The longest day of 1941 Saturday, June 21, was stuffy and hot, the great mass of people dressed for summer in a shirt with small arms, excitedly watched nainteresneyshim cricket match. Just the fact that it was a match between the Army and the Air Force, pointed out that there was a war.
Blitzkrieg, which almost put London on his knees, thank God, seems to end. The raids had been for 6 weeks.
Razomlevshie viewers watched the Air Force — the men in blue, zarabatyvyut winning hundred points and did not even know that a few hours later, for a thousand miles from here, there will be an event that absolutely change the course of the war.
Nowhere to hide: Red Army soldier pulls surrendering German from manhole. Both sides often shot prisoners.
Hitler changed direction. He abandoned the attacks on brave and lonely in England and deployed his forces to the east, and this explained the absence of Luftwaffe aircraft in the skies over London. Just before dawn, day or later, his tanks and planes roared across the border between Nazi Germany and the Russian Communist Union, Hitler broke the contract of non-aggression, which he signed with Moscow in less than two years back.
Match days are — and the next 1,410 days — was terrific. Hitler against Stalin, one totalitarian regime entered a decisive and brutal battle with another totalitarian regime.
Hitler turned to stories, referred to a plan of his own company "Operation Barbarossa" in honor of the brave and brutal medieval German ruler. But what came out was nothing more than another as barbarism on a scale that had never before seen in modern Europe.
Sharp conflict: Hitler broke the non-aggression agreement with Stalin in the hope of winning the Russian Federation for a few weeks
Number of persons involved in the combat actions of troops was enormous, almost indescribable. Over the next four years, five million German soldier die on the Eastern Front and many taken prisoner.
Russian losses will amount to a staggering 27 million people, two thirds of them — civilian face.
Apart from the scale of the campaign, which was also unparalleled in this battle of the titans, it's bitterness on both sides. It was a bloody feud of epic proportions between the Slavs of Eastern Europe and the Aryans of the West, fueled by the ideological struggle between the German Nazis and the Russian Bolshevism. Each views the other as an animal to be killed without remorse, and any idea of mercy or humanity were discarded.
Inhumanity: German soldiers laugh when a Russian soldier tries to assist a wounded comrade
Bloody battles: the once unstoppable Germans were stopped at Stalingrad, it was a turning point in the failed invasion of Hitler in Russia
Hitler sought from his own generals to lead a "war of annihilation", and commanders are not only allowed, but encouraged and intense murder, rape and robbery.
German tanks broke through the defensive lines of the Red Army — and then collapsing, collapsing trenches to bury defenders still alive. POWs were shot or were deprived of food, so they had a choice — there is each other or die of hunger. Civilians fleeing persons were killed without the smallest hesitation.
In a deadly trap were also millions of Jews. Behind the advancing rapidly toward the center of the Russian Federation of German troops acted special SS Sonderkommando. They destroyed the communists and Jews — men, women, kids, conducting mass executions.
But the "march to the East," as it turns out, was the greatest mistake of Hitler, that error because of which he lost the war. He meant it to be swift victory — four weeks, maybe less — when demoralized army Reddish, Eroded he believed Marxism cancer, fall under the blows of his finest troops.
At first, it looked a clear prophecy. Crazy cleaning Stalin imagined political enemies left his army without officers and with impaired control system. Border of falling back into a mess and panic. "Dead bodies lezhli on roads and dark smoke from burning fields covered the sun," recalled one of the fighter.
When Nazi troops were advancing on the front width of 1,000 miles, in only one town Minsk, in the western part of the Russian Union — Belarus, was surrounded by a "quarter of a million" Russian fighter. Soon it came to Moscow and Hitler's clutches. Then he turned around to grab a major strategic prize — bread of Ukraine and the Caucasus oil wealth.
The fact that the Soviets bailed out from
total defeat, was partially — coercion and terror. The commissioners were standing behind the defenders and shot fiercely those who retreated. But a more fundamental was the old-fashioned patriotism.
Motherland in danger of soldiers and civilians and persons, both men and ladies and even toddlers, united in its defense, the beginning of what has been called fast "Great Russian war. "
Street battles: the Germans were stopped at Stalingrad
Cruelty: German troops enter the Russian village, which, in accordance with the Stalinist policy of "do not leave the enemy" was burned leaving Russian
Hitler was not the first and not the last winner, who will see that nothing else connects voedinyzhdy broken people than the invasion of their country.
"Let holy hatred will be our main and only feeling" wrote the official government newspaper "Pravda".
"If you can keep a gun, even a shovel or pitchfork, attack the Germans. Kill the Germans and save the homeland. "
The rhetoric worked. The main campus — Leningrad and Stalingrad were almost captured, but were kept, although they killed millions of people. For them turned very heavy fighting and it is logical that the German soldiers of the most feared sending to the Russian front.
In Stalingrad, on the ruins of streets and buildings, within 6 months were desperate, the most severe fighting before the surrounded and cut off from the supply of the remains of the German army were obliged to give up, despite an order from Hitler to die on the barricades.
This was the turning point. After that, Hitler's troops fled on the defensive. The front line is now moving back and forth attacks and counterattacks (the Germans counter-attacked in the main), and the two armies were beaten each other like crazy.
Reddish Army in snow-white: Russian soldiers stormed the German positions in the winter of 1941. Languid weather conditions were one of the reasons the German offensive prepyatstvovshih
But the initiative is strongly belonged to Stalin. The retreat of German forces from the Russian Union was inevitably, and fight for every piece of land was on the same fierce as it was very barbaric invasion. Hitler, whose plans were destroyed, gave the order to carry out the policy leaves the territory of the "scorched earth." In all the towns and villages through which his troops were retreating, take away food, buildings were destroyed, the local inhabitants were destroyed. The soldiers of the Red Army liberated the advancing desert.
