Studying memories commanders first and second world wars (as the one and the other), we draw attention to the work of commanders and staffs in the development and adoption of decisions on troop control. One of the important reasons in the decision making process will be how the commander assesses its own enemy. Practice shows that in the memories quite difficult to find the real characteristics, let us own enemy. Then book, Major-General of the Wehrmacht Panzer F.Melentina is no exception. In it one of the few offers a candid and full feature warriors of the Red Army. We believe that the material will be fascinating to many. Material provided by the publication, Mellenthin FV Tank fights 1939-1945.: Fighting the use of tanks in the second world war. — McGraw-Hill, 1957.
Reference: Wilhelm Friedrich von Mellenthin, major general of armored forces. On the Eastern Front was chief of staff of the 48th Panzer Corps, and then — Chief of Staff of 4 Panzer Army. He participated in the battles of Stalingrad and Kursk.
With age, the value of experience, Trapped by German troops in the war with Russia, will be lower and will be brand new assessment of the military capabilities Russian. Yet, the nature and properties of the Russian fighter, as usual for his methods of warfare are unlikely to seriously briefly. Because experience the second world war is a good basis for a correct evaluation of the military might of Russia.
1. Psychology Russian fighter
You can almost say with certainty that no inhabitant of Western culture never learns the disposition of the soul, and Russian. Knowledge of the Russian temperament can be a key to the realization of the Russian fighter's combat capabilities, its advantages and ways to fight on the battlefield. Resistance fighter and spiritual sort have always been major factors in the war, and often at their own value is more important than the number of troops and weapons. It has long been known position was true for the second world war, and I think that it will remain valid in the future.
You can never tell in advance that it will take Russia: Usually, he rushes from one extreme to the other. His nature is also unusual and complex as this very tremendous and incomprehensible country. Hard to imagine for themselves the limits of its patience and endurance, it is incredibly bold and brave and yet, occasionally manifests timidity. There were times when Russian troops who selflessly reflecting all attacks Germans suddenly ran in front of small assault groups. From time to time, Russian infantry battalions came into confusion after the first shots, and the next day the same division fought with fanatical resistance.
Russian is very inconsistent: now they do not show any concern about the security of their own flanks, and tomorrow the idea that their wings are in danger, leading them into a nightmare. Russian fighter with a disdain for making tactical principles, but at the same time, it is trying to follow their statutes shaped as letters.
Its feature is fragile, it just dissolves in the mass; another matter patience and endurance — traits of character, evolved over many centuries. Due to the natural power of these properties are Russian in just about every way above a conscious fighter of the West.
In the Mass he is full of hatred and unusually tough one — is a friendly set up and noble. These properties are characteristic for the Russian — the inhabitants of the Asian part of the country, the Mongols, Turkmens and Uzbeks, and for Slavs living west of the Urals.
Russian fighter loves his "Mother Russia" and because he's fighting for a communist regime, although, generally speaking, it is not a political fanatic. But keep in mind that the party and its organs are proficient in the Red Army a tremendous impact. Almost all of the commissioners are residents of cities and people from the working class. Their courage bordering on recklessness, these people are very smart and determined. They managed to do in the Russian army what it lacked in the first world war — metal discipline. A similar, do not get pity military discipline — which I'm sure would not stand any other army — has turned into an unorganized mass of unusually massive weapon of war. Discipline — the trump card of communism, the driving force of the army. She also was the decisive factor in achieving tremendous political and military success of Stalin.
Russia is a good fighter and everywhere in all criteria. In an age of nuclear weapons can all have very great significance. One of the main advantages of the Russian Federation to be its ability to withstand the great destruction and bloody battles, the ability to produce unusually languid requirements for the population and the army.
The problem of providing food for the troops of the Russian command is of secondary importance, because almost no Russian army should be centralized supply. Outdoor kitchen, almost holy in the sight of a fighter of other armies, for Russian is only just a nice surprise and they spent weeks of days and can live without it. The Russian fighter is fully met a handful of millet or rice, adding to them what nature gives him. This closeness to nature explains the ability of Russia to become like part of the earth, almost dissolved in it.
