: I propose deleting the paragraph about India. Motives: we are afraid that counterparties may perceive the clause on India as a mischief aimed at stirring up war. ” In case of successful completion of the negotiations, it was supposed to appoint a new visit of I. von Ribbentrop to Moscow to sign a new, broader treaty of Germany with the USSR.

England had a significant influence on the course of the negotiations. 21 in October 1940 of the Year I. Stalin informed I. von Ribbentrop about the arrival of V. Molotov in Berlin 10 – 12 in November 1940 of the year to further delineate the interests of Germany and the USSR and Ribbentrop immediately agreed. The very next day, October 22 1940, the British Ambassador to the USSR R. Cripps, on behalf of the British government, presented the first deputy Commissar for Foreign Affairs of the USSR A. Vyshinsky with a proposal to sign a strictly secret and confidential document on USSR assistance to England and her friends during her extremely difficult period in exchange for cooperation in the future, in the post-war period. The Soviet Union’s proposed cooperation fee for Britain was so insignificant that subsequently A. Vyshinsky gave a pejorative assessment of the British proposal, and V. Molotov, going to the negotiations in Berlin, did not even consider it necessary to answer it. Meanwhile, R.Kripps, who made the proposal, was very excited and his excitement was probably caused not by the value of the proposal he made, but by his goal of torpedoing the Berlin talks between Germany and the USSR on the conclusion of a new, full-fledged union.

November 10 The 1940 of the year issued a communique on negotiations between Germany and the USSR in Berlin. On the eve of the negotiations, the Soviet side was full of optimism, and A. Hitler was wondering about the price for such a union of Germany and Russia, against which "no one can resist ... no coalition in the world" (Papen F. Vice-Chancellor of the Third Reich). Meanwhile, 11 in November 1940 of the year R. Cripps demanded an explanation from A. Vyshinsky about the reason for the lack of response to his proposal by the Soviet side, to which A. Vyshinsky replied that he did not understand why England offered the Soviet Union less than that the USSR already has. Convinced of the lack of interest in the British proposal from the Soviet side on the morning of November 12 1940, the British Foreign Ministry arranged a leak of information on its proposal from the USSR, 13 – 14 of November was already written by foreign newspapers, and on November 11, the Foreign Office officially confirmed its proposal of the USSR about collaboration.

As a result of the English demarche, stung A. Hitler in negotiations with V. Molotov was looking not so much for a “full-fledged union” with Moscow as a reason for disengagement. A. Hitler assured V. Molotov in every possible way that the war for England was already over, having once said that the war against Germany was leading not to life but to death. Instead of recognizing the sphere of interests requested by V. Molotov, A. Hitler demanded that Moscow reconcile with Germany’s invasion of the Soviet sphere of interests in Finland, the formation of the German sphere of influence in the Balkans and the revision of the Monre Convention regarding the Straits instead of their transfer to Moscow. A. Hitler refused to say anything specifically about Bulgaria at all, citing the need to consult with partners on the Tripartite Pact - Japan and Italy.

At the negotiations ended. Both sides agreed to continue negotiations through diplomatic channels, and I. von Ribbentrop’s visit to Moscow was canceled. V. Molotov was disappointed with the outcome of the negotiations. According to A. Hitler, “he had the impression that the Russians are not really interested in the state of post-war Europe, but they are striving to get immediate benefits in Finland and the Baltic States. He was dissatisfied with the guarantees that the Russians agreed to provide to Bulgaria, however, he noted that it was somehow scattered that minor issues should be subject to the solution of the main problems. The coalition between Germany and the Soviet Union will be an overwhelming force and will inevitably lead to complete victory ”(Papen F. Vice-Chancellor of the Third Reich). W. Churchill admitted that “it’s hard to even imagine what would happen as a result of an armed alliance between two great continental empires with millions of soldiers, with the aim of dividing production in the Balkans, Turkey, Persia and the Middle East, having India in reserve, and Japan, an ardent participant of the “sphere of the Great East Asia”, as its partner ”(Churchill U. World War II).

