America vs England. Part of 16. Crossroads of history

America vs England. Part of 16. Crossroads of history

Adolf Hitler and Bulgarian Tsar Boris III.


With the destruction of the French army by the Nazis, and the naval forces by a recent British ally, the question arose of whose corpse America would go further to its coveted world domination - England, Germany or the Soviet Union. Hitler, no doubt, wanted to destroy the USSR together with England, led by Chamberlain or Halifax - for this purpose he saved the British expeditionary force, began to create an army of invasion of the USSR and repeatedly offered the world to England.


However, since Churchill was firmly established in power in England, determined to destroy Nazi Germany in alliance with the USSR, Hitler now needed to determine his future actions. And either by removing Churchill from power, return Chamberlain, Halifax or Edward to rule the country for a joint campaign against the USSR, or continue cooperation with Stalin and destroy the UK together with the USSR, or without ending the war with England to drive Germany to the slaughter and attack the Soviet Union .

The latter option was the least acceptable for Hitler, but he would have been completely satisfied with the destruction of Britain in alliance with the USSR. As part of this strategy, Hitler handed over to Stalin the materials of the Anglo-French planning of the bombing of Baku so that in exchange for the security of the southern borders of the USSR, he agreed to help Germany destroy Britain. The intrigue was that in the current clash of interests the decisive word was not for Berlin, but for Washington. And from what America will take the final decision, depended the further course of military operations, the outcome of the war and the post-war structure of the world.

"For the first time, the question of delimiting the sphere of influence in the Balkans between Germany, Italy and the USSR, as well as the participation of the USSR in the war with England, was raised by Germany 4 March 1940, even during the war of the USSR with Finland, preparing Germany for the occupation of Norway, Holland, Belgium and France , as well as the end of France and England preparations for the occupation of Norway and the invasion of the Soviet Union from the territory of Finland "(S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 5. Battle for Bulgaria // http://topwar.ru/38865 -sovetskoe-s trategicheskoe-planirovanie-nakanune-velikoy-otechestvennoy-voyny-chast-5-bitva-za-bolgariyu.html). As we see, Hitler quite suited the format of the Soviet sphere of influence in the form of military bases of the Red Army in controlled territories without their inclusion in the USSR, and he was not averse to exchanging the Balkans on the same terms. In turn, Stalin, fearing the penetration of Germany into the sphere of influence of the USSR, until its full control was established there, was not disposed to its further expansion.

However, as soon as in May 1940 in the Baltic republics, mass popular demonstrations took place, Stalin immediately raised the issue of delimiting the sphere of influence in the Balkans between the USSR, Germany and Italy. In particular, “at the end of May, Gelfand, Charge d'Affaires of the USSR in Rome and the German ambassador Mackensen discussed the need to solve the Balkan problem by joint efforts of Germany, Italy and the USSR, and V. Molotov asked for an immediate request for 3 on June 1940 of the year Berlin “does this Mackensen statement reflect the German point of view and the Italian government’s point of view on this issue” (S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part 5. Battle for Mass garyu. ibid.).

“9 June 1940 of the USSR and Japan, with the active assistance of Germany and Italy, concluded an agreement on the demarcation of the Soviet-Manchurian border” (M. Leontiev, The Big Game. - Moscow: AST; SPb .: Astrel-SPb, 2008. - C. 188) . “17 – 21 June 1940 of the year in Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, after the May mass popular demonstrations, popular democratic governments were created and additional contingents of Soviet troops were introduced. ... 20 June 1940, the Ambassador of the Kingdom of Italy to the USSR A. Rosso, who arrived from Rome after the exchange of ambassadors, announced Italy’s readiness to assist the USSR in the peaceful settlement of the Bessarabian issue. 23 June 1940 of the year F. Schulenburg informed V. Molotov about the answer I. von Ribbentrop - an agreement concluded by the Soviet Union with Germany in August 1939, is also valid for the Balkan question, and the agreement on consultations applies to the Balkans. ...

25 June 1940 of the year V. Molotov made a statement to A. Rosso, calling it a base for a solid agreement between Italy and the USSR. The statement spoke of the territorial claim of the USSR to Romania, the Black Sea Straits and the entire southern and southeastern coast of the Black Sea in exchange for dividing the remaining territory of Turkey between Italy and Germany, as well as recognition of the USSR as the main Black Sea power Mediterranean Sea Acting within the framework of the August Treaty of 1939 and the agreement on a joint solution to the Balkan issue, the Soviet Union presented Romania’s claims on the return of Besarabia and Ukrainians-occupied Bucovina to 28 on June 1940 of the year. The requirements of the USSR to Romania by Germany and Italy with regard to Bessarabia were fully supported, and with respect to Bukovina by the USSR, since the August 1918 agreement of the year did not extend to it, going towards Germany, limited its claims to the Northern part of it. As a result, Romania 1939 June - 28 July 2 of the year returned the whole of Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina to the USSR ”(S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 1940. Battle for Bulgaria. Ibid.).

