In & nbsp; 1908, a peasant woman from the & nbsp; Kaluga village of Strelkovka sent her son to the & nbsp; city, to & nbsp; students to a & nbsp; more prosperous relative. The woman, hoping to secure the future of her son, taught him obedience.
“ When you come up, bow down and & nbsp; say: “ Hello, Mikhail Artemyevich '', & nbsp; & mdash; my mother said. However, the 12-year-old shook his head: “ No, I will & nbsp; say: “ Hello, Uncle Misha! ''
He will carry this inflexibility of character throughout his life. In the & nbsp; terrible 1941 & nbsp; year, already being a general, a peasant son would openly dare to contradict the Supreme Commander-in-Chief, knowing full well how this could turn out.
Non-commissioned officer Georgy Zhukov, 1916. Photo: RIA Novosti
At the & nbsp; declining years in & nbsp; memoirs, he & nbsp; will write: “ For me, the main thing was serving the Motherland, my people. And & nbsp; with & nbsp; with a clear conscience, I can say: I & nbsp; did everything to fulfill this duty … I & nbsp; lived my life with the & nbsp; consciousness that I bring benefit to the people, and & nbsp; this is the main thing for any life.
There is no & nbsp; indifferent to Georgy Zhukov. For some, he is & nbsp; is the main commander of Victory, for others & nbsp; & mdash; a bloody monster, not sparing soldiers' lives. Zhukov's critics vied with each other: victories could have been won with & nbsp; less losses, more skillfully.
Here is just an analysis in the & nbsp; silence of cozy offices & nbsp; & mdash; these are not & nbsp; sleepless nights in a front-line dugout, when the fate of the Motherland is at stake. “ Savior of the Fatherland '' & nbsp; & mdash; sounds, at first glance, too loud and & nbsp; pompous. But & nbsp; the point is & nbsp; at the end of 1941, General Zhukov really managed to finally break the whole war plan invented by Hitler's strategists.
One battle for & nbsp; Moscow would be enough to make history forever. But & nbsp; in the & nbsp; biography of Georgy Konstantinovich there were a lot of battles. Below we will talk about & nbsp; five, which can be considered the main.
Two years before & nbsp; how to take a blow from the Nazis at the & nbsp; walls of Moscow, little known then Zhukov took part in the & nbsp; battle, which in many ways predetermined the course of the Great Patriotic War.
The Japanese Empire, an ally of Hitler's Germany, pursued an aggressive policy, by & nbsp; 1932 occupied Manchuria, where the puppet state of Manchukuo was created.
However, the ambitions of the Japanese militarists were much broader. And & nbsp; the zone of their & nbsp; interests included the territory of an ally of the USSR & nbsp; & mdash; Mongolia, and & nbsp; also the Far Eastern and & nbsp; Siberian regions of the Soviet Union.
After the USSR and & nbsp; Mongolia signed the Protocol on & nbsp; Mutual Assistance in & nbsp; 1936, Red Army units were deployed on Mongolian territory, ready to repulse the aggressors.
Georgy Zhukov at Khalkin Gol. Photo: RIA Novosti/Pavel Troshkin
At the beginning of 1939, the Japanese side demanded the recognition of the Khalkhin-Gol River as the border between Manchukuo and Mongolia, although the border was & nbsp; 20 & ndash; 25 & nbsp; km to the east. The fact is that literally a couple of kilometers from the & nbsp; real border, the Japanese were building a strategic railway. The new transport artery was supposed to ensure the transfer of Japanese troops to the & nbsp; border of the USSR in the & nbsp; region of Irkutsk and & nbsp; Lake Baikal.
In & nbsp; May 1939, the Japanese managed to capture the commanding heights in the & nbsp; area of interest to them. The task of pushing back the enemy from the & nbsp; occupied positions was entrusted to to the commander of the 57th Special Rifle Corps, Divisional Commander Feklenko . However, the fighting became protracted, and the Japanese kept the initiative. Zhukov was appointed to replace Feklenko, whose actions were considered insufficiently successful.
