On the evening of June 21, 1941, after the noise of the day, the ancient Moscow city has returned to tranquility, intoxicating and lingering.
Moscow in midsummer has a beautiful night.
Zhukov was alarmed by a rapid ringing of the telephone.
He had a premonition of danger.
He grabbed the microphone, his voice trembled and said eagerly, “I’m Zhukov.
What’s new?” Lieutenant general pulkayev, the always calm chief of staff of the Kiev military region, brought him bad news.
He said that a German military chief surrendered to the Soviet border defense forces and confessed that the German army had begun to enter the departure area and would launch a large-scale attack on the Soviet Union on the morning of the 22nd.
Zhukov immediately reported the news to Timoshenko and Stalin.
Stalin was silent for a moment, and then ordered Timoshenko, Zhukov and vatukin to go to him immediately.
Zhukov and others hurried to the Kremlin, and then the members of the Politburo came.
Stalin was worried and paced up and down the table.
He asked, “what should we do?” No one answered.
“All troops of the military regions along the border should be immediately ordered to enter a first-class combat readiness state.
” Timoshenko broke the suffocating silence and whispered to Stalin.
“Read the order.
” Stalin said.
Zhukov read through the draft order drawn up in the general staff.
He stressed: “resolute action must be taken in accordance with the established operational plan to repel any enemy attack.
” At this time, Stalin impatiently interrupted Zhukov: “it is too early to issue such a command now, and maybe the problem can be solved peacefully.
A short command should be issued, pointing out that the attack may start with the provocative action of the German army.
The troops of the military regions along the border must not be fooled by provocation to avoid causing trouble.
” Zhukov immediately called the first deputy chief of general staff watukin.
According to Stalin’s instructions, the two quickly drafted a draft order of the national defense people’s Committee, namely order No.
1, and then returned to Stalin’s office.
Stalin read the draft order in detail and made some modifications.
The full text of the order is as follows: Leningrad Military Region, Baltic coast special military region, western special military region, Kiev special military region and Odessa military region Military Committee: CC: Naval people’s Committee.
From June 21 to 23, 1941, Germany may carry out surprise attacks in the Leningrad Military Region, the Baltic coast special military region, the western special military region, the Kiev special military region and the Odessa military region.
The attack could start with provocation.
The task of our army is: not affected by any provocative action, so as not to complicate the problem.
At the same time, the troops of the military regions of Leningrad, the Baltic coast, the west, Kiev and Odessa entered the first-class combat preparation to prevent possible sudden attacks by the German army or its allies.
Order: on the night of June 21, 1941, hide the launch points in the fortified area of the occupied territory.
Before dawn on June 22, 1941, all aircraft, including those of the army aviation corps, were dispersed to field airports and carefully camouflaged.
When all troops are ready for battle, they should be dispersed and camouflaged.
The air defense forces entered combat readiness immediately without waiting for the arrival of the supplementary barracks.
Cities and target areas should take all measures to control lights.
No other measures shall be taken without special order.
Timoshingo, Zhukov and others left the Kremlin in an uneasy mood and returned to the office of the national defense people’s Committee.
Stalin said to himself after Zhukov and others left, “I think this is Hitler’s provocation.
Does he really dare to launch a war against the Soviet Union?” Stalin was a little distracted when he looked at the silent street.
He never thought that German planes had invaded Soviet airspace and bombed Soviet cities and airports, fascist tanks were rumbling towards the Soviet border, Hitler’s generals were looking at their watches more and more frequently, and the pointer on the dial was approaching the decisive moment of attack.
At about 3:00 on June 22, the German army dispatched about 2000 aircraft to suddenly attack 66 airports and other military bases, transportation hubs and important cities in the Western Soviet Union, and violently bombarded the western border area of the Soviet Union with thousands of artillery, opening the prelude to the “Barbarosa” operation.
It was carefully calculated that the German army chose June 22 as the launch date of the attack on the Soviet Union.
