41 games of the year

An important element of combat training commanders and staffs of the Red Army were operating games and field trips. Declassified documents in the near future "games" provide rich food for thought about how senior military control of the USSR beheld the coming war with Germany, which was waiting on their own and enemy forces.

Even the most cursory review of the available archives now indicates that the work in the headquarters of the Red Army raged key war games army and front magnitude would have been few, and very many. So, in the last six months prior to the actual start of the war took place (the name of events are in accordance with the relevant documents):

  • operative game on the cards in the Baltic PSB (February);
  • oboestoronnyaya district operative game in Odessa IN (February);
  • field trip staffs of Leningrad, the Urals and the Orlovsky counties (March);
  • Field trip to Arkhangelsk IN (March);
  • operational wargame in the Metropolitan IN (March);
  • Operational oboestoronnyaya game in Kharkiv IN (May);
  • front-line operational game in West PSB (March);
  • front-line field trip in the Baltic PSB (April);
  • staff operational and strategic game in Arkhangelsk IN (April);
  • command prompt game at Metropolitan IN (May);
  • front-line operational game in Kiev PSB (May);
  • joint training of staffs of the Transcaucasian BO and the Caspian Flotilla (May);
  • front-line field trip in the Baltic PSB (June).

    This list is far from complete, it's just that it was possible to find in a cursory view documents while out of the spotlight was completely excluded Far East theater, is not mentioned by army games and so called army flying detachment. Obviously, the level of military districts "game" is not limited to, often conducted and strategy games with the role of the higher command of the Red Army, during which perfected and refined overall plans for the use of the Armed Forces of the USSR. With respect to 1941 are known for two strategy games, held in January (P. Bobylev carefully described in the article "Rehearsing disaster", "AUIAB», № № 7, 8 of 1993) and the May mysterious game (see M. SOLONIN " Unknown game May 41 th ").

    "Orange" neutral except for … "

    41 games of the yearIf Paleobiology remodel for several species of dinosaur bone fragments, and then to the military historian is not invincible prepyadstviya reconstruction of the Great Plan on the basis of district documents (front) operational plans and war games. For example, do not have long to wonder about why the 12-20 March 1941 accomplished a joint field trip staffs of Leningrad, the Urals and Orel regions. Yes, on the map, these neighborhood hundred square meters are broken away, but here's the plan of the war with Finland * they would work together to "invade central Finland, then smash the main force of the Finnish army and take over the central part of Finland." To defeat and mastering to be deployed four armies: the 7th and 23rd of the composition of the Leningrad neighborhood, 20th on the basis of troops Orlovsky and 22 th on the basis of the Urals regions.

    Specifically, these puzzles — almost compatible with the spirit and bukovkoy Soviet-Finnish peace treaty on March 12, 1940 — perfected in the field trip, as stated in plain text in the Directive OP/503596 number of NGOs from 28 March 1941: "On the field trip worked out of front-line offensive operations (so bolshennymi characters in the original document. — MS) in complex criteria winter … The main purpose of the field trip was to check the preparedness of the front and army departments in the organization and conduct of modern surgery in the winter in the criteria of the Karelian-Finnish theater. " Noteworthy is the level of secrecy, which was carried out field trip — even a sealed safe in the headquarters of the Leningrad neighborhood seemed safe enough place for the next storage of such documents, the chief of the General Staff on April 3 spacecraft (in other words, comrade. Zhukov) Chief of Staff of the Leningrad military district commands "by April 10 to present The operational management of the General Staff in the act of destruction on the job and full of cards on the field trip to the Leningrad Military District [held] in March 1941 undestroyed All assignments and full of cards for them to return to the OS of the General Staff. "

    Of particular interest are the operative Games held command of the Kiev SMD (forthcoming South-Western Front). Specifically, it was to the front of the main attack in the direction of Lviv — Krakow, specifically there should be focused most powerful group of forces of the Red Army (namely surpassing the number of tanks and armored divisions "new types" three other neighborhood / Front taken together). How annoying would it sounds, this particular interest was provided by someone and in the middle of the declassified at this moment archives no jobs operative play KOVO, nor a description of such games. All available now "amount of information" boils down to a few fragmentary records of the of the May 1941 game.

    So, April 26, 1941 Operations Chief of Staff KOVO Colonel (later Marshal) Akhurian report to the chief of the General Staff OU: "Imagine a job to command post exercises with communications 5th and 6th Armies and front-line operational game. Applications: jobs for 115 pages … front-line operational plan for the game on 7 sheets … Map of the situation to 18.00 on May 12 … map of the general situation to 12.00 on May 6 … "April 30, 1941 Deputy Chief of the General Staff of the OS Major General Anisov sends the Chief of Staff of the Red Army Air Force subsequent telegram:" In the period 12-18 May 1941 held command and staff exercises staffs 5 — th and 6 th Army KOVO. These exercises involve purposefully headquarters of the 2nd Air Corps, consisting of 7 persons. Please give directions … "May 4, 1941 Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant-General Vatutin sends a telegram number OP/1409 the headquarters of the Kiev neighborhood:

    41 games of the yearMap 1

    "In the mission and tactical operations game plan amendment. 1) The "Orange" is not considered neutral, and consider them as a first step, the game on the side of "Western." 2) The Company and the forces of "orange" to take real and strengthen one army corps and armored division "Western." 3) Southern front in the final step does not create, leaving the 16th Army in the leadership of South-west front. Remember to take all measures to preserve the secrecy game. "

    That's all that clear. One can only imagine that, given the chronology of events (playing KOVO held from 12 to 18 May, and the strategic "May Day Play" was accomplished in 20 days of May 1941) and the increased attention given to the actions of right-flank 5 and 6 — Armies — by online game in Kiev has been worked out "fragment" of the great strategic transaction that was played during the May game. On the map it looked like this (Map 1).

