The lessons of the history of the Great Patriotic War

The lessons of the history of the Great Patriotic War

History Wars need to be studied not only to reduce losses in future wars, but also to live better today. “Only fools learn from their experiences. Smart people learn from someone else,” Bismarck rightly said. History - this is another experience, which should be learned by an intelligent person, even if he is not interested in history. Without knowing the story, a person is able to make mistakes that have already been made before him and may not find the right solutions for today's problems.

However, in the study of history there is a great difficulty - a lie. Many are lying. The Germans say that nowhere do they lie so much, both in war and in hunting. Of course, without knowledge of the details and human relationships of our diverse life, which includes the economy, military service, and national characteristics, it is impossible to assess the true meaning of historical fact.


"The main lie is made on the order of politicians. And this order came immediately after the end of the war, and in all countries at once, including the Soviet Union. The fact is that the war, called cold, and in essence psychological, continued. In this war there were two sides surrounded by allies, and the Soviet Union was forced to take care of its allies, and therefore many facts that compromise them were removed from the history of the war. For example, Poland turned from an aggressor into a sacrifice, and aggressive plans for the USSR became no one interesting. This greatly distorted history and entailed grave consequences in the future. ”(Y. Mukhin,“ Lessons of the Great Patriotic War ", M., Yauza-Press, 2010, p. 12). The struggle against the falsification of the history of the Great Patriotic War, which exposes a historical lie, remains topical even now.

The war is terrible for its losses, and any mistake of the generals leads to losses in a huge number. These mistakes, in addition to ambition and popularity, and forcing memoirists to be silent about many important events and facts, or sometimes frankly lie. How to tell the loser the truth? How, without a loss of honor and respect, even to admit to himself that he was cowardly, more afraid of pain, or could not keep the blows? No one wants to admit to their own miscalculations and mistakes, so the majority of people will use any lie to prove their mind, their bravery, and most importantly, their case in a lost case.

For example, almost all German memoirists explain their defeats either by the fact that “there were few of us and many Russians” or the fact that “in Russia, except for the Crimea, there were frosts -50 °, in the Crimea frosts were -40 °”. At the same time among the Germans there was not one who was not sure of his mental and mental superiority over us. We were subhuman for them, and the cause of the war was basically that. Hitler openly explained this to the Germans in Mein Kampf: "Fate itself points us with a finger. By giving Russia into the hands of Bolshevism, fate deprived the Russian people of that intelligentsia, which still held its statehood and which alone served as a guarantee of the known strength of the state. Non-state talents of the Slavs gave strength and strength to the Russian state. Russia was obliged by all these to the German elements - an excellent example of the enormous state role that the German elements are capable of playing Acting within the lower race. "

The Germans went to teach us, subhumans - Ivanov, how to live and work, they went to lead the Russians as a "superior race." But it did not work ... And the German veterans who sat down to write their memoirs had only one thing left - to close their eyes to the truth and stupidly to repeat, first of all convincing themselves that the Russians are animals that should be tamed for the benefit of all humanity, the Germans, these are wonderful, intelligent and brave soldiers, who had already completely defeated Ivanov, but Hitler prevented them, and even America, inappropriate, entered the war.

Memories of Soviet military leaders of World War II, to one degree or another, but still embellish the memoirist himself. The memories of Marshal Rokossovsky KK are very decent in this respect, they are also very useful for any commander with a large number of interpretations of the events of the war. Interesting honest and intelligent memories of generals Gorbatov, Arkhipov, the diaries of General Belov are strikingly frank.

In preparation for the war, Hitler attracted to the work a number of talented generals: Guderian, Manstein, Rommel, who changed the tactics of the battle, his principles and philosophy. In their strike mobile formations, the Germans divided the infantry into two types with a specialization of combat operations of each type. The type of infantry, which was obliged to destroy the enemy’s well-prepared defenses and destroy them after a breakthrough into the depth of the defense, was called tank forces, and that kind of infantry, which was obliged to consolidate the breakthrough, create a circle around the enemy and repel his counterattack, was simply called infantry. They went into the breakthrough together: in front of the tank corps, consisting of tank divisions with the addition of motorized infantry or simply infantry divisions, followed by infantry corps, consisting only of infantry divisions. This was the main tactical and operational idea of ​​the Germans, with which they conquered the whole of Europe and inflicted huge losses on the Soviet Union.


