Smolensk battle. Tanks T-26 on the offensive. August 1941 Source: http://www.phototopic.ru/novisti-v-fotografiyah/fotografii-pervyh-dney-velikoy-otechestvennoy-voyny.html
“The word“ Berezina ”for the French sounds about the same as for the Germans“ Stalingrad ”. The expression “C'est la Bérézina” in French means a complete collapse and catastrophe ”(French Armageddon // http://topwar.ru/87145-francuzskiy-armageddon.html). At the same time, in addition to the catastrophe and the complete destruction of individual armies of the French and Germans, Berezina and Stalingrad also became crises, turning points, which later turned into a complete defeat and a catastrophe for all of Napoleonic France and Hitler's Germany. Concerning the events of 1941, the year is also often referred to as a catastrophe, i.e. an event that caused irreparable consequences in stories.
Indeed, like Berezina and Stalingrad, 1941 year became an undoubted catastrophe both for the Red Army, which, having suffered a series of crushing defeats, almost completely lost personnel prepared before the war, and for the entire Soviet people, who were plunged by German aggressors into a whirlpool of untold suffering and disasters. Like France and Germany, the Soviet Union also appeared before the abyss of the abyss threatened with incredible threats of a monstrous crisis. Meanwhile, unlike Berezina and Stalingrad, the 1941 crisis was overcome at the cost of considerable human and material losses. A real catastrophe for the Soviet Union would be the German capture of Moscow in August 1941, the joint offensive of Germany and Japan deep into Soviet territory with the subsequent establishment of the German-Japanese border in the Urals or in Siberia.
The Japanese government learned about the German attack on the Soviet Union at the same time as the rest of the world - 22 June 1941, at four in the afternoon local time. “Again, as in 1939, Germany put the Japanese militarists in front of the accomplished fact. And again in Tokyo circles they started talking about the fact that in Berlin they do not count with brothers in spirit in the Far East. The question about the attitude to the German-Soviet war arose. In the ordeals of trusting an ally, Matsuoka alone remained loyal to the Tripartite Pact. Already in 17.30 he was in the imperial palace. There, Matsuoka tried to convince the emperor that the long awaited hour had struck for Japan’s attack on the Soviet Union ”(Yakovlev NN FDR is a man and a politician. Pearl-Harbor Mystery: Selected Works. - M .: International Relations, 1988. - С 610). "In response to the emperor's question, does this mean refusing to speak in the south, Matsuoka replied that" you must first attack Russia "(Koshkin AA" Kantokuen "-" Barbarossa "in Japanese. Why did Japan not attack the USSR - M .: Veche, 2011. - S. 129). His "position Matsuoka defended at meetings of the coordination committee of the government and the imperial stakes.
The main argument of opponents of Matsuoka and his associates was an assessment of the economic potential of Japan, the vulnerability of the empire in the supply of strategic raw materials, which was proposed to get in the south before the war with the USSR To this end, it was proposed, having delayed the entry into the war against the USSR, to quickly occupy at least South Indochina. Matsuoka also believed that this was fraught with a collision with the United States and Britain. ... The policy of waiting for the “most favorable moment” to attack the USSR from the east was called the “theory of ripe persimmon”. War Minister Tojio stated at government meetings and the imperial stakes: “The attack must occur when the Soviet Union, like ripe persimmon, is ready to fall to the ground ...”
By June 25, the Japanese General Staff developed a schedule approved by the bid to complete the preparation and conduct of the war ”(A. Koshkin, Decree. Op. - P. 129, 133, 138, 159). The decision on mobilization was made on June 28, and on the start of mobilization on July 5. The deployment and concentration of troops was to begin on July 20 after the Wehrmacht took Smolensk, the decision to start the war was to take place on August 10 after the Wehrmacht reached the line Crimea - Moscow - Leningrad, joint military operations with Nazi Germany were planned to begin on August 29 after the capture of Moscow. It was planned to complete military operations in mid-October. On the same day, Prime Minister F. Konoe together with the chiefs of staff of the army (Gen. H. Sugiyama) and fleet (adm. O. Nagano) reported to the Emperor Hirohito about the need for Japanese troops to capture South Indochina (Japanese occupation of French Indochina. 1940 - 1941 // http://www.hrono.info/sobyt/1900war/1940ik.php).