    Pr
    e-empt the "eastern" to deploy, "western" started the war …

    As part of an overall strategic plan for war troops Baltic SMD (North-Western Front) was facing defensive tasks (in some cases supplemented by private huge plans for an offensive operation "cutting" Suvalkai projection). And somehow it came out that specific on command-and-staff exercises in the Baltic PSB has a significant array of documents available to historians.

    In February 1941, the district was held PribOVO operative game on "Operation Defensive front with the next hop for the coming destruction of the enemy." Approved February 12 task enjoined to play the subsequent situation:

    "Western" and warned of the "Eastern" to deploy, 06/05/41 started the war. The main attack "Western" is applied to the south, against the Ukrainian (as in the text. — MS) front, focusing once a great force in East Prussia, where the impact on developing Siauliai and Kaunas directions. Against Northwestern Front marked acts of more than 30 infantry divisions with large tanks and aircraft … To the south of the Western Front "eastern" continue to focus for a strike to the west, which beat off parts of the cover test "Western" pass the state border. The border with the West Front of Polotsk, Oshmjany, Druskeninkay, Suwalki, Letzy … "

    Thus, under the terms of the "game" is exactly what has happened, what came out in June 41 th in the real history. According to the latest measure specifically so at 10 am on June 22 the situation outlined her situation report of the General Staff of the Red Army after number one: "The enemy, to pre-empt our troops to deploy, forcing part of the Red Army to take the fight to the exercise, the initial position of the plan cover …» More One feature of the similarities tasks to the game and the real events of June 41th shows that the forces of the North-Western Front "eastern" bolshennom scattered over a distance of one another, in the 2-tier armies is less than half of the total number of connections of the front (15 of 33 infantry divisions, 4 of 7 armored brigades, 6 of 11 separate artillery regiments).

    On it, in fact, the similarities game and no one at that time not known upcoming ended. Next, start the harsh differences. First, the drafters of tasks to the game structurally wrong with detection of cerebral enemy attack: there (at the Belarusian direction), where in fact the Germans concentrated their main force, under the terms of the game "Western" treading water, unsuccessfully trying to cross the border. With all this the Western Front "eastern" leisurely "complete focus and prepare for the transition to the coming of the end of June." Is noteworthy that this bug is true coincides with the misinformation that the German secret services in whatever way they tossed Russian intelligence methods: Tipo German command plans to excellent coverage of the troops of the Red Army from the application of the head strike on the northern and southern flanks, through the Baltic states and Bessarabia.

    In contrast to what is in fact, the troops "Western" as in depth, with all this in the 2nd tier focuses almost half of all the forces (18 out of 39 infantry divisions, 4 of 5 armored divisions, 2 of 2 light divisions 9 out of 22 regiments of artillery). Mobile units (armored and light divisions) are almost completely removed in the second tier, and patiently waiting for the infantry and artillery strikes first tier is quite wide "break" in the defense of the "eastern".

    41 games of the yearMap 2

    And yet the most indescribable from the standpoint of our present knowledge about the events of the initial period of the war — is the chronology of events operative play. Conditional "war" began on 5 June, after this "Western" wasting 12 days (!) In fact, to get to the main defense line "eastern", which runs 30-40 kilometers from the border (Map 2). In this case, this step "operations" in the game is not being followed at all, he only briefly mentioned in the job.

    Drawn in the process of teaching martial deeds begin with conditional on June 17. "Western", focusing on a 60-kilometer stretch break (from Kvedarna to Tauroggen) 12 infantry divisions against three infantry divisions of the "eastern", to the final on 18 June break through the front. In the tank rushes into the breach avalanche incredible numbers — more than four thousand tanks ** (in the true story of Siauliai in force at the direction of the 4th Panzer Group Wehrmacht was armed with about 650 tanks and self-propelled guns). From 18 to 25 June "Eastern" with stubborn fighting ceded to Siauliai. Further south, in the direction of Kaunas, where the enemy is "only" 10 infantry divisions and 725 tanks, "eastern" depart and fixed to the left (west) bank of the Neman.

    In the second step of the game (with a conditional June 25 to July 3), the coming of "Western" stopped everywhere, stretching for 420 km of the front stabilized. Received significant reinforcements (5 infantry divisions) conditional 1st Army "eastern" (for it was playing a real headquarters of the 8th Army PribOVO) caused the enemy counterattack and threw him from Siauliai. Meanwhile, in the operational rear "eastern", the band Panevezys — Jelgava, is the concentration of the novel compounds of the Red Army, redeployed from the depths of the country. With all of this command, "eastern", showing a metal shutter, do not throw the appropriate tier of the right to the front for the frenetic "plugging holes" (specifically those in the real history of Russian commanders engaged in the summer 1941). The only thing that was made: from the 6th infantry divisions of the second tier of the front seized anti-tank artillery battalions (18 guns on VET in each) of them formed a mobile battle group, which stops the advance of German tanks to Siauliai.

