Military Review

Myths of the Great Patriotic. Papier mache helmet

Myths of the Great Patriotic. Papier mache helmet

... By right and without honor, they are deprived -
the soldiers of Satan do not gain glory!
A. Nemirovsky

Erich von Manstein is probably the most famous of the warlords of Nazi Germany. Sir Basil Henry Liddel Garth wrote about him like this: “The general opinion among the generals I had to interrogate in 1945 was that field marshal von Manstein showed himself as the most talented commander in the whole army, and it was him who first of all wanted to see the role of commander in chief. ”According to Guderian, even Hitler once admitted that“ Manstein is the best brains that the General Staff corps produced. ”In the opinion of David Irving,“ the respect Hitler felt for Manstein bordered on fear. ” [189].

Manstein gained fame as the best operational mind of the German Wehrmacht, and even Rommel cannot compare with him - not the scale, and the theater of military operations where Rommel covered himself with glory, was deeply secondary for Germany. Manstein, having begun a campaign to the East from the post of commander of a motorized army corps, in a couple of months he received an army under command, and a year later he became the commander of an army group. Few German generals could boast such a career.

However, for the wide popularity of respect alone among colleagues is not enough. Therefore, his memoirs played a crucial role in creating the image of the most brilliant German commander - the voluminous volume “Lost Victories” published in 1955 and the notes “From the Life of a Soldier”, three years later, devoted to an earlier period.

It must be admitted that most of the memories of the "beaten German generals" are poorly written. They list the dates, the names of localities and the numbers of the regiments, but one does not produce a complete picture of what is happening. Such books can be valuable as primary sources, but are boring for most readers.

“Lost victories” compare favorably with the bulk of German memoirs. They are written in a bright, figurative language and contain not only an enumeration of facts, but also an analysis of events explaining the meaning and purpose of what is happening. The main thing is that they set forth the course of the commander’s thought, his personal reaction, which in most military-historical writings usually turns out to be “off-screen”.

But that's not all. In relation to the historical character, the main role is played by his personality - more precisely, that portrait, which was drawn by historians and biographers. Manstein himself became his biographer. He devotes a lot of space to his relations with other people - from adjutants and staff officers to top leaders of the Reich and the Fuhrer himself - and does everything to present these relations in the most favorable light for himself. At the same time, he tries to avoid direct attacks and harsh accusations, in every possible way emphasizing his knightly behavior. No wonder the culmination of the memoirs becomes a description of one of the latest conversations with Hitler, during which Manstein said to the Führer: "I am a gentleman ..."

So, the image was created, replicated and turned into one of the cornerstones stories World War II - not only in the West, but also with us. Irving, Mitchum, Liddel Garth - okay. But here is what a journalist, prose writer, critic, playwright, bard, poet, author of many well-known songs from the Soviet times writes (for example, to the magnificent movie-musical “Don't be Afraid, I'm with You!”) Alexey Didurov:

"In every operation in the theaters of the Second World War, in every battle in which Manstein took part or led it, he showed his genius by finding a fantastically successful solution to a combat task, maximizing the potential of his military forces and also reducing the capabilities of the enemy to the maximum ... And finally , commanding various troop associations in the war against the USSR, Manstein unfolded his talent to the world in all its glory. Starting with what Manstein showed right away, starting from 22 June 1941, to the Soviet leadership and command what modern style, methods, and level of warfare are in the middle of the 20th century. ”

However, let's see for what purpose this image was created and if it corresponds to reality.

Surprisingly, none of those who wrote about Manstein noted the main, most striking character traits of the field marshal general - his clearly expressed ambition, active and persistent desire for self-promotion in any situation and at any cost.

Certainly, that soldier who does not carry a marshal baton in his knapsack is bad, and an officer must wear this baton. But Erich von Manstein was not enough to be simply appreciated and promoted to important military posts - he needed to be aware of and admired by everyone, from private to the Fuhrer. And such admiration he skillfully sought from the time of service in the Reichswehr. Here is how Manstein describes Bruno Winzer, who served under him in 1920's:

“Our battalion commander was called Erich von Manstein. He participated in the First World War and was in the rank of chief lieutenant. We respected him.

When he went around the line or after talking, he spoke to one of us, his eyes glowed with almost fatherly kindness; maybe he knew how to give them such an expression? But sometimes there was a strange chill from him that I could not explain. Manstein was immaculately built and perfectly sat in the saddle. We were impressed that in each campaign he wore the exact same helmet as we, the soldiers. It was unusual, and we were pleased that he subjected himself to the same tests that fall to the lot of a military unit subordinate to him. We would not reproach him if he wore a light cap as an old front-line soldier.

But what was behind this? I soon found out about it by accident. Batman Manstein was a tailor by profession. Therefore, Mr. Ober-Lieutenant’s clothing was always in order, and for twenty pfennigs we patted our trousers for twenty pfennigs.

When I came to this orderly on such a case, I noticed the helmet of the battalion commander whom we adored. For fun or out of mischief, I decided to wear this helmet, but I almost dropped it in fright from my hands. It was made of papier-mache, light as a feather, but painted in the color of a real helmet.

I was deeply disappointed. When our brains melted under the helmets in the sun, Mr. von Manstein's headdress served him as a protection from the heat, like a tropical helmet.

Now, however, I am aware that later I had repeatedly observed such treatment of people when a gentle paternal smile combined with indescribable coldness. This feature was inherent in other generals when they were sent to a task from which, of course, no one would return or only a few would return.

And that day I put my helmet back on the chair and quietly left, taking my ironed pants away. In my heart I had some kind of crack, but, unfortunately, a small one. ”

Ironically, the most famous commander of the Aryan Reich came from Germanized Poles and bore a name with obvious Jewish roots - von Lewinsky. However, the Czech Nepomuk Gidler was also the great Fuhrer's great-grandfather ... The young Fritz Erich was the tenth son in the family of artillery general Edward von Lewinsky and was adopted by his aunt's family, receiving the name of her husband, Lieutenant General von Manstein.

Naturally, the hereditary Prussian officer was destined for a military career. World War I 29-year-old Manstein graduated with the rank of captain. He was lucky - he remained in the hundred-thousand Reichswehr and even continued to grow in rank and position: 1921 – 1924. - company commander, 1931 - 1933 th - battalion commander. All the rest of the time, Manstein is in different staff positions, and soon after the Nazis came to power, he received the rank of lieutenant colonel.

It is difficult to deny that the officer, persistent and persistent in self-promotion, was entirely and completely obliged to Hitler. It was the Nazis, having come to power, at first gradually, and then openly rejected the Versailles restrictions and began an avalanche increase in the army. It should be added that the regime established in Germany after January 1933 was not quite the same as it is now considered. In fact, it was a coalition of three rather heterogeneous political forces - “revolutionary” Nazism, generals and big business. Each of these forces possessed something that others did not have. The Nazis - by mass support, the business community - by finance, the military - by the Reichswehr power apparatus and traditional influence in the elite of society (retired generals occupied the positions of "power" ministers, were in the leadership of most political parties, often became chancellors, and Field Marshal Hindenburg with 1925 was Reich President) [191].

None of these forces was able to retain power alone while opposing the others, the coalition, as it seemed to many, could achieve common goals: establishing internal stability, developing external economic expansion (interrupted by the defeat of Germany in the First World War) —and direct military revenge.

Of course, the priority of these goals, as well as views on the methods of achieving them, differed greatly among the groups described. This led to a struggle within the coalition, which did not end even with the start of the Second World War. In any case, the ideas of homogeneity and "totality" of the Nazi state are greatly exaggerated - but at the same time the opinion that the goals of the Nazis were only their goals and not shared by other political forces of the Third Reich was equally exaggerated.

Returning to the German army, it can be noted that the alliance with the Nazis was primarily ensured by the top leadership of the Reichswehr: Army Commander Colonel General Kurt von Hammerstein-Ekvardt, Head of the Troops Administration (Trupenamt) Kurt von Schleicher, Commander of the 1 Military District (Eastern Prussia) Lieutenant-General Werner von Blomberg.

A special role was played by von Schleicher, who had close contacts with the Nazi assault troops of the Nazi Party (SA) and their head, Ernst Rem. When in the spring of 1932, the Prussian police obtained evidence of the Nazi militias preparing for an armed insurrection, General Grener, who was at the same time the Minister of War and the Minister of the Interior, issued an order banning the CA and the SS. Schleicher also signed this order - but at the same time, with the support of Hindenburg, he began a campaign against him, as well as directly against the Coach. On behalf of the officer corps, he organized a “vote of no confidence” to his longtime patron and immediate supervisor. Hammerstein-Ekvordt, commander of the 2 division Fedor von Bock, commander of the 3 division von Stülpnagel, spoke out against the Coach and his order.

This unprecedented campaign ultimately led to the resignation of the Coach and the entire government. The decree banning the SA and the SS was canceled, 1 June instead of Bruening became Chancellor Franz von Papen. Schleicher himself became the war minister in the “office of barons” organized by Papen, and General Adam was appointed to his former position.

The new government was not popular, and Papen himself was even excluded from his party of the Center for agreeing to head it. Nevertheless, on July 20, the Papen government committed an act on the verge of a military coup - in violation of the constitution, it announced the dissolution of the Social-Democratic government of Prussia. At the same time, Berlin was declared under martial law, and the functions of the executive power here were transferred to the commander of the 3 military district, General Gerd von Rundstedt. Obviously, the purpose of this action was the "cleansing" of the Prussian police - the one that six months ago discovered the Nazis' preparations for an armed insurrection. As a result, the anti-Nazi-minded chief of the Prussian police, Severing, was dismissed, and the Social Democrats, not wanting to quarrel with the generals, once again cowardly swallowed the slap.

It can be assumed that the Prussian coup became a rehearsal of the all-German coup, to which the military led the case with the explicit assistance of the Reich presidency of Tyndenburg. In this scenario, Hitler and the Nazis were assigned the role of junior ally - just as it was later in Spain with a phalanx. But not having received mass support, the military did not dare to withdraw troops to the streets, so Schleicher began negotiations with Hitler about the conditions for the Nazis to join the government. Hitler immediately demanded his post as chancellor. Schleicher did not want to make such a big concession and therefore began parallel negotiations with the leader of the left wing of the NSDAP, Gregor Strasser. Apparently, it was his contacts with Rem and Strasser that determined his fate two years later ...

In late November, the Papen government resigned, after which Schleicher himself took the post of Reich Chancellor. However, his position has already been shaken - the Nazis, and many of the military were unhappy with the general's obstinacy. The political crisis in the country was growing. In late January, von Blomberg visited Hindenburg and on behalf of the Reichswehr demanded the creation of a coalition with the broad participation of the Nazis. On January 28, under pressure from Hindenburg, Schleicher resigned, and the next day he, along with Hammerstein-Ökvördt and the head of the central administration of the Reichswehr Ministry, General von Bredowow, proposed to Hindenburg that Hitler be appointed Chancellor [192].

However, it was too late - an attempt by the military to put the Nazis in the position of younger allies had already failed. 30 January 1933. Hindenburg appointed Hitler Reich Chancellor. War Minister von Blomberg became War Minister, but by February 1, General von Bredow was removed from his post and replaced by General Walter von Reichenau, known for his sympathies with the Nazis. In October, General Adam 1933 was sent to the post of Commander of the 7 Military District, and in his stead General Ludwig became the Head of the Troops Directorate

Beck - known for the fact that even in 1930, being the regimental commander in Ulm, he took under protection three junior officers who were put on trial for agitating against the army’s participation in suppressing a possible Nazi insurrection.

1 February 1934 Hammerstein-Equord was also dismissed, and General Fritsch took over the post of commander-in-chief of the ground forces.

Schleicher no longer occupied any military posts and 30 June 1934 was killed during the "Night of the Long Knives" with Ernst Rem, with whom he maintained active contacts already with 1931.

Thus, the Nazis came to power in Germany with the direct participation of the army, but the final alignment was not what the military leaders expected. According to Manstein:

“In the first period after coming to power, Hitler, of course, still showed respect for the military leaders and appreciated their authority ... The army under Colonel-General Baron von Fritsche (as with von Brauchitsch) insisted on its traditional notions of simplicity and chivalry in circulation, and also on the soldiers' understanding of honor. Although Hitler could not blame the army for disloyalty to the state, it was still clear that it was not going to throw its traditions overboard in exchange for "national-socialist ideas." It was also clear that it is these traditions that make armies popular among the people. ”

As for the “knightly traditions” and “soldiers' understanding of honor,” they were especially vividly shown by General Schleicher, who did not hesitate to organize an intrigue against his chief and patron Coach and received the support of other military in this. In the future, especially during the campaign in the East, these traditions will appear even more clearly ...

But for us, Manstein's further remark is more important: “If Hitler initially rejected suspicions towards military leaders that came from party circles, then the persecution of the army, in which such persons as Goering, Himmler and Goebbels, apparently, played the main role, the end has borne fruit. War Minister von Blomberg - although, obviously, unwittingly - in turn contributed to the awakening of mistrust in Hitler, too zealously emphasizing his task "to bring the army closer to National Socialism."

So, the generals were unhappy that von Blomberg was too active in losing ground to the army, not trying to fight for dominance in the coalition. This was compounded by the fact that the Nazis began the formation of their own kind of troops - the Air Force, which had previously been banned by Germany. Hermann Goering became the chief of the Luftwaffe, that is, this structure was originally something like “alternative” armed forces, and elite forces. Except actually aviation, the Luftwaffe included numerous ground structures - including combat ones, which included anti-aircraft regiments and divisions, providing air defense (and subsequently anti-tank) defense of army formations. By the beginning of the war, the Luftwaffe accounted for about a quarter of the total army, more than a third of the military budget was spent on their maintenance.

The military gradually pushed to the second and even third roles in the coalition. One of the reasons for this situation was Hitler’s foreign policy successes. And during the crises around Austria and Czechoslovakia, the military leaders doubted the success of their plans and were afraid of the reaction of Western countries. But every time Hitler achieved his goals, and the West made concessions - and with each of these steps, the Wehrmacht’s political influence fell, and Hitler and the Nazi Party increased.

Naturally, the generals were unhappy, but at one of the stages of this process, none of them tried to break this coalition, at least in the form of voluntary resignation. Not because the military did not dare to oppose Hitler's goals, but because they did not have any other goals. But the Nazis showed greater success in achieving the same goals, making their popularity in the German people more and more strong. Speaking against them would mean going against the will of Germany. Therefore, all dissatisfaction and all the talk about the rebellion remained "kitchen" until 1944, and even then the military showed surprising for German officers indecision ...

But back to our hero. In his memoirs, Manstein does not hide the fact that the most prominent figures of the German armed forces — he was already familiar to us — Colonel General Kurt von Hammerstein-Ekvort, who replaced him, Werner von Fritsch, as well as the head of Trupenamt, Ludwig Beck, in October 1933, rendered him a direct patronage; who held the post of chief of the Military Administration. None of them was an opponent of the Nazis, and if the first was still looking at the Nazis as junior partners, the other two were appointed to their posts already under Hitler as supporters of an alliance with the NSDAP - although the question of dominating it was still open.

Already at the beginning of 1934, Manstein became chief of staff of the 3 military district (Berlin), and next year - chief of the operational department of the General Staff of the ground forces, which had just been reorganized from the former Military Directorate. In October 1936, he received the rank of Major General, at the same time Chief of General Staff Beck appoints him the Chief Quartermaster, that is, in fact, his deputy!

However, in early February 1938, a few days after von Fritsch’s scandalous resignation (replaced by Colonel-General Walter Brauchitsch), Major General Manstein was unexpectedly removed from his post and appointed commander of the 18 Infantry Division in Lignnits. Instead, Franz Halder becomes 1; in August, 1938, after Beck’s resignation, Halder will take his place, serve in this position for four years - until his own resignation - and later become famous for his “War Diary” ...

In his memoir, “From the Life of a Soldier,” Manstein argues that the decision to remove him was made to bypass Beck and extremely angered the latter. He does not hide either irritation with such an annoying destruction of hopes, nor of these hopes themselves:

“My formation, which led me to the position of 1-th chief Quartermaster and Deputy Chief of General Staff, would later allow me to take the post of Chief of General Staff. General Baron von Hammerstein had already seen me in that capacity, and General Beck hinted at this in his farewell speech addressed to me. But so far everything has been left behind. ”

Manstein argues that in this way the Nazi leadership cracked down on opposition-oriented officers. But General Halder, who replaced him, was older both in age, and in rank, and in military service; For two years he commanded a division, and in the fall of 1937 he served as 2-th chief quartermaster. In the nomination of Halder for the post of deputy chief of the General Staff, and then the NGSH itself was not surprising - much more surprising was pushing Beck forward to Manstein himself despite the traditional subordination.

Do not forget that in the German army there was a rule that staff officers were required to serve in command positions from time to time. Manstein, over the past twenty years of service, commanded a total of about five years in strength, and no more than a battalion — with such command experience, claiming the role of chief of the General Staff was a very great arrogance. Together, Beck and Fritsch could drag their pet upstairs, violating not only the norms and traditions of the armed forces, but also the elementary rules of decency - but Beck was no longer alone, besides falling into disgrace because of the opposition of the plans of the Anschluss of Austria. able to continue this.

In addition, Manstein clearly did not have a good relationship with Brauchitsch. Very characteristic is the assessment he gives to the new commander:

“It is impossible to deny the presence of his willpower, although, according to my impressions, its manifestations were more likely negative, because it was poured into a kind of stubbornness, and was not constructive. He was more willing to listen to other people's decisions instead of taking them himself and striving for their implementation. ”

Simply put, Brauchitsch listened carefully to Manstein - and preferred to make decisions on his own ...

However, Manstein's career was not interrupted outside the General Staff. In September, 1938 (that is, after Beck’s resignation), he held the post of Chief of the 12 Army, von Leeb, who was prepared to attack Czechoslovakia. The Czechoslovak crisis did not break out in a war, ending with Munich zilch, but in April 1939, after the final annexation of the remnants of the Czech Republic, Manstein was promoted to lieutenant general.

In August, 1939, on the eve of the upcoming operation against Poland, Manstein is appointed to the post of chief of staff of Army Group South, led by Gerd von Runstedt returned from his short retirement. Actually, their candidacies for these positions were immediately provided for by the Weiss plan, which was developed in the spring, so there is no need to talk about any “disgrace” of Manstein: the ambitious general remained in good standing with the military leadership, and in purely military affairs the Nazis did not try interfere.

There are allegations that Erich von Manstein was actively involved in the development of the Polish campaign plan. Of course, operational planning of Army Group South could not do without him, but there was only two weeks for this work, from 12 in August, when Manstein received a new assignment, to 26, for which the beginning of the offensive was originally scheduled.

Operationally, the Polish campaign was of little interest, and when describing it, Manstein pays more attention to the pre-war deployment of armies than to the course of the hostilities. In two weeks of fighting from 1 to 15, September, Army Group South advanced from 200 to 350 km, reaching Warsaw, Lublin and Lviv. “The right flank [of the 14] army — the mountain corps and the 17 army corps — advanced to the Lemberg area and the Przemysl fortress, which were taken by our troops,” writes Manstein. Already in this episode, you can see how freely the Field Marshal general handles the facts.

In reality, it was a little different.

