June 1941: everything for the union, everything for the Victory

June 1941: everything for the union, everything for the Victory
June 1941: everything for the union, everything for the Victory

12 days of summer

Since the second half of the 50s of the last century, analysts, historians, and publicists have regularly introduced assertions that the Soviet leadership at the beginning of the war was nothing more than confused, lost the threads of governing the country. That nothing was done to forestall the Nazi invasion. And only on July 3, Stalin was allegedly forced to call on his brothers and sisters to resist the Nazi aggression.

It is known from numerous sources that such clichés have grown since the very report of Khrushchev "On the personality cult" of February 25, 1956. After that, they began to be replicated more and more often, and not only in the USSR. Yes, and to this day they are replicating very willingly, especially since there is still no question of returning to real respect for the then power - the people's, with all its excesses and tragic mistakes.

But all these falsifications in the first two weeks of the war were refuted not only by the fierce, truly heroic resistance of the Red Army to the Nazi invasion. The refutation, which the West is now diligently hushed up, was the prompt acquisition of allies by the USSR - the United States and Great Britain, along with the colonies and dominions.

Today we have to remind, although this is done too rarely, that the initiative for a military alliance against Hitler in the summer of 1941 did not come from Moscow. Winston Churchill, the British War Premier, came out in defense of Russia before Stalin, although this is constantly blamed on the Soviet leader.

In addition, we must not forget that Hitler's Germany posed a mortal threat not only to the USSR, but also to Great Britain. And the United States, with all its desire and a huge number of supporters of isolationism, in any case could not sit out overseas. It is not easy to say what Washington could count on, being left without allies, and even against immediately Germany, Italy and Japan, which soon joined them.

But it is much more important that the USSR actually remained on the side of the anti-Hitler coalition even at the time when the Ribbentrop-Molotov pact was in force. There is no doubt that for a very long time, not only among historians, but also among politicians, disputes will continue whether there was more harm or benefit from the pact in terms of preparing for war. Almost inevitable given Hitler's notorious Drang nach Osten.

Recall that before that there were battles in Spain, and then - the Soviet peace proposals of 1938 in an attempt to forestall the Anschluss and the occupation of part of Czechoslovakia. And immediately after that - a proposal to the Allies to oppose Hitler together, as well as the now carefully soaked idea of ​​an anti-German alliance with Poland.

However, the heirs of Pilsudski were much more eager to deal with Red Russia in an alliance with Germany. And after they were able to lure or, more precisely, outbid old friends from Paris and London, the retribution in September 1939 turned out to be too cruel.

The USSR, on the other hand, simply prudently took advantage of the dramatically changed situation in order to push back its western borders by 200 kilometers or more. Perhaps it was these kilometers that saved Leningrad and Moscow. By the way, it is from this point of view that it would be nice to consider the tragic "winter war" with Finland, which almost turned into a new intervention for Soviet Russia by its future allies.


It is also necessary to remember that Moscow began to fight against German Nazism and Italian fascism already in Spain, although in a very peculiar way and with numerous mistakes. However, one way or another, the Francoists managed not only to withdraw from the anti-Comintern pact, but also to make them refuse to participate in the world war.

From evacuation to Lend-Lease

For Britain, the offensive of Hitler's troops in the East meant not just a respite, but actually salvation. The most important thing, especially in psychological terms, for the British was that the battles with the Russians almost completely distracted the Luftwaffe from the bombing of British cities. After all, help from the United States on the scale that could radically change the situation was not worth waiting for at least another one and a half to two years.

Characteristically, the timing of the start of some volumetric lend-lease deliveries to the Soviet Union turned out to be approximately the same. Only after the allied fleets turned the tide in the protracted Battle of the Atlantic, and the southern Iranian and northern (through Alaska and Siberia) routes were established, weapons, equipment, military materials and food began to enter the USSR in volumes comparable to production inside country.

Naturally, Moscow's newfound allies were interested in the presence of a Russian front, so huge geographically and attracting not only the main land and air forces of Germany. Whatever it was with social systems, but on the side of the United States and Britain, in fact, turned out to be the overwhelming part of the Soviet military economy. Another thing is that, unlike the same German Ruhr, after the war it was not possible to drive it under the "Marshall plan".

In his famous speech on June 22, 1941, British Prime Minister Winston Churchill indirectly, if not directly, revealed the essence of the British position in connection with the Nazi invasion:

“The attack on Russia is nothing more (just“nothing more.”- Author's note) than a prelude to an attempt to conquer the British Isles. the United States Air Force will be able to intervene."