    By the morning of July 3 conditional concentration strike group "eastern" is completed. The general correlation of forces at the moment is this: in the "eastern" 43 rifle, four armored and 2 motorized divisions, 11 armored and motorized brigades 5, in "Western" 39 infantry, 5 armored and two light divisions. According to military equipment: from the "eastern" 6614 tanks and 4358 guns, the "Western" 6525 tanks (boggles the mind — where they could take in such numbers?) And 3624 guns. As we see, the forces are almost equal, however, half of the compounds of the "Eastern" — is the freshest not have suffered the loss of combat troops in the past.

    Crushing blow to the "eastern" makes "Western" a hasty retreat. During the three day or (3, 4, 5 July), "Eastern" moving 100 km from Siauliai to the border. Kaunas grouping of "Western", which has appeared in the half-encircled izluke Neman, throws languid technique and fighting erupts in Eastern Prussia. Curtain.

    On not knowing sleep airfields

    Deserves close attention and description of the actions the Air Force side. The terms of reference for the game reads:

    "Air Force" Western "with a 5.6 in the 20-30 aircraft raids on airfields are" eastern ", placed south-west strip Jelgava, Panevezys, Shvenchenis on w / d nodes, unloading stations and w / d bridges, the troops of the" eastern " in Jelgava, Panevezys, Siauliai, preventing their concentration. Participates in the operation of aircraft 1100-1200, 50% of them — fighters.

    Air Fo
    rce "eastern" with 5.6, covering the concentration of their own troops, fighting against enemy aircraft in the air and on the ground, particularly stubborn battles occur at Siauliai direction where there is a simultaneous role in air combat 150-200 aircraft, combat the rapid movement of the enemy, acting on w / d nodes, unloading stations and highways act on concentrations of enemy troops in the area of Tilsit, Insterburg, Goldap, Gumbinen and port of Memel, Karkeln, Labiu and Pilau. "

    In order to have time to immediately address such a wide range of tasks, combat aircraft "eastern" works with indescribable (if you associate with the reality of war in the air 1941-1945) intensity Thus, in the period June 14-18, Air conditional "eastern" make to 6 (!) polkovyletov fighters, from 2 to 4 polkovyletov bombers and attack aircraft in the day.

    But the most unusual — this loss, suffered by the Air Force of the "Eastern" with such intensity combat the introduction (and after repeated raids 20-30 enemy aircraft on the airfield to the same). By June 18, the 6th Air Division has mixed shortage (which, strictly speaking, a word "loss" — a shortage of aircraft division could be even before the "war"), 68 aircraft, 254 are combat ready aircraft, 2 nd GARDEN — shortage of 65 aircraft in service and 254 aircraft; 1st GARDEN — shortage of 51, 268 in the ranks. And this is the most languid loss. Other Air Division lost 17 to 45 aircraft. In general shortage (loss) of the Air Force "eastern" to probation on June 18 is 322 aircraft, or 17 percent of the population remained in the ranks.

    From 22 to 27 June, the Air Force "eastern" cut one another three Air Division (of 420 fighters and 473 bombers), which is litsezreem, more than cover the loss, to the beginning of July at the coming of the "eastern" has 2,833 aircraft in service. Aviation "Western" by the time the couple is gone, their "only" 2393 aircraft. It remains only to recall that, in fact, as part of the 1st Air Force Luftwaffe as at 22 June 1941 were registered, including faulty, 434 combat aircraft.

    2nd attempt

    In comparison with what happened in the real June 41 th, the actions of the "game of June" seem now to be a sweet fairy tale. Absolutely not looked at their high command of the Red Army — the documents contain long list of shortcomings, deficiencies and errors in the actions of staff and contingent "of troops." For this, or for some other reason, but held in PribOVO from 15 to 21 April 1941 at War field trip was devoted to working out the same tasks: "Operation Defensive Front and the army in the criteria for the coming of the great enemy forces at work-focusing own troops, conducting counter-attack forcing the river with obstacles. " Geography conventional "warfare", the direction of impact and defensive lines sides almost completely coincided with the February game on the cards.

    Some differences — in this case a useful way of giving a more realistic exercises — are observed only in quantitative terms. In 1-x, the advent of "Western" developing now noticeably faster: the beginning of the operation in the afternoon on April 17 (game and real-time field trip coincided), they are for the final day or April 22 Dubysa crossed the river and occupied the city Prienai on the left (west) bank of the Neman , the rate was about the coming of 15-20 km per day. In-2, the number of infantry divisions (11 units) in the 2-tier armies of the "eastern" is exactly the same as the actual composition of the 8th and 11th Armies PribOVO, as well as in real-June 41th specifically in the border zone was only 8 infantry divisions. Closer to the real (although as previously inflated) and was part of the group "Western" — 30 infantry divisions, 6 armored and motorized 2 (June 22, 1941 as part of the German Army Group "North" there were 20 infantry divisions, three armored and 3 non-motorized).