On September 12, the 4th light division broke into the city and occupied the station area, but after two days of fighting, the Poles were knocked out to the outskirts. By September 15, Lviv was surrounded on three sides by the 4th Light 1st 45st Mountain Rifle and 18th Infantry Divisions, however, all German attacks were again repulsed by the Poles. In the evening of September 24, Soviet troops approached the city, the next morning the Germans again attacked Lviv, while there was a military clash of units of the XNUMXth tank brigades of the 6th Soviet Army and 137th Regiment of the 1st Mountain Division of the Wehrmacht. On the night of September 21, after negotiations, the Germans began the withdrawal of their troops from Lviv, on the afternoon of September 22, the Polish garrison capitulated to the Red Army units [194].

In the course of the Polish campaign, the first scandal connected with the name of Mansheyn occurred. Here is how he himself describes this episode:

“One day, we were accompanied by a retreat of cameramen, a well-known film actress and director, who said that she was“ following in the foohrer’s footsteps. ” She said that on the personal instructions of Hitler she had come to the front to make a film. Such activity, and even under the leadership of a woman, was, to us, soldiers, frankly, extremely unpleasant. However, it was about the task of Hitler.

However, she looked very nice and courageous woman, about as an elegant partisan, who ordered a costume for herself at Rue de Rivoli in Paris. Her beautiful, fiery mane-like hair, laid down in waves, framed an interesting face with closely spaced eyes. She was wearing something like a tunic, breeches and high soft boots. A pistol hung on a leather belt that girdled around her camp above the thighs. Weapon for close combat, it was supplemented with a knife, plugged into the Bavarian manner for the bootleg ...

The head of intelligence came up with the brilliant idea to send this expedition to General von Reichenau, who knew this lady well and seemed to us a suitable patron. She went with her escort to the headquarters of the 10 Army in Krnsk. Soon, however, she returned from there. During the occupation of Krnske, there was also an exchange of fire several times before, in which civilians also took part. Due to the nervousness of the anti-aircraft officer on the market square, where a lot of people gathered and there was no justifiable panic, senseless shooting was opened, causing many casualties. The film group witnessed this unfortunate scene, and our guest, shocked by the incident, decided to return. As for the officer guilty of this scene, General von Reichenau immediately put him on trial of a military tribunal, who sentenced him on charges of unintentional murder to deprivation of an officer’s rank and imprisonment for several years.

This example shows that in such cases, strict measures were taken immediately by the command forces of the ground forces. These measures, unfortunately, later - at the beginning of the Russian campaign - led to the fact that Hitler deprived the courts of a military tribunal of the right to hear cases involving civilians. "

Immediately, we note that Manstein is not telling the truth, in addition, gradually trying to shift the responsibility to the Luftwaffe. No one has ever deprived the military tribunals of the right to hear cases involving civilians. Later, the “Order of Special Jurisdiction in the Barbarossa Zone established the exact opposite - it gave the tribunals the right not to investigate these cases.

The elegant movie actress and director was none other than Leni Riefenstahl (1902 – 2003), the creator of the famous film “Triumph of the Will”. In Konsk, an enthusiastic fan of the Fuhrer and her film crew accidentally witnessed not a random incident, but the usual shooting of hostages in response to the killing of several German soldiers by the Poles. From the very beginning of the war, such shootings were carried out in many Polish cities. Naturally, no one was punished, because the execution was carried out with the knowledge and approval of the army command [195]. It must be said that the incident in Konsk had an effect on the enthusiastic Riefenstahl, but, as we see, it had no great effect on the worldview of General Erich von Manstein.

The Polish campaign ended in brilliant success - and left Germany more than in an ambiguous position. In the west, England and France declared war on the Germans, in the east the Soviet Union formally maintained friendly neutrality, secured by the non-aggression pact and the secret protocol to it. Further goals of the war were not clear; Moreover, it was here that the coalition in Germany for the first time seriously disagreed.

Large business was in principle against the war with England, although he did not object to the weakening of France. The only thing that justified in his eyes the conflict with the British was the prospect of the return of Germany to its former colonies, primarily the African ones. However, the main enemy of this coalition continued to consider the Soviet Union, and the main direction of future expansion - the east and southeast, that is, the Balkans and, possibly, the Eastern Mediterranean.

Inside the NSDAP, opinions are divided. On the one hand, the Bolsheviks were the main ideological opponent of the Nazis; In addition, Hitler and most of his comrades from the time of “Mein Kampf” and friendship with the ultra-right white immigrants such as Schöbner-Richter perceived Russia as a “colossus on clay feet,” which could be easy prey. On the other hand, a fairly large number of politicians from the times of the Weimar Republic who joined the Nazi party, mostly entrenched in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, supported the continuation of the line of friendship with Russia and considered the main enemies of the British and French. Hitler, as a master of impromptu, preferred not to become completely none of the points of view.

For the army, in principle, it did not make much difference with whom to fight - with the Russians or the French, although the campaign against England was perceived as baseless fiction. Already in the second half of September, Assistant Halder, the Chief Quartermaster of the OKH General Staff, Karl Heinrich von Stülpnagel, developed a tentative plan of military operations in the West. The plan called for the start of active operations only in 1942, when the necessary resources for breaking through the Maginot Line would be collected. The possibility of its circumvention through Belgium and Holland was not considered in the plan - according to Manstein, “since the German government had recently promised these countries to respect their neutrality”. Based on the development of Stülpnagel, at the 30 November and 5 meetings of October, Halder and Brauchitsch told Hitler that it was impossible to launch an offensive in the West anytime soon.

The story with Stülpnagel’s plan looks weird. The fact is that at the meeting of Halder with Brauchitsch 29 of September, according to Halder's diary, the violation of the neutrality of Belgium was taken for granted. But who opposed him was Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb, commander of Army Group “C” on the western border, on October 11 sending the corresponding memorandum to Brauchitsch. Moreover, on October 31, Leeb sent the following letter to Brauchitsch, explaining his position:

“The more we pay attention to the West, the freer Russia becomes in its decisions ... Successes in the East, accompanied by a desire to combine them with relations with the West, would mean falling into a fatal mistake not linked to reality”

Thus, it was only about where the war should continue - in the West or in the East. However, the reluctance of England and France to “take the pitch” of Hitler, who has publicly declared his desire to make peace several times, made this dilemma speculative. By the end of October, it became clear to the General Staff of OKH that the campaign in the West cannot be avoided, and it will have to be carried out in the very near future. As a result, the Gelb plan was born, providing for a strike through Belgium and Holland to the coast of the English Channel, followed by a turn to the south and an attack on France from the north.

In the meantime, the headquarters of Army Group South was transformed into the headquarters of Army Group A and 24 on October 1939 arrived on the Western Front. Soon the command of the group appealed to the OKH with a proposal to change the plan of operations in the West. Instead of an offensive along the whole front, it was proposed to concentrate the main strike forces (three armies instead of two) in the band of Army Group A and strike a narrow front through the Ardennes with a quick exit through the Somme to the English Channel, thus cutting off allied forces in Belgium and Holland .

In the end this plan of attack was adopted. The strike through the Ardennes led to the encirclement of the Allied troops of Dunkirk, and the surrender of the Belgian army opened the front and forced the British command to begin a hasty evacuation, leaving the French ally to the mercy of fate.

In 1948, in his book “On the other side of the hill,” B. Liddel Garth, referring to the evidence of Rundstedt and Blumentritt, announced that the new plan of the operation was developed personally by Manstein. In 1955, Manstein confirmed this by stating in his memoirs that the plan was developed at Army Group A headquarters, and the first version was submitted to the OKH on November 3.

However, the trouble is that as early as mid-October, the commanders of the two armies of Group B, von Reichenau (6) and von Kluge (4), independently stated to the group commander von Bock that a frontal attack would not bring good luck and it was necessary to concentrate everything forces in any narrow direction. On October 25, at a meeting with Hitler, Halder and Brauchitsch raised the question of the possibility of conducting an operation only south of the Meuse with a bypass of the enemy from the south while chaining him in the area of ​​Liege with an auxiliary blow. In response, Hitler offered to carry out a massive strike south of Liege in the direction of Reims or Amiens and marked this strike on the staff map with a red line drawn between Namur and Fuma to the English Channel. The next day, he repeated to Jodl that the main attack should be inflicted south of Liege on the site of the 12 Army Group B, surrounding the “Belgian fortress”. According to Colonel Nolte’s adjutant Halder, in early November (before 7), his chief brought a map with red lines on it from the Reich Chancellery: the first was south of the Liege – Calais line, the second was through Luxembourg and the Ardennes, the Somme bush [197]. As a result, Army Group “A” was already notified on 12 on November that Guderian’s 19 motorized army corps was being handed over to it in 2 and 10 armored divisions, from Leibstandard Adolf Hitler, motorized Regiment “Great Germany” and one of the infantry divisions "with the task of striking through open terrain on both sides of Arlon, Tintinia and Florenville in the direction of Sedan and east of it." At the same time: "From the text of the telegram it followed that the transfer of the 19-th army corps to Army Group A was made on the orders of Hitler."

As we see, Hitler got the idea of ​​a strike through the Ardennes earlier than Manstein. However, the General Staff for a long time doubted the safety of such a move - fearing that when the German group would be drawn into the Ardennes, the French might inflict a flank attack on it from the south (and maybe, in addition, from the north), and also attack tank and motorized columns on narrow mountain roads aviation. Therefore, an unambiguous decision was not made for some time. This gave Manstein an opportunity to state:

“As for, however, the transfer to the army group of the 19 tank corps, then, according to Hitler’s plan, she was pursuing, of course, only a tactical goal, the achievement of which should have facilitated the crossing of the Meuse for army group“ B ”.

And in the OKH supplement to the directive, there is no mention anywhere of a change in the general idea. I mean the plan of winning a decisive victory by engaging the enemy with forces of Army Group A in the direction of the mouth of the Somme or actions aimed at least at its preparation. ”

However, contrary to this statement, already on November 20, the OCW Directive No. 8 on Warfare stated:
“It is necessary to take all measures so that the direction of the main attack of the operation can be quickly transferred from army group“ B ”to army group“ A ”, if there ... it is possible to achieve faster and greater success than in group“ B ”[198].

A week later, at a meeting in the Reich Chancellery of November 27, where Bush, Guderian and Rundstedt (!) Were present, it was decided to “make the southern flank of the operation stronger”

Thus, the decision to transfer the center of gravity of the operation to Army Group “A” and to concentrate the main mechanized forces here was made gradually due to the presence of complicating factors. Nevertheless, it is quite obvious that the impetus for this decision was not at all given by Manstein, and the first sketches of the new outline of the Gelb Plan appeared even before his arrival to the West.

The epic image of "the best strategist of Germany" fades more and more.

Meanwhile, the whole of November and December, Manstein was in "the struggle for the plan of Army Group" A, falling asleep for Rundsted and the OKH with his proposals for transferring actions to its zone. No wonder that Rundstedt’s plan eventually became associated with Manstein. But in the General Staff, where the planning circumstances were better known, the inappropriate activity of the ambitious chief of staff of Army Group A and his persistent self-advertisement eventually caused undisguised irritation. In addition, Halder knew perfectly well that Manstein is aiming for his post. As a result, he directly suggested to Brauchich to remove Manstein from the leadership of the southern flank, “otherwise he would start his own battle, which would break the unity of the plan” [200], - putting in his place a man who would exactly execute orders from the OKH.

27 January 1940 Manstein was relieved of his post as chief of staff of Army Group A and was appointed commander of the newly formed 38 Army Corps. The official reason for this was quite decent: the status of the corps commander was higher than the status of the chief of staff of the army. As Brauchich explained to Rundstedt, Manstein is no longer able to get around when appointing new corps commanders, since General Reinhardt, who has a lower length of service, receives a corps.

However, Manstein still got his way - information about his activity reached Hitler. Apparently, the Führer decided to see: who is it that there is hard rubbed Halder and Brauchitsch? Under a specious excuse (meeting with newly appointed corps commanders), Manstein was summoned to Berlin. After the official breakfast during an hour-long “personal consultation,” he outlined his plan to the Führer and found complete understanding. “It is very surprising that from the very beginning our points of view in this area completely coincided,” the general wrote in his diary.

G.-A. According to Blumentritt, Jacobsen writes about the overt hostility towards Manstein, which Hitler displayed, but the diary entries of Manstein himself, as well as the fact and the course of the conversation, cast doubt on this. It seems that everything was strictly the opposite: Hitler didn’t have anything to do with Manstein until he heard about an active lieutenant general who irritated the General Staff. Not trusting the representatives of the highest military leadership and suspecting them (quite rightly) in the presence of political ambitions, the Führer drew attention to the promising officer - it is possible that having in mind to put him on the very post that Manstein so sought.

Hitler and Manstein broke up, quite satisfied with each other. “A man is not of my type, but he is capable of much,” the Führer [201] stated. In the future, their opinions about each other will change - but, apparently, much later than he tried to present Manstein in his memoirs.

In the French campaign, Manstein didn’t show anything special, and his corps launched an offensive only on May 27, before that being in the operational reserve. Since July, the 1940 Corps was on the banks of the English Channel, preparing for Operation Sea Lion, which was finally canceled only in April 1941. By this time, Manstein had already received another appointment - the commander of the 56 th motorized corps tank group in the army group "North", unfolding against the Soviet Union.

On 22 June 1941, the 56 th motorized army corps consisted of three divisions - the 8-I tank, the 3-I motorized and 290-I infantry. The total number of corps with all rears was about 60 thousand people. Against the corps of Manstein and the right flank of the 41 th motorized corps near Jurbarkas, Erzhvilkas, the 48 Infantry Division of the 11 Infantry Corps of the 8 Army of the North-Western Front defended itself - less than 10 thousand people.

In the very first hours of the battles of the 48 Rifle Division, four German divisions had to confront - the 8 tank and 290 infantry of the 56 corps, 6 tank and 269 of the infantry corps of the 41 motorized corps. Repeated superiority in forces quickly decided the outcome of the battle - the front of the 48 Infantry Division was broken in the first hours. According to the battle report of the front headquarters from 22.00 22 June, in the afternoon, the division moved from Erzhvilkas to the northeast. The summary from 10.00 the following day clarified:

“The 48 Rifle Division — there is no information about the two battalions of the 328 Rifle Regiment. Individuals and transports linger Krlnun, Rossiens. In 19 hours, approached battalions of the 268 Infantry Regiment, battalion of the 328 Infantry Regiment, 10 Artillery Regiment, 14 Howitzer Artillery Regiment took up defensive positions at the line of Minyan, Rossiens.

The 2 Infantry Battalion of the 268 Infantry Regiment, under the pressure of two infantry battalions and a battalion of tanks, retreats to the trained Libeskyay battalion area. The 301 Infantry Regiment allegedly departs to the Reistrai area south of Art. Erzhvilki. The commander of the 48 Infantry Division organized reconnaissance along the Rossyena-Skirstymoni road.

The headquarters of the 48 Rifle Division is in the forest south-east of Vidukle. ”

And this is how Manstein himself describes this breakthrough:

"On the first day of the offensive, the corps was to advance 80 km in depth in order to capture the bridge over Dubissu near Ayrogoly ...

After breaking through the border positions, overcoming the resistance of the enemy deep in the rear, by the evening of 22 June, her forward detachment seized the crossing at Ayrogoli. The 290 Division was following at a fast pace,

The 3-I motorized division passed through Memel at noon and was brought into battle for the ferry south of Ayrogoly ...

The corps, as we had hoped, managed to find a weak point in the defense of the enemy during the breakthrough. True, he always ran into enemy units that rushed against him into battle. But his divisions managed to break the enemy resistance relatively quickly, although sometimes in fierce battles. ”

By and large, Manstein was just lucky - the strike of the 56-th motorized corps fell on the left flank of the 48-th rifle division, which was advanced to the border by marching order and was not deployed for defense. Having been hit by an air strike and an attack by tank units, the main forces of the division were thrown northward, into the 41 band of the motorized corps.

As a result, during the first day of the fighting, the 41 th Reinhard motorcycle corps, operating against the 48 and 125 rifle divisions, advanced only 15 – 25 kilometers, while the corps of the Manstein passed 80 km. The next day, the Reinhard Corps also came out on Dubiss, seizing the railway bridge and bridgehead at Lidadenää. But then the 2-I tank division of the 3 mechanized corps hit him on the flank. The famous tank battle of Rasseyna broke out, during which in two days the divisions of the 41 motorized corps managed to advance no more than 20 km.

By the end of June 25, the advanced parts of the Rheinhard Corps were only a hundred kilometers from the border, and the infantry formations of Army Group North had gone from 40 to 70 km in these four days. But the corps of Manstein, not meeting the opposition of the Soviet troops, took the lead far ahead - on this day the 8-I tank division occupied Uten in 200 km from the border!

Thus, no special skill or skill was required from the commander of the 56 th motorized corps in the first days of the war - the Wehrmacht’s overall numerical superiority and the attacker's initiative, which allowed the Germans to provide an overwhelming advantage in the direction of the main attacks, played a role. The seizure of the bridge over Dubissu in the area of ​​Ayrogoli allowed to continue the offensive unhindered in the resulting breakthrough.

The next frontier, which was required to overcome as quickly as possible, was the Western Dvina. Soviet troops were quickly discharged here, creating a new defensive line, so Manstein ordered the commander of the advancing along the highway 8 Panzer Division to make a throw and seize the bridges in Dvinsk (now Daugavpils).

The capture of bridges Manstein describes as follows.

“26 June morning 8-I tank division approached Dvinsk. At 8 in the morning, being in its headquarters, I received a report that both large bridges across the Dvina are in our hands. The battle went beyond the city, located on the other side. The big bridge, absolutely not damaged, fell into our hands. The posts, which were supposed to set fire to the igniter cord, were seized at the approaches to the bridge. The railway bridge was only easily damaged by a small explosion, but remained usable. ”

Here, Field Marshal is modest, without mentioning important details. The commander of the 8 division, General Erich Brandenberger, formed a battle group under the command of Major Wolf, which included an infantry, tank and sapper company, to attack. Driving a car along the Dvinskoye highway, the Wolf group had to cross the 70 km overnight and reach Dvinsk in the morning of June 26. The peculiarity of the operation was that the seizure of the bridges was to be carried out directly by a detachment from the Brannburg special purpose regiment of the 8 company assigned to the corps of Manstein.

At dawn (at 7.00 in Berlin), Brandenburg soldiers disguised in Soviet uniforms in four Soviet trucks arrived at the highway bridge across the Western Dvina. The border guard guarding the bridge missed the first truck without hindrance, but then something made them suspicious, so they tried to stop the second one. A firefight began, during which the group commander Ober-Lieutenant Knaak and five of his fighters died, and 20 people were injured. The guards did not have an order for such a situation, so they did not manage to blow up the bridge.

An hour later, Major Wolf got out to the captured bridge. The Germans slipped through the bridge and broke into Dvinsk, starting a battle with parts of the 201 airborne brigade stationed here before the war. At the same time, the 3-th company of the 59-th sapper battalion from the rear captured the second bridge - the railway bridge. This bridge guarding his guards tried to blow up, but only part of the charges worked, and the building survived. By Berlin's 12.50, Dvinsk was fully occupied by the enemy.