To exert pressure on Churchill, Hitler on the eve of the July 13 peace initiative, 1940, ordered to prepare a landing operation against England by early September. 19 July 1940 of the Year, in full accordance with its policy statement in Mein Kampf, the rescue of the British expeditionary forces at Dunkirk, the preservation of French sovereignty, colonies, army and navy and the increase in the number of German mobile units, Hitler proposed the world of England to participate in a joint struggle with the Soviet Union. Meanwhile, in July 1940, parliamentary elections were held in the Baltic Republics and 21 on July 1940, the people's diet of Latvia and Lithuania, as well as the Estonian State Duma proclaimed Soviet power in the Baltics and appealed to the Soviet government to join the USSR. In response, on the same day, Hitler demanded that von Brauchitsch begin preparations for war with the USSR in the autumn of 1940 by the German armed forces as part of the 120 divisions.

Meanwhile, Chamberlain and Halifax signed their utter impotence, and Churchill on July 22 1940 predictably refused the proposed world. 24 June 1940, General Marshall, Chief of Staff of the American Army, spoke of the need to assist the British. According to him, “if the British show that they can stand in the face of the German strike and, receiving a little help, hold out for a year, then from the point of view of our security, it is advisable to hand them some military materials and weapons” (N.N. Yakovlev and England in World War II (http://historic.ru/books/item/f00/s00/z0000025/st020.shtml).

Under the circumstances, Hitler attempted to negotiate with 1940 who had fled in May from the headquarters of the joint Allied Command Edward about his return to England. However, that July 28 in Lisbon stated to R. Hess that “at the moment ... he is not ready to risk a civil war in Britain for the return of the throne, but bombings may bring reason to Britain and may prepare the country for his imminent return from the Bahamas at that moment he accepted at the suggestion of Churchill. " (Preparata GD Hitler, inc. How Britain and the United States created the Third Reich // http://www.litmir.me/br/?b=210343&p=93).

Since attempts to remove Churchill from power failed, 31 July 1940 of the year Hitler announced his intention to defeat the USSR in the spring of 1941 of the year. The postponement was due to the new threat from England and the need to increase the Wehrmacht to 180 divisions. 120 divisions were still allocated for operations in the East, while 60 additional divisions were planned to be deployed in the West: 50 divisions in France, 3 - in Holland and Belgium, 7 - in Norway. 1 August 1940, the Windsors headed from Lisbon to the Bahamas, and Hitler issued the directive No. 17, according to which he tried to reason with the British on large-scale air raids and prepare the country for the imminent return of Edward. Meanwhile, the air battle for Britain launched by 13 August ended with the defeat of the Luftwaffe. The victorious Battle of Britain not only reinforced the spirit of the British, but also swept Edward out of the political scene. Operation Sea Lion finally lost its relevance and was moved first to the second half of September, then to October 1940 of the year, and then completely to the spring of 1941 of the year.

31 March 1940, the Karelian Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic, as it is called for growth, was transformed into the 12-th Union Soviet Socialist Republic - Karelo-Finnish. In August 1940, the Soviet Union accepted the 13, 14, 15 and 16 of the Union Soviet Socialist Republic: the 2 of August 1940 of the USSR formed the Moldavian SSR, and the 3 of August included Lithuania in the USSR , 5 August - Latvia, 6 August - Estonia. After the final establishment of the western borders of the USSR, the General Staff of the Red Army began to develop a plan for the defense of the new border.

19 August 1940, the plan was developed to defeat the units of the Wehrmacht in East Prussia with a blow from the Belostok salient. Of the total composition of the Red Army in the 226 divisions and 24 tank brigades, 179 divisions and 14 tank brigades were allocated for operations in the West. 107 divisions and 7 tank brigades were allocated to strike from the Bialystok salient to the Baltic coast. 11 divisions and 3 tank brigades were allocated to the Northern Front, 61 division and 4 tank brigades were assigned to the South-Western division (Lebedev S. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 1. Counteroffensive and preventive attack // http://topwar.ru /37961-sovetskoe-strategicheskoe-planirovanie-nakanune-velikoy-otechestvennoy-voyny-chast-1-kontrnastuplenie-i-preventivnyy-udar.html).



1 schema. Actions of the Armed Forces of the Red Army in the European theater of operations according to the deployment plan of August 19 from 1940. Source: S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 1. Counteroffensive and preemptive strike // http://topwar.ru/37961-sovetskoe-strategicheskoe-planirovanie-nakanune-velikoy-otechestvennoy-voyny-chast-1-kontrnastuplenie-i-preventivnyy-udar.html

However, Stalin, in view of the imminent confrontation with Germany over the Balkans, instructed the general headquarters to supplement the strategic deployment plan of the Red Army with the deployment of the main grouping of Soviet troops south of the Pripyat swamps and the 18 plan of September 1940 of the year provided for an alternative strike from the Lviv salient. Of the total composition of the Red Army in the 226 divisions and 25 tank brigades, 175 divisions and 15 tank brigades were allocated for operations in the West. 94 divisions and 7 tank brigades were assigned to strike from the Lvov bulge to Krakow. 13 divisions and 2 tank brigades were assigned to the North Front, 68 divisions and 6 tank brigades to the South-Western division (Lebedev S. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 1. Counteroffensive and preventive strike. Ibid.).


2 schema. Actions of the Armed Forces of the Red Army in the European theater of operations in accordance with the deployment plan of 18 in September 1940. Source: S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 1. Counteroffensive and preemptive strike. Ibid.

