History 30/01/20 Could the USSR to repel the attack of Hitler, if Stalin knew the exact date of the war
In a fantasy novel Vasily Zvyagintsev’s “Odysseus leaves Ithaca”, heroes of the 80-ies of XX century in the fall of 1941 and there is “embedded” in the body of Stalin and senior military commanders. Knowing the course of events of real history, they are the 22nd of June, pre-lift aircraft and intercept the German bombers, and then themselves cause pre-emptive attacks on poised to attack groups of the Wehrmacht.
of Course, what is possible in a fantasy novel, it is not always possible to implement in real life. But this is often forgotten not only history lovers, but even many professional scientists. This is especially true of the much-debated topic of Hitler’s surprise attack on the Soviet Union. Very often seek to prove that the whole reason for the defeat of the red Army in a surprise attack. But if intelligence reported on time, if Stalin believed exploration, etc.
But this question arises because of the reluctance to see the real reasons for the defeat of the red Army in the first years of the war. And, by and large, even if the Soviet General staff received information on the level of a science fiction novel, and would know the plans of the Wehrmacht constantly — it wouldn’t have changed the situation.
But the Soviet leadership and the red Army could not know the exact date. And the point here is not only how well the Wehrmacht knew how to keep secrets. In this case, it is necessary to understand the mechanisms of strategic decision making at this level. Extension a huge number of troops, their concentration, planning, hide, is impossible in principle.
And the Soviet leadership knew well. In the book “1941. Documents” contains a large number of specific reports of Soviet agents, and also generalized summaries of intelligence for the country’s top leadership. To say how they believe at the time — difficult, but thishour, we can easily see that the data was correct. The whole German group was uncovered as accurately as possible. With regard to the strategic plans of the German attack on the Soviet Union, they are covered in the Soviet documents. For example, the note of the Commissar of defense: “About bases of strategic deployment of the armed forces of the USSR in 1940 and 1941” of 19 August 1940. The document sets out the plan “Barbarossa”, which by that time have not yet begun to write.
the Issue is specific date of attack, for all its importance, however, (paradoxically) had such fundamental importance. That is, the Soviet secret service, of course, fought with all forces to such data to.
But first, be sure that the information received be accurate, it was impossible initially. Second, they simply would not have time to transmit and receive.
As we now know, the final decision that the attack on the USSR will be held on 22 June was taken the 18th of June (before this date was considered to be indicative). And the signal that should start to act according to plan, the troops received at 13.00 21st June. Moreover, there were two signals: the signal “Dortmund” confirmed the attack, and “Altona” — canceled, or rather transferred to another date, which have not been assigned. In the Soviet General staff these do not know the details, but understood the decision-making mechanisms.
And therefore, even if a Soviet spy was sitting in Hitler’s office, and would transfer information instantly (which at the time was impossible) and would be in Moscow considered reliable, something to do in such a short time was impossible. The reality is that the information simply would not have time to give, and especially to check it.
With this in mind, and there were Soviet military planning. As we now know from documents about the bases of strategic deployment of the red army (one of which is mentioned above) war guide WithSSR planned to launch a preemptive strike against focused on the borders of the shock groups of the opponent. Such actions should not necessarily be considered a manifestation of aggression, they may fit in a defensive doctrine.
In 1941, all developed according to the plans. According to the note of the Commissar of defense and chief of General staff “views on the plan for the strategic deployment of the Armed Forces of the Soviet Union in case of war with Germany and its allies” from may 15th, 1941, introduced the plans for the deployment of troops. According to “Help about deploying the Armed forces of USSR in case of war in the West” dated 13 June shows that the plans are successfully implemented, and the Red Army would be ready to strike at the end of June or first of July. As well as in the situation above with the Wehrmacht, the final decision would be, apparently, taken the day before the start.
In the Soviet General staff included the fact that the German army can strike first. To do this, in the same deployment plans had plans of covering the border. Pursuant to these plans on the directions of the blows of the Wehrmacht was built the fortified areas located groups of red Army troops. Red army command believed that allocated enough forces to hold the attack of the German troops. Fortified areas were in readiness, as well as air defense forces of the Western districts. Frequently cited examples of what some units of the red army was not ready, not change the overall strategic picture. In this case, it is important that considered in Moscow, and not what the pilots at a particular airport. And in Moscow believed that the troops on the border ready to repel the attack, and these troops will be enough.
Because the knowledge of the specific date of the German attack did not have such fundamental importance. It was thought that the troops on the border in any case are sufficiently alert.
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