Thus, the success of the operation was achieved through the use of saboteurs, disguised as an enemy. Manstein couldn’t have been unaware of this - just as he could not have been unaware of the fact that his company was given a "Brandenburg" company. It should be noted that later for such things - the use of the enemy’s uniforms during sabotage operations - the German command shot down American paratroopers. But in this case, Manstein did not worry at all: in his memoirs, referring to this period of hostilities, the field marshal prefers to blame the Soviet side for violating the “laws and customs of war”.

Manstein also deafly describes the events of the next week, which the 56 Army Corps conducted on the bridgehead at Dvinsk, no longer moving forward. Field Marshal General explains it this way:

“We were poured into wine by ordering us to hold the crossings in the area of ​​the bridgehead at Dvinsk, which we had to expand. We had to wait for the approach of the 41 tank corps, which was supposed to cross at Jakobstadt, as well as parts of the left flank of the 16 army. ”

Actually, the 41 units of the motorized hull of 27 July reached the Dvina in the Jekabpils region, and they managed to capture the bridgehead on the northern shore of the 28, so that the tankers of Manstein did not need to wait for their neighbors. From June 26 they reflected desperate counterattacks of the Soviet troops trying to dislodge the Germans from Dvinsk and throw them to the left bank of the river.

The first attack was organized in the evening of June 26 by the combined group of Lieutenant-General Akimov - two brigades of the 5-th airborne corps and a consolidated regiment, assembled from the retreating units. The attack did not succeed, since the main forces of the 8 Panzer Division had already been deployed to Dvinsk; In addition, Akimov’s fighters had very weak artillery support - only 6 guns. The next day, the situation worsened because the 3 motorized infantry division managed to force Dvin to the east of the city.

But at the same time, an urgently deployed “battle group” of the 21 th mechanized corps of Major General DD approached Dvinsk. Lelyushenko. Formally, the group consisted of three divisions - 42-I and 46-I tank and 185-I motorized. However, Lelushenko himself in his combat report from 29 June described his troops as follows:
"Parts of the corps are in fact motorized groups formed at the expense of old-timers and part of young fighters."

A total of three divisions had about 10 thousands of people, 129 45- and 76-mm guns, 105 T-7 and 2 T-34 tanks, as well as a number of T-37 and T-38 [203] amphibious tanks. As part of the two airborne brigades and the combined regiment there were 5 – 7 thousands of people with virtually no artillery (field artillery was not assigned to the airborne units). On June 29, both groups (Lelyushenko and Akimova), as well as the 110 th artillery regiment of the RGK and the outgoing units of the 16 th rifle corps were deployed through Dvina under the control of the 27 th army headquarters, headed by General N.E. Berzarin - the future commandant of Berlin.

So, around Dvinsk, there were no more than 17 thousand people - against two (and a little later three) divisions of the 56 Army Corps, each of which had a staff of 16 thousand people. However, this is only the total number; According to the operational reports of the front headquarters, as of July 29, there were about 5000 people in the combat squad of the Akimov and Lelyushenko groups, and 30 people by the end of June 4296.

If we use the well-known technique of German memoirists and historians and do not distinguish between combat and general composition (especially since this is not specified in the operational documents of the front), we can say that German troops had a ten-twelve-fold superiority over the Soviet ones. In addition, east of Dvinsk against parts of the 42 Tank Division, the presence of the 121 Infantry Division of the 2 Army Corps was noted.

With such superiority and with his reputation as a genius commander, Manstein had to crush the opposing forces of the 27 army in a few hours. Along with this, heavy fighting for Dvinsk continued until July July 2. Soviet troops constantly went over to counterattacks - according to the memoirs of Lelyushenko, only in the 28 attack in June against the bridgehead of the 3 motorized division were captured 285 people (including 10 officers), only 400 corpses, 16X and weapons were left on the battlefield, along with weapons. mortar [xnumx]. Moreover, the commander of the 26 Tank Division sent a reconnaissance detachment of five amphibious T-204 tanks with a small parachute of motorized infantry through Dvina for reconnaissance. According to the detachment commander's report, up to a hundred cars were destroyed during the road raid, and according to Manstein, “the rear department of the corps headquarters was attacked from the rear near the command post of the corps.”

29 June only 21 - mechanized corps, according to our data, was destroyed and destroyed 42 enemy tank, 34 guns, 32 mortar, about 250 vehicles and up to a thousand enemy soldiers. Naturally, information about the losses of the enemy can be considered exaggerated - this is what both sides sinned. For example, according to the 56 Army Corps headquarters, only 28 in July destroyed and destroyed 78 Soviet tanks - while, according to our data, losses for both days were 4 tanks, 9 armored vehicles, 24 vehicles and 11 guns [205].

Manstein’s apparent failure near Dvinsk is primarily due to the quality of the Soviet forces that opposed him. The airborne brigades had practically no artillery, but were well trained and had a high fighting spirit. Mechanized troops were also the elite of the Red Army; In addition, the “stinging out” of the 21 th mechanized corps to 10 made it possible for thousands of people to concentrate in the battle group the most trained fighters. On the whole, the best forces of the Red Army opposed the 56 motorized corps. If all the troops of the Red Army in 1941 had a similar level of training, the result of the border battle would have been completely different ...

The front line on Dvina was broken by the Germans only after the commander of the North-Western Front, Colonel-General F.I. Kuznetsov, contrary to the order of the Stavka, 30 June ordered the troops to withdraw to the line of the old fortified areas, where the troops of the 2 strategic echelon - 1-th mechanized and 41-rifle corps were to arrive. At the same time, here, in the region of Pskov and the Islands, it was intended to transfer the 22 Latvian and 24 Estonian territorial corps not yet entered into battle.

Apparently, the front commander simply overestimated the enemy forces and his successes; This was partly due to poor communication, due to which information about the actions of the troops came very late. But most importantly, General Kuznetsov did not anticipate that the arrival in the Pskov region of the three fresh divisions of the 41 Infantry Corps, scheduled for July 1 – 2, would be delayed for several days ...

A few hours after being sent to the troops, the order to withdraw was canceled, and the Kuznetsov himself was removed from his post. However, due to poor and uneven communication, part of the divisions managed to begin withdrawal before the second order appeared, and some did not receive the first one. As a result, in the afternoon of July 2, units of the 41 of the motorized corps managed to escape from the bridgehead at Jekabpils and the next day reach the Pskov highway, ahead of the Soviet forces retreating from Dvina.

The 56 motorized corps launched an offensive on the 11 2 in July. But Manstein failed to break through the defenses of the Soviet troops - parts of the 27 Army slowly moved away from the line to the line, keeping the ulnar contact between them. And after all, the corps of Manstein was transferred from the reserve of the army group to a fresh motorized SS division "Dead Head", as well as the 121-I infantry division. However, both of these divisions immediately managed to "distinguish themselves." The SS divisions reconnaissance battalion, having broken through along the highway to Sebezh, was ambushed near the city of Dagda and was almost completely defeated by the 42 armored division. According to our reports, a total of 10 tanks, 15 armored personnel carriers, 18 guns and 200 vehicles remained on the battlefield; from the composition of the motorcycle avant-garde 126 was captured serviceable motorcycles and 34 prisoners of the SS, including two officers.

Manstein, bypassing this particular episode in silence, complains that the SS men, for all their courage and excellent equipment, did not have enough experience and suffered too high losses.

“The division [Dead Head] also always attacked with great courage and showed perseverance in defense. Later, more than once this division was part of my troops, and I believe that it was the best of all SS divisions that I had to have ... But all these qualities could not compensate for the lack of military training of commanders. The division had enormous losses, since it and its commanders had to learn in battle what the regiments of the land army had long ago learned. These losses, as well as the lack of experience, in turn led to the fact that she missed opportunities and inevitably had to lead new battles ... After ten days of fighting, the three regiments of the division had to be reduced to two. ”

German works also very deafly mention this episode. The story of the “Dead Head” division casually mentions that in the battle of Dagda, the 1 th motorized regiment of the SS lost about a hundred people, and Werner Gaupt - that during these battles the division lost two thirds of its composition and was reduced to one regiment. But for 1941, even the loss of a third of the combat strength for the Germans was extremely high, almost unbelievable. However, by the end of the year in the troops of Manstein they became the most common and were even perceived as small ...

July 4 got into trouble with the 121 Infantry Division. On this day, “Dead Head”, advancing along the highway from Kraslava to Sebezh, finally captured Dagda. Behind her ledge advanced 121-I infantry division. During one of the counterattacks, the men of the 42 th motorized rifle regiment broke through to the headquarters of the infantry division and defeated it, in the ensuing battle, the division commander, Major-General Otto Lancelle, was killed.

However, the main troubles still awaited the 56 th motorized body ahead. Unfortunately, the details of further battles Manstein again describes sparingly, paying more attention to bad roads, domestic details, heat, rain, cold brandy and stolen bird from the local population. “True, chickens and ducks were rare because, although we were always ahead, there were many other lovers on them.” It is characteristic that further Manstein quite seriously asserts that “in the German army - as opposed to the rest - robbery was not allowed” - obviously, completely forgetting what he wrote earlier.

On July 14, moving along the highway to Novgorod, the 8-I tank division occupied the city of Soltsy, and its forward detachment reached the Mshaga River near Shimsk. However, the next day:

“An enemy with a large force from the north struck the flank of the 8 Panzer Division which had emerged on the Mshaga River and simultaneously crossed the Shelon River from the south. Soltsy - in the hands of the enemy. Thus, the main forces of the 8 Tank Division, located between Soltsy and Mszagoy, were cut off from the rear of the division, which also included the corps headquarters. In addition, the enemy cut off both us and from the south with large forces cut our communications. At the same time, the 3-i Moto Division was moving further north in Mal. Uthorog attacked from the north and northeast by superior enemy forces. "

So, the Soviet troops inflicted not just a counterstrike - they attacked the corps of Manstein from three directions. The 237 Rifle Division, together with the “battle group” of the 21 Tank Division (42 Tank and 21 Howitzer Shelves), threw back the 3 th motorized division; The 70 Rifle Division, supported by the 5 Tank Regiment of the 3 Tank Division, attacked the left flank of the 8 Tank Division, crushed it and violated the elbow link with the 3 th motorized division.

At the same time, the 183-th Latvian Rifle Division struck from the south through Shelon to meet the 237-division, entering the communications of the 56-th army corps and being in close proximity to its command post. Here the rear convoy of the 8 tank division was defeated, and among other trophies was the headquarters machine of the 2 battalion of the 52 regiment of chemical mortars. In the car, among other documents, instructions were found on the use of chemical shells and mines, as well as additions to it, sent to the troops still 11 June 1941, and containing instructions on the technique and tactics of the use of toxic substances. The Germans did not intend to apply toxic substances on the Eastern Front without special need, but the captured documents were a real gift to the Soviet propaganda and on July 23 were published in the Pravda newspaper. “The high command demanded an explanation from us, as it turned out possible that a completely secret document fell into the hands of the enemy”, - writes Manstein.

At the same time, south of Shelon, the 180 and 182 divisions of the 22 Estonian corps launched an offensive against Porkhov to divert the forces of the 10 German army corps covering the southern flank of Manstein. It should also be noted that Manstein was mistaken in his description - the 8-I tank division was surrounded not east and west of Solts. On July 16, the report of the North-Western Front Command to the General Staff No. 012 reported: “The enemy was surrounded by forces of up to one TD and one MD and destroyed in the area of ​​Peski, Pirogovo, Volotsko, Baranovo, Zaborovye ...” However, the post-war domestic works rated success much more modest . Description of the operation, made by Army General A.I. Radzievsky, in his work “Army Operations” on the basis of operational documents, speaks of the German withdrawal to Soltsy along the highway through Skirino under the onslaught of the 252 Infantry Regiment of the 70 Division, which was opposed only by the enemy battalion. The testimonies of the participants in the battles, collected by Yu. Krinov [206], speak of heavy battles for the city since the morning of 15 — the morning of July 17 — about enemy tank counterattacks, but also do not mention with a word about the environment. In general, domestic historians describe it mainly from the words of Manstein. The commander of the 56 motorized corps would not have let it go - no one would have known about the “lost victory”. After all, even the numbers of Soviet divisions in some domestic editions are erroneously cited - according to a map from Manstein, which bears an absolutely fantastic character.

“The enemy did his best to keep the ring of the environment. For this purpose, he introduced into the battle, in addition to rifle divisions, two tank divisions, large forces of artillery and aircraft. Despite this, the 8 Panzer Division managed to break through the Soltsy to the west and re-join their forces. Yet for some time its supply was provided by air. 3-th motorized division managed to break away from the enemy, only beating off 17 attacks. In the meantime, we also succeeded in freeing our communications from the enemy, after the command of the group again transferred to the corps subordination the SS division “Dead Head”.

On the map in the “Lost Victories” against two divisions of the 56 th motorized corps are concentrated three Soviet corps: the 22 and 52 of the rifle, 1 of the mechanized. True, of the individual divisions on it are marked only 3-I and 21-I tank, 220-I motorized, 180-I. In fact, the two tank divisions had only two tank and artillery regiments in total, the 202 th (and not 220 th) motorized division had a large shortage of personnel, there was almost no transport and artillery, so during the operation it played a passive role taking up defensive positions along the southern shore of the Sheloni opposite the Soltsy. Only two fresh divisions were full-blooded - 70-I (15 300 people) and 237-I (about 12 000 people), but about half of them were newly recruited reservists who had no combat experience and minimal training. In the 183 th rifle division, there remained about 7000 man, two regiments of the 202 th motodivision had about 5000 man, tank regiments almost had no infantry.

The total number of Soviet troops that actively or passively took part in the operation was about 42 – 45 thousand people. The main forces of the 8 tank and 3 motorized divisions of the Wehrmacht acted against them, as well as some corps units (for example, a motorized engineer regiment). In general, the enemy forces in this area consisted of at least 30 thousand people.

The ratio of armored vehicles is more difficult to determine. On 22 June, the Wehrmacht 8 I tank division had 212 tanks, including 8 Pz. III and 30 Pz. Iv. According to Halder’s July 13 record (according to the Bule report), tank losses at that moment amounted to about 50% of available forces, although the damaged vehicles that were evacuated to the rear were taken into account. In any case, we can estimate the strength of the 212 Tank Division in the 100 – 120 serviceable vehicles, of which 20 – 25 are medium.

The 21 Panzer Division, which by then had survived the battle on the Pskov Highway, had no more than 110 T-26 tanks, some of which were defective or remained in the rear. The remnants of the 5 regiment of the 3 Tank Division on 15 July were 4 of the T-28, 2 KV and 16 BT tanks. Two wounded tanks BT-7 and one German Pz. 38 (t) among the stone town houses are clearly visible in a photograph taken in the liberated city and published by Soviet newspapers in the summer of 1941.

As we see, the opposing sides had about an equal number of tanks. The Soviet troops had an approximately one-and-a-half superiority in numbers, but they were significantly inferior to the enemy in maneuverability and in the training of personnel. However, this correlation of forces took place only at the very beginning of the offensive - on July 15, the division of the SS “Dead Head” [207], which had passed the re-formation, and forces of the parties were completely equalized, hastily entered into battle. Nevertheless, the Soviet offensive was stopped only on July 18, when the 70-I and 237-rifle divisions reached the Sitnya River in 15 km west of Soltsy. German troops received such a strong blow that the 8 Tank Division had to be removed from the battlefield for four days to replenish and re-form.

The German offensive was resumed only after the 1 Army Corps (11 and 21 Infantry Divisions) advancing to the Porkhov area, temporarily subordinated to the 4 Panzer Group, launched an offensive south of the Shelon River. 19 July The 3 th regiment of the 21 Infantry Division was taken to the Bottom junction station. To its right, the 11 Infantry Division discarded the battered units of the 22 Estonian Rifle Corps (180 and 182 divisions), went to Shelon above Soltsev and 21 in July, crossing the river, again occupied the city.

However, heavy fighting continued in the area until the second decade of August. So, on July 25, the 21 th motorized rifle regiment of the already familiar 21 tank division again went to the Shelon river south of Soltsy, taking the city and the roads here under fire. “The 1 Army Corps, on the defensive, had to cross over to the other side and retreat in some places,” Werner Haupt described this battle in the history of Army Group North. At the same time, the left flank of the 180 th rifle division also reached Sheloni near the village of Relbitsa in 10 km west of Soltsev and even managed to cross to the northern coast. Only 26 in July, the Germans were able to eliminate the new crisis, sending the 126 th infantry division of the 11 corps that came through the Bottom.

In addition, the Germans' attempt to cross the Mshaga in the Shimsk region failed - on the night of 1 on 2 August, at the confluence of the Mshaga and Shelon rivers, the bridgehead of the 24 th regiment of the 21 th infantry division was defeated. At the same time, 13 good-performing auto trailers, 3 motorcycles and 35 guns were captured - thirty-one 37-mm door knockers, two 50-mm anti-tank guns and two 150-mm howitzers, and besides them 110 rifles, 6 mortars and a large number of rifles, and a number of warmers, XNUMX rifles, XNUMX mortars and a large number of warmers. .

In his memoirs, Manstein usually avoids the question of the loss of his troops, but here he mentioned at least some numbers.

“On July 26, the Chief Quartermaster (Chief of Operations) OKH, General Paulus arrived to us. I explained to him the course of the battles for the past time and pointed out the great losses of the tank corps on the ground, which was not suitable for the actions of the tank troops, as well as the disadvantages associated with the dispersal of the forces of the tank group. The losses of three corps divisions have already reached 600 people. Both people and technicians carried the heaviest load; however, the 8 Tank Division was able to bring the number of tanks ready for battle from 80 to 150 units in a round account in a few days of rest. ”

So, since the beginning of the war, the 56 Army Corps was irretrievably lost at least 60 tanks. For the Germans, whose tanks were very expensive and valuable machines (the construction of Pz.HI or Pz.IV took 6 – 7 times more man-hours than the production of T-34), these were very high losses. We add that, according to Soviet data, in the battles for the Soltsy was captured before 400 vehicles.

However, the verification of the German documents [208] shows that Manstein was telling, reporting only irretrievable losses — not for the entire campaign, but for the ten days that have passed since the start of the battle for Soltsy. In fact, only 8-Tank Division only lost a week of fighting (from 14 to 20 July, before withdrawing from the front line) 689 people lost, of which 146 was irrevocably (including 8 officers). For the Germans in 1941, these were huge losses - they were out of action before 12 – 15% of the combat strength of the division. The same week, the 3 motorized division lost even more: 707 people, including irrevocably 181 people (including 9 officers). The total losses of the SS “Dead Head” division in six days (July 15 – 20) amounted to 445 people, including the irrevocable ones - 121 people (of which 6 officers).

In total, the total losses of three divisions in just one week of battles from 14 to 21 July were 1839 people, of which irrevocable people are 448 people (23 officer). Losses of corps units (including the 48-th separate demining battalion) for the same period, according to incomplete data, amounted to 139 people, of whom 24 were killed.