    Is noteworthy that the aircraft "eastern" is now doing for 5 days contingent "fighting" to 12 flights of fighters and bombers flown 8, with even this level of stress is estimated auditors from the General Staff as a "somewhat higher rate departures." In general, all ended well, the enemy was put to him counterattack from the turn of Kelme, Betagola to the south, the Niemen (true, forcing the river, initially provided for the task, in the field trip does not works). The inspectors noted the increased — compared with the February game — coordination of work of staff and wrote another long list of comments.

    Did not stand on the sidelines and third Ngo (military counterintelligence). May 16, 1941 Assistant Chief of the third captain of the Office of State Security Moskalenko addressed a Vatutin memo "about the shortcomings in the operational field trip Baltic SMD." Noting a number of errors in ensuring privacy, nestled command and control and protection staffs, "NKVD" and drew attention to the important thing: "The operational task was made up on the pattern. The same issue carried out by the army trips (defensive operation with limited powers and resources to the next hop to the offensive), and each time gave the enemy to break through our defenses a large force, and then these great forces stopped and waited for our counterattack … "

    Follow frontline field trip was accomplished in PribOVO 3 through June 8. A report on it, "a senior commander of the General Staff of the spacecraft," Colonel Eniukov signed on Mon, June 16, before the start of the real war was less than a week. Subject exercise the same: "Organization of the counter-attack in the front defensive operation, forcing the river with obstacles." Plan of operations and the direction of some of the parties have exchanged blows:

    "North-Eastern Front" Western "in the 4th, 13th and 7th Armies (10 army corps and two mechanized corps) in late May, ran across the state border and develops the coming of the Kaunas direction on both sides of the river. Neman. North-Western Front "eastern" (9th and 5th Army, thirteen infantry divisions) under the pressure of superior enemy forces depart, immediately creating a striking force (16th Army in the six infantry divisions and two mechanized corps-uh) near the Siauliai to attack the flank and rear of the "Western" acting in the direction of Kaunas. "

    41 games of the yearMap 3

    In the first days of the war conditional case "eastern" are quite bad. By 14.00 on June 3 "western" advanced to 150 km east of the border, crossed the Dubysa, crossed the Neman on a broad front from the conciliator to Druskininkai, came to the western suburbs of Vilnius and seek to develop the success of a blow tank units through $ s to Panevezys (Map 3) .

    But now the heaviest fighting acts of the early days of the "war" is not played out on their only mentioned in the job on a field trip. The game starts since June 3. "East" in the group which for the first time there are anti-artillery brigades, push them to the area of $ s, Jonava and in fierce battles June 4 and 5 stop promoting "Western" in Panevezys. Go with this in Kryazhay, Tytuvėnai (in other words, on both sides of the river Dubysa) "Eastern" concentrate shock group consisting of 2-mechanized corps (in fact, it might be the 12th and the 3rd Mechanized Corps PribOVO) and deal a crushing blow the flank of the enemy.

    By the final day or June 5 tanks of the "eastern" go to the Neman River in the band Jurbarkas, mullion (now Syaryadzhy
    us). After another day or two to fit the Neman infantry (6 infantry divisions) and successfully forcing him out into the deepest broken through to the rear of the Vilnius group of "Western." In this "game" has been completed. The report boldly states that: "In this field trip worked out a variant of troops PribOVO when applying" Western "cerebral stroke in Kaunas direction at approximately double the balance of power (as in the paper, it is about double the numerical Advantages of" Western. "- M. C.). After working for the issue of using PTABR. "

    Concluding concise overview of the latest to command Baltic SMD field trip, it should be noted that it played in operation in almost exactly the same as the situation in the North-Western Front during the current strategy "May the game." Only difference is that in May, "western", broke through the Neman to Vilnius, got three hits in 3 areas: the 12th Mechanized Corps was advancing from the south of Siauliai, the 11th Mechanized Corps of the Western Front, dealt a blow to the town of Lida in the north west, to the right flank of the enemy, and the third Mechanized Corps of the North-Western Front, far-sighted previously allotted to Shvenchenis, dealt a blow "head", Vilnius. One can imagine that such a dispersion of forces was considered invalid and the operation, played out during the June field trip, two mechanized corps PribOVO combined into one striking force.

    * Judgements on the deployment of the Armed Forces of the Red Army in the event of war with Finland on 18 September 1940, the Directive NKO and General Staff of the Red Army, the commander of the Leningrad IN to develop a plan of rapid deployment forces of the North-Western Front from 25 November 1940, the Directive and the NKO General Staff of the Red Army, the commander of the Archangel IN to develop a plan of operational deployment of the northern front, b / d

    ** At first glance, an unlimited number of tanks decidedly not the same as a very modest number of armored divisions "Western." Here, but it should be understood that the Russian intelligence service twice overstated the regular number of tanks in the Wehrmacht Panzer Division, assessing its 450 units. In-2, the drafters of tasks to the game included in the composition of each army (infantry) of the housing Wehrmacht some "separate tank regiment" with 275 tanks.

