Pavel Yudin 1943
Author: Pavel Yudin;
First published: as Планы Гитлера рушатся (in Russian), Gospolitizdat, Moscow, 1943;
Translated: by Anton P.
For the third year in a row, the Soviet people have been waging the Great Patriotic War against Hitler’s imperialist Germany.
Modern war in its scale – in the number of forces participating in it, in the size of equipment, weaponry and food, in the number of people working for armaments – is so grand that it cannot be compared with all the wars of the past. Two years for a modern war is a period during which its regularities have fully developed, the capabilities of the belligerent parties have emerged. The nature of the war became clear to all the peoples of the world; the prospects of its outcome were also fully revealed.
When Hitlerite Germany on June 22, 1941 treacherously attacked the Soviet Union, she had the most powerful army of all the armies in operation at that time. She had accumulated considerable experience in modern warfare and managed to conquer almost all European states. What were the ‘calculations and plans of Hitler. when attacking the Soviet Union? Why did Hitler, without ending the war with England, ‘decided to attack the USSR?
Having unleashed the Second World War, Hitler was going to end the year 1940 with a victory over England. In the first half of 1941, the Nazis were convinced that it would take a lot of effort to crush the English military power. Then the German military staff decided to attack Russia. This seemed to them to be the most favorable way out of this situation. The Germans considered their armies invincible, capable of crushing any army in the shortest possible time. The Germans were convinced that the Soviet Union would not have time to mobilize its troops and set its forces in motion, that the Red Army would not be able to resist the onslaught of the German fascist armies and would be crushed with lightning speed.
The war against the USSR seemed to the German imperialists a relatively easy task for the Hitlerite war machine. The Germans thought that the very first setbacks at the front would lead to confusion, to the disintegration of the entire Soviet system, to mutual strife and struggle between workers and peasants, between the multinational people of the USSR. The Germans believed that the Soviet political system was fragile. The unlucky fascist corporal, possibly imagining himself a Napoleon, Hitler viewed the war against the Soviet Union as a stage on the road to world domination. Napoleon, after all, also considered the capture of Moscow and Russia as a prerequisite for the conquest of the whole world. For Hitler, who, by the definition of Comrade Stalin, is as similar to Napoleon as a kitten to a lion, the conquest of the Soviet Union had to precede the crushing of Great Britain and America. Hitler wanted first to achieve victory over the Soviet Union, to seize its vast territories and untold riches, and then to bring down – acquired through plunder – innumerable forces against England and defeat her in the shortest possible time, after which he would achieve victory over America.
Hitler has long cherished his predatory plans. The German Führer conceived a war against the USSR from the very first days of coming to power. He did not stop preparing war against our country even when he signed a peace treaty with the Soviet government, hiding a knife behind his back in a robber’s way. Andre Simon’s book “People of Europe” describes a conversation that took place in the winter of 1940-41 between Hitler and the Yugosiaav regent Pavel. In this conversation, Hitler declared: I am preparing a war against the USSR. If necessary, I will start this summer. This will be the culmination point of my life and my work. It will also end my war with Great Britain. Our relationship with America will also change. These were the plans and calculations of Hitler in the summer of 1941, when he committed his heinous crime by treacherously attacking the Soviet Union.
The German imperialists did not doubt the correctness of their plans. They believed that they would end the war in the East in 4-6 weeks, and during this time they would reach the Urals. The speeches of the leaders of Nazi Germany – Hitler, Goering, Goebbels – that took place in the very first days of the war, like the entire German press, said that the Germans planned the war against the Soviet Union as a “Blitzkrieg” – a lightning war. The Nazis firmly believed in the success of their foreign policy plans. They seriously thought that they would be able to intimidate the governments of England and America with the Bolshevik danger, deceive and then conquer all the peoples of the world.
The international situation was extremely tense. Germany, which in the summer of 1941 concentrated on our borders 170 of its best, selected divisions and possessed: a significant superiority in men and technology, in the very first days of the war achieved significant tactical successes. The Red Army was retreating while fighting. At that time, even foreign military experts who sympathized with the Soviet Union doubted whether Russia had enough strength for long-term resistance. For example, British General Wavell in July 1941 declared: “The Russian resistance will only give us a respite for arming.” British Prime Minister Churchill, recalling in a radio speech delivered on February 15, 1942, about the outbreak of hostilities in Russia, pointed out: “President Roosevelt’s statement that the Russian armies will hold out until winter was considered a very bold statement.”
Hitler was confident that his main strategic task – to prevent a war on two fronts, that is, to defeat the Red Army and conquer the Soviet Union before England and America rallied with forces – was close to being realized, But at a time when Hitler’s hopes for the successes of the German troops in Russia seemed to be confirmed by the entire course of the war, when the great democratic powers showed some hesitation and uncertainty in our ability to resist, at a time when many foreign military experts thought that no one was able to resist the monstrous war machine of German imperialism, that world history will change its direction and the formidable forces of the Black Hundred reaction of Hitlerism will triumph - then on July 3, 1941 Comrade Stalin spoke on the radio. In his speech, which was a brilliant foresight, Comrade Stalin gave answers to the most difficult and complex questions that worried the minds and hearts of all Soviet people.