What can be concluded from the events described? During the first month of the war on the Eastern Front, Lieutenant-General Erich von Manstein did not show his outstanding talents as a commander; Moreover, he showed himself to be the worst of the German generals. The undoubted success - the seizure of Dvinsk - was primarily ensured by the multiple superiority in manpower and the actions of the 41-th motorized corps, which had attracted most of the Soviet group, as well as the operation of saboteurs from Brandenburg, disguised in Soviet military uniforms. However, Manstein could not “open” the bridgehead in Dvinsk: his troops were detained for a week by the noticeably inferior 27 group of the Soviet army and suffered significant losses. The first to break through the Soviet front behind the Dvina was again the 41 th motorized corps; he, ahead of 56, went to the Pskov highway, occupied the Island and Pskov, went to the Luga river and captured the bridgeheads on its right bank.

Meanwhile, the Manstein 56 th motorized hull was trailing behind, covering the northern flank of the 41 hull. The very first attempt to get ahead led to the entourage of the 8 tank division at Soltsy. An explanation of the reasons for this situation is given by Manstein himself: “The corps command continued to believe that the security of the corps should still be ensured by the speed of its maneuver. But such a tactic is effective only against a weak and demoralized opponent who is sensitive to detours and who is afraid to break the line of his front. The fact that the enemy has strong leadership and good coordination between the troops makes such a maneuver extremely dangerous.

However, Soltsy did not become a lesson. As we will see later, Manstein has repeatedly tried to achieve a spectacular victory, concentrating all his forces in one direction and exposing the secondary ones as much as possible. As a result, he became more "lost victory" more - and each time he preferred to explain his failure by the repeated superiority of the enemy.

Manstein never managed to take part in the attack on Leningrad. In August, his corps was distracted from the main line and redeployed south of Lake Ilmen to repel the onset of the 34 Army all the same Soltsy. And on September 12, he was unexpectedly appointed commander of the 11 Army of the South group instead of Colonel-General Eugen Ritter von Schobert, who died while landing on a minefield.

The new appointment was not just a promotion, but a clear springboard for a future career. 11-I army was right flank of Army Group South and the entire Soviet-German front, she had to act on an independent theater - against the Crimean peninsula, for which she was attached 3-I Romanian army. Thus, Manstein received under his command not one army, but two.

For the sake of justice, it should be added that Manstein's “competitor” in the 4 tank group, Lieutenant General Reinhardt, who had achieved far greater success during the attack on Leningrad, was also promoted after three weeks. He replaced General Goth as commander of the 3 tank group, from December 31 converted to the 3 tank army. However, unlike Manstein, on this the subsequent career of Reinhardt slowed down. Tank armies in the Wehrmacht became more and more, however, a new increase in Reingardt was received only in August 1944, taking the post of commander of the defeated Army Group "Center".

Although in the future E. Manstein had to occupy higher positions, it was the command of the 11 Army in Crimea that became the pinnacle of his military career. On the one hand, the isolated theater of military operations on the peninsula was perfectly suited for the demonstration of commanders' talents, on the other - the role of the commander of the troops in the Crimea was largely political in nature. The Crimea provided the influence of Germany on Turkey, Bulgaria and Romania, and indirectly on the situation in the Eastern Mediterranean.

On the other hand, Crimea unexpectedly turned out to be a very unreliable position, vulnerable both from the south (from Chongar and Perekop) and from the Kerch Strait. Moreover, the lack of natural defenses here (with the exception of Ak-Monai narrowness) made Crimea an ideal theater for mobile motorized troops, not allowing the retreating to organize a planned withdrawal of their troops in the event of an enemy breakthrough. In turn, Sevastopol was a trap for the army blocked in it, since evacuation from here inevitably led to huge losses. We can say that Manstein was lucky - he was the attacking side and shook the laurels of the winner. However, in 1944, the German 17 Army had a chance to drink the same bowl in the Crimea, which went to the share of Soviet troops in 1941 – 1942.

The history of the actions of the 11 Army in the Crimea was overgrown with many myths. Manstein himself had a hand in the creation of some of them, and in others - Soviet historiography, both Soviet and modern.

Ironically, here, Erich von Manstein again happened to meet with F.I. Kuznetsov - only now the former commander of the North-Western Front was demoted to the commander and led the 51 Army, whose management was formed on August 14. The basis of the army was the 9 th infantry corps stationed in the Crimea (practically without corps units) - the 156th, 106th infantry and cavalry divisions. In August, four Crimean divisions of the people's militia began to form here, retroactively designated as 321 (Yevpatoria), 184 (Yalta), 172 (Simferopol) and 320 (Theodosia). In addition, by September 1, the 276-i and 271-i rifle, 40-i and 42-i cavalry divisions, withdrawn from Northern Tavria, entered the army.

A common legend, actively supported by Soviet historians, says that the Germans managed to break into the Crimea because most of the troops of the 51 Army were sent to defend the coast from enemy landings. However, in reality the situation was different. All orders prescribing to strengthen the defense of the coast, refer to August - while the Germans reached the Perekop isthmus and Lake Sivash only on September 15. At this point, there were three of the most combat-ready divisions of the 9 Infantry Corps of General PP. Batova - 156, 106 and 276-I, who had 24 battalion and 222 guns. The weaker 271 infantry and all three cavalry divisions made up the reserve. On the coast defense there were only three divisions of the national militia, which had neither artillery, nor motor transport, nor even automatic weapons. In addition, in Simferopol ended the formation of the 172-I (3-I Crimean) division. Initially, it was planned as a motorized rifle, so the 5 tank regiment, assembled from vehicles that were under repair in the Crimea, was included in the division. Later, the regiment acted separately, and the division was considered the usual rifle.

Thus, by mid-September, the Crimean troops numbered 5 combat-ready infantry and 3 weak cavalry divisions. These forces, as we see, were placed quite rationally: the majority were in the north, the moving units were in reserve in the region of Simferopol and Dzhankoy. Therefore, the fantastic statement of General Batov that “about 30 thousands of bayonets remained on the defense of the Crimea against invasion from the mainland (of which 7 thousands on Perekop) remained untrue; about 40 thousands - on the defense of the coast of Ido 25 thousands inside the Crimea ”[209]. In the three divisions of the national militia, there were hardly 40 thousands of bayonets, or even just as many soldiers. The main problem of the 51 Army was the lack of artillery of the corps and its extreme lack of divisions, as well as the lack of small arms in the forming units.

According to Manstein, only the 54 Army Corps of General Ganzen — the 46 and 73 Infantry Divisions — were initially allocated to the attack on the Crimea, the rest of the 11 Army was deployed against the 9 Army of the Southern Front in Melitopol. In fact, 4 divisions were sent against the Crimea - positions on the Sivash coast were occupied by the 22 Infantry Division of the 30 Army Corps, and the 50 Infantry Division deployed from Odessa was concentrated as a reserve in the rear of the attack force.

“It goes without saying that the 54 Army Corps had to be given all the artillery forces of the GDG, engineering troops and anti-aircraft artillery to attack the isthmuses.”

Below, Manstein admits that the 54 Corps had "the strongest support of artillery." In addition, the 190 division of assault guns - 18 SAU StuG.HI. acted as part of the shock group. Therefore, the commander of the 11 Army is trying to “balance the forces” by referring to the superiority of Soviet aviation.

“The rule ... in the air belonged to Soviet aviation. Soviet bombers and fighters continuously attacked any detected target.

Not only the front-line infantry and batteries had to be dug in, it was necessary to tear off the trenches and for each wagon and horse in the rear zone in order to shelter them from enemy aircraft. The matter reached the point that anti-aircraft batteries did not dare to open fire, so as not to be immediately put down by air raids. ”

However, in fact, the troops attacking the Perekop Isthmus were supported by the 4th air corps as part of the 77th fighter squadron (60–65 Me-109 aircraft), the 77th assault squadron (75 Ju-87 aircraft) and the 51st a bomber squadron (125 twin-engine He-111), as well as two dozen scouts. At the same time, aviation of the 51st Army consisted of two fighter aviation regiments (82nd and 247th) and the 21st bomber aviation regiment - about 40 MiG-3 and LaGG-3 fighters and 20 DB-3 bombers. The so-called Freidorf Air Force group interacted with her fleet - 48 fighters I-15bis, I-153, I-16 and Yak-1, as well as 2 SB, 4 Il-2 and 3 reconnaissance R-5 and R-10. Thus, directly in the north of Crimea, German aviation exceeded our forces twice.

True, in total in the Crimea there were about 400 Soviet aircraft - but almost a third of them were old naval reconnaissance aircraft MBR-2, whose combat value was purely nominal. The main part of the naval aviation, minus the Freidorf group, until the beginning of October was engaged in the bombing of the Romanian ports and oil fields. In turn, the 4 aircraft of the air corps were constantly distracted by operations against Odessa and the troops of the Southern Front on the Molochnaya River. In addition, Soviet aircraft were mostly of obsolete types, most of the bombers could operate only at night - with dubious accuracy of bombing.

In general, German aircraft operated actively, but not too unsuccessfully - the Luftwaffe aces were hunting Soviet planes and gaining combat accounts, while Soviet aircraft attacked enemy positions, airfields and motorized columns, while successfully covering their own airfields. In the third decade of September, Soviet aircraft in the north of Crimea made 2127 sorties, German aircraft - about the same. The result can be estimated by the above quoted Manstein.

In the end, the situation concerned the German High Command. “Clear the skies over the Crimea” was ordered to the aviation inspector general Werner Melders, the former commander of the 51 fighter squadron and one of the best aces “Luftwaffe”, who was sent here in early October. According to Manstein, “only when Melders with his extermination squadron was subordinated to the army, did he manage to clear the sky, at least during the daytime”. But this is not true - Melders arrived in the 11 Army without his squadron, with only one staff detachment. The real reason for the increase in the efficiency of German aviation was not its enhancement, but the improvement of command and control with ground forces — something that Manstein could not organize.

On land, the 54 Army Corps was opposed by three Soviet divisions, of which only one was in the Perekop positions — which, according to Batov, had 7000 bayonets. In any case, formally having two divisions against one, in fact, the enemy, taking into account the assigned units and artillery, had a fourfold superiority by the beginning of the offensive.

The attack of the 11 Army on the Crimea began on September 24. With the help of two infantry divisions, the Germans broke through the Soviet defense, overcame the Turkish rampart and occupied Armyansk. By this time, F.I. Kuznetsov transferred his reserves to the Isthmus — the 172 and 271 rifle and 42 cavalry divisions, but Manstein also brought the 50 infantry division into battle (a third of which, he claims, was under Odessa). In addition, in the area of ​​Armyansk were taken prisoners from the 22-th Infantry Division - apparently, some of its part also participated in the attack. The Kuznetsov did not dare to remove the 276 rifle division from the Sivash, but the left flank of the 106 division took part in repelling the German offensive.

Given the one and a half times greater number of German units, the balance of forces was almost equal, but the enemy had a more powerful artillery grouping. Therefore, the 51-th counterstrike did not succeed, although the Soviet troops managed to recapture Armyansk for some time, and partly even crossed the Turkish Wall again. On September 28, the Soviet command redeployed troops to the Ishun positions that passed along the lakes line in the southern part of the isthmus.

Manstein writes about these battles as follows:

“The corps broke through the enemy’s defense to its full depth, took the strongly fortified settlement of Armyansk and went out into the operational area. The defeated enemy retreated to the Ishunsky isthmus with heavy losses. We captured 10 000 prisoners, 112 tanks and 135 guns. ”

Note that "broke through the entire depth" means breaking through all defensive positions, and not at all retreating the enemy to the next frontier, in 20 kilometers from the first one. However, a much more interesting statement about the number of captured tanks. The 51 Army was the only tank division - the 5 Tank Regiment of the 172 Motorized Division formed here. There were a total of X-NUMX floating tanks T-56 and

10 machines T-34, and of the last in the September battles, only one tank was lost. Obviously, the Germans declared “tanks” a number of Komsomolets tractors that they had discovered — light tracked vehicles with armor and machine guns in front and wooden benches for calculating the 45-mm anti-tank gun. In any case, an interesting method of counting trophies makes us suspicious of the rest of the figures given by Manstein.

Manstein writes about "hard fighting" and "expensive price", which was given a victory, but does not focus on the loss of his troops. Meanwhile, according to the testimony of the German engineer:

“September 25 1941, after we were able to advance 600 – 700 meters, almost all the officers were knocked out in the infantry, and the noncommissioned officers commanded the companies. In the evening of the same day a scooter battalion was advanced. This happened at a time when the fire was opened by the heavy artillery of the Russians ... the scooter battalion was destroyed. For 26 September, we again moved to 700 — 1000 meters. ”

Note that the same thing continued in the future - Manstein threw all available forces into a decisive attack, mercilessly exposed the rear and secondary directions and achieved success at the cost of huge (not only by German standards) losses - which, of course, he did not mention in his memoirs ...

The next attack of the Soviet positions began only three weeks later - October 18. By this time, the German grouping was strengthened and now consisted of two army corps - 54-th (46, 73 and 50-I infantry divisions) and 30-th (22, 72 and 170-I infantry divisions). In addition, the 11 Army subordinated to the 3-I Romanian Army, Lieutenant-General Petre Dumitrescu, who had a mountain corps (1, 2 and 4-I mountain brigades) and a cavalry corps (5, 6 and 8). . In the mountain brigade there were about 10 thousand people, and in the cavalry 4 – 5 thousand. By August 1941, the number of army was about 55 thousand people - taking into account the losses suffered during the previous two months (6919 killed and 12 942 injured), but excluding the received reinforcements, about which there is no information. According to Manstein:

“The 3-I Romanian army, which again came under the command of Marshal Antonescu, now had only to carry the protection of the Black Sea and Azov coasts. However, appealing directly to the marshal, I agreed to him that the headquarters of the Romanian mountain corps with one mountain and one cavalry brigade would follow us to the Crimea to protect its eastern coast. ”

In fact, in early October, the mountain corps held its main positions on the Sivash, while units of the cavalry corps concentrated in the second echelon of the 11 Army.

Manstein assesses the balance of power as follows:

“Numerical superiority was on the side of the defending Russians, and not on the side of the advancing Germans. The six divisions of the 11 army very soon confronted the 8 of the Soviet rifle and 4 cavalry divisions, since on October 16 the Russians evacuated the fortress defended by the Romanian army 4 of the Romanian army Odessa and transferred the sea defensive army beside the Crimea to Crimea.

As always, Manstein seeks to exaggerate the forces of the enemy at any cost. Indeed, Odessa was already evacuated on October 16, and the dispatch of the Maritime Army troops to the Crimea began much earlier. In total, from Odessa were evacuated (along with the army rears) 67 LLC man, 576 guns, 34 tank and armored vehicles. However, before the start of the German attack on the isthmus, only the 157-Infantry Division, consisting of two infantry, artillery and howitzer regiments, had arrived. She was transported to Sevastopol from 1 through October 10 and already on October 8 was transferred to the operational subordination of P.N. 9's infantry corps. Batova. On October 9, its units took up defenses in the area of ​​Voinka to the Chatarlyk River.

October 17, commander of the Primorsk army, Major General I.Ye. Petrov received an order to immediately send after her to the front 95 th, 25 th rifle divisions and 2 th cavalry division. However, the transfer of troops was delayed due to a shortage of locomotives, wagons and vehicles (only Odessa 1158 vehicles, 268 tractors and 3625 horses were evacuated as part of the army - as much as was relied on by a German infantry division). Alas, right now the outcome of the battle was decided not even by days, but literally hours.

On 18 in October, six German divisions on the isthmus were opposed by 106, 156, 157, 172 and 271-I infantry, as well as 42-I and 48-I cavalry divisions. The 276 Division was at Sivash, two rifle divisions and one cavalry division were just moving forward. Manstein again clearly demonstrates his method of counting forces: the enemy takes into account all the troops, and in his own way - only the strike force, ignoring reserves and secondary directions. In this case, he “forgot” the two Romanian brigades intended for action in the breakthrough, as well as the mountain corps at Sivash.

In fact, the Germans had six divisions against five in the offensive zone. In previous battles, both sides suffered serious losses; if the Soviet troops had more of them (as stated Manstein), then German superiority can be assessed as double. But in any case, the situation for Manstein was very difficult. Since in the very next few days, the troops of Batov on the isthmus were to receive serious reinforcement from the units of the Maritime Army, the attack should have taken place as soon as possible, regardless of any loss!

“The offensive was supposed to be conducted only frontally, as if through three narrow channels, into which the isthmus was divided by lakes located here.

The width of these bands allowed, at first, the introduction of only three divisions (73, 46 and 22 infantry divisions) of the 54 army corps, while the 30 army corps could fight only when it was occupied some space to the south isthmuses.

In fact, when attacking with large forces on a narrow front, Manstein used a slightly different approach: three of the six divisions attacked the Soviet positions, the other three moved in the second echelon, supporting the advancing ones with their artillery. After a day or two, the composition of the attackers changed - the first three divisions were withdrawn to the second echelon, and three fresh ones were thrown into battle. Later, in 1945, the same tactics of constantly replacing the attacking divisions with rested second-echelon divisions will be used by the Soviet troops in the Berlin operation ...

On the very first day, the Germans captured Krasnoperekopsk and approached Ishun, but could not go any further. At the same time, powerful bombing attacks were carried out on advanced Soviet positions and on the Dzhankoy railway junction in the rear. October 19 170-I Infantry Division, reinforced with StuG assault guns. III and “propped up” behind the 46 division, broke through to the mouth of the river Chatyrlak of the Karkinitsky bay, bypassing Yishun from the west. The 106, 157 and 271 division infantry divisions were threatened with encirclement. However, the enemy's 172 motorized and 48 cavalry division counterattacks, with the support of the 5 armored regiment, were pushed back.

After this, the German advance slowed down. Having superiority in artillery and strong aviation support, they were forced to literally gnaw through the defenses of the Soviet troops, moving one or two kilometers a day. By October 22, Manstein succeeded in occupying Ishun, leaving the entire right flank of the army to the Chatyrlak River, but attempts to cross the swampy channel were again repulsed by Soviet counterattacks.

Meanwhile, the October 22 directive by the Headquarters commander in the Crimea instead of V.I. Kuznetsova was appointed Vice-Admiral G.I. Levchenko - that is, the management of operations was transferred to the fleet. On the one hand, it was a reasonable measure, on the other hand, the command and control of the troops was disturbed for some time due to the change of headquarters. Perhaps, in the circumstances, it was really worth transferring the command of PI. Batov, the commander of the 9 Infantry Corps and Deputy Kuznetsov.

Meanwhile, the 22-October Cavalry Division of the Maritime Army entered the Isthmus of October on the Isthmus, the 2-Rifle Division entered the battle on October 23, and the next day the 95-Division. By October 25 on Ishunskie positions finally reached their rear parts. It seemed that the situation could be reversed. However, the fresh divisions' counterattack, launched on October 25, was not successful due to poor artillery support. One of the reasons for the failure of General Batov and subsequent historians consider the refusal of the command of the 24 Army to remove the 51 Infantry Division from the Sivash positions - forgetting that the quantitatively superior forces of the Romanian mining corps were against it and it was impossible to bare this section completely. By the way, it was through Chongar that Soviet troops broke into the Crimea again in the fall of 276 g ... The critical moment of the battle came. German troops were stopped in front of the Warrior, they suffered serious losses and were already exhausted - but they actually overcame the isthmus to its full depth. The defense of the 1943 Infantry Corps dangerously arched southward, threatening to burst at any moment. However, as Manstein writes:

“October 25 seemed that the offensive gust of troops had completely dried up. The commander of one of the best divisions had already twice reported that the strength of his regiments was running out. It was an hour that, perhaps, always happens in such battles, an hour when the fate of the whole operation is decided. ”

But at this very moment, Manstein received reinforcements - a fresh 11 army corps was transferred to the 42 Army (132 and 24 Infantry Divisions). But the German army corps was not just the sum of two divisions - it consisted of a strong artillery group and numerous corps units. In a word, a heavy weight was thrown on the scales from the German side.