    Farsightedness traced in September 1939 (at the signing of the Soviet-German friendship and Contract border) Bialystok ledge to a depth of 120 km hit the area occupied by the Germans in Poland. Such an outline of the border opened up a fan of the Red Army capabilities.

    Not making any more of the 1st shot, Russian troops were in a deep rear Suwalki and / or Lublin grouping. At first glance, especially if you look at the most lightweight sketch map, a bright future promised strike in the north-west direction, with the "edge" of Bialystok tabs on Allenstein (now Olsztyn) in the way of the advancing no great rivers, and from the border to the edge of the Baltic coast least 200 km in one fell swoop could cut off from Germany, and encircle the entire East Prussian grouping Wehrmacht.

    The burden of choice

    Everything changes when you look at the military topographic map: zaryabit in the sight of numerous blue spots … Suvalkija and Mazowsze — is a land of deaf coniferous forests and numerous large and small lakes. Immaculate place for hiking and aqua tourism, but to wage war there indescribably difficult. On such areas reddish army inevitably lose its own main "trump card" — the big herds of fast light tanks stuck in the narrow aisles mezhozernyh on the banks of the wetland forest creeks Russian tanks would be reincarnated in the motionless target for the guns of German VET.

  • 41 games of the year

    Severe problem of coming to do not only geography, and history of the region, for centuries the scene of the former military competition of the Commonwealth and German orders of chivalry. Hundreds of years there were built and built and built various fortifications (by the way, naikrupneyshaya medieval fortress in Europe is exactly there, in Malbork, German Marienburg). After the partition of Poland in these places was the boundary line between the Russian and German empires and there with the newest power and new technical skills began to build forts and bunkers. As a result, the southern strip of East Prussia was reincarnated into a large, fortified virtually unstoppable.

    Yet the temptation to conventional solutions (in one fell swoop to surround East Prussia) was so great that the option of coming to Allenstein and farther out to sea was considered many times: in August and September (1940) version of the strategic plan for the deployment of the Red Army during operations in the Western game PSB (September 1940) and the first of the 2-January (1941), strategy games. But eventually, Russian military and political governance has come to the hard decision to abandon the "northern option" because "the struggle on this front could lead to protracted battles will link our main strength, will not give the right effect and frisky."

    Direction south of Bialystok projection also created severe difficulties advancing army — on her way rose three rivers (Narew, Bug, Wieprz), while in their lower, in other words, more high-water flow. The very topography of the future theater of war led to a single optimal solution — go to the Vistula by about one hundred km section between Warsaw and Demblin (in other words, between the mouths of the rivers Bug and Wieprz). This particular course of action with different options and being followed in 1941 in the command-and-staff exercises of the Western PSBs.

    At the direction of Warsaw

    The first of the now recognizable front-line operational game of the Western PSB was held from 15 to 21 March. Theme: "The offensive front and the army." The calendar and the conventional time in this game are the same (in the job on the game read: "Longitude day or, the state of the weather and road conditions in real days of the game"). Contingencies "fighting" began in the morning of March 16. Western Front Command directive number 027 put the troops "eastern" following tasks:

    41 games of the yearMap 1

    "The troops of the Western Front for personal fulfillment operation to capture Suvalkai ledge, having covered tightly 1st Army from the north, completed (my italics. — MS) defeat the opposing enemy and to come to 23.3 p. Vistula in readiness for the next blow in the direction of Lodz (130 km south-west of Warsaw. — MS) to defeat, along with the South-Western Front, the main forces of the Warsaw Sandomierz group "Western" (Map 1).

    Words about "the end of the defeat" are not accidental slip of the tongue. The previous steps have been described in the introduction to the game followed by this: "As a result of counter fights the Western Front" eastern "reflected the coming of the" Western "and crossing the concentrated forces in the counter-offensive to defeat the opposing enemy force to the final 15.3 took to the limit p. Pissa, p. Narew, p. Bug. According to the position of troops Opersvodke Staff of the Western Front number 017 of 15/03/1941, the ".

    With all of this very "cou
    nter battles" and "offensive" Western "does not describe and even more so are not worked out in the course of the game. Everything came easy and simple, as can be seen on the marked in the opening game loss to the tank units of the "Eastern". Before the beginning of the "war" of the game (for the final day or March 15) 8 armored divisions and 20 tank brigades "eastern" — and the staffing is about 7.5 thousand tanks — irretrievably lost only 73 (!) Tank. One per cent of the initial strength. In eight armored formations of bad losses are absent. Even with the 396 tanks that were sent to the middle, and a complete renovation, the specific loss of the "eastern" negligible.

    And this is not limited to the extraordinary success of "counter battle." The limit of rivers Pissa, Narew, Bug — this is consistent with Hitler in September 1939, the boundary line (precisely speaking, the "line of demarcation of municipal interests of the Soviet Union and Germany on the territory of the former Polish state" — specifically because it was referred to in the documents). But if you take the above-mentioned operations report number 017 and look at the map of naming it boroughs GRECO, Kadzidlo, Krusevo, Brock, and Sarnak Ossuvku, it becomes evident that the "oriental" is not just threw her "western" to the border, and crossed to the Preserving the return of border rivers. At the same time made it to the 2-critical principle for the future coming of the areas north-west of Ostrolenka (Bialystok on the edge of the projection) and north-west of Brest, where "East" were beyond the Bug River, 10 kilometers from the Polish town of Biala Podlaska.