Thus, A. Hitler, in contrast to the opinion of Winston Churchill, as if he “wholeheartedly tried to destroy the Bolsheviks whom he fatally hated”, in principle agreed to the fee requested by V. Molotov for helping the USSR of Germany in resolving its main problem victory over England. Moreover, A. Hitler was inclined towards an alliance with the USSR, which is why he was inspired by the gray cardinal of Nazi Germany F. von Pappen - the German ambassador to Turkey, who was formerly one of the last leaders of the Weimar Republic, who took direct part in A. Hitler's parish to power in Germany, which had a hand in the Anschluss of Austria and thus opened the way for Germany to the East, and now in Turkey, holding the keys to the doors to Iran and India. F. von Pappen reminded A. Hitler that he was brought to power not for the sake of concluding a union of Germany with the USSR for a joint struggle with Great Britain, but for the struggle against communism in Germany and Europe:

“The information on the guarantees offered by Bulgaria to Molotov allowed me to get a clear idea of ​​the price we have to pay for a full-fledged union with the Russians. We were at the crossroads stories. I could understand how tempting Hitler should be to oppose the British Empire and the United States with his allies with the Russians. His decision could change the face of the world. With this thought, before leaving, I told him: “Do not forget that in January 1933, we joined forces in order to protect Germany - and with it all of Europe - from the communists” (Papen F. Vice Chancellor of the Third Reich). Thus, in front of A. Hitler, the Czechoslovak scenario loomed again with its removal from power by a united front of the German military, diplomats and industrialists.

Choosing between the coalition of Germany with the USSR that inevitably leads to the victory and the war on two fronts with England and the Soviet Union that inevitably ends in defeat of Germany, A. Hitler chose to defeat Germany. It must be assumed that the main purpose of A. Hitler, as well as the people behind him, was not the creation of Great Germany and its acquisition of living space, and not even the fight against communism, but the destruction of Germany in the battle with the Soviet Union.

Since the official position obliged W. Churchill to be restrained, the views of his father in the early days of World War II were expressed by his son Randolph Churchill, by the way, A. Hitler’s election campaigner said: “The ideal outcome of the war in the East would have been when the last German would have killed the last Russian and stretched out dead near. " In the United States, a similar statement belongs to Senator and future President Harry Truman, who in the New York Times article published on 24 on June 1941 declared: “If we see Germany winning, then we should help Russia, and if Russia won, then we should help Germany, and so let them kill as many as possible! ”(Volkov FD Behind the scenes of the Second World War).

November 20 1940 of the year, Hungary openly joined the triple alliance, November 23 Romania, and November November 24 Slovakia. By creating a new German sphere of influence in the Balkans, A. Hitler actually abandoned a full-fledged union with the USSR. November 25 The 1940 of the year was given, and November November 26 “a new detailed answer was received by V. Molotov to the proposal of I. von Ribbentrop about creating an alliance. As preconditions, the Soviet side put forward demands for the immediate withdrawal of German troops from Finland, the conclusion of a mutual assistance pact between Bulgaria and the Soviet Union, the provision of bases for Soviet land and sea forces in the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, as well as the recognition of the territories south of Batum and Baku in the direction of the Persian Gulf area of ​​interest of Russian. The secret article assumed a joint military action in the event of Turkey’s refusal to join the alliance ”(Papen F. Vice-Chancellor of the Third Reich).

Since Moscow, having confirmed its demands, refused to follow German policy as a junior partner of 29 in November, 3 and 7 in December 1940, the Germans conducted operational-strategic games on maps, in which “three stages of the future Eastern campaign were worked out, respectively: border battle; the defeat of the second echelon of the Soviet troops and access to the line Minsk - Kiev; the destruction of the Soviet troops east of the Dnieper and the seizure of Moscow and Leningrad. Following the December 18 games, the Barbarossa plan was finally approved and put into effect. “Preparations for the war with the Soviet Union were to begin immediately and end by May 15 of the year 1941” (Papen F. Vice-Chancellor of the Third Reich). According to the optimistic schedule of A. Hitler, the Soviets, like the French, were to be defeated as a result of the six-week campaign, after which all German troops would be freed for the final defeat of England in the fall of 1941 of the year (Churchill W. World War II). In the event that the Soviet leadership does not force peace in the fall of Leningrad with Moscow, nor the seizure of Ukraine A. Hitler was determined to attack, "at least only by motorized corps up to Yekaterinburg" (Side F. I stood at the gates of Moscow. Military diaries 1941 – 1945).

