Translated by Ollie Richardson for Fort Russ
9th February, 2016
German troops on the 22nd of June 1941 began their attack on the USSR from three directions: Eastern ("Centre" army group) in Moscow, South-East (South army group) in Kiev and North-East ( North army group) on Leningrad. In addition, the German "Norway" army was advancing in the direction of Murmansk.
The German armies collectively attacked the USSR army from Italy, Romania, Hungary, Finland and volunteer groups from Croatia, Slovakia, Spain, the Netherlands, Norway, Sweden, Denmark and other countries of Western Europe.
Having started to bomb our cities where children were sleeping peacefully, Germany immediately established itself with the force of a criminal, not having a human face.
This started the bloodiest war in the history of the Russian state's existence. Our battle with Europe was deadly. In the war against the USSR, Hitler said: "We are talking about a war of extermination."
Some researchers, sometimes in uncontrollable grief, speak and write about the incorrect planning of the German attack on the Soviet Union, and claim that for Germany, in 1941, it was necessary by all means to attack in one direction – to Moscow.
In my opinion, in this instance they would not have been able to defeat us and take Moscow, because the advent of our fresh army group would beat the Germans in the flanks from the North and from the South, and the Germans would have barely reached Moscow. And even if they survived, it would not have been possible to capture it, it is likely that the fight with the Red Army would have left them surrounded.
Hitler and the General Staff of the German Army's plan to attack the USSR was given the name "Barbarossa" on behalf of the German Emperor's horrendous atrocities.
On the 29th of June 1941, Hitler declared: "In four weeks we will be in Moscow, and it will be plowed under". No German General spoke, in their forecasts, about the seizure of Moscow later than August. The deadline for the capture of Moscow was all of August, and October for the territory of the USSR from the Urals along the Arkhangelsk – Astrakhan line.
The U.S. military believed that the German war against the USSR would result in occupation within one to three months, and the military of England – from three to six weeks. They expressed such forecasts knowing the force of the attack that Germany unleashed on the USSR. The West privately evaluated how long we could stay at war with Germany.
The German government was so sure of a quick victory that they did not even feel the need to spend money on warm winter clothing for the army.
The confidence of the German leadership in a quick victory was well-founded, because after the invasion of the Soviet Union with an army of 5.5 million, Germany, without counting their allies, still had four million soldiers and officers not involved in the war on the Eastern front against the USSR.
Enemy troops were advancing from the Barents to the Black sea, the length of the front being over 2,000 kilometers. Germany relied on blitzkrieg, meaning lightning strike, of our armed forces and their destruction as a result of a lightning strike.
The locations of 57% of Soviet troops in the second and third echelons initially contributed to the breakdown of the calculation of the Germans in the blitzkrieg. And in combination with the resistance of our troops in the first echelon of defense, it completely disrupted the German calculations for the blitzkrieg.
And speaking of blitzkrieg, the Germans in the summer of 1941 failed to destroy even our air force. Germany, one month after the attack on the USSR, lost a third of their planes. Our Soviet pilots and anti-aircraft gunners brought down these planes because we had planes and antiaircraft guns.
On the first day of the war on the 22nd of June 1941, the Germans, regardless of losses, spent the whole day bombing (or trying to bomb) our airfields, organizing a series of successive blows. These attacks cannot be called unexpected for our pilots.
The checkpoints were monitoring the air situation around the clock, and reported to the airfields any violation of the airspace of the USSR.
Our pilots knew of the approaching enemy and fought with them, sparing their life. Luftwaffe pilots couldn't obtain power in USSR airspace by bombing Soviet airfields as they didn't get full freedom of movement in the airspace for the following battles.
The assertion that the alleged military warehouses of the USSR were located along the Western border, and therefore in the first weeks of the war a significant number of the country's military equipment fell into the hands of the enemy, is not true
In fact in the first echelon, i.e. up to 100 kilometers from the border, were 43% of our troops. These troops had to be constantly supplied with weapons, ammunition, spare parts, fuel and lubricants, uniforms, food.
For this purpose warehouses were organised at the location of the troops. A small amount of military equipment of the country was stored in these warehouses.
Warehouses of strategic importance were never placed near the border: almost all military stocks were always kept in the rear, mainly in the Moscow and Volga military districts.
As we have seen above, the loss of weapons and ammunition in the warehouses at the Western border could not have significantly impacted the maintenance of the army.
During all the battles that took place in the period from June to December 1941, the warehouses received more than 30 million pieces of ammunition for artillery guns with the caliber of 45 millimeters to 203 millimeters, including a mass of projectiles for guns with the caliber of 45 millimeters to 76 millimeters, including anti-aircraft missiles – more than 22 million units.
The amount of projectiles of different calibers received by the troops in this period ranged from 28% to 35% of the number of shells which were in warehouses on the 22nd of June 1941.
Defense depots were in much smaller sizes, but were replenished with ammo in the second part of 1941. The presence of tens of millions of shells in warehouses in December 1941 could take place only under the delivery of a huge number of shells to the warehouses before the war.
Half of the shells received in 1941 were expended in battle, and half were lost during transportation and through retreating. That's why we can assert that our ancestors in 1941 fired on the German invaders of the Soviet union and their allies, from 45 mm guns and tank cannons, nearly 3,888,000 shots, about 3,565,000 shots from 76-millimeter guns, tank guns – 3,888,000 shots, and from anti-aircraft guns – 3,680,000 shots.
It doesn't sound at all like the actions of the unarmed, running away in panic . To fire so many shots, we needed not only millions of shells, but tens of thousands of guns. And they were with the Red Army in 1941.
That's where the truth is revealed on the main reason why we survived. Our troops were retreating, but fought bravely and survived thanks to a sufficient quantity of weapons and ammunition.
To be continued...