    This unusual coincidence of the results of non-long (from 12 to 15 March) "counter battles" with a good for "eastern" line start position for the coming of the troops from the border to the west is doing, in my opinion, well-founded assumption that repel an invasion by "Western" nobody and not going to. The mention of it — it's a ritual phrase, fig leaf, which had to hide from the people admitted to the game real plans for the high command (here it should be noted that the range of informed people had a very wide and even the job done on the game typographically in a booklet of 99 pages). For a mid-level commanders of conventional "war" was to begin strictly on the Constitution: "If the enemy impose war on us, the Workers 'and Peasants' Army Reddish will be the most aggressive of ever attacking armies. War we engage aggressively with the most determined to complete destruction of the enemy on his own country … "(Field fatigued, PU-39, Chapter 1, paragraph 2).

    The game of give-away?

    To implement decisive goal in the complete defeat of the Western Front "eastern" was included unrealistically huge number of connections: 67 (sixty seven) infantry and cavalry divisions 3, 4 mechanized corps and 20 tank brigades. And it still does not seem enough, and in the course of the "game" Front received reinforcements of 21 Infantry Division and eight armored brigades. Never, in any of the plans recognized the strategic deployment of the Red Army, and one of such statements rassredotachivaniya forces of infantry for the Western Front was not intended, the real numbers are in the range of 41 to 24 infantry divisions. Yes, as part of the Red Army had 198 infantry divisions, and abstract reasoning, one could find the 88 divisions to the Western Front, but it's a different balance of power, which implies quite good from the real war plan.

    According to the scenario of the March "game" the enemy in the Western Front had a total of 33 infantry and two armored divisions in the first echelon and 6 infantry divisions in reserve, near Warsaw and Neidenburg (now Nidzica — 80 km northwest of Ostrolenka). Continuing to "play with the giveaway," the drafters of the job they write: "At the direction of Augusti, Siedlce opponent applies only medium and light tanks samples of old times." In other words, a counter-attack the advancing armada of "eastern" Germans have nothing.

    With these introductory outcome of the game was completely unexpected. Within 6 days of "Eastern" in down and destroyed the remains of "Western." The main strike force of the Western Front, the 2nd Army (24 infantry and three cavalry divisions, two mechanized corps — it is far not every front during World War II had a population) has made the deepest coverage of Warsaw enemy force through Przasnysz, Ciechanow came to the Vistula and crossed it. The least bit of countless 15th Army (20 infantry divisions and two mechanized corps) has advanced 130 miles from Brest to Demblin and is preparing to force the Vistula with the task to close with mobile connections 2nd Army encirclement of the defeated enemy. To complete the picture, "eastern" dropped off big air assault that quick strike captured the crossing of the Vistula.

    Not completely ordinary way in setting the game was described by the war in the air. "Air Force" Western "in the period of March 12-15, intensely acted at the troops, w / d sites and airfields. Air Force "eastern" in the period of March 13-15, continued (emphasis mine. — MS) fight for an advantage in the air, covered the striking force of the 2nd Army, led the interaction with the ground troops to destroy the enemy troops off, stopped w / d transportation, aviation destroyed [the enemy] on the ground and did not allow the approach of enemy reserves to the front on the dirt roads. " It is not clear — what did aviation "eastern" on March 12 when she started that "continued" on March 13-15. In any case, with 5657 aircraft (four times greater than it was in real-June 41th) against 2,611 aircraft "Western" (twice as much as it was in reality) and, of course, disappeared without any traces after the first impact on their airfields Air Force "eastern" successfully solved all the tasks assigned to them: an advantage in the air captured, carried interaction finished, killed and prevented …

    April's "briefing"

    For the sake of truth we must admit that the General Staff of the Red Army very quickly realized that the practical utility of the Command and Staff ugly game with excessive number of their own troops slightly. No sooner had the last to fall silent "shots" March "game," as March 20, 1941 Deputy Chief of the General Staff, Lieutenant-General Vatutin approved "Specifying the decision of army flying detachment." Nainteresneyshy This document was sent to the headquarters of April 1-3, 9 (!) Military districts. The commanders were to analyze the result in conventional "war" situation, the decision for the commander of the conditional "3rd Army" of the Western Front and was prepared according to the operation order. Term of performance (in the various wards) — from 13 to 20 April.

    A "war" now was: "Western", after suffering defeat at the front Graevo, Brest (in other words, from the northern to the southern base of the projection of Bialystok), departed in the direction of Warsaw, covering the approach and the concentration of reserves. May 15, 1941 "Western" run to the coming of:

    a) from the area Wyszków, Ostrow Mazowiecki 15-20 infantry forces and 2 armored divisions in the general direction of Bialystok;

    b) from the area of Lublin, Kock, 25-30 Demblin forces infantry and armored divisions 2-3 in the direction of Brest.

    41 games of the yearMap 2

    A
    t the direction of Przasnysz, Modlin and Siedlce, Warsaw "Western" under pressure "eastern" continue to retreat, providing a stubborn resistance to the previously prepared positions.