At the imperial conference of July 2, “the Japanese militarists were still hesitating in which direction to strike” (Yakovlev NN Decree. Op. - C. 358). "The adopted ..." The program of the national policy of the Empire in accordance with changes in the situation "envisaged the continuation of the war in China and the simultaneous completion of preparations for war against both the United States and Great Britain, and against the Soviet Union" (Koshkin AA Decree. Op. - S. 141). Meanwhile, although the campaign against the USSR was postponed, but only with the proviso that an armed attack on the USSR is one of the main military and political goals of the empire and as soon as Germany achieves impressive successes in the war against the USSR, “she resorted to armed force, will immediately attack the USSR and resolve the northern problem ”(NN Yakovlev. Decree. Op. - C. 612). “By making this decision, the Japanese government essentially broke up the Soviet-Japanese Neutrality Pact signed only two and a half months ago. In the adopted document, the Neutrality Pact was not even mentioned ”(Koshkin A. A. Decree. Op. - C. 149).
“In accordance with the 5 schedule of July, a Japanese high command directive was issued to conduct the first mobilization phase. ... The General Staff of the Army and the Ministry of War of Japan developed a set of broad measures aimed at speeding up preparations for conducting offensive operations against the Soviet armed forces in the Far East and Siberia. In the Japanese secret documents, he received the coded name "Kantogun to Enshu" ("Special Maneuvers of the Kwantung Army"), abbreviated "Kantokuen". 11 July 1941 The imperial headquarters sent a special directive No. 506 to the Kwantung Army and the Japanese armies in northern China, which confirmed that the purpose of the "maneuvers" was to increase readiness for action against the Soviet Union. ... 22 July in violation of the schedule for only two days began the concentration of troops near the Soviet border. ... The German ambassador Ott and the military attaché of the embassy Alfred Kretschmer 25 on July 1941, who closely followed the mobilization, reported in Berlin that 900 had already been called in by thousands of reservists from 24 to 45. It was noted that persons who speak Russian are recruited into the Japanese army ”(Koshkin A. A. Decree. Op. - C. 157, 159-160).
Meanwhile, despite the seemingly complete defeat of the Western Front, the Soviet command, having regrouped in accordance with the backup plan of the Sokolovsky army of the Second Strategic Echelon on positions along the rivers Western Dvina and Dnepr, quickly closed the resulting gap in the Soviet defense. By 8 July, the battles in the Minsk "boiler" were completed. Having regrouped, the mobile units of the 2 and 3 of the 10 tank groups of July launched a new offensive, now to Smolensk. July 16 tanks from the Guderian group broke into the city. In the Smolensk region, three armies of the newly restored Western Front were again threatened by the encirclement: the 16, the 19, and the 20. “From 16 July, infantry formations of the“ Center ”GA began to approach the area of the battles, which were to consolidate the success of the tank groups. Taking into account what has been achieved, the German command concluded that the Soviet Western front was no longer able to offer serious resistance and that the Center would be able to launch a further attack on Moscow by infantry divisions alone. July 19 The Wehrmacht High Command (OKV) issued directive No. 33 on the further conduct of the war in the East, and July 23 supplemented it, in which the task of defeating the Soviet troops between Smolensk and Moscow and seizing Moscow were assigned to the 2 and 9 army .
Speaking with the Ground Forces Commander-in-Chief, Walter von Brauchitsch, and Chief of the General Staff, Franz Halder, Hitler explained: “After the fighting in Smolensk, 2 and 3-I tank groups should disperse, one to the right, the other to the left, to support the troops of Army Groups South And North. Army Group "Center" must conduct an offensive on Moscow by the forces of some infantry divisions. " This decision showed that the Wehrmacht high command was still full of optimism and believed in the successful implementation of the Barbarossa plan (the Battle of Smolensk (1941) // https://ru.wikipedia.org). On the same day, Halder designated August 25 as the timeline for Moscow and Leningrad, early October for the Volga, early November for Baku and Batumi (Halder F. Military diary, 1941-1942 / Translated by I. Glagoleva. - M .: AST; St. Petersburg: Terra Fantastica, 2003. - C. 198).
