June 23: M-day
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At the center of this book lie three issues, permanently staying in the center of a critical scientific-historical and public debate:
- when and how did Stalin plan to enter WWII?
- was the Red Army ready for a Big War from the point of view of structure, number of arms and material support?
- what is the main reason of a catastrophic defeat of Red Army in the summer of 1941?
Every step, every try as well as a documented, fair and unprejudiced answer to these three issues lead the researcher to a deadlock of unsolvable, at first sight, contradictions. Why Stalin’s empire, after years of preparation for the Big War, having concentrated all resources of the richest country in the world, and, finally, having amassed the biggest army size in the world, suffered a crushing defeat in the summer of 1941? Why Stalin, who didn’t believe his closest comrades, did believe to Ribbentrop’s signature in the non-aggression pact? Why the Soviet Union – utterly militarized totalitarian empire found itself to be the only participant of the WWII, which started mobilizing its Armed Forces not before the start of combat actions (as did everybody else) and not even on the date of Hitler’s invasion, but only on the second day of the war, on June 23, 1941? Why hours before the German invasion fighter regiments of Soviet AF received a day-off, while surface-to-air divisions were withdrawn to the far home front airfields? These are among the questions that will be addressed in my book.
By developing Victor Suvorov’s (a renowned modern historian) idea, I demonstrate that Stalin persistently and comprehensively was preparing a large-scale invasion to Europe. A scrupulous analysis of original documents and recollections of the participants of the events led to a hypothesis that Stalin changed the date two times. The initial plan assumed the invasion to Europe in the beginning of summer 1942, but afterwards under the influence of Balkan events and an increasing flow of intelligence information concerning the deployment of Wehrmacht in the East, Stalin decided to start the operation in July-August of 1941). And without knowing that fact Hitler made an anticipatory strike on June 22 - only few weeks in advance of Stalin.
The book analyses in detail the structure and number of Red Army, performance characteristics of armory and military equipment, level of armed forces’ equipment with radio transmitters, automobiles and artillery trucks, antitank and anti-aircraft defense systems. As an aeronautical engineer who worked for years as a designer in a secret experimental design office, I have the necessary qualifications and training to conduct a professional discussion of these issues. Based on a number of incontestable facts, received from source documents in Soviet archives, I demonstrably substantiate the conclusion, that the Red Army, being in many times bigger than the Wehrmacht, didn’t ceded in technical characteristics of its armory and equipment. As to the number of staffing, in 1941 the enormous 200-million country could provide the Red Army with manpower, outnumbering in three times the Wehrmacht and its allies in Eastern front.
What is then the reason of unprecedented military catastrophe of summer 19941? My answer is that the reason for the catastrophe lies beyond the sphere of tactics, strategy, number and quality of military equipment or German’s notorious “first strike”. The Soviet Union and its military were unprepared for the war in terms of morale and organization. The people in the army were not resolved to sacrifice themselves for Stalin vs. Hitler clash over the “loot”. Thus despite colossal technical and labor effort spent the Red Army did not become an adequate instrument for a long bloody conflict. Mass desertion, surrender and abandonment of arms (rifles as well as heavy tanks) dominated in the Soviet ranks. To put it plainly, it wasn’t two armies colliding on the battlefield, but clockwork German military and a panicked uncontrolled crowd of armed Soviets, quickly turning into a multitude of prisoners and deserters.
My major sources include documents from the Soviet military and party-and-political archives (Central Archives of the Ministry of Defense, Russian State Military Archive, Russian State Archive of Social and Political History, State Archive of the Russian Federation), both published in a number of compilations in the beginning of 1990s, as well as those, included by me to the scientific circulation for the first time. The secondary sources include researches of Soviet historians, memoirs of Soviet military leaders. Yes, these sources were written mostly by the same individuals who had to hide the truth alleging to their state posts or party affiliations. On the other hand, an obvious and undisputed advantage of these sources is their availability and provability. Moreover, using those documents the communists themselves dared to preserve and publish is a great advantage of my investigation
I’m sure that my books will bring to the English reader an exciting tale of incredible and tragic events, preceding the start of Soviet-German war. My intention is to write a popular trade history book. I strive to combine the academic precision of argumentation with a language which is understandable and engaging. The style and the easy manner of narration make my books quite interesting for general public, not only academic historians. The book includes 140,000 words. I also expect supply the manuscript with 8 color maps of military actions. As an illustration I can provide the black-and-white photographs of war-time, pictures, drawings and diagrams of military equipment.
Table of Contents
Part 1. The Soviet Colossus
Chapter 1. The main reason for defeat
Detailed foreword, debate with opponents, answer to critique.