To set off his success on the isthmuses, Manstein writes that the 42 Corps arrived in the structure of his army already during the “battles for the peninsula” - without, however, specifying a specific date. In fact, the corps offensive began on October 26. The main blow was struck across the Chatyrlak River, where neither 19-th, nor the following days could be broken through. This time the appearance of fresh German divisions played a decisive role - on October 27 the front of Chatyrlak was broken.

On October 28, the Military Council of the Crimean Forces ordered the units of the 51 and Primorsky armies to retreat to the south, to the intermediate lines in the depth of the peninsula along the Soviet, Novotsaritsyno, and Saki lines. However, this order could not be carried out: the retreat began, and the connection between the units and the command was already broken. At the same time, German troops, escaping into the flat expanses of the Crimea, found themselves in their element of maneuver warfare.

Officially, there were no mobile units in the 11 th army, but 29 July 1941 was still part of the 3 Romanian army, which created the Radu Korne motorized compound - two motorized cavalry regiments, two motorized artillery divisions and a number of smaller mobile units. Complementing it with mobile reconnaissance, sapper, and artillery units assembled from different divisions and placing it under German command, Manstein created a Ziegler motorized brigade — a compound that roughly corresponds to the 2 / 3 of the German motorized division. The assault guns of the 190 Division, as well as light Romanian tanks R-1 and R-2, which were in its composition, later served as the basis for the legend of "one hundred German tanks" advancing on Sevastopol.

It was the Ziegler Brigade, which was moving in the vanguard of the 54 Army Corps, to quickly reach Sevastopol and break into the fortress before the retreating Soviet divisions arrived. Having overtaken the retreating troops, the enemy had already taken 30 of October, Simferopol, the most important junction of railways and highways, 31, Alma, and 1 of November, Effendiko and Kacha, coming from the north to the outer line of the defense of Sevastopol.

Soviet troops retreated in two divergent directions. The 51 Army in the 106, 156, 157, 276 Divisions, pursued by the 42 Army Corps, retreated to the Kerch Peninsula. The neck of the peninsula in the region of Feodosia was supposed to be covered by the 320-I (4-I Crimean) rifle division formed here. From the beginning of September, she managed to dig up an anti-tank ditch between the Azov and Black Seas, build a number of dots and bunkers, but was completely unprepared for combat missions. In the same way, the 321-I (1-I Crimean) division in Yevpatoria turned out to be non-capable, whose tracks are lost altogether.

The 42 Army Corps, which now included 73, 46, and 170 Infantry Divisions, with no motorized formations, advanced slower than 54 and moved to Feodosia only on November 3. The demoralized units of the 51 Army could not hold the Ak-Monai Isthmus. On November 6, its positions east of Theodosia were broken, and already on 9, German troops reached Kerch and Kamysh-Burun. After the weekly defense of November 16, Kerch was abandoned.

On the night of October 31 in the village of Sarabuz, the Military Council of the Maritime Army decided to make its way to Sevastopol - despite the fact that the enemy had already cut the road through Simferopol and Bakhchisarai. It was decided to withdraw the remnants of 157, 95, 25, 172 rifle, 40, 42, 48 th cavalry divisions to Sevastopol through the mountains to Alushta and further through Yalta along the Primorsky highway. The 184-I (2-I Crimean) Infantry Division, which had been formed in Yalta, should cover the waste and block the passes.

The presence of this division on the southern coast of the Crimea proved to be a great success. It was formed on the basis of the border troops of the Crimea and therefore was considered a division of the NKVD. By the end of October, the 184 Division still did not have any artillery or vehicles, but the personnel fighters and division commanders knew the terrain well and were able to complete their task until the end - to detain the 30 Army Corps and to ensure the withdrawal of the Maritime Army to Sevastopol.

Parts of the Primorye Army with a total number of 19 thousand people came out to Sevastopol along the Primorskoye Highway from 3 to 9 in November. The remnants of the 184 Infantry Division broke through into the city from 19 to 24 in November - only 959 people left the division.

Of course, the seizure of the Crimea was a major victory for the German troops, although it demanded two months of fierce fighting and serious losses. Manstein proudly informs the reader:

“The six divisions of the 11 Army destroyed most of the two enemy armies, consisting of 12 rifle divisions and 4 cavalry divisions. The enemy, who by the beginning of our offensive was about 200 LLC a man in combat units, lost during this retreat above 100 LLC a man captured and at least 25 LLC dead, as well as 700 guns and 160 tanks. ”

The second sentence in this quotation was one of the few places omitted in the Soviet translation of 1957. But was it worth it? In the German army, the 200 thousands of militants (“Kampfshtarka”) combined army armies correspond approximately to the 500 thousands of total troops. In fact, by October 18, the Soviet troops in the Crimea (Maritime and 1941 separate armies, as well as part of the Black Sea Fleet forces) numbered 51 235 people — including the fleet’s rear structures, as well as four emerging divisions, two of which were still completely non-capable.

The total losses of the Soviet troops in Crimea in October-November 1941 are extremely difficult to estimate. The reference book “Russia and the USSR in the XX Century Wars” calls 63 860 people (of which 48 438 were killed and missing) - however, this did not include the losses of the Separate Primorye Army recorded after October 30 and included in the total losses in the defense of Sevastopol.

It is known that 67 thousands of fighters were transported from Odessa to Sevastopol, and by the middle of November the troops of the Primorye Army in Sevastopol numbered only 30 thousand people (including about 5 thousands in the rear units) [211]. Thus, the estimated loss of the two armies from mid-October to mid-November is 100 thousand people, of which about 20 thousand are wounded, and 80 thousand are killed and captured.

Manstein describes participation in the battles for the Crimea of ​​all three of his corps - and in them, as we remember, there were not six, but eight divisions. The number of his troops Field Marshal General does not disclose anywhere else, German historians also for some reason do not like to communicate this information, so we have to resort to the calculation method. The German army corps usually numbered 50 – 60 thousands of people, in which case, along with the army structures of the 11, the army was supposed to have 170 – 200 thousands of people. The staffing of the eight Wehrmacht infantry divisions is about 130 thousand; even taking into account divisions, no less than 100 thousand should remain, and with corps and army units (rear, artillery, communications, reconnaissance and sapper units) - the same 170 – 180 thousand people. To this figure it is necessary to add 50 thousands of people in the 3 of the Romanian army assigned to Manstein and the forces of the 4 air corps, whose ground units provided air operations, and the anti-aircraft units Manstein put the artillery into battle.

So, the 11 Army, although not by much, outnumbered the Soviet troops in the Crimea, which in addition were significantly inferior to it in terms of training, equipment and vehicles and artillery. The losses of the German troops were also very large - for example, Jurgen Meister, author of “War in Eastern European Waters” [212], reports that the 46 Infantry Division remained in the fighting personnel of individual companies for the 8 men!

Of course, for the German army, the seizure of the Crimea was a serious victory - but compared to other victories of 1941, there was nothing outstanding in it.

In addition, the victory was incomplete - Sevastopol was never captured. Having organized the defense of the city, the Soviet command transferred new units here and stopped the offensive of the 54 and 30 of the army corps. The held positions did not allow the Germans to fire at the city and the bay directly, that is, the defenders could freely use the city’s harbor and airfield at the far end of the Chersonese peninsula.

The 11 Army was faced with the task, perhaps more difficult than a breakthrough to the Crimea through Perekop and Ishun positions, to seize a fortress protected by strong stationary artillery and defended by forces that were significantly inferior in number but had a rich combat experience. This could be done only in one way - by head-on assault with the inevitable huge losses.

Manstein understood that the earlier he launched the assault, the less power he would have to transfer the Soviet command to Sevastopol and the more chances he would have to take the city quickly and with minimal losses. Therefore, the commander of the 11 Army, faithful to his principle of putting everything on one card, decides to use all his troops for the assault. In addition to the five divisions of the two corps, the 1-I Romanian mountain brigade - as part of the 30-second army corps and the motorized unit "Radu-Korne" - as part of the 54-second army corps were abandoned near Sevastopol. In the Yayly Mountains, south of Simferopol, there was the 4-I Romanian mountain brigade, which had the task of fighting partisans.

A little later, the 170-I infantry division was deployed from Kerch to Sevastopol; another division (73) was ordered by the command of Army Group South to the 1 Tank Army near Rostov. As a result, the commander of the 42 Army Corps, Lieutenant General Count von Sponeck, on the Kerch Peninsula, has only the 46-I Infantry Division and the 8-I Romanian Cavalry Brigade. However, by December this brigade was also withdrawn from the peninsula and aimed at protecting the southern coast of Crimea. In fact, the Kerch Peninsula was bare to the limit.

Payment for negligence followed very soon. When on December 26, Soviet troops landed on the northern coast of the Kerch Peninsula and in the Kerch Strait, Lieutenant General von Sponeck had only one division and a number of corps to repel the assault forces. However, for the first two days of operation on the peninsula, only about 5300 people were landed - 3100 in three places north of Kerch and 2200 south of it, near the village of Kamysh-Burun. However, the simultaneous landing in several places and numerous false reports from coastal observation posts disoriented the command of the 42 Army Corps. So, Jürgen Meister, mentioned above, counted 25 (!) Landings in ten different places. Manstein wrote:

“On December 26, the enemy, having sent two divisions across the Kerch Strait, landed troops on both sides of the city of Kerch. Then the landing of smaller landings on the northern coast of the peninsula followed. ”

Immediately after receiving the news of the landing on the Kerch Peninsula, all the mobile reserves of the 11 Army were sent. First of all, they were Romanians: the 8-I cavalry brigade and the 3-th motor-cavalry regiment, and a couple of days later - the 4-I mountain brigade and the Root motorized compound. In addition, the 213 Infantry Regiment of the 73 Infantry Division, which was delayed in the area of ​​Genichesk, was hastily redirected to the region of Feodosia.

The total number of troops sent to the Kerch Peninsula was at least 20 thousand people. These forces would be quite enough to eliminate the Soviet landings - from 26 to 29 in December, only 16 thousand people were landed in the Kerch area, of whom about two thousand died during the landing or in subsequent violent battles. However, in the morning of December 29, when the 8-th cavalry brigade and the Kornet formation were already approaching Kerch, and the 4-I mountain brigade was in 20 – 22 km from Feodosia, the news came about the landing of large Soviet forces in this port.

A stupid position was created: parts of the 4 mountain brigade had not yet reached Feodosia, and parts of the 8 th cavalry brigade and the Korne formation had already slipped through the city and had to turn around on the march. None of them could have appeared in Theodosia before the evening of December 29 and resisted the landing. Meanwhile, the seizure of Theodosius threatened the exit of the Soviet troops to the Sea of ​​Azov and the environment of the 42 Army Corps with all attached units.

In this situation, Count von Sponeck made the only right decision. Around 10 in the morning of December 29, he told the army headquarters by radio that he had ordered to withdraw the troops of the 42 Army Corps from the Kerch Peninsula - and immediately turned off the radio station in order not to receive more orders.

In some German books one can come across assertions that two Soviet armies were landed on the Kerch Peninsula. In fact, in the Kerch area, from 26 to 31 December, about 19 thousands of people from the 51 Army of the Transcaucasian Front were landed. In Feodosia with

29 to 31 December The Black Sea Fleet deployed 23 000 men from the same front 44 army in three echelon of the landing force. Given the losses incurred by January 1, no more than 40 thousands of people were concentrated here. By this time, the enemy in view of the transferred reserves had about the same here. Up until the evening of December 30, the 11 Army had a general superiority of forces under Theodosia — however, not the Germans were here, but the Romanians, who had much lower combat capability. And most importantly - due to the initially unsuccessful location of the troops, the enemy had to mainly march, and not attack or defend.

The 8 Cavalry Brigade and the Korné formation, weary of a four-day continuous march, reached the Feodosiya area only on the morning of December 31. The 213 Infantry Regiment and a company of assault guns approached this time. As a result, the Romanians managed to delay the advance of the Soviet troops to the south and south-west, allowing the units of the 46 Infantry Division to slip through the bottleneck between the station occupied by Soviet troops Vladislavovka and the Sea of ​​Azov. By the morning of January 2, all German-Romanian troops turned east of the Soviet bridgehead, blocking the 44 Army in the depths of the peninsula. The Kerch-Feodosiya operation was completed.

True to himself, Manstein once again reproaches the Russians:

“From the operational maps we captured, it was clear that the 44 Army that had landed at Theodosia had only one goal - to reach 4 in January in the region west and north-west of the town of Old Crimea with six divisions at that time to take defense. on the reached turn. Apparently, even with a triple superiority in forces, the enemy did not dare to undertake a bold deep operation, which could lead to the defeat of the 11 Army. ”

In fact, only three divisions were deployed from the 44 Army - the 157 and 236 and rifle 9. As we have seen above, they did not have not only a triple superiority over the enemy, but also no superiority whatsoever. There is a suspicion that the “captured operational maps” with six divisions became the fruit of a rich memoir of the memoirist - like many other details he described.

Regardless of where the main attack of the 44 Army was directed according to the plan, it had no chance to move west and north-west due to lack of strength. Moreover, already on January 1, the Romanians of the 3 th cavalry regiment and the Kornet forces attacked the 633 th 157 th rifle division from the village of Karagosa north-west of Koktebel. January 2 front line finally stabilized.

Manstein did not forgive Shponek his act, putting the commander of the 11 army in a silly position. On the other hand, it was urgently required to find those responsible for the crash that had happened. Therefore, Erich von Manstein, who, ironically, it was 1 in January of 1942, who received the rank of colonel-general, also made the only correct decision from the point of view of an unprincipled careerist. He brought Sponeck, who saved his division from certain death, on trial for non-compliance with the order. Already 23 January 1942 g. Count von Sponeck was sentenced to death. Subsequently, he will be replaced with a penalty with six years of imprisonment, but after two years he will still be shot. It cannot be said that Shponek did not deserve such a finale, but not for that.

Well, Manstein later will condemn General Paulus for the fact that he, also being his subordinate, will not violate the order.

"I am a gentleman"

From this moment and for the next four months, the Kerch Peninsula became the main headache of the commander of the 11 army. It cannot be said that the war on two fronts made the position of the army too critical - Manstein could quickly maneuver forces between his theaters, but the Soviet command did not have such an opportunity. On the other hand, the bridgehead on the Kerch Peninsula looked very stable and was deep enough to concentrate any forces on it without hindrance.

True, in mid-January, military happiness smiled again at Manstein. Because of the freeze-up, the Kerch port was closed, and the supply of Soviet troops had to be led through Feodosiya, which was located directly near the front line. Taking advantage of the fact that the port had absolutely no air cover (the Transcaucasian Front aviation remained on the Taman Peninsula), the bombers of the 77 th Fighter Squadron remaining in the Crimea literally bombarded it with bombs. From 1 to 16 in January, the 6 transports died in Feodosia and another one in Kerch. The build-up of forces at the front was seriously slowed down, and their supply was disrupted. Taking advantage of the situation, Manstein additionally transferred 132 and 170 infantry divisions to Theodosia and, having again achieved an advantage in strength, January 15 delivered a strike. On January 18, Soviet troops were driven out of Feodosia and moved to the narrow Isthmus of Ak-Monai, taking up defensive positions along an anti-tank ditch dug here in September.

This was followed by six weeks of lull, during which there was a constant strengthening of the newly formed Crimean Front. Unfortunately, replenishments for the front came mainly from the republics of the North Caucasus and were distinguished by extremely low combat qualities. The front commander, Lieutenant General D.Т. Kozlov, and his constant conflicts with a member of the Military Council of the front L.3. Mehlis only aggravated the situation. Mehlis even demanded that Kozlov be replaced by Rokossovsky, to which I.V. Stalin later remarked:
"We do not have the Hindenburg."

Already at the end of January, Manstein bombarded the new commander of Army Group South, Fedor von Bock, with demands for reinforcements, informing him of the constant Russian attacks near Kerch. In fact, the Soviet offensive began only on February 27. By this time, the troops of the Crimean front already consisted of three armies - 44, 47 and 51. The armies had 14 rifle and one cavalry divisions and three rifle brigades; on Taman as a reserve there were two more divisions. In total, the front troops had 199 tanks.

Despite the noticeable numerical superiority, the results of the strike were modest - the Soviet troops could only advance 10 – 12 km in the northern sector of the front, between the villages of Korpeč and Dzhantor, where Romanian units defended. However, it didn’t look so bad for an offensive on a narrow front with a huge density of troops on both sides - especially since even a counterattack by two regiments did not help the Germans to restore the situation. The 1-I Romanian division was defeated, two German artillery and one anti-tank [213] divisions were destroyed.

Soviet troops captured several dozen guns - including the Luftwaffe 88-mm anti-aircraft guns on the photos. During the attack, the 93 tank was lost - however, most of them were shot down. Since the battlefield was left for us, the wrecked cars were quickly put into operation, and on March 13, the front had a 172 tank.

However, the enemy continued to hold the main goal of the offensive - the Coy-Assan fortified point, located right in the center of the Ak-Monai position. This item became the main target of the next offensive, which began on March 13. Alas, this time the troops of the Crimean Front failed to achieve almost no progress. Von Boc wrote in his diary:
"In the Crimea, the enemy, having launched an offensive on the eastern front with 100 tanks, managed to achieve insignificant success only on the outer northern flank"
[214]. But the losses in the tanks were huge - 157 machines. True, of them no more than 30 – 40 machines were irretrievable, the rest were sent back for repair.

Meanwhile, Manstein finally received reinforcements - a fresh 28 light infantry and 22 tank division formed in the fall of 1941. The defense of the German forces was clearly starting to crack - otherwise what to explain by the fact that the commander of the 11 army immediately decided to throw the tank division into battle. Moreover, the Führer himself was informed about the offensive planned for 20 in March by the command of the group "South"!

Total division had 142 tank, including 20 medium Pz.IV 20 in May around 70 tanks with the support of a motorized infantry regiment three times attacked the Soviet position from the area west of Coy Assan to the south, in the general direction to Korpech. For a short time the Germans managed to break into Korpech, but soon they were driven out of here. By the evening, the attacks stopped, this time the enemy came to count their damage.

“After the modest successes of the initial stage, the operation is not possible due to the apparent superiority of the enemy forces!” Writes von Bock in his March 20 diary. The next day he adds:

“Immediately after receiving the first report on the current situation from the 11 Army [Manstein], I call the Führer and report to him: the Crimean offensive failed, first, due to sharply and unexpectedly worsened meteorological conditions, and even did not allow us to use the forces of the Luftwaffe ... Having interrupted me, the Führer states that if it was ordered to stop the offensive that had already begun [which was not in reality], then it should have been suspended in advance.

... The second reason for our failure is to be found in the fact that we had to deal with significant enemy forces concentrated on the initial lines. And this fact is also confirmed by the fact that the enemy, immediately after repelling our strike, himself launched an offensive with large forces and with the support of heavy tanks.

