Chapter I
"The World Will Hold Its Breath"

At first light on 22 June 1941 German troops stormed into the Soviet Union. Operation BARBAROSSA had begun. The invasion achieved a total strategic surprise. The German offensive was well across the border before Moscow issued the first order to counterattack.1 By then, several hours after sunrise, the Germans had taken every bridge on all the border rivers from the Baltic to the eastern tip of the Carpathians. Soviet troops were being captured in their barracks. At daylight the Luftwaffe had struck the airfields in western Russia destroying the Soviet planes on the ground, and German bombers had attacked the cities on a line from Murmansk to Odessa and Sevastopol. By afternoon, the Germans had broken Soviet frontier defenses, and panzer columns were gathering speed as they knifed into stunned and disorganized Soviet forces.

Adolf Hitler had said, "The world will hold its breath and fall silent when BARBAROSSA is mounted."2 The world did not fall completely silent. British Prime Minister Winston S. Churchill proposed a military alliance to the Soviet Union on the day of the invasion, and President Franklin D. Roosevelt offered U.S. lend-lease aid two days later. But the world did hold its breath. In Washington, the War Department War Plans Division expected a Soviet defeat in one to three months.3 Sir Stafford Cripps, the British ambassador in Moscow, predicted a German victory in three to four weeks, while the British Joint Intelligence Committee gave the Russians "a few months at the outside."4 Indeed, BARBAROSSA appeared to be, as Hitler claimed, the greatest military operation of all time, capable of defeating the Soviet Union in a single summer's campaign.

The Deployments

German and Allied Forces

Hitler was the Fuehrer ("leader") and chancellor of Germany and supreme commander of the German armed forces. The latter role had emerged in 1938 when Hitler had combined what had been the president's constitutional powers (under the Weimar Constitution) as commander in chief of the armed forces with the minister of war's direct command responsibility. The Armed Forces High Command


(Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, OKW), under the Chief, OKW, Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm Keitel, had assumed the minister of war's former administrative roles, and the OKW Operations Staff did Hitler's military operational planning. General der Artillerie Alfred Jodl, the chief of the OKW Operations Staff, was Hitler's personal chief of staff. The service commands--the Army High Command (Oberkommando des Heeres, OKH), the Air Force High Command (Oberkommando der Luftwaffe, OKL), and the Navy High Command (Oberkommando der Kriegsmarine, OKM)--executed operations on the basis of strategic directives from Hitler issued through the OKW Operations Staff. The service commanders in chief--Generalfeldmarschall Walter von Brauchitsch (army), Reichsmarschall Hermann Goering (air force), and Grossadmiral Erich Raeder (navy) reported directly to Hitler and also received verbal instructions from him.

The campaign in the Soviet Union brought a split in the German command structure. Hitler limited the OKH's sphere of responsibility to the Eastern Front and gave the OKW control in the Western Theater, the Balkans, North Africa, and Scandinavia (including Finland). The OKH thereby lost control of army elements in the other theaters but did not achieve full independence in the East since Hitler continued to issue his strategic directives through the OKW Operations Staff.

When BARBAROSSA began, the military and political decisionmakers in Germany moved from Berlin to the forests of East Prussia. Berlin, with its centers of military communications, could have served as well, but Hitler chose to build an elaborate special headquarters, the Wolfsschanze ("Wolf's Lair"), in the Goerlitz Forest east of Rastenburg. A field headquarters apparently had two advantages that to Hitler made it worth the inconvenience and expense: it placed him symbolically at the head of the troops and physically at the top and the center of the command hierarchy.

Situated astride the Rastenburg-Angerburg railroad, the Wolfsschanze consisted of painstakingly camouflaged, mostly concrete buildings and bunkers sealed off from the outside by rings of steel fences, palisades, and earthworks. Hitler lived and worked with his intimate military and political advisers in one compound; another, a short distance away, housed a detachment of the OKW Operations Staff and a communications center. About a dozen miles away and also on the railroad, which was closed to general traffic, the OKH maintained a compound in the Mauerwald just outside Angerburg. Elaborate as they were, the Wolfsschanze and the Mauerwald compound could only accommodate fractions of the OKW and OKH staffs; the rest stayed in and around Berlin and kept in contact with the Wolfsschanze by air and courier train.5

The German allies were Italy, Rumania, Hungary, and Slovakia. Bulgaria was an ally but did not declare war on the Soviet Union. Finland did declare war on the Soviet Union on 26



