22 June 1941 of the year - one of the worst days in stories our country. Those events largely predetermined the disaster of the summer of 41 in general.
The Red Army met the war in three operatively unrelated levels. The first was on the border, the second - in the depths of the construction of troops of special districts and, finally, the third - at the turn of the Western Dvina and Dnieper. It practically did not give chances to armies of covering at the border. Their defeat worsened the balance of power for the Red Army and led to the loss of damaged and failed military equipment.
A serious problem of the Red Army in June 1941-th was the delay in bringing the troops on alert. However, the importance of this factor should not be exaggerated. The advance in mobilization and deployment put the troops of the border districts in initially unfavorable conditions. They were forced to defend on a broad front, several times higher than the statutory norms (about 25 – 30 km instead of 8 – 12 km under the charter), which gave little chance of success.
In the Baltics, 125-st of Major-General P. P. Bogaychuk from 8-th A took defense in advance in the depths of Soviet territory near the city of Taurage, a saddle highway to Šiauliai, but on the front in 25 kilometers by two regiments and a third in reserve. The German 1-td, which was one of the main participants of the "blitzkrieg" in the West in the 1940, became the enemy of the Soviet compound. The suddenness of the German strike here was relative: the Germans withdrew to the position of the 125 st unit a few hours after crossing the border and the occupants were already waiting, squeezing weapon. The highway bridge was blown up, the Germans managed to capture the railway. In Taurag, until the dark, there were street battles, German Tanks They went around the city, but the commander of the 1st TD Kruger did not dare to give the order to break through until the battle for the city ended. By night, the 125th SD was knocked down and began to withdraw.
The losses of the 1 Tank Division (including the 489 th pp given to it) for 22 June amounted to 88 people killed, 225 wounded and 34 missing. This was a record loss of one day of the entire summer campaign. The losses inflicted by 1-td on the border, played a role in the failure of the Germans and a specific division in the breakthrough to Leningrad.
In addition to the broad defense lines, the pre-emption of special districts in the deployment led to an impressive numerical superiority of the Germans over parts of the covering armies. A striking example is the attack of the German 16 army on the 11 Soviet on the Kaunas direction. Each of our division was attacked by two or three Germans. The situation was aggravated by the fact that the main forces of 5 and 188-st were located in summer camps, while separate battalions and companies remained at the border. They were literally crushed by a mass of German infantry units, and the main forces engaged the Germans on the march.
At the same time, Soviet troops received a stab in the back. From 1940, there was an underground anti-Soviet organization in Lithuania - the Front of Lithuanian activists (FLA). The hasty evacuation of the Soviet party organs from Kaunas became the trigger for the uprising that started in the city. The combination of infantry strikes and the PLA uprising absorbed all the strength and attention of 11 A. This caused the rapid breakthrough of E.V. Manstein’s LVI corps to the crossings through Dubiss, then to Daugavpils. The seizure of bridges across the Western Dvina led to the loss of the boundary of a major water barrier and the withdrawal of the troops of the North-Western Front to Estonia and the Luga line on the distant approaches to Leningrad already in mid-July.
In the area of this city before the war 5-I was deployed F. F. Fedorova, who had the newest T-50 tanks on 34. This was a very advantageous position, which allowed to cover important bridges over the Neman. However, the crisis on the border forced the commander of PribOVO F. I. Kuznetsov to make a hasty decision: to withdraw 5-td from the city "to cover the rear of the 11-th army from the Lithuanians" and to hold the Neman line on the 40-kilometer front. As a result, the 5 units of the TD came out of Alytus just a few hours before the breakthrough to the city of the Germans 7 etc. Bridges fell into their hands intact. The Soviet 5-td returned to Alytus, but was forced to counterattack the enemy bridgehead, which already occupied about 400 tanks of two German divisions. The counterattacks ended in failure, and Alytus became the starting point for the Germans to strike at Minsk, closing the encirclement ring of the Western Front.
In the German VIII Corps, the most powerful artillery "fist" was assembled on the entire Soviet-German front: the 14 battalions of heavy and super heavy artillery in caliber up to 240 and 305 of millimeters, and also a regiment of jet mortars. These included X-NUMX-mm K-240 guns with a range of up to 3 kilometers. Early in the morning of June 37 they were used by the Germans for firing at the Grodno barracks of the Red Army. 22-mm howitzers fired at the concrete pillboxes of the border fortified areas. The task of all this mass of artillery was punching the German 305 Army road along Suwalki - Augustow - Grodno. Ultimately, despite the stubborn resistance of the Soviet troops under Avgustov and the 9 th MK counterstrike, the Germans solved this task, the commander of the 11 th army V. I. Kuznetsov decided to leave Grodno at the end of June 3.
The roar of powerful artillery towers under Grodno was heard even on the other side of the border. This forced the commander of the Western Front, DG Pavlov, to regard the Grodno grouping as a tank one and use the strongest X-NUMX mechanized corps from Bialystok in this area. As a result, his tanks did not have enough to counteract the attack of 6 and 2 of the tank groups on Minsk, which accelerated the encirclement of the Western Front and forced the Soviet high command to throw all reserves on the western strategic direction.
