How the battle actually broke the

History 12/01/20 How the battle actually broke the “Blitzkrieg” of Hitler

the debate about why Germany was not able to carry out a blitzkrieg in 1941, began even before the end of the Second world war. Of course, they were conducted outside the Soviet Union, as the Soviet explanation was very simple. Was due to the failure of Hitler’s high spirit and fortitude of the Soviet people, the guiding role of the Communist party and the advantages of the Soviet system.

According to the Soviet version, the Wehrmacht was unable to overcome a strong defense of the red Army suffered irreplaceable losses and was defeated at Moscow, Leningrad and Rostov-on-don. One of the most popular books of the Soviet era “the failure of the “Blitzkrieg” V. A. Anfilova that’s the way it was described and ended with the transition of the red Army in offensive near Moscow. The resistance of our people, no one denies, including enemies, but have always been interested in other reasons for the failure of the German plans. In the West, especially in Germany, believed that the main reason that led to the collapse of all plans, was Hitler’s decision on July 19 to rotate both tank groups from Moscow direction.

he writes About this in his book “the 10 fatal mistakes of Hitler” and a modern American historian, Bevin Alexander, who commanded, and at the time of the 3rd Panzer group Hermann Hoth in “Panzer operations”. Chapter in his book called “Hitler fails the plan of the campaign.” I agree with Goth and all his colleagues in the first place, then-commander of the 2nd Panzer group, Heinz Guderian.

Some modern writers disagree with this assessment and believe Hitler’s decision the right one. They motivate this by the fact that the Panzer group in this situation would be useless for an attack on Moscow, and it is reasonable to advance some infantry divisions. The German Panzer divisions, contrary to popular belief, was not intended for the hacking defense, and in 1941, for these purposes, has never been used. The breach was carried out by the infantry after artillery and air preparation, and with the direct support of artillery and aviation. Tank divisions were introduced in the breakthrough and inflicted rapid strikes on the rear, completing the encirclement and creating a “pot”. From this point of view, the tank of the group really would be not needed in the Moscow area, but in this reasoning there is one error.

In the use of the armored forces of the Wehrmacht all right, but the authors of this version make a common mistake — they believe that the Red Army was in the autumn of 41st defensive battles, but it is not. All the actions of the Soviet troops was of offensive nature. Widespread in movies picture, where the German tanks stormed the Soviet trenches — fiction. And German tanks, as mentioned above, the defense stormed, and the Red Army in defence did not sit. And complete profile of the trench in 1941, the red army was not provided by any statutes, and dig no men and no time. The turn of the 2nd Panzer group Guderian to Kiev and 3rd Panzer group Hoth to Leningrad really slowed the advance on Moscow.

But the problems of the Wehrmacht with the implementation of the plan started earlier. What, for example, draws attention to the American historian, David Glantz, in his book “the Collapse of the plan “Barbarossa”.

in mid-July in the German leadership was dominated by the euphoria, and the chief of the General staff, General Franz Halder, July 3 (12 day of the war) in his journal wrote: “it is No exaggeration to say that campaign against Russia won within 14 days.” However, he did caveat that it would take several weeks to finally crush the resistance of the red Army. However, this joy was based on the belief that the Wehrmacht managed in the border battles to defeat all the main forces of Soviet troops. According to intelligence, Admiral Canaris, the Soviet Union had more troops in reserve. And even if it was assumed that will be formed dozens of new divisions, it is expected only by year-end.

a Fatal error in underestimating the forces of the red Army and mobilization potential has led to the fact that the Germans did not know about the existence of as many as six armies, which were deployed by the Soviet Union in the month of June in the Central districts. About the transfer of an army from the Transbaikal region, the Abwehr didn’t even know existed. All these troops went into battle already 12-13 July, ten days after Halder recorded in his diary about the victory in the campaign. In the battle of Smolensk the Germans have confronted a new army, and not typed in a hurry connection wartime and part of the staff.

the Powerful offensive of the red Army stopped moving to Moscow tank groups Gotha and Guderian and involved them in protracted battles with the superior forces of the enemy. After the Smolensk pulled up, and took the brunt of the burden of the field army group “Center”, the decision to send Panzer group attacks in the flag of the Soviet troops, leading operations against the army group “South” and “North” suggests itself. But it does not change the situation and it was only due to the fact that the original plan had to be abandoned.

the German command made a mistake in assessing the strength of the red Army. This error proved fatal and led to the collapse of the plan “Barbarossa”. But the immediate moment when the Wehrmacht (though not completely), it became clear that plan had failed, should be considered the beginning of the battle of Smolensk. During this battle the German high command already was forced to completely abandon the initial strategic plans and begin to make new plans, based on the current conditions.

that in the battle of Smolensk, the Wehrmacht was able to crush the Soviet troops no longer had value. It was lost time that allowed the Soviet Union to mobilize all the reserves and put the new army to replace the defeated.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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