After a successful flash attack, the German army began to launch an all-round attack in Kiev, Smolensk and Leningrad.
The German general command was optimistic.
The German army chief of general staff, general halde, said to his subordinates excitedly: the task of annihilating the main force of the Soviet army in front of the West de Vina River and Dnieper River has been completed.
Of the 164 infantry regiments of the Soviet army, 89 have been annihilated by us, only 46 still have a certain combat capacity, and 18 have been deployed in secondary battlefields such as Finland, Although the situation of 11 is unknown, they will not pose much threat to our army.
We can conservatively say that we can win a decisive victory in 14 days.
Hitler could not contain his excitement.
He asserted that the Soviet Union had lost the war.
To this end, Hitler ordered: the central group army group should forcibly cross the Dnieper River and the West German Wiener River, carry out a pincer attack in the direction of Smolensk, and occupy the city.
The southern group army should be divided into three groups: one encircles and annihilates the Soviet Army west of Vinica, one attacks to the southeast to prevent the Soviet army from retreating, and the other advances to Kiev.
The northern army group continued to attack Leningrad.
After bock’s troops completed the first stage of the battle, bock commanded his troops to attack nonstop.
Bock ordered: concentrate troops to carry out major raids in the direction of Smolensk, encircle and annihilate the Soviet Smolensk group, and seize the Orsha, Vitebsk and Smolensk triangle.
Smolensk is an important western town of the Soviet Union, and its strategic position is very important.
It is only 400 kilometers away from Moscow.
It is known as the “gateway to Moscow”.
It is a place that military strategists of all dynasties must contend for.
In 1812, Napoleon led the French army to invade Russia and entered Moscow through this ancient city.
The German generals looked forward to revisiting Napoleon’s old dream.
Although the Soviet army fought to the death, the Soviet army that Lun urged to fight did not have a complete defense system and could not resist the attack of the powerful German armored forces.
Under the continuous pincer offensive and continuous division and encirclement of the German army, it was broken one by one.
On July 16, the German army occupied Smolensk and the door to Moscow was opened.
The situation in the southwest is also bad.
Stalin believed that the southwest was the main direction of the German attack.
He deployed most of the Soviet troops in Ukraine and set up two front armies: the southern front army and the southwest front army.
Its military strength exceeds the sum of Pavlov’s Western Front Army and northwest front army.
The southwest front army is under the command of kilbonos and consists of the fifth, sixth, twenty sixth and twelfth group armies.
The southern front army is under the command of tyllenev and consists of the 18th and 9th group armies.
Although the Soviet army deployed heavy troops in Ukraine, under the sudden attack of the German army, the Soviet army was caught off guard and failed to resist the German attack.
By early September, the Soviet army had been forced to retreat to Kiev, the capital of Ukraine.
The two armored armies commanded by kleister and goodrian, like two sharp arrows, went hand in hand on the north and south sides of Kiev.
After entering the Dnieper River, they turned and pushed towards each other, ready to take Kiev into the German encirclement.
Zhukov believes that the German army has a fierce momentum.
It is best to take advantage of the opportunity that the German army has not been surrounded and take the initiative to withdraw from Kiev in order to retain its strength.
Stalin was in a terrible mood.
The war situation was very bad, and his family fell into the clutches of the German army.
According to Zhdanov’s report, his eldest son Yakov, the company commander of the 14th grenade artillery regiment of the 14th armored tank division of the Soviet army, was unfortunately captured by the German army.
Stalin was uneasy about his son’s capture.
Yakovwan couldn’t stand it and was devastated.
According to the German will, he talked nonsense in the radio and leaflets, which would not only do great damage to his reputation, but also deal a great blow to the morale of the Soviet army and people who were fighting hard against Japan.
The day before that, Molotov had told him that the president of the Swedish Red Cross had brought a message through the Swedish Embassy asking whether he or someone else would be entrusted to take action to rescue his son.
Stalin was very contradictory.
At the moment, seeing that Zhukov said he would give up Kiev, he impatiently rejected Zhukov’s proposal.
