Center for Strategic Assessment and forecasts

Autonomous non-profit organization

Home / Defence and security / The Armed Forces of the Russian Federation: yesterday, today and tomorrow / Articles
God, Ivan and Russian frosts
Material posted: Publication date: 05-12-2012

71 years ago, December 5, 1941 began a counteroffensive of red Army near Moscow, which became a turning point of world war II. German troops were very close to success, took to the immediate approaches to Moscow, but...

When the Germans thought that the fate of the Soviet capital was already a foregone conclusion, unexpectedly for them, it became clear that the enemy has strategic reserves, rushed to counterattack. Retaliation of this magnitude, the Germans simply didn't expect, frankly preseva his training.

On 4 December the army group "Center" concluded from intelligence reports: "... the Combat capabilities of the enemy are not so great as to enable these forces in front of the front of army group, to begin currently, a large counter-offensive." Got what is called a finger at the sky.

In fact, the actual combat capabilities of the enemy, the army group "Center" had to make sure in the very near future and very expensive to pay for a strategic mistake.

"Operation Typhoon" (the name of which started on 30 September 1941 the offensive of army group "Center" in Moscow) has failed. "Blitzkrieg" – lightning war – was over in the suburban snow. Began what the Germans wanted to avoid at all costs – "war of attrition".

After months of defeats and failures of the red Army of the Soviet people there is hope, hope for victory. After all, Moscow is not surrendered, the Germans were defeated and retreating.

Later historians will argue about the reasons of defeat of Germans near Moscow. Of course, in the West, and for some time we have, there are fans to blame the German defeat on the antics of "General Frost".

Of course, the frosts of the winter have helped our, more familiar to her soldiers, but they were not the main reason for the defeat of the Germans. And we in hospitals in many were reported frostbitten, and we have had cases of deaths of soldiers and commanders from the cold.

So who played a decisive role in the defeat of the Germans near Moscow?

Maybe a great spy Richard Sorge, whose information about the impending Japanese attack on the United States allowed the Soviet command to take a chance and throw the reserves from the Far East and Siberia under Moscow? Or generals Georgy Zhukov and Konstantin Rokossovsky with their strategic flair and iron self-control?

Maybe the outcome of the battle predetermined fight to the death soldiers of the Panfilov division or Podolsk cadets? Or tankers brigade Colonel Michael Katukova, in the battles of Mtsensk brilliantly used a tank ambush and shot down a peg with the German tank?

Or the team of designers led by Mikhail Koshkin, who created "thirty"? Well deserved famous German tank General, theorist and practitioner of the "war of motors" Heinz Guderian later wrote about it: "6 Oct... 4th armored division was attacked by Russian tanks, and she had to go through a difficult moment. For the first time manifested itself in a sharp form the superiority of the Russian T-34 tanks. The division suffered significant losses."

And how could resist a collective feat of the militia, with their lives to win the time for the approach of reserves, without purely civilian people, putting out lighter on the roofs of houses, without Zoya Kosmodemyanskaya, who had gone to partisans in the German rear, who died a Martyr's death for their Homeland, and after many decades have become the target of liberal revelations of whistleblowers-obschechelovekov?

The victory of our troops that winter would be unthinkable without the brilliant cavalry action. A military anachronism, a relic of the Civil war – the cavalry, suddenly turned into the most maneuverable types of forces in the winter. The cavalry successfully fought as "riding infantry". Saber attack were rare. Horses were the means of transportation, and in the battle, the horsemen were then.

Maybe the most famous in those battles cavalry generals Lev Dovator and Belov Paul made a decisive contribution to the victory at Moscow? Not casually chief of the General staff of land forces of Germany Franz Halder in the spring of 1942 in his "war diary" regularly recorded actions of the 1st guards cavalry corps of General Belov, who made a successful RAID on the German rear. Optimistic record that Belov destroyed in a few days gave way to the bleak message that the body has once again managed to get out from under the blow and continues the RAID. One of the German memoirists wrote about it this way: "the Gangs continue to vandalize Belova on communications". Such a flattering assessment of his actions the enemy cavalry really deserved.

So, maybe a decisive contribution to the victory near Moscow has made it cavalry?

Each of these answers would be partially correct. But the exploits and success above people and military units is only a part of the collective heroism of our people.

Maxim Capinov


Source: http://www.segodnia.ru/content/116292


RELATED MATERIALS: Defence and security