First of all, it was Sunday.
Most of the officers of the Soviet army went on vacation, and only a small number of officers stayed on duty.
Secondly, this day happens to be the last day after the summer solstice.
The days are long and the nights are short.
In the first days of the campaign, the German army can fight for 18 hours a day, which is very beneficial to the rapid victory of the war against the Soviet Union.
The specific time of the German attack was also accurately calculated.
The German army has several different opinions when determining the specific time of attack.
The German Army General Command has always pursued the traditional military theory and believes that the German army should attack in the early morning of June 22, that is, at dawn.
The German Air Force general command is firmly opposed to the army’s view.
Air force generals believed that about 900 aircraft participating in the first wave of attacks could not find their targets in the dark.
If the army launches an attack at dawn, the aircraft of the air force can cross the border at the same time as the ground forces from the front and the mainland at most.
After that, it will take an average of 30 minutes to attack the Soviet airport, which will give the Soviet air force about 30 minutes of early warning time.
In this way, the German air force will not be able to eliminate the Soviet aircraft on the ground, This is very unfavorable to the sudden pursuit of the “Barbarosa” plan.
The two opinions held their own views, and finally the army’s view prevailed slightly.
At 0430 hours, 152 divisions of the three German army groups in the north, the central and the south, led by armored motorized troops and with the cooperation of airborne troops, launched a full line attack on the Soviet Union from the north, the middle and the South on the front line about 1500 kilometers wide from the Baltic sea to the Carpathians.
Under the command of the cautious and conservative Marshal Loeb, the German northern group army group took the fourth armored group as the Middle Road, the 18th and 16th group armies as the left and right wings, supported by the first aviation team, and attacked the general direction of taogevpils, Pskov and Leningrad from the east of konisburg in East Prussia, They tried to destroy the Soviet bloc along the Baltic Sea, occupy the ports and naval bases there, capture Leningrad and join forces with the Finnish army.
The central group army is responsible for the main task and has jurisdiction over No4、 The ninth group army, the third and fourth armored clusters and the second air force are responsible for support tasks.
They are under the command of Marshal Bock, who has made great achievements in the battle on the western front, and Guderian, the founder of German armored forces, is the pioneer.
The task of the central group army is to carry out a pincer attack from the suwauki region of East Prussia and Warsaw region of Poland to the biawestock protrusion and Minsk, encircle and annihilate the main force of the western front of the Soviet army, and then develop an attack in the direction of Smolensk.
The southern group army governs the sixth, seventeenth and eleventh group armies and the first armored cluster.
The fourth air force provides air support under the command of Marshal lundstedt.
Its mission is to carry out assault on the left road from Lublin region of Poland to Kiev and the lower reaches of Dnieper River, and prevent the Soviet army from retreating across Dnieper River through circuitous encirclement.
The right road launched an attack from Romania to the lower Dnieper River.
Stalin, who had been busy all night, was preparing to sleep for a while.
He felt someone knocking at the door.
Stalin felt nervous for a while.
It was already 4 a.m. on June 22.
No one had ever woken himself up at this time.
Did Germany really attack the Soviet Union? Stalin wrapped up his pajamas and came out.
The captain of the guard reported uneasily, “general Zhukov has something urgent to ask you for instructions.
Please answer the phone.
” Stalin went to the telephone and picked up the phone.
Zhukov was quick in language and briefly reported the German air strikes to Stalin.
He said: German planes attacked Kiev, Minsk, Sevastopol and other cities.
Stalin let out a rapid breath.
It was beyond his expectation.
Stalin still clearly remembered Hitler’s congratulatory message on his 60th birthday two years ago, which said: Mr.
Joseph Stalin: please accept my heartiest congratulations on your 60th birthday and express my best wishes for that.
I wish you health and longevity, and I wish the friendly people of all ethnic groups in the Soviet Union a bright future.
Stalin remained silent.