He snapped at Zhukov and said: give up Kiev? To withdraw troops from Kiev? Retreat, retreat! We have lost all Latvia and Lithuania, part of the white Soviet Union, part of Ukraine and Moldavia, and the western part of the Soviet Union.
We still have to retreat.
When are we going to retreat? Now that the German army is at the end of a powerful crossbow, why can’t we stick to it for a while? Besides, our people are watching us, and Americans, Britons and even the people of the world are watching us.
“The US government and the British government are full of doubts about us.
They don’t believe that we will stabilize the front in Leningrad, Smolensk and west of Kiev.
We must do this.
In this way, we can get the weapons and material assistance we need most.
If we lose Kiev, who still believes in us and who will help us!” When Stalin thought of the situation in Kiev, he thought of bujoni, the commander-in-chief in the southwest.
Bujoni is a veteran marshal who has been tested for a long time.
I’m afraid he is the most experienced military strategist in the Soviet Union.
Why does he advocate giving up Kiev like Zhukov? Anyway, Kiev can’t be lost.
Finally, Stalin ordered that no retreat, no bombing of bridges, and Kiev must be guarded.
And he asked kilbonos to implement more active tactics and launch a counterattack against the German army.
In this way, the Soviet southwest front army missed the last opportunity to avoid the German encirclement and preserve its strength.
On September 15, the German army completed the encirclement of the 21st, 5th, 37th and 26th group armies of the Soviet southwest front army.
At 5 a.m. on September 17, the military committee of the southwest front army once again requested Stalin to withdraw, and Stalin was still not allowed to break through.
The situation was already very urgent.
Before the evening of September 17, the Military Commission decided to let the Soviet Army break through despite Stalin’s opposition, but it was too late.
The front army headquarters also lost contact with the group armies.
The Soviet Army divided and surrounded by the German army fought independently.
Although they fought bravely, they still failed to stop the fierce attack of the German army.
On September 19, the Soviet army was forced to abandon Kiev.
On September 20, senior generals such as general kirponos, commander of the southwest front army of the Soviet army, members of the Military Commission and the chief of staff were killed in the breakthrough.
660000Many people were captured, and more than 800 tanks and more than 3000 guns were destroyed or captured by the German army.
On the North Road, the German army has broken through the Soviet defense line on the Latvian Soviet border and occupied Pskov, the southwest gateway of Leningrad, echoing the main force of the Finnish army in the northwest of Ladoga lake.
Leningrad is already under the North-South attack of the German and Finnish army.
Leningrad seemed to be in the bag of the German army.
Enraged Stalin called Voroshilov, who was in charge of the northwest defense: “Voroshilov? Why did puskov lose it again? Where are you going to withdraw? To the Arctic Ocean?” Voroshilov held the microphone tightly in his hand, and a thin layer of sweat came out of his head.
He whispered his determination and said, “we lost Pskov, but please rest assured that we will try to get it back.
” But what do you use to stop the fierce attack of the German army? Although the reorganized Leningrad Military Command Organization has built three lines of defense around Leningrad, due to the lack of troops, the strength of each line of defense is weak.
The outermost line, centered on Luga City, starts from simsk on the West Bank of irmen Lake in the South and is arranged along the Luga River to jinjishep, the mouth of Luga river.
The 300 km Luga line of defense has only four regular infantry divisions Three militia divisions and some military cadets are defending.
These forces alone cannot stop the German attack.
Thinking of this, he hesitated for a moment and asked Stalin, “Comrade Stalin, I know my duty and I will spare no effort to fulfill the entrustment of the party and the people to me.
However, our military strength here is weak.
Can you send me some more divisions?” Stalin said rather unhappily, “now people are asking me for help everywhere.
Where can I find these help? Now I can’t even send out a battalion.
Go and find a way by yourself!” Voroshilov hit a nail.
He understood Stalin’s temper.
As long as he refused, no matter how much you begged, it would cause his disgust.
He had to find a way by himself.
The main direction of the German northern group army group should be in the southwest and south of Leningrad, and the north is only a secondary direction.