“July 15 1941 of the year the requirements of the occupation and protection of Russian territory were detailed” (S. Lebedev. The military and political crisis of the Soviet Union 1941 of the year // http://regnum.ru/news/polit/1545171.html). “In early August, after the defeat of the remnants of the Russian troops east of the Dnieper-Dvina line and reaching the Crimea-Moscow-Leningrad line, the German armed forces were to be reduced from 209 divisions to 175 formations, and the bulk of infantry formations returned to Germany. ... An integral part of the Barbarossa plan was "an attack on the Middle East, and then on the" pearl "of the British Empire - India." After the defeat of the USSR, Germany intended to concentrate a powerful grouping for a concentric attack on Iran. The invasion was planned to be carried out from Libya through Egypt - by 2 td, from Bulgaria via Turkey - 5 pd, 4 td, 2 md, and 3 gsd, from Transcaucasia ... by the "Caucasus - Iran" group of 2 td, 1 md, 2 gsd from occupying troops in Russia.
Instead of the divisions being reduced by Germany 34, the imperial army of Japan was to be part of the 20-30 divisions against the USSR. ... In Russia, for the occupation of the whole of its western part to the Urals, inclusive, two armies were to remain in the 65 German divisions (34 np, 9 okh. Div, 3 rds, 12 td, 6 md, 1 cd), one Italian and Spanish corps Finnish, Slovak, Romanian and Hungarian connections. In the middle of August the Wehrmacht should have captured Moscow, and in the end of August the forces of the occupying armies would launch an offensive towards the imperial army of Japan, which was serving after the fall of Moscow. The operation was planned to be completed in mid-October, 1941. ”(S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 3. The collapse of the Wehrmacht’s defeat plan in the USSR // http://topwar.ru).
Meanwhile, "the Soviet command did not give up hope to release troops surrounded in the Smolensk region." Barely "hastily organized offensive of the Rokossovsky 18-20 group of July was reflected" by the Wehrmacht units, as "23-24 of July began hostilities of operational groups of the Western Front" formed "from 29, 30, 24 and 28-th new armies of the Reserve front "of the third strategic echelon. The course of the battle for Smolensk broke the approach of the German infantry divisions from around Minsk. “July 28 1941, the last Soviet troops left the city. 4-5 August the remnants of the Soviet troops out of the environment. " At the same time, “despite significant successes, the German troops were exhausted by continuous battles. 30 in July OKV, in its directive No. 34, was forced to order the Army Group “Center” with the main forces to go on the defensive. Without replenishing and eliminating the threat to its flanks and rear and eliminating the Soviet forces occupying the overhanging position from the north and south, the offensive of the Army Group Center on Moscow turned out to be impossible ”(Battle of Smolensk (1941) // Ibid.). Thus, the “most opportune moment” did not come — the German command’s plan to seize Smolensk on the move was thwarted, the road to Moscow was closed. On a huge arc near Smolensk, fierce battles continued until September 10 1941.
In connection with the tightening of hostilities in the east of 27 in July 1941, “in Germany, a plan of operation against the industrial area of the Urals was considered, which involved not so much occupation as an expedition to destroy the Urals industrial region. The operation was “to be carried out by motorized troops by the force of eight tank and four motorized divisions. Depending on the situation, separate infantry divisions are involved (for the protection of rear communications). ... The operation should be carried out with full observance of surprise with simultaneous performance of all four groups. Its goal is to reach the Ural industrial area as quickly as possible and either hold, if the situation permits, seized, or re-depart after the destruction of vital structures by specially equipped and trained troops ”(Lebedev S. The military and political crisis of the Soviet Union 1941 of the year. There same).
