Military Review

At the far approaches to victory

The first order to retreat was received by the Germans, who attacked the Brest Fortress.

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.

1. Taurage

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.

At the far approaches to victory

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.

2. Kaunas

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.

3. Alytus

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.

4. Grodno

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.

5. Brest

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.

6. Kovel

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.

8. Rava-Russkaya

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.

9. Przemysl

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.
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  1. parusnik
    parusnik 2 July 2016 08: 37
    The roar of powerful artillery tractors near Grodno was heard even on the other side of the border.This forced the commander of the Western Front, D. G. Pavlov, to regard the Grodno group as a tank group and to use the 6th mechanized corps from Bialystok in the district in this area...Those. reconnaissance was not carried out ... if the roar of the tractors was accepted for the tanks .. A pity ..
    1. NIKNN
      NIKNN 2 July 2016 12: 51
      . A serious problem of the Red Army in June 1941 was the delay in bringing troops into combat readiness. However, the significance of this factor should not be exaggerated. The lead in mobilization and deployment put the troops of the border districts in initially unfavorable conditions. They were forced to defend themselves on a wide front, many times higher than the statutory norms

      I probably didn’t understand something ....
      . The lead in mobilization and deployment put the troops of the border districts in initially unfavorable conditions.

      Or is the author confused in this phrase, whose deployment and why cannot the factor be exaggerated?
      1. Predator
        Predator 2 July 2016 21: 18
        The advance in deployment (especially since the Wehrmacht’s divisions were mobilized 100%) immediately put ALL the Red Army troops in a catastrophic situation, there was simply nothing to parry the superiority of 6-12-40 times on the basis of the main strikes.
    2. Predator
      Predator 2 July 2016 21: 11
      But he (Pavlov) did not know that there were 32 divisions against his right flank, and 4 of them were armored ?! And on the left, more than 40 were 6 armored divisions ?! And what about the directive of June 18, 1941? MK among the swamps and the complete lack of roads ?!
    3. Army soldier2
      Army soldier2 3 July 2016 00: 05
      Well, this is the opinion of the author.
      In general, what is the article about? What did the author want to say? What new did you say?
  2. Serg65
    Serg65 2 July 2016 08: 58
    22 of June 1941 of the year is one of the worst days in the history of our country. Those events in many ways predetermined the disaster of the summer of 41 as a whole. Recently, on the pages of VO, a real battle began on the topic "Mannerheim is an enemy or not an enemy" and I decided to read about the beginning of the war with the Finns in 1941. I'll be honest, then. what caught my eye gave answers to many of my questions "Why? How? What played into the hands of the Nazis in the first days of the war?" We are talking about the bombing of Finland from June 25th to July 1st, 1941. 263 bombers and 224 fighters took part in the raids, of which 90 vehicles belonged to the KBF aviation, the rest of the LVO Air Force, in total 992 sorties were made. In his memoirs, Air Chief Marshal A.A. Novikov wrote .. “This was the first multi-day operation in the history of the Soviet Air Force. 130 enemy aircraft were destroyed on the ground and in the air. In 6 days, 39 airfields were hit, some of them repeatedly. "That is, complete success and a hole for the order! But in reality? But in fact ... on June 25, the" Stalinist falcons "either bombed empty airfields, or did not find On that day, the Soviet side lost a total of 24 SB bombers, of which 22 were shot down by Finnish fighters, and five squadron commanders were killed: Mr. Kosyakin (2th SBAP), F.I. Panyushkin (44st SBAP), registries V.I.Polyakov (201nd SBAP) and B.A. Stoilik (72st SBAP). in 201 days of raids there were 6 bombers and 51 fighters, human losses reached 20. The pilots wandered off in search of Finnish airfields several times, bombed non-existent airfields several times. Fokers, there was no fighter cover at all!
    One could understand all this if we were talking about non-fired pilots, but the Red Banner Baltic Fleet and LenVO Air Force took an active part in the Finnish War a year ago, that is, they were shot sparrows! In my opinion, in the Red Army before the war there was complete slovenliness, starting with the People's Commissar and ending with the "company commander". To the top were scribbles like "everything is fine, beautiful marquise", from the top were award reports and a report to comrade Stalin in the style of "If tomorrow is war"
    1. Ivan Tartugai
      Ivan Tartugai 2 July 2016 13: 48
      Quote from Serg65:
      It would be possible to understand all this if it was a question of unfired pilots, but the Air Force KBF and LenVO a year ago, took an active part in the Finnish war, that is, they were shot sparrows!