Russian army fighter — unsurpassed master of disguise and entrenchment, and field fortifications. He digs into the earth with indescribable speed and so skillfully adapts to the terrain, it is virtually impossible to find. Russian fighter skilfully entrenched and well disguised, is firmly for "Mother Earth" and, therefore, doubly insecure as the enemy. Often, even a long and careful observation is inconclusive — Russian position can not be found. Therefore it is necessary to be extremely careful, even if it is clear that the area is free from the enemy.
Industrialization of the Russian Union gave the Red Army the latest technology and a large number of highly qualified professionals. Russia is rapidly learned to use new types of weapons and, surprisingly, have shown themselves capable of conducting combat actions with the use of sophisticated military hardware.
Carefully selected by experts at helping ordinary structure possess modern military equipment, and it must be said that the Russian have gained extreme success, especially in the Signal Corps. Longer than the war dragged on, the better the working Russian communicators, especially with the great art they used radio interception, made noise and transmit the wrong message.
To some extent the highest Russian fighting properties drop their natural indolence. But in the war, Russian constantly improved, and their senior commanders and staffs got a lot of useful learning experience fighting its own forces and the German army, they have learned to react swiftly to any configuration of the situation, to act with vigor and determination.
Certainly, in the face of Zhukov, Konev, and Wasilewski Vatutin Our homeland was highly gifted commanders of armies and fronts. Commanders junior and mid-level managers often still obsessed sluggishness and inability to make decisions — because of threatening disciplinary action they were afraid to take responsibility. The pattern in the training of commanders of small units led to the fact that they were conditioned not to go beyond the regulations and manuals, and deprived of initiative and features, which is a very fundamental for a decent commander. Russian soldiers and junior officers subconsciously aware that if they are left to fend for themselves, they will die. This instinct can create roots as panic and self-sacrifice and heroism.
Despite these shortcomings, the Russian in general, of course, a good fighter and a quality manual
is unsafe enemy. It would be a severe mistake to underestimate him, even though he, of course, does not fully meet the requirements of modern war fighters. The strength of the West is a fighter in his personal qualities, the highest level of intellectual and spiritual development, and the ability to act independently. Veterans of the second world war hard to believe that the ordinary Russian soldier would be able to act independently. But the Russian is so full of contradictions that it would be a mistake not to take into account even the property, which can be fully, it is concealed in the state.
Experienced and energetic work of the communists led to the fact that since 1917, Our home has changed the most unusual way. There can be no hesitation that the Russian is more developed skill of independent action, and its level of education is constantly grows. Completely may be that for a long period of preparation for peaceful criteria it will develop and personal initiative.
Military leaders, of course, will do everything to facilitate such evolution. The Russian high command knows the business better than at least some command of another army. It absolutely makes for itself a report of the weaknesses of its own armed forces and will do everything possible to remove the existing shortcomings. There is reason to believe that at the present time means of military training in Russia focused on the development of the abilities of independent action single soldier and the education of the younger officers creativity. Naturally, develop independence and critical thinking for the communist regime is unsafe, and because similar trends difficult to reconcile with the bloodthirsty and unconditional discipline. But, given the long period of peaceful development, it can be assumed that the reddish Army, in all probability, will be able to find a compromise solution.
2. Russian strategy
Russian combat operations, especially in coming, is characterized by the introduction of large amounts of manpower and equipment, which often command enters into battle recklessly and hard, but reaches of success.
Russia has always been famous for their contempt for death, the communist regime further developed this quality, and at the moment the massive Russian attack more effectively than ever before. Twice attempted attacks will be repeated in the third and fourth time, in spite of the loss incurred, and both the third and fourth attacks will be carried out with the same stubbornness and coldness.
Until the end of the war, Russian, ignoring the big loss, throwing infantry attack almost close formation. Due to the number of privileges in this way has permitted to reach many of the big success. But experience shows that such massive attacks can sustain, if the defenders are well prepared, have a sufficient quantity of arms and operate under the control of strong leaders.