30 November 1940, the Bulgarian government refused the Soviet security guarantees. The belief of the Soviet leaders in the fact that Germany and Bulgaria will accept the Soviet proposals was such that on December 18 the Bulgarians had to explain to the Soviet leadership for the second time that Bulgaria really refused the proposal of the USSR. At the same time, Bulgaria rejected the German invitation to join the Pact of Three. The diplomatic Battle for Bulgaria broke out between Moscow and Berlin.

December 30 The USSR's 1940 began consultations on the Straits issue with Italy. 31 December 1940 of the Year A. Hitler, in a letter to Mussolini, assessed the situation as follows: “Bulgaria ... does not show willingness to associate itself with the Tripartite Pact and take a clear position in the field of foreign policy. The reason for this is the growing pressure of Soviet Russia. ... I do not foresee any initiative of the Russians against us while Stalin is alive, and we ourselves are not victims of any serious setbacks. I consider it necessary, duce, as a prerequisite for a satisfactory end to the war that Germany has an army strong enough to cope with any complications in the East. The stronger this army is considered, the less likely we are to use it against unforeseen dangers. I would like to add to these general considerations that we currently have very good relations with the USSR. We are on the eve of concluding a trade agreement that will satisfy both parties, and there are good reasons to hope that we will be able to resolve the issues that remain unresolved between us.

In fact, only two questions still divide us - Finland and Constantinople. With regard to Finland, I do not foresee serious difficulties, because we do not view Finland as a country that is directly within our sphere of influence, and the only thing we are interested in is that a second war should not arise in this region. In contrast, our interests are not to give up Constantinople to Russia, and Bulgaria to Bolshevism. But even here, with goodwill, it would be possible to achieve a solution to the problem that will allow us to avoid the worst and make it easier for us to achieve our goals. It would be easier to resolve this issue if Moscow clearly understood that nothing would force us to agree to conditions that we would not consider satisfactory for ourselves. ”(Churchill U. World War II)

23-31 December 1940 was held in Moscow, a meeting of the senior commanders of the Red Army, which reviewed the new forms and methods of combat use of troops. At the end of the meeting at the beginning of January 1941, the Soviet General Staff held two military-strategic games on the maps to determine the most effective option for the Red Army to strike Germany, north or south of the Pripyat swamps to the Baltic Sea, bypassing the fortifications of East Prussia from Belostok and Lviv ledges (part 1, 8 – 9 scheme). Subsequently, these games on the cards were embodied in the plan of V.D. Sokolovsky, providing for a breakthrough to the Baltic from the Belostok salient after the defeat of the main forces of the Wehrmacht at the Zapadnaya Dvina-Dnepr border (part of 2, 2 scheme) and plan N.F. Vatutina, providing for a preemptive strike on Germany from the Lvov ledge (part of 1, 12 scheme).

10 January 1941, Germany and the USSR signed an agreement regulating territorial issues in Lithuania, and already 13 in January, Moscow reminded Berlin of the unresolved problem between Germany and the USSR regarding Bulgaria. In addition, 17 January 1941 V. Molotov reminded Berlin that Bulgaria is in the USSR security zone: “The Soviet government has repeatedly pointed out to the German government that it views the territory of Bulgaria and the Straits as a security zone of the USSR and that it cannot be indifferent to events that threaten the security interests of the USSR. In view of all this, the Soviet government considers it its duty to warn that it will consider the appearance of any foreign armed forces on the territory of Bulgaria and the Straits as a violation of the security interests of the USSR ”(Churchill U. World War II).

Having launched 9 on December 1940 of the year, the British attacked Sidi-Barani, Bardia, Tobruk and Beda-Fomm on the positions of the Italian troops in Libya by February. “In total, Mussolini lost more than 7 thousands of people and 130 tanks in two months” (Williamson G. 380 – 1941 African Corps). 1943 (according to other 2 data) February 8 was signed an agreement allowing German troops to enter Bulgaria, and 1941 February W. Churchill, trying to involve the USSR in the war between England and Germany, made an unexpected decision to stop the advance of British forces from El Ageyla and to transfer a large and better part of them from Egypt to Greece, which saved the Italian troops from the danger of complete ousting from North Africa. It should be noted that the breakthrough of the German troops to India towards the Japanese troops equally threatened both British India and Soviet Central Asia. Due to the difficult situation, the German and Italian troops arriving from 10 in February of 14 in Libya were immediately thrown into battle.