Meanwhile, this plan was developed in case of aggravation and rupture of relations with Germany. In the event of their deepening and development, the Soviet political leadership was offered for consideration a plan for the defeat by the Red Army of the armed forces of Finland. Since military operations were planned to be carried out with the friendly position of Germany against the Finnish army, a grouping three times superior to the number of divisions was created from the LenVR, PribOVO, ZOVO, KOVO, HVO, OrVO, MVO, ArchVO, SKVO, PrivVO and URVO units (Lebedev S. Soviet Strategic Planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 1. Counteroffensive and preemptive strike. Ibid.).


3 schema. Actions of the Armed Forces of the Red Army against Finland in accordance with the deployment plan dated September 18 1940. Source: S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 1. Counteroffensive and preemptive strike. Ibid.

In the plan from October 5 1940, the composition of the Red Army was increased by 42 divisions and 18 tank brigades from 226 divisions and 25 tank brigades to 268 divisions and 43 tank brigades. The strike force was increased by 32 divisions, 13 tank brigades and brought to the number of 126 divisions and 20 tank brigades, which allowed to deepen the blow to Breslau. The plan was developed as a counterattack against the German aggressor invading the USSR, provided for a long period of mobilization and deployment of new divisions in wartime and was adopted on October 15, but as early as the October 1940 mobil plan, the composition of the Red Army was further increased by 24 division to 292 divisions and 43 tank brigades. By bringing the size of the strike force to 134 – 150 divisions and 20 tank brigades, the General Staff was able to ensure its access to the Baltic coast to surround the Wehrmacht grouping in East Prussia. All three strategic deployment plans included a strike by the Germans against the Western Front on Minsk from the Suwalki and Brest region (Lebedev S. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part 1. Counteroffensive and preventive strike. Ibid.).


4 schema. Actions of the Armed Forces of the Red Army in the European theater of operations according to the deployment plan of October 5 from 1940. Source: S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 1. Counteroffensive and preemptive strike. Ibid.

Despite the availability of a developed alternative, the option of locating the main forces of the Red Army north of the Pripyat swamps was considered the main alternative, and therefore in case of a break in relations with Germany following the upcoming talks on the division of spheres of influence in the Balkans 11 of October 1940, USSR Commissar of Defense of the USSR Marshal of the Soviet Union S.K. Tymoshenko on 17 – 19 in November 1940 of the year one bilateral game was planned in the north-western direction on the theme “Offensive front with a breakthrough of the SD” to study the Baltic theater of military operations and the organization of the planning and leadership of the army and front operations against Eastern Prussia (Bobylev PN Rehearsal of a catastrophe // http://www.rkka.ru/analys/kshu/main.htm; Russian archive: Great Patriotic War. T. 12 (1 – 2). On the eve of the war. Proceedings of the Higher Meeting of the Red Army 23 – 31 management team April 1940. - M .: TERRA, 1993 // http://militera.lib.ru/docs/da/sov-new-1940/92.html).

Meanwhile, the Soviet leadership still had hope of deepening relations with Germany, jointly dividing the Balkans into spheres of influence, joining the USSR Finland, South Bucovina, the Black Sea Straits, and therefore the plan of the counterattack on Germany provided for parallel development of plans for conducting military operations against Finland, Romania and Turkey . In particular, the headquarters of the Leningrad Military District was instructed to "develop a plan of operation" NW. 20 ”(“ revenge in the North-West ”), which was based on the 18 plan of September 1940, taking into account the planned increase in the Red Army” (S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part 1. Counteroffensive and preventive strike Ibid.)

In the summer of 1940, the British Empire alone stood up to Germany with Italy that had joined it, which the USA did not fail to take advantage of. In August, 1940 in Ogdenberg (New York), US President F.D. Roosevelt and Canadian Prime Minister Mackenzie King agreed to establish the Permanent Joint Defense Council of the United States and Canada as an advisory body. Provision was made for the deployment of American troops in Canada, military supplies and joint consultations. The military-political ties of the two countries legitimized the actual US military control over all of North America. This agreement caused discontent in London, since for the first time in stories The Commonwealth of Canada allowed herself to conclude such a large international agreement without consulting the UK and without taking into account its interests ”(Recent history of European and American countries. XX century: Textbooks for students of higher educational institutions: In 2 ch. / Ed. And M. Rodriguez and M. V. Ponomareva - M .: Humanitarian ed. Center VLADOS, 2001. - Part 1: 1900 – 1945. - C. 162.

Meanwhile, September 2 himself already had to personally rent Roosevelt eight strategic bases in the British possessions in the western hemisphere in Newfoundland, Bermuda and Bahamas, Jamaica, the Islands of Antigua, Santa Lucia, Trinidad and British Guiana for a period of X. an exchange for those who, according to Roosevelt, "with the last gasp", were decommissioned from the US fleet and were to be sold for scrap as a crowd for 99 thousand dollars 250 destroyers built during the first world war. Since Churchill was originally intended to get destroyers from his “good friend” Roosevelt for free, as a generous gift, to demonstrate the bonds binding the Anglo-Saxon world without any concessions on his part, he later did not even conceal his displeasure with this treaty, comparing it with the then relations of the USSR and Finland (the Treaty "destroyers in exchange for bases" // https://ru.wikipedia.org; Yakovlev NN Ibid.).

