Then the city almost fell into the chaos of anarchy. Never again did the Germans have such a real chance to break into the capital of the USSR. But it took literally a few days to restore order.
“If you had come 20 years ago, we would have met you with great enthusiasm. Now it's too late. We just now began to revive again ... Now we are fighting for Russia, and in this we are all one. "
Such an entry from the words of an old Russian officer was made in his diary by a famous German general, “tank as »Heinz Guderian. It was October 3, 1941, almost near Moscow, when his 1st Panzer Group captured the city of Oryol. And a seasoned tanker, plowing all of Europe with his panzer divisions, was forced to admit that then such moods completely characterized the entire Russian population.
It was those days that became decisive in the military fate of Moscow.
After the encirclement of the main forces of the Western and Reserve fronts near Vyazma and Bryansk, the threat of a fascist breakthrough towards Moscow became quite real, even the commander-in-chief was forced to admit.
But, as you know, not every chance is given to be realized. Then the divisions rose up to defend the capital from all over the country, and the Muscovites themselves went to the front. And it was they who did not want to turn Moscow into an “open city” following the example of Paris, they did not allow alarmists and bandits to become the masters of the million metropolis even for one day.
Immediately after the October days, my grandfather, Georgy Gavrilovich Vyatkin, left the repair plant in the ranks of the militia, the military fate of which and the place of death of our family cannot be learned until now.
My late mother, then 12-year-old schoolgirl, in October 41-th has not yet gone to the evacuation. The family stayed in Moscow, they lived in the Samara Lane near the CDSA Park and the Burevestnik Stadium, where the Olympic Avenue route now runs. Autumn 1941 of the year she herself remembered well, but she loved more to retell the memories of her grandmother Alexandra Gavrilovna Malysheva, Arkady's elder brother, and neighbor Pavel Belyaev.
So, they have repeatedly stated that it all started with the evening military report from October 15. The Soviet Information Bureau, perhaps for the first time in its practice, admitted the wording: “in one sector enemy troops broke through the front”. And without any further explanation. For some reason, street “experts” immediately started talking about the fact that the Germans took Yukhnov, although they had already been there a few days before. It is obvious that on the same night, many Muscovites also learned that a “spare” capital had already been prepared on the Volga, in Kuibyshev. But the fact that the Germans took Kalinin, ancient Tver, was not reported, and rumors about it came to Moscow only by the following evening.
Historians still argue about what caused the panic that occurred on October 16 - the very official message or talk about the fact that both the government and the Supreme Command headquarters leave the capital?
After all, these rumors, albeit indirectly, but actually confirmed literally before the eyes of Muscovites - the cars of the party and Soviet workers, loaded with household belongings, were often hampered by the residents of the capital.
Finally, it is possible that people somehow became aware of the results of the meeting with Stalin on October 15, where the leader himself insisted on the evacuation of the most important institutions, prominent figures of the party and the government. The meeting also adopted a State Defense Committee (GKO) resolution on evacuation, with a clause on the departure of the leader himself, which has been classified for a long time. This resolution is still not often found in print, so we will give its text in full:
“In view of the unfavorable situation in the area of the Mozhaisk defensive line, the State Defense Committee decided:
1. I will instruct comrade Molotov to foreign missions that they should be evacuated to Kuibyshev today (NKPS - comrade Kaganovich ensures timely submission of convoys for missions, and NKVD - comrade Beria ensures their protection).
2. Today, to evacuate the Presidium of the Supreme Council, as well as the government headed by the deputy chairman of the SNK, T. Molotov (t. Stalin is evacuated tomorrow or later, depending on the situation).
3. Immediately evacuate the bodies of the People's Commissariat of Defense and the Commissariat of Defense in the city of Kuibyshev, and the main group of the General Staff in the city of Arzamas.
4. In the event of the appearance of enemy troops near the walls of Moscow, instruct the NKVD — T. Beria and T. Shcherbakov — to produce an explosion of enterprises, warehouses and institutions that cannot be evacuated, as well as all the electrical equipment of the metro (excluding plumbing and sewage). ”
At the same time, Lieutenant-General Artemyev, commander of the Moscow garrison, was asked to develop a defense plan for the city itself in case of a German breakthrough before the reserves approached. It is characteristic that in the same evening Stalin went to his nearest summer cottage, which the guards of the “leader” had already mined - “just in case”. While waiting for the residence to be demined, Stalin was forced to conduct telephone conversations with the front commanders from the cold summer house.