Never forget: The monuments in memory of the homeland protectors are installed everywhere in Russia.
Torturing details atrocities became widely known. When the tank commander came to his own village in the Ukraine, he was told that his wife and two toddlers were locked in a shed, which was doused with gasoline and set on fire.
"When he came back" — remembering his comrades — "he was a changed man. He is no longer taking prisoners. Even if the Germans tried to surrender, he killed them. "
How knows English historian Michael Jones in his own recent book about the fears of the Eastern Front, the Germans even cynically used bacteriological methods of warfare. In Belarus, they collected almost 50,000 civilian officials, many of whom were kids, and under guns drove them to camp on a swamp, surrounded Stitching wire.
There also were sent in 2000 with typhoid patients to mingle with awake and infect them. When the Germans left, the area of swamp camp was strewn with the bodies of the dead and the dying. The idea was — to infect the Russian fighter who will come to liberate the camp.
The plan, says Jones, "shocked even seen a nearly all veterans of the Eastern Front." The Russian general said: "We will never forget and will not forgive these crimes."
The same reaction was, when, in the liberated areas of the Germans in Poland, Reddish Army for the first time faced a concentration camp when they first saw the crematorium oven, still warm. One Russian soldier said that when they realized what this place used, Majdanek, "we felt that we go mad."
Fighter's mental state was even worse when they got to the death camps of Auschwitz and Birkenau. Most of the residents were already far away, but some still remained. They looked perfect debris.
"I beheld a lot of innocent people killed. I beheld hanged and burned "- wrote one company commander -" but I was not prepared for what I would see in Auschwitz. "
Other fighter Red Army recalled, "exhausted, terribly exhausted people wrapped in rags. The best part was unable to stand, they lay on the boards were sitting or leaning against the wall. It was a vision of hell. "
The nightmare is laminated to a nightmare — the mountains of corpses, children's barracks, but with 2 survivors, warehouses filled with millions of rags — the clothes for men and women, 18-inch layer of carbon on the internal parts of the dymoprovodov.
"I can not understand how the human mind could think up such" said the sergeant after visited the "walk-in".
These devastating evidence of destruction and torture their people buoyed the Russian army. Another eyewitness said to his companions: "No mercy German bastards. Break them down into the bloody dust. "
It is in this mood, the soldiers of the Red Army went west, crossed the Vistula River, which flows through Poland and, in January 1945, entered the area of Germany. For many of them it is time to frenzied, officially sanctioned revenge.
Operating room: After breaking through the Russian border, German armored units were moving quickly to the heart of the country wide.
Desert along the highway Minsk-Moscow: column of German truck passes through the Russian city destroyed by war.
One man recalled how he asked the general what they can do with the Germans. "What you want," he replied. "We were doing well," said a fighter. "We fired on unarmed civilians, throwing grenades into cellars where the ladies and children were hiding."
Tank commander deliberately pressured refugees. Fighter pilot admitted that without any remorse shot column bezhetsev and converted thousands of people to the stuffing. "
In a town of old Teuton ran towards the Russian troops, waving his ticket a member of the Communist Party. He risked his own life by keeping membership card under the Nazis. But the fighter defeated Germans skull.
When he pointed to the political allegiance of the man, the fighter said: "They are all similar to me, you bastards. I will not rest until I kill 100 of them. "
Spurred by alcohol, reddish army raped, pillaged and destroyed everything on their way to Berlin. The general, whose daughter was killed by the Germans in the Ukraine, said the soldiers: "An hour of retribution has come. Each of us has a personal account — I have — a daughter, you — sisters, our Mother Russia. "
At the 1st of the few Russian fighter, has been on trial on charges of rape in the pocket tunic was a letter from home, in which he reported that "the German Nazis shot your father, your mother and hanged then, before destroying your sister and raped her.
To book creator Michael Jones, who collected all the evidence, none of them is not an excuse for terrible behavior of a small part of the (in his view they were — 10 to 15%) Russian fighter.
The big three: Fierce Teran, Stalin, photographed here with the British Prime Minister Winston Churchill (left) and South American President Franklin D. Roosevelt (center), was a key ally of the West
All this, unchecked orgy of violence unavoidable bearing down on the Nazis. Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister, seized the atrocities of the Red Army to persuade waverers Germans not to negotiate and do not give up and continue to fight to the very end.
And so Makarov, it is that the war on the Eastern Front, which began in the blood of 70 years ago, ended in bloody terror four years later.
The victims were terrible, but not in vain. In the West, often forgets, as a result of the second world war depended on the Russian Union. This debt has tended to be ignored in the following cool the rhetoric of war that dominated the relationship between the USSR and the West next 45 years.
The enormity of Stalin's regime also makes difficult to read the fact that, for 4 years, this serial killer — even responsible for more deaths than Hitler — was our ally.
Fact, but that without a long-term fight on the Eastern Front Western allies may not be defeated Hitler. While his troops were exhausting their strength in the fight against hordes of Stalin, the delay gave England a chance to recuperate, to tighten the Yankees, launch military actions in North Africa and Italy, and in time to prepare for the battles for the liberation of Europe.
If Hitler had won the victory over the spirited of the Red Army, the whole continent would be in his hands. Then he would be able to return to the devastated and depressed England.
We should be grateful to the Council for a stubborn resistance to Hitler. It gave us a second chance, without which we may not be able to survive and overcome.
Book Michael Jones' total war: from Stalingrad to Berlin "posted by John Murray. Cost £ 25.