Meanwhile, Hitler began to knock together Germany's sphere of influence in the Balkans without taking into account the interests of the USSR. “On August 30 by the decision of the second Vienna Arbitration of Germany and Italy of Hungary transferred the territory of northern Transylvania, Romania received a guarantee of its new borders, and on September 7 of Romania signed a Romanian-Bulgarian agreement on the transfer of the territory of South Dobrudja to Bulgaria. The arbitration decision of Germany and Italy of the Romanian question without the participation of the USSR and the guarantee of new pages of Romania ... put an end to the claims of the USSR to Southern Bukovina, violated 1940 article of the August non-aggression agreement between Germany and the USSR about consultation on issues of interest to both parties, as well as agreement on a joint decision of the USSR, Germany and Italy on the Balkan Question "(S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part 3. Battle for Bulgaria. Ibid.).

6 September 1940, the year Hitler issued an order commencing the redeployment of German ground forces to the East. 13 September 1940 Italian troops invaded Egypt from the territory of Cyrenaica and dug in near Sidi Barrani in 90 km from the border. 27 September 1940 was a pact of three powers - Germany, Italy and Japan. “September 22 1940 Germany entered into an agreement with Finland on the transit of German troops to Northern Norway through Finland, which was perceived in Moscow as an invasion of the Soviet sphere of influence. The invasion of 28 in October 1940 of Italy into Greece again violated the agreement on the joint solution of the Balkan issue of the USSR, Germany and Italy. ...

Since Germany was almost ready to create a new German sphere of influence in the Balkans, "Count Schulenburg from Moscow ... advised Ribbentrop October 30 not to announce the expected accession of Hungary, Romania, Slovakia and Bulgaria to the Axis powers before Molotov's arrival and consult first with the Russian foreign minister" . With a favorable outcome of the negotiations, V. Molotov planned to offer a peaceful action in the form of an open declaration of 4-s powers (Germany, Italy, Japan and the USSR) "on the condition of preserving the British Empire (without mandated territories) with all those possessions that England now owns and subject to non-interference in the affairs of Europe and the immediate withdrawal from Gibraltar and Egypt, as well as with the obligation to immediately return Germany to its former colonies and immediately grant dominion rights to India. ”

Already on the eve of the talks, I. Stalin hastily telegraphed V. Molotov: “If it comes to the declaration, then I am submitting an amendment on behalf of the comrades: I propose deleting the paragraph about India. Motives: we are afraid that counterparties may perceive the clause on India as a mischief aimed at stirring up war. ” In case of successful completion of negotiations, it was supposed to appoint a new visit of I. von Ribbentrop to Moscow to sign a new, broader treaty of Germany with the USSR ”(S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part 5. Battle for Bulgaria. Ibid.).

In turn, Hitler in November 1940, in negotiations with Molotov, was looking not so much for a “full-fledged union” with Moscow, as for reasons for disengagement. He assured Molotov in every possible way that “the war for England was already over, having once said all the same that Germany wages war against England not for life, but for death. Instead of recognizing the sphere of interest requested by Moscow, Hitler demanded that she “put up with Germany’s invasion of the Soviet sphere of interests in Finland, the formation of the German sphere of influence in the Balkans, and the revision of the Monre Convention regarding the Straits instead of transferring them to Moscow. A. Hitler refused to say anything specifically about Bulgaria at all, citing the need to consult with partners on the Tripartite Pact - Japan and Italy.

At the negotiations ended. Both sides agreed to continue negotiations through diplomatic channels, and I. von Ribbentrop’s visit to Moscow was canceled. V. Molotov was disappointed with the outcome of the negotiations. ” Meanwhile, Hitler, in order to resolve the main problem associated with the acquisition of colonies by Germany and the victory over England, agreed in principle to the demands of Molotov and was already inclined towards an alliance with Moscow. According to him, “a coalition between Germany and the Soviet Union will be an overwhelming force and will inevitably lead to complete victory. ...

He was dissatisfied with the guarantees that the Russians agreed to provide to Bulgaria, however, he noted that it was somehow scattered that minor issues should be subordinated to the solution of the main problems. W. Churchill admitted that “it’s hard to even imagine what would happen as a result of an armed alliance between two great continental empires with millions of soldiers, with the aim of dividing production in the Balkans, Turkey, Persia and the Middle East, having India in reserve, and Japan, an ardent participant of the “sphere of the Great East Asia”, as its partner ”(S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part 5. Battle for Bulgaria. Ibid.).

Without the authority to decide independently the fate of Germany, Hitler turned to the gray cardinal of Nazi Germany, Franz von Pappen - one of the last leaders of the Weimar Republic, who took direct part in Hitler's rise to power in Germany, put his hand to the Anschluss of Austria, who opened the road of Germany to the East, and now , being in Turkey as a German ambassador, picked up the master key to the doors to Iran and India. According to the memoirs of F. von Pappen, “the information about the guarantees offered to Bulgaria by Molotov allowed me to get a clear idea of ​​the price we have to pay for a full-fledged union with the Russians. We were at the crossroads of history. I could understand how tempting Hitler should be to oppose the British Empire and the United States with his allies with the Russians. His decision could change the face of the world.