Zhukov said eagerly, “Comrade Stalin, do you understand what I mean?” Stalin was startled, hesitated, and then said in a hoarse voice, “ask Timoshenko and them to come to the Kremlin, and then tell Persian klebshev to call all the members of the Politburo.
” Stalin put down the microphone and stood at the table for a minute.
How dare Hitler fight on two fronts at the same time? He is simply a madman! We should contact Berlin again.
Then the members of the Politburo crept in carefully.
Zhukov and timoshin followed.
At this time, Stalin was pale and sat silently at the table with a pipe full of cut tobacco in his hand.
He ordered: “contact the German ambassador!” Molotov went out consciously.
The room was silent, only the sound of people breathing.
In addition to Zhukov and Timoshenko, there are Andreyev, kaganovic, migyang, Kalinin, belia, malinkov and others present.
After a while, Molotov came in.
Stalin and his colleagues looked nervously at Molotov, hoping to get good news from him.
Molotov returned to his seat and whispered in a somewhat hoarse voice, “Schulenburg informed us that the German government has launched a war against us in order to prevent the attack being prepared by the Russians in advance.
” The house was quiet.
There was no sound except the sound of people’s breathing.
Even a needle fell to the ground.
At this time, Timoshenko broke his silence and asked Stalin softly, “Comrade Stalin, shall we immediately analyze the current situation?” Stalin promised, “talk about the current situation!” Lieutenant general watukin, the first deputy chief of general staff, came in.
However, he did not bring much new news.
He said: “the situation at the border is not very clear.
According to the current situation, under the cover of heavy artillery and aircraft, the large German forces have crossed the border and invaded China in many areas in the West and northwest.
As for the casualties on both sides, it is not clear at present.
” Zhukov added: “we should concentrate all the troops in the west to fiercely counterattack the German attack and stop their attack.
” Tiemuxinge further added: “we should fight back against the enemy’s attack, not stop, but annihilate!” Stalin said, “just follow this order!” At 7:15 on June 22, the people’s Committee for national defense of the Soviet Union issued the second order to all military regions.
The order requires all troops to use all forces and means to attack the German army and annihilate it in the border area.
The bombing airmen and assault airmen should destroy the German air force at the airport and bomb the main group of their ground forces with a powerful blow.
The air force should go deep into German territory 100 to 150 kilometers to carry out strikes.
Obviously, the Soviet intention was to resist the German attack and quickly push the war to Germany.
As a result, many divisions were mobilized only after German bombing and shelling.
Some troops and regiments met German tank troops on the way before reaching the designated area, and were forced to fight on the way.
In the second order, due to the destruction of communication facilities by the German army, the military regions and group armies failed to receive the order quickly, and the troops who received the order were unable to implement it in accordance with the requirements of the order.
The Soviet army fell into chaos under the sudden attack of the German army.
The scattered Soviet army was mixed with the continuous refugee group, and the situation was very chaotic.
Stalin walked around the office anxiously.
He didn’t know that the German command would go straight to the Soviet Union at all costs, regardless of how many Soviet troops were left behind.
The war has burned into the territory of the Soviet Union.
We must tell the Soviet people the news.
Who will tell the people the news of the German attack on the Soviet Union? Everyone naturally thought of Stalin, but Stalin unexpectedly refused.
Why did Stalin refuse? In the history of the Soviet Union, there was a view that Stalin made such a decision because he was discouraged and did not know what to say to the people, because he had been telling the people that there would be no war, and even if there was a war, the enemy would be crushed in his own territory.
Now, it must be admitted that the Soviet Union is suffering from failure.
In fact, this statement is not very convincing.
Because I was in the Qing Dynasty when I decided to make a speechIn the morning, no one in Moscow knew that the Soviet army had suffered defeat in the initial battle, so Stalin was unwilling to speak.
It was not entirely because of this.
It was more likely that Stalin did not know how things would develop on the border at this time.
He is unwilling to say anything to the people when the situation is unclear, because it may shake his prestige, and he is unwilling to take unnecessary risks for it.