Comrade Stalin pointed out that the war on the part of Hitlerite Germany is an imperialist, predatory, predatory war. German imperialism, said Comrade Stalin, “sets as its goal the seizure of our lands, watered with our sweat, the seizure of our grain and our oil, obtained by our labor ... the restoration of the power of the landowners, the restoration of Tsarism, the destruction of the national culture and national statehood of the Russians, Ukrainians, Belarusians, Lithuanians, Latvians, Estonians, Uzbeks, Tatars, Moldavians, Georgians, Armenians, Azerbaijanis and other free peoples of the Soviet Union, their numbness, their transformation into slaves of German princes and barons. It is thus a question of life and death of the Soviet state, of the life and death of the peoples of the USSR, of whether the peoples of the Soviet Union should be free, or fall into enslavement.” Comrade Stalin emphasized that behind the loud phrases of the Germans about the crusade against Bolshevism lie the bloody predatory goals of the German robbers and that a grave danger loomed over the Soviet people and the Soviet state. Comrade Stalin called on the Soviet people to fight to the end with the hated enemy for the salvation of their homeland, gathering together all the forces, all the means of the country and subordinating them to the interests of the front.
Comrade Stalin pointed out that the treacherous and surprise attack of the Germans created a number of advantages for Germany, but that these advantages are temporary. Fascist Germany, having achieved an advantageous position for its troops at the beginning of the war, exposed itself in the eyes of the whole world as a bloody aggressor. Supporters of democracy, freedom-loving peoples of the whole world saw that the Germans attacked the USSR with predatory goals, for the sake of seizing the wealth and lands of the Soviet Union, for the sake of enslavement and extermination of the Soviet people. The mask of the Germanic predators was, in such a way, torn off in the face of the whole world. This strengthened the position of the USSR. “A huge political win for the USSR, – said Comrade Stalin, – is a serious and long-term factor on the basis of which decisive military successes of the Red Army in the war with Nazi Germany should unfold.”
Comrade Stalin pointed to the great liberating significance of the Patriotic War, to the fact that the struggle of the Soviet people against the Germans would help all the peoples of Europe enslaved by fascism to free themselves from Hitler’s oppression. “In this war of liberation, we will not be alone,” said Comrade Stalin. – In this great war, we will have loyal allies in the peoples of Europe and America ... Our war for the freedom of our fatherland will merge with the struggle of the peoples of Europe and America for their independence, for democratic freedoms. It will be a united front of peoples standing for freedom against enslavement and the threat of enslavement from the fascist armies of Hitler.”
The very first weeks of the war showed how correctly Comrade Stalin recognized the complex international situation, outlining the only correct and possible prospects for the war. The first stage of the nationwide Patriotic War against Hitlerite Germany was characterized by the fact that the Red Army was forced to retreat, leaving the enemy a significant territory. But this retreat was not the same to which the Germans were already. used to in the West. Our border armies, the very first echelons of our military units, arriving from the deep rear, entered into mortal battles with the superior forces of the enemy. Fulfilling Comrade Stalin’s order “to defend every inch of Soviet land, to fight to the last drop of blood for our cities and villages, to show courage, initiative and boldness inherent in our people,” the valiant Russian army defended every inch of its native land with its chest. For each step forward, the enemy paid with mountains of corpses, streams of blood.
In retreating, the Red Army wore out the enemy’s forces and destroyed his equipment. Already in the midst of fierce battles on the territory of Western Belarus, Western Ukraine and the Baltic states, the Nazis realized that their advance would cost them dearly. The Germans then started yelling about “the senseless, fanatical resistance of the Russians.” Fighting broke out with unprecedented force in the regions of Smolensk, Kiev, Odessa, Sevastopol. In these battles, the Germans suffered enormous damage. Meanwhile, in the deep rear of the Soviet Union, new reserves were being prepared, industry was hastily rebuilt on a war footing. Enterprises from the threatened areas relocated to the east, where hundreds of new factories and plants were created. Previously operating enterprises significantly increased the production of all types of weapons and ammunition. The indestructible strength of the Soviet rear, the enormous patriotic upsurge that swept the Soviet people, were the main decisive factors of the war, which began to exert an ever-increasing influence on the course of hostilities.
By the fall of 1941, German troops blockaded Leningrad, and then ended up at the distant approaches to Moscow. Hitler finally decided that he was close to his goal – the complete defeat of the Red Army. On October 2, 1941, the Germans launched an offensive against the Soviet capital. Hitler publicly declared: “In a few weeks, the three most basic regions of the Bolsheviks (Moscow, Leningrad and the Caucasus) will be completely in our hands. Finally, a prerequisite has been created for the final blow, which, even before the onset of winter, should lead to the destruction of the enemy. All preparations as possible for human effort are already over. This time, preparations were made systematically, step by step, to bring the enemy into a position in which we could now inflict a fatal blow on him. The last big decisive battle begins today.”
The first German offensive on Moscow lasted from October 2 to November 3, 1941. It ended in failure, despite all the assurances of the mad corporal. The German armies drowned in their own blood. Then, after a short break, on November 16, 1941, Hitler launched a second, even more powerful offensive against the capital of the Soviet people. This time over 60 German divisions were sent to the Moscow front. Fighting near Moscow flared up again with unprecedented strength. Displaying unprecedented courage, the heroic Red Army held back and exterminated the hated enemy. Thanks to the high military courage and iron resilience of our units, the pace of the offensive of the German troops fell, despite all the efforts of the Hitlerite command. Hitler’s hysterical orders to seize the capital of the Soviet Union by all means followed one after another. Hitler even set the day for the parade in Moscow for the German troops.