June but as a "cobelligerent," not as an ally. Maintaining that it was useless to base operations on forces that could not be "counted on with certainty," Hitler had kept the allied commands, except those of Rumania and Finland, out of the planning. He had allowed the Rumanians and Finns to be brought in during the final stages because German forces would have to deploy on those countries' territory--and, in the case of the Finns, because their army's performance against the Soviet Union in the Winter War of 1939-1940 had favorably impressed him.6

The senior German field commands were to be three army group headquarters, each responsible for operations in one of the main sectors: Army Group North, led by Generalfeldmarschall Wilhelm von Leeb, was to attack out of East Prussia, through the Baltic States toward Leningrad; Army Group Center, under Generalfeldmarschall Fedor von Bock, assembled on the frontier east of Warsaw for a thrust via Minsk and Smolensk toward Moscow; and Army Group South, Generalfeldmarschall Gerd von Rundstedt commanding, was responsible for the sector between the Pripyat Marshes and the Black Sea and was to drive toward Kiev and the line of the Dnepr River. Seven armies and four panzer groups were assigned to the army groups: Sixteenth, Eighteenth, and Fourth Panzer to North; Fourth, Ninth, Second Panzer,


Map 1
German-Soviet Frontier
22 June 1941

and Third Panzer to Center; and Sixth, Eleventh, Seventeenth, and First Panzer to South. The panzer groups were in fact full-fledged armored armies, but owing to conservatism among some of the senior generals, they were not yet designated as such. (Map 1.)

The OKL attached an air force (Luftflotte) to each of the army groups: First Air Force to Army Group North, Second to Army Group Center, and Fourth to Army Group South. The air forces were operationally independent, and their relationship with the army groups was confined to cooperation and coordination. During the first five months of 1941, the Luftwaffe had been almost totally committed against Great Britain and would have to continue its attacks on a reduced scale during BARBAROSSA. Because a sudden drop in the number of flights over Britain could have given BARBAROSSA away, the Luftwaffe also could not shift its planes east until the last minute. Moreover, the Balkans campaign (April 1941) and the invasion of Crete (May 1941) had required unanticipated expenditures of effort. Because of these complications, particularly the strain that fighting on two widely separated fronts would impose on his resources and organization, Goering had talked against attacking the Soviet Union.7

The navy also was heavily engaged against Great Britain, and Raeder, like Goering, would have preferred not to become engaged elsewhere. The navy's missions were to take control of the Baltic Sea and to conduct limited operations in the Arctic Ocean and the


Black Sea. But Raeder did not believe the navy could carry out any of them until after German air and ground action had eliminated most of the Soviet ships and bases.8

The Finnish Army operated independently under its own Commander in Chief, Marshal Carl Mannerheim. The main direction of its attack was to be to the southeast on both sides of Lake Ladoga to increase the pressure on the Soviet forces defending Leningrad and thereby facilitate Army Group North's advance. An Army of Norway expeditionary force of two German and one Finnish corps, under OKW control, was to advance out of northern Finland toward Murmansk and the Murmansk (Kirov) Railroad. The primary assignment of the Army of Norway and its air support command, Fifth Air Force, was the defense of Norway. The Rumanian Third and Fourth Armies, attached to Army Group South, had the very limited initial mission of assisting in the conquest of Bessarabia.

The OKH assigned 3,050,000 men and 148 divisions, including 19 panzer and 15 motorized divisions, or 75 percent of the existing German Army field strength to BARBAROSSA.9 The Army of Norway deployed another 4 German divisions, 67,000 troops, in northern Finland. The Finnish Army added 500,000 men in 14 divisions and 3 brigades. Rumania's contribution of about 150,000 men consisted of 14 divisions and 3 brigades, all understrength. The BARBAROSSA force initially had 3,350 tanks, 7,184 artillery pieces, 600,000 motor vehicles, and 625,000 horses. The number of German ground troops actually committed up to the first week of July apparently was 2.5 million. The OKL provided 2,770 aircraft, 65 percent of its total first-line strength of 4,300.10

Soviet Forces

Josef Stalin, the general secretary of the Soviet Communist Party, had become head of the Soviet government on 6 May 1941 when he made himself chairman of the Council of People's Commissars. Although he undoubtedly could have done so, he had not, as of 22 June 1941, assumed a clear statutory relationship to the armed forces, which were subordinated to several bodies. Nominally the highest of these was the Defense Committee of the Council of People's Commissars. Marshal Sovetskogo Soyuza Kliment Voroshilov was the chairman, and Stalin, Vyacheslav M. Molotov (the deputy chairman of the Council of People's Commissars) and the people's commissars of defense and the navy were members. The Defense Committee supervised and coordinated all the state agencies engaged in building up the armed forces. The People's Commissariat of Defense, under Marshal Sovetskogo Soyuza Semen Timoshenko, and the People's Commissariat of the Navy, under Admiral N. G. Kuznetsov, were the top military agencies.