Ambitious targets were set before the German troops in North Africa. Based on the requirements of A. Hitler after the end of the eastern campaign in Russia to envisage the seizure of Iran and Afghanistan and to organize an attack on India, the OKW headquarters began planning the Wehrmacht’s operations for the future. Their intention was subsequently set forth in draft directive No. 32 “Preparations for the period after the implementation of the Barbarossa plan of 11 in June 1941 of the year”. "The final version of directive No. 32 was adopted already during the war of Germany against the USSR - 30 June 1941 of the year."

18 February 1941 Bulgaria and Turkey signed an agreement on Turkey’s non-intervention in the event Bulgaria passes German troops into its territory. England was furious at the actions of her ally. The Germans, not believing in such luck, suspecting the Turks of insincerity and continuing to fear the strike of Turkey against Bulgaria in the event of a German attack on Greece, developed a project to seize the Bosphorus and oust the Turkish forces from Europe.

On February 27, 1941, Italy gave its final answer on the Black Sea straits, from which it was clear that Italy did not play any role in this matter, and that A. Hitler had always been deceiving the Soviet leadership since the November talks with Moscow. On February 28, V. Molotov warned Berlin against Bulgaria joining the pact of three without the participation of the USSR and German troops entering Bulgarian territory, since the Soviet leadership would perceive such an action as a violation of the security of the USSR. However, on March 1, 1941, Bulgaria nevertheless joined the tripartite alliance. V. Molotov reiterated that the Soviet leadership would regard the entry of German troops into Bulgaria as a violation of the security of the USSR and henceforth would refuse further support for Germany. Despite the Soviet warning, on March 2, 1941, the 12th German army entered Bulgaria, and on March 5, 1941, British troops landed in Greece. Prior to this, the English military presence in Greece was limited. aviation parts.

A new clash between Germany and England in Europe, this time in Greece, has become inevitable. At the same time, the position of Britain was so difficult that, in view of its insolvency, on March 11, the US Congress ratified the Lend-Lease Act, which allows weapons and strategic materials of all who fight, and will fight against the fascist bloc, regardless of their solvency. On the same day, a plan of a preventive attack on Germany 12 June 1941 of the year was approved in the USSR, and 17 in March A. Hitler ordered that the British be expelled from the Balkans. Thus, although the withdrawal of significant British forces from North Africa cost England quite dearly - 24 March 1941 in North Africa The German African Corps launched an offensive that led to the loss of Cyrenaica by the British 11 in April, the siege of Tobruk and the capture of General Nymes and Lieutenant General Richard O'Connon - one of the best experts on North Africa, he fulfilled his task - the Soviet Union decided to attack Germany. For the sake of preventing the breakthrough of the German African Corps through the Near and Middle East to India in the USSR and England, the development of plans for the occupation of Iran began (part of 1, 11 scheme).

26 March 1941 Yugoslavia joined the tripartite alliance, but the very next day a military coup occurred in the country with the support of the British and Soviet intelligence services. According to P. Sudoplatov, “military intelligence and the NKVD, through their residency, actively supported the conspiracy against the pro-German government in Belgrade. Thus, Molotov and Stalin hoped to strengthen the strategic positions of the USSR in the Balkans. The new anti-German government, in their opinion, could delay the Italian and German operations in Greece. ” Learning about the coup, A. Hitler, given the scheduled date for the start of hostilities against the Soviet Union, demanded to strike at Yugoslavia with lightning speed, with merciless cruelty, coordinating it in time with the invasion of Greece.

5 April 1941 in Moscow was signed an agreement on friendship and non-aggression between the USSR and Yugoslavia. The treaty was regarded everywhere as the public support of the USSR Yugoslavia, which in Germany was met with great displeasure. The next day, 6 on April 1941, the Wehrmacht launched an offensive, and subsequently the troops of Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria, on Yugoslavia and Greece. 11 April 1941 England proposed to the Soviet Union to render direct military support to the enemies of Germany, but the Soviet Union limited itself to publicly condemning Hungary for the joint attack on Germany with Yugoslavia. 15 April 1941 of the Year A. Hitler designated the island of Crete as the ultimate goal of an offensive against Greece. 18 April 1941 England once again proposed the USSR to begin a rapprochement, threatening otherwise to the Soviet Union rapprochement with Germany, but the Soviet leadership fully blamed England for unstable Anglo-Soviet attitudes.