In the midst of the German offensive, at a critical and difficult moment for the people, a moment of fear, when the enemy was twenty to thirty kilometers from Moscow, on November 7, 1941, Comrade Stalin’s voice sounded all over the world again. The words of the leader breathed with unshakable confidence in the victory of our just cause, instilled great courage in the hearts of the Soviet people, gave new strength to overcome the hardest ordeals of the war. Summing up the results of the first four months of the war, Comrade Stalin declared with good reason that the facts showed “all the frivolity and groundlessness of the “lightning” plan. Now this extravagant plan must be considered a complete failure.” Comrade Stalin pointed out that the defeat of Hitler’s “lightning” plans testifies to the failure of all the calculations of the German command, the collapse of Hitler’s calculations to create a large coalition against the USSR, to involve Great Britain and America in this coalition. The German fascist strategists suffered a collapse in their reckoning on the fragility of the Soviet rear and on the weakness of the Red Army.
Comrade Stalin pointed to the high morale of our army and our navy. “There can be no doubt,” said Comrade Stalin, “that the idea of defending our fatherland, for which our people are fighting, should give rise and indeed does give rise to heroism in our army, cementing the Red Army.” Comrade Stalin noted that the Soviet Union did not flinch from the powerful blows of the Hitlerite military machine, the peoples of the Soviet Union united in a single camp, our rear was as strong as ever. At the same time, Comrade Stalin emphasized that “Great Britain, the United States of America and the Soviet Union have united into a single camp, which has set itself the goal of routing the Hitlerite imperialists and their invading armies.” Comrade Stalin’s words that the cadres of Soviet troops, bursting in the flames of the Patriotic War, “will turn into a thunderstorm for the German army,” found their brilliant confirmation in the very near future. On December 6, 1941, our troops launched an offensive near Moscow.
The defeat of the German fascist army on the outskirts of Moscow, as well as the defeat of the Nazis in the battles for Tikhvin, Kalinin, Rostov-on-Don and other sectors of the front in the winter of 1941/42 forever dispelled the myth of the invincibility of the German troops. The Red Army liberated a large territory from the enemy, exterminated hundreds of thousands of Nazis and a huge amount of enemy equipment. In an order on February 23, 1942, Comrade Stalin noted that the advantages of the German troops, caused by the suddenness of their attack, had been eliminated, that not temporary, but permanent factors of the war had come into force, which caused the inevitable defeat of the Nazi military machine. Comrade Stalin warned the Soviet people that the enemy was still strong. “Therefore, it is necessary,” said Comrade Stalin, “that in our country the preparation of reserves to help the front should not be weakened for a moment. It is necessary that more and more military units go to the front to forge victory over the brutal enemy. It is essential that our industry, especially the war industry, should work with renewed vigor. It is necessary that every day the front receives more and more tanks, aircraft, guns, mortars, machine guns, rifles, machine guns, ammunition.”
The results of the winter battles of 1941/42, the results of the restructuring of the national economy on a war footing showed that the Soviet Union withstood all the tests of the first year of the war with honor. In a report on November 6, 1942, Stalin noted that “no other country and no other army could have withstood such an onslaught of the brutal bands of German fascist robbers and their allies. Only our Soviet country and only our Red Army are capable of withstanding such an onslaught. And not only withstand, but also overcome it.”
By the summer of 1942, the Germans, taking advantage of the absence of a second front in Europe, transferred all their free reserves to the southwestern direction and broke through the front here. The Nazis set themselves the goal of capturing Stalingrad, Saratov, Kuibyshev, Arzamas and, thus encircling Moscow, cut it off from the eastern rear. At the same time, the German fascist strategists hoped to capture the Caucasus, Baku and, even before the onset of winter, achieve victory over the Soviet Union. In the military campaign of the summer of 1942, Hitler pinned his “hopes” for the final enslavement of the Soviet people. The Nazis did not doubt their success this time too. In August 1942, Goebbels boasted to Turkish journalists: “Believe my word, the Russian armies will be defeated by the fall.”
The new onslaught of the German fascist troops in the summer and autumn of 1942 met with stubborn resistance. However, the Germans, at the cost of unprecedented losses, broke through to Stalingrad and the foothills of the Caucasus. The battle reached its greatest tension near the walls of Stalingrad and, finally, unfolded in the city of Stalin itself. The enemy here fought its way forward over the corpses of his own soldiers, but the courageous defenders of the Volga stronghold stood to the death. The unshakable resilience of the Soviet troops could not be broken by either the fierce and bloody attacks of the enemy that did not stop day or night, or artillery shelling, or ferocious bombing. Hitler, once informing the world that Stalingrad was already occupied by the German army, was forced on October 14, 1942, in a secret order, to admit that the Germans’ hopes for a victorious end to the war with the USSR had collapsed before the onset of winter. “The coming winter,” said Hitler, “will be more favorable for the Germans than the last one.” Time has once again shown the complete inconsistency of Hitler’s boastful statements. On November 10, 1942, in the North Caucasus, and on November 19, 1942, near Stalingrad, the Red Army launched a counteroffensive and unleashed powerful, hitherto unseen blows on the heads of the hated enemy. The onslaught of the Soviet. troops grew so rapidly and violently that the Germans were not able to prevent and then stop the winter offensive of the Red Army.