The Russian divisions, with a very countless composition, advancing, usually on a narrow front. The area in front of the defenders in the blink of an eye suddenly filled with Russian. They appeared as if out of the ground, and it seemed impossible to hold back the impending avalanche. Large gaps of our fire immediately filled, one after another, rolling waves of infantry, and only when the human reserves ran low, they were able to roll back the clock. Infrequently, they did not retreat, and rushed forward uncontrollably. The reflection of this kind of attack depends not only on the availability of equipment, how much because withstand the nerves.
Only battle-hardened fighters were able to overcome the terror that encircled each. Only the fighter who is aware of its own debt and believing in themselves, only the one who has learned to act, relying on himself, will be able to withstand the terrible power of the Russian massive attack,
After 1941 to the human masses Russian tanks added weight. Fight off these attacks were, of course, much more complicated, and it's worth even more nervous tension.
Although Russian, I think, is not very strong in the art of creating improvised pieces, they understand how important it at any time of having more troops in readiness for the substitution of broken and tattered connections, and can generally do this. They substituted their bloodless pieces with mind-boggling speed.
Russian true masters of infiltration — the forms of fighting, in which they have for themselves equals. I have also directed their attention to the energetic zeal to establish beachheads or any other forward of positions. I must emphasize that if you're even on some time reconciled with the capture of Russian foothold, it can lead to fatal consequences. At the staging area will be approached more and more infantry, tanks and artillery, and it will last until such time as the state, in the end, will not start coming.
Russian movement prefer to make their own troops during the night and often for all this great art. But they do not love to hold large-scale offensive actions NIGHT MODE — apparently, they realize that the junior officers not prepared for this. But night attacks the limited purpose of (in order to regain their lost position or facilitate planned for the coming of the day) they are pursuing.
In the struggle with the Russian need to get used to new forms of warfare. They should be different ruthlessness, speed and flexibility. Do not be complacent. Everyone should be prepared for what ever surprises, because all that can happen anywhere. It is not enough to fight in accordance with the well-tested tactical positions, as no one can say with certainty in advance what will be the Russian retaliatory acts. It is unrealistic to predict how Russia will react to the environment, an unexpected blow, stratagem, etc.
In almost all cases, Russian rely on their own innate instinct more than the existing tactical principles, and it must be recognized that the instinct often brings them more useful than it could give training in almost all the academies. At first glance they may seem incomprehensible acts, but they are often a hundred percent justified.
The Russian was a tactical mistake that they have not been able to eradicate, despite the merciless lessons. I mean they are almost superstitious belief in the importance of mastering the hills. They advanced on every pitch and fought for it with tremendous tenacity, not giving value of its tactical value. More than once it happened that the mastery of such height not dictated by tactical necessity, but the Russian had never understood this, and suffered huge losses.
3.Cherta different branches of service
My comments so far focused priemuschestvenno actions of the Russian infantry, which in the course of the second world war are preserved stately tradition of Suvorov and Skobeleva.
Despite the great progress of military technology, the Russian infantryman is still one of the more fundamental causes of war in the world. This power of Russian fighter explains its extraordinary closeness to nature. For him, there is simply no natural barriers: in impenetrable forest, swamps and marshes, a trackless steppes — everywhere it feels like home. He was crossing the wide river on the most simple improvised means, it can pave the road everywhere. In a few days the Russian are building a multi-kilometer causeway impassable swamp in winter ranks 100 in the column with 10 people each sent into the woods with deep snow, after half an hour to replace these people comes a thousand brand new and in a few hours on the ground, which we in the West, the number would be impassable, there trodden road. Unlimited number of fighter allows transfer of languid guns and other military equipment at least some areas without any mc.
In addition, the technical equipment of Russian troops meet their needs. The vehicles are different smallest weight, and their dimensions are greatly reduced. Horses in the Russian army are hardy and do not require great care. Russian do not have to carry with them
those big stores that stifle the forces act in all western armies.
Russian infantry weapons is not bad, especially a lot of anti-tank weapons: from time to time think that every infantryman has anti-tank gun or anti-tank gun. Russia has a very skillful these funds, and it seems there is no such place where they were not. In addition, the Russian anti-tank gun with its flat trajectory and high accuracy shooting comfortably for at least some kind of battle.