Yugoslavia capitulated 17 on April 1941, and on April 24, the evacuation of Greek and British troops from Greece began. 25 on April 1941 of the Year A. Hitler signed directive No. 28 on conducting a landing operation on Crete Mercury, and on 30 on April 1941 of the year ordered to complete a strategic deployment to the East by 22 on June 1941 of the year, although according to the plan of Barbarossa from 18 on December 1940 of the year The campaign was scheduled for completion by May 15 of 1941. The postponement of the start of Operation Barbarossa was caused by the conduct of a Wehrmacht military operation in Greece and Yugoslavia. As a result of the partition of Yugoslavia, part of its territory was divided between Germany, Italy and Hungary. Croatia was formally declared an independent state, and a puppet government was created by invaders in Serbia.

“April 13 from Moscow to Berlin arrived Schulenburg. On April 28, he was received by Hitler, who delivered a tirade in front of his ambassador about the gesture of the Russians towards Yugoslavia. Schulenburg, judging by his recording of this conversation, tried to justify the behavior of the Soviets. He said Russia was alarmed by rumors of a forthcoming German attack. He cannot believe that Russia will ever attack Germany. Hitler said that the events in Serbia served as a warning to him. What happened there is for him an indicator of the political unreliability of states. But Schulenburg adhered to the thesis underlying all his communications from Moscow. “I am convinced that Stalin is ready to make even greater concessions to us. Our economic representatives have already been told that (if we make a timely application) Russia will be able to supply us with up to 5 million tons of grain per year. ” 30 April Schulenburg returned to Moscow, deeply disappointed by the rendezvous with Hitler. He had the clear impression that Hitler was leaning toward war. Apparently, Schulenburg even tried to warn the Russian ambassador in Berlin, Dekanozov, to this effect and waged a stubborn struggle in these final hours of his policy directed towards Russian-German mutual understanding ”(Churchill U. World War II).

According to P. Sudoplatov, the defeat of Yugoslavia "Hitler clearly showed that he did not consider himself bound by official and confidential agreements - after all, the secret protocols of the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact provided for preliminary consultations before taking any military steps. And although both sides conducted active consultations on the division of spheres of influence from November 1940 to March 1941, an atmosphere of mutual distrust remained in their relationship. Hitler was surprised by the events in Belgrade, and we, for our part, are no less surprised by his rapid invasion of Yugoslavia. I have to admit that we did not expect such a total and so rapid defeat of Yugoslavia. ... Moreover, Bulgaria, through which the German troops passed, although it was in the zone of our interests, supported the Germans. ”

Impressed by the German victories in Greece and Yugoslavia, the Soviet leadership canceled the preemptive strike on Germany scheduled for 12 on June 1941, began to improve its relations with Germany, undermined by the events in Yugoslavia, and "demonstrate a markedly loyal stance towards Berlin." In particular, 1 on April 1941 of the year in Iraq, the entire economy of which was put at the service of the interests of England, was a military coup. The new government has embarked on easing dependence on England. Germany and Italy provided military assistance, and the Soviet Union is not the 3, not the 13 May recognized the new state.

In addition, 13 on April 1941, the Soviet Union signed a neutrality agreement with Japan. “On May 7, diplomatic representatives from Belgium and Norway were expelled from Russia” (Churchill W. World War II), on May 8 the Soviet Union “broke off diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia, and June 3 with Greece. ... In the course of the Soviet-German consultations on the Middle East held in Ankara in May, the Soviet side emphasized its readiness to take into account German interests in this region. ” At the same time, in the event of a German attack, the plan of V.D. Sokolovsky (part of 2, 2 scheme). And when in April 1941 of the year the British informed Stalin about the approach of the German attack, he replied: “Let them go ... - we are ready to accept them!” (Preparata GD Hitler, Inc.).