The heroic defense of Stalingrad played the role of a turning point not only during the 1942-1943 military campaign, but also throughout the war. The ingenious Stalinist strategic plan of encirclement and defeat of more than three hundred thousands of German soldiers was brilliant: it was carried out by valiant Soviet soldiers. Following the defeat of the German armies at Stalingrad, our units launched a counteroffensive on a number of important fronts. In a short time, from November 1942 to March 1943, the Red Army inflicted a severe defeat on the Germans. In 4 months and 20 days, Soviet troops fought to advance westward in some areas up to 600-700 kilometers, freeing an area of 480 thousand square kilometers from the German invaders. Our troops broke through the enemy blockade of Leningrad, drove the Germans out of Kursk, Rzhev, Vyazma, Tzhatsk, Demyansk. The enemy was driven out of areas of major economic and military-strategic importance.
In the winter battles of 1942/43, the Nazis suffered a huge loss in manpower: more than 850 thousand German soldiers and officers were killed, about 350 thousand surrendered. The losses of the German army in equipment during the same time amounted to over 5 thousand aircraft, 9 thousand tanks, 20 thousand guns. “In the winter of 1942-1943, the Red Army beat back the summer tactical successes of the Germans” (Sovinformburo). Hitler’s war machine, under the blows of our troops, creaked and staggered.
The winter campaign of 1942/43 led to serious changes in the balance of forces on the Soviet-German front. During the winter battles, the Red Army eliminated the former advantage of the Germans in military experience, in manpower and equipment, primarily in tanks and aircraft. Comrade Stalin, in an order on February 23, 1943, noted: “The balance of forces on the Soviet-German front has changed. The fact is that fascist Germany is becoming more and more worn out and weaker, while the Soviet Union is more and more deploying its reserves and becoming stronger. Time is working against Nazi Germany.”
For the first time in the entire war, the German fascist leaders admitted that they had miscalculated in their strategic plans. On January 30, 1943, Goering stated that the Nazis underestimated the military potential of the Soviet Union. On 18 Febuary in Berlin, Goebbels made a speech. He confirmed that Nazi Germany had underestimated Russia’s ability to resist and was going through a severe military crisis in this regard. Finally, on February 24, the Germans listened to an unusual speech by Hitler, who announced that there had been ... “misfortune” on the Eastern Front! Following the “Führer” all the Nazis began to yell that Germany “did not know the strength and capabilities of the Red Army.”
Hitler’s General Dietmar on June 24, 1943, delivered a speech on the radio about the results of two years of the war. This speech contained curious confessions. Dietmar stated, for example, the following: “There is no doubt that we entered the war with different ideas about it ... We learned that the enemy facing us in the East cannot be thrown to the ground with one blow.” Good strategists, good government leaders, who only after two years of war realized that their adversary was so strong that one blow, that is, “lightning war,” could not defeat him in any way! “The Soviets,” said Dietmar, “created the greatest military power complex.” Dietmar argued that “until now there was no state where people would resist the enemy with such demonic strength and were armed with the latest technology.” Good strategists, good state leaders, who only after two years of war, after a series of severe defeats, began to guess that the enemy was not at all what they imagined him to be at the moment of their treacherous attack. on the tenth anniversary of the fascist government.
On the two-year anniversary of the war, June 22, 1943, Berlin radio reported: “The war against Bolshevism turned out to be in all respects more difficult and dangerous; than we could have guessed. The Bolshevik army turned out to be better armed than one could think in the summer of 1941. Its methods of warfare revealed a recklessness that again and again causes amazement and indignation.” Needless to say, there is something to be amazed at and something to be indignant with! The Germans were going to defeat the Red Army and conquer the Soviet people in a few weeks, and then two years passed, six and a half million people were lost – killed and captured – and a huge amount of equipment was lost, Germany is on the verge of death, and no prospects for victory are visible, only trouble! How not to be amazed and how not to be indignant!
The German imperialists thought they were attacking a weak country incapable of resistance. In fact, it turned out that it was impossible to defeat this country. Germany’s material resources are running out; the situation with human reserves is even worse. In Germany, the remnants of the male population are mobilized, including old men and adolescents untrained in military science. The Nazis forcibly drive into their army the male population of the occupied countries – Poles, French, Belgians, Danes, Slovaks, Czechs and others. The “total mobilization” carried out by the Hitlerites with such noise and bang did not produce such results that could improve the shaken economy of Germany and strengthen the German fascist army. Air raids by our allies on German industrial facilities disorganize the country’s economy, and it is not for nothing that the Germans raised such cries about the “air terror” of the British and Americans. Our allies inflicted serious defeats on the Germans and Italians in Africa, drove them out of their last stronghold – Tunisia, seized the Mediterranean communications, captured Sicily and in early September 1943 landed their troops in southern Italy. Thus, “the alliance of anti-Hitler states was strengthened by joint simultaneous military operations against the Italo-German fascists” (Sovinformburo).
Hitlerite Germany and its allies are going through a deep crisis. The military, political and international position of the Hitlerite coalition deteriorated significantly.
At first, the Hitlerite bosses tried to hide from the German people the true state of affairs. The defeat of the Germans at Stalingrad, Goebbels declared “a huge strategic victory for the German command"! He “consoled” the Germans with the fact that Hitler’s troops, surrounded at Stalingrad, prevented the Red Army ... from reaching Germany! In connection with the defeat of the German-Italian troops in Tunisia, Goebbels said: “The Tunisian campaign, the end of the struggle in Africa is a tremendous victory for German strategy, for the German army managed to win six months. They delayed the landing of Anglo-American troops in Europe for six months.” However, the truth is not hidden! Nor did the Hitlerite leaders manage to hide from the people the terrible truth about the enormous defeats suffered by the German army on the Eastern Front and in Africa. Hitler’s rear as a result of the defeats inflicted on the Germans was significantly weakened. “Uncertainty and panic are growing among the population of Germany, the Germans are no longer believing Hitler’s fables about the victories of German troops in the East” (Sovinformburo).