It is curious that the Russian soldier infantryman inquisitiveness is no different, and because of his intelligence is usually not good-quality results. Possessing the natural properties of Scouting, it is not enough to use their opportunities. Maybe the reason is his disgust to act independently and in the inability to synthesize and report clearly show the results of their observations.
Russian artillery and infantry alike, is also used massively. Usually, the Russian infantry attack was preceded by an artillery preparation, but small and unexpected Russian bombardments never given great significance. Do they have guns and ammunition, and they adored these shells spend. For large Russian comings usually had 200 barrels per kilometer front. From time to time, in special cases, this number grew to 300, but it was never less than 150. Artillery preparation usually lasted two hours, and the Russian artillery during this period of time spent daily or polutorasutochnuyu normal ammunition.
Such a concentrated fire quickly destroyed the German positions, which had no great depth. It seems to be painstakingly neither were covered with machine guns, mortars and anti-tank guns in particular, they were soon destroyed by the enemy. Right behind these dense masses of infantry and tanks raided the ruined German positions. In the presence of mobile reserves could be relatively easy to return the situation, but we usually do not have such provisions. So Makar, the brunt of the fighting fell on the shoulders of the surviving soldier on the front edge.
Russian Artillery also destroyed the headquarters and command centers deep in defense. According to the intensity of artillery fire was often difficult to find the direction of head hitting Russian, because the fire was coming from a similar force on all fronts. But there were from the Russian artillery and shortcomings. For example, inflexible plans, fire visited from time to time simply astounding. Interaction of artillery and infantry and tanks had cooperated well enough. The guns moved forward very slowly, and often even remain in their own initial firing positions, resulting in the advancing infantry, advancing far deeper into defense long had artillery support.
Because zeal German command stubbornly hold up the flanks with large penetrations and breached the harsh Russian was a mistake, which often turned out to be fatal for the defenders. Usually, our troops were ordered to detain these flanks at any cost in order, so hastily strapped reserves could counterattack right flank forced their way into Russian and cut them at the base of the wedge. It is understood that the provisions that focus on the flanks of an enemy breakthrough, fell under attack throughout the Russian artillery, and after a while could not conduct any military operations. So Makarov, the Russian artillery defect maneuverability due to sinful German strategy was converted into an advantage. Designated flank attacks against Russian wedge should choose deep in the rear and out of the reach of Russian artillery. Instead of purpose to carry on the flanks of bloody battles, it was necessary to withdraw their troops. From time to time it is successfully made, despite orders from the top, requiring tight delay the flanks and in such cases turn out not likely to stop the advancing infantry and artillery support of the Russian tank and make a new defensive limit. Russia were required to develop a new plan for fire and find new positions for its own artillery, which allowed defenders to gain time.
The best remedy against massive use of Russian is an immediate counter-battery artillery fight, while consumption of ammunition should not be restricted. The deployment of many artillery and the creation of huge supplies of ammunition Russian took a long time, in some cases, it could take several weeks. Despite the good disguise enemy, we usually manage to find a Russian trained to attack and watch its development with our aerial reconnaissance and aerial photography. Every night there are Russian and more new firing positions. A certain number of days they are empty, and then in one beautiful morning you find on some of their artillery, and about two nights before the scheduled start of Advent is all the guns will be installed on their own positions. In the very few cases where we have sufficient artillery and ammunition, we have achieved good results of the periodic counter-battery fire, which started at the very moment when the Russian deployed their artillery. Also proved an effective means of air strikes, from time to time our aircraft even managed to break the deployment of one hundred percent of Russian artillery.
During the war, Russian improved and developed the strategy of artillery coming. Their artillery preparation turned into genuine flurry of devastating fire. Specifically, they used the ceasefire to a very narrow areas, sometimes no more than hundreds of meters wide, leading to fire the rest of the front with the same intensity. With this created impression that lasts throughout barrage yet, whereas in reality the enemy infantry has led his attack, moving on this narrow little corridor.
Despite the well-known shortcomings, the Russian artillery is very harsh combat arm and fully deserves the highest evaluation, which she gave Stalin. During the war, reddish army used guns more languid than the army though no other country at war.
