Why the Wehrmacht and the Red Army were shooting at each other in 1939

History 21/01/20 Why the Wehrmacht and the Red Army were shooting at each other in 1939

the Conclusion of a nonaggression Pact on 23 August 1939 put Germany and the Soviet Union in the relationship of friendly neutrality. In connection with the planned partition of Poland the military of the two countries had virtually to interact.

the entry of the USSR in world war II

on the morning of 1 September 1939 the German Embassy in Moscow transmitted the request command of the Luftwaffe on the use of German planes making raids on Poland, the Soviet radio station in Minsk as a beacon. The request was granted. On 3 September the German Ambassador Walter von Schulenburg asked the people’s Commissar for foreign Affairs Vyacheslav Molotov to clarify, can we expect the entry of the USSR into the war against Poland. Two days later, Molotov replied that the Soviet Union would begin military action against Poland “as soon as brewing time.”

Initially, the Soviet invasion of Poland was planned for 12-13 September. However, the unexpectedly stubborn resistance of the Polish forces in the Warsaw area, and especially its own difficulties with the concentration of the material forced to postpone the beginning of military operations the red army on September 17.

At 2 a.m. on 17 September, Stalin informed Schulenburg that at 6 o’clock in the morning Soviet troops cross the Eastern border of Poland. Soviet leaders requested that German aircraft did not fly East of the line Bialystok—Brest—Lvov. With this information, the high command of German ground forces ordered his subordinates to stay in Poland on the line Bialystok—Brest—Volodymyr-Volynsky—Lviv—Skole. This line passed to the East of the demarcation line, which was scheduled for talks in Moscow on August 23.

Meeting allies on the bug

September 20 to the East of Brest there was a meeting tank of the 29th tank brigade of the 4th army of the Belarusian front under the command of the brigade commander Seeds Creeoseina and their colleagues of the 19th mechanized corps of General Heinz Guderian. The soldiers, according to the memoirs of Krivoshein, invited the Nazis in “Lenin’s tent”, where they were deployed traditional Soviet propaganda posters. Those have not yet be subject to change in accordance with the new course of the Politburo friendship with Hitler, and therefore habitually called for the destruction of fascism. But the Germans are not embarrassed by their content, treat it as an amusing exotic and even photographed on their background. Dear German guests generously fed soup and kebab, then released with orders to “give his regards to General Guderian”.

In accordance with the terms of the political agreement, the Germans had to leave Brest. The procedure of the conclusion was agreed on 21 September during a private meeting Krivoshein and Guderian, and the next day was held a solemn joint parade of the two armies. He, however, as the historian Mikhail Meltyukhov, was the only such event in the contact of Soviet and German troops in the conquered Poland. Guderian agreed with the scenario of parade proposed by the Soviet side: part of the Wehrmacht, slender columns, with banners unfurled and performance of marches, leaving the city behind them to Brest, in such a design, enter part of the red army. In turn, Krivoshein agreed to stand on the podium next to Guderian and together to salute the passing troops.

the Lviv incident

But not all the meeting of allies was held in such a warm and friendly environment. Despite approval markings and clear orders to commanders of both armies, between the Wehrmacht and the red army in some places clashes broke out.

So, another September 12 advanced units of the 17th German army began fighting for the lions. The poles fiercely defended the city. The Germans suffered heavy losses, but to take the second largest city in Poland was for them a matter of prestige. The Germans did not stop their attacks and once in Poland, Soviet troops entered and began the movement against the lions. The result on September 19 between German and Soviet troops in the area of the city began shooting, the first blood was shed.

the Incident near Lviv became the subject of settlement at the highest level. In the morning of 20 September, the German military attache in Moscow, General Ernst Kostring was negotiating with the people’s Commissar of defense Kliment Voroshilov. Kostring pointed out that German troops are supposedly not able to be withdrawn from the city, not breaking the opposing forces, i.e. the poles. Kostring passed the proposal of the Supreme command of the Wehrmacht to take the lions, together with the red Army, and then pass it to the Soviet side. Voroshilov categorically rejected these delays, and in the evening of 20 September, the Germans began withdrawing its forces from the occupied districts of the city.

on the Eve of departure the command of the German 17th army proposed to the Polish Lviv garrison to capitulate, arguing that in case of failure of the poles fall in the Asian Bolshevik captivity is a cultural European. But the poles were determined to inflict maximum casualties to the Russian Bolsheviks. September 22, Lviv fell under the blows of the red Army.

the Bends and displacement, the liquidation of the remnants of Polish troops

the Evening of September 20 at a meeting in Moscow between Cstringa, Voroshilov and chief of the Soviet General staff Boris Shaposhnikov was agreed deadlines and the procedure for the withdrawal of German troops from areas lying to the East of the demarcation line. On the night of September 21, was signed a Protocol. The Wehrmacht was obliged to leave the areas intended for occupation by the red Army, to the 3rd of October.

Not everywhere the withdrawal of German troops and the entry of the Soviet went smoothly. In some places there were minor incidents, like Lviv. In some places they provoked a disparate group of Polish troops, wormed between the two armies the Victor. A large group of Polish troops retreated from Western Belarus under the blows of the red Army surrendered to the Germans on 6 October under Lukova.

the Agreement on August 23, the border between the USSR and Germany established, in particular, on the Vistula river. But in the course of the war, the Wehrmacht had advanced far to the East. This led to additional negotiations on the clarification and harmonization of the demarcation line. Finally, on 28 September 1939 in Moscow as a result of the new visit of Minister of foreign Affairs of the Reich Joachim von Ribbentrop signed the Soviet-German Treaty of friendship and border. Him turn were transferred to the East from the Vistula to the bug river, in return for which Germany recognized Lithuania belonging to the Soviet sphere of influence.

By this time, Soviet troops in turn moved in some places considerably to the West of the new state border of the USSR and Germany. On 29 September they were ordered to stop on the reached boundaries. 6 October began and on October 13 ended with their withdrawal to the East.

during these reciprocal movements of the German troops near the city of Yaroslav were to the East the Soviet. In coordination with the commanders of Soviet Ukrainian front, she, according to documents published by historian Sergey Sluch, used for waste roads in the Soviet rear.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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