Chapter 2. “Offensive is evidence of superiority”
Red Army on the eve of war: Composition, structure, armament and equipment, comparison of the Soviet rifle division with Wehrmacht’s infantry division, unique level of Soviet’s artillery motorization, development of radio transmitters, Soviet airborne troops – the biggest in the world, offensive direction of Soviet military thinking.
Chapter 3. “Armor is strong and our tanks are fast…”
Soviet tank forces – the main instrument of offensive strategy, the history of development, composition, number, the highest technical level of Soviet tank equipment, comparison with Wehrmacht’s tank forces, comparison of the military potential of anti-tank defense system of the Soviet rifle and German infantry divisions.
Chapter 4. About "Steel-sword” and “Golden ratio”.
Discussion of the previous chapters and debate with opponents
Chapter 5. Mysterious MP-41
Soviet mobilization plan of 1941 – why did Stalin need 36.879 tanks, 10.679 armored motorcars and 91 thousand artillery trucks?
Part 2. “When comrade Stalin will send us to fight…”
Chapter 6. Hypothesis ¹ 1
Based on the analysis of declassified in the 1990s operative plans of the Soviet commandment one can conclude that Stalin planned to start invasion of Europe in the summer of 1942.
Chapter 7. Hypothesis ¹ 2
In April-May 1941 Stalin was forced to resolutely change his plans. Hitler’s invasion of Balkan states, evident shift of aggressive aspirations of Hitler from the West (England) to the East force Stalin to speed up preparations and shift the date of invasion to July-August 1941.
Chapter 8. Strategic deployment
The main proof of Hypothesis ¹ 2 truths is the start in the end of May 1941 of a secret mobilization and strategic deployment of Red Army in the Western borders of USSR. The character regrouping, stationing of forces, unprecedented level of secrecy of undertaken events, even for USSR, - leave no space for doubt that the plan was to undertake the biggest offensive operation to the East of USSR.
Chapter 9. “Others can worry”.
Dazzled by the thought of his power, Stalin refused, up to the start of the war, from the smallest steps towards approaching with his future allies – the USA and Britain.
Chapter 10. Plan of Covering.
Did the Red Army have a defense plan? Discussion of a number of specific issues of military planning
Chapter 11. June 23: “M-Day”
The myth of June 21, 1941. Why Stalin ignored all warnings of the intelligence service, didn’t approve the start of mobilization as well as didn’t announce battle alarm among forces in the Western border?
The author offers the reader to abstract on a second from the discussion of such serious and tragic problems. In this “spare chapter”, written in a style of tragicomedy, he discusses possible, or to be more precise – absolutely impossible in the realities of Stalin’s dictatorship, alternative actions of the Soviet officials.
Chapter 12. Hypothesis ¹ 3
This chapter is the most controversial and the most sensational. Author expresses almost unprovable hypothesis, that Stalin foresaw a large-scale military provocation (“Soviet Gleiwitz”) in a form of bomb airstrike pretence, done by German aviation on Soviet border cities. The actual Luftwaffe’s strike outran Stalin’s bloody provocation in just few hours. Just this incredible coincidence had thrown the dictator into prostration.
Part 3. Defeat
Chapter 13. Voices of 1941st
The whole chapter consists of citations. Abstracts from real documents of Soviet and German commandment, reports of local Soviet administrations, letters and recollections of laymen – witnesses of events, all this draws a horrific picture of unprecedented military catastrophe.
Chapter 14. Tank plague - 1
Chapter 15. Tank plague - 2
These two chapters consist of a detailed (“hour after hour”) and rigorous analysis of facts, concerning the defeat of a few tank divisions of Red Army and “disappearance” of thousands of tanks within few days – almost without contacting the enemy!
Chapter 16. About minethrowers and “30-cwt lorries”
Incredible data proves that in the summer of 1941 the armament of Red Army (tanks, cannons and even the most reliable mine throwers) was “breaking" even more frequently than rather unreliable Soviet automobiles.
Chapter 17. Price of defeat
Summary data of the catastrophe: Rate of Wehrmacht’s advance, losses of the Red Army, number of captives and fugitives
Chapter 18. The most important chapter
This chapter contains the final conclusion about the reason of unprecedented defeat, based on mentioned at above facts, supplemented with the analysis of Red Army’s composition (number of captives and fugitives had outnumbered the number of killed in many times).
Chapter 19. The Great Wisdom of Comrade Stalin
Epilogue. How the Soviet propaganda converted the history of tragedy and disgrace into collection of heroic myths.
- June 23, Armour is strong.doc
- June 23, Chapter 2.doc
- June 23, Hypotesis N 3.doc
- June 23, M-day.doc
- June 23, Strategic deployment.doc
- June 23, The Great Wisdom of comrade Stalin.doc
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