Within the Defense Commissariat, the Main Military Council was the decision-making body. Timoshenko was the chairman, and Stalin, Molotov, and eight deputy defense commissars (of which the Chief of the General Staff, General Armii Georgi Zhukov, was one) were members. Zhukov was the council's secretary, and the General Staff drafted plans for it and acted as its channel to the lower commands. Additionally, the people's commissar of defense exercised command of the army through the General Staff and his deputy commissars. The navy had a separate command structure and its own main council.11 The war plans anticipated that in the event of a general war, an all-powerful war cabinet similar to one (the Defense Council, later Council of Labor and Defense) V. I. Lenin had headed from 1918 to 1920 and a general headquarters modeled after the imperial Stavka ("staff") of World War I would be created, but neither of these existed on 22 June 1941.12

The highest-level army field commands prior to the outbreak of the war were the military districts. In peacetime, they conducted training, supervised garrisons and cadres, and provided the machinery for mobilization. Those districts on the frontiers were set up to be converted into front (that is, army group) headquarters in the event of war. As of early 1941, there were sixteen military districts and one front, the Far Eastern.13 The military districts on the western frontier were the Leningrad, Baltic Special, Western Special, Kiev Special, and Odessa districts. On 22 June 1941, the five became fronts. Leningrad, with three armies and General Leytenant M. M. Popov in command, became North Front with responsibility for the Baltic coast and operations against Finland. Baltic Special, also with three armies and under General Polkovnik F. I. Kuznetsov, became Northwest Front and took over the defense on the East Prussian border. Western Special and Kiev Special became West Front (four armies under General Armii D. G. Pavlov) and Southwest Front (four armies under General Polkovnik M. P. Kirponos) and divided the vital zone from East Prussia to the Carpathians between them at the Pripyat River. The fifth, Odessa, which originally had just one army, became South Front several days later, after General Armii F. V. Tyulenev took command with what had been the Headquarters, Moscow Military District, and built a second army from Southwest Front divisions. The South-Southwest boundary was at Lipkan on the upper Bug River.14



Soviet command at all levels was complicated by political surveillance and control embodied in the commissar system. As it had been developed in the civil war and reinstituted in 1937 following a period in which politically reliable commanders had been allowed to act as their own commissars, the system required all orders to be reviewed and countersigned by a commissar. So-called unity of command excluding the commissars from military decision making had been installed in August 1940, after the war with Finland, but the structure of the commissar system had remained in place.15 In the regimental and higher staffs the former commissars had stayed on as deputy commanders for political affairs and "members of the military councils," which consisted of themselves, the commanders, and the chiefs of staff.16 On 16 July 1941, the Politburo reinstalled commissars in the military staffs and restored their authority to review and revoke commanders' decisions; it also installed politruks ("political leadership officers") at the lower echelons, down to the platoons. The Chief of the Army's Main Political Administration, L. Z. Mekhlis, henceforth saw to it that every commander had a political officer at his elbow watching his every move and schooled to see sabotage or treason in war's ordinary mischances.17

An organization that had no command functions but power at all levels


was the secret political police of the People's Commissariat of Internal Affairs (Narodnyy Komissariat Vnutrennikh Del, NKVD). It had vast and elastic authority over state security and, through its special duty (Osobyi Otdel, O.O.) sections in the armed forces, maintained surveillance of officers and men. It also had troops of its own that were often formed into blocking detachments and used to prevent or stop retreats by passing summary judgment on anyone, officer or private, culpable under NKVD directives. The NKVD and the Main Political Administration provided Stalin with a constant stream of information, outside military channels, about officers' actions and behavior.

