However, we should not forget that the books of revisionists, for example, Viktor Suvorov, were indeed very popular for a long time, reprinted many times in large editions. Viktor Suvorov also had many admirers and admirers who quite sincerely followed his ideas, found them logical and well explaining historical events. Numerous works were written in the spirit of this revisionism itself.
Why was all of this so in demand? Indeed, from the very beginning it was obvious that these ideas smell very badly and have an obvious political context. In my opinion, such significant popularity of revisionism in the 1990 and at the beginning of the 2000 in Russia, despite the fact that the revisionists, in essence, accused the Soviet Union of criminally initiating war and in cooperation with the Hitler invaders, had their own objective reasons . Otherwise, Viktor Suvorov could not count on a noisy popularity, and would most likely be known only to a narrow circle of professional historians.
The main thesis of Viktor Suvorov on the preparation by Stalin of an attack on Germany in 1941, set forth in his most famous books, Icebreaker and Day M, was most closely connected with the causes of defeat in 1941.
This defeat caused such a heavy damage to the state, society, national economy, so seriously changed the whole face of the country, that there are certain reasons to believe that war was one of the fundamental reasons for the subsequent collapse of the USSR.
In any case, the material damage and loss of life were enormous.
Actually, with such consequences of the war, even in conditions of a brilliant military victory, the flag over the Reichstag and triumph over the defeated enemy, the most powerful and dangerous than ever, the question inevitably arises: what could not defend the socialist Fatherland then, in the summer of 1941 year? Why did they retreat to Moscow and the Volga, left the Baltic States, Belarus and Ukraine to the enemy? It was a burning question that always worried and worried the Soviet people, and now the Russians are concerned about, at least, a significant part of them.
One of the first answer options proposed by Stalin was that the fault was the treacherous attack of Germany, which violated the non-aggression pact. Khrushchev in his famous report to the Twentieth Congress of the CPSU challenged this Stalinist point of view and put forward his version of the answer to the most burning question of Soviet history. First, the attack was not unexpected, because Hitler always wanted to crush communism, and there were a number of warnings from intelligence and foreign leaders. Secondly, measures were not taken to mobilize and defend: “If our industry were timely and truly mobilized to provide the army with armament and necessary equipment, then we would suffer immeasurably less casualties in this difficult war. However, such mobilization was not carried out in a timely manner. And from the very first days of the war it turned out that our army was poorly armed, that we did not have enough artillery, tanks and aircraft to repel the enemy. " Thirdly, command personnel were repressed. And Stalin was personally to blame for everything, Khrushchev summed up, saying that Stalin allegedly pulled away from the leadership, did not understand the situation, created nervousness in the leadership, and the heroic party and no less heroic Soviet people ensured the whole victory.
Sometimes it is useful to revert to such documents, since, after re-reading Khrushchev’s report to the Twentieth CPSU Congress, it becomes clear that the whole historical concept of the Great Patriotic War still, to a large extent, stands on those theses that have been proclaimed by Khrushchev. They are the subject of discussions and debates even in modern polemical literature, such as the thesis about the unavailability of the army, the absence or presence of modern tanks and aircraft in the Red Army, the thesis about repressions of command personnel. Numerous "tank scientists", arguing about millimeters of caliber guns and tank armor, do not seem to suspect that they are fulfilling the precepts of the unforgettable Nikita Sergeyevich.
Khrushchev’s version was not correct, and it was well known to many participants in the events, but it was convenient because it completely freed one from personal responsibility for this defeat.
Say, all mistakes were made by Stalin, who died and could not refute anything, but the victory was ensured by "the heroic army, its talented commanders and valiant warriors." Many generals liked it. The military leaders had a unique opportunity to put all their own mistakes and omissions made before the war on Stalin and “unavailability” or “gullibility”. As an example, the memoirs of A.I. Eremenko "At the Beginning of the War", written shortly after the report to the Twentieth Congress, where he directly accuses Stalin of all the mistakes he made.
The same commanders who did not wish to make this deal, like LM Sandalov, could pour out his soul in secret writings on military history, or simply keep silent.
However, the Khrushchev version of the reasons for the defeat in 1941 not only reassured the conscience of military leaders, as well as other participants in the war, but also during perestroika became the basis for the ideological crushing of the Soviet Union. All the theses from his report were worked out by perestroika "subversive", including those related to the war, for the purpose of destroying the Soviet ideology, the system and the state. If we compare the content of anti-Stalinist anti-Stalinist propaganda with the report of Khrushchev, we will not find significant differences, except that the "heralds of restructuring" were richer and exaggerated the "unavailability" and "credulity" on a large scale.
With perestroika agitators, everything was turned upside down, and all examples of unreadiness were interpreted in a purely one-sided way: the USSR was a worthless country, was not prepared for war, won only with the help of the allies. From this the most direct political consequences were derived: it was necessary, they say, to destroy the Soviet Union as quickly as possible, to eliminate the Soviet power and the Communist Party, to restore capitalism and heal "like all civilized people."