In the early morning of the 22nd, Stalin had not heard the victory report, but he firmly believed that he would punish Hitler for his treachery in two or three weeks, and then he would come forward and announce to the people that we had defeated the shameless attack of the treacherous.
At exactly 12 noon, Molotov delivered a radio speech in accordance with Stalin’s instructions.
At 4 o’clock this morning, the German army launched an attack on our country without making any excuses to the Soviet government and declaring war.
It invaded our country’s borders in many places and sent planes to bomb our cities.
It is not the first time for our people to face the attack of fierce enemies.
Our people responded to Napoleon’s attack with a patriotic war and defeated him.
Now we are facing a new march against our country launched by the vicious Hitler elements.
The Red Army and all the people must carry out the victorious war of defending the motherland, happiness and freedom to the end.
Our cause is just, the enemy will lose, and victory will belong to us.
Stalin was anxiously waiting for news from the front line.
He kept asking timoshingo, Zhukov and watukin for information on the border war and the implementation of order No. 2. Stalin asked from time to time, “when on earth can you clearly report the fighting on the border? What are the commander of the Western Front Army Pavlov, kirponos of the southwest front army and Kuznetsov of the northwest front army doing? What is the general staff doing? Where is the fighting going now? Where is the enemy?” Stalin was so depressed by the unknown situation that he could no longer wait.
He walked around the office and finally decided to send someone to the front line to find out about the fighting.
At 13:00, Stalin pointed out: “the commanders of our front armies lack sufficient combat command experience and seem a little flustered.
Therefore, we decided to urgently send authoritative representatives from the base camp to the southwest front army and the Western Front Army.
Shaposhnikov and Kulik go to Pavlov and Zhukov go to kirponos.
Start now and fly.
” Chief of general staff Zhukov asked, “under the current complex situation, who will lead the general staff?” Stalin replied, “leave watukin and we can deal with it here.
” Stalin finally waited for the news.
According to relevant sources, due to the tenacious resistance of the Soviet army, the German attack has been repulsed.
Timoshenko immediately issued the third order.
The order requires: the northwest front army and the western front army should adopt the method of concentrated assault to surround and destroy the enemy suwauki group, and occupy the area at dusk on the 24th.
The southwest front army should encircle and annihilate the German army group attacking in the direction of Vladimir vorensky and Brod with a concentrated and powerful assault of several mechanized armies, all air forces and other forces of the fifth and sixth group armies.
To occupy the Lublin area at dusk on June 24.
Stalin added: “on the border from the Baltic Sea to Hungary, I am allowed to cross the border without being restricted by the border.
” However, these orders were either not delivered at all, or difficult to implement, or unable to implement, or suffered a disastrous defeat in the implementation.
The unprepared Soviet army suffered heavy losses under the sudden attack of the German army.
On the first day of the war alone, the Soviet army lost about 1200 aircraft, of which more than 800 were destroyed at the airport.
The German Air Force successfully seized the air control.
The German armored and motorized troops also quickly broke through the Soviet defense line and pushed forward for 50 to 60 kilometers.
Almost all the military warehouses, stored weapons and equipment and military supplies in the border area fell into the hands of the German army.
The western front army suffered the most serious losses.
The strength of the western front army is concentrated in the biawestock protrusion, which is an arc area protruding towards Poland.
The Western front-line army deployed three group armies in the north, West and south directions of the protrusion.
The third group army under Kuznetsov’s command was in the north, the tenth group army under Golubev’s command was in the middle, and the fourth group army under korobkov’s command was in the south.
The three group armies were deployed in the protrusion alone, just like standing side by side in the open mouth of the German army.
The German army could eat them as long as they closed their teeth up and down.
Bock divided his troops into two routes and clamped them like iron tongs from the north and South wings of the protrusion to the Soviet army group.
The unprepared Soviet army soon fell into a very unfavorable situation.