If the Germans had assembled a group of artillery near Grodno, which was even somewhat redundant for the task, then the 45-i parade near the walls of the Brest Fortress prepared to storm the citadel with completely unsuitable means for this. On the one hand, the delay in bringing troops into readiness led to the isolation of the 6 and 42 units in the fortress. On the other hand, the Soviet units that had managed to take refuge in dungeons turned out to be invulnerable to German artillery. Even 210-mm guns did not break through thick fortress walls, and 280-mm missiles gave a rather pyrotechnic effect. As a result, the German units that broke into the fortress were counterattacked, and some were even surrounded at the club (church) on the territory of the citadel. This forced the commander of 45-th PD Schlipper to order to withdraw their own forces so that they surrounded the citadel from all sides for a planned assault. Such an order to retreat was the first on the Soviet-German front. Instead of reading the hours, according to the plan, 45-I spent several days on the assault.
On the adjacent flanks of the army groups "Center" and "South" there was an extensive wooded and swampy Pripyat region. To attack the Kovel node, the Germans allocated the 17th corps as part of two divisions without serious means of reinforcement. It was here that the measures taken by the Soviet command to raise the level of combat readiness of the troops of special districts worked. A few days before the German attack, Kovel from the Kivertsi camp was launched 62-sd, which somewhat equalized the chances of the parties. Coupled with energetic counterattacks on the initiative of the commander of 45-sd, Major General GI Sherstyuk, this led to the slow advance of the Germans in the Kovel sector from the first day of the war. Subsequently, the lag of the offensive in the Pripyat region contributed to the flank counterattacks of the troops of the 6 Army and the 1 Armored Group moving to Kiev. This became the basis for the so-called Pripyat problem, among other reasons that prompted Hitler to deploy Guderian’s 2 tank group to Kiev. The loss of time on the turn shifted the beginning of the attack on Moscow in the autumn of 1941.
7. Vladimir-Volynsky and Sokal
Before the war, the USSR deployed large-scale construction of fortified areas on the western border. In Ukraine, they were in a high degree of readiness. Due to the specifics of the border outline and the location of the fortified area (at the base of the border protrusion) under Vladimir-Volynsky, as well as thanks to the initiative of the commander of the 87-th section, F. F. Alyabushev, who assembled his connection into one fist on the highway axis, the Germans managed to hold back almost a day. Due to the rather nervous reaction of the German 6 army commander Reichenau, the delay led to a change in the initial plan of the operation and castling under Vladimir-Volynsky 13-td, assigned to strike Dubno after 11-td. The change in the forces and order of entering the tank divisions into battle worsened the conditions for conducting the offensive of the 1 tank group and favored the penetration of the counter attack of the 8 of the MK under Dubno between the German 11 of the forward and the 16 of the advancing with a delay.
The fortification under Rava-Russkaya was also in a high degree of readiness. Contrary to the popular legend, the 41-I division of Major-General G. N. Mikusheva was not brought to the position at the initiative of the commander. She was in summer camps. Nevertheless, the retention of positions by the garrison of the fortified area contributed to the deployment of the 41-th SD and its effective counter-attack. G. N. Mikushev inflicted two consecutive counterstrikes on the flank of the advancing German units, forcing the enemy to retreat (although crossing the border and dredging into enemy territory by three kilometers is also a legend). The journal of military actions of GA “Yug” explicitly stated: “262 PD appeared to be subject to“ enemy fear ”and retreated.” Subsequently, 41-I SD maintained the position of Rava-Russky UR and prevented the Germans from entering the battle of the XIV motorized corps 1 th TGR. If he entered the frontal counter-strike of the mechanized corps would be thwarted. However, the flank of the counterstrike was tightly covered by the UR and, despite the mistakes in its conduct, led to a general slowdown in the advancement of GA Yug. This lag forced Hitler to change the Barbarossa strategy as early as July 1941, which ultimately became the prerequisites for its collapse.
German troops on the morning of June 22 had a numerical superiority almost all along the border. District of Przemysl was no exception. The city was retained, but four German divisions XXXXIX of the mountain corps were operating against a single Soviet 97 unit. They successfully overcame the unoccupied area of the fortified area and broke into the defenses of the Soviet troops on the outskirts of Lviv. Even the defeated units resisted to the last, in the RCB 71-th PD it was noted: "Scattered Russians shoot from ambushes at individual soldiers." However, numerical superiority and surprise did their job.
The collapse of the defense of the 6 Army in the Lvov ledge forced the army commander, I. N. Muzychenko, to use the strongest 4 mechanized corps against the infantry and mountain rangers, which by 1941 of the 892 of the T-416 of the 34 of the year. The corps was excluded from the frontal attack. Nevertheless, deterring the onset of the 17 Army in Lviv by the forces of the 4 Mechanized Corps proved to be quite effective, although it led to large losses of tanks, including KV and T-34.
10. Romanian border
According to the plan of the German command, the transfer of the 11 army to the offensive was supposed later, on July 2. In the first days of the war, there was only a struggle for bridgeheads on the border Prut. However, the relatively slow development in the southern sector of the Soviet-German front contributed to the planned withdrawal. It was here that the backbone of the Primorsky Army of I.Ye. Petrov (25 and 95-st) was formed, first successfully defending Odessa, and then preventing the fall of Sevastopol in the late autumn of 1941.
The June 22 fighting was the beginning of the 41 summer crash, but at the same time created the prerequisites for changing the situation in many ways, forcing the aggressor to adjust the Barbarossa strategy.