By & nbsp; 1 & nbsp; July in the & nbsp; battle area, the Japanese concentrated about 38 & nbsp; 000 soldiers and & nbsp; officers. The & nbsp; armament had 158 heavy machine guns, 186 light and & nbsp; heavy guns, 124 anti-tank guns, 135 tanks and & nbsp; 10 & nbsp; armored vehicles, 225 & nbsp; aircraft. The total number of Soviet-Mongolian troops defended at the & nbsp; Khalkhin-Gol River was 12 & nbsp; 541 & nbsp; people. At & nbsp; their & nbsp; disposal were 139 & nbsp; machine guns, 86 & nbsp; light and & nbsp; heavy guns, 23 & nbsp; anti-tank guns, 186 tanks and & nbsp; 266 & nbsp; armored vehicles, 82 & nbsp; aircraft.
In & nbsp; July, Zhukov's forces repulsed the Japanese offensive with & nbsp; great losses for them & nbsp; & mdash; the so-called “ Bayan-Tsagan massacre ''. In & nbsp; August, the young commander, using maneuverable mechanized and & nbsp; tank units, inflicted powerful flank attacks on enemy positions. By & nbsp; 26 & nbsp; August 6th Japanese army, formed by a special imperial decree from the & nbsp; units fighting in the & nbsp; Khalkhin-Gol area, was completely surrounded, and & nbsp; then defeated.
The main result of the battle at & nbsp; Khalkhin Gol was Japan's refusal of a & nbsp; large-scale attack on the Soviet Union. The powerful rebuff provided by the Red Army forced the Japanese militarists to shift their interests to the & nbsp; side of Southeast Asia. And & nbsp; in & nbsp; 1941 & nbsp; year, despite & nbsp; all the appeals of the Nazis, Japan and & nbsp; will not & nbsp; enter the & nbsp; war against the USSR.
Defense of Leningrad
Several years ago, one of the & nbsp; TV channels arranged a scandalous poll about & nbsp; whether it was necessary & nbsp; to surrender Leningrad to the Germans in order to avoid mass casualties. In the fall of 1941, the Hitlerite command neither & nbsp; about & nbsp; what a long blockade and & nbsp; didn & nbsp; dreamed of, being sure that the cradle of the Russian revolution would fall in & nbsp; the shortest possible time.
The German offensive that began on August 8 & nbsp; on August 8, 1941, created & nbsp; disastrous situation. By & nbsp; 8 & nbsp; September troops of the “ North '' captured the city of Shlisselburg, taking control of the source of the Neva and & nbsp; blocking Leningrad from & nbsp; land.
9 & nbsp; September 9 commander of the German Army Group North; Wilhelm von Leeb began the assault on the city.
As a result, the defense of the Soviet troops around the city was broken. At this moment, the command of the Leningrad Front was transferred to Georgy Zhukov.
Georgy Zhukov. Leningrad, 1943. Photo: RIA Novosti
At & nbsp; the very moment when he took command, President of Finland Risto Ryti I already drew in a & nbsp; conversation with the & nbsp; German envoy the future of the taken city: “ If St./p>
Georgy Konstantinovich himself recalled: “ The situation prevailing near Leningrad, Stalin at & nbsp; that moment was assessed as catastrophic. He once & nbsp; even used the word & bdquo; hopeless & ldquo;. He & nbsp; said that, apparently, a few more days would pass, and & nbsp; Leningrad would have to be considered lost. ”
The new commander of the Leningrad Front was not going to surrender. Order in the & nbsp; troops was established in the most rigid manner. American historian Harrison Salisbury wrote: “ If something and & nbsp; stopped the Germans, then & nbsp; it is blood. Human losses in & nbsp; those September days cannot be counted. Katyushas? Maybe … Zhukov's iron will? Zhukov was terrible in & nbsp; those September days. There is no other way to put it. He & nbsp; threatened the commanders with execution, fired them to the left and & nbsp; to the right, demanded only one thing: attack, attack, attack! In & nbsp; this was the whole essence of his orders. It is not & nbsp; important how weak the squad is, it is not & nbsp; important, whether they & nbsp; have rifles, cartridges, no matter that they retreated in & nbsp; for several weeks. Ordered to advance! ''
By the end of September 1941, it was possible to stop the enemy's movement forward in the & nbsp; suburbs of Leningrad. The front line barely & nbsp; didn’t & nbsp; come close to & nbsp; Kirovsky plant and & nbsp; was in & nbsp; some fifteen kilometers from & nbsp; Winter Palace.
Our losses were great, but & nbsp; and & nbsp; Sever Army Group & laquo; ; has exhausted its offensive capabilities. Zhukov reserved for Leningrad a chance for & nbsp; further struggle, and, ultimately, a chance for & nbsp; future victory.