Now I will focus on the Russian tank forces, which had entered the war, having a huge advantage — they have had the T-34 is far superior to even what type of German tanks. Should not be underestimated as languid and tanks, "Klim Voroshilov" in existence at the front in 1942. Then modernized Russian T-34 tank and finally, in 1944, built a powerful tank, "Joseph Stalin", which caused a lot of problems with our "tigers." Russian tank designers were well aware their job. They focused all the attention on the essential: the power of a tank cannon, armored protection and cross-country. During the War of the suspension system was much better than the German tanks and tanks in other Western powers.
In 1941 and 1942 the tactical implementation of Russian tanks did not differ flexibility and units of armored forces were scattered all over the front tremendously. In summer 1942, the Russian command, taking into account the experience of Fights, beginning to create entire tank armies, which owns part of the tank and mechanized corps. Problem tank corps, in what was a relatively minor infantry and artillery, was to assist the infantry divisions, asking for a breakthrough. Mechanized Corps had to develop a breakthrough in depth and pursue the enemy. Based on the disposition of the tasks, mechanized corps were equal to the number of tanks tank corps, but the machines languid types were not. In addition, at its own staffing organization they have the huge amount of infantry, artillery and engineering troops. The success of Russian armored forces associated with this reorganization, in 1944 they became the most severe offensive weapon the second world war.
First Russian tank armies had to pay dearly for the shortage of combat experience. In particular the rather weak awareness of methods of tank battles and lacking the ability to exhibit lower and middle commanders. They do not have the courage, tactical foresight, the ability to take frisky, solutions. The first operation of tank armies ended in complete failure. Dense masses of tanks were concentrated in front of the German defense, in their movemen
t felt uncertainty and the lack of any plan. They interfere with each other, met with our anti-tank guns, and in the case of a breakthrough advancement of our positions was stopped and stayed, instead order to develop success. In these days of some German anti-tank guns and 88-mm guns act more perfectly: from time to time one gun hurt and damaging more than 30 tanks in one hour. It seemed to us that the Russian made tool they will never learn to enjoy, but in the winter of 1942/43 in their strategy appeared the first signs of improvement.
The year 1943 was for a Russian armored forces still learning period. Languid defeat suffered by the German Army on the Eastern Front, due not well controlled Russian tactical and strategic severe errors of the German High Command and meaningful The advantage of the enemy in the number of troops and equipment. Only in 1944, a large Russian armored and mechanized units have acquired a higher mobility and power and become very harsh weapon in the hands of the brave and capable commanders. Even the junior officers have changed and now showed great skill, determination and initiative. The defeat of our army group "Center" and the rapid advent of tanks Marshal Rotmistrova from the Dnieper to the Vistula marked a new step in the history of the Red Army, and were a stern warning to the West. Later, at the coming of the great Russian troops in January 1945, we also had to watch frisky and decisive actions of Russian tanks.
Unusual development of Russian armored forces deserves close attention from those who study the experience of the war. Nobody hesitates, that Russia may have its own Seidlitz, Murat or Rommel — in 1941 — 1945 years of Russian, of course, had no such majestic generals. But it is not only in the test manual gifted individual personalities, people, for the most ignorant and apathetic own, without any preparation, without any options, acted intelligently and showed unusual restraint. Tankers of the Red Army were tempered in the crucible of war, their skill grown immeasurably. This transformation was to claim only the highest organization and unusually good planning and management. Such a configuration can occur in other branches of the armed forces, for example in aircraft or submarine fleet, the upcoming progress are strongly stimulated by Russian high command.
Since Peter majestically before the revolution of 1917, the royal army were countless, massive and clumsy. During the Finnish campaign and during operations 1941 — 1942's, the same can be said of the Red Army. With the development of Russian armored forces overall picture is quite changed. At the current time, though what the real plan for the defense of Europe should proceed from the fact that air and tank armies Russian Union may rush at us with such speed and fury, before which darkened all operations blitzkrieg second world war.