      Unfortunately, in the Finnish war, the LenVO aviation, under the leadership of the victim of Stalin's repressions, Ptukhin worked not in the best way. They flew a lot, they bombed a lot, but only a few goals were hit. And this is with overwhelming superiority in the air. They could not bomb a single bunker, neither small nor large, could not disable a single railway junction, the railway itself, along which the Finnish troops were supported.
      But “successfully” were bombed in the quarter of diplomatic missions in Helsinki, as well as in residential areas of the city. What caused the local population to be fierce and hatred of the Red Army, the Soviet Union, the Soviet people, i.e. contributed to the mobilization of the forces of the Finnish population for the war. And diplomats were given a reason to yell to the whole world about the "ferocity" and "inhumanity" of the Russians.
      There is no fault of ordinary pilots here, the command, the generals, as always, were not ready, for them, as always, winter unexpectedly came and for some reason with cold, knee-deep snow, long nights, bad weather.
    2. Vadim237
      Vadim237 2 July 2016 21: 30
      And Stalin is to blame for this in everything, with his Molotov signature - about peace with Germany and with the continuation - "Don't give in to provocations," and then a frantic search for switchmen begins - among the Generals, commanders, Stalin takes control of the headquarters - the command under his command was inept and so on until December 1941.
  3. Ivan Tartugai
    Ivan Tartugai 2 July 2016 11: 23
    Quote from the article:
    The city was deterred, but against one Soviet 97th SD there were four German divisions of the XXXXIX mountain corps.

    The author confused with the defense of Przemysl.
    In Przemysl was the headquarters 99th Infantry Division under the command of Colonel Dementyev, the city was in her area of ​​responsibility. Soviet 97th SD in Przemysl was not.
    German attacked the Soviet part of Przemysl 101st light infantry division.
    In the evening of June 21, 1941, in the city garden of the Soviet part of Przemysl, the military council of the division organized festivities, the concert was thin. amateur dancing. By the way, local residents on the walk, according to eyewitnesses, there were very few.
    The German part of the city, on the other side of the San River, which was always illuminated that evening, was darkened, at the crossings, bridges across the river, assault squads accumulated, which were hidden in the nearby courtyards of residential buildings.
    On the morning of June 22, after artillery bombardment, the Nazis captured the crossing, and then the city. Border guards defended the crossing until the last soldier. There were no parts of the 99th SD in the city; they were in camps.
    June 23, under the command of Art. the lieutenant of the Border Guard Polyvoda GS, the combined battalion of border guards, NKVD fighters, fighters of the 99th SD units, as well as 190 local militias, recaptured the Soviet part of the city, crossed the Sun and captured part of the German Premzel (western part of Przemysl), but then left it on command from above.
    Our prison was held until June 27, but because of the disastrous situation the neighbors were forced to leave on June 28 by order, which they did in a very organized manner.
  4. geolive77777
    geolive77777 2 July 2016 11: 26
    Thanks to the author for the article. I have been reading and watching his materials about the Second World War for a long time.
  5. Ivan Tartugai
    Ivan Tartugai 3 July 2016 06: 27
    Quote from the article:
    "Contrary to the prevailing legend of the 41st SD Major General G. N. (should be wrong N.G.) Mikusheva was not taken to positions on the initiative of the commander. She was in summer camps. ”

    Mikushev NG (Nikolai Georgievich) is credited with the fact that he contrary to teams from the army and KOVO By the evening of June 21, he returned to the places of permanent deployment all units and divisions of his division.
    At the beginning of June 1941, from the division for corps and army training grounds, they went down to artillery training camps both artillery regiments, anti-tank and anti-aircraft divisions. Special Forces divisions and rifle regiments also passed training camps outside permanent locations. Some of the rifle units carried out work to improve and maintain the engineering structure. Only headquarters and part of the infantry units remained in the camps. Essentially the 41st division was scattered and did not represent a combat-capable formation capable of resisting in case of war.
    Since June 20, 1941, General Mikushev N.G. began to assemble a division, and also established directly direct connection by field telephone with border control.
    Thanks to this direct connection to the 41st division in two hours, i.e. almost two hours earlier they announced a combat alert and units of the division managed to occupy their defensive lines with pre-arranged trench trenches before the Germans arrived. Only in several places did the Germans immediately have to knock out the prepared trenches.
    Thanks to the decisive actions of General Mikushev NG, the 41st division with three bullets of the Rava-Russian and border outposts of the 91st Rava-Russian border detachment at the front of 50 km, they confidently restrained the offensive of the 4 Wehrmacht infantry divisions for five days. However, due to the catastrophic situation of the neighbors, in particular the 97th SD and 159th SD, which fought without their artillery regiments and special forces, the 41st division of General Mikushev, NG, on orders, left its defensive line at the border.
    1. Ivan Tartugai
      Ivan Tartugai 3 July 2016 06: 48
      Adding to the above comment:

      In the afternoon of June 22, 1941, the corps artillery regiment with 41 mm howitzers arrived to the aid of the 152st Division, which, according to the recollections of the chief of staff of the 41st division, then Colonel Eremin, was very pleasant by surprise.
  6. snerg7520
    snerg7520 10 July 2016 13: 19
    Good article. Indeed, we need an analytical analysis of the disaster of the 41st year without slandering the heroes, but also without suppressing miscalculations and negligence.