It is characteristic that, following Churchill, the prime ministers of the British dominions: Australia, Canada, New Zealand and the Union of South Africa made similar statements in brief form on June 23-24. Then the US leadership agreed with Churchill, making an official statement: already on June 23, Acting Secretary of State S. Welles read it in the White House.

In a statement welcoming Churchill's speech on June 22, it was noted that

"… in connection with the Nazi attack on Russia, as stated by the head of Soviet diplomacy Mr. V. Molotov on June 22, any rallying of forces against Hitlerism, regardless of their origin, will accelerate the downfall of the German leaders. And the Hitlerite army is the main danger for the American continent ".

The next day, President Roosevelt said at a press conference that

"The United States is pleased to welcome another enemy of Nazism and intends to provide the Soviet Union with all possible assistance."

Already on June 27, 1941, a British military-economic mission headed by British Ambassador S. Cripps, Lieutenant General M. McFarlan and Rear Admiral G. Miles arrived in Moscow. About a week later, the first plans for economic and military-technical assistance to the USSR from Great Britain and its dominions were agreed with this mission. The routes of these deliveries were determined by the North Atlantic (to the ports of Murmansk, Molotovsk, Arkhangelsk and Kandalaksha), which has been operating since August 1941, and in the near future, the South, along the Iraq-Iran-Transcaucasia / Central Asia corridor.

The southern route was opened, despite the fact that Germany and Turkey, just four days before the Nazis attacked the USSR, signed the Friendship Treaty in Ankara, which came into effect from the date of signing.Turkey managed to neutralize for the entire duration of the war mainly through diplomatic efforts and unprecedented promises for the future.

Iran, in fact, had to be wrested from the clutches of a potential German ally through the infamous Operation Concord. It represented the introduction of Soviet and British troops into the country in parallel with a coup d'etat, when Khan Reza was succeeded on the ancient Persian throne by his son Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.

It is significant that Operation Consent was coordinated by Moscow and London already during the visit to Moscow of the aforementioned British mission at the end of June 1941. This is how Iran de facto became a member of the anti-fascist coalition, which, of course, influenced Ankara as well.

As a result, from the end of September 1941, various allied cargoes, including weapons, began to arrive in the USSR through the territory of Iran, but partly along the Iraq-Iran corridor. Russia will never forget that Lend-Lease became a reality even before the Red Army launched its first major counteroffensive near Moscow.

Stalin knew

Falsifications, not the topic "Stalin did not know," or rather, "did not want to recognize", became very common in the USSR and then in the Russian Federation since the second half of the 1980s, when a particularly active processing of the "union consciousness" began. However, they are often substantively refuted by the Western mass media as well.

Let's say the BBC recalled on June 22, 2016:

"In May-June, Stalin secretly transferred 939 echelons with troops and equipment to the western border; under the guise of training he called in 801 thousand reservists from the reserve. the beginning of hostilities."

At the same time, it was clarified that "the transfer of troops was planned with the expectation of the completion of the concentration from June 1 to July 10, 1941".

The collective monograph “1941: Lessons and Conclusions” published by the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation in 1992 clearly states that “the disposition of troops (Soviet - Auth.) Was influenced by the counter-offensive nature of the planned actions. Moscow intended to forestall the Reich's aggression with its preemptive strike, but Hitler was tactically ahead of Moscow."

The term "tactically" is probably not entirely appropriate here, but let's not quibble. We simply admit that in the summer of 1941, the German Wehrmacht, formed mainly from experienced professionals, was superior to the Red Army in operational and strategic terms. And tactically, the Germans could skillfully resist, alas, only a few units and subunits.

And the connections that immediately fought the enemy on an equal footing can generally be counted on one hand. In addition, with regard to the technical support of our troops, Hitler chose almost the best moment to strike. Thousands of planes and tanks, as, by the way, and tractors, tractors and other equipment, were already on the verge of decommissioning, and soldiers and officers often did not even begin to master the new equipment that had just begun to arrive in the border districts.

As an example, we will cite only one 9th Mechanized Corps, commanded by the future Marshal Rokossovsky on the Southwestern Front. It was almost completely equipped with BT-5 tanks, which were no longer the most modern, but for several weeks staunchly resisted the best divisions of the 1st Panzer Group of General Goth. Near Dubno and Rovno, then - in the Kiev direction, until the resources are completely exhausted.