The crisis experienced by Germany, the premonition of an inevitable catastrophe led to the fact that the Nazis began to look for a “peaceful” way out of the war. German diplomacy has recently conducted increased intelligence, figuring out whether any of its opponents would agree to enter into peace negotiations. The Spanish minister Jordan and even Franco himself acted as agents of Germany with statements that “Spain is ready to assume the role of mediator in peace negotiations with Germany.” All these diplomatic tricks of Hitler betrayed him headlong: he finally guessed that he was leading the German army and the German state to inevitable death. However, until now Hitler’s “peaceful” attempts have not led to any results. They will give nothing in the future.
Now the German press is no longer hiding, and it cannot conceal that Germany is in for her most troubles. The German newspaper Bucharester Tageblatt, published in Romania, recently stated: “We do not want to indulge in the illusion that the war will not require many more sacrifices from us. In the future, we will have to endure many more defeats. Even more difficult times await us.”
The confusion and anxiety that gripped the German ruling clique increased many times over in connection with the bankruptcy of Italian fascism and the resignation of Hitler’s hireling Mussolini. On July 25, 1943, Mussolini fell. The military alliance with fascist Germany brought innumerable calamities to Italy: hunger, poverty, ruin, tens and hundreds of thousands of deaths. Italian troops invariably suffered defeats on all fronts – both in the USSR and in Africa. During the three years of the war, Italy lost over a million of its elite troops. Only
200,000 Italian soldiers and officers were killed on the battlefields in the Soviet Union. Italy lost its “empire” which had grown to be ten times its own territory. She lost most of the sea and air fleet. When the war came close to the borders of Italy, the people could not stand it. The unrest reached such proportions that Mussolini’s resignation became inevitable. On September 8, 1943 Italy surrendered. The Italian government of Badoglio unconditionally accepted the terms of surrender presented by the governments of the United States of America, Britain and the Soviet Union. Italy’s surrender was primarily the result of the defeats that the Red Army inflicted on the Italo-German coalition on the Soviet-German front. The failure of the German offensive in the summer of 1943 and the transition of the Red Army to the offensive on a huge front played a decisive role in the surrender of Italy. Italy’s surrender marks a further deepening of the grave crisis in the fascist camp and its approach to complete disaster.
Fascist Italy was far from the last link in the Hitlerite bloc. This bloc is rusted and cracked. It is not surprising that serious disagreements are growing within the rest of the Hitlerite coalition. Hungarian “rulers” – scoundrels and adventurers like Kallai – are in a hurry to declare that Hungary is not responsible for the war in the East. The Romanian invaders shout that they never pursued conquest goals in the East, but “just wanted to slightly correct their eastern borders.” In Finland, the parliamentary faction of the Social Democrats recently debated the question of the principled possibility of Finland’s withdrawal from the war. On June 23, 1943, the Finnish newspaper Suomen Sotsialdemokratti wrote: “We all yearn for peace and we all want the war to end as soon as possible.” After Italy’s surrender, the collapse of the Hitlerite coalition will accelerate. Italy is the first rat to escape from the Nazi ship. Hitler’s prestige among his vassals is undermined more and more as a result of the defeats inflicted on the German troops by the Red Army, as well as the military actions of England and America.
Neutral and non-belligerent countries, where until recently many believed in the invincibility of the German army and waited with horror that Germany was about to unleash a blow from its military machine against them, saw that the Nazis were heading for an imminent catastrophe, and the forces of the anti-Hitler coalition were growing. On June 22, 1943, the Turkish newspaper Ulus wrote about the two years of the war: “The German army, about which it was thought in 1940 that it was capable of conquering the whole world, suffered defeat for 24 months, and lost its material and moral strength.” ... The Swedish newspaper Ehrenbrukurirer published an article stating that “in the German press the loud fanfares died down, announcing that the outcome of the war in the east had already been decided. Hitler must remember with deep bitterness the day when he signaled the start of the campaign, during which the possibility of a German victory has now been destroyed and which will soon complete the fate of Germany.”
Thus, the results of more than two years of war have clearly shown that the adventurous plans of the German imperialists, designed to enslave the peoples of the Soviet Union, have completely failed. The military might of Hitlerite Germany is exhausted, the German fascist army is going through a serious crisis. The rear of fascist Germany has been thoroughly undermined. Its military economy is seriously weakened. In the countries of Europe, occupied by the Germans, a nationwide war flares up against the hated enslavers.
As a result of more than two years, the military situation of Hitlerite Germany sharply deteriorated. During the same time, the military, political and international position of the Soviet Union was significantly strengthened. In the course of the war, its regularities were fully revealed and the prospects for its outcome were largely predetermined. The peoples of the whole world are now convinced that the Red Army, which has withstood the greatest trials with honor, has grown into a powerful force capable of crushing the enemy in the future. The politicians of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition no longer doubt that victory will be on the side of the Red Army, on the side of the freedom-loving states. The anti-Hitler coalition is determined to wage the war to the end, to the complete defeat of the hated enemy. The will to victory of the soldiers of our glorious Red Army and of the entire Soviet people is adamant!