With this thought, before leaving, I told him: “Do not forget that in January 1933, we joined forces in order to protect Germany — and with it all of Europe — from the Communists." ... Choosing between the coalition of Germany with the USSR, which inevitably leads to the victory, and the war on two fronts with England and the Soviet Union that inevitably end in defeat of Germany, A. Hitler chose the defeat of Germany. It must be assumed that the main goal of A. Hitler, as well as the people behind him, was not the creation of Great Germany and its acquisition of living space, and not even the fight against communism, but the destruction of Germany in the battle with the Soviet Union "for the sake of the American national interests (Lebedev S. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 5. Battle for Bulgaria. Ibid.).

“20 November 1940 of the Year Hungary was openly joined to the tripartite alliance, November 23 was Romania, and November November 24 was Slovakia. By creating a new German sphere of influence in the Balkans, A. Hitler actually abandoned a full-fledged alliance with the USSR ”(S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 5. Battle for Bulgaria. Ibid.). Meanwhile, the refusal of 25 in November of 1940 of Bulgaria to join the pact of three was interpreted by Moscow as an invitation to a full-fledged union, and on the same day V. Molotov gave a new detailed answer to the proposal of I. von Ribbentrop about creating an alliance.

“As preconditions, the Soviet side put forward demands for the immediate withdrawal of German troops from Finland, the conclusion of a mutual assistance pact between Bulgaria and the Soviet Union, the provision of bases for Soviet land and sea forces in the Bosphorus and Dardanelles, as well as the recognition of territories south of Batum and Baku in the direction of the Persian Gulf area of ​​interest of Russian. The secret article assumed a joint military action in the event of Turkey’s refusal to join the alliance. ”

Since Moscow, having confirmed its demands, refused to follow German policy as a junior partner of 29 in November, 3 and 7 in December 1940, the Germans conducted operational-strategic games on maps, in which “three stages of the future Eastern campaign were worked out, respectively: border battle; the defeat of the second echelon of the Soviet troops and access to the line Minsk - Kiev; the destruction of Soviet troops east of the Dnieper and the seizure of Moscow and Leningrad "(S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part 5. Battle for Bulgaria. Ibid.). Meanwhile, despite the fact that the Soviet government made all possible concessions and not only did not raise the issue of Sovietization, it even agreed to preserve the monarchy in the country, “November 30 November 1940 Bulgaria refused Soviet security guarantees.

The belief of the Soviet leaders that Germany and Bulgaria accept the Soviet proposals was such that the Bulgarians had to explain to the Soviet leadership for the second time 18 December that Bulgaria really refused the USSR proposal, after which Hitler finally approved and put into effect the plan Barbarossa "(S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part 5. Battle for Bulgaria. Ibid.). Thus, it can be said that although later (Bulgaria did not participate in the war against the USSR due to the great sympathy of the Bulgarians for the Russians as liberators from the Turkish yoke ”(Bulgarian operation // https://ru.wikipedia.org), it was discord because of it, ultimately provoked a conflict between the USSR and Germany. "Preparations for war with the Soviet Union should have started immediately and ended by 15 in May 1941 of the year" (Papen F. Vice-Chancellor of the Third Reich. Memoirs of a politician of Hitler's Germany 1933 – 1947 / Translated from English MG Baryshnik va -. M .: Tsentrpoligraf, 2005 -. S. 459).

In view of the unfavorable outcome of the negotiations with Germany and Bulgaria, the Soviet general staff “the game was rescheduled and tied to the end of the December meeting of the top commanders of the Red Army, while the scope of the game increased significantly: in addition to the game in the north-west direction -western direction "(On the eve of the war. Proceedings of the meeting of the senior management of the Red Army 23 – 31 December 1940. Decree. Op.). “Lists of the management and participants of the first game were prepared on 13 – 14 in December and approved on 20 in December on 1940. The same documents for the second game were prepared and approved only on the day of its start - January 8 1941 of the year ”(P. Bobylev, Ibid.).

The meeting of the top commanders of the Red Army, at which new forms and methods of combat use of troops were examined, was held in Moscow from 23 to 31 in December 1940 of the year. “During the discussion ... of the report of the commander of the Moscow Military District I.V. Tyuleneva, Chief of Staff of the Moscow Military District, V.D. Sokolovsky suggested the need to revise the attitude to defense, which, in his opinion, like an offensive, was capable of solving not only secondary but also the main task of military actions — defeating the main enemy forces. For this V.D. Sokolovsky offered not to be afraid of short-term surrender of part of the USSR territory to the enemy, skip his strike groups deep into the country, crush on previously prepared lines, and only then proceed to implement the task of mastering the enemy’s territory ”(S. Lebedev Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part 2. Plan for the defeat of the Wehrmacht on the territory of the USSR // http://topwar.ru/38092-sovetskoe-strategicheskoe-planirovanie-nakanune-velikoy-otechestvennoy-voyny-chast-2-plan-razgroma-vermahta-na-territorii-sssr.html) .