Battle for & nbsp; Moscow
Immediately after stabilization near Leningrad, Zhukov was urgently recalled to & nbsp; Moscow. In the & nbsp; central direction in the & nbsp; encirclement were the main forces of the Western and & nbsp; Reserve fronts. We are talking about & nbsp; more than 600 thousand soldiers and & nbsp; officers. In fact, there are no forces left in front of the capital that & nbsp; could & nbsp; protect it.
Sounds like madness, but & nbsp; true truth: the headquarters of the commander of the Reserve Front Semyon Budyonny Zhukov had to look for him, driving around the neighborhood, because where he was, no one could tell him. When & nbsp; Georgy Konstantinovich nevertheless found Semyon Mikhailovich in & nbsp; Maloyaroslavets, he admitted that command and control had been lost. The & nbsp; & nbsp; & nbsp; Commander of the Western Front Ivan Konev was not doing better. In a & nbsp; note to Andrei Zhdanov Zhukov admitted: “ I took from them one recollection. From & nbsp; Budyonny headquarters and & nbsp; ninety people. From & nbsp; Konev headquarters and & nbsp; two spare regiments & raquo ;.
But & nbsp; at the same time, Zhukov, the same ruthless Zhukov, saved Konev, who was about to be brought to court. He & nbsp; told Stalin that he needed Konev to control troops in remote areas, as a person who knows the situation.
The two fronts that Zhukov took command did not actually & nbsp; exist. As well as & nbsp; not & nbsp; there was a new line of defense. Zhukov had to collect scattered units, establishing at least some kind of defense, accept and & nbsp; enter into the battle the reserves arriving from & nbsp; other directions, and & nbsp; simultaneously think about how to radically change the situation on the & nbsp; front.
In & nbsp; November 1941 & nbsp; year, in & nbsp; the height of defensive battles already on the & nbsp; close approaches to & nbsp; Moscow, there was such an episode. Zhukov got a call from Stalin:
& laquo; & mdash; Are you & nbsp; sure that we & nbsp; will hold Moscow? I & nbsp; ask you about & nbsp; this with & nbsp; pain in & nbsp; soul. Speak honestly like a communist.
& mdash; & nbsp; We will definitely hold Moscow & raquo;, & nbsp; & mdash; Zhukov replied, perfectly understanding the scale of responsibility he & nbsp; takes on himself.
Like & nbsp; near Leningrad, he & nbsp; managed to stop the enemy when it seemed that it was already impossible. The Germans managed to see the Kremlin through binoculars before secretly accumulated reserves on December 5, 1941 began a counteroffensive, which turned out to be the first large-scale defeat for the Wehrmacht since the beginning of World War II.
In the fall of 2021, in the & nbsp; German press they started talking about & nbsp; that thaws were to blame for the failure of the Wehrmacht near Moscow. Zhukov himself answered & nbsp; this in & nbsp; in & nbsp; in & nbsp; his memoirs: “ Bourgeois historians blame dirt and mud on everything. This version is also not & nbsp; new … But & nbsp; I & nbsp; saw with my own eyes how in & nbsp; that & nbsp; the same mud and & nbsp; thousands and & nbsp; thousands of Muscovites, mainly women, not & nbsp; not adapted, generally speaking, to & nbsp; heavy sapper works, they dug anti-tank ditches, trenches, set up gaps, erected barriers, dragged bags of & nbsp; sand … No! Not & nbsp; rain and & nbsp; snow stopped the Nazi troops near Moscow. More than a million group of selected Hitlerite troops crashed against the & nbsp; iron fortitude, courage and & nbsp; heroism of the Soviet troops, behind which was their & nbsp; people, capital, Motherland.
Wislo- Oder operation
The offensive carried out by the Red Army in & nbsp; January 1945 & nbsp; sometimes remains in the & nbsp; shadow of other battles, and & nbsp; completely in vain. It was already another stage of the war and & nbsp; another Zhukov, demonstrating the art of a swift offensive.
By the beginning of 1945, it was clear that the Third Reich would be defeated. But & nbsp; from & nbsp; where and & nbsp; how the war ended, the structure of the post-war world depended. The top of Nazi Germany was not averse to concluding a separate peace in the West in order to throw all their forces against the USSR. Among the Western allies, there were many who were quite satisfied with this scenario.