The army sees the last reason for the failure in insufficient combat training of personnel of the newly arrived tank division ... I have to remind one thing: Manstein [11 Army] believes that the Luftwaffe forces operating in the Crimea and the Black Sea need to be increased ... "

Here, von Bock’s striving to “cover up” Manstein at any cost draws attention, explaining the failure to be anything but a bad organization. In addition, Hitler’s own interest in essentially the tactical actions of the 11 Army in the Crimea, traced from further entries in von Boc's diary, is characteristic. The question arises: was it an interest in the theater of military operations - or personally in Manstein?

The question of the number of tanks lost in the March 20 offensive is also interesting. According to von Bock, the 72 tank was lost in total, of which 12 was irretrievable; More 38 tanks broke down on the march towards the front line [216]. According to the 22 Tank Division’s combat magazine, 33 vehicles were left out of the number of lost tanks in neutral territory or in enemy rear, but only 9 of them were lost forever, and the rest were allegedly damaged from medium to light or just stuck in the mud.

The Soviet view on the outcome of the battle turned out to be somewhat different - 17 tanks were found in our positions or behind them, on closer examination, eight (including at least one Pz.IV) turned out to be operational and Soviet troops were commissioned.

The most interesting thing is that the information of the Soviet side is confirmed by other documents of the 22 tank division - as a result, the 32 tank turned out to be irretrievably lost, of which 9 Pz.II, 17 Pz.38 (t) and 6 Pz.IV [217]. It can be stated that the Wehrmacht eyewash was total - from the command of a tank regiment to the command of an army group.

The next offensive of the Soviet troops on the Kerch Peninsula began on April 9 and this time was carried out throughout the front. It did not succeed, as did the renewal of the April 13 attacks. However, these numerous (and very bloody) attacks were not as meaningless as it might seem at first glance - and it seems to many historians. It should not be forgotten that most of the troops deployed to the Crimea in January – February were of disgusting quality. Personnel called up in the republics of the Caucasus were distinguished by weak motivation, cowardice, lack of organization, and in addition, poor knowledge of the Russian language. Memories of fighters and junior officers who participated in the battles on the Kerch Peninsula, confirm this depressing picture.

Somehow such a contingent could be managed only in the offensive, when all the soldiers were in front of the commander. In defense, it was impossible to keep track of everyone - and Caucasians soldiers preferred to sit in trenches and crevices, at any opportunity to escape to the rear, or even surrender to the enemy. The front command was fully aware of the situation, so Mehlis demanded that first Russian soldiers be sent to him. It seems that by April he had already become disillusioned with the possibility of “throwing big music to the Germans”, becoming more and more gloomy and nervous. The only way he could somehow maintain the combat readiness of the troops was an offensive, so he was desperately preparing for the last throw.

Alas, the Germans had time before. Another 9 of April Manstein proposed an offensive plan in the Crimea, in mid-April this plan was reported to Hitler, and 24 of April von Bock wrote in his diary: "The Führer ... ordered an offensive at Volchansk only after the attack on Kerch". And this is despite the fact that both the command of Army Group South and the General Staff demanded an operation against the Barvenkov bridgehead as soon as possible - until the water level in the Seversky Donets had fallen and the Soviet command did not have the opportunity to build new crossings. Manstein’s activities came under Hitler’s scrutiny, with the success of the new operation becoming an important career step.

The May accident on the Kerch Peninsula has been repeatedly described by various researchers and memoirists, so we will not keep our attention on its details. It really was the most brilliant of Manstein's victories - the first and only time gained in battles against truly outnumbered forces. The three armies of the Crimean front on the Kerch Peninsula had 16 rifle and one cavalry divisions, 3 rifle and 4 tank brigades, as well as three separate tank battalions — all 245 tanks, including 41 KV and 7 “thirty-four”. In total, the 249 800 people were on the Crimean Front, counting parts of the Black Sea Fleet and the Azov Flotilla located in Kerch and Kamysh-Burun.

Contrary to popular belief, the front forces were sufficiently echeloned: in the first line there were only 7 divisions, another 4 divisions - in the area of ​​the second line of defense, and the rest - far behind it. The 157 th rifle and 72 th cavalry divisions were generally located in the rear defense zone, passing along the Turkish shaft

The troops of the 11 Army concentrated three army corps on the isthmus: the German 30 and the German 42 and the Romanian 7 — the 8 infantry [218] and one tank division, the motorized and cavalry brigades, which remained separate 213-y bp, and the motorized and cavalry brigades, still remaining separate 8-y bp, and the motorized and cavalry brigades, still remaining separate 10-y bp, and the motorized and cavalry brigades, still remaining separate 150-y bp. as well as smaller units — including two battalions of assault guns. The offensive was supported by the full 200 air corps. The number of German troops is unknown - and Manstein, and subsequent German historians chose not to report it. According to the number of units (XNUMX settlement divisions plus corps and attached parts), it can be assumed that even with the losses in previous battles, the total number of German troops ranged from XNUMX to XNUMX thousand people.

The key move that ensured Manstein success in Operation Hunting for Bustard was the blow of the 8 Panzer Division along the coast of Theodosia Bay with the access to the flank and rear of the Soviet grouping concentrated in the Kieta ledge on May 22. As a result, on May 12, the right-flank 47 Army of the Crimean Front was cut off and pressed to the coast of the Sea of ​​Azov south of the Arabat Spit, the 51 Army was cut and thrown to the east, and the 44 Army was pushed aside the Turkish shaft. Here the Soviet troops for some time managed to restore a solid front line along the rear defensive line, but on May 13 it was broken by an absurd accident: the German motorized convoy attached itself in the dark to the departing group of Soviet troops and broke through the Turkish shaft on its shoulders.

Further, a solid defense could not be organized already until Kerch, where the Germans went 14 May. Most of the troops were panic-stricken, the enemy was restrained only by counterattacks of the most combat-ready parts of the front — tank brigades and battalions. At the same time, the troops of the 51 Army, surrounded on the Ak-Monai Isthmus, continued organized resistance until at least May 17. Some of them managed to break through to Kerch - alas, after the city was abandoned on May 15. East of Kerch on the Yenikale peninsula, resistance continued until May 20, when the last remnants of the Crimean front were evacuated from here through the strait.

“According to reports, we captured about 170 000 prisoners, 1133 guns and 258 tanks,” writes Manstein. Some German sources add 232 aircraft here - although there were only 245 tanks in the troops of the Crimean Front, and during the battles on the peninsula 315 aircraft were lost for various reasons. Especially, the figure of the prisoners causes great doubts. Indeed, according to the “Russia and the USSR in the wars of the 20th century” directory, the total losses of the Soviet troops were 176 566 people, of whom 162 282 were killed and missing. But these figures were calculated by the balance method - by subtracting the number of evacuees from the total number of troops. At the same time, different documents call for a different number of people transported through the strait - firstly, the score was kept for different periods, and secondly, some of the fighters were evacuated using improvised means and small craft, which no one counted. According to a report from the Black Sea Fleet headquarters, 14 20 people (of which 119 395 were injured) were taken from 42 to 324 in May. However, the evacuation of many rear units began as early as 9 — 10 in May, and unorganized groups of fighters who had fled from the point of view began to cross the 11 – 12 strait in May. D.T. Kozlov, in a report to Stalin from May 21, said that until the morning of May 20, 138 926 people were evacuated through the strait, including about 30 000 injured. Therefore, the report on the combat operations of KVMB units, compiled in July of 1942, estimates the number of thousands transported through the strait into 150 - again, “without taking into account those who have crossed independently”

Of course, the number of 42 thousands of evacuated wounded included those that were not on the list of front units on 8 in May, but there were a maximum of 28 thousands. Thus, over 120 thousands of soldiers of combat and rear units were evacuated through the strait, and the total irretrievable losses of the front amounted to about 128 thousands of people - in reality, even slightly less. Of these, several thousand fighters continued to resist in the Djimushkay quarries until the fall. Thus, Manstein overestimated the number of prisoners by half.

Following Kerch, there was an assault on Sevastopol, which is also well and in detail described in Russian literature. The capture of Sevastopol became the pinnacle of Manstein’s military career - and at the same time marked the beginning of its end. The newly minted Field Marshal, made in this 1 rank in July 1942 - even before the fall of the 35 battery and defense on the Chersonese peninsula - was no longer destined to achieve brilliant victories. All his further successes, at best, will only help to avoid the worst, and at worst, they will turn out to be exaggerated fantasies. Leningrad, Stalingrad, Kharkov, Kursk arc will become steps to defeat, and the Dnieper, Korsun, Kamenetz-Podolsk - defeats, which only managed to escape from a complete defeat.

That is why crafty estimates of the balance of forces of the parties, modest omissions and minor distortions will gradually be replaced by completely inflated figures, which underestimate the capabilities of their troops and godlessly overstate the number of the enemy.

Of course, no memories (except for the most fabulous) are written from memory; The memoirist always relies on his diaries, notes, and documents. In this case, it can be assumed that Erich von Manstein used his reports to the General Staff of the ground forces and personally to Hitler as a canvas for describing the events. Among other things, under the conditions of “patching up holes”, these reports were aimed at attracting the attention of the leadership and getting reinforcements as soon as possible, therefore they do not in the least reflect the real ideas about the enemy. Alas, the operational intelligence of the Germans during the war worked very well and had enough detailed information about the forces and capabilities of the opposing side.

Evidence of fraud could sometimes pop up in the most unexpected places. For example, at a meeting in Vinnitsa, 27 of August, Manstein, in his own words, told Hitler that the total losses of Army Group South since the start of the offensive near Kursk (that is, from July 4) amounted to 133 LLC. It can be assumed that the injured of them were no more than 100 000. However, later in his memoirs, he mentions that by mid-September, on the left bank of the Dnieper, there were 200 Ltd. wounded, requiring evacuation. And this is despite the fact that some of the wounded at this moment were evacuated to a deeper rear, and some, by contrast, have already returned to their units.

Actually, just so, by random reservations and from the comparison of figures, what the German command tried to hide by falsifying reports is being restored.

“In March 1943, Army Group South (former Army Group Don) had an 700-kilometer front from the Sea of ​​Azov to the region north of Kharkov of the 32 Division. The enemy had on this front, including the reserves, the 341 compound (rifle divisions, tank and mechanized brigades and cavalry divisions) ... Even after the army group was strengthened by the 1 tank army (from group A) and transferred to it The main command of the troops and its structure included 3-I, and then 4-I German armies, the balance of forces of the German troops and enemy troops was equal to 1: 7 (this ratio was established given that some Russian units were inferior in number to the German divisions) "

We see that when comparing the forces of the parties, the field marshal used a very simple technique: for the German side, he took into account only the first line divisions, without security, Romanian and Hungarian, and for the Soviet side - all the formations noted by reconnaissance, including cavalry divisions, tank brigades and even tank divisions shelves! Meanwhile, the Soviet cavalry divisions of this time had no more than 3 thousand people, tank brigades according to the state - 1038 people, separate tank regiments - 338 people. In fact, on 22 February, the number of Soviet troops in the Voronezh and Southwestern fronts (excluding the three armies of the Southern Front on Mius, but taking into account the strip north of Kharkov up to Oboyan) was 746 057 people in 71,5 calculated division, the enemy - 662 200 people in 32,5 calculated division. In March, the balance of power changed even more in favor of the Germans. It is impossible to miscalculate when determining the number of calculated enemy units five times - this can be done only with conscious falsification.

Apparently, in their reports, the German army leadership quite deliberately deceived Hitler and the High Command, repeatedly overstating the estimated number of enemy troops in order to get replenishment and reserves as soon as possible.

Note that Hitler was by no means a profane or an idiot, he had the opportunity to compare the figures reported to him by the generals, and, if necessary, to clarify them through his own channels. It is not surprising that the Fuhrer was eventually tired of the eternal altercations with the ambitious field marshal, who did not even hide their claims to the post of Chief of the General Staff, and moreover, the constant and repeatedly getting out of the lie of Manstein. In the end, after another “lost victory” - the environment The 1 Tank Army of General Hube, west of Kamenetz-Podolsk - 30 March 1944. Manstein was summoned to the Berghof, received the Knight's Cross from the Fuhrer’s hands and was dismissed. As commander of Army Group South, he was replaced by the “genius of defense” Walter Model - less scandalous and ambitious, but much more effective in conditions of total retreat. The model managed to bring the 1 tank army out of its encirclement and stabilize the front in Romania until August 1944.

Nevertheless, Manstein suffered his main defeat in the Crimea. It was not military - moral. And that is why Field Marshal undertook everything to silence him.

30 December 1941. Soviet troops occupied Kerch. German troops stayed here for just a month and a half, but managed to leave a bloody trace. Already in the courtyard of the city prison a shapeless pile of disfigured bodies was found, a considerable part of women’s. But the worst thing was found a few kilometers from the city, in an anti-tank ditch near the village of Bagerovo.

“In January, 1942, during a survey of the Bagerovsky ditch, it was discovered that it was over a kilometer long, 4 wide in meter, 2 deep in meter and overflowed with the corpses of women, children, old people and teenagers. Near the ditch were frozen pools of blood. There were also baby hats, toys, ribbons, torn off buttons, gloves, nipple bottles, shoes, overshoes with arms and legs stumps and other body parts. It was all spattered with blood and brains. ”

A scary look of the Bagherov ditch shortly after the liberation of the city was captured by photo correspondent Dmitry Baltermants. Here, the Sonderkommando unit 10В was engaged in the implementation of the "final decision" on the complete destruction of the Jews. According to eyewitnesses, about 7 thousands of people were collected around the city and brought to death, according to German documents, just 2,5 thousands. However, not only Jews were shot: after the landing of Soviet troops on the peninsula in the villages of Old Quarantine and Kamysh-Burun, at least 273 men of military age were captured and shot, and all the prisoners who remained in the city prison were shot - about 300 people [221].

According to a report sent to Berlin at the end of December by the command of the Einsatzgruppen D group operating in the 11 Army band, Simferopol, Evpatoria, Alushta, Karasubazar, Kerch, Feodosia and other areas of the Western Crimea were already “liberated from the Jews”. From 16 November to 15 December 1941, the Einsatzgruppen D group in Crimea shot 18 936 people, including 17 646 Jews, 2504 Krymchak, 824 Gypsy and 212 Communists and partisans. In total, since July 1941, in the area of ​​responsibility of the 11 Army, the Einsatzgroup has executed a total of 75 881 people.

Defender Manstein on the Hamburg process Dr. Sir R.Т. Padget, a prominent leader of the British Labor Party, later wrote about this:

“Manstein’s accusation that he took an active part in these murders collapsed after the witnesses testimony of the SD ...

The next question was: what did the army really know? I do not think that the prosecution seriously adhered to its assumption that the army knew from the very beginning about the order of the SD on destruction. All the evidence says it was hiding from the army. ”

No, Dr. Padget, a laborer and a lawyer, did not try to prove to the court that the army knew nothing about mass executions at all. However: “with rumors, the situation is the following: the higher your rank, the less rumors you get.” Therefore, the defender stated:

“We were able to confirm that Manstein never read a single written message that would have said what the SD does, in fact ... The departments remaining in Simferopol did not know everything — but they, no doubt, knew enough ... [But] The relevant officers came to the decision that the messages to Manstein would not help the Jews, but they would deprive them of their commander-in-chief themselves and create a threat to the position of the army. Therefore, they left their knowledge with them ... "

So simple - the naive commander knew nothing, and the staff officers, knowing his sensitive heart, decided not to upset him. Obviously, Lord Padget was also a gentleman ...

Note that already in Nuremberg, the existence of an agreement between the SD and the army regarding the delimitation of “spheres of influence” was revealed. In mid-May, 1941, during negotiations, Quartermaster-General of the General Staff of the OKH Wagner with the notorious SS brigadeführer Müller, found that in the battle zone Einsatzgruppeni and Einsatzkomdeniya SD command will be in full tactical, operational and administrative subordination of the military commanders. The Crimea was such a zone - that is, the Einsatzgruppen D group, together with its leader, head of the III administration of the RSHA, SS group Otto Olendorf, was directly subordinate to Manstein. Olendorf himself officially held the position of authorized chief of the security police and SD under the command of the 11 army. It is difficult to imagine that the commander of the army did not know that at his headquarters there is such a regular unit.

However, there are also papers bearing the signature of Manstein. For example, the order of the 11 Army Commander No. 2379 / 41 of November 20 1941, explaining the attitude towards partisans and Jews. And it contains the following lines:

“... A soldier must understand the need to brutally punish the Jews, these spiritual bearers of the Bolshevik terror, and even in the embryo suppress all uprisings that, in most cases, are caused by Jews ...”

However, we note that in one place of his memoirs, Manstein expresses almost the same:

“A few days before the onset of the offensive, we received an order from the OKW, which later became known as the“ order of commissioners. ” Its essence was that it ordered the immediate execution of all the captured political commissioners of the Red Army - the carriers of the Bolshevik ideology.

From the point of view of international law, political commissioners could hardly enjoy the privileges extended to military personnel. Of course, they were not soldiers ... Commissioners were just the people who first of all introduced those methods of warfare and the treatment of prisoners of war, which were in clear contradiction with the provisions of the Hague Convention on Land Warfare. ”

After this statement, especially in comparison with the previous one, it is difficult to believe that Manstein publicly refused to carry out the “Order of the Commissioners”, and all his superiors and his subordinates unanimously supported him. Moreover, he further admits:

“A small number of commissars, who, despite this, were shot, were not captured in battle, but captured in the rear as leaders or partisan organizers. They were therefore treated in accordance with military law. ”

Familiar vocabulary, is not it? “Back in the bud, to suppress all the uprisings, the causative agents of which in most cases turn out to be Jews ...” The detail also attracts attention - “they were not captured in battle”. That is, it is not about the combatants, but about those who resist the Nazi regime.

Well, about Ohlendorf Manstein knew very well. He knew - and disdained. He disdained - but he gave orders. As Olendorf showed at the Nuremberg process:

"In Nikolaev, an order was received by the 11 Army, concerning the fact that liquidation should be carried out only at a distance of at least 200 kilometers from the commander-in-chief's headquarters"

He disdained - but he hurried with the work.

"In Simferopol, the army gave the order to the relevant operational teams concerning the acceleration of liquidation, and it was justified by the fact that famine was rampant in this area and there were not enough dwellings."

True, army units in executions, as a rule, did not participate - for dirty work there were enough collaborators or enthusiasts from the rear units. But "both in Nikolaev and in Simferopol from time to time there was a representative from the command of the army, was present as a spectator."

And then in the protocol of interrogation of Olendorf by the Nuremberg Tribunal, the most interesting goes.

“Colonel Aymen: What happened to gold and silver, which was removed from the victims?

Ohlendorf: As I said, it was transferred to Berlin, to the Ministry of Finance.

Colonel Aymen: How do you know that?

Olendorf: I remember that in Simferopol it was done this way.

Colonel Aymen: What happened to the watch, which was removed from the victims?

Ohlendorf: Hours, at the request of the army, were made available to the front. ”

"I am a gentleman!"