“At the end of the meeting in early January 1941, the Soviet General Staff held two military-strategic games on the maps to determine the most effective option for the Red Army to strike Germany north or south of the Pripyat Marshes to the Baltic Sea, bypassing the fortifications of East Prussia.” In the first game, the blow of the “Oriental” headed by Pavlov from the Belostok projection turned out to be extremely sensitive to the enemy’s counterstrike. At the same time, the “eastern” (USSR), led by Zhukov in the second game, struck from the Lvov salient, quickly defeated the “southern” (Romania), “south-western” (Hungary) and began a rapid advance into the territory of the “western” (Germany ). “It was this deployment option that was approved as the main one” (S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 1. Counteroffensive and preventive strike. Ibid.).

In the first case, the “Western” offensive developed from East Prussia in the direction of Riga and Dvinsk, and from the Suvalki and Brest regions in the direction of Baranavichy. ... The most dangerous was the strike from the Suwalki region to Grodno, Volkovysk with access to the rear of the left-flank armies of the North-Western Front ”(PN Bobylev, Ibid.). The assumption of a strike by the Wehrmacht against the troops of the Western Front from Suvalki and Brest to Baranavichy was contrary to all previous installations and turned out to be wrong, but it was further developed in all subsequent plans of deploying the Red Army in the West, caused an error in determining the direction of the main attack of the army of the Center groups, the wrong the location of the troops of the Western Front to repel the attack, predetermined the encirclement and the defeat of the Western Front, as well as the disruption of the entire strategic plan of the Soviet command to WMD strike groups of the Wehrmacht at the turn of the Western Dvina - in June 1941 years Dnipro (S. Lebedev Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II Part 2 Wehrmacht defeat of the plan in the USSR There is...).

At the end of the 1 game in February 1941, G.K. was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Red Army. Zhukov, N.F. Vatutin, and for I.V. Sokolovsky was specially introduced a new post of deputy chief of staff on organizational and mobilization issues. In this case, N.F. Vatutin began to develop a plan for delivering a preemptive strike on Germany from the Lvov ledge, and V.D. Sokolovsky - to develop a plan for defeating the enemy deep in the territory of the USSR. “In February 1941 of the year a new mobilization plan was adopted, providing for the transfer of the Red Army in the prewar period to the staff of 314 divisions (292 divisions deployed from 22 tank brigades were added to the previous 43 divisions). In addition, apparently, everything was ready for the formation of several dozens of divisions with the start of military operations ”(S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 1. Counteroffensive and preventive strike. Ibid.).

Starting December 30 on 1940, a consultation on the Straits issue with Italy, Moscow launched the epic diplomatic “Battle of Bulgaria” with Berlin. “10 January 1941, Germany and the USSR signed an agreement regulating territorial issues in Lithuania, and already 13 in January, Moscow reminded Berlin of the unresolved problem between Germany and the USSR regarding Bulgaria. In addition, 17 January 1941, V. Molotov reminded Berlin that ... "the Soviet government repeatedly pointed out to the German government that it viewed the territory of Bulgaria and the Straits as a security zone of the USSR and that it could not be indifferent to events that threaten the interests security of the USSR. In view of all this, the Soviet Government considers it its duty to warn that it will consider the appearance of any foreign armed forces on the territory of Bulgaria and the Straits as a violation of the security interests of the USSR. ”

Taking the 7 in February, Sidi Barani, Bardia, Tobruk and Beda-Fomm, the British victoriously completed the 9 of December 1940 of December launched an attack on the positions of the Italian troops in Libya, which lost over 130 thousand people and 380 tanks in two months. 2 (according to other 8 data) February 1941 was signed an agreement allowing German troops to enter Bulgaria, and 10 February W. Churchill, trying to involve the USSR in the war between England and Germany, made an unexpected decision to stop the advance of British forces from El Ageyla and to transfer a large and better part of them from Egypt to Greece, which saved the Italian troops from the danger of complete ousting from North Africa. ... Due to the difficult situation, the German and Italian troops arriving from 14 in February of 1941 in Libya were immediately thrown into battle. ...

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

27 February 1941 Italy gave its final answer on the Black Sea straits, from which it was clear that Italy does not play any role in this matter, and that A. Hitler had all the time been deceiving the Soviet leadership since the November talks with Moscow. 28 February V. Molotov warned Berlin against the accession of Bulgaria to the pact of three without the participation of the USSR in it and the entry of German troops into the Bulgarian territory, since the Soviet leadership would take this action as a violation of the security of the USSR. However, 1 March, 1941, Bulgaria nevertheless joined the triple alliance. V. Molotov reiterated that the Soviet leadership would regard the entry of the German troops into Bulgaria as a violation of the security of the USSR and would continue to refuse further support for Germany.

Despite the Soviet warning 2 March 1941, the 12-I German army entered Bulgaria, and already 5 March 1941, the British troops landed in Greece. Prior to this, the British military presence in Greece was limited to aviation units. ... 17 March A. Hitler ordered the need to expel the British from the Balkans. ... A new clash between Germany and England in Europe, this time in Greece, has become inevitable. At the same time, the position of Britain was so difficult that, in view of its insolvency, on March 11, the US Congress ratified the Lend-Lease Act, which allows weapons and strategic materials of all who fight, and will fight against the fascist bloc regardless of their solvency ”(S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 5. Battle for Bulgaria. Ibid.).