In June 1941, the Soviet forces, the army in particular, were in a state of flux. In part it involved modernization and expansion, which had been going on throughout the 1930s and at an accelerated rate after war broke out in September 1939. Most immediately, the changes were an effort to act upon the lessons learned in the war with Finland. Mannerheim, the Finnish Army's commander in chief, had compared the Soviet performance in that war to that of a badly conducted orchestra in which the players could not keep time.18 The trouble had not been primarily with manpower or equipment. Despite Soviet deficiencies in the latter, the Finnish Army had been so much smaller and more lightly armed that equipment should not have been a significant factor. Inexperience had counted heavily at all levels but most particularly in the upper ranks. Purges in the mid-1930s had carried away many senior officers who had been hurriedly replaced by men advanced from posts far down the line.19 Beyond that, the Finnish War had exposed deep-seated rigidity, lack of initiative, and failure to grant and to assume responsibility. Since these failings stemmed directly from the autocracy Stalin had imposed to maintain his own position and that of the Communist Party, they were extraordinarily difficult to correct.

Efforts during 1940 to correct these shortcomings had met with mixed results. In the spring, the Commissariat of Defense and the army issued revised field regulations and training manuals condemning formula-ridden, oversimplified training. Commissariat of Defense Order 120 of 16 May 1940 had called for combat-oriented training during the summer and had emphasized military discipline and tradition. Also in May, general officer and admiral ranks, which had been abolished since the revolution, had been instituted to enhance commanders' authority and self-esteem. Unity of command was, of course, the major effort to boost their authority. Still, by year's end, improvement "had only begun." After a conference of top army commanders in December 1941, the


Defense Commissariat issued Order 30, "On the Tasks of Combat and Political Training for 1941," specifying aspects of troop and command training in which deficiencies persisted.20

The effort to modernize equipment was also just beginning to take effect in June 1941, although, in strictly numerical terms, the Soviet forces may actually have been the best equipped in the world at that time. By 1937, 15,000 tanks had been produced, and the output thereafter had been over 3,000 per year. Stalin may well not have exaggerated when he told Harry L. Hopkins, the U.S. lend-lease negotiator, in July 1941, that the Soviet Union had 24,000 tanks when the war broke out. Military aircraft production from 1 January 1939 to June 1941 totaled 17,745 airplanes, and the army had 67,335 artillery pieces and mortars (larger than 50-mm.) in June 1941.21 But many of the tanks and aircraft were obsolete, and most were below standard for the time.

Two new tank types, the T-34 and KV (Kliment Voroshilov), were far superior to any the Germans had, even on the drawing boards. The Soviet T-34 medium tank at twenty-eight tons outweighed by three tons the heaviest German tank, the Panzer IV, and had a top speed of thirty-two mph against the Panzer IV's twenty-four mph. The Panzer IV's short-barreled 75-mm. gun was no match, either in range or velocity, for the T-34's longer-barreled 76-mm. gun. The KV, twenty tons heavier than the T-34 but powered with the same twelve-cylinder diesel engine, was slower (with a top speed of twenty mph) but more heavily armored, and it also carried a 76-mm. gun. Despite their greater weights, wide treads on the T-34 and KV gave them as much as 25 percent lower ground pressures per square inch than the German tanks and yielded better traction on mud or snow. Moreover, their welded, sloping hull and turret armor made them impervious to all but the heaviest German antitank weapons. The Russians began producing both in 1940 but had managed to build only 639 KVs and 1,225 T-34s before June 1941.22

A third new Soviet tank type was the light (6.5 tons) T-60. It was a two-man vehicle, mounting a 20-mm. cannon and a 7.62-mm. machine gun and carrying a maximum 30-mm. of armor. Roughly comparable to the German Panzer II, on which it may, in part, have been modeled, the T-60 was much inferior to the Panzer III or IV. Its outstanding virtue was that its chassis and gasoline engine could be built quickly in ordinary automobile plants using standard automotive components. In 1940, the Russians had built 2,421 T-60s as against 256 KVs and 117 T-34s.23

Having assumed from experience in


the Spanish civil war as other armies also did that tanks would chiefly perform infantry support, the Soviet Army had disbanded several mechanized and tank corps organized in the early 1930s and did not reform large armored units until after the fall of France. In late 1940, it activated eight mechanized corps, each with 36,000 troops and an allotment of 1,031 tanks. In February and March 1941, it began setting up another twenty. Apparently, few of the mechanized corps were fully equipped by June 1941.24

Although the great majority of the Soviet aircraft were not equal to the high performance types the Germans had introduced into the war in 1939, Soviet designers had developed some newer models, particularly the MIG-3, YAK-1, and LAGG fighters and the IL-2 (Shturmovik). The Shturmovik, publicized early in the war as a competitor with the German Stuka (JU-87) dive-bomber, was primarily a ground attack plane and dive-bomber, slow but well armored and difficult to shoot down. The three fighters had the features of the advanced western types, but only the MIG-3, at 370 mph plus, could match the speed of the standard German fighter (the ME-109). By June 1941, Soviet air units had received 2,739 planes of these types.