And the night of the 16, according to the recollections of Muscovites, was restless. Despite the demands for blackout, many companies suddenly started to searchlights, grandmother Sasha said that Rzhevsky (today it’s Riga) railway station also flashed lights - the local warehouses were evacuated at full speed. Shooting was heard from the Marina Grove - the local lads began to divide the loot. From the First Meshchanskaya (the current Mira Avenue), a heavy rumble of cars was heard; they were taken out of town — Rostokino, Babushkin, Mytishchi and Podlipki, bulky machines from defense factories.
And in the morning of October 16, through Presnya, militiamen marched to Major General Kramarchuk, commander of the defensive line of Moscow. By the morning of 10 the next day, several newly formed communist, Komsomol and workers' battalions were to move to these positions.
But on this very day - October 16 for the first time in Moscow at half past five in the morning the metro did not open. Many institutions, some hospitals, schools were locked up. In bakeries almost all over Moscow, interruptions in bread began, the people, as usual, bought up matches, salt, and soap, not yet using ration cards.
In the queues they said that on the square of the Commune (now Suvorovskaya) a balloon broke off, and dragged along with one of the girls with the regulating rope. Hearing is or true, October 16 happened or on another day, but the sentiments of the townsfolk clearly did not raise the mood.
However ... the People's Commissar aviation Industry Alexei Shakhurin wrote in his memoirs that in response to his story about what was happening in the city, Stalin said: “Well, that's nothing. I thought it would be worse. " It is strange that today someone quite authoritatively asserts that on October 16, Stalin did not contact at all with any of his closest associates. However, maybe the People’s Commissar Shakhurin really did not belong to the "inner circle".
On the same day, the troops, and with the blue buttonholes of the NKVD, unexpectedly and quickly cordoned off the Kalanchevskaya station, where, again, according to rumor, later never refuted, a special armored train for Stalin was allegedly mooted. In fact, the train for Stalin was prepared in a more secluded place - at the Kursk railway station, at an impasse at the Peasant Outpost, but Lazar Kaganovich, People's Commissar of Communications, even received a scolding from the leader for this, and immediately ordered the train to be removed.
And from the three railway stations located next to Kalanchevka on that day, crowds of bagmen “stormed” Yaroslavsky, not announced by someone free, only Kazan. Yes, and mostly not from the square, where, as some “experts” asserted and still say, machine guns were installed, and anti-aircraft guns could also shoot at people. The crowd gushed from the rear - from the side of Novoryazanskaya Street, where the police could not close the courtyards.
But even there, special excesses were avoided - after all, the windows of the police station (later the station 69, which had already moved off somewhere) and one of the NKVD houses, literally went to the station territory, with its eternal spontaneous bazaar and kerosene tents. Together with the warriors, the police and workers of the People's Commissariat pushed people five times a day to the ways of the Ryazan railway, from where both long-distance and suburban trains left once an hour, or even two. The crowd gradually resolved, but order was restored only closer to the night. And since the morning of 17, the movement of trains somehow by itself, which happens in Russia, has been adjusted.
The parents of the mother — my grandfather and grandmother, on that day, it seems to be the usual Thursday, worked, and did not see much, knew almost nothing. However, in Sokolniki, where the grandfather worked as a foreman at a repair factory, factory workers caught several cars with evacuees at once. They did not allow to seal the only mill in the whole of Moscow, which is still listed as a flour mill named after Tsyurupa. Grandmother went there on foot, because the city said that Mikoyan ordered the flour before the evacuation of the people to distribute. For this very real order, the deputy chairman of the government got pretty.
I will not continue to retell almost the official chronicle of Black Thursday 16 October 1941 of the year. Much has been written about what happened on that October day in Moscow, but recently such an accent has appeared, as if Moscow could have taken the 16 of October with almost one battalion of paratroopers.
However, General Zhukov, who had just headed the defense of the capital (he took the post of Commander of the Western Front on October 7), asked the Supreme question whether we would retain Moscow, probably, not without reason, confidently replied: “By all means we will retain!”.
The fact has been repeatedly confirmed, and now it is no secret to anyone that this conversation did not take place in November, as recorded in the memoirs of the legendary commander, namely October 16, that is, just on the day of the dramatic events in Moscow. This was confirmed in the 1996 year, speaking in the pages of the Red Star, retired colonel Nikolai Ponomarev, a former telegrapher of Stalin.
"October 16 1941, at about six o'clock in the evening, Poskrebyshev entered the meeting room and ordered me to call the headquarters of the Western Front ... Comrade Zhukov, the front commander and head of the Military Council, approached the apparatus ... Stalin began negotiations, and already the conclusion asked:
- Georgy Konstantinovich, now tell me, as a communist, a communist, will we keep Moscow?