The gentlemen disdained talking with the Einsatzkommando teams, but the hours taken from the shot Jews were not. The employees of the SD did not give in to their hands - however, if necessary, they used their services and even asked to “speed up the liquidation” in order to free housing for themselves. This detail looks quite symbolic: in this way the Nazi empire, with its desire to expand the "living space" as in a drop of water, was reflected in its army and in its generals. And as for their ostentatious wickedness - so after all, the great Fuhrer of the German nation was also a vegetarian ...

However, in the Crimea, it was not only the Einsatzcommands who distinguished themselves. In November and December, 1941 in Evpatoria, according to German data, killed 650 Jews, 150 Krymchaks, as well as around 120 "just" hostages from among the local population. And after the unsuccessful landing of the Soviet troops 7 on January 1942, for helping paratroopers in the city, according to German reports, 1306 people [226] were shot. These were no longer Jews, and they were shot not by the Einsatz command, but by army units from those that were under the command of the army and were sent to repel the landing.

The fall of Sevastopol was the high point of Erich von Manstein, nee von Lewinsky, and this is what marked the hour.

I.V. Antonyuk, a sailor from the 8 Brigade of the Marine Corps:

“... we were built and drove four in a row. All torn, dirty. The Germans shoot, beat butts, shoot up, then at someone, then on the column.

When they brought to the Yalta road, then, not reaching Sapun-gora, a column of tanks was heading towards. They did not turn off, and the Fritz also did not turn us to the right. Those who tried to run out of the column, the Germans were shot from machine guns.

So from the head and to the tail of the column one line of tanks and crushed caterpillars. We were not stopped. Tanks also went all the time. Many rushed to escape, but were shot. ”

L.A. Tarasenko, a resident of the city of Sevastopol (in 1942 she was 14 years old):

“The Germans, brutalized by long resistance, snatched the sailors from the column and shot them point-blank. Our fighters fought with German escorts, now and then in another place. When we came out on the highway, I was shocked to see how huge cars drove on prisoners, and when we drove on, people were squashed, like frogs on the asphalt. ”

A.P. Mararenko (Lukashevskaya), military commander of the 3 battalion of the 287 rifle regiment of the 25 th Chapayev Division:

“I drove along with our wounded on the way to Inkerman barefoot. They were beaten and shot exhausted. We dragged on ourselves injured. In Inkerman behind the barbed wire the Black River. Who rushed to drink, wash, stayed there. They all threw grenades. ”

A.P. Utin, sailor:

“The Germans in black uniforms with rolled up sleeves, wizards with drunken snouts snatched prisoners from the column and in 5 – 6 steps fired at the back of their heads. So far we have reached Bakhchisarai, and half is left of the column. ”

HA Yanchenko, a naval sailor from the training squad of the Black Sea Fleet:

“July 4 was captured ... On the way, we were escorted by traitors from the Tatars. They used batons to beat the medical staff. After the prison in Sevastopol, we were escorted through the Belbek valley, which was mined. There a lot of our Red Army and Red Navy men died. In the Bakhchisarai camp they filled us, the apple has nowhere to fall. Three days later, they drove to Simferopol. Not only Germans accompanied us, but also traitors from the Crimean Tatars. I saw once how the Tatar cut off the head of the sailor. ”

Lieutenant I.P. Mikhailik, commander of the fighter battalion from the 20 of the Black Sea Fleet Air Force Base:

“... we were told that the wounded, who can walk, are allowed to walk in a common convoy, but if someone is left behind, he will be shot. So it was all the way to Belbek ...

On Belbek, the German translator announced that the commissars and political instructors would go to the indicated place. Then they called the commanders. Meanwhile, traitors from the Crimean Tatars walked among the prisoners and sought out the named people. If anyone was found, they immediately took away another 15 – 20 man, who was lying nearby. ”

How did the retired Field Marshal assure us?
“My opinion was divided in almost all the connections of the land forces. Yves 11 th army order of the commissioners were not executed. "

And at the turn from the Cossack Bay to the 35-th battery, a monument has been erected. With an inscription in two languages ​​- Russians and Germans who died here in 1942 and in 1944. Those who were shot here and those who shot ...

At the Hamburg Trial, which began on 24 in August 1949, former Field Marshal Erich von Manstein was charged with war crimes on 17 counts. Since most of Manstein’s military career was in the East, the prosecution did not have enough material on the Wehrmacht’s activities in the territory. Why consultants from the Soviet Union were not involved - in general, it is understandable, but it is strange that even the materials of the Nuremberg process were not used. It is possible that the court had been instructed in advance not to let Manstein fall under the gallows - all the more so that the main lawyer was Dr. Padzhet, one of the prominent figures of the ruling Labor Party, who later received the title of Lord from the Queen.

The defense managed to deflect general accusations - the execution of the “order of commissars” and the order of special jurisdiction in the “Barbarossa” zone, participation in the extermination of Jews by “Einsatzgruppen” and complicity in stealing people to Germany. But in the end, Manstein still managed to accuse him of “intentionally and carelessly” condoning the extermination of the Jews in his area of ​​responsibility.

From the memories of the PC Ivanova-Kholodnyak: “At the landfall in the Chersonese Bay, German machine gunners stood around, some Germans were with cameras and took pictures of us. All were searched and taken away valuables. They ordered where to sit men and women. Left for a long time. A German officer approached with a translator and ordered: “Commissars, commanders, people are up!” At first, nobody rose, then, after the third time, one rose, then the other, and then all of a sudden rose. The German quarreled and left. ”

Specific defense charges also failed to refute. Field Marshal General was convicted: For cruel treatment of prisoners of war in his army,
“As a result, many of the prisoners died or were shot or handed over to the security services and killed by them”.

For the authorization of the use of prisoners of war in prohibited and dangerous work. The defense qualified it as
"The use of prisoners of war for demining" - in fact it was mine clearance with the help of prisoners of war. Lawyers tried to prove that “in the territory occupied by the field marshal, only volunteers were appointed to them or people who knew the demining business, as well as those who were familiar with the use of mine detectors”
[228], - but the evidence looked so ridiculous that even the court benevolent to the field marshal did not believe them. How similar it looked in practice was described in his memoirs by the foreman of the 2-th article HH Alekseenko from the 279-th separate communications battalion of the 109-th rifle division, which was taken to mine clearance in the Mekenziyevy mountains among two hundred prisoners of war.

“After such demining, when a line of one hundred people with a distance between a person in 1 or I, 5 meters with stick probes in their hands went through a minefield, and behind the second such rank, then the person 16 remained alive. Wounded during the explosion of mines shot. "

It was also not possible to get away from the accusation of executions of the hostages, since the accusation presented a corresponding order, pasted in Simferopol, and evidence of its implementation. The defense tried to prove that the order was signed by the commandant of Simferopol and the army commander was not responsible for him. But the hostages were shot in accordance with the order on special jurisdiction in the Barbarossa zone - and a little earlier, lawyers had already proved that this order by Manstein in the 11 Army had been canceled. It turned out awkwardly, and Dr. Padzhet was forced to retreat, so as not to focus on his embarrassment. Moreover, the details of mass executions of residents in Yevpatoria surfaced after the defeat of the landing force in January 1942.

It was recognized that the commander of the 11 Army allowed the execution of the order of the Chief Command of the OKH from July 25 of 1941, in which the Red Army soldiers, who did not voluntarily surrender to captivity, but who left the encirclement in civilian clothes, were shot as partisans. West German historian Christian Streit admitted that
“The attitude towards prisoners provoked by these orders of the command of the ground forces received such a development that could not be changed by any subsequent orders of the combined-arms commanders”

In addition, Manstein was accused of mobilizing civilians for forced labor — although the defense stated that these were “isolated cases” and in carrying out the order for “scorched earth” — although the defense tried to prove that everyone did.

As a result, on December 19 1949, the court sentenced Manstein to 18 years of imprisonment - without counting the time already spent in captivity. And January 11. 1950. Basil Henry Liddell Garth placed his letter on the Times pages with indignation at the outcome of the process, ending with the words: “I have studied military history well enough to know that few of the people who fought their armies through fierce battles They were able to withstand such a test of their actions and words as Manstein. ”

"But he is a gentleman!"

With this attitude of the “public”, it was clear that the Field Marshal would not stay for long. 7 May 1953. He was released from prison "for health reasons", without spending four years in it. Erich von Lewinsky-Manstein died in Irshenhausen 12 June 1973. Whatever is written on his grave, he is unlikely to rest in peace.

189 Match S. Field Marshals Hitler and their battle. - Smolensk: Rusich, 1998. C. 332.
190 Bruno Winzer. Soldier of the three armies. - M .: Progress, 1973. C. 75 – 76.
191 For more information about the interaction of the Nazi party with other political forces of the Weimar Republic, see: A. Galkin. German fascism. 2 ed. - M .: Science, 1989.
192 Galkin A.German Fascism. 2 ed. - M .: Science, 1989. C. 125 – 126.
193 Hereinafter quotes from "Lost Victories" go without indicating the source.
194 Meltyukhov M.Sovetsko-Polish war. Military-political confrontation 1918 – 1939 - M .: Veche, 2001. C. 269, 320 – 323.
195 For more on this episode, see: Salkeld Audrey. Triumph and Will. - M .: Eksmo, 2003. C. 330 – 331.
196 Proctor D.Voyna in Europe. 1939 – 1941 - M .: Military Publishing, 1963. C. 186 – 187.
197 Proctor D.Voyna in Europe. 1939 – 1941 C. 214 – 215. With reference to: Fall Gelb.Der Kampf um den deutschen Operationsplan zur Westoffensive 1940. Von Hans-AdolfJakobsen. Wiesbaden, 1957. S. 26, 40, 275.
198 Proctor D.Voyna in Europe. 1939 – 1941 C. 218.
199 ibid.
200 Erich von Manstein. Soldat im 20. Jahrhundet. Militärisch-politische Nachlese. Herausgegeben von Rudiger von Manstein und Theodor Fuchs. Bernard & Graefe Verlag, Bonn, 1997, S. 140.
201 Erich von Manstein. Ed. cit. C. 187, with reference to G.-A. Jacobsen.
202 Collection of military documents of the Great Patriotic War. 34 release. - M .: Military Publishing, 1958. C. 51.
203 Drig E. The mechanized corps of the Red Army in battle. - M .: ACT, 2005. C. 503.
It should be noted that the report on this fight indicates a much more modest number of prisoners - 37 people; Later, Lelyushenko reported that 53 prisoners were taken in just a month of fighting by the corps.
204 Drig E. The mechanized corps of the Red Army in battle. M .: ACT, 2005. C. 503.
205 Collection of military documents of the Great Patriotic War. 33 release. - M .: Military Publishing, 1957. C. 32.
206 Krinov Yu.S. Lugskiy frontier, year 1941. - L .: Lenizdat, 1987.
207 In any case, the first losses of this division after the break (29 killed and missing and injured 59) in the corps documents date back to July 15.
208 The author brings great thanks to R.I. Larintsev, who provided data on the losses of the 56 of the motorized corps in July 1941, according to German documents.
209 Batov PI Perekop, 1941. - Simferopol: "Crimea", 1970. C. 31.
210 Morozov M. Air battle for Sevastopol. 1941 – 1942. - M .: Yauza, Eksmo, 2007. C. 65.
211 Heroic defense of Sevastopol. 1941 – 1942. - M .: Military Publishing, 1969. C. 61. All in all, the troops defending Sevastopol at that moment numbered 55 thousands of people, of whom 23 thousands in service and thousands 4 in artillery units. Often, the figure 18 – 19 thousand means only the combat strength of the units of the Maritime Army that had departed to Sevastopol. See also: Vaneev G.I. Sevastopol, 1941 – 1942. Chronicle of the heroic defense. Book 1. - Kiev: Ukraine, 1995. C. 75 – 76.
212 Russian translation: “The Eastern Front. War at sea, 1941 – 1945. ”
213 Bock F. Von. Diaries. 1939 – 1945. - Smolensk: Rusich, 2006. C. 450.
214 Bock F. Von. Decree. cit. C. 466.
215 Bock F. VonUkaz. cit. C. 472 – 473.
216 ibid. C. 473.
217 Thomas L. Jentz. Panzertruppen. The Complete Guide to the Creation & Combat Employment of Germany's Tank Forses. 1933-1942. Shiffer Military History, Atglen PA, 1996. P. 224-228.
218 28, 50, 132, 170, 46, 4-I Mining German, 19-I and 1-I Mining Romanian.
219 Abramov V. The Kerch catastrophe. 1942. - M .: Yauza, Eksmo, 2006. C. 81 – 83.
220 From the act of the State Extraordinary Commission on the atrocities of the Germans in the city of Kerch (document USSR-63). Published by the publication: The Nuremberg Trials. Crimes against humanity. Tom 5. - M .: Legal literature, 1991.
221 Goldenberg M. To the question of the number of civilian casualties in the Crimea during the Nazi occupation of 1941 – 1944. // Holocaust and Modernity, 2002, No. 3 (9). C. 4 – 5.
222 Erich von Manstein.Soldat im 20. Jahrhundert. S. 196 – 197.
223 Ibid. S. 197.
224 GAARK, f. P-156 (Crimean Commission on the History of the Great Patriotic War). On. 1. D. 24. L. 1. The document was published by the Simferopol historian M. Tyaglov.
225 Nuremberg process. Collection of materials. Volume I. - Moscow: State. publishing house of legal literature. C. 668 – 688.
226 Goldenberg M. To the question of the number of civilian casualties in the Crimea during the Nazi occupation of 1941 – 1944. // Holocaust and Modernity, 2002, No. 3 (9). C. 4.
227 Manoshin I.S. Heroic tragedy. On the last days of the defense of Sevastopol 29 June - 12 July 1942 Simferopol: Tavrida, 2001. C. 189 – 193. The fragments of memories cited hereinafter are taken from the funds of the Sevastopol Museum of the Black Sea Fleet.
228 Erich von Manstein.Soldat im 20. Jahrhundert. S. 293.
229 Streit K. They are not comrades to us // Military History Magazine, 1992, No. 4.
Articles from this series:
Myths of the Great Patriotic. Was Stalin an ally of Hitler?
Myths of the Great Patriotic. Did Stalin have prostration in the first days of the war?
Myths of the Great Patriotic. The Tale of Lost Communication
Myths of the Great Patriotic. Why did the Stalingrad prisoners die??
Myths of the Great Patriotic. "Die aktion kaminsky": Lokot "self-government" and the creation of the RONA brigade
Myths of the Great Patriotic. Papier mache helmet

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  1. Ivan Petrovich
    Ivan Petrovich 12 February 2014 08: 43
    apparently no one has read it yet ...
    1. cosmos111
      cosmos111 12 February 2014 09: 10
      COOL!!!!! good
      The longest and most detailed article on the VO website (

      Manstein's role and and "talent" especially in battles, in the spring and autumn, 1943, are greatly exaggerated and hyped ((((
      1. Vovka levka
        Vovka levka 12 February 2014 13: 51
        Quote: cosmos111
        COOL!!!!! good
        The longest and most detailed article on the VO website (

        Manstein's role and and "talent" especially in battles, in the spring and autumn, 1943, are greatly exaggerated and hyped ((((

        He was a competent warrior.
        1. stalkerwalker
          stalkerwalker 12 February 2014 19: 53
          Quote: Vovka Levka
          He was a competent warrior.

          But the nickname "Sly Fox" speaks for itself.
    2. vyatom
      vyatom 12 February 2014 14: 47
      But after all, manstein screwed up during the breakthrough of two boilers: Stalingrad and Korsun-Shevchensky. Only for this it can be in the history basket. And I don’t understand people who read memoirs of losers. Like to read the memoirs of hockey players of the national team of the same Germany, which took the twentieth place in the World Cup.
      1. Vovka levka
        Vovka levka 12 February 2014 16: 43
        Quote: vyatom
        But after all, manstein screwed up during the breakthrough of two boilers: Stalingrad and Korsun-Shevchensky.

        This was not his decision. It is good that the corporal led the generals.
        1. Walking
          Walking 12 February 2014 18: 18
          Great article. In all the memoirs of the Germans, there is one line, Hitler is to blame for everything, if he had not intervened they would not have lost the war and were so white and fluffy, although they all have blood on their hands.
          1. Vovka levka
            Vovka levka 12 February 2014 18: 41
            Quote: Hiking
            Great article. In all the memoirs of the Germans, there is one line, Hitler is to blame for everything, if he had not intervened they would not have lost the war and were so white and fluffy, although they all have blood on their hands.

            With the power that was in Germany, she could not win the war, neither with Hitler, nor without him.
            1. stalkerwalker
              stalkerwalker 12 February 2014 19: 23
              Quote: Vovka Levka
              With the power that was in Germany, she could not win the war, neither with Hitler nor without him

              However ... How interesting ...
              The people of Germany needed revenge for the humiliation of the Treaty of Versailles.
              Hitler suited the top of the Wehrmacht, like the "happy" German people, before the Stalingrad defeat.
              The interview to an Austrian journalist in the final of "White Tiger" has a real foundation. The phrase "... I tried to do what many were just talking about ..." is the key phrase.
              1. Vovka levka
                Vovka levka 12 February 2014 20: 05
                Quote: stalkerwalker

                However ... How interesting ...
                The people of Germany needed revenge for the humiliation of the Treaty of Versailles.

                This is the cause of the war. The Treaty of Versailles predetermined the Second World War, it was the humiliation of the German people. But the course of the war, fascism determined, to defeat it is a matter of survival of many peoples.
                1. stalkerwalker
                  stalkerwalker 12 February 2014 20: 13
                  Quote: Vovka Levka
                  But the course of the war, fascism determined, to defeat it is a matter of survival of many peoples.

                  Judging by the Storage (and the Czech Republic), the question of survival was not particularly touched upon there - "Alles gut, beautiful marquise".
                  1. Vovka levka
                    Vovka levka 12 February 2014 20: 54
                    Quote: stalkerwalker

                    Judging by the Storage (and the Czech Republic), the question of survival was not particularly touched upon there - "Alles gut, beautiful marquise".

                    Lived in illusions, and when you live like that, the payback is always harsh.
        2. MAG
          MAG 12 February 2014 19: 43
          I read "these" masterpiece memoirs of Manstein as well as Guderian. The main idea in their books was that Hitler prevented them, as half of Europe under his command to capture it, they distinguished themselves, and how the defeats went, he prevented them from fighting "correctly". About the genocide on Soviet territory, the same fairy tale army men did not do anything and the ss troops are to blame for all the sins. The creation of heavy and expensive tanks from the Germans is Hitler's fault, and as an inspector of the armored forces, Guderian could afford to go against it, but did not go so that to create a myth that they are white and fluffy and could defeat us by their last attempt to justify themselves in history.
      2. stalkerwalker
        stalkerwalker 12 February 2014 19: 57
        Quote: vyatom
        But after all, Manstein screwed up during the breakthrough of two boilers: Stalingrad

        The issue is controversial. The feat of the 4th Cavalry Corps "allowed" Manstein to "lose" another victory.
        Source - Chapter 1942 Stalingrad - a forgotten feat of cavalry from the book A. Isaeva "10 myths ...".
      3. LMN
        LMN 8 October 2018 01: 04
        Quote: vyatom
        But after all, manstein screwed up during the breakthrough of two boilers: Stalingrad and Korsun-Shevchensky. Only for this it can be in the history basket. And I don’t understand people who read memoirs of losers. Like to read the memoirs of hockey players of the national team of the same Germany, which took the twentieth place in the World Cup.

