History 02/01/20 “Stalingrad was not necessary to defend” why so said Malinowski

In Soviet times, about the battle of Stalingrad, wrote and spoke only in superlatives. Extolled the exploits of the soldiers and the talent of the generals pointed to the crucial importance of victory on the Volga and its effect on the whole course of the great Patriotic war.

But surprisingly, in the 1960-ies there were remarks that not everything was so well done, there were other solutions. And there was no meaning to defend Stalingrad. Not so bad if we were talking about the statements in a low voice in a communal kitchen. Unexpected voices from the officials!

In 1965, the Soviet defense Minister Marshal Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovsky said in an interview that, in his opinion, “Stalingrad should never have to defend”. If such publicly said the Soviet defense Minister, this is serious. Malinowski was among the most active participants remove Khrushchev from power and enjoyed great trust Brezhnev.

In the Soviet Union with the arrival of each new head of the history of the great Patriotic war was over. 1965 — the time of the coming to power of Brezhnev. It is clear that the statement of Malinowski was politically motivated. What was the intrigue?

Brezhnev Himself to the battle of Stalingrad nothing had, unlike Khrushchev, who was a member of the military Council of the Stalingrad front. A review of some events from a political point of view has always been profitable.

first, it was necessary to show the heroic path of the new Secretary-General. And this ought to draw attention to one section of the Soviet-German front and to downplay the value of neighboring. The older generation remembers an ironic phrase from a joke of the seventies:”the Great Patriotic war is a small episode in a big battle for a Small earth”.

Secondly, we must not forget that Malinowski was in a very bad relationship with Zhukov. According to extant stories of his family, they communicated exclusively on the sublimely obscene colours. Rodion Yakovlevich made a huge effort to “move” Zhukov from his post as defense Minister.

And just in time for the battle of Stalingrad with Zhukov and Malinowski’s approach was different. Malinovsky commanded the 66 army North of Stalingrad in September when she played a major role. Then went on increasing in the neighboring Voronezh front. Commanding the 2 guards army, he made a decisive contribution to the defeat of Manstein in December 1942 and foiled the plans of the Germans to rescue the surrounded Paulus. That is, unsuccessful operations on his account a little, but is successful. And the participation of Zhukov in the battle of Stalingrad was reduced to the leadership of several unsuccessful attempts to surround the 6th army of the Germans at Stalingrad, after which he was sent under Rzhev, where he also had nothing to boast of. In short, the grounds for criticism of Malinowski was.

still, it’s interesting to see whether there was a purely military sense to hold the city?

of Course, Stalingrad was a major transport and industrial centre, and we are not talking about how to take it. But that day, when the German troops reached the Volga river and began fighting in the city, Stalingrad has ceased to be a transport and industrial center. And, according to Malinowski, to keep him from that moment made no sense. Transports along the Volga already could not walk, they are partially replaced by parallel roads. The cargo was, and completely cut off the country’s South, the Germans failed.

In the West, not only by historians, but, according to the documents and memoirs of contemporaries, a view was expressed that Stalingrad held only because of the name. Talked about this and the allies, and enemies. If the city was called Tsaritsyn, it would not be so defended.

Malinovskiy only openly expressed the fact that he was whispering. The situation of Paulus at Stalingrad could be full-timeü similar to the position of Napoleon in the conquered Moscow and even worse. If Soviet troops crossed the Volga, the river would have stood an insurmountable obstacle in the way of the Germans. To boost her badly battered in the fighting divisions of the Wehrmacht had nothing to think.

On the flanks the Germans hung groupings of Soviet troops, surpassing them in three or four times. And instead in a rush to throw troops into battle in the snow-covered steppe, it was possible to prepare the operation. Malinowski knew it from experience. His 66 army in September he put it, attacking the German defenses without any preparation. And bugs it customized.

If the Red Army withdrew to the East Bank, German troops would have been a fierce winter in a ruined city. Communication stretched and cracked under the blows of the guerrillas, attack is impossible because there are almost no serviceable tanks, and battalions remained at 30-40 people. Not enough ammunition, not enough food, not even suitable clothes for the Russian winter. Stalingrad would become a real trap. It was talking about the Minister of defense of the USSR Marshal of the Soviet Union Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovskiy

Incidentally, Western historians in one voice argued that the Germans did not have to strive at any price to take Stalingrad. It doesn’t make sense. But came an incident: Stalin could not afford to take the town of his name, and Hitler, by contrast, was willing to take. The political aspect was more important than common sense, and for that, hundreds of thousands of people have paid with their lives.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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