What would Stalin and Leningrad, if he was captured by the Germans

History 20/01/20 That would have made Stalin and Leningrad, if he was captured by the Germans

In late August 1941, German troops launched an offensive on Leningrad. There was a difficult situation, the enterprise’s second largest industrial power and cities of the USSR were not prepared either to evacuate or to the explosion.

a Special mission security officer Merkulov

Hard to say what would have happened if the Germans broke through to the city itself, as required telegram of Hitler’s OKH dated 21 August 1941. But the resistance of the Soviet troops forced Hitler already September 6, to modify a task. Directive No. 35, the führer ordered to confine the currently robust environment of Leningrad. September 8, Leningrad was blockaded by land.

However, it has not removed the threat of abandonment of Leningrad in perspective. In addition, the Soviet leadership did not know about the changed plans of the German command. Therefore, in the framework of strengthening of defense measures, the commander of the Leningrad front were appointed on 10 September the main “crisis” Manager Stalin – General of the army Zhukov. And on September 13 with special powers to Leningrad came Deputy Commissar of internal Affairs Vsevolod Merkulov. He had the authority from the bonds for the preparation of “the destruction of businesses, important buildings and bridges in Leningrad in case of a forced withdrawal of our troops from the Leningrad area”.

In events such Merkulov had to consult exclusively with a member of the military Council of the Leningrad front by Alexey Kuznetsov. Kuznetsov after the war, in 1945, headed the Leningrad regional party Committee (and in 1949 will be arrested and in 1950 he was shot by the famous “Leningrad case”). No front commander Zhukov, nor the first Secretary of the Leningrad Zhdanov had no right to interfere in the Affairs entrusted to only Merkulov and Kuznetsov.

the Activities, provided in the case of abandonment of Leningrad, called “Plan D”. Key documents for this plan was declassified and published in 2005 in the collection of the same name.

Plan “D”

the Soviet leadership proceeded from the fact that in the conditions of blockade of Leningrad from the land to evacuate the enterprise would be impossible. It is highly likely that failed and would withdraw from the environment of a significant number of troops in case of worst development of the situation. Therefore, the most important objects to be destroyed. The preparation for liquidation should be carried out systematically.

each Communist party (Leningrad in 1941 was divided into 14 districts) has created a special trio with a mandate to draw up a list of objects to be destroyed. Each enterprise listed, was also created three, preparing a detailed plan for its destruction. The plan should be provided as necessary explosives, where she was to be laid, what should be destroyed by mechanical means (pickaxes, sledgehammers, etc.), how much time it will take. Drafted a list of persons responsible for each step of the plan.

In early October 1941 the people’s Commissar Kuznetsov, and made the list for destruction a little more than 380 enterprises of Leningrad. Among them was the most important industrial and infrastructure enterprises: Kirovskiy Zavod Izhora plant, Electrosila, commercial port, railway stations, power plants and substations, water network, etc. were also such objects that cannot be attributed to the defense, such as the Leningrad House of trade, Department store “Passage”, the factory of records.

the Plan “D” are continuously refined, replenished and operated until the final lifting of the siege of Leningrad and of the distance of the front line of the city. Cancelled it was only in February 1944. Such excessive precaution is difficult to call, as in August 1942 the German command put the next target after the capture of Stalingrad, the offensive in order to finally capture Leninhail – this is evidenced by the Nazi General Manstein, the commander appointed intended for the operation of the 11th army.

I wanted to do with the Hermitage?

a Special issue arises in connection with the objects of world cultural importance – the Winter Palace, the Peter and Paul fortress, the Admiralty, etc. As planned to do with them?

Leningrad bridges are important links in the transport infrastructure have been made in the number of objects assigned to destruction. The plan of blasting of bridges, provide special military demining teams, was approved by the military Council of the Leningrad front on September 15, 1941.

the Artistic value of the Hermitage started to evacuate the first weeks of the war. 30 June and 20 July 1941 from Leningrad went echelons of special forces with a secret cargo. They had exported a total of 1.2 million items of about 2 million exhibits in the Hermitage. Still not clarified the question of why the evacuation of art treasures has ceased and in August had to be evacuated nothing, although the road out of town was still free.

If there was an order about the destruction of the most valuable architectural monuments and the Leningrad artistic values in case of deviation, it is unlikely that such may be declassified now. Some idea of what is expected of the treasures of Saint-Petersburg in the worst case, may give the fate of the Palace-Park ensembles in the suburbs of the city.

it is Generally believed that the Palace and Park St. Petersburg suburbs were looted and destroyed by the Germans. This is mostly so. However, some contribution to the destruction brought Soviet troops, not only during the offensive, when the Germans used these buildings as strongholds.

According to head of the acquisitions Department of the Central state archive of literature and art in St. Petersburg, L. V. Grabovoy, “the tragic consequences of Peterhof were the order of the Supreme command No. 0428, signed by I. Stalin and B. Shaposhnikov 17 November 1941, of the destruction and burning of settlements in the rear of the German fascist troops.” The article “Peterhof occupation” on the website “Archives of St. Petersburg”, with references to archival documents on the implementation of this order States that the destruction of the forces of Soviet aviation and naval artillery were subject to settlements, occupied by Germans. In Leningrad it was, in particular, Peterhof and Strelna, but also “all other points along the coast from Peterhof on Uritsk” (Gatchina). Pushkin and Pavlovsk, too, was occupied by German troops and were in range of Soviet artillery.

So, the New Peterhof for several days three times were subjected to raids groups of six Soviet fighters of the day and six night bombers. Naval artillery of the Baltic fleet (KBF) in September-November 1941 was released at the Peterhof more than 2,000 shells. November 22, 1941, a group of demolition KBF was sent to crack open to blow up the Palace, however, the ignition of the explosives was prevented by a severe frost.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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