Summarize. After the final establishment of the western borders of the USSR, the General Headquarters of the Red Army immediately began to develop a plan of counterattack on Germany. It should be noted that Germany and the USSR until October 1940 of the year attempted to demarcate the spheres of their influence in the Balkans, and therefore the Soviet plan was developed exclusively for extreme cases and unforeseen circumstances. Which came in November 1940 of the year during the negotiations of V. Molotov with the German leadership, who refused to recognize the interests of the USSR as Finland, the Straits and Bulgaria.

Moreover, if Germany immediately began to develop a plan for the defeat of the USSR, the Soviet Union launched a diplomatic struggle to recognize the Straits Germany and Bulgaria as its sphere of interest. It was only after their defeat in March 1941, that the Soviet leadership began to improve relations with England and 11 in March, 1941 adopted the plan of a preemptive strike against Germany N.F. Vatutina, having designated an attack on 12 June 1941 of the year. However, after Germany defeated Yugoslavia and Greece, the Soviet leadership in April 1941 of the year adopted the plan to defeat Wehrmacht strike forces in the Soviet Union V.D. Sokolovsky.
Articles from this series:
Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 1. Counterattack and preemptive strike
Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 2. Wehrmacht defeat plan in the USSR
Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 3. The collapse of the plan for the defeat of the Wehrmacht in the USSR
Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 4. Collapse of the Barbarossa, Kantokuen Plan and Directive No. 32
Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 5. Battle of Bulgaria
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  1. vladimirZ
    vladimirZ 27 January 2014 15: 08
    Another, slightly corrected "Rezunov" version of the "treacherous USSR" preparing a preemptive strike against Germany.
    The supreme leader of the USSR, including the military, was I.V. Stalin. Unlike the military "playing on staff cards," Stalin really knew the state of the economy, the Army, and was a sophisticated diplomat.
    Stalin knew that if the USSR was the first to start military operations against Germany, it would inevitably oppose itself to practically the entire capitalist world, including Britain, which was "at war" with it. The world, which for two decades had wanted to tear apart the first and only large socialist state, and most likely the USSR will be defeated, which is what the wise Stalin I.V. could not admit.
    So, all these "debriefings", that is, "sketches of the plans of" military "strategists" in the General Staff of the Red Army, headed by the mediocre "General Staff" Zhukov, to which he himself admitted, are worthless.
    1. Thunderbolt
      Thunderbolt 27 January 2014 22: 32
      I do not quite understand. That is, England would stop fighting with Germany and they would attack the USSR together?
      If I understood you correctly - I’m ashamed to write this
      1. vladimirZ
        vladimirZ 28 January 2014 05: 34
        I do not quite understand. That is, England would stop fighting with Germany and ...