On the first day of the war alone, bock’s central group army surrounded more than 30000 people of the Soviet army, and on the fourth day, it attacked Minsk, an important town in the west of the Soviet Union.
Stalin was furious at the news.
The German army approached Minsk in a few days.
If its attack is not blocked quickly, the German army will soon break into Smolensk and directly threaten Moscow, the capital of the Soviet Union.
It seems that the main direction of German attack is not the southwest direction as expected, but the due west direction which is the most direct and can bring the greatest threat to the Soviet Union.
We must strengthen the guidance in this direction.
He quickly called Zhukov, who was in the southwest front army, and said eagerly, “the situation of the western front army is serious, and the enemy is approaching Minsk.
I don’t understand what happened to Pavlov? Where is Marshal Kulik? Shaposhnikov is ill again at this critical moment, can you fly to Moscow immediately!” Late at night on June 26, Zhukov hurried back to Moscow and came directly to Stalin’s office from the airport.
When he entered Stalin’s office, national defense people’s commissar timoshingo and the first deputy chief of general staff watukin were standing straight beside Stalin.
Their faces were pale, thin and their eyes were covered with blood.
Zhukov believes that the situation of the western front army is extremely serious.
It can no longer stop the German attack by relying on its own strength.
It is necessary to mobilize new troops to strengthen the defense there.
Timoshingo and watukin agreed with Zhukov’s analysis.
Finally, they decided to immediately organize the 13th, 19th and 2nd10、 The 21st and 22nd group armies occupied the defense on the front line of sivedna Polotsk Vitebsk Orsha Mogilev and used the 24th and 25th group armies of the reserve team of the general command.
Establish a second line of defense on the Smolensk Gomel front line, and quickly form two or three group armies in Moscow.
The purpose is to establish a deep echelon defense on the road to Moscow, fatigue the German army, stop it in a certain area, and then wait for the opportunity to counter attack.
Stalin approved the proposal.
However, the vigorous German army did not give the Soviet army a chance to breathe.
On June 28, German armored forces captured Minsk and closed the encirclement of the Soviet Western army.
On the same day, the following German fourth and ninth group armies met in the area east of biawestock, completed the close encirclement of the Soviet army, completely separated the biawestock small bag encirclement from the new gludok large bag encirclement in the East, and the Soviet army suffered heavy losses.
Stalin could no longer endure his anger when he heard the news.
How can a front army commander throw everything away in a week? When he appointed Pavlov as the commander of the western special military region, Pavlov gave himself a good impression.
He was well organized, mature and confident in his report.
He participated in the first World War, the civil war, the Middle East Railway war, supported the Spanish Civil War, and was awarded the title of Soviet hero due to his outstanding military achievements.
Later, he participated in the Soviet Finnish war.
It should be said that he has experienced the battlefield for a long time.
The only deficiency is that he still lacks the experience and wisdom to command the large forces and the ability to respond to the complex environment.
In fact, Stalin was right to promote Pavlov in an era of extreme lack of senior commanders.
Pavlov is full of patriotism, boldness, bravery and dedication.
He was alert to the threat of war.
Since August 1940, Pavlov has held five group army level field exercises, one group army level commander and headquarters on-site combat exercise, five military level combat exercises, one aspect army level exercise, one radio exercise with the participation of two tank armies, two division level and one military level exercise.
He carefully watched the deployment of the enemy and repeatedly proposed to the people’s national defense committee that the troops in the general area should be transferred from depth to the border area.
Pavlov knew that the Germans were ready to launch a surprise attack, so he asked for permission to enter the field fortifications along the border, but his request did not get the permission of the people’s Committee for national defense.
They were afraid that it would attract the German attack.
Stalin did not think about this, nor did he think that the western front army was facing several times the German army, nor did he think that due to his own mistakes, the military region was still reorganizing when the war broke out, five tank armies, one airborne army and three anti tank brigades were not completed, and the materials and equipment were not complete.