"July 10 Ribbentrop reminded the Japanese government:" Our goal remains the same: to shake hands with Japan on the Trans-Siberian Railway before the beginning of winter. " The hand was stretched "(Yakovlev N.N. The USA and England in the Second World War // http://historic.ru/books/item/f00/s00/z0000025/st031.shtml). In response, 16 July, the Japanese cabinet ministers resigned. Matsuoka's place in the new government of 18 July was taken by Admiral Teijiro Toeda. With the departure of Matsuoka, the displacement of Japanese aggression to the south began. “The July 30 submission to the Japanese command of 1941 by the preliminary research team of the 82 Partition showed a preliminary war plan in the south to reveal the weakness of Malaya’s defense, serious flaws in the US position in the Philippines and insignificant resistance in Dutch East India.
A significant reason for the decision on the initial strike in the south was the fact that the war against the United States and Great Britain was envisaged to be carried out mainly by the forces of the Navy, which was considerably strengthened by 1941. ... At the end of July 1941, the War Minister Tojo said that during the years of the war in China, the fleet had lost 10% of its composition, while the losses of the army amounted to 40%. A speech in the south, according to the plans of the Japanese command, could be held without weakening the grouping of forces aimed at the Soviet Union. For the war in the south, only 10 infantry divisions were allocated. It was also taken into account that the situation prevailing in the autumn of 1941 made it possible to count on the success of the war with the Western powers. Although the armed forces of the United States, Great Britain, and Holland as a whole had considerable power, they were not prepared for an organized rebuff of Japan. The armed forces of the Western powers in East Asia and the Pacific, mainly consisting of colonial troops, did not have a single command, were scattered, and adhered to a purely defensive strategy ”(Koshkin AA Decree. Op. C. 204).
Crucial to Japan was the issue of oil supplies. Their complete cessation "put the Japanese government in a dilemma: either start the war immediately (mobilization reserves were enough for military operations for a little over a year), or abandon it altogether (N.N. Yakovlev, the USA and Britain in the Second World War, ibid.). "In early August, the military ministry concluded that in the case of operations against the Soviet Union within six months or a year all oil reserves would be consumed ... Therefore, with regard to oil, then, except for going south, there was no way out." After all, only in the Netherlands of India about 8 million tons of oil were extracted annually, which is 20 times the oil production in Japan. The rapid occupation and long-term retention of raw materials-rich territories in the south were considered by the Japanese command as the key to Japan’s success in a world war ”(Koshkin AA, Ordinance. Op. C. 203-204).
“By early August, the grouping allocated for the invasion of the Soviet Union was basically prepared. ... As it was established at the Tokyo process, in the summer of 1941, for the attack on the USSR, the supreme command created a grouping of troops, the total number of which was about 1 million military personnel ”(Koshkin AA Decree. Op. - S. 161, 165). “Since 22 June, 1941, in our Far East, have been waiting for a Japanese attack. The Military Council of the Far Eastern Front sent a directive to its parts: “Remember, at any moment we may face the fact of war here in the east” (Volynets A. Far East: rear, which became the front // http://rusplt.ru/society/dalniy -vostok-tyil-stavshiy-frontom-18244.html). Since, according to the USSR census 1939, only 18 million lived in Siberia and the Far East, and concentrated on the Omsk, Tomsk, Novosibirsk, Kuzbass cities, Krasnoyarsk, Irkutsk, Khabarovsk, Vladivostok - Nakhodka (calculated by note of the Central Statistical Office of the USSR 1953) : http://istmat.info/files/uploads/38529/rgae_1562.33.1684_2-4.pdf), and “for June 1941, the Far Eastern Front numbered 432 thousands of fighters” (Volynets A. ibid.) the situation in the East for the Soviet Union was threatening. Among other things, "according to the plan" Kantokuen ", the troops of the puppet armies of Manzhou-Go and Inner Mongolia were to take part in the war against the USSR. The Manzhou-Guo Army was established after the occupation of Manchuria. The entire leadership of this army was carried out by the headquarters of the Kwantung Army. Direct control was entrusted to numerous Japanese military advisers. ...
