History 18/01/20 What most surprised German soldiers after the attack on the USSR
on the Eve of German invasion in the USSR, Nazi propaganda created the image of hard-hitting Russians, drawing them backward, devoid of spirituality, intelligence, and even unable to stand up for their country. I stepped on a Soviet land, the Germans were amazed that the reality does not correspond to the concepts imposed on them.
And one soldier in the field
the First thing encountered German troops, the fierce resistance of the Soviet soldier literally on every patch of their land. Especially they are shocked that the “crazy Russians” are not afraid to engage in battle with the forces several times superior to their own. One of the battalions of the army group “Center”, consisting of not less than 800 people, breaking the first line of defense, has steadily moved deeper into Soviet territory, as was suddenly fired on by a squad of five. “I never expected anything like this! It’s pure suicide to attack a battalion of five soldiers!” – commented on the situation, major Neuhof.
British historian Robert Kershaw in his book “1941 the eyes of the Germans” cites the case as the Wehrmacht soldiers, shooting of the 37 mm guns of the Soviet light tank T-26, without fear approached him. But suddenly it hatch suddenly flew open and leaning on the belt, the tank began to shoot the enemy with a pistol. Later it turned out a shocking fact: the Soviet soldier had no legs (they were torn off in the explosion the tank), but this did not prevent him to fight to the last.
Even more striking case is described of Lieutenant Hansfeld, ended its life at Stalingrad. It was near the Belarusian town of Krichev, where 17 July 1941, Sergeant Nicholas Sirotinin for two and a half hours one using artillery held back the advancing columns of German armor and infantry. In the end, the Sergeant felltrying to produce almost 60 rounds, which destroyed 10 German tanks and armored personnel carriers. Killing the hero, the Germans nevertheless buried him with military honors.
hero of blood
German officers repeatedly admitted that the prisoners they took are extremely rare, as the Russians preferred to fight to the last. “Even the burning alive, they continued to shoot”. “Sacrifice their blood”, the “Hardening of Russian does not compare to our” – are not tired to repeat the German generals.
During one of the reconnaissance flights, the Soviet pilot found that on the way moving to Moscow German columns for tens of kilometers was empty. In battle it was decided to leave stranded at the airport on the eve of stocked Siberian regiment. German military remembered how suddenly ahead appeared a low-flying aircraft, including on a snowy field “bunches showered with white pieces”. It was the Siberians, who became a human shield in front of the German tank crews, they fearlessly threw themselves under the tracks of tanks with grenades. When I killed the first batch of troops, it was followed by the second. Later it turned out that in landing crashed about 12% men, while the rest perished, entered into an unequal battle with the enemy. But the Germans still managed to stop.
Mysterious Russian soul
the Russian character for the German soldiers remained a mystery. They could not understand why farmers, who were supposed to hate them, met them with bread and milk. One of the soldiers of the Wehrmacht recalled in December 1941, during the retreat in a small village near Borisov, the old woman brought him a loaf of bread and a jug of milk, in tears, lamenting: “war, War”.
often civilians with the same good nature were treated as the advancing Germans, and defeated. Major kuner noted that he was often a witness of how the Russian peasant woman wailing over injured or killed German soldiers like it was their own children.
a veteran of the war, doctor of historical Sciences Boris Sapunov told me that when passing through the outskirts of Berlin, they often come across empty houses. The thing is that the locals are under the influence of German propaganda, to paint the horrors allegedly going on the advancing Red army, fled to the nearby woods. However, those who still remained, were surprised that the Russian did not try nor to rape women or take out the property, but instead offer their help.
They even pray
the Germans, who came to the Russian land, was ready to meet crowds of militant atheists, because they were convinced that Bolshevism was extremely intolerant of manifestation of religiosity. So they struck that in the Russian huts are icons, and the population is on the breast the miniature of the crucifixion. With the same faced and the civil Germans, who met with Soviet Ostarbeiters. They genuinely surprised the stories came to work in Germany to the Russian, who told how many in the Soviet Union, the old churches and monasteries and how carefully they keep their faith, performing religious rites. “I thought that Russian has no religion, but they even pray,” said one of the German workers.
As noted by a staff doctor von Graevenitz during medical examinations it turned out that the overwhelming number of Soviet girls virgin. “Clean and shiny” and “active virtue” radiated their faces and I felt a greater intensity of the light, remembered the doctor.
No less than the Germans were astonished by the fidelity family of Russian debt. So, in the town of Sentenberg was born the 9 infants and 50 more expected in the wings. All of them, except two, belonged to the Soviet couples. And while in one room they huddled in 6-8 pairs, their behavior was not observed any promiscuity, fixed by the Germans.
Russian craftsmen steeper Europeans
Propaganda of the Third Reich insisted that, destroying the entire intelligentsia, the Bolsheviks were left in the country a faceless mass, can only perform rudimentary work. However, the employees of German companies, where he worked Ostarbeiters, over and over again was convinced of the opposite. Memoranda of the German masters often pointed out that Russian technology awareness puts them in a deadlock. One of the engineers of the city of Bayreuth said: “Our Russian propaganda always presents as stupid and silly. But here I found the opposite. During operation of Russian thought and did not look so stupid. I would rather be at work 2 Russians, 5 Italians”.
In the reports, the Germans noted that the Russian worker with the most primitive means, can repair any mechanism. For example, on one of the enterprises of Frankfurt an der Oder Soviet prisoner of war for a short time was able to find the cause of the engine failure, to repair and run it, and this despite the fact that German specialists were not able to do anything for many days.
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