Zhukov thought a little and answered:
“Comrade Stalin, we will retain Moscow, especially if I get the help I asked of you for.”
Most likely, the conversation with Zhukov, which took place immediately after Stalin was reported on the events in Moscow, became decisive for the leader. He was clearly not in the mood to leave for Kuybyshev, and now he realized that his departure, if he did change anything, would be for the worse. Stalin finally decided not to comply with the resolution of the State Defense Committee and stay in Moscow. At the post.
“Stalin on the post” - this phrase by Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya became especially popular later, but in those October days it was very important for Muscovites to know that this was the case.
The leader himself, who was generally not at all inclined to publicity, understood this very well and, as many witnesses testified, in the fall of 41 began to appear on the streets more often. Despite the bombing and with minimal protection. The Supreme Commander personally repeatedly checked posts on Gorky Street, Zemlyaniy Val, even in Smolensk Square - quite far from the General Staff on Kirov Street, where Stalin spent almost all the time in the first days of the war. You can imagine what impression such a patrol made on young soldiers, and how quickly such news spread across Moscow.
On the day of October 16, when the evacuation order was made public (of course, not completely, without the “leader” clause), independent factories began at many factories. The five-thousand crowd at the Stalin Plant, then ZiS, the current ZiLe, calmed down only after the secretary of the party’s Moscow committee Shcherbakov spoke to her, who clearly explained that the government remains in Moscow and Stalin too. The chairman of the Moscow Soviet, Pronin, traveled more than a dozen enterprises that day, starting with the Southern River Port and ending with the North, but there people everywhere worked quietly and prepared for evacuation. However, Moscow officials at some point succumbed to the general mood. With the filing of the same Shcherbakov production artels, who worked on the front, began to distribute shoes and coats to the population, and Pronin did not even think to object to Mikoyan about the distribution of flour.
Meanwhile, my mother's brother Arkady, with a company just like him, 14-year-old daredevils, also decided to make sure that Stalin did not leave Moscow anywhere. All of Moscow knew that the Kirovskaya metro station was closed not just like that, but under the General Staff, and Stalin usually works at the top, in a small outbuilding. It was late October night, it is difficult now to establish which day, but definitely not in the midst of a panic, and the boys set off. Of course, nobody even let them close to that very wing, but they didn’t prevent them from getting on the roof of the recently rebuilt community of Le-Karbyuz, where Rosstat now settled. And from there, as they enthusiastically whispered to their younger sister, Arkashka, they definitely saw "Stalin himself." It is clear that it is unlikely, but the guys probably still saw the light in the slits of the windows of the outhouse.
Only three days after the panic, Moscow was transferred to a state of siege. Perhaps, if this had been done before October 16, nothing terrible would have happened, although rather the opposite.
But since October 17, the police, state security agencies, fire brigade and other structures, which are now called “power”, worked in Moscow, as in the besieged city with the right to shoot looters and bandits on the spot.
But no rivers of blood flow through the streets of the capital. According to the city reports of the NKVD, which did not lie then, for the second and third decade in the capital, all 7 people were shot in the place of the entire huge city. True, by the order of the military tribunal, that is, legally already - 98, but for wartime it is not so much at all.
And yet, whatever they may say that there was no power in the city, even the chaos in the city economy did not drag on. So, the trams went already after noon of that very October 16, the metro too. Also opened those stores that in the morning did not engage in free distribution of goods to the public. The power in the city, if it was lost for some time, was restored very quickly.
And people felt it right away. The same Marina Grove immediately went quiet, there were such stripping, that the friends called their mother’s brother “beat the Maryins”. They were supposedly “tweaked by the cops so much that now they are afraid of everyone”. Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19, came in very handy. True patriots in those days proved to be clergy, and the Orthodox and Muslims. The few remaining churches in Moscow were overcrowded, Hitler was unequivocally called the Antichrist, and the believers were called to "lie down with their bones ...". The cathedral mosque on Meshchanskaya not only called for struggle against the invaders, but also refused to evacuate the shrines. The janitor-Tatar uncle Grisha, well-known to the informer, but no less respected by anybody, told this to everyone proudly on the Samara Lane.
Many company executives refused to comply with the order on the calculation of employees and the termination of work and thereby sharply reduced the tension in the city. A number of stores that launched the October 16 free distribution of goods to the public were forcibly closed the same day, and this was not done by government officials, but usually by the police or military patrols. Such cases in Lefortovo, on Bolshaya Polyanka and the same Meshchanskaya were not without pride, later recalled by Muscovites.
Moscow itself did not remain without troops for one hour. On the boulevards trenches were dug, in which tanks were stationed. And it did not bother anyone.