On July 3, 1941, Comrade Stalin said with ingenious perspicacity that in the course of the war the enemy’s forces would dry up and our forces would grow. “Our strengths are incalculable. An arrogant enemy will soon have to be convinced of this, – said Comrade Stalin. – Together with the Red Army, many thousands of workers, collective farmers and intellectuals are rising to fight the attacked enemy. Millions of our people will rise.” And indeed, the entire multi-million Soviet people, as one person, rose up to fight the Nazi invaders and rallied into an indestructible military camp.
In the course of fierce battles, the Red Army acquired the experience of modern warfare. Delaying the enemy rushing forward, exhausting his forces in bloody battles, our soldiers and commanders mastered military equipment, studied
enemy tactics, learned to recognize the cunning of the enemy and worked out their own tactics and strategy, smarter, more flexible, more modern than the tactics and strategy of the Germans. Our warriors matured and hardened in battles. Under the guidance of the brilliant commander, Supreme Commander-in-Chief Marshal of the Soviet Union, Comrade Stalin, the Red Army was rebuilt in accordance with the new conditions and requirements of modern warfare. As a result of the tremendous organizational and educational work, the Red Army has become a formidable, invincible, victorious force against the enemy. In the course of the war, in the deep rear, more and more human reserves were constantly being prepared and are being prepared, and powerful equipment is being forged. Now our troops are fully provided with advanced, first-class means of warfare. Entering the third year of the war, the Red Army has such a number of tanks, guns, aircraft, mortars, machine guns, etc., which is now no longer even a question of the former advantage of the Germans in technology. The morale of the Red Army is as high as ever. Our glorious soldiers, who withstood the greatest test of endurance during the first battles with the enemy, now, inspired by their military successes, are eager to finish off the fascist beast, to end the Nazi plague forever.
Over the two years of the war, contrary to all the calculations of the enemies, the Soviet rear was even more consolidated, strengthened. Our leaders and teachers Lenin and Stalin have repeatedly stressed that only an army that has a solid and reliable rear can win the war. Without a solid rear, the front cannot be strong either. “To wage a war on the present,” pointed out Vladimir Ilyich, “requires a strong, organized rear. The best army, with people most devoted to the cause of the revolution will be immediately exterminated by the enemy if they are not sufficiently armed, supplied with food, and trained.” During the Civil War, Lenin categorically demanded the restructuring of all work in the rear on a war footing, demanded “everything and everyone be transferred to martial law, all work, all efforts, all meanings must be subordinated to war and only war ... Military discipline in the military and in every matter!” Comrade Stalin, in his speech on July 3, 1941, called on the Soviet people to subordinate all their work to the cause of defeating the Nazi invaders. “It is necessary that the Soviet people ... stop being carefree,” said Comrade Stalin, “so that they mobilize themselves and rebuild all their work in a new, military way, which knows no mercy for the enemy.” The leader’s fiery appeal shook the whole country and became a combat program for the entire Soviet people in the complex and difficult situation of the first year of the war.
The Party, the government and the Soviet people have done a truly great job during the war years. Comrade Stalin noted as early as November 6, 1942 that “As a result of all this complex organizational and construction work, not only our country has been transformed, but also the people themselves in the rear.” During the war, the Soviet people in the rear reorganized the work of industry, agriculture, transport and other branches of the national economy on a war footing. The planned nature of our economy made it possible to deploy
production of the necessary means of warfare in the shortest possible time, literally within weeks and even days. Our factories; our transport has shown exceptional flexibility and adaptability to new, in most cases the most difficult conditions. The largest metallurgical plants in the Urals quickly mastered the smelting of high-quality steels for the needs of the war. Plants that produced before the war instruments of peaceful labor – machine tools, tractors, combines, metal products for general consumption, from the very first days of the war switched to the mass production of tanks, airplanes, guns, machine guns, shells, mines, cartridges, etc. Textile, shoe, food and all other enterprises of the country switched to the production of products for the front.
The work, unseen in history in its enormous scale and at the same time in terms of time, compressed to the limit, was done by the Soviet people in connection with the evacuation of workers and equipment of industrial enterprises from the front-line regions into the interior of the country. The Soviet people showed miracles of organization and labor heroism. Evacuated factories through several weeks and even days after arriving at a new location, began to produce military products, often in much larger quantities than before the evacuation. So, for example, the first echelon with the equipment of the Ordzhonikidze plant arrived in the Urals on October 26, 1941, and by January 1, 1942, the staff of the enterprise began normal work on a daily schedule. The equipment of one of the factories began to arrive in the city of Chkalov on August 9, 1941, and from October 1, 1941 this enterprise was already working at full capacity. The plant, evacuated to the Volga region, began to produce military products on the eighth day after the arrival of the equipment of the assembly shops. One of the factories arrived at a new location on November 4, and released finished products on November 26. The team of the enterprise evacuated from Ukraine to the Kuibyshev region.
During the war, hundreds of new factories were built on the territory of our country. Some of them are more powerful than peacetime construction projects. The largest by-product coke plant in comparison with the factories of pre-war Europe was put into operation in the Urals. At the Magnitogorsk plant in 1942, a new super-powerful blast furnace was completed and put into operation
with a capacity of 1400 tons of pig iron per day. During the war, our old factories radically restructured their work. Many enterprises have established mass production of military equipment. The Krasny Proletary machine-tool plant, having switched to mass production of ammunition, in March 1943 increased its output by 42% in comparison with January. One of the aircraft factories in the first quarter of 1943 increased output by 25%. In general, labor productivity in the aviation industry from April 1942 to April 1943 increased by more than 30%, at arms factories by 15%, at heavy machine-building weapons plants by 11%, at tank factories by 38, at plants of the electrical industry by 27%, etc.
