9 May 1992. Germany. Vitstock city. Military part 52029.
- Come on! Attention!
It was the last Victory Day that Soviet soldiers and officers celebrated in the former territory of the GDR. The military unit 52029 remained several months before being sent home, to the east. They saluted the flag of a country that had not existed for half a year. A small island of a collapsed empire lived out its last days in a suburb of Berlin. After six months, these soldiers, warrant officers and officers will be transferred to Tambov, or rather, thrown into a clean field without shelter, food and money. But now, 9 May 1992, they don’t know about it yet. Their grandfathers returned home from the front, their grandchildren will return to nowhere.
31 August 1994 of the year. Berlin. From now on, it’s customary to talk about our group of Western troops in Germany only in the past tense.
The Western Group of Forces has long been a state within a state.
Today, few people know that during the Potsdam Conference, Joseph Stalin urged not to divide Germany into different states and the division of Germany considered it almost the main political mistake.
The conference began in mid-July, it was hot not only in the street, but also at the round table where participants gathered. World politics is often compared to a chess game. This is partly true. After all, each player seeks to achieve an advantage over the enemy. But politics is smarter and more cunning than an ordinary chess game. In each game there are several grandmasters, each of which plays his debut, his own final victory plan.
Also, few people know that the so-called military liaison missions of groups of occupation forces have arrived in Potsdam. Their functions included the quick communication of important information for solving joint tasks. And there are many interesting and often curious facts associated with these communications missions.
The servicemen of the occupational group of Britain began to play football in the territory of the historic site. This was reported to Zhukov. He called Field Marshal Montgomery and said that we did not free Germany for this, in order to destroy her later. Employees of the British military communications mission could not forgive such intervention and decided to take revenge on New Year's Eve: they planted a pig with an inscription on the side of the “USSR” on the territory where the representative office of the Soviet communications mission was located.
Teutonic belligerence did not fade after defeat in World War II. Many generals of the German Wehrmacht again put on military uniforms. In the 1949 year, in violation of the agreements of the Potsdam Conference, a new state is being created - the FRG.
And on October 7, 1949, together with the formation of the GDR, the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany (GSVG) was born. Over the next 45 years, about 8 million Soviet soldiers and officers will serve in it. The GSVG, which would later be renamed the Western Group of Forces (ZGV), will be the largest military group in the world among those who were located outside their own country.
Service in the western group of troops was considered prestigious. For example, Gennady Zyuganov got into the intelligence service, was engaged in the fight against the atomic, chemical and bacteriological weapons.
Mikhail Yakovlevich Shkurin lived to a significant 70-year anniversary. He was born 28 August victorious for our country 1945 year on the farm Gormilovskiy in the family of rural workers. Like many farm boys, after the age of eight, Misha studied at a vocational school as a tractor driver-generalist. Before the army, he managed to work in the fields of the local Lenin collective farm on the crawler DT-54. Before the service itself, Shkurin was sent from the military registration and enlistment office to the Chertkovsky autoclub for driver courses. Since then, the driver's specialty became for him the main for many years.
Today, he warmly recalls not only production, but also his service in the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany, which took place from September 1964 to December 1967. The starting point was the town of Uryupinsk, where the new recruits were given a new form and sent to the west in warm houses. Nine days later, Shkurin and his colleagues landed in Frankfurt an der Oder. Mikhail, who had a six-month driver’s experience, was assigned to the only automobile regiment of the GSVG, which served the headquarters of the group of forces deployed in the Kummersdorf Guth garrison.
After the course of the young fighter, driver retraining and the kilometer-long 500 march, the tractor tractor Shkurin was assigned a ZIL-164 base truck.
During the service, he proved himself to be an exemplary soldier, became an excellent student of combat and political training. As a result, he was entrusted with a reference car GAZ-63 with a kun, equipped for the transportation of part banner. According to the results of the final test for the exemplary maintenance of equipment and weapons, Mikhail Shkurin was encouraged by an 10-day home leave. During his service, he was often thanked and encouraged with sightseeing trips to the sights of Berlin. Mikhail remembered the ceremonial award in 1965 with the jubilee medal “Twenty Years of Victory in the Great Patriotic War 1941-1945”.
“After the service, I had long dreamed of army everyday life, evening walks with songs, roll call before the rebound, fellow soldiers, with whom I endured all the service and deprivation of service,” recalls Mikhail Yakovlevich. During the years of our service, representatives of many nationalities were friends and comrades among themselves.
Today he has with whom to share his memories during the joint activities of the GSVG veterans.
Turn again to stories.
Initially, the tasks of the western Soviet front were formulated very clearly - preparation for the conduct of offensive operations. It was a powerful military fist. This fist, even in autonomous mode of action, was able to demolish all of NATO's battle formations on the way to the English Channel. In the event of war, this was the main task of the Soviet troops.
In the summer of 1945, the Soviet occupation forces, as they were officially called then, began to rebuild destroyed Berlin: factories, bakeries, and apartment buildings were rebuilt anew. Soviet troops were both a construction brigade, and medical personnel, and a peacekeeping army. Although once an order was issued on the use of military force. On June 17, 1953, when an uprising of German workers erupted in the eastern sector of Berlin, Soviet troops were advanced to combat positions. Tanks. It would be enough 10 minutes to clear the territory from rebellious people. But the GSVG command refused to shoot the workers. The reaction from Moscow followed immediately: Soviet officers who did not obey the order of the Kremlin were shot at the personal order of Lavrenty Beria. A modest gravestone will be installed at the place of their mass grave only after 40 years.