Falsifiers from abroad already arrived there, first of all Viktor Suvorov with his books Icebreaker and Day M, in which the concept was already formulated that Stalin himself was preparing an attack on Germany, but Hitler was ahead of him. As a theoretical concept of the thesis on the Soviet preparation of an attack on Germany, an officer of the Military Historical Research Institute in Freiburg (FRG), Joachim Goffman, expressed it back in 1982 year. He later became the leader of this group of revisionist historians. In 1985, the philosopher from Graz, Ernst Topić, wrote the book “The War of Stalin,” in which he developed the idea that the USSR had a long-term strategy for conquering Europe.
Just at the same time, Viktor Suvorov made his first publications on this topic, and immediately got into the warm company of West German revisionist historians. "Icebreaker" was first published in German in German, and, in general, was focused on the German reader.
The concept of German revisionist historians, which Victor Suvorov developed in his books, was aimed at maximally demonizing the communists for the sake of achieving a simple political goal - explaining the formation of the GDR as a consequence of “Soviet occupation” and even “Soviet aggression”, and justifying the absorption of the East German state by the FRG that took place in 1990 year. In those years there was an intense political struggle against the GDR, and in it all the means were good. Against the background of the West German historical insinuations against the GDR, these revisionists were still comparatively more objective.
The works of the German revisionists, who developed the thesis about the upcoming Stalinist attack, were practically not translated in Russia, except for the translation of one of the works of Joachim Goffman. Therefore, the product of this group of historians in Russia has become known exclusively from the books of Viktor Suvorov, primarily, of course, from the famous "Icebreaker". I must say, Viktor Suvorov is a very talented author and polemicist who has managed to make the dryish German concept vivid and visual. If in the 1992 year they simply transferred something from the works of Hoffman, then this idea would hardly have gained so much fame - so the leader of the revisionist historians writes dryly and without a spark. However, the works of Hoffman were not in vain, many Russian revisionists, for example, Mark Solonin, referred to him and retold his main arguments.
Why are these foul-smelling ideas of revisionists so widespread in Russia? I must say that in the Khrushchev version of the reasons for the defeat in 1941, there was one major drawback. All the talk about the country's unpreparedness for defense, the lack of weapons and how Stalin sculpted mistake after mistake, and in general, was too trusting, was in clear contradiction with the fact that the same propagandists talked about the advantage of the socialist system, about economic success , about the strength and power of the Soviet army, well, and about the wisest CPSU at the head of all this. And in the same spirit it was said about prewar and wartime. An insurmountable contradiction arose: how could it be in a country with the most advanced social system, with outstanding achievements in the national economy, with ingenious party leadership and heroic people in work and defense that such unpreparedness for defense could have arisen that the Germans managed to reach Stalingrad?
This sharp contradiction was not resolved either in propaganda or in the scientific study of Soviet history, and the reader’s masses made a choice between two camps: either the Soviet system was not as advanced and successful as it was said (all the most ardent anti-communists, equating communism with Nazism), or Comrade Stalin is not so much that he was mistaken before and during the war. This contradiction has ripened all decades after the Khrushchev report, and began to break through to the surface during the perestroika years, when these camps began to take shape explicitly and openly.
The paradox of the books of Viktor Suvorov, initially aimed at crushing the communist ideology (which he writes at the beginning of the Icebreaker), was that he immediately pleased both camps.
Everyone read his own books. Those who had already established themselves in the anti-Soviet worldview were supported by his arguments about starving, for the sake of weapons, children and plans to establish "communist slavery" in Europe. Those who stood on the Soviet position, in his works found a resolution of the painful contradiction between the most advanced system and the defeat at the beginning of the war.
Viktor Suvorov, in his books, not only claimed that Stalin was preparing an attack on Germany, but, unlike his German colleagues in revising the results of the Second World War, resorted to a rather extensive set of arguments filed from the most advantageous side. Their essence was that the USSR before the war was almost the most armed country in the world, had a huge number of tanks, airplanes, cannons, amassed mountains of shells and leather boots on the border, a whole sea of fuel for “motorways tanks” and aggressors ”, and was about to strike, but Hitler with his“ preventive ”(the politically incorrect word could not be used, the meaning was obvious) broke everything, and it was this small historical accident that caused the defeat of the huge and well-armed" red giant. Did not have time, just; late for a couple of days.
People who were outraged by Khrushchev's statements about Stalin’s unpreparedness for war and the stupidity of Stalin found the solution of this contradiction from Viktor Suvorov. It turns out, as they thought, the USSR was well armed and was even going to crush Hitler (this fully corresponded to the general idea that capitalism would be crushed by the Red Army), and this plan was worked out by the genius of Stalin, but only a little late with its implementation. It was much easier to come to terms with chance than with responsibility for defeat or with the thesis that the country was not ready for defense and the leader’s stupidity. It is on this ground, in my opinion, that the universal conviction has grown up that “Viktor Suvorov is right,” and this is the reason for the great popularity of his books.