The Soviet preparations had concentrated on weapons but neglected the supplementary equipment needed to make them effective. The artillery, for instance, used ordinary farm tractors as prime movers, and the motorized divisions had less than half their planned allotments of trucks. The army was weak in all kinds of motor vehicles except tanks and would remain so until the flow of American-built trucks and cars through lend-lease took effect. Railroad transportation also was deficient. Railroad investment during the 1930s had mostly favored industrial development projects and had slighted the existing network. The expansion into Poland, the Baltic States, and Bessarabia in 1939 and 1940 had made the frontier military districts dependent on several different railroad systems, whose variations in gauge and other problems, often necessitated transloading from one railline to another at the old border.25

Still another weakness was signal communications. Moscow had contact with the military districts by telephone, telegraph, and radio but mainly by telephone, apparently over the lines of the civilian system. Communications in the field were uncertain. The radio networks were thin. The masses of booty the Germans took in 1941 contained only 150 radio sets. Zhukov's and other high ranking commanders' memoirs confirm that they spent much time out of touch with subordinate headquarters. Even the newest tanks did not carry radios. In the air forces, only the squadron commanders' planes had radios, of which, because of their poor quality, the History of the Great Patriotic War states, "flight personnel made little use while in the air."26

On 22 June 1941, according to most Soviet accounts, the western military districts had 2.9 million men in 170


divisions and 2 brigades; none of the divisions were at full strength.27 This figure includes rifle (infantry) and cavalry divisions and, apparently, also tank and motorized divisions, although the Soviet accounts are not clear on the latter.28 As of early July, the number of divisions increased to 212, of which 90 were at full strength. The western military districts also had 7 of the newly formed mechanized corps, and 13 more were being set up there.29 The Soviet accounts vary on the types and numbers of tanks the mechanized corps had. Two give a total of 1,800 heavy and medium tanks--1,475 of them KVs and T-34s--plus "a significant number" of older, lighter models.30 One gives the figure 5,500 for the heavy and medium tanks and does not mention others.31 The western military districts' allotment of artillery pieces and mortars is given as 34,695, a specific enough number but one that lumps together two not exactly comparable weapons; and the air units are said to have had 1,540 planes of the new types and "significant numbers" of older models.32

German Strategy

On the last day of July 1940, when Hitler announced his decision to invade the Soviet Union to a small group of his generals, he described his grand strategic design as follows: "England's hope is Russia and America. If Russia is lost, America will be also, because the loss of Russia will result in an enormous rise of Japan in East Asia. If Russia is smashed, then England's last hope is extinguished. Then Germany will be the master of Europe and the Balkans.33 Therefore, he concluded, the Soviet Union had to be "finished off in one go" and "the sooner the better."34

To Hitler and his military advisers, the strategic concerns associated with a war in the Soviet Union appeared to be mostly geographical. One was the climate, which was markedly continental, with short, hot summers and long, extremely cold winters and an astonishing uniformity from north to south, considering the country's great expanse. Hitler observed at the group's first conference that it would be "hazardous" to winter in the Soviet Union, and, therefore, it would be better to delay the invasion until the next spring.35 Finishing off the Soviet Union then in "one go" would mean a single summer's campaign of no more than five months. Its beginning and end would also have to be adjusted to the rasputitsy ("times without roads") brought on by the spring thaw and the fall rains, which at both times turned the Soviet roads into impassable quagmires for periods of several weeks.


The big strategic question was the one that had also confronted earlier invaders: how to accomplish a military victory in the vastness of the Russian space? Apart from the Pripyat Marshes and several of the large rivers, the terrain did not offer notable impediments to the movement of modern military forces. But maintaining troop concentrations and supplying armies in the depths of this country presented staggering, potentially crippling, difficulties. The entire Soviet Union had only 51,000 miles of railroad, all of a different gauge than those in Germany and eastern Europe. Of 850,000 miles of road, 700,000 were hardly more than cart tracks; 150,000 miles were allegedly all-weather roads, but only 40,000 miles of those were hard surfaced.36