Largely due to the presence of this powerful group, it was possible to keep the world from a military catastrophe.
In Wünsdorf was the "heart" of the western group of troops. A quiet German town was not rarely at the forefront of military history: it was predicted to be the capital of Kaiser Germany before the First World War, then they wanted to make it the capital of the Weimar Republic under the elderly Reich President Hindenburg. And when the Nazis came, they fell in love with this detached city because it was possible to hold sports and military games here. It also developed the 1936 Olympics of the year. But not by the number of medals the Fuhrer is remembered, but by completely different memorable signs.
The city was surrounded by a high wall and became closed to the eyes of others. The territory of Wünsdorf was divided into military camps - first, second, third. The length of the Wünsdorf garrison is five kilometers, the width is two. Here at the time of the departure of the Soviet troops there were more than 500 different buildings. The 30 000 people lived here, and at the end of November 1995 left around 15 000. The garrison was autonomous: its own bakery, its own medical facilities, equipped with the latest equipment, spacious bright schools and even its own railway station. Every day, he left the train to Moscow.
Here was based the headquarters of the Western Group of Forces, which built relations with the leadership of the Federal Republic of Germany, the German Democratic Republic and other government missions. The holy of holies of the headquarters was located deep under the ground, where six more underground floors, built back in the 30 years, were hidden. Concrete has become a monocrystal and is almost indestructible. It was here that the German land headquarters was located, where a plan was prepared for the preparation of an attack on the USSR Barbarossa. But it can be seen that fate decreed, but it was in this building that the headquarters of the winners of that war was located. And after the departure of the western group of troops, two German businessmen created the “Garrison Museum” here, where excursions are held regularly. Especially tourists like the mysterious Zeppelin bunker, which was the brain center of the German army.
In memory of the half-century Soviet presence in Eastern Europe, there will be scattered throughout Germany the graves of the Second World War, which we won in 1945, and the times of the Cold War, which we lost in 1989, after the collapse of the Berlin Wall. And also - monuments.
The well-known song dedicated to the dead pilots in the Western Group of Forces Yuri Yanov and Boris Kapustin, who took the falling plane from West Berlin, is well known to all. The plane fell into the lake Shössensee. And when our curious allies decided to check what equipment was installed on the fallen plane, they discovered that this equipment had already been removed by someone. According to sources, this was done by military liaison missions.
A few years ago, the Germans erected a monument to two dead Soviet pilots. Before him there are always fresh flowers.
The selfless act shook the Germans. At the cost of their own lives, Soviet pilots rescued those who had recently fought on the fields of the Great Patriotic War. But the German public was amazed at the news of the withdrawal.
The airfield of 16-th Air Army, where Yanov and Kaputin served, was one of the last to become empty. How and why did the victorious forces withdraw from the defeated country?
Who made the decision on the withdrawal of troops? What was the reason for this decision, which resulted in the betrayal of national interests?
“We discussed at the Politburo,” Mikhail Gorbachev said in one of his interviews today. “All were in favor, for,” he repeats twice.
26 January 1990 of the year in a closed meeting, which lasted about two hours, in the office of Mikhail Gorbachev the Western Group of Forces was actually signed a death sentence. Also at this meeting, suddenly, a proposal was made to unite Germany. And in the resolution of this decision it was written that it is necessary to prepare for the withdrawal of troops. Logically, this question should have been raised by the Germans, either on the part of the GDR, or on the part of the FRG, but by no means the Soviet government headed by Gorbachev. At the discussion of the so-called German problem was attended by only a few people. There were neither Foreign Ministry officials, nor the Ministry of Defense, nor the Soviet ambassador to the GDR. German Chancellor Helmut Kohl was in direct communication with Gorbachev. Gorbachev told him: "Give me 40,5 a billion marks, I have nothing to feed the people, and tomorrow you will get everything you want." This phrase was especially clearly remembered by a member of the secretariat of the Soviet government.
Moscow’s unilateral decision to withdraw troops from the GDR, without exaggeration, surprised the whole world. The Kremlin agreed to withdraw 600 thousands of people in just four years. While the United States agreed to remove all 60 thousands within seven years.
Arkhyz A small resort in the Stavropol region. It was there that 16 July 1990 should be continued negotiations between the teams of the President of the USSR and the Chancellor of Germany. But for this it was necessary to finish the bargaining. The Soviet Union was ready to exchange political influence for economic assistance from the alliance of a uniting Germany. The main role at the auction was played by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of the USSR. When Shevardnadze came to the negotiations, he asked for a large loan to the country - 20 billion. How was it possible to keep a tough position at the negotiations and at the same time ask for loans? The amount of compensation for the withdrawal of the Western group of troops was taken almost from the "ceiling". The Soviet side asked 40 billion German marks in the hope of getting 10 billion, but as soon as possible.
Came the day of negotiations in Arkhyz. The main question is: how much time is needed in order to technically withdraw the troops, in order to build apartments for officers and officers, and barracks for military personnel. The Germans agreed to finance the construction program in the amount of 14 billion marks. Although today the Soviet negotiators claim that if the Soviet side requested ten times more, it would have received so much.
All the property of military units - airfields, bases, communications centers, buildings, residential buildings, sanatoriums - remained on the German side. According to rough estimates, at the end of the 90s, the property of the western group of troops consisted of about one thousand airfields, testing grounds, of vast extent, dozens of military hospitals.
An interesting detail. The amount of the transaction is still unknown. The contract was so hastily concluded in the Kremlin that the participants called the sum completely different: 14 billion German marks, 13 billion or 80 billion.
To be continued ...