However, in a paradoxical way, the long-term work of Viktor Suvorov on driving the Icebreaker did not at all lead to the results he expected. From his “sowing”, the growth of something completely different from what was originally supposed to be - the “Stalinist renaissance” of the middle of the 2000s. Instead of the planned condemnation of “communist slavery”, the elimination of Soviet power and going to work in Germany, many people began to study it and soon found that it was not slavery, and indeed, Stalin’s experience is very timely, especially after “dashing 90- x ”, the apparent degradation of the country and after the economic crisis 1998 year. For example, my work on the history of Stalin’s industrialization also found a starting point in the books of Viktor Suvorov. If the USSR really produced 30 of thousands of tanks before the war, then it became interesting how this was done. This thought was the beginning of my work.
Viktor Suvorov stirred many with his books and forced him to delve into the long history of the Stalinist Soviet Union, which, it would seem, was already safely buried in archives and libraries. Every year this era has been studied better and better, much has become clearer and clearer in it. Huge changes occurred in military history, which has become, as can now be seen, incomparably more thoroughly and thoroughly investigated than in the Soviet years. The revisionists here also played a paradoxical role. On the one hand, they crushed many dogmas of the Khrushchev's version of history, began to intensively promote, including for political purposes, such previously totally ignored aspects of the history of World War II, such as collaborationism. On the other hand, the energetic revision style and the ongoing discussion forced the opponents of Viktor Suvorov to look for new arguments, which led to new research.
The high public interest in military history made the publication of literature very profitable, and dozens and hundreds of publications on the history of the war appeared on the shelves. So much and in the USSR was not published.
The rapid development of military historiography also worked to a certain extent on the "Stalinist Renaissance."
It is unlikely that this was part of Viktor Suvorov’s plans, and his subsequent books reflect desperate attempts to rectify the situation, by hook or by crook, implanting their original, anti-Soviet point of view. A lot of things went into the course: a book about Hitler and his inner circle insignificance “Suicide”, a series of books about GK. Zhukov with detailed and wordy revelations of his memories and thoughts, but all this was unsuccessful. With his new reasoning, for example, that Zhukov was not at all a brilliant commander, and his personal qualities were not up to par, he was undermining his own positions and arguments made earlier. Worse, Viktor Suvorov introduced new contradictions in his arguments and gradually ceased to be “right”. When he jumped off his usual topic and wrote a book about Khrushchev, it became clear: that’s all, I got a bit “Captain Icebreaker”.
His banner tried to pick up like-minded people. Dmitry Khmelnitsky, for example, is trying to deepen the thesis of Viktor Suvorov about “hunger for weapons” (even wrote a separate article about buying tanks for bread), and trying to prove that it was absolutely impossible to live in Stalin’s cities, and designed a social city with barracks so that workers will suffer more and longer. At the same time, he gathered a whole guard of supporters of Viktor Suvorov and published an entire collection of collections on the theme: “The Truth of Viktor Suvorov”, “The New Truth of Viktor Suvorov”, “The Supernova Truth of Viktor Suvorov”. All this journalistic activity falls on the period of the “Stalin Renaissance”, beginning with the 2005 year. In this hectic activity, one could see the desire to “throw opponents with hats”, that is, take a number, not convincing arguments, to show that now the supporters of Viktor Suvorov are “the majority”, and his theory has become almost “generally accepted”.
Only this was not achieved, and then they went through a series of defeats, when works appeared with a detailed study of the pre-war period and the beginning of the war, with the involvement of a wide range of sources, with detailed elaboration of issues that overwhelmed the revisionists' arguments.
I also made my own contribution to this matter, concentrating on the crushing of the main arguments of Viktor Suvorov and Mark Solonin in my two books: “Viktor Suvorov is lying! To sink the "Icebreaker"! "And" 1941 fiasco: cowardice or treason? ". The arguments of the first were broken by the pressure of facts, and most importantly the proof of the theory of the second turned out to be based on falsified quotations from generals memoirs.
At the same time, as far as can be judged, with criticism and the defeat of revisionism, there was no return to previous positions. The thesis of "credulity" or Stalin's panic has long been refuted, and what was considered mistakes for decades was simply the result of previously unknown circumstances.
A detailed study of the objective conditions of the prewar period and the beginning of the war showed that, unfortunately, the enemy initially had a serious advantage. It sharply outweighed everything that could come from someone's personal guilt or lack of readiness.
In the study of the history of the war, as a result of this lengthy discussion with the revisionists, there was a significant progress that was clearly visible to anyone familiar with literature. We now know, appreciate and respect the history of the Great Patriotic War incomparably more than it was even in the Soviet years.