    The Western Front "eastern" (1st, 10th, 3rd, 5th Army) in a battle at the turn of the rivers Narew and Bug defeated the "Western" and develops a concentric operation to blow the 1st and 3rd Armies in the direction of Warsaw Warsaw defeat grouping of "Western" and get out on the river. Vistula to the finale on May 20 … "(Map 2).

    As we see, the overall plan of the operation and direction of the main impacts of the "Eastern" absolutely coincide with the March "game" in the Western PSBs. As before smashing the Warsaw group "Western" will blow concentric 2-armies, one of which (the 1st of the game) is the coming of the north-west of the river Narew and goes out to the west of the Vistula in Warsaw, while the other (the third of the game) breaks the Vistula from the southern bypass Bialystok protrusion through Siedlce, Łuków. The other two, by far the smallest of the army (10 and 5th on the game) connect the enemy forces on the connections between with 2 shock armies of the Western Front and the adjoining South-Western Front.

    At the same time, the April mission "briefing" has two significant differences from the March "game." One of them is clearly visible on the map-scheme: the enemy now is not limited to passive defense, but decidedly larger forces counterattacked, striking for two more feeble armies of the Western Front and striving with all this significant success (in the band Ostroleka, Ostrow Mazowiecki "fighting "transferred to the Soviet area).

    In-2, the balance of power quite different: in the band of the 10th Army in "Western" is almost twice the numerical an advantage (15-20 infantry divisions and two armored divisions against 9 infantry divisions and the 1st Mechanized Corps "Eastern"), in the south in the zone of the 5th Army, an advantage of "Western" simply overwhelming (25-30 2-3 infantry and armored divisions against six infantry divisions of the "Eastern"). As a result "in the morning on May 15 the troops of the 5th Army, met a counterattack on the river Wieprz, began to retreat on the river. Tysmenitsa; broken through on the left flank area Stoczek, Lublin, in the gap between the 5th Army and 9th Army of the South-Western Front advancing armored and motorized formations enemy. "

    As has already been said, the job is to "briefing" were sent to nine military districts. In this list, and the nearest neighbors WSMD (Baltic and the Kiev neighborhood), and the most distant, including the Siberian and Central Asian (though it would seem — where the Vistula and where the Amu Darya?). Not only the list of the neighborhood, whose troops are conditional "hostilities." In my opinion, the only explanation of such an incident may be just what the command of the Western PSB work off just above described scenario of war more carefully, most likely in the process of operating the district games or field trips. But the documents on these activities have not been able to find.

    On the eve of the disaster

    About the command-and-staff exercises of the Western OBO May 41th virtually anything is unclear. On the grand strategic "game" in May 1941 clearly little more, but there is a map, and even allows you to do it alone some basic conclusions. At the junction of the Western and Southwestern Fronts actions of the May "game" developed subsequent way (Map 3).

    41 games of the yearMap 3

    As we see, plans the High Command of the Red Army became more moderate, and the mood and expectation — very disturbing. Reddish arrows are not drawn to Warsaw and then across the Vistula (and even more so there is no map battles for Budapest and Timisoara, who cheerfully played out on a strategic "game" in January). Worse, the enemy can not invade the Soviet countryside, and on the northern flank of the South-Western Front, the largest line of promoting "Western" comes to Kovel, Lutsk and Berestechko (70-80 km east of the border).

    Acts of the main group of the Western Front for the application of reduced 2-strokes due south, through Siedlce, Łuków and Biala Podlaska, brocade in the general direction of Lublin. There they met with shock group of the Southwestern Front and close the ring around the encircled area Helm, Krasnystaw "Western." The Western Front is fully taken close to reality (close to the reality of the completed or close to the strategic deployment of the Red Army mobilized, not a situation of "surprise attack").

    We like before do not know — what conclusions were made on the basis of the May strategic "game" which decisions are made (precisely speaking — reported to the performers) during the meeting of senior commanders in Stalin's office May 24, 1941. The last week of the pre-war still remain one of the most mysterious periods of Russian history. All the more remarkable 6 of documents found in the archives in TsAMO, f. 28, Op. 11627, 27, ll. 160-165. These documents — three large maps and three malehankih sheet of paper attached to each of the cards (cards 4, 5, 6).

    The map shows "the situation on the operative field trip 'headquarters on 3, 10 and 4 Armies of the West OBO (on the instructions of the field trip, they have the numbers 19, 21 and 22). In the General Staff CA card with rather short "soprovodilovka" received on 4, 5 and June 12. Time of the game was set as follows: a conventional 13 to 18 June — for the 3rd Army, from 16 to 23 June — for the 10th Army from 26 to 29 June — 4 th Army. Were actually held all or at least some of these trips — it is not clear *.