Moreover, the Finnish army is responsible for the attack in the north, and its combat effectiveness is relatively weak.
Voroshilov decided to transfer six divisions and one brigade from the northern front army to participate in the defense of the front line of the Luga River, and mobilize the people of Leningrad to take action to strengthen the Luga line of defense.
The Soviet army and people fought desperately on the Lugar line, which made lebu’s northern group army stagnate in front of the Lugar line.
In the headquarters of Loeb, it was suggested that invitations be printed and distributed to the commanders of the regiments and forces, inviting them to attend the celebration banquet scheduled to be held at the “Astoria” Hotel, so that the attacking forces thought that the German victory was just around the corner.
Loeb hoped that the invitation would become a call, a prize, an advance or a reminder.
It is said that this invitation was printed and distributed according to the instructions of the head of state.
But all this was in vain.
Although Loeb’s forces repeatedly tried to break through the Luga line, they never succeeded.
Hitler, who stayed in the “wolf’s Den”, could not stay any longer.
He decided to go to the headquarters of Loeb in person and supervise the war on the front line.
On the night of July 20, Hitler’s special car started from the “wolf’s Den” and drove to Pskov, the headquarters of Loeb.
Along the way, Hitler was not in the mood to watch the scenery outside.
He just looked at a battle map of the northern army group and stared at a thick black spot marked with the words Leningrad on the map.
“Why? Why did Loeb have bad luck in military affairs? Didn’t the war develop according to his scheduled plan in the first two weeks? Why did the sudden trouble happen now? Why did the general, who was famous in the French campaign, fail to move forward in front of the defense line hastily assembled by the Soviet people?” Old Loeb was thin and long, and his movements were a little slow.
He not only has rich experience in military affairs, but also has a smooth life.
He carefully studied Hitler’s character.
He knew that no matter which high-ranking general aroused the suspicion of the head of state and believed that whoever was unable to complete the tasks assigned by him would be immediately ousted by the head of state.
When Loeb saw Hitler’s painstaking efforts to come to the front line, he knew that this was both his glory and his greatest distrust of himself.
He must serve him carefully, otherwise his position would be unstable.
At about 9 o’clock the next morning, Loeb hurried to Hitler’s train with three generals.
When Hitler saw Loeb coming, he just coldly extended his hand to the 65 year old marshal, who was a little old, and greeted the Marshal’s entourage with a slight nod.
He didn’t invite anyone to sit down.
Old Loeb briefly introduced the situation of the war, and then wanted to explain to the head of state why his troops had not broken through the Soviet defense line until now.
Hitler glanced coldly at Loeb, He said impatiently, “I don’t want to hear you introduce the bad situation, let alone listen to your explanation! I give you two group armies and an aviation team, and give you the opportunity and honor to occupy the second capital of Bolshevik, but you stopped your pace in front of a temporary defense line.
It’s a shame to yourself.
You let me down!” Hitler became more and more angry.
His lips turned blue and his spit splashed.
He paused a little, took a breath, and then said to Loeb with low eyebrows: “let’s see the map!” When Loeb heard this, he was a little relieved and hurried to the map.
Hitler began to chatter: you should stop the frontal attack on the Luga line and concentrate on the West Wing of the line, which is here, Novgorod, and here, ginger Shep.
Attack hard and don’t give the enemy any breathing space.
“Petersburg must be taken down in the next few days.
Only in this way will the Russian fleet in the Gulf of Finland lose its function.
If the Russian submarines lose their bases in the Gulf of Finland and in the Baltic Sea, they will not have fuel and they will not be able to support them for a moment.
In addition, Sweden’s iron ore can supply us continuously.
If the troops are not enough, you can’t help yourself You can transfer the third armored cluster of the central group army group.
” Loeb asked hesitantly, “Fuhrer, do you mean that the focus of the German army’s next action is not on Moscow, but on the North Road, that is, Petersburg？ Haven’t halde’s staff always advocated that the focus of the attack should be on the middle road? In their view, as long as they occupy the Soviet capital Moscow, the war will be declared over.