Hitler’s invasion of the Soviet sphere of interests was regarded by the Kremlin as a declaration of war. 11 March 1941 in the USSR approved a plan for a preventive attack on Germany 12 June 1941, and the start of the expansion of the Red Army to the 314 divisions was launched. "The new strategic plan of the Red Army from 11 March 1941 of the year included the concentration of the 144 division in the Southwestern Front and apparently meant a preemptive strike of the Southwestern Front troops on the Baltic coast in Germany to surround and destroy immediately the whole group of German troops in the East "(S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part 1. Counteroffensive and preventive strike. Ibid.).


5 schema. Actions of the Armed Forces of the Red Army in the European theater of operations according to the strategic deployment plan of March 11 from 1941. Reconstruction of the author. Source: Lebedev S. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 1. Counteroffensive and preemptive strike. Ibid.


“Thus, although the departure of significant British forces from North Africa cost England quite dearly - 24 March 1941 in North Africa The German African Corps launched an offensive that led to the loss of Cyrenaica to the British on April 11 and the capture of General Nymes and Lieutenant General Richard O'Connon - one of the best experts on North Africa, he fulfilled his task - the Soviet Union decided to attack Germany. For the sake of preventing the breakthrough of the German African Corps to meet the Japanese troops, who threatened both British India and Soviet Central Asia equally, plans for the occupation of Iran began in the USSR and Britain.


6 schema. Joint actions of the Armed Forces of the Red Army and Great Britain in accordance with the strategic deployment plan of March 11 in 1941. Reconstruction of the author. Source: Lebedev S. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 1. Counteroffensive and preemptive strike. Ibid.

26 March 1941 Yugoslavia joined the tripartite alliance, but the very next day a military coup occurred in the country with the support of the British and Soviet intelligence services. ... Considering the scheduled date for the start of hostilities against the Soviet Union ... A. Hitler ... demanded to strike at Yugoslavia with lightning speed, with merciless cruelty, coordinating it in time with the invasion of Greece. 5 April 1941 in Moscow was signed an agreement on friendship and non-aggression between the USSR and Yugoslavia. The treaty was regarded everywhere as the public support of the USSR Yugoslavia, which in Germany was met with great displeasure. The next day, 6 on April 1941, the Wehrmacht launched an offensive, and subsequently the troops of Italy, Hungary and Bulgaria, on Yugoslavia and Greece.

11 April 1941 England proposed to the Soviet Union to render direct military support to the enemies of Germany, but the Soviet Union limited itself to publicly condemning Hungary for the joint attack on Germany with Yugoslavia. 15 April 1941 of the Year A. Hitler designated the island of Crete as the ultimate goal of an offensive against Greece. 18 April 1941 England once again proposed the USSR to begin a rapprochement, threatening otherwise to the Soviet Union rapprochement with Germany, but the Soviet leadership fully blamed England for unstable Anglo-Soviet attitudes.

Yugoslavia capitulated 17 on April 1941, and on April 24, the evacuation of Greek and British troops from Greece began. 25 on April 1941 of the Year A. Hitler signed directive No. 28 on conducting a landing operation on Crete Mercury, and on 30 on April 1941 of the year ordered to complete a strategic deployment to the East by 22 on June 1941 of the year, although according to the plan of Barbarossa from 18 on December 1940 of the year The campaign was scheduled for completion by May 15 of 1941. The postponement of the start of Operation Barbarossa was caused by the conduct of a Wehrmacht military operation in Greece and Yugoslavia. ...

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

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

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

In addition, 13 on April 1941, the Soviet Union signed a neutrality agreement with Japan. “On May 7, diplomatic representatives from Belgium and Norway were expelled from Russia,” on May 8, the Soviet Union “severed diplomatic relations with Yugoslavia, and on June 3 with Greece. ... In the course of the Soviet-German consultations on the Middle East held in Ankara in May, the Soviet side emphasized its readiness to take into account German interests in this region. ” At the same time, in the event of a German attack, the plan of V.D. Sokolovsky, the defeat of the shock of the Wehrmacht on Soviet territory at the turn of the Western Dvina - Dnepr. "And when in April 1941 of the year the British informed Stalin about the approach of the German attack, he replied:" Let them go ... - we are ready to take them! "(S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 5. Battle for Bulgaria. Ibid.) .

Thus, we found that in March 1940, Hitler proposed to Stalin to divide the Balkans as a junior partner, while preserving national governments in the Soviet sphere and ensuring control over them through Soviet military bases. Stalin insisted on equal relations and, for complete control over countries from the Soviet sphere of influence, decided to include them in the USSR with subsequent Sovietization. Disgruntled, Hitler responded in July 1940, decided to attack the USSR 120 divisions with the support of Britain. However, after Chamberlain and Halifax couldn’t provide peace to Britain with Hitler, Churchill wasn’t intimidated by the German invasion of England, and the bombing didn’t force the British to accept Edward Hitler as a weak-willed puppet in the hands of a powerful owner to fulfill American national interests. on the USSR alone, and in order to stop the newly-emerged threat from Britain, it decided to increase the Wehrmacht by 60 divisions - from 120 to 180.