In 1938-1940 The USSR participated in a whole series of military conflicts: at Lake Hassan, at Khalkhin-Gol, in the campaign for the liberation of western Ukraine and Belarus, in the Finnish war, which revealed huge flaws in the theory of warfare and, accordingly, in the structure of the army, its regulations and instructions, command, organization, in arms and combat training. Voroshilov was removed from his post, and the Commissar of Defense in May 1940 was Marshal Tymoshenko SK, who commanded the front in the Finnish war. The new people's commissar began to energetically prepare the Red Army for war. In terms of this preparation, the question arose - how much do Soviet generals imagine the methods by which they should win victories in a future war.

It turned out that at the beginning of the war, not all top commanders clearly imagined it. Kalinin, Privolzhsky IN Gerasimenko, North-Caucasian IN Kuznetsov, Orlovsky IN Remizov, and Odessa IN Cherevichenko during the war were unable to command not only fronts, but also armies, and Colonel-General Cherevichchenko, by the end of the war trusted only to command only the rifle forces case.

"The historian KV Kolontayev notes that it is the category of officers of the Red Army who had deserted as king from non-commissioned officers and officers of wartime, 1890-1900, born from among the middle peasantry, with elementary and occasionally incomplete secondary education in 20 -30-s was the main part of the commanding staff of the Red Army, and by the year 1940 was the bulk of the generals of the Red Army.
Purely peasant tenacity and an irrepressible desire to break through to the top, regardless of the number of others' crushed feet, they combined with the subservience to the authorities inherent in the Russian wealthy peasantry and contempt for the lower ones. All this, together with a low level of general and military education and the Feldwebel-Unther type of personality, made them not capable of self-improvement of their general educational and military-professional level. Their main interests lay outside the boundaries of military service, boiling down to self-assertion by strengthening external signs of power. "(Ibid p. 101).

Before the war, in fact, many of the districts were commanded by those who in the tsarist army were a private or a non-commissioned officer (Budyonny, Belov, Apanasenko), and, for example, the commissar Voskanov, GK Lt. Col. Tsarist Army, awarded five crosses, including St. George, at the end of 30-x was the deputy chairman of the Soviet Osoaviakhim Central Council. In general, the untrained Voroshilov - Commissar!

After the Civil War, the Red Army was reduced to 500 thousand people, but with the beginning of the thirties its growth began (1933 g. - 900 thous., 1936 g. - 1,5 million) and, consequently, an increase in the number of command posts. Here, for example, Commissar N.V. Kuibyshev, holder of the three orders of the Red Banner, captain in the tsarist army, commanded the army in the Civil War. In 1929, he is the commander of the Siberian military district - the master of Siberia! And with 1930, the secretary of the executive meetings of the Labor and Defense Council ... There has been no rumor about any conspiracy and revolt against the Soviet government.


With this kind of general - from among the former sergeant majors and noncoms, perhaps capable and even talented in some cases, it’s surprising in 1941 that the Red Army suffered defeats, but that they did not become even more disastrous. By virtue of the Soviet personnel policy, the experienced and necessary generals in the war were not allowed in those positions that they are both entitled and obliged to hold. As a result, before the war, top Soviet military leaders were unable to prepare the Red Army tactically and organizationally.

The defeats and losses of the first months of the Great Patriotic War showed where the true place of each officer was. The war appreciated and promoted energetic and capable commanders to senior commanding positions, although it was certainly worthwhile to deal with personnel matters much earlier. All the front commanders in 1944 during the war became Heroes of the Soviet Union, some - twice. These people the war sharply put forward the same generals and officers, appointed to high positions and noted high awards. But why not before the war?