The only thing Stalin remembered was that Pavlov’s Western army was losing successive wars.
Stalin stood blankly at the window and stared at the night in Moscow.
He couldn’t help thinking of a letter that Tukhachevsky had written to himself before.
He remembered a paragraph clearly: “the future war will be the war of engines.
The concentration of armored tank forces can form powerful assault fists, and it’s not easy to resist them.
” He imagined that if Tukhachevsky was placed in Pavlov’s position, many things might be different.
It seems that the most direct and effective way to reverse the unfavorable situation is to replace the military chief, strengthen the command of the army and change the current chaotic situation.
On June 30, Stalin called Zhukov, the chief of general staff, and ordered the recall of Pavlov, the commander of the Western Front Army.
He announced that he would be dismissed and Timoshenko would take over his post.
Along with Pavlov, major general klimovskich, the chief of staff of the front army, major general Grigoriev, the communication director of the front army, and major general korobkov, the commander of the fourth group army, were dismissed.
Soon, these people were immediately sent to the military court and sentenced to death for treason and dereliction of duty, with all their personal property confiscated.
The eighth, first and twenty seventh group armies of the northwest front army, with a total of 440000 people, are organizing defense in the northwest, with Kuznetsov as commander.
The northwest front army cooperates with the northern front army defending Leningrad and is under the unified command of Marshal Voroshilov.
Their main task is to defend Leningrad, the cradle of the October Revolution of the Soviet Union and known as the second capital of the Soviet Union.
The German offensive was very fierce and soon occupied Vilnius, taugfpils and Riga.
Stalin could no longer contain his disappointment with Kuznetsov.
He decided to reorganize the northwest front army, remove general Kuznetsov from his post, and replace him with major general sobinikov, the former commander of the eighth group army, and lieutenant general watukin as the chief of staff.
However, the hastily reorganized team was unable to reverse the passive situation for the time being.
The German army continued to rush towards the Soviet army like a tide.
The Soviet army in the passive not only had no power to fight back, but also had no power to parry.
The group army fought on the broad front, did not establish the strength and weapons required for in-depth echelon defense, and the reserve team failed to arrive in time.
As a result, the German army occupied the city of Pskov and opened the last door to Leningrad.
Although the situation in the southwest is better than that in the first two directions, it is not good.
By early July, the German army had advanced 300 to 350 kilometers in the south wing, and the Soviet army had killed about 172000 people and injured 69000 people in the south wing, with an average of 16000 deaths and injuries per day.
In this way, in just three weeks, the Soviet army retreated 300 to 600 kilometers.
The German army occupied the whole territory of Latvia, Lithuania, most of the white Soviet Union, Ukraine and some parts of Moldavia, entered the western part of the Soviet Union and reached the proximity of Leningrad, threatening Smolensk and Kiev.
The Soviet army killed more than 580000 people and injured more than 100000 people, and lost a lot of materials and equipment.
The Soviet Union tried its best to cover up its defeat.
With the passage of years and the disintegration of the Soviet Union, the reasons for the serious defeat of the Soviet Army gradually surfaced.
On the whole, there are many reasons for the Soviet Army’s serious defeat in the early stage of the war, among which the main reasons are as follows: first, the wrong judgment of the outbreak time of the Soviet German war is the primary reason for the Soviet Army’s defeat.
Former Soviet General StaffBy analyzing a large amount of intelligence, the deep experts have made some correct judgments on the serious threat of large-scale sudden attacks faced by the Soviet army and the future combat style.
However, they could not explain this to Stalin, nor did they have the right to take due measures to prevent the harm caused by this danger.
On June 13, 1941, timoshingo and Zhukov called Stalin and asked for approval to order the troops of the border military region to enter the combat preparation and start the first echelon according to the cover plan.
Stalin’s sentence “can’t completely trust reconnaissance” blocked everything back.
The depressing atmosphere is invisible, which has something to do with the defeat of the first war.