As for the notorious "confusion" of the Soviet leadership in the first days of the war, this lie is all the more refuted by numerous facts. Particularly indicative are materials from the archives of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR and many other Soviet departments of the war period, as well as from the collection of documents of the Ministry of Defense of the Russian Federation "The Course of War" (2011).

They testify that already at 10:30 am on June 22, by order of Stalin, the first deputy chairman of the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR and the head (in 1943-1948) of the State Planning Committee of the USSR N.Voznesensky, having gathered the people's commissars responsible for the main industries, energy and the transport complex, gave orders for the operational implementation of the mobilization plans of 1940-41.

Already on June 23, 1941, the Headquarters of the Main Command of the Armed Forces of the USSR was created as part of the People's Commissar of Defense Marshal S. Timoshenko (its first chairman), Chief of the General Staff G. Zhukov, as well as I. Stalin, the head of the People's Commissariat for Foreign Affairs V. Molotov, and Marshals K. Voroshilov, S. Budyonny, B. Shaposhnikov and the People's Commissar of the Navy, Admiral N. Kuznetsov.

Echelons went east

And the next day, June 24, 1941, in connection with the decree of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) and the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR for "managing the evacuation of the population, institutions, military and other goods, equipment of enterprises and other valuables" under the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR (from July 2 - and under the USSR State Defense Committee), the Evacuation Council was created and began its work.

It included the heads of most of the country's economic departments and its military-industrial enterprises. The leaders and co-chairs of the Council were alternately L. Kaganovich (the first leader was the People's Commissar of Railways of the USSR), N. Shvernik (the first deputy chairman of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR), A. Kosygin (the first deputy chairman of the Food and Clothing Supply Committee of the Red Army), M. Pervukhin (Chairman of the Council on Fuel and Electricity under the Council of People's Commissars, from July 2 - and under the State Defense Committee of the USSR).

It is worth recalling that the issue of evacuation began to be discussed in the Soviet leadership already in March 1941: the corresponding directives on behalf of the General Staff were given on May 12-15, 1941 to the Baltic, Western, Kiev and Odessa military districts. Paragraph 7 of those directives specified:

"In case of a forced withdrawal of troops, promptly develop, according to special instructions, a plan for the evacuation of factories, plants, banks and other economic enterprises, government agencies, warehouses of military and state property."

June 1941: everything for the union, everything for the Victory

Obviously, the country's leadership foresaw the inevitability of a war with Germany, not excluding its unsuccessful course at the first stage. And, accordingly, they talked about the relocation of industrial capacities and population to the inner regions of the USSR. Already in July-November 1941, according to the Evacuation Council, 2,593 enterprises of various industries and non-production facilities, including 1,523 large ones, were exported to the inner regions of the RSFSR, Central Asia and Transcaucasia from the front and front-line zones. Up to 17 million people were evacuated by rail and water transport.

On June 29, on the 8th day of the war, a directive was adopted by the Council of People's Commissars of the USSR and the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolsheviks) to the party and Soviet organizations of the front-line regions. It contained instructions on the deployment of the underground and partisan movement, determined the organizational forms, goals and objectives of subversive work against the aggressor. Along with other measures outlined in the same document, to transform the country into a single military camp to repulse the enemy nationwide.

Finally, on June 30, an extraordinary body was created - the State Defense Committee (GKO), headed by Stalin. As is known, the functions of GKOs concentrated all the power in the state. His decisions and orders, which had the force of wartime laws, were subject to unquestioning implementation by party, economic, military and all other bodies. And all the citizens of the country.

From July 9 to July 13, a British mission was again in Moscow, the result of negotiations with which was the signing on July 12, 1941 of the "Agreement between the governments of the USSR and Great Britain on joint actions in the war against Germany." The document was signed by V. Molotov and the British Ambassador to the USSR S. Cripps.

"There was no particular specifics in this document, but it officially fixed the allied relations of both sides. And guaranteed the further development of interaction between the USSR and the British Commonwealth during the war period,"

- noted V. Molotov.

A similar assessment of the document was expressed not so long ago by MGIMO professor, doctor of historical sciences Yuri Bulatov:

"In this document, the platform of Soviet-British cooperation was set out very briefly. The contracting parties declared the following: both governments mutually undertake to render each other assistance and support of all kinds in the present war against Hitlerite Germany; they further undertake that they will not will neither negotiate nor conclude a truce or peace treaty, except with a mutual agreement."

The main thing is that the agreement of July 12, 1941, de facto and de jure, marked the beginning of the creation of a broad anti-Hitler coalition.

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