    41 games of the year41 games of the year41 games of the yearCards 4, 5.6

    Very exciting phrase is in the cover letter to map a field trip of Staff 3rd Army. Deputy Chief of Staff Maj. Gen. WSMD Semenov reported: "In connection with a challenge to the commander of the People's Commissar of Defense to 11.6 field trip postponed and will be held from June 5 to 9." This phrase is exciting because it allows you to remove one of the mysteries of June 41th. According to the magazine's office visits Stalin, in the evening on June 11, he met with the commander of UNEF and Baltic SMD. And it is quite surprising, because no other district commanders in Stalin's office after the meeting on May 24 and right up to the start of the war did not appear. Why would this increased attention to the county, which, as is now evident from the known plans, stayed away from the direction of the cerebral stroke? It is now becoming clear that the Smiths and Dibrov
    appeared on June 11 in Moscow alone, and then there was also the commander of the Western PSB Pavlov. It may well be that the declassification of documents Kiev SMD will allow to expand the list …

    What did the script for the army field trips, scheduled for June 41th in West PSB, then in all 3 cases played out a retaliatory counter-strike option, with the blow is applied after the opponent is unusually deep, at 70-100 km moved to the east — is nothing like this in the past "games" were not. Three cards are not "pieces of a puzzle," defense lines and direction of impacts on adjacent armies scenarios field trips are not the same. On the other hand, comparing the card with the text of Section VI of the plan covering the Western PSB ("Options for Action for the major operating areas in the event of breaking through the military defense areas motomehchastey enemy"), we find almost complete similarity of goals and operational decisions. Most likely in the process of field trips planned to work out the acts army commanders and staffs to plan a cover, what exactly was drawn up in June and approved.

    One answer and one question

    Let's sum up. Despite the fact that the available information is sufficient randomly scattered on the time of the first half of the 41th year and the place of the western regions of the Soviet Union, despite the fact that is difficult to access information on the operational "games" of the massive, Kiev SMD, the above documents allow us to make several important conclusions.

    First. Operational training commanders and staffs of the Red Army in the war against Germany was carried out, with the conducted constantly and stubbornly. It is sad that such non-personal conclusion has to be specially emphasize, but there are still among us "historians" who talk about how Stalin changed his preparations for war love staring Ribbentrop signed a non-aggression pact.

    2nd. From January to June 1941 operational scenario "games" is undergoing a completely clear configurations: troop "eastern" is becoming a less and less, puzzles and progress — all the least and the least principled. From the coming to Budapest to counterattacks near Vilnius and Bialystok.

    The third. Assessment of their own troops fighting capacity remains the highest ever. You can not even describe some notional "pyramid of opportunity." In the numerical balance of forces with the enemy army which comes Reddish — yes, slowly, going "only" to 10 km per day, but it is coming. When double numerical Advantages of "Eastern" spread "Western" in down and remains. When double numerical Advantages enemy "Eastern" stubbornly defending, passing periodically to a mobile defense. Break through the same front "eastern" can only be successful when the "Western" have a 3-4-5-fold numerical an advantage in infantry and overwhelming — in tanks, in general, and in these cases is not to break the "beginning understandable for you to crash" ** and inevitable in the coming days of a devastating counter-attack of the Red Army in the adjacent, inevitably weakened area of the front of the enemy.

    All of this allows us to give a reasoned response to the ill-fated question that a thousand and one times was rising in the pages of books and articles with the names of "The Mystery of June 22," "The Riddle on June 22," "At midnight on June 22 …" As Stalin because he could quietly go to sleep after intelligence reported …

    What's "wrong", dear friends? Intelligence reported that, in the border area of East Prussia concentrated up to 500 German tanks? So they were waiting to behold 4000. At eight times more. At aerodromes Suvalkai ledge found 300 German planes? But they are there, according to the scenario of the March "game" should have been more than a thousand. Because of what Comrade. Stalin had to lose sleep and appetite? Stalin was proud of its own logic and reasoned quite reasonable: all available intelligence information indicates that the concentration of groups of German troops on the borders of the USSR — the one group that were waiting at the border to behold — not only complete, but still did not start. And if the troops of the Red Army invincible able to shake his opponent two weeks in the border battle, you should worry so much — an hour earlier or an hour later will go to the troops Directive number 1?

    The question that I have no clear answer, lies elsewhere. From Kaunas command of the 11th Army, the Central Committee of the Lithuanian Communist Party, security officers and other authorities had fled after the afternoon on June 22. Expect to evening did not. Bialystok away from the border and is well on the way to it by two rivers — from Bialystok all military, party, security officers and other authorities fled in the evening on June 22. If you judge people on business — and it is always there were only true, it turns out that the fellow generals even a shadow of doubt about the Red Army and its ability to resist the Wehrmacht had not. So, why and for whom they wrote, "the task of the game with 117 pages?" Why every day or a day, month after month draws the arrows on the cards? Who do they want to fool? Himself? Stalin? Each other?

    * In the book Sandalova (recently the war — the chief of staff of the 4th Army) we read: "In late May, Army conducted a field trip, which ended the game on the cards. Plays the offensive from the area Pruzany, Antopil, Birch-Kartuzskaya towards Brest, Biala Podlaska … On the last week of June, the headquarters of the neighborhood prepared the game with the staff of the 4th Army as the offensive '
    ** Sadly, the famous phrase from the report aimed to Moscow Chief of Staff of the South-Western Front, 14 September 1941, after there has been a breach of Parts 2 and 1 Panzer groups of the Wehrmacht in the deepest rear of the Kiev group of troops of the Red Army.

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