4. An army without the baggage
For a typical Russian that their panzer divisions have far fewer vehicles than armored units of the Western powers. It would be incorrect to explain this to the creation of the missing vehicles in the Soviet Union, because even the infantry divisions, with horse carts, a small number of horses and carts. In addition, in its numerical composition of at least some infantry regiment or division are inferior to the best Russian troop units of the western armies. But the overall size of the combat units of at least some of the Russian part is about the same as in the West, because the Russian people have much less in the rear units.
In the rear of the Red Army authorities did not have to worry about bringing the military units uniforms, tents, blankets and other items, so necessary for the soldier armies of the West. During the coming they can allow themselves to forget about the supply of troops, even food, because the troops are "off the land." The main objective of parts supply is reduced to the delivery of fuel and ammunition, but even in this case, are often used for the transport of combat vehicles. In the Russian motorized division the fighter is no other "baggage", apart from the fact that he has for himself with, and he manages to move around in cars, perched on the ammunition boxes or barrels of fuel.
This defect leads to the motor vehicle policy implications of tactical and mental order. As the number of vehicles in the motorized division in Russian is much less than in the same joints of the Western armies, the Russian division is more mobile. Such a division is easier to manage, it is easier to conceal and transport by rail.
Represents the enthusiasm and mental aspect of the case. At least some fighter armies of the West. one way or another connected with the rear services. They deliver him a livelihood and provide some convenience rather than brightens his languid life. As part of the "great vsypyat," the surviving fighters are usually collected in field kitchens or in the train, where they try to find refuge and solace. Completely different position in the Russian army. The Russian fighter, not counting the guns, no nothing, and it does not rear lures. There is no field kitchens, no baggage train. If a fighter loses his own gun, tank or gun, he loses his own so the only refuge, and if he goes to the rear, he was being detained, and at some point he is again at the front.
So a small number of full-vehicle Russian gives a fundamental advantage. Russian high command is well aware warehouse brain Russian fighter and manages to use as shortcomings of the latter, they are his forte.
5. Russian reaction to the bombing of
Experience indicates that the Russian fighter has an almost indescribable ability to withstand artillery fire of strongest and massive air strikes, while at the same time, the Russian command did not direct any attention to the great loss of bombing and artillery fire and inexorably follows earlier plans. Russian insensitivity to even a heavy fire was again proved in the course of operation "Hold." It may be that this is in some measure explains the subsequent reasons.
Stoicism most Russian fighter and their slow response make them virtually insensitive to losses. Russian fighter cherishes his life is no more than a life of their own comrades. It does not apply any bombs exploding or bursting shells.
Naturally, the Russian fighter in the middle there are people who own a more sensitive nature, but they are trained to do the orders accurately and without the smallest hesitation. The Russian army exists steel discipline — unconditional submission was relevant feature of Russian military system.
Insensitivity to the Russian artillery fire is not a new quality of — it was clearly still in the process of the First World War. We find an indication of this and Caulaincourt in his description of the battle of Borodino in 1812. He states that "the enemy is experiencing pressure from all sides, collected his forces and firmly held, despite the enormous loss of artillery fire." Further, he writes that it was quite clear why the captured redoubts and positions that Russia defended with such tenacity, taken as prisoners of war is not enough. In this regard, the subsequent observation leads Caulaincourt ruler: "These Russian living do not give up.'s Nothing we can do about it-".
As for the Russian military commanders, that is fine it is clear that: a) they are practically in at least some circumstances, and in any case strictly and inflexibly adhere to the orders or past decisions are not registered with the changes in the environment, the response of the enemy and their own loss of their own troops. Naturally, in this a lot of negative things, but coupled with the fact there is a known positive side, and b) they have in their own possession virtually inexhaustible reserves of manpower to make up for losses. Russian commanders can go for great sacrifices, and therefore does not stop in front of them.
In preparation for the sur
gery should be sure to take into account the reaction or, more precisely, the lack of reaction of Russian troops and their commanders. From this factor is largely dependent on the interaction of time, assessment of the likely amount of success and has need of equipment. It should be, but to point out that there have been instances when the battle-hardened Russian connection to panic and nervousness showed in comparable small shelling. But such cases are very rare, because they rely on it would be a serious mistake. Even more useful overestimate Russian tenacity and you can never count on the fact that they will not survive.