The creative rationalization thought of Soviet workers and engineers and technicians is at its core. At the machine-building plants of our country, only in March 1943, 20 thousand organizational, technical and rationalization proposals were made. Our workers, women workers, engineers and technicians have shown by deeds what feats the Soviet patriots are capable of. In the factories of mortar weapons, 95% of the workers are Stakhanovites and shock workers. More than 75% of the Stakhanovites and shock workers are numbered among the workers of medium-sized machine-building factories. The Stakhanovite heroes are increasing labor productivity day after day. Seized by one thought, one desire – to help the Red Army quickly defeat the hated enemy – the workers and managers of our factories show the greatest labor valor. It is characteristic that for the most part these are new personnel – women who first came to production, and young people. As a result of their selfless labor, our enterprises provide the Red Army with everything it needs.
Our Soviet peasantry also copes with its multiply increased tasks with honor. Despite the fact that the overwhelming majority of the male population left the collective and state farms for the army, the winter and spring sowing of 1941-1942 and 1942-1943 were carried out in an organized manner and on time: a significant sowing of grain, potatoes, vegetables, etc.
The entire Soviet people is indeed taking part in the war against the Nazi invaders. “Never before in all past history did the masses of the people participate with such dedication in defending their homeland as in the days of the Great Patriotic War” (Sovinformburo). All Hitler’s calculations on the fragility of the Soviet rear failed. The Soviet rear is strong and unshakable. The unity of the Soviet people is high as never before. There is no sacrifice that Soviet people would not make for the sake of their homeland! The Soviet people stop at nothing to help the Soviet state and the Red Army destroy and finish off the enemy.
The unanimous participation of the working people of the USSR in strengthening the country’s defensive might testifies to the great patriotic upsurge of the Soviet people. In the very first months of the war, at the initiative of the masses in our country, a campaign was launched to collect warm clothes for the soldiers of the Red Army. Already in September 1941, about 2 million pairs of felt boots were collected, about 3 million kilograms of wool, more than 2 million sheepskins, etc. etc. By June 1, 1942, the defense fund received 2,740 million rubles in money, more than 2 billion rubles in bonds, as well as 94 kilograms of gold, 9 thousand kilograms of silver, and many different pieces of jewelry. In the future, this movement took on an even larger scale. In a short time – less than four months (from December 1942 to March 1943) – the working people contributed over 7 billion rubles to the defense fund. The first state military loan, issued in 1942, was closed within a few days against the planned target of over 3 billion rubles. The subscription amounted to 13.2 billion rubles. The second, military state loan, issued in 1943 in the amount of 12 billion rubles, was filled by more than 8 billion rubles during the first day of the subscription.
All this suggests that the rear and the front are united. Every soldier of the Red Army knows that the whole country is fighting the Germans together with him. “The war against the Germans is indeed a nationwide war of all peoples inhabiting the Soviet Union” (Stalin).
During the war, the international position of the Soviet Union was significantly strengthened. Comrade Stalin, in the very first days of the war, predicted that “our war for the freedom of our fatherland will merge with the struggle of the peoples of Europe and America for their independence, for democratic freedoms.” Indeed, in the course of the war, the most powerful anti-Hitler coalition of the great states of the world – the USSR, the USA and Great Britain – was formed. The strength of this alliance has been proven by the entire course of the war. The provocative attempts of Hitler’s diplomacy to weaken this unity and sow discord between the democratic states and the Soviet Union did not lead to anything. With its honest and disinterested policy, its heroic struggle on the fronts of the Patriotic War, the Soviet Union won the sympathy of the freedom-loving peoples of the whole world. All advanced humanity has become convinced that, by restraining the unprecedented pressure of Hitler’s troops, by diverting the main forces of Germany, its allies and vassals, the Soviet Union created favorable conditions for strengthening the military might of our allies – the British and Americans, for mobilizing their internal capabilities. How great is the role of the Soviet Union in this is shown by the following facts.
In 1940, after the surrender of France, in England (directly on the islands), according to Churchill, there were only 500 tanks and 500 artillery pieces. England now produces no fewer tanks and aircraft than Germany, and America has a larger stock of tanks and aircraft than Germany. The English industry is now completely having rebuilt, it deployed all its enormous possibilities. In America in 1941 there were only 500-600 combat aircraft, 500 guns, and 475 tanks. According to the New York Times, there were only 9 anti-aircraft guns in the air defense of New York, in 1943. American industry will produce at least 100 thousand aircraft, more than 50 thousand tanks, etc. The American army now numbers about 10 million. All this became possible solely due to the fact that until recently England and America did not participate directly in the war against Germany on the continent of Europe. Our allies from the very first months of the war help us with weapons, equipment, raw materials and food. This help is increasing day by day. Recently, Britain and the United States have inflicted serious defeats on the Italian-German armies in North Africa and on the Mediterranean islands, especially in Sicily. The aircraft of England and America are delivering ever more sensitive blows to industrial and military-strategic targets in Germany. Thus, our strengths and the strengths of our allies have grown, while the strength of Hitlerite Germany is exhausted and tattered.