As for the Soviet pre-war strategic planning, the 19 of August 1941 of the General Staff of the Red Army conceived with a strike from the Belostok grouping of 107 divisions and 7 tank brigades of 226 divisions and 24 tank brigades of the Red Army to bypass the fortifications of East Prussia and go around the Baltic to surround them. On September 18, this plan was supplemented by Stalin with the option of attacking the Lviv group in the 94 division and the 7 tank brigades from the 226 divisions and the 25 tank brigades of the Red Army to Krakow. October 5 by increasing the composition of the Red Army to the 268 divisions and 43 tank brigades, and the shock group to the 126 divisions and 20 tank brigades deepened the blow to Breslau. After an increase in the Red Army’s October mobplan to 292 divisions and 43 tank brigades, the strike force brought the Baltic forces back to 134 — 150 divisions and 20 tank brigades, once again achieving the entourage of the Eastern Wehrmacht group. The plan assumed a concentric strike by the Germans on Minsk, was designed for a counterattack against the aggressor invading the USSR, and therefore provided for a considerable period of mobilization, concentration and deployment of new divisions in wartime. In parallel, in the event of the conclusion of an alliance with Germany against Great Britain in the USSR, the elaboration of plans for conducting military operations against Finland, Romania and Turkey began.

Since the war on two fronts for Germany was a genuine and inevitable suicide, Hitler again in November 1940 proposed Stalin to divide the Balkans on the same terms as a junior partnership. Stalin again raised the issue of equality of relations and, in exchange for helping to destroy Great Britain, requested Bulgaria, the Black Sea, the Straits and access to the Indian Ocean. Hitler was almost ready to agree to the conditions of Stalin, but was stunned by his supervisors and obediently ordered to develop a plan of attack on the Soviet Union for the overthrow of British world domination and the maximum weakening of the Soviet Union for later gaining America’s desired hegemony at the cost of defeating Germany in World War II.

In view of Hitler’s rejection of the expansion of the Soviet sphere of influence, Stalin unilaterally declared that for the sake of the USSR’s security Bulgaria’s entry into the Soviet sphere of interests. After the January war games on the 1941 maps of the year, the main variant was adopted with a strike from the Lvov salient, and the Germans reduced the concentric blow from Minsk to Baranavichy, which predetermined the catastrophe of the Western Front in the summer of 1941. In addition to the plan of Vatutin, the defeat of the Wehrmacht in Germany began the development of the plan of Sokolovsky for the defeat of the Wehrmacht in the territory of the USSR. In turn, Churchill decided to stop the American plan of delaying the conflict and began to impose on Stalin a plan to jointly defeat Germany during a brief blitzkrieg. In response, the Americans supplemented their strategy of indirect action against Britain with direct intervention, taking control of Canada, the Atlantic, and beginning to enslave Britain with lend-lease supplies.

After Hitler's invasion of Bulgaria in March 1941, Churchill sent troops to Greece, and Stalin accepted Vatutin’s plan for a preventive attack on 12 on June 1941 on Germany from Lviv's ledge with the support of British troops from Greece and launched the wartime increase in the Red Army from 226 to Germany. divisions and 25 tank brigades to 314 divisions (292 divisions plus 22 divisions deployed from 43 tank brigades). At the same time, the British and Soviet intelligence agencies carried out an anti-German coup in Yugoslavia to expand the British bridgehead in the Balkans, and to cover British India and Soviet Central Asia, a plan for a joint invasion of Iran began in Britain and the USSR. However, after the lightning defeat of Nazi Germany in April 1941 of Yugoslavia and Greece, Stalin refused to openly support Churchill, took a wait-and-see attitude and re-established relations with Hitler, canceled the Vatutin plan for a preventive attack on Germany, adopting the Sokolovsky plan to crush the Wehrmacht in the USSR.


1 table. Grouping of the Red Army based on the materials of the pre-war Soviet strategic planning 1940 – 1941. Compiled by: Note of the USSR but NGSH KA in the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) I.V. Stalin and V.M. Molotov from 19 August 1940 on the basics of the strategic deployment of the USSR Armed Forces in the West and the East on 1940 and 1941 years // 1941. Collection of documents. In 2 pr. Prince 1 / Document No. 95 // www.militera.lib.ru; Note of the USSR and NGSH SC in the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) to I.V. Stalin and V.Molotov from September 18 of 1940 on the basics of the deployment of the armed forces of the Soviet Union in the West and in the East on 1940 and 1941 years // 1941 . Collection of documents. In 2 pr. Prince 1 / Document No. 117 // www.militera.lib.ru; Note BUT USSR and NGS KA in the Central Committee of the CPSU (b) - I.V. Stalin and V.Molotov from October 5 1940 about the basics of the deployment of the armed forces of the Soviet Union in the West and in the East for 1941 years // 1941. Collection of documents. In 2 pr. Prince 1 / Document No. 134 // www.militera.lib.ru; Note BUT USSR and NGS KA from 11 March 1941. // 1941. Collection of documents. In 2 pr. Prince 1 / Document No. 315 // www.militera.lib.ru
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