History 04/01/20 What most surprised the generals of Hitler after the attack on the USSR
on 22 June 1941 the Wehrmacht was assured that the German soldiers would break the Red army for 2-3 months, but from the first days of fighting, the Germans realized that this war will be different from the previous one. Already in the midst of the battle for the Crimea Joseph Goebbels say: “the Tenacity with which the Bolsheviks defended in the pillboxes in Sevastopol, akin to a certain animal instinct, and it would be a profound mistake to regard him as a result of the Bolshevik beliefs or upbringing. Russian has always been so and likely always will remain so”.
the Beginning of the war
in July 1941, field Marshal Brauchitsch recorded on the Russian: “the First serious opponent”. Colonel-General Halder, chief of staff of the land forces of the Wehrmacht, in his diary noted that in the summer battles of 1941, Soviet soldiers fought fiercely and often blew himself up in the pillboxes.
a week after the outbreak of war the chief of staff of the Luftwaffe, major General Hoffmann von Waldau, wrote in his diary: “the Qualitative level of Soviet pilots where higher than expected… Fierce resistance, its mass character do not meet our initial assumptions”. Especially the Germans shocked the aviation battering rams and huge losses. Only one day, 22 June 1941, the Luftwaffe lost 300 aircraft, which in the fighting with the allies was not.
In his book “1941 the eyes of the Germans. Birch crosses instead of iron” British historian Robert Kershaw, collected the memories of Wehrmacht soldiers on the first year of the war. The researcher claimed that at this time in the army, the Wehrmacht, there was a saying: “Better three French campaign than one Russian.”
Kleist and Manstein
field Marshal Kleist wrote: “the Russians from the beginning have shown themselves as class warriors, and our success in the first months of the war was due to just the best training. Finding the fighthowling experience, they became first-class soldiers. They fought with exceptional tenacity, had amazing endurance… “.
the Daring soldiers of the red Army struck, and field Marshal Manstein. In his memoirs, he was surprised: “the Soviet soldiers raised their hands to show that they give us into captivity, and after our infantry approached them, they again resorted to arms; or the wounded feigned death, and then from the rear shot at our soldiers.”
In the book “Lost victories” Manstein described exemplary episode of the battle for the Crimea, where the 5000 Soviet soldiers broke from the quarries. “Dense mass, taking the soldiers by the hand, so nobody could be left behind, they threw themselves on our lines. Often ahead of, all were women and Komsomol girl, who, also with weapons in hand, inspired men”.
“Even in the environment they continue to fight”
Reflections on the red Army left the chief of staff of the 4th army of the Wehrmacht, General Gunther Blumentritt. In his diaries, the military commander came to the conclusion that the strength of the enemy in his close contact with nature. That is why the red army moves freely at night and in the fog and is not afraid of frost. The General wrote: “Russian soldier prefers melee. His ability, not struggling to endure hardship, is a true surprise. This is the Russian soldiers, which we learned and which was imbued with respect a quarter of a century ago.”
Also Blumentritt compared with the previous Russian opponents of Germany: “the Behaviour of Russian troops even in the first battle was in striking contrast with the behavior of the poles and the Western allies in the defeat. Even surrounded by the Russian continued heavy fighting. Where roads were not Russian in most cases remained elusive. They always tried to break to the East… Our environment Russian seldom successful.”
the Tenacity and knowledge of the strategy
After the war, Colonel-General of tank troops and military theorist, Heinz Guderian, wrote an article “The experience of the war with Russia.” In this work analyzed the attempts of foreigners to conquer Russia came to the conclusion that “Russian soldiers have always been a special tenacity, strength of character and great simplicity. During the second world war it became obvious that the Soviet high command has high abilities in the areas of strategy”.
Also the founder of the armored forces of the Wehrmacht noted, when planning the war with Russia should take into account that its soldiers and generals tend to obedience, firmness and perseverance. The Russian did not lose their spirit in the most difficult military situation, and the neglect of such features: “can lead to dire consequences”.
© Russian Seven
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