«Underestimated threat»: declassified unique documents about the early days of the war

© RIA Novosti / Anatoly to Gardenparty in potamocorbula. Recruits. Moscow, June 23, 1941«Underestimated threat»: declassified unique documents about the early days of the war© RIA Novosti / Anatoly to Gardenparty the image Bank

The defense Ministry on the anniversary of the start of world war II published on its website more than 100 pages of declassified memoirs of the Soviet generals.

Documents include memoirs of seven Soviet generals, written in 1953 at the request of the Military history Directorate of the General staff.

Group Intercession

A survey of the high command was engaged in a group under the leadership of Colonel Pokrovsky. It was created in 1952 to develop descriptions of the great Patriotic war. The experts asked the military leaders to answer whether troops defense plan, how many pieces have been deployed at the border and led them in combat readiness on June 22. The commanders also spoke about the first battles with German troops.

Among the respondents, was Marshal Ivan Bagramyan, Lieutenant General Sobennikov and Derevianko, a number of other generals. Their memories later formed the basis of fundamental scientific works on the great Patriotic war.

Knew that Hitler was preparing a war

Lieutenant General Kuzma Derevyanko in 1941 he held the post of chief of the intelligence Department of headquarters of the Baltic special military district. He writes that the command and district headquarters have reliable data to strengthen and direct the preparation of Germany for war against the Soviet Union for two or three months before the attack.

The General noted that the command reported about the concentration of German troops in the border areas.

«However, I have formed a confident opinion that the command of the district underestimated the looming threat to many intelligence is treated with suspicion,» — says Derevyanko.

According to him, information about the time the war started by Germany, extracted from the exploration, came to the district headquarters in early June. And for three or four days before the start of the war include not only the exact date, but probable hour of the attack of the enemy.

In this work the exploration of the North-West front has improved significantly from the second week of the war, after the appointment of the chief of staff of General Vatutin.

Carelessness helped the enemy

Carelessness and other shortcomings in the training of Soviet troops played into the hands of Nazi Germany before the invasion, writes major-General Nikolai Ivanov, who in 1941 was chief of staff of 6th army, Kiev special military district.

In addition to the General superiority in forces and surprise attack, the enemy used «a number of shortcomings in the actions of our troops — the carelessness, complacency and hope that nothing serious Germans will not take, limiting the provocation,» wrote the General.

«Despite the obvious signs of large concentration of German troops, commander of the Kiev special military district banned the forward part of the cover to bring the troops on alert, and especially to strengthen them even after the firing of the state border and air raids in the night from 21 to 22 June 1941. Only in the afternoon of June 22, it was resolved when the Germans had already crossed the state border and moving into our territory,» — said in his memoirs.

In the end, said Ivanov, there was a delay with mobilization, including communication parts that make it difficult to control troops.

Unexpected war

Lieutenant General Peter Sobennikov, who led the troops of the Eighth army of the Baltic special military district, writes that the war all started unexpectedly.

«The personnel of the heavy artillery regiment moving by rail on June 22, arriving at the station Siauliai and seeing the bombing of our airfields, believed that began the maneuvers,» he recalls.

According to Sobennikov, even in the night of June 22 he personally received orders from the chief of staff of the front maple in a very categorical form — to the dawn on June 22 to withdraw troops from the border. However, he refused to implement it, and the soldiers remained on the positions.

The General staff was forbidden to provoke the Germans

Troops cover banned prepared in advance to occupy the border positions on the West of Ukraine, in order not to provoke the German army, writes of the Soviet Union Marshal Ivan Bagramyan.

In 1941 he year headed the operational Department of the headquarters of the Kiev special military district (southwestern front).

«The beginning of hostilities caught them (mechanized and infantry corps. — Approx. ed.) in three to five passages (100-150 kilometers) from overseas deployment. Mechanized corps in permanent dislocation were alerted and began to advance into areas of concentration with the beginning of hostilities» — says Manoogian.

He emphasized that through the operational Department of the headquarters of the Kiev special military district no orders about bringing the troops on alert is not received.

«Underestimated threat»: declassified unique documents about the early days of the war© RIA Novosti / Casimir to Iskopirati photobacteria in the days of the great Patriotic war in the archival footage