Hitler and the OKH agreed that the first objective in the campaign would have to be to cripple the Soviet resistance close to the frontier. In December, however, when they were drafting the strategic directive, their thinking diverged on how to accomplish the second objective, the final Soviet defeat. Brauchitsch and the General Staff proposed to aim the main thrust toward the Moscow area. The roads were best in that direction, and the General Staff believed the Soviet Command could be induced to commit its last strength there, to defend the capital, which was also the center of a vital industrial complex and the hub of the country's road and railroad networks. Hitler, however, did not believe the war could be decided on the Moscow axis. Directive 21, "for Operation BARBAROSSA," which Hitler signed on 18 December 1940, circumvented the issue by providing for simultaneous thrusts toward Leningrad, Moscow, and Kiev; a modified main effort toward Moscow; and a possible halt and diversion of forces from the Moscow thrust to aid the advance toward Leningrad. For the moment, the differences in opinion on strategy did not really interfere with the operation planning. The objectives were to trap the "mass" of the Soviet Army in sweeping envelopments close to the frontier, to annihilate it, and thereafter to occupy the Soviet territory east to the line of Arkhangelsk and the Volga River. The initial main effort would be in the center toward Moscow, and staff studies showed that the Soviet Union could be defeated in eight weeks, ten at most.37

To compel the Soviet forces to stand and fight appeared to be the chief requirement, and if they did that, they would be defeated. The Soviet Army, Hitler maintained, alluding to the military purge, "was leaderless." It had, he added, recently been given opportunities to "learn some correct lessons in the conduct of war" presumably by the German early campaigns and the war with Finland but whether it was exploiting them was "more than questionable," and, in any event, no substantive change could be accomplished by the spring of 1941. The Soviet armor, he believed, was no match even for the 24-ton German Panzer III, mounting a 50-mm. gun, and the rest of the Soviet weaponry, "except for a


few modern field batteries," was "copied old material."38

Under these circumstances, although Hitler did not entirely overlook other strategic problems, he did regard them as irrelevant to the kind of war being planned. One such problem was manpower potential. Greater Germany had a population of 89 million; the Soviet Union had 193 million people.39 But the Soviet people, in Hitler's opinion, were "inferior."40 Also, Hitler had not yet shifted the German economy to a wartime footing. The early blitzkrieg campaigns had been so successful and so relatively cheap that he had kept the economy on a quasi-peacetime basis. War production in 1941 was at the 1940 level, which itself had been lower than the original economic mobilization plans had specified. In the meantime, however, the Soviet Union had more than caught up with Germany in budgeting for war production. From 1935 through 1938, the Soviet Union had invested the equivalent of $4.7 billion in armaments, and Germany $8.6. The 1939 figures had been $3.3 (Soviet) and $3.4 (German). In 1940, they had risen to $5.0 (Soviet) and $6.0 (German), and in 1941, $8.5 (Soviet) and $6.0 (German).41

But Hitler had no time for doubts. He made just one comparison: "In the Spring [of 1941], we will be at a discernable high in leadership, material, and troops, and the Russians will be at an unmistakable low."42 On 11 June 1941, he issued Directive 32, "Preparations for the Period After BARBAROSSA," in which he anticipated leaving sixty divisions on security duty in the Soviet Union and having the rest of the forces redeployed for other missions by the late fall.43

Soviet Preparedness

Strategic Planning

For the Soviet Union, the French surrender in June 1940 made war with Germany a real and distinctly unwelcome contingency. Suddenly, the government and the armed forces, having just begun to digest the lessons of the war with Finland, found themselves alone on the Continent with a hugely expanded Germany that had accomplished in less than six weeks what it had been unable to do in the four years of World War I. Nikita Khrushchev, who by his own account was with Stalin when the news of the French capitulation came in, has described Stalin's cursing the British and French for having failed to resist and the gloom in the Soviet government at being isolated and facing "the most pressing and deadly threat in all history. . . ."44

In July 1940, the Soviet Army General Staff turned to what from then until the following June would be its priority concern: devising a strategy to meet a German attack. Marshal Sovetskogo Soyuza Boris Shaposhnikov, who


was then chief of the General Staff, assumed that Germany would have Finland, Hungary, Rumania, and Italy as allies, and, although he was "not excluding" the possibility of a two-front war involving Japan, he took the most pressing threat to be the one on the west.45 Even though Japan had been an active enemy of the Soviet Union for the previous several years, Shaposhnikov concluded that Germany was obviously the stronger, was closer to the Soviet vital centers, and was thought to be the one most likely to attack first. He and his subordinates then undertook to devise a response to the problem as he had broadly defined it.46

In September 1940, General Armii Kiril Meretskov, who had taken Shaposhnikov's place as chief of the General Staff in August, presented the results of the General Staff's work during the summer to Stalin and the Politburo as a plan for strategic deployment on the western frontier. At the meeting, by Stalin's decision, two fundamental premises became fixed elements in Soviet preinvasion strategy. One of these concerned the direction of the German main effort; the other concerned the nature of the Soviet response to an attack. The Soviet literature offers two versions of how those decisions were reached.