And & nbsp; the fact that it & nbsp; was not & nbsp; was implemented & nbsp; & mdash; this is largely the merit of the Soviet commanders.
The main figures of the Vistula-Oder operation were Zhukov, who commanded the 1st Belorussian Front, and & nbsp; Ivan Konev, who headed the 1st Ukrainian Front.
Early in the morning of 12 & nbsp; January 1945, the troops of the 1st Ukrainian Front struck at & nbsp; Hitler's units from the Sandomierz bridgehead. Two days later, from the & nbsp; Magnushevsky and & nbsp; Bridgeheads, the 1st Belorussian Front launched an offensive And & nbsp; the already thinned tank units of the Wehrmacht, advanced to the front line, suffered heavy losses from the & nbsp; strikes of the Red Army artillery.
Soviet troops, breaking through the Nazi defenses, confidently advanced westward. Only on the & nbsp; fourth day of the offensive of the Red Army Hitler gave the order to begin the transfer of reserves to the & nbsp; area of Warsaw. But & nbsp; it was too late & nbsp; & mdash; The 47th Army of the 1st Belorussian Front bypassed Warsaw from the & nbsp; north. & Nbsp; January 16, the headquarters of Army Group A reported to & nbsp; Berlin that the Polish capital would not be able to & nbsp; & mdash; forces and & nbsp; funds for this simply not & nbsp; was. Hitler ordered to hold Warsaw at any cost, but & nbsp; 17 & nbsp; January 1945, units of the Red Army and & nbsp; 1st Army of the Polish Army, which was part of the 1st Belorussian Front, liberated the city from & nbsp; Germans.
К & nbsp ; at the end of 18 & nbsp; January, the enemy's defense was broken through on a & nbsp; sector of the front with a length of & nbsp; 500 kilometers at & nbsp; a depth of 100 & ndash; 150 & nbsp; kilometers. The main forces of Army Group A were broken.
On January 19, 1945, units of the 1st Ukrainian Front, pursuing the retreating Nazis, entered the & nbsp; territory of Germany in & nbsp; Upper Silesia. Parts of the left wing of the front liberated Polish Krakow.
The Wehrmacht could not restore the front, even throwing its last reserves into the battle. By & nbsp; 25 & nbsp; January, the troops of the 1st Belorussian Front overcame the Wartowski and & nbsp; Poznan defensive lines and & nbsp; surrounded the 60-thousandth enemy garrison in & nbsp; Poznan.
On January 22 & nbsp; advanced Soviet units reached the Oder, and on February 3 & nbsp; were captured and & nbsp; bridgeheads were firmly held on & nbsp; its western bank in & nbsp; Steinau, Breslau, Oppeln and Kürnest areas. Before & nbsp; Berlin, there were only 60 & ndash; 70 & nbsp; kilometers.
Georgy Zhukov's report to the State Defense Committee from & nbsp; 29 & nbsp; January 1945 is somewhat akin to the victorious reports of Suvorov : “ For & nbsp; 17 & nbsp; days of offensive battles, front troops covered up to & nbsp; 400 & nbsp; kilometers. The entire western part of Poland in the & nbsp; band of the 1st Belorussian Front was cleared of the & nbsp; enemy, and & nbsp; the Polish population, oppressed by the Germans for five and & nbsp; half years, & nbsp; & mdash; released. The rapid advance of troops prevented the Nazis from destroying cities and & nbsp; industrial enterprises, railways and & nbsp; highways, did not & nbsp; make it possible to hijack and & nbsp; exterminate the Polish population, take out cattle and & nbsp; food & raquo ;.
German General von von Mellenthin In & nbsp; in his memoirs he wrote: “ The Russian offensive beyond & nbsp; the Vistula developed with & nbsp; unprecedented strength and & nbsp; swiftness. It is impossible to describe everything that happened between the Vistula and the & nbsp; Oder in the & nbsp; first months of 1945 & nbsp; year. Europe did not & nbsp; know anything like it since & nbsp; the time of the death of the Roman Empire. & Raquo ;.
The capture of Berlin
Paradox, but & nbsp; the pearl of the military leadership of Georgy Zhukov & nbsp; & mdash; Berlin offensive operation & nbsp; & mdash; critics call it extremely unfortunate, accusing the marshal of unreasonably high losses.