October 16 machine gunners placed not only on Komsomolskaya Square at three railway stations, but also at the Frunze airfield on Khodynka - to protect the four Douglas, recorded at the Supreme Command Headquarters.
The decree on the introduction of the state of siege, in contrast to the decree on evacuation, was published immediately and without cuts. It began with the old-regime "Sim is announced ...", as if the Supreme Commander did refer to the glorious stories capitals - to 1612-th and 1812 year. So, another document:
“Sim announced that the defense of the capital at the frontiers located 100-120 km west of Moscow was assigned to the commander of the Western Front, General of the Army comrade Zhukov, and the head of the Moscow garrison was charged with the defense of Moscow at her approaches.
In order to provide logistical support for the defense of Moscow and strengthen the rear of the troops defending Moscow, as well as to curb the subversive activities of spies, saboteurs and other agents of German fascism, the State Defense Committee decided:
1. To introduce from 20 in October 1941 in the city of Moscow and the areas adjacent to the city a state of siege.
2. To prohibit all street traffic, both individuals and transports, from 12 hours of the night to 5 hours of the morning, with the exception of transports and persons who have special passes from the commandant of Moscow, and in the event of an air alert, the movement of the population and transports must approved by the Moscow air defense ...
The State Defense Committee calls upon all the working people of the capital to observe order and calm and render all assistance to the Red Army, which is defending Moscow. ”
October 12, on the day when Hitler promised the Japanese ambassador to take the Russian capital, the high command of the German ground forces issued a directive on the first results of the autumn offensive against Moscow. It read:
“The Fuhrer again decided that the capitulation of Moscow should not be accepted, even if it is offered by the enemy ... anyone who tries to leave the city and pass through our positions should be shot at and driven back. Small open passages, which provide an opportunity for mass exodus of people to internal Russia, can only be welcomed ... The more people rush into internal Russia, the more chaos will increase in Russia and the easier it will be to manage the occupied eastern regions and use them. ”
Four days later, the flight from the capital of the USSR became a tragic reality, but there were no mention of the Germans who would “fire and drive away” near Moscow.
A small detachment of fascist motorcycle intelligence officers, who broke through to the bridge over the canal. Moscow in Khimki, was destroyed in half an hour by the tankers of the division of the NKVD. Dzerzhinsky. A few days after the October events, the enemy was stopped just four kilometers from Kashira, but no one turned off the power plant there, one of the two who supplied the capital with energy in those days. Even later, when the threat of forcing the channel to them. Moscow in the area of Dmitrov, the workers of the canal managed to open one of the locks and turn on the water on the already frozen section. The deep ditch formed, filled with huge prickly ice floes, became an insurmountable obstacle for the German troops, even for tanks. And there are a great many such examples, when the warriors did not rise to the defense of Moscow, but the most peaceful citizens.
If we talk about the notorious "battalion of German paratroopers," the capital was something to meet him. As part of the garrison of the capital, there were only six air defense regiments. In addition to 12, thousands of militiamen from the next formed division, several rifle and tank divisions pulled from Siberia and the Far East were already stationed in Moscow and its environs in October 41. In two weeks, they will march along Red Square, and in a month and a half they will go on a counter-offensive and push the enemy away from the capital 100-150 kilometers.
And in general, an almost uninterrupted stream of troops was going through Moscow in those days, and their movements were regularly reported to Stalin.
And on the tragic day of October 16, by the way, also about what there are registered entries in the account book of the General Staff Affairs Management. It is not difficult to conclude that on this day, before evening negotiations with Zhukov, Stalin managed to visit Kirov Street.
It is unlikely that the Supreme moved around Moscow only by metro, and therefore, he himself could see the situation on the streets and draw conclusions. One of the guards of Stalin claimed that the flea market on Stoleshnikov Lane, where, in anticipation of the evacuation, Muscovites were selling family antiques cheaply, just broke up on October 16 on the personal order of the leader. For this, it was enough just expressed casual discontent.
It remains to cite another not very well-known fact. After a conversation with Zhukov, late in the evening on October 16, Stalin went to Petrovsko-Razumovskoye, where the wounded General Eremenko lay in a military hospital, whose armies had managed to escape from Nazi ticks several days earlier. The general was well aware of how our troops are fighting in the environs of Vyazma. They actually sacrificed themselves so that the Germans could not remove the troops from the encirclement and move to Moscow. The "Circumstances" also helped Zhukov very much to put together a strong defense on the approaches to the capital. And it seems to Stalin that Eremenko only added confidence that no one is going to surrender Moscow ...