        Such an option for Stalin IV, was not excluded.
        Remember the policy of "appeasing Germany" (surrender of Czechoslovakia, Austria) carried out by England, the "strange war" of 1939-40, when soldiers of the "opposing" armies played football at the front.
        Hitler hoped for peace with England, repeatedly offering it to the British. Hitler allowed the "Dunkirk miracle" to take place, allowing the troops of England to leave the coast and preserve the human reserve.
        Regarding the conclusion of peace, Hess flew to England to negotiate with the pro-German government forces, data on which the British are still hiding.
        England had a strongly pro-German lobby and traditionally hated communist Russia. W. Churchill, who replaced Chamberlain and headed the British government, certainly cannot be attributed to the sympathetic "Soviets".
        So that from England the Soviet leadership and Stalin I.V. they could have expected everything, including a joint speech against the USSR.
        1. Thunderbolt
          Thunderbolt 29 January 2014 11: 38
          But the story with Bulgaria is already 1941.
          Europe under Hitler. England refused peace with Germany.
          The variant of some joint actions of England and Germany against the USSR is already absolutely fantastic
          1. vladimirZ
            vladimirZ 3 February 2014 11: 16
            The variant of the joint actions of England and Germany against the USSR is fantastic from the subsequent history that we know. And in 1941, nothing was yet known.
            And how the negotiations of the leadership of England and Hess went, no one knew and does not know even now.
            In addition, you forget the fact that in the Winter War of 1939–40, England supported Finland and sent an expeditionary force there, which really did not arrive there because of the fleeting end of the war and the peace concluded.
            Stalin I.V. during negotiations with Churchill, he asked him about their negotiations with Hess, but he remained English silent, and did not give information on these negotiations.
            Stalin did not rule out joint action against the USSR of Germany and England, with her as usual, albeit passive participation.
            Therefore, Stalin would never have allowed the military "strategists" of the USSR to be the first to start military operations against Germany, even if only for a warning strike. Hence his constant instructions to the military not to provoke the Germans by any action.
            1. Thunderbolt
              Thunderbolt 15 February 2014 12: 04
              And what does the winter war have to do with it. There, the USSR was officially recognized as the aggressor.
              At that stage, the USSR in the West was considered an ally of Germany. And not only in the West. Admiral Raeder, for example, asked Berlin how to relate to the USSR. As an ally or as a neutral. So he was impressed with the help of the USSR
    CONVERSE 27 January 2014 16: 06
    Hello! Bulgaria and Bulgarians will always be grateful to Tsarist Russia and the Russian people for liberation from Turkish rule! The USSR occupied Bulgaria, gave the Bulgarian lands Greece-Solun (Thessaloniki), this city was Bulgarian for centuries, the Bulgarian alphabet was created from Cyril and Methodius, which are Bulgarian , not Greek (as the propaganda of the USSR wrote) and with a stick to spread it throughout the Slavic world, the Stalin Soviet Union and Serbia-Tito created the Republic of Macedonia, there are one million Bulgarians who are forcibly changed names and admit that the Macedonians! There were death camps, there are 25 000 dead intelligentsia, military and doctors. Serbia who, in 1948, rebelled against the USSR, but did not return the land, that there is not a single monument to Russian soldiers who fell for the liberation of Serbia, the USSR gave the Bulgarian cities of Serbia like Tsaribrod, Pirot, Bosilegrad .. .Bulgaria does not like the USSR
    1. stoqn477
      stoqn477 27 January 2014 20: 49
      Exactly. In Bulgaria, it has many times debated to destroy the monuments of the Soviet army, and not the Russian army. The destruction of the monuments of the Russian army freed us from the Turks and the word is missing!
  3. dickest
    dickest 27 January 2014 17: 41
    Since the official position obliged W. Churchill to be restrained, the views of the father in the early days of World War II were expressed by his son Randolph Churchill, by the way, A. Hitler, a campaign participant, who stated: “The ideal outcome of the war in the East would be when the last German would kill last Russian and was stretched dead next. "

    Where is it from? Is there any reliable source? It looks like the work of neo-historians.
    1. Lebedev Sergey
      27 January 2014 18: 43
      I am citing Volkov F.D. 'Behind the scenes of the Second World War' - Moscow: Mysl, 1985 - p.304

      "Since the official position obliged W. Churchill to be more restrained, his father's views were expressed by his son, Randolph Churchill, who said:" The ideal outcome of the war in the East would be such when the last German would kill the last Russian and stretch out dead side by side "(Quoted from: Kraminov D. Truth about the second front. Petrozavodsk, 1960, p. 30) ".

      Here is the text of Kaminova D.

      "The British Munich blamed the German attack on the Soviet Union: the campaign against the only socialist state entirely corresponded to the class interests of the British ruling elite. The inevitable weakening of fascist Germany was also in line with Europe's dreams of giving itself to Britain. The most vividly these desires were expressed by the son of the Prime Minister, Randolph Churchill, who somehow threw out the remark that the ideal outcome of the war in the East would have been when the last German would have killed the last Russian and stretched out dead side by side. , what the cunning father dreamed of.

      Considering these aspirations of the British ruling elite, Churchill's conservative-Labor government avoided concrete and effective steps that could ease the burden of the Soviet Army. "
      1. Thunderbolt
        Thunderbolt 29 January 2014 11: 44
        Yes, you never know what the son of Churchill said. What post did he hold? Nothing? Was Stalin’s son Vasily saying a little nonsense?
        Yes, and Truman at that time was not God knows what figure. The senator, who has just gotten out of the mass and headed one of the committees. By analogy - something like Zhirinovsky.
        The policy of both the USSR and the West was the same and quite selfish. From the West, it’s more pragmatic.
  4. Robert Nevsky
    Robert Nevsky 28 January 2014 18: 47