” Moscow is really important, but now it seems to me that it is just a geographical concept.
The occupation and destruction of Moscow should be the end of the big play.
Before that, we should win decisive victories in the South and North.
In particular, Petersburg, a city that has always haunted me, naturally should be occupied first and completely destroyed.
Occupying and destroying this city can not only achieve great strategic interests, let Germany strictly nail the “window of Europe” opened by Russian Peter the great, and turn the Baltic Sea into Germany’s inland sea.
Moreover, by occupying the cradle of Bolshevism, it can also disintegrate the enemy’s will to resist and destroy their morale.
You must do your best to occupy it at all costs.
“As for dealing with the aftermath of Petersburg, we must be cruel and make every Russian tremble! We must trample on the meaningless laws of the old world and the Jewish Christian tradition of the old world.
We don’t need Russia, neither hostile Russia nor friendly Russia.
We only need a piece of land in the East.
Therefore, we will never We cannot accept the surrender of either Petersburg or Moscow.
You must turn them into nothing, ashes and let them disappear on the earth.
” When Loeb returned from Hitler, his heart was full of contradictions.
On the one hand, he added a tank cluster with strong combat effectiveness, which provided him with some room for more free use of military strength.
On the other hand, he feels more pressure.
It’s like gambling.
The bigger the bet, the greater the price he will pay if he loses.
Loeb knew that if he failed to complete the task assigned to him by the head of state on time, his black hat would be lost and his life might be hard to protect.
In the next three weeks, Loeb dispatched 29 divisions, about 1200 aircraft, 1500 tanks and 1200 guns to launch another fierce attack on the Luga line.
The shells turned over the soil on the Bank of the Luga River, and the Soviet army fought tenaciously, but the German army launched rounds of attacks with superior forces.
By August 8, the German army finally tore a gap near jinjishep.
Four days later, he broke through the Soviet position on the middle road.
The Germans advanced at a speed of 2 kilometers a day.
Although the speed of advance was much slower than that at the beginning of the war, and the German army had to pay a huge price for each step forward, the progress of the German army still posed a great threat to Leningrad.
On September 8, the German army occupied schluthelburg and cut off the last land transportation line connecting Leningrad with the outside world.
Leningrad has been surrounded on three sides.
Only one channel on the side of Ladoga lake can be connected with other parts of the Soviet Union.
The encirclement has also become very small, and the German artillery can directly attack the urban area of Leningrad.
In Loeb’s view, Leningrad is readily available.
German artillery and aircraft began to bombard the urban area of Leningrad, and Leningrad was in a very difficult situation.
Stalin was very worried about the situation in Leningrad.
The German army concentrated its forces to attack Leningrad.
Obviously, it wanted to seize Leningrad in a short time, quickly join forces with the Finnish army, and then send to Moscow to make a detour from the northeast.
If countermeasures could not be taken in time, the German army would take the initiative in the campaign strategy.
Stalin instructed Zhukov, who was commanding the battle on the front line, to rush back to Moscow immediately and accept a new appointment.
On the evening of September 9, Zhukov arrived at Stalin’s residence in a dusty way.
Molotov and other Politburo members were present.
Stalin was absorbed in the map of Leningrad.
People sat in silence.
He saw Zhukov come in and leave the map, To Zhukov: “We have studied the situation in Leningrad many times and agreed that the situation there is very serious.
Our land contact with Leningrad has been cut off, and the situation of the army and residents is very difficult.
Now the Finnish army is attacking the Karelia isthmus from the north, and the German northern group army strengthened by the fourth tank cluster is attacking Leningrad from the south.
It is said that Voroshilov is right Leningrad’s future was hopeless.
He even ran to the front line in the hope of being killed by the Germans.
It seems that the current front army leaders are unable to stop the German attack.
I hope you can go there and take over Voroshilov to command the front army and the Baltic Fleet.
” Zhukov expressed firm obedience.