As Marshal A. M. Vasilevskiy, who was then the deputy operations chief, relates it, the General Staff view held that the probable main lines of the German attack would lie north of the lower San River; hence, in the center, toward Moscow, and on the north flank. Therefore, the General Staff proposed to deploy its strongest forces in the same area, specifically, between the Pripyat Marshes and the Baltic coast. However, according to Vasilevskiy, Stalin insisted the German main effort would be in the south, to capture the "rich resources and agricultural land of the Ukraine," and ordered the deployment reversed.47 Zhukov, who commanded the Kiev Special Military District, adds that Stalin was convinced the Germans would have to try to seize the Ukraine first and "it never occurred to anybody to question the correctness of his opinion."48 The History of the Second World War, citing Vasilevskiy and Zhukov, gives a similar account without mentioning Stalin.49 The three imply that the General Staff's purpose was to bring the Soviet main effort to bear in the direction of the probable strongest German attack.

A study on the initial period of the war done under General Armii S. P. Ivanov, who was at the time of the writing commandant of the Voroshilov Academy of the General Staff, sets the mislocation of the Soviet main effort in a different context. Ivanov says the General Staff had concluded that the German main effort would be directed southeast, to take the Ukraine, the Donets Basin, and, eventually, the Caucasus oil fields. It "did not exclude the possibility," however, that the main effort might be north of the Pripyat Marshes toward the "Smolensk Gate" and Moscow.50 The General Staff's concern in setting the location of the


Soviet main effort, the Ivanov study adds, was to mount the strongest possible blow with the aims of "repulsing aggression and carrying the war to the enemy's territory." Therefore, the General Staff proposed to deploy the Soviet main forces between the Pripyat Marshes and the Baltic coast, that is, in the center and on the north flank. At the meeting in September, the Ivanov study states, Stalin "expressed thoughts" on the enemy's main effort being in the south, and thereafter the General Staff reworked its plan to situate the Soviet main forces in the south as well.51

From the Ivanov study, which in point of time at least, supersedes Vasilevskiy's and Zhukov's writings on this period, it appears that Stalin and the General Staff were independently agreed on the location of the German main effort, and were both wrong. They apparently also overestimated the Soviet ability to respond offensively to a German attack. Without reading too much into Ivanov, it can be assumed then that the real difference of opinion was on the premises that would govern the choice of location for the Soviet main effort. The General Staff was looking for the shortest lines on which to carry the war to German territory. On the other hand, Stalin seems to have concluded that carrying the war to the enemy's territory along the line of the main enemy advance better satisfied his own theoretical requirement to "organize the decisive blow in the direction in which it may produce maximum results.52

During the last week of December 1940 and the first week of January 1941, the Defense Commissariat held a conference of senior officers in Moscow. The History of the Great Patriotic War and the History of the Second World War depict it as having been an extended symposium in which the generals exchanged views and had an opportunity to absorb the latest in Soviet military thought. Accounts in the memoirs of some of those who attended indicate it was also a war readiness review that disclosed deficiencies in the generals' ability to conduct large-scale operations and in armament, equipment, and training.53

After the conference closed, the military district commanders and their chiefs of staff stayed on to participate in a war game, which was played from 8 to 11 January and was based on the strategic plan the General Staff had developed in the past summer and had just finished revising in December.54 The game, Zhukov states, "abounded in dramatic situations for the red (Soviet) side" that "proved to be in many ways similar to what really happened after June 22, 1941. . . ."55 In brief, the Soviet side lost. When the chief of the General Staff, Meretskov, failed to explain this development satisfactorily, Stalin relieved him and appointed Zhukov (who had led the play on the "blue" [enemy] side) as his replacement.56