The USSR, England and America rebuilt their economy on a war footing, the mobilized armies and manpower of the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition significantly exceed German reserves. The material resources and possibilities for further expansion of production among the countries of the anti-Hitler coalition are several times higher than that of Hitlerite Germany, its allies and vassals. America alone is capable of and already produces two to three times more tanks and aircraft than Germany. Germany’s superiority in the production of military equipment has been completely eliminated. This is perfectly understood by Hitler and his entire band of robbers. They also understand that as soon as all this equipment goes in and the armies of the anti-Hitler coalition open up actions on the European continent, the fate of Nazi Germany will be finally decided. Only the absence of a second front in Europe saved Hitler’s Germany from complete defeat in 1942. “To miss the favorable conditions created for the opening of a second front in Europe in 1943, to be late in this matter, means to cause serious damage to our common cause” (Sovinformburo). The creation of a second front in Europe is dictated by the entire course of the war, and above all by the interests of national freedom, the interests of preserving the independence and sovereignty of England and America.
“People often ask,” says Comrade Stalin, “but will there still be a second front in Europe? Yes, it will, sooner or later, but it will be. And it will be not only because we need it, but, above all, because our allies need more than we do: Our allies cannot but understand that after France was out of action, the absence of a second front against Nazi Germany could end badly for all freedom-loving countries.” The second front is inevitable, “for without a second front victory is impossible over Hitlerite Germany"(Sovinformburo). the opening of the second front is proceeding at an accelerated pace. On June 22, 1943, Reuters reported: “The invasion became necessary for the Allies, because only in this way can they enter into skirmishes with the Axis forces. The invasion will not be postponed for long.”
The Nazis are mortally afraid of the second front. The recent clamor of the Germans about the impregnable rampart, allegedly created by them along the western coast of the Atlantic Ocean, was an attempt to intimidate our allies and at least somewhat strengthen the shattered nerves of the German population. But the more often Hitler, Goering and Goebbels look back at the western coast and generally to the west, the more cowardly the German man in the street whines, sensing trouble and anticipating the sad end of the war started by Hitler.
On November 6, 1942, Comrade Stalin said that the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition has every chance of victory in the struggle against the Italian-German coalition. At the same time, Comrade Stalin put forward a program of struggle for the Anglo-Soviet-American coalition. “Our first task is precisely that,” comrade Stalin pointed out, “to destroy the Hitler state and its inspirers ... Our second task is precisely to destroy the Nazi army and its leaders ... Our third task is to destroy the hated “new order in Europe” and punish its builders.” To expel from our territory all the German invaders, to clear the sacred Soviet land of the Hitlerite scoundrels - this is the primary, urgent task of the Soviet people and their heroic Red Army. The Red Army with its brilliant victories over the brutal German fascist troops, and the Soviet people with their tireless selfless work in the rear, created factual conditions for the accomplishment of this great task. The second front in Europe will facilitate and accelerate its solution, the opening of the second front will lead to the complete defeat of the Nazi army, to the complete destruction of the Nazi state, to the complete destruction of the “new order” in Europe. The second front will ensure the destruction of Hitlerism as a political system and as a political organization.”
Hitlerite Germany still possesses significant resources and can go to any adventure to try to save the situation and postpone its inevitable defeat. But the forces of the enemy have already been exhausted by the valiant Red Army and are at their limit. Soviet troops beat the enemy to death, drive him to the west, smash and destroy the enemy’s manpower and equipment. Having experienced the power of our strikes in the winter periods of 1941/42 and 1942/43, the German fascist soldiers have now “learned” to retreat from the attacking units of the Red Army in the summer as well.
On July 5, 1943, the German army tried to go over to the offensive in the Oryol-Kursk direction. Hitlerite Germany put a decisive stake on the 1943 summer offensive. The Hitlerite command threw huge forces, trying in this way to break through our defenses. The Germans suffered colossal losses in people and equipment, and the Red Army, completely eliminating the consequences of the German offensive, took the initiative in hands, going over to offensive battles. During the summer battles of Oryol, Belgorod, Spas-Demensk, Karachev, Kharkov, Sumy, Konotop, Taganrog and dozens of large cities, as well as hundreds and thousands of settlements, were freed from the Nazi invaders. The greatest victory of the Red Army is the liberation of the Donbass – the most important coal and industrial region of the country. In one week, the cities of the Donbass were liberated: Debaltsevo, Ilovaisk, Lisichansk, Yenakiyevo, Gorlovka, Chistyakovo, Slavyansk, Artyomovsk, Kramatorskaya, Konstantinovka, Makeevka, Krasnoarmeysk (Pokrovsk), Yasinovataya and Stalino (Donetsk). This rapid pace of our offensive testifies to how much the forces of the Red Army have grown, and they show. how the forces of fascist Germany are weakening.
The failure of the German offensive in July 1943 is an event of tremendous importance. It showed that the enemy was no longer able to carry out an offensive similar to the summer offensive of 1941 or 1942. The power of the Red Army had grown so much that our troops at the very beginning of the July German offensive on Oryol-Kursk decisively beat the enemy and, having broken through his defenses, went over to a powerful counteroffensive. During the two summer months of 1943, the Red Army inflicted huge defeats on the Germans. If during the winter of 1942/43 the German army lost 1.2 million killed and captured, then in two summer months about 1.5 million soldiers and officers were lost for the German army. The defeat of the Germans at Oryol in July 1943, the liberation of Kharkov, the Donbass and victories in other important sectors of the front further changed the balance of forces in our favor. The hour of the inevitable catastrophe of the Hitlerite army is approaching. All plans of Hitler, the unlucky grief strategist and insane ruler of Nazi Germany, collapsed and continue to collapse; the day of the final failure of all of Hitler’s plans will come. This day, the day of our complete victory over the enemy, is not far off.