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[1,999,002] learned to fight like a tank. Tragic 41st

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[1,999,014] Танки 6-го мехкорпуса выдвигаются к государственной границе СССР. 22 июня 1941 года

paradox: the summer of 1941, the Red Army has participated in a number of wars, but seriously and not to war. Opponents of the USSR in small conflicts 30s had almost no modern tanks, aircraft, and sometimes not even provided serious resistance to Soviet troops. In all kinds of troops, including armored, it was a very low percentage of the soldiers and commanders with experience in the fight against a strong and well-equipped enemy. Germany invaded the Soviet Union with the firm belief that its army goes to walk in the park. But not for nothing that one of the books of German memories of the 41 th year is called “birch crosses instead of iron» & hellip;

[1,999,027] Before the storm

[1,999,016] It would be wrong to assert that the tank forces of the Red Army lived last day, and the team We did not understand at least roughly, what will be a new war. In books and articles by Soviet military theorists said that the tanks must be used en masse, necessarily – in close relationship with the infantry, motorized infantry, artillery and aircraft. Contemplates the use of armored units not only break the enemy’s defense, but also for deep strikes on the enemy’s rear, his staff, reserves and communications. In defensive operations on the tanks charged with the isolation of the enemy troops from the site break and destroy them from the ambush or the counter.

USSR could magically pull out into the light dozens of new plants. In fact, to put the industry on a war footing, needed time

Spain, Khalkhin Gol and Finland have shown that the new Soviet tanks should be well-armored, armed with a powerful, reliable connection and provided auxiliary machinery. Industry has received a huge amount of military orders: on powerful radio, high-speed tractors, various armored transporters.

And here came, as they say in the 40s, the “bottleneck”. USSR could magically pull on the white light dozens of new plants. And no country in the world could not. When in 1939 the Second World War, even the United Kingdom and the United States faced the challenge of providing a growing army with modern weapons and equipment. In fact, to put the industry on a war footing, needed time.

No one knew how much of this time was available. Countries of the world were preparing for a major war, which could begin with equal probability in a month or ten years. Hence the problem of technological backwardness, lack of personnel and other difficulties of the initial phase of hostilities.

Germany and Japan have solved the problem in their own way: they took the initiative early in the war by attacking the first set in motion the “home-made” policies and nice to train their troops combat missions with the means that are available. However, history has shown that if this path was leading somewhere, only to a crushing defeat.

Weaknesses armored power

All the problems of Soviet armored forces in 1941 were opened mercilessly in the first battles.

At the front a huge extent it was very difficult to find the advancing enemy. The Germans were not a continuous system, they gathered strength in his fist and decide where and how to hit. Even finding the advancing enemy, intelligence is often unable to deliver timely information about it to the commanders: the troops were too few technology, equipped with a radio, especially powerful. Because of problems with communication commanders could not timely respond to enemy action.

Танки Т-26, брошенные из-за технических неполадок. К сожалению, летом 41-го такие картины редкостью не были Difficulty using any mechanized units that the battlefield is not only necessary to transfer military equipment. It is necessary to deliver the fuel, ammunition and troops to support the infantry and artillery. Meanwhile, the vehicle lacked, and agricultural tractors STZ-5, the base of the park assistive technology at the time, were not only slow, but also thin. To drag a heavy gun or a howitzer, it required two or three of these machines.

But even if the commander decides to nominate only the tanks, it does not solve problems. Machinery older types: T-26, T-28, BT – were badly worn and prone to breakdowns. The new KV and T-34 still had many “childhood diseases” such as unreliable motor and a bad review from inside the tank. By the beginning of the war and they were not ready and the instruction manual of the machine. Given the fact that most of the drivers had negligible experience in management of new, more complex and heavy tanks, it is not difficult to understand why a lot of KV and T-34 out of order for technical reasons only.

[1,999,027] survive, survive, prepare

At the beginning of the war the Red Army had to play by the rules imposed by the Germans. In these difficult circumstances, people defending their homeland as they could and as they could.

tank, which according to the ordinance were to operate large masses, razdёrgivalis into separate divisions or even the car – as has already happened in Spain. Often they had to fight for the rest of the army. Tankers went on reconnaissance, counterattacks applied without infantry and artillery became “reinforcement” of defense and guarded the headquarters.

Немецкая колонна, разгромленная советской «тридцатьчетвёркой» в районе Вильнюса Due to the lack of support for the Soviet machine quickly became a target for the German anti-tank guns, which were difficult to detect in a timely manner and to suppress. Unfortunately, there are times when HF were immune to armor-piercing shells, passed. And the Germans had time to gain experience to fight hard for armored vehicles.

There were times that the tanks without infantry broke through the German headquarters. But by themselves, they could not build on the success. The Germans, acting combined battle groups of tanks, artillery and infantry, had time to go through the front, surround the Soviet troops and reflect their attempts to break out of the boiler. Wrecked tanks became irrecoverable losses, as the battlefield was the Germans.

suffered heavy losses in the armor, the Red Army moved by mechanized corps to another organization tank forces: armored and mechanized divisions abbreviated composition. Instead of 375 tanks in these divisions were on the staff of 215 machines. Then the situation forced to go to the individual battalions and brigades (up to 53 tanks on staff) – not least because some of the smaller size is easier to manage.

[1,999,027] first brick in building winning

[1,999,016] Gradually tank troops regained consciousness after the first shock. In the autumn of 1941, the Germans have felt it on their skin.

[1,999,016] One of the most famous and successful tank brigades in 1941 was the 4th Tank Brigade Mikhail Yefimovich Katukova. It was well equipped technically, more than half the cars were new T-34 and KV. But most importantly, tankers Brigade received the bitter battles of summer, but a vital experience and be correctly disposed of.

Guderian, the summer of 1941 if not to notice the new Soviet “tridtsatchetvёrok” and HF, in the autumn have complained of their “absolute superiority”, and the German offensive stalled under the Mtsensk

In early October katukovtsy reflects the impact of the German 2nd Panzer Group under the Mtsensk. Tankers 4th Brigade intelligence used properly and carefully coordinated their actions not only with infantry and artillery, and even aviation. For tanks prepared special lines of defense, and the machines themselves carefully camouflaged. The result was not long in coming: the Germans lost at Mtsensk not only tanks, but heavy anti-aircraft guns and howitzers – a rarity at the time.

wonder how changed the tone of the German reports at this time. Guderian, the summer of 1941 if not noticed the latest Soviet “tridtsatchetvёrok” and HF. In the autumn he had complained of their “absolute superiority”, and the German offensive stalled on this site. For his skillful and courageous action Katukova Tank Brigade became the first, which was the title of Guards.

Combat experience gained in the 41-year high price, immediately generalized to the instructions and orders and distributed among the surviving tank and fresh reinforcements . But victory was still far away. Ahead were new battles.


[1,999,033] See also: [1,999,018]

Lyricist – Eugene Belas


  1. RGVA, f. 31811, op. 1, d. 111.
  2. [1,999,096] RGVA, f. 31811, op. 4, d. 20

    [1,999,096] Field Manual of the Red Army. Project. M .: Military Publishing, 1941.

    [1,999,096] Kolomiets M. 1941. The tanks in the battle for Moscow. M .: Eksmo, 2009.

    [1,999,096] Ulanov, AA, Shein DV Procedure in armor? Where did Stalin tanks. M .: “Veche”, 2011.

    [1,999,096] Shein DV 1st Guards Tank Brigade in the battle for Moscow. Front illustration, № 4. M .: Strategy KM, 2007.



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