However, he made a condition and asked to take three generals to replace Voroshilov and other generals who had been fighting in Leningrad for many days and were extremely tired.
Stalin readily agreed.
Zhukov said: I’ll take lieutenant general Hozin, major general feduninsky and major general kokopev! On September 9, Zhukov and his party arrived in Leningrad by special plane.
They got off the plane and went straight to the winter palace where the front army headquarters was located.
When they arrived, the military committee of the front army was holding a meeting to discuss what measures should be taken if Leningrad could not be held.
Zhukov immediately put forward different opinions on this.
“We must resolutely defend Leningrad until the last person,” he said Subsequently, Zhukov reorganized the front army.
Feijiuningsky was appointed deputy commander and Huojin was chief of staff.
He announced on the spot that he would replace the commander of the 42nd and 8th group armies.
Zhukov immediately began to rectify the discipline of the army after taking office.
When he inspected the eighth group army, he saw that the military discipline there was relaxed.
Some people withdrew from the war without receiving the order of their superiors, and some even ran away as soon as they heard the sound of gunfire.
Zhukov decided to take the most severe measures to save Leningrad.
He issued orders to execute a group of serious dereliction of duty.
At the same time, he acted vigorously, reorganized the organs, completely changed the work style of the organs, and resolutely corrected the irresponsible and formalistic work style.
The situation is very grim.
Loeb’s troops launched a fierce attack on the southern hub of Leningrad at all costs.
Zhukov was not in a hurry to take action.
From the evening of September 10 to the morning of September 11, Zhukov and his assistants stayed up all night and carefully formulated a urban defense plan.
Zhukov ordered: withdraw some anti-aircraft guns from the urban air defense forces, place them in the most dangerous area of Leningrad, carry out direct fire on the enemy and strengthen the attack on the German armyTank defense.
Support the 42nd group army in ulitsk Pulkovo highland with all naval gun fire.
Establish in-depth echelon defense in all main directions, lay mines and set up power grids.
Transfer part of the troops of the 23rd group army from Karelia isthmus to support the 42nd group army to strengthen the defense of uritsk region.
Organize new troops immediately.
At this time, someone asked: where to form a new army? Zhukov said: as far as I know, the sailors of the Baltic red flag fleet and the personnel of the people’s Committee of the interior, together with the students of the Leningrad Military Academy, are estimated to be able to form five or six independent infantry brigades.
Finally, Zhukov pointed out: due to the fierce German attack recently, our defense line has been disrupted.
Now we should reorganize the defense line and organize a new defense line.
The northern part of the defense line starts from stellerna in the Gulf of Finland, passes through ulitsk in the southwest, Pulkovo in the due south and kolpino in the southeast, and then along the Neva River to shlishelburg on the West Bank of Lake Ladoga.
Sure enough, as Zhukov expected, the German army launched major raids on the ulitsk and Pulkovo highlands.
These two highlands control the road leading to Leningrad and directly endanger the safety of Leningrad.
Zhukov instructed to strictly guard and never retreat.
The German army still broke through the Soviet defense.
After paying a huge price, it occupied sosnovka and koilovo, Finland, and approached uritsk.
Hald was very excited.
He kept telling his staff that we had opened a big gap.
Loeb’s troops were constantly advancing towards the defense line in Leningrad castle, and the occupation of Leningrad was just around the corner.
Hitler was so happy that he couldn’t close his mouth.
He walked around in the cold “wolf’s Den”, “You see how wise my decision is.
Now Leningrad is the food of my mouth and will soon be chewed up by me.
Then, we can transfer the northern troops to Moscow as soon as I expected.
It seems that the closing ceremony of occupying Russia will be successfully completed in Moscow soon,” he said Zhukov realized that Leningrad’s defense had reached the most critical juncture.
As long as it could withstand the German attack, the German offensive would be dissolved soon.
Zhukov decided to put the tenth infantry division, the last reserve of the front army, into battle.
Although it would take a great risk, it was also the last struggle for the Soviet army to keep Leningrad.