In a successful year for the Red Army 1944, the Germans smashed the 12 of our fronts: Karelian, Leningrad, three Baltic, three Belarusian and four Ukrainian. In command, the 5 of our pre-war marshals, the Chief of the General Staff and the 16 of the pre-war commanders of military districts would have to command them. If we consider that Colonel-General Aviation Loktionov AD, who commanded the Baltic Military District, and Colonel-General Shtern GM, who commanded the Far Eastern Front (district), were arrested before the war, convicted and executed, and the district commanders Lieutenant General Kirponos M.P. and Efremov M.G. died at the beginning of the war, Colonel-General Apanasenko I.R. died in 1943, then there are 17 marshals and generals who were to command the fronts.

However, only three of these supreme pre-war commanders commanded the fronts: Meretskov KA, Zhukov GK and Konev I.S., other real front-line commanders in 1944 (LA Govorov, AM Vasilevsky, KK Rokossovsky, I.Ye. Petrov, R.Ya. Malinovsky, FI Tolbukhin, Bagramyan I.Kh., Eremenko A.I., Maslennikov I.I. by the end of 1940 were very far from the post of district commander, and Maslennikov generally served before the war in the NKVD. Thus, there is reason to believe that before the Great Patriotic War in the Red Army there was a serious personnel misalignment: peacetime generals were poorly adapted to war.

The supreme commander is obliged to descend deep down, to look for talents below. Hitler did it - he actively participated in the exercises of different levels, got acquainted with thousands of officers, and the German generals, I must say, in preparation for the upcoming war, were also looking for talents.

But Stalin was neither going to fight, nor was he going to become a war leader. He simply did not have time for military training and acquaintance with promising officers and generals. And when the war began, becoming the Commander-in-Chief, in personnel matters he could rely on those soldiers whom he knew personally. But with fights, talents and professionalism became noticeable, and Stalin began to quickly raise capable generals. And that only those who could see. War, Major General Rokossovsky not near Moscow, but in the north or south, perhaps for a long time he would have commanded the corps. And so a year later, even with regard to treatment after being wounded at the hospital, he already commanded the front.

A talented professional does not suffer from an inferiority complex, and often finds satisfaction in creative searches on the position he occupies, because any position provides space for creativity. But mediocrity is pushing up just this very inferiority complex: she really wants to show everyone that, you say, you all thought I was a fool, and I got out how high! And, of course, greedy careerists climb up to satisfy their dreams of material wealth.

It should be noted that the commanding military personnel received large food rations and, in comparison with civilians, had a lot of incidental amenities. For example, already the regiment commander relied mansion or a large apartment, a horse for building, a car for trips and a horse-drawn carriage for trips. For comparison, at that time, the earnings were as follows: zavskladom - 120 rub., Librarian - 150, teacher depending on the subject and study load - 250-750. The commanders of the Red Army with free uniforms and 50% of the payment for the apartment received: the company commander - 725, battalion - 850, regiment - 1800, divisions - 2200. Bread cost 90 cop., Sugar - 4,50 rub., Vodka - 6 rub., Men's suit - 75 rub.

In addition, in peacetime in the Soviet system of government, and in the Red Army in particular, bureaucracy flourished with might and main. Trotsky began to implant bureaucracy in the army. The headquarters, issuing a mass of orders, instructions, manuals, sent inspectors to the military units to check how their instructions were executed. And the controller must find the shortcomings, otherwise he is not the controller. As a result, the higher the boss, the more often he is checked. A careerist doesn’t care, the main thing for him is the armchair, and an intelligent professional cannot tolerate being a “whipping boy” for an infinite number of inspectors. This also prevented talented professionals, especially without the ability to push elbows of competitors, to climb high on the career ladder.

During wars, the army of any state directly participates in the armed defense of the Fatherland. On how the army is preparing in peacetime for armed conflict; who and how prepares soldiers for military actions; how competently are tactical, operational and organizational issues addressed; and during the period of hostilities, whoever commands this army ultimately affects the independence of the country. The experience of the enormous losses of the start of World War II confirms once again the importance of making the right pre-war personnel appointments. And those lessons and the experience that keeps the history of the Great Patriotic War, we must not forget in solving the military issues of today's Russia.
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