Stalin's line: if she could stop Hitler in 1941

History 05/01/20 Stalin Line: if she could stop Hitler in 1941

In the picture “Blockade” is an episode where the German tanks, moving East, stopped, and tanker reports: “Here begins the Russian Stalin Line”. To which the officer replies: “Nonsense, its Russian long-dismantled”. Tanks going forward to meet the Soviet Pillboxes, and the viewer realizes that the Stalin Line had not “dismantled”.

Who destroyed Stalin Line?

In one of the books widely known author Suvorov-Rezun is a Chapter titled “Why Stalin destroyed Stalin Line?”. In this Chapter, the author vividly (though completely illiterate) describes the enormous power of the Soviet fortified areas and then at least colorfully describes how they were destroyed and why.

Fancy Rezun appeared out of nowhere. In the post-war historical writings and memoirs, has repeatedly expressed the idea that if Stalin Line is not destroyed, the Germans did not reach Moscow and Leningrad, in any case, so quickly. Information about the destruction of Pillboxes of the Stalin Line were good and clear explanation of the reasons for the defeat. And the blame was Stalin himself, allegedly gave the order to destroy the line of fortifications named after him. Incidentally, the name “Stalin Line” in the USSR never before the war was not used, it is generally appeared in the West.

However, the real situation radically different from that described.

first, the power of the fortified areas has been substantially exaggerated, compared to the French Maginot Line and Belgian fortifications, does not hold water.

Originally built 13 fortified. The vast majority of the fortifications in them were simple one – less dvukomnatnye Pillboxes with machine-gun armament, intended for frontal fire. The number of artillery Bunkers did not exceed 10%. The depth of the defense was small, the intervals between ukreplennye tooom are great.

As shown by in 1938-1939 on, fortified areas were completely unfit for combat. Construction plans are not met, and constructed buildings did not meet the requirements. Artillery they were provided only one-third, and almost all of it was artillery systems 1877-1895, are taken from the warehouses after long storage. No better was the case with a machine gun, among which was a very high percentage of foreign samples.

Then it was decided to urgently eliminate the deficiencies and to begin construction on eight more fortified. And in new Urach percentage of artillery installations were supposed to be 20-30%.

However, soon began construction of fortifications on the new border known as the Molotov Line, which required substantial resources. Therefore, plans for strengthening the Stalin Line was not implemented.

Mikhail Svirin in his article “Why Stalin destroyed Stalin Line?” back in 1997 gave a lot of facts of blatant unwillingness of most of the objects fortified. He reports and the complete absence of evidence of any destruction of the fortifications on the Stalin Line, or disarmament. The fortifications were simply not completed. The reasons for this were as objective: the weak industry, and the subjective, in other words, the usual mismanagement.

and So the debate about the causes of the destruction of the Stalin Line initially meaningless, because no one destroyed. It simply is not built.

Could the Stalin Line to stop the German advance?

the Concept of building a strong defensive frontier fortifications was widespread after the First World war. Their fortified lines were built in France, Germany, Belgium, Greece, Czechoslovakia, Finland.

in Fairness, it should be noted that the French Maginot Line was also built, only 50% of the original plan. But Stalin Line on the background of the French fortifications, even formyslu looks too pale .

Military theorists believed that the complex of fortifications can stop a sudden impact and will provide an opportunity to expand the peacetime army. In the USSR the task and purpose fortified areas were formulated in the Charter of the red army, which was attended by such experts as D. M. Karbyshev, G. S. Isserson.

of Course, the question could contain the German offensive, Stalin Line, whether it is built in full compliance with the plans is purely theoretical. However, you can with great certainty say that the decisive role play the fortifications could not.

it is enough to consider the actual fighting in the great Patriotic war and the fighting on the Maginot Line in 1940.

In some cases, Soviet fortifications kept the defense a few days, but only if their content field troops. Those in the first place was Ostropolsky, Letichevsky and Mogilev-Yampolsky fortified localities.

However, German troops have avoided these URS and the further advance of tank groups they will not interfere. Therefore, although there are numerous examples of the resistance of the garrisons of individual Pillboxes on the Molotov Line and the Stalin Line, their actions have no influence on overall operational and especially strategic environment did not have.

in addition, even in a frontal attack fortified areas didn’t resist long. As shown by the experience of fighting on the Stalin Line and the Maginot Line, breakthrough Krasnogvardeyskaya Ur near Leningrad, the Wehrmacht, albeit with effort, but broke through the defense. The use of large artillery and special power, engineers and, most importantly, aviation is allowed to destroy Bunkers or block them. Even the most perfect of French and Belgian FORTS from their hiding armored gun turrets, easily disabling fire direct fire. Tanks easily passed in the interval between the most powerful FORTS. As for aviation, it when creating fortified areas in all countries as the tOh… I forgot. It was believed that the garrisons of the fortifications protected from air strikes the concrete. However, it was a mistake, and the example is Kingisepsky UR, at breaking through of which the decisive role was played by the aircraft.

In General, we can safely state that the fortified areas during the Second World war could no longer claim to an independent role, but could be the backbone of the defense of field forces. And only in this quality and should be considered.

And could not stop the Wehrmacht on the Stalin Line in 1941 depends not so much from the fortifications and the number of how many of the total actions of all forces of the red army.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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