Recall that three fronts took part in the & nbsp; Berlin offensive operation: 1st Belorussian (Zhukov), 1st Ukrainian (Konev) and & nbsp; 2nd Belorussian (Rokossovsky).
According to the general plan of the Berlin operation, the following tasks were assigned:
1st Belorussian Front & nbsp; & mdash; seize the capital of Germany, Berlin.
1st Ukrainian Front & nbsp; & mdash; strike a cleaving blow south of Berlin, isolate the main forces of Army Group Center from the & nbsp; Berlin grouping and & nbsp; this to ensure the main blow of the 1st Belorussian Front from the & nbsp; south.
The 2nd Belorussian Front & nbsp; & mdash; deliver a dissecting blow north of Berlin, protecting the right flank of the 1st Belorussian Front from & nbsp; possible enemy counterattacks from the north.
Berlin was defended by an enemy group of & nbsp; 1 & nbsp; a million people, which had 1500 tanks and & nbsp; self-propelled guns, 3300 aircraft and & nbsp; 10 & nbsp; 400 guns and & nbsp; mortars.
The German command reasonably hoped to turn the battle for & nbsp; the capital of the Reich into & nbsp; a protracted battle.
But everything turned out differently. At & nbsp; 5 & nbsp; o'clock in the morning on April 16, artillery preparation began in the & nbsp; band of the 1st Belorussian Front. The enemy's first line of defense was literally swept away. The blow was so strong that the Germans reported the & nbsp; use of new “ unknown weapons '' by the Russians.
In the first one and a half to two hours of the offensive, the Soviet units did not & nbsp; encounter virtually no resistance, however, the Germans managed to recover and & nbsp; met the attackers with powerful fire on the & nbsp; second line of defense.
There is a myth about & nbsp; that Zhukov in vain put a huge number of soldiers in a senseless head-on assault on the Seelow Heights. But & nbsp; the truth is & nbsp; the fact that of the & nbsp; total irretrievable losses of the Red Army in the & nbsp; course of the Berlin operation at & nbsp; Seelow Heights accounted for not & nbsp; more than 5000. The crisis that arose there was resolved by Zhukov's introduction into & nbsp; the battle of the guards tank armies.
As a result, after the fierce battles on April 17 & nbsp; by the morning of April 18 & nbsp; tank and & nbsp; rifle units broke through the defense line on the Seelow Heights, and & nbsp; to & nbsp; to & nbsp; the end of April 19 & nbsp;, having broken through the third defensive strip & nbsp; got the opportunity to develop an offensive on & nbsp; Berlin.
Zhukov and & nbsp; Konev managed to solve one more important problem & nbsp; & mdash; not to allow the strengthening of the Berlin garrison at the expense of the organized retreat of German units. By the & nbsp; evening of 24 & nbsp; April, the formations of the 1st Ukrainian Front entered & nbsp; contact with the & nbsp; troops of the 1st Belorussian Front, thereby encircling the 9th German army southeast of Berlin and & nbsp; cutting it off from & nbsp; the city. The 200,000-strong group of fascists & nbsp; could no longer influence the fate of the Nazi capital, which predetermined a quick end.
Contrary to myths, the use of Soviet tanks directly in the & nbsp; limits of Berlin was justified and & nbsp; effective. The notorious “ faustpatrones '' were dangerous at & nbsp; distances not & nbsp; more than 30 & nbsp; meters, and & nbsp; “ faustics '' successfully destroyed submachine gunners from the & nbsp; composition of the Soviet assault groups. The tactics of using assault groups in & nbsp; city conditions, which appeared in the & nbsp; battles for & nbsp; Stalingrad, by the & nbsp; spring 1945 had been worked out and & nbsp; honed. Therefore, despite & nbsp; all efforts, the Wehrmacht & nbsp; did not succeed in prolonging the Berlin agony.
In fact, a well-fortified city, defended by a group of millions, was taken in & nbsp; two weeks. In & nbsp; during the Berlin offensive operation, the total losses of Soviet troops amounted to 352 & nbsp; 475 & nbsp; people, of & nbsp; them irrecoverable & nbsp; & mdash; 78 & nbsp; 291 & nbsp; people. The losses of the Polish troops amounted to 8,892 & nbsp; people, of & nbsp; them irrecoverable & nbsp; & mdash; 2825 & nbsp; people. The German group defending Berlin lost about 400 & nbsp; thousand killed, another 380 thousand were taken prisoner.