        .a later silver on OI wink
  2. svskor80
    svskor80 12 February 2014 09: 10
    It amazes me how deftly the Wehrmacht generals threw all war crimes into parts of the SS, and themselves avoiding the well-deserved death penalty, they stamped books in which they immensely whitewashed their deeds. A helmet from papier-mâché is just an indirect indicator of the huge abyss that existed in the German army between officers and privates, this has long been known and there is nothing surprising in this. I am sure, by the way, that the commanders of the Red Army wore real helmets, showing an example to fighters.
    1. 12 February 2014 12: 05
      Our officers are still wearing real helmets. soldier
    2. stalkerwalker
      stalkerwalker 12 February 2014 17: 02
      Quote: svskor80
      It amazes me how deftly the Wehrmacht generals threw all war crimes into parts of the SS, and themselves avoiding the well-deserved death penalty, they stamped books in which they immensely whitewashed their deeds.

      Guderian also coughed up a fool when a question came up about Babi Yar.
    3. Yaroslav Tekkel
      Yaroslav Tekkel 15 December 2019 20: 53
      Rokossovsky ordered the officer to forbid his helmet to wear helmets (which was directly required by the charter) - only caps / hats. Say, you need to show courage.
  3. igordok
    igordok 12 February 2014 10: 04
    The reconnaissance battalion of the SS division, breaking through the highway to Sebezh, was ambushed in the area of ​​the city of Dagda and was almost completely defeated by the forces of the 42-th tank division. According to our reports, a total of 10 tanks, 15 armored personnel carriers, 18 guns and 200 vehicles remained on the battlefield; 126 serviceable motorcycles and 34 SS prisoners, including two officers, were captured from the motorcycle vanguard.

    Embittered by the stubborn resistance of the Sebezh fortified area and the losses suffered, the Germans began to tear their anger at the prisoners. In one of the captured pillboxes, they shot 65 wounded Red Army soldiers.

  4. Gomunkul
    Gomunkul 12 February 2014 10: 14
    Therefore, the most important role in creating the image of the most brilliant German commander was played by his memoirs - the voluminous volume “Lost Victories” published in 1955 and the notes “From the Life of a Soldier”, which appeared three years later, devoted to an earlier period.
    In my opinion, concepts are confused here: luck and talent. Talented were the Soviet commanders who were able not only to restrain the Wehrmacht’s blow at the initial stage of the war, but also to stop the enemy, and then end the war on its territory, occupying its capital. This, in my understanding, is talent. hi
  5. Vasia kruger
    Vasia kruger 12 February 2014 10: 17
    The article is interesting. But there is a question.
    At the beginning of the article there is a quote from Bruno Winkler "Soldier of three armies"
    It specifically says that Manstein, being the commander of Winkler in the Reichswehr, was promoted to lieutenant, and a couple of lines below it is said that Manstein ended the First World War as captain.

    I’m not sure that the quotes are accurate, I read Winkler for a long time and in general I don’t remember well. Again, perhaps the rank system in the Kaiser army was different from the Reichswehr ... It just cut my eyes.

    1. Yuriy_999
      Yuriy_999 1 July 2019 20: 41
      Most likely not a correct translation or incorrect quoting. Manstein was a lieutenant colonel at the time - Oberstleutnant - oberst-lieutenant.
  6. Duke
    Duke 12 February 2014 10: 58
    Good article thanks.
  7. Humpty
    Humpty 12 February 2014 11: 08
    Manstein is one of the main Nazi criminals and is not guilty, in general, for company. But in countless crimes, both personally and for the command of the Nazi units, who committed unreasonable evil.
    I don’t understand why they didn’t hang him, but rather it would be drowned in a rural toilet.
  8. svp67
    svp67 12 February 2014 11: 19
    You can laugh for a long time at the "papier-mache helmet", although it was a standard officer's helmet made of "cork", but still it is worth admitting that Manstein's opponent was difficult and it was not easy to defeat him ...
    1. Fin
      Fin 12 February 2014 12: 39
      Quote: svp67
      but it’s worth admitting that Manstein’s opponent was difficult and it wasn’t easy to defeat him ...

      And I will add: the more valuable our victory. This is not a native of Africa to drive. I do not like when the Germans in the cinema are near-by.
      All the military leaders, without exception, are embellishing themselves and their deeds.
  9. Ragoz
    Ragoz 12 February 2014 11: 40
    The article is undoubtedly very interesting, but:
    1. A lot of spelling and stylistic mistakes.
    2. In many parts of the text, given the numbers of military units, it is difficult to determine whether these are Soviet troops or fascist fellow
    1. Gomunkul
      Gomunkul 12 February 2014 11: 52
      Soviet is the troops or fascist
      Dear Ragoz, you rely on the author for inaccuracies, but at the same time sin yourself. If you follow your logic, then correctly write the Nazi troops. In Germany, there was national socialism, therefore the Germans were also called Nazis, in Italy there was fascism, therefore fascists. hi
    2. The comment was deleted.
  10. parus2nik
    parus2nik 12 February 2014 11: 46
    Manstein, it turns out not a relative of the Manstein, who was with Minich in the adjutants, but after he fell to Prussia ..
    1. Bigriver
      Bigriver 12 February 2014 12: 13
      Quote: parus2nik
      Manstein, it turns out not a relative of the Manstein, who was with Minich in the adjutants, but after he fell to Prussia ..

      Not one, but he also wrote memoirs about Russia. And we even published them about 12 years ago.
    2. svp67
      svp67 12 February 2014 21: 17
      Quote: parus2nik
      Manstein, it turns out not a relative of the Manstein, who was with Minich in the adjutants, but after he fell to Prussia ..
      Relative, Relative ...
  11. Standard Oil
    Standard Oil 12 February 2014 13: 01
    In general, it is strange how the great German people, who gave the world as great composers, writers and scientists, humanists in the end, could become literally a rabid dog, how much hatred has accumulated in people. like the same Manstein, a seemingly not an enthusiastic youth from the Hitler Youth, fought in WWI, had already seen a lot, but did he really go into that nonsense that Hitler and Goebbels carried? Like a smart man, or just an opportunist? believe in the insane racial ideas of the Nazis, it turns out that Germany model 1933-1945 consisted of fooled youths who happily rushed to "subhuman" machine guns, moral monsters, maniacs and opportunists. And the Germans regained consciousness only after the Red Army brought them to their senses , leaving a wet place from "Racially loyal to the Wehrmacht and SS". To see some Germans after all the "surprises" of the 1933th century went crazy and they hit the other extreme - ultraliberal with the worship of the LGBT cult, tolerance, etc. As for me, "normal" Germany died in XNUMX, if not earlier. First, the Germans went to one extreme, then they became puppets in the games of the USA and the USSR, and now to the other extreme. let's see what will happen next.
  12. Kubanets
    Kubanets 12 February 2014 13: 11
    Manstein is a beaten fascist counterfeiter. Reading his memoirs, his lament in the winter of 44 caught his eye, that there were three Soviet divisions against the German division, but at the same time, the number of Soviet divisions was continuously advancing from Kursk and Kharkov. the regiment consisted of an incomplete battalion. You can imagine the composition of the division. Manstein is not so much talented as lucky. His main luck is to escape the gallows.
    1. stalkerwalker
      stalkerwalker 12 February 2014 17: 06
      Quote: Kubanets
      Manstein is not so much talented as lucky

      ... thanks to Wreath and Hausser ...
    2. Thunderbolt
      Thunderbolt 15 February 2014 12: 00
      Well, the 4th Air Fleet of Richtoffen simultaneously fought in full force in the Caucasus and in Stalingrad. Bifurcated campaign.
      By the way, didn’t the German division suffer losses?
  13. Monster_Fat
    Monster_Fat 12 February 2014 14: 02
    You ask, how could “the great German people, who gave the world as great composers, writers and scientists, humanists, in the end, become literally a mad dog”? I also once asked such a question and received an answer only when I began to work "in the West" and got acquainted with the mentality of "Europeans". The point is that they differ from us in Ruus in terms of perception of reality and responsibility for what is happening. In this we are completely different. Let me explain: a Russian person has a strange peculiarity - he always evaluates what is happening from the point of view of his morality and values ​​instilled in him in the environment in which he was brought up, that is, he, as it were, takes responsibility for what is happening. For a Russian person, the law is not the main thing, but the main thing is how he evaluates what is happening from the point of view of his morality. Hence the conclusion that a Russian person always lives and acts "according to concepts", in accordance with his conscience (whether he has it or not, this is already how life and his fate have decreed). The Russian person does not like the law and obeys it only out of necessity and if it corresponds to his inner perception of "good and evil." This is our strength and weakness at the same time. The European is accustomed to always relying on the law. That is, they say: "the law is my conscience." That's all. What the law permits means and permits the conscience of a European. Do you see the difference? They shift their moral responsibility for what is happening to the requirements of the law. My grandmother, who survived the occupation, told me what was the worst thing about the Germans: the worst thing about the Germans was not that they killed (the war was still going on), but that they killed without any emotion, that they came to kill, how to work. They received decent wages and maintenance for their work, murder, and, naturally, wanted to be good workers, they did this very "job" efficiently and only during working hours, from 08am to 17pm. Murders, shootings, executions, robberies are just work for Europeans and they just want to do it well, get rewards, promotions, etc. And, in their hearts, they are good dogs, they love cats, they love their children, of course. My grandfather, who was partisan in Ukraine, said that you would catch some of the punishers, then if he is German, he immediately says that he is a worker, or a peasant, shows pictures of children, his wife and does not understand why he is now being cut will-like he's good, only the order was carried out. Ugh.
    1. LMN
      LMN 8 October 2018 01: 20
      Quote: Monster_Fat
      You ask, how could “the great German people, who gave the world as great composers, writers and scientists, humanists, in the end, become literally a mad dog”? I also once asked such a question and received an answer only when I began to work "in the West" and got acquainted with the mentality of "Europeans". The point is that they differ from us in Ruus in terms of perception of reality and responsibility for what is happening. In this we are completely different. Let me explain: a Russian person has a strange peculiarity - he always evaluates what is happening from the point of view of his morality and values ​​instilled in him in the environment in which he was brought up, that is, he, as it were, takes responsibility for what is happening. For a Russian person, the law is not the main thing, but the main thing is how he evaluates what is happening from the point of view of his morality. Hence the conclusion that a Russian person always lives and acts "according to concepts", in accordance with his conscience (whether he has it or not, this is already how life and his fate have decreed). The Russian person does not like the law and obeys it only out of necessity and if it corresponds to his inner perception of "good and evil." This is our strength and weakness at the same time. The European is accustomed to always relying on the law. That is, they say: "the law is my conscience." That's all. What the law permits means and permits the conscience of a European. Do you see the difference? They shift their moral responsibility for what is happening to the requirements of the law. My grandmother, who survived the occupation, told me what was the worst thing about the Germans: the worst thing about the Germans was not that they killed (the war was still going on), but that they killed without any emotion, that they came to kill, how to work. They received decent wages and maintenance for their work, murder, and, naturally, wanted to be good workers, they did this very "job" efficiently and only during working hours, from 08am to 17pm. Murders, shootings, executions, robberies are just work for Europeans and they just want to do it well, get rewards, promotions, etc. And, in their hearts, they are good dogs, they love cats, they love their children, of course. My grandfather, who was partisan in Ukraine, said that you would catch some of the punishers, then if he is German, he immediately says that he is a worker, or a peasant, shows pictures of children, his wife and does not understand why he is now being cut will-like he's good, only the order was carried out. Ugh.

      I agree..
  14. kaktus
    kaktus 12 February 2014 14: 43
    Burn in hell for these "gentlemen", their followers, inspirers and singers! am
  15. stalkerwalker
    stalkerwalker 12 February 2014 17: 00
    Thanks to the author, for the interesting material - read without distractions.
  16. 19671812
    19671812 12 February 2014 17: 29
    I will definitely read
  17. Motors1991
    Motors1991 12 February 2014 17: 38
    The article is so-so, the author carefully juggles the facts in our favor, portrays Manstein as a simple, “lucky,” But then a sacramental question arises: if the Germans are fools, who have we been fighting with for four years?
    1. Nuar
      Nuar 12 February 2014 22: 22
      Quote: Motors1991
      But then the sacramental question arises, if the Germans are fools, with whom have we fought for four years?

      possibly with a united Europe, with a total population of about four hundred million people. No?
      1. stalkerwalker
        stalkerwalker 12 February 2014 22: 52
        Quote: Nuar
        possibly with a united Europe, with a total population of about four hundred million people

        ... having a larger machine park, with sincere enthusiastic cries and military assistance. Some volunteers got into more than one full-blooded division.
      2. Motors1991
        Motors1991 13 February 2014 18: 08
        It’s clear that with Europe, but if you read the comments of some of our members of the forum, they don’t consider Europeans as soldiers, and Manstein just had to command this ,, Europe, ”Romanians, Hungarians, Czechs, Slovaks fought in the South Army Group , the Italians and under the command of Manstein they fought well, at least I couldn’t find where he complained that he had to command a rabble. Anyway, the Germans didn’t have a more talented commander, except, dad, Goth stage of the Sherner war.
  18. Vadim2013
    Vadim2013 12 February 2014 18: 34
    I read with interest. Thanks for the reasoned article. Over time, I will read it again.
  19. predator.3
    predator.3 12 February 2014 18: 56
    Young Fritz Erich turned out to be the tenth son in the family of artillery general Edward von Lewinsky and was adopted by the family of his aunt, thus receiving the name of her husband, Lieutenant General von Manstein.

    outwardly something similar to A. Sharon.
  20. tundra
    tundra 12 February 2014 20: 28
    I served in the Strategic Missile Forces .... well, pagranichkov I respect in life GUYS will not let anyone pass ... The elder brother of my grandmother, the head of the outpost in the 41st And we don’t know anything about him
  21. max73
    max73 12 February 2014 21: 37
    in some places - I’m ready to argue. but! thanks to the author for making me dig in history .... and found out that the 157th Infantry Division mentioned more than once is now the 76th Pskov Guards Airborne Division.
  22. mvv
    mvv 12 February 2014 22: 02
    Phew, the article is my respect! More of these.
  23. Aleks tv
    Aleks tv 13 February 2014 10: 39
    He mastered the article in several steps.
    Thanks to the author for the work, it was interesting to read.

    Manstein, nevertheless, was a fairly serious opponent. His skill was recognized by the German generals themselves. It was not for nothing that after the war and release from prison he became military adviser to the Bundeswehr.

    Nobody in the USSR called him to "shine" with his knowledge. His hands are up to ... his throat is covered in blood.
    Always interested in the question - why didn't he "accidentally" after the war, somewhere on the street ??? He deserves it. It is a pity that he died.
  24. dickest
    dickest 13 February 2014 14: 37
    It would be nice for domestic publishers to make the article a critical application to the hero’s memoirs.
  25. Akuzenka
    Akuzenka 13 February 2014 17: 50
    German knights and gentlemen ?! Well, except that in my own eyes, for me it is still necessary to look for wilder barbarians. What don't you touch. Even their "glorified" commanders are topped with the blood of prisoners of war and civilians. Everything was done with their knowledge, and often on their direct orders (usually verbal). And they are praised by those whom they beat, all sorts of naglich and Pindo Stanza. Our people and our generals defeated them. Where is the "genius" of the beaten commanders who find fantastic solutions in 42-45? There is no it, and there never was. The suddenness and treachery of the attack is their "genius". In other cases, mediocrity. I think so.
  26. Molot1979
    Molot1979 16 May 2017 13: 29
    I read these lost victories. This eccentric letter M says that he did not suffer a single defeat. And he literally went to the near approaches to Vladivostok when he was stopped by this mediocre corporal. And according to the concentration of lies per unit of text, Mr. von Lewinsky can surpass any fairy tale.
  27. Protos
    Protos 14 July 2018 02: 51
    HA Yanchenko, a naval sailor from the training squad of the Black Sea Fleet:
    “July 4 was captured ... On the way, we were escorted by traitors from the Tatars. They used batons to beat the medical staff. After the prison in Sevastopol, we were escorted through the Belbek valley, which was mined. There a lot of our Red Army and Red Navy men died. In the Bakhchisarai camp they filled us, the apple has nowhere to fall. Three days later, they drove to Simferopol. Not only Germans accompanied us, but also traitors from the Crimean Tatars. I saw once how the Tatar cut off the head of the sailor. ”
    Lieutenant I.P. Mikhailik, commander of the fighter battalion from the 20 of the Black Sea Fleet Air Force Base:
    “... we were told that the wounded, who can walk, are allowed to walk in a common convoy, but if someone is left behind, he will be shot. So it was all the way to Belbek ...
    On Belbek, the German translator announced that the commissars and political instructors would go to the indicated place. Then they called the commanders. Meanwhile, traitors from the Crimean Tatars walked among the prisoners and sought out the named people. If anyone was found, they immediately took away another 15 – 20 man, who was lying nearby. ”
    Field Marshal Erich von Manstein: “... the majority of the Tatar population of Crimea was very friendly towards us ... Tatars immediately sided with us ... A Tatar deputation arrived, bringing fruit and beautiful handmade fabrics for the liberator of the Tatars“ Adolf Effendi ”.

    According to the High Command of the German Ground Forces of March 20, 1942, about 10 thousand volunteers were recruited for service in the Wehrmacht. In addition: “According to the Tatar Committee, village elders organized another 4000 people. to fight the partisans. In addition, about 5000 volunteers are ready to replenish the formed military units ... we can assume that all combat-ready Tatars are taken into account. ”

    But on this the influx of Tatar volunteers did not run out. In November 1942, the Germans began an additional set of volunteers in the ranks of the German army. By the spring, a guard battalion was formed - the "Noise" (Schutzmannschaft Bataillon) and several more battalions were in a state of formation. Thus, everyone who deserted from the Red Army ended up in the ranks of the Wehrmacht and active accomplices of the Nazis. More than 20 thousand military personnel from among 200 thousand people are considered the norm of universal mobilization.

    There was no Tatar family whose man of military age did not serve the cause of Adolf Effendi. And he served with the blessing of his older relatives. And it could not be otherwise in the patriarchal families of the Tatars. The Tatar newspaper Azat Krym (Free Crimea), published during the years of occupation, boastfully stated that not 10%, but 15% of Crimean Tatars are active assistants to the new authorities.
    1. karabas86
      karabas86 14 July 2018 16: 00
      Well, yes, and now - innocently affected.
  28. Andrey Marokin
    Andrey Marokin 19 October 2018 11: 10
    I read both Manstein and Guderian books almost identical in meaning. victories are just them, and talent, and intuition, etc. defeat, Hitler is to blame, he didn’t allow that, he didn’t allow it there. Actually, I read somewhere, either Piccert, or Guderian, I can not vouch for the verbosity that a manstein can fight when he has everything in stock. Hitler said that. but he was not, and knew which of the generals was capable of anything. you read memoirs, “lost victories,” and our, “memories and reflections,” there is a feeling de jue, then I already read it. the bid didn’t give there, they didn’t listen to me there. they would give more tanks, and planes, and more artillery, I would show to the enemy. how to write a carbon copy.