On the morning of September 14, after a short and fierce artillery preparation, the tenth infantry division, in coordination with friendly neighboring forces, carried out a rapid assault on the German army with the support of aviation.
The German army did not expect that the Soviet army would suddenly launch a counterattack.
In a moment of chaos, the German army was forced to give up sosnovka and koilovo, Finland.
The Soviet army quickly recovered its original situation.
Loeb was a little surprised at the combat effectiveness of the Soviet army.
Where did the Soviet army suddenly emerge? Have they discovered that our main direction of attack is ulitsk and transferred troops from other regions here? Thinking of this, Loeb was both a little disappointed and a little happy.
Disappointed that the German army failed to break through the Soviet defense line and quickly occupied Leningrad.
Fortunately, the Soviet defense in other areas may be relatively empty, which provides favorable conditions for the German army to break through the Soviet defense line in other areas.
We must quickly carry out more fierce attacks on the weak parts of the Soviet defense.
Loeb ordered to launch a fierce attack on the junction of the 42nd group army and the 55th group army of the Soviet army, capture Pushkin City, then detour from the left to the Pulkovo highland and from the right to kolpino, so as to break into Leningrad.
However, in Loeb’s heart, disappointment still greatly outweighed happiness.
Because, for him, time is running out.
On September 6, the head of state has issued Order No.
35 to launch the Moscow battle at the end of September.
The head of state asked him to quickly establish contact with the Finnish forces attacking the Karelia isthmus and surround the Soviet group in Leningrad, so as to create conditions for the German attack on the middle road by September 15 at the latest.
At that time, Reinhart’s tank fourth group army and part of the air force will be transferred to the central group army group according to Hitler’s order.
If he cannot capture Petersburg before the 15th, he will have no ability to capture Petersburg.
Loeb also knew very well that it would be very difficult to delay the transfer of troops such as the fourth group army from Hitler, but he needed these precious days.
In all desperation, Loeb decided to make the most reluctant move and called the general staff to ask for permission to postpone him for four or five days before executing the order of the base camp asking him to transfer part of his troops to the central group army group.
At the same time, he vowed that he would occupy Petersburg in a few days.
To this end, he wrote a special letter to chief of general staff Harold, who strongly advocated concentrating on attacking Moscow, hoping that he would support his request.
Loeb’s request was granted and he was allowed to postpone for four days.
Hald added a meaningful sentence at the end of the order: “many things and the future of many people will be determined by these four days.
” Loeb understood that this was a threat.
Although he did not care about the fate of many people, he knew that many people also had their own.
There are only four days, 96 hours, which determine the fate of Petersburg and perhaps his own.
However, Loeb, who once sang all the way on the west line, still believes that there must be a way to the front of the mountain, and he can turn the situation around in four days.
Loeb’s efforts have finally made some progress.
On September 16, the German 28th and 50th armies respectively broke into the Soviet defense on the East and West wings of slotsk, and the German 38th army also approached uritsk in the southwest suburb of Leningrad.
So far, the northern army group in Loeb has generally realized the first phase of the plan to surround Leningrad, and the situation of the Soviet army is more critical.
However, the attack speed of the German army was as slow as a snail, and their propulsion speed decreased from 5 kilometers a day in July to less than 2 kilometers a month in September.
And there is only one day before Hitler’s time.
Loeb decided to make a last ditch attempt at all costs.
On the 19th, the artillery of Loeb attacked Leningrad for 17 hours in a row, and sent planes to bomb the city for six waves, sending nearly 300 sorties in an attempt to destroy the will of the army and people of Leningrad to resist Japan.
But Leningrad ArmyThe people resisted the last attack of the German army and thwarted Loeb’s last fight.
Since then, the elite troops of the German army were gradually transferred away.
Except for the 39th armored army, the 57th armored army of the fourth armored group and the third armored group were transferred to Moscow.
Soon, the 18th air force was transferred to the second air force, and the German army was no longer able to attack Leningrad in all directions.
The situation in the northern part of the Soviet Union has gradually stabilized, but the anti siege struggle between the army and the people of Leningrad is far from stopping.