Why Stalin was appointed responsible for the Kharkov disaster of General Bagramyan

History 18/01/20 Why Stalin was appointed responsible for the Kharkov disaster of General Bagramyan

the Biography of a famous Soviet military commander Ivan Khristoforovich Bagramyan in 1930-e years hardly someone could cause jealousy. Cavalry courses he graduated with Zhukov, Rokossovsky, and Yeremenko etc. But they have become generals, when he was promoted to Colonel.

In 1937, a personal intercession of Anastas Mikoyan saved him from trouble. The fact that Ivan Khristoforovich, while still Hovhannes Khachaturovich, a Civil war began to serve in the red army. And the service in the “bourgeois Armenian army” it almost backfired. And promotion this fact of the biography is not exactly promoted.

the War Hakobyan met with head of the operational Department of the headquarters of the southwestern front. He was lucky, and Kiev after the catastrophe he managed to get out alive from the environment. In August 1941, Bagramyan became a major-General, and things got better. In December he Lieutenant General and chief of staff of the South-West direction. In this capacity, he was involved in the planning for the Kharkov offensive operation.

the Kharkov disaster

the Failed Kharkov offensive operation in 1942 and 1943, the Soviet historians do not hide. Primarily simply because quite about them to keep silent was impossible. Anyway, about 1942, when the defeat of Soviet troops, the Wehrmacht opened a path to the South. And not just opened, but the German army reached the Volga and the Caucasus.

we should Not think that it was the only major failure of the red army in 1942, and on other fronts, there was local fighting. Soviet troops were advancing on all parts of the Soviet-German front, and did it constantly, with only short respites after another unsuccessful operation. Just, unlike the situation in Kharkiv, the setbacks in other areas turned “alljust” tens of thousands killed, but the front line remained the same.

with the defeat of two Soviet fronts in the Kharkov operation followed by a roll of the German armies to the South, the German flag on mount Elbrus and German tanks on the banks of the Volga.

In Soviet times, the main reason for the failure of the Kharkov operation was that we did not know about the planned German offensive. As a result, allegedly, the Germans were too many forces on the southern front that led to the defeat.

However, modern historians, such as A. Panin’s book, “Stalingrad. Forgotten battle”, show that the planned German offensive did not play a decisive role in the failure at Kharkov. You can almost with absolute certainty that the Soviet offensive would have failed anyway. As the German breakthrough in the South would have taken place even if the Soviet troops suffered huge losses in the Kharkov operation.

For the loss of more than a quarter of a million people, thousands of tanks and guns, the death and capture of the famous generals someone had to answer. The choice was poor, after Khrushchev and Tymoshenko, who are not to blame for the failure, the next was Baghramyan. Ivan Khristoforovich in his memoirs, tried to shift the blame on those who directly commanded the troops. But the fault in this case, as in all other, total. The red army simply have not yet learned to carry out such a complex offensive and had such an overwhelming superiority to achieve their goals at any cost.

For Baghramyan personally vouched Zhukov and managed to save him from the Tribunal.

In a letter to the leadership of the South-Western front from 26 June 1942, signed by Stalin, it was said: “We here in Moscow – members of the Defense Committee and the people from the General staff – decided to withdraw from the post of chief of staff of the southwestern front tov. Baghramyan. Tov. Manoogian does not meet the Rate, not only as the chief of staff, designed to strengthen COMMUNICATION AND LEADERSHIP armies. … For any three weeks, South-Westday front, due to its levity, not only to lose half to win the Kharkov operation…”

the Command

Bagramyan was appointed chief of staff of the 28th army, which, as it turned out, not much removed from the Tribunal. This army escaped encirclement in the same Kharkov operation, the management was frustrated, demoralized remnants of the parts. In the town of Rossosh, which is the 28th army was to hold, was taken by the Germans almost without a fight. Bagramyan is also very on time (again, the intervention of Zhukov) was transferred to the Western front. There he was appointed Deputy commander of the 61st army, but almost immediately headed 16th army that was commanded by Rokossovsky.

In February-March 1943, the 16th Guards army carried out an offensive operation, part of the General spring offensive of red army troops to defeat and encirclement of the army group “Center”. This operation army scale is seldom mentioned now, and in Soviet times it belonged to that does nothing.

Before 16th army was tasked to take the city of Zhizdra, then in the Bryansk region to meet with the 2nd tank army, Central front, performing Dmitriev-Sevskiy operation. The result was to close the ring around the 2nd Panzer army, the Germans defending the Orel salient. Of 16-th army was 13 infantry divisions, tank corps, 3 infantry and 5 armored brigades, self-propelled artillery regiment. Forces were many, but time to prepare is not enough.

At the site of the 16th army, the defense held 208-211 I-I division of infantry, also in the offensive zone was one regiment 134th and 321st infantry divisions. During the operations on this front were transferred to the 5th and 9th tank divisions, which significantly changed the balance of forces.

during the attack, which lasted a month, the Soviet troops advanced only 10-13 miles. Official data on casualties there, but they were very high division were completely exhausted. EUth data on the losses for February 22-23: they made 1 317 men killed and 4 wounded 349. That’s a lot for a military operation of this scale.

the Army has not fulfilled any of the tasks. The cause of the failure was the hasty preparation, poor intelligence, a lack of coordination between the troops, the almost complete lack of air support.

it would Seem, head over to the commander of the army must again begin to thicken clouds. But Stalin decided otherwise, assigning the blame of the commander of front, Colonel General I. S. Konev. 16th army became the 11th guards, and General Bagramyan was awarded the order of Kutuzov I degree. And more dark clouds over his head not thickened, he successfully worked his way to the Victory Parade on red square in 1945.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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