The actions of the ground forces were planned to support the Japanese Navy. His task was to ensure the landing of troops in Kamchatka and Northern Sakhalin, the destruction of the ships of the Pacific Fleet, the defeat in cooperation with the ground forces of the Soviet aviation in the Ussuri direction, the capture of Vladivostok and other areas of Primorye. On July 25, having received the sanction of the emperor, the naval command ordered the creation of the 5th fleet specially for the war against the USSR (A.A. Koshkin, Decree. Op. - S. 161, 163). Meanwhile, the deadline for the adoption of Japan was on schedule. However, the ruling circles of Japan remained true to their position regarding Japan’s speech “only when the German units reached the Volga” and, without waiting for a decisive defeat of the Soviet Union in the West, on August 10, showing hesitancy, the decision to start the war was not made.
Due to the restraint of the Japanese and the lack of the need for the speedy capture of Moscow, Hitler 18 August rejected sharply the proposal of Franz Halder to attack Moscow with forces of Army Group "Center", ordering August 21 instead of the Army Group "South" to surround and defeat the Soviet troops of the Southwestern Front. Turning to the south, the 2 tank squadron of September 15 joined deep in the rear of the Soviet troops with the 1 tank group of the Army Group South, encircling the Kiev grouping of troops of the Southwestern Front and defeating it by September 26.
In August, 1941, America resumed its negotiations with Japan. 5 September 1941, the Far Eastern State Department Policy Advisor, Hornbeck compiled a memo in which he stated that "Japan is one of the three countries in the aggressive tripartite alliance, and intends to remain in this alliance for a long time." According to him, the meeting of the leaders of America and Japan is akin to the meeting of Chamberlain with Hitler, and if the agreement between them is on Japanese terms, if the world turns out to be for America, then by inviting Japan to conquer China and attack the Soviet Union (What happened in Pearl Harbor . Documents on the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor 7 December 1941 of the year // http://militera.lib.ru/docs/da/sb_pearl_harbor/19.html). Germany unexpectedly got a second chance by taking Moscow in the fall of 1941, to convert the Japanese aggression against the Soviet Union.
6 September 1941 of the year Hitler, in directive No. 35, reiterated the tasks of defeating the Soviet armies in the Moscow sector. On September 16, the command of Army Group Center issued a directive on the preparation of an operation to seize Moscow, codenamed Typhoon. The high likelihood of America recognizing the Japanese conditions caused Hitler to fear the complications of Germany’s relations with the United States. The very next day, September 17, Hitler forbade Admiral Raeder to retaliate against the American fleet, which September 11 received an order to attack the German and Italian military vessels without warning. According to him, “since, apparently, at the end of September a decisive turn in the Russian campaign is indicated, incidents with merchant ships should be avoided until mid-October” (Yakovlev N.N. Decree. Op. - C. 353). Operation Typhoon, and with it the main hostilities and the entire campaign, was scheduled to be completed in mid-November on 1941.
September 30 German troops launched an offensive against Moscow. 3-I and 4-I tank groups rapidly defeated the troops of the Western and Reserve fronts in the "boiler" under Vyazma and already 14 of October 3-I tank group took Kalinin. In turn, the significant forces of the Red Army, having escaped from the encirclement near Bryansk, seriously hampered the further advance of the 2 tank group to Moscow. Depressed Hitler admitted to his entourage in mid-October: “On June 22 we opened the door and did not know what was behind it” (Dashichev VI Bankruptcy of the strategy of German fascism. Historical essays. Documents and materials. In 2 t. T. 2 Aggression against the USSR. The Fall of the "Third Empire". 1941-1945. - M .: Nauka, 1973. - C. 245).
