What was the secret of the easy victories of the Wehrmacht over the red army in 1941

History 27/01/20 what was the secret of the easy victories of the Wehrmacht over the red army in 1941

for Many decades in Soviet historiography, the failures of the red army in the summer and autumn of 1941 was due to this: the attack of Nazi Germany on the Soviet Union was sudden and treacherous, and the Soviet leadership believed that the Fuhrer (violating, among other things, dozens of treaties!) will respect the Pact. As a result, Hitler was able to concentrate on the Soviet border force, several times higher than the potential of the Soviet troops. A reasonable argument that the government must always prepare for war, in 1956 was followed by another learned response: in the unwillingness of Soviet troops to repel the German invasion, Stalin personally to blame.

In the early 1990-ies were published data on the number of troops on both sides before the war. It became apparent that the Wehrmacht and the Red Army had on June 22, 1941, the quantitative superiority in manpower and technology to certain destinations – multiple. Documented information about what specifically was preparing the red Army command, contradictory. Still, it is clear that the number of Soviet troops, even in case of a sudden attack of the enemy would suffice to after the first confusion is to organize an effective defense and stop the German offensive in the border areas. This is why something was not done. Moreover, a successful German breakthrough, encirclement and defeat large groups of the Soviet army lasted until the fall of 1941, when the surprise factor of the attack (if one occurred) was not working.

Weapons of the red army in 1941 was not inferior to the German in terms of the quantity or quality

Another myth about the year 1941, distributed before the end of the Soviet era, was the alleged superiority of the Wehrmacht over the red army in terms of weapons. Weapons of the red Army in numerous books called outdated, do not meet the requirementsterm of the war. This legend was divided into a small number of myths associated with certain types of weapons. For example, myths about the “three-line” as the main weapon of red army infantry and almost without exception the Wehrmacht machines. Or the myth about the quality of the tanks of the Wehrmacht, which was much better than ours. Let us examine them.

Probably not all readers know that the Wehrmacht throughout the Second world war was fought, essentially, weapons of the First world war – rifles of the Mauser of a sample of 1898. By the autumn of 1939 they had 4.1 million units during the period of the war was produced 10.3 million Until 1945 in Germany, it was released less than 2 million units of submachine guns and automatic rifles, while in the Soviet Union – 6.2 million submachine guns.

To June 1941 in the army of Germany, there were only 166 700 units of submachine guns. Not all of them were used on the Eastern front. The red Army had 65 thousand automatic rifles Simonov and 81 thousand submachine guns Degtyareva 1940. In addition, the disposition of our troops was more than a million self-loading rifles, analogues of the Germans in 1941 were not available. Thus, the infantry of the Wehrmacht in 1941 was superior to the red army infantry firepower.

quite Often now I write that the Soviet armoured troops in 1941 were armed with obsolete tanks with anti-armor. But by the summer of 1941 in the Western border districts of the red army was already more than 900 medium tanks T-34 and 357 heavy tanks KV-1. The best German tanks at the time were T-IV and T-III with 50-mm cannon. Their was a total of 1423. But for his fighting qualities, they are much inferior to the Soviet KV and “the thirty.” And the most massive Soviet light tanks T-26 (11 thousand units) and BT-7 (5700) was similar to the martial characteristics of the German T-I and T-II and captured Czechoslovak tanks. Light tanks the Germans had in the army a total of about 2000.

so, in 1941, the superiority of the Germans in quality.ve and the number of tanks also were observed.

Can we assume that the qualitative superiority of the Germans in aircraft, allowing them from the first day of the war to gain strategic supremacy in the air, ensured an easy victory until November 1941? Very doubtful.

German professionalism: the Wehrmacht – the prototype of the armies of the present day

the Key to unlocking the secrets of the rapid advance of the Wehrmacht deep into Russia, probably gives the analysis of the personnel of both armies from the point of view of their combat training. In 2010, historian and publicist Alexander Muzafarov made an interesting comparison on the basis of the Russian edition of the memoirs of ordinary soldiers and officers of the Third Reich – Hans Kindermann, günther Fleishman and Wilhelm Lippiha.

In the Wehrmacht the greatest attention was paid to training of ordinary soldiers. It was given six months – twice in the red army for training officers. “It is noteworthy sums up Muzafarov, that none of the authors does not describe the involvement of soldier of farm work, harvest, etc military training and only with the maximum intensity”.

the training System in the Wehrmacht was designed to educate the universal soldier, without distracting on what the extraneous tasks. The Germans did not make to the officers of soldiers, trained only in the non-commissioned officers.

At the meeting of the leadership of the USSR in April 1940, devoted to the results of the war with Finland, was criticized and formal fascination with propaganda and distraction soldiers on farm work. Bad practice but remained, as if somewhere were trying to implement the combat training, the existing system was difficult to change in just one year.

No less important role played by the saturation of the Wehrmacht technical communications, training commanders new tactics and techniques to handle new weapons. After the First world war, Germany was practically demilitarized. The Wehrmacht was created from scratch. Muzafarov says:

“After the failure of enforcing the terms of the Versailles… over the Germans gravitated to the stocks of old weapons, the old teaching methods… as a result of the German army in the first period of the war were superior to their opponents not by the number and quality of weapons, and the level of organization and new technologies of warfare.

the widespread use of radio communication allowed German generals to quickly and flexibly use all the resources at their disposal, provided quality interaction between land forces and aircraft. When you read such a thesis in historical research or textbook on military Affairs, he attracts little attention… Quite another thing when we open the memoirs of SS radio operator of Fleishman and see how it is implemented. In this respect the Germans are far ahead of all the fighting army, came close to the modern level.”

the Soviet soldiers and officers (and not only he, but also French, British, etc.) inferior to the German in their professional fighting skills in various traditional systems of training of the troops.

Yaroslav Butakov

© Russian Seven

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