Why Stalin's Line was worse than the Maginot Line

Weapons 15/01/20 Why Stalin Line was worse than the Maginot Line

Stalin Line and the Maginot Line can be safely attributed to the best known fortifications of the Second World war, and, perhaps, of the twentieth century as a whole.

With the filing former officer of the KGB, the traitor-defector Suvorov-Rezun, Stalin’s Line tends to be something very powerful and Grand, surpassing in scale all similar facilities. And on the personal orders of Stalin destroyed. But this, like many other claims Rezun, do not believe. Firstly, the Stalin Line was never destroyed.

it is Worth noting that the name “Maginot Line” were informal, but were used at all levels, including military documents, but the phrase “Stalin Line” came into use in the USSR early 60-ies. Before that it was used exclusively in the West, and first appeared in one of the Latvian Newspapers in 1936.

second, the Stalin Line, stretching from the Baltic to the Black sea, in length, do superior to all others. But, it was not solid, between the fortifications was considerable intervals. If the intervals are not considered, then the difference between the fortifications of the lines of Stalin and the Maginot line is already low. However, the length of the defensive line is not the most important thing.

the Highest achievement of fortification

the Maginot Line embodies all the most modern achievements in the field of fortification. The main artillery and machine-gun armament was located in armored towers. And the tower they were hiding in case of fire from enemy artillery, they fell under a concrete Foundation, and raised when needed to fire. The towers were installed special fortress 135-mm mortars, various types of 75-mm guns, 81 mm mortars, 37-mm and 25-mm anti-tank guns and machine guns. Almost all the weapons (except protivotokout of the guns) had been coupled. But they were made to shoot from two trunks, as written by some authors. It was fired alternately from each gun, and reduced heating.

in addition to towers set bronekabel with machine guns, mortars or anti-tank guns. Bronchopul was fixed, but the weapons they were installed so that it was easy to steer into one of several loopholes. Thus was ensured the shelling on different sectors. Well, a certain number of guns, mortars and machine guns were installed in casemates to conduct flanking fire covering the main combat blocks of the towers and bronekolpakov.

On the Stalin Line, the most common structure was a DOT with one, rarely two embrasures. They were armed with conventional machine guns “Maxim”, and was intended for the common front of the fire. Only 10% of the Bunkers were armed with guns, or rather had to arm themselves.

In the book Valentine Runova “All fortifications and defensive lines of World war II” describes how to create views on the creation of fortified areas, and it is clear that consideration of all achievements, the whole experience of that time. However, the harsh reality, specifically, the possibility of industry and building capacity of the USSR was not allowed to implement even the most modest plans.

Despite the fact that the USSR had developed samples of the fortress guns of various types, Breneman and bronchopul, almost none of it was implemented. Though created a special coaxial machine gun for Bunkers, but really not even enough “Maximov” on simple wooden looms. Instead, they put a variety of guns: English, French, American, captured or purchased in the First world.

In 1939 audited fortified border by a joint Commission of the defense Commissariat and the NKVD. According to the report of the Commission on the Slutsky Uru:

“… Of 91 of the facility, scheduled for construction under the plan of 1938, built only 13…”

Kiev Uru:

“… Of the 284 scheduled according to the plan of the buildings had been concreted 86…”

it turned out that not everything is complete:

“… Of the 257 structures 175 you do not see a horizon of fire because of terrain (hills, mountains, large forest and shrub).”

the Commission even discovered the bunker, in which the recess was below the level of the surrounding terrain.

But if that was planned and built, all of this would not go to any comparison with the Maginot Line. Bunkers similar to those installed on the Stalin Line, the French line of fortifications could be found only as an auxiliary. These will be built as an additional shelter for field troops behind the main fortifications.

the Most comfortable the fortress

many of the surviving fortifications of the Maginot Line now lead tours, they are visited by thousands of tourists. And look they just mostly not military targets: many towers and dungeons on the surface is not preserved, a large part destroyed during the war.

For tourists the Maginot Line and its underground part. Under the outer fortifications hidden entire underground city in a few floors. There are warehouses, barracks (very comfortable), dining halls, infirmaries, workshops, laboratories, power plants. Tourists admire a well-equipped dental surgeries, food stores and General stores jams, pickles and other delicious things not associated with the harsh military life. Cannot fail to arouse admiration of the underground railroad, connecting the objects scattered on tens of kilometers. And all this at a depth of 20-30 meters beneath the earth.

Nothing like this on the Stalin Line, as you can guess, was not even planned. DotA had the second (underground) floor, where you could shelter a garrison, was a rarity. And equipped they were, to put it mildly, easier. It’s not about comfort, in most cases, not even ventilation, no to mention the protection against chemical weapons (catsecond the Germans against the Soviet Bunkers not times used).

of Course, at the expense of some kitchens, where tasty food and comfortable toilets, not win the war, and the Maginot Line is not played in the war the role for which it was designed. But the fault here was the concept, like that fortified lines were no longer suited to modern warfare. So, perhaps, the Soviet Union, which saved a lot of money, even lucky, because in any case they were wasted.

Cyril Shishkin

© Russian Seven

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