October 15 from the capital began evacuation of government agencies, industrial enterprises and the population, and the state of siege was announced on October 19. In view of the desperate resistance of the Red Army, the Wehrmacht did not sustain the planned pace of the offensive. October 23 von Bock halted the offensive through Kalinin. After the heavy battles of Mtsensk, German troops came to Tula only on October 29. In turn, the Soviet leadership, having learned from reports of Soviet intelligence that Japan would attack the USSR only after the fall of Moscow, transferring troops and equipment from the Far East to the West in October-November, began to prepare a plan for a counter-offensive.
“While the Wehrmacht forces were at the end, in the rear of the Soviet troops defending Moscow, the formation of 10 new armies was under way” (Dashichev VI Bankruptcy of the strategy of German fascism. Decree. S. - 245). The November 7 parade showed Stalin’s uncompromising determination to fight for Moscow. The offensive against the army of the Army Group “Center” that resumed in mid-November could no longer have any influence on the Japanese - the Japanese-American talks by that time were completely deadlocked and Japan was already preparing for war with America. By the beginning of December 1941, the advancing troops were stopped by the Red Army at the Moscow Canal near Yakhroma, at Naro-Fominsk, Tula and Kashira. December 5 Soviet troops launched a counter-offensive, dropping the German army from the Soviet capital on 7-1942 kilometers to 100 in January 250. December 7 Japan made its final choice and attacked the American fleet in Pearl Harbor, the British colony of Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand and Malaya.
Thus, the beginning of the war of Germany against the USSR without prior notification of the Japanese government was a strong blow to the prestige of Matsuoka, who not only failed to insist on an immediate declaration of war to the Soviet Union, but soon he himself was removed from his post. Japan decided to show restraint and attack the USSR only after causing unacceptable damage to Germany and the capture of Moscow. As an alternative, the Japanese had a southern version of aggression against America, the Pacific possessions of England and Holland.
Near the Wehrmacht Smolensk, aimed at the destruction of the main forces of the Red Army to the line of the rivers Western Dvina-Dnepr, quite unexpectedly met with the considerable forces of the Soviet forces collected in accordance with the pre-war plan of Sokolovsky, and was temporarily stopped. The Barbarossa plan was dealt a crushing blow. An immediate attack on Moscow failed, Japan refused to attack the USSR. The attempt of the Japanese in the autumn of 1941 to get recognition of the capture by Japan of China by the Americans and to support its attack on the USSR proved futile. In turn, the Germans in the fall of the 1941 of the year were again unable to take Moscow.
In these circumstances, Japan attacked America and England. The final failure of the plan to wage war against the USSR from two fronts helped the Soviet leadership to stop the fascists near Moscow, survive, subsequently seize the initiative and end the war with victory. In the Great Patriotic War, the Red Army had a lot of big, strategic victories. In the winter of 1941-1942 of the year, the Red Army stopped the Wehrmacht on Moscow, in the winter of 1942-1943 - in Stalingrad, in the summer of 1943, near Kursk, seized the strategic initiative and in 1944 began its liberation campaign, ending it in the victorious 1945 year.
Meanwhile, all these brilliant victories became possible thanks to the Battle of Smolensk, which crossed out the plans of Germany and Japan for a joint struggle against the USSR and changed the dynamics of the whole war. The actions of the Red Army near Smolensk were essentially the first strategic success of the Soviet Union in the struggle against Nazi Germany, leveling all its tactical successes near Minsk, Uman, Kiev and Vyazma. It remains to add that the Wehrmacht was temporarily halted near Smolensk by the forces of the Second and Third Strategic Echelon of the Red Army, which turned out to be at the Zapadnaya Dvina-Dnieper border according to the pre-war Soviet plan of Sokolovsky, which, although it was not implemented, but disrupted the plan of the German command Barbarossa the defeat of Soviet troops to the Western Dvina - Dnieper line, the lightning capture of Moscow and the occupation of the Soviet Union together with militaristic Japan in the autumn of 1941.
1 schema. Fighting in the western direction from June 22 to July 9 1941. Source: S. Lebedev. Soviet strategic planning on the eve of World War II. Part of 3. The collapse of the plan for the defeat of the Wehrmacht on the territory of the USSR // http://topwar.ru