Manifestly displeased with the outcome of the war game, Stalin critiqued it in the Kremlin on 13 January. In the last of his several memoirs, the late Marshal Sovetskogo Soyuza A. I. Eremenko, who took part in the war game as a newly appointed military district commander, and who also attended the critique, has given the most explicit account to date of Stalin's comments.57 According to Eremenko, Stalin criticized the Commissariat of Defense and the General Staff for not having given the "military districts problems they will have to solve in actual war." He also reminded those present of the "complications" that had arisen in finding competent commanders and staffs for the Finnish War, and he laid down specific requirements: to prepare for a two-front war, to expand and rearm the forces, to create reserves, to "learn how to conduct" a war of fast movement and maneuver, and to "work out" the organizational "questions" evolving from the other requirements. Most significantly, Eremenko remembered Stalin's having said, "War is approaching fast and now is not distant. . . . We must gain a year and a half to two years' time to complete the rearmament plan."58 For Stalin, time had become a most precious strategic resource.

Operational Planning

The Soviet war literature offers two views of the state and nature of the nation's operational plans prior to the invasion: one asserts that such plans as did exist were tentative and not designed to do more than provide a limited capability to meet an attack; the other maintains that the plans were comprehensive and were believed to be adequate not merely to meet aggression but to repel it and to initiate operations to defeat it. The first view derives primarily from the early post-Stalin version of the war given in the History of the Great Patriotic War but is retained in the History of the Second World War. The second appears in Vasilevskiy's and Zhukov's memoirs, and the Ivanov study on the initial period of the war presents it in detail.

The History of the Great Patriotic War mentions two plans drafted in early 1941, a mobilization plan (MP-41) and a "covering plan for the state frontier" (Plan 9). It describes the mobilization plan as having been geared to a schedule that extended through the second half of 1941 and into early 1942 and the covering plan as no more than one to distribute approximately two-thirds of the troops stationed in the western military districts more or less uniformly along the border, their mission in the event of war being to hold the border and to "cover" the mobilization and assembly of the main forces. The History of the Great Patriotic War does not mention the strategic plan the General Staff worked on in the summer and fall of 1940 and concludes that it is only "possible to speak of a plan of general operations" because the mobilization and covering plans "were infused with one idea," which was "to repel the enemy's aggression at the line of the state frontier and subsequently deal him a


crushing defeat.59 The History of the Second World War gives some specifics of the mobilization and covering plans, alludes to the 1940 decision on the location of the main effort (but not to the associated strategic plan), and addresses the additional problem of border fortifications; but it also leaves the impression that fully developed operational plans did not exist.60

On the other hand, Vasilevskiy speaks in his memoirs of an "operational plan to repel aggression" that was developed in the General Staff and conveyed to the commanding generals, chiefs of staff, and chiefs of operations of the frontier military districts in conferences held in Moscow between February and April 1941.61 Zhukov mentions "operational-mobilization plans regarding preparations for repulsing possible aggression.62

The Ivanov study on the initial period of the war describes two plans: an "operational plan" and a "special plan for the defense of the state frontier." The operational plan, which the General Staff completed in late 1940, was concerned with how "answering blows" would be delivered "after the strategic deployment of the main forces of the Red Army." The special plan, completed in early 1941 and the basis on which the frontier military districts "worked out their concrete war plans," dealt with "covering" and "active defense" in the first stage of hostilities, before the main forces had been mobilized and deployed.63

The special plan, as described in the Ivanov study, embraced what is referred to in the History of the Great Patriotic War as the covering plan but, in its active defense aspect, also included much more: "active air operations" to deliver blows against the enemy's concentrations and to achieve air superiority; concentration of the mechanized corps, antitank artillery brigades, and aviation to "liquidate" break-ins; and, if so directed by the General Headquarters, delivery of blows that would "smash" the enemy on the borders and carry the war to his territory. The military districts' initial mission would be to cover the concentration of the main forces, but that would be done in a three-echelon offensive deployment (infantry, armor, and reserves) from which the three could be merged to form a "first strategic echelon." Combined, the three original echelons could begin to carry out the operational plan by dealing the enemy an "answering blow" and "possibly," by carrying the war to enemy territory before the main forces were assembled. In that event, a "second strategic echelon" would form behind the first to support it and to further develop the answering blow "in accordance with the general strategic idea."64 The initial three-echelon deployment conformed to the best Soviet offensive doctrine of the time so much so, in fact, that it has been cited occasionally as evidence of a Soviet intention to attack Germany.65 Vasilevskiy has said:

. . . if our military units and formations had been mobilized at the proper time,


had been deployed as specified in their plans for border war, and had, in accordance with those, organized close coordination between artillery, armor, and aviation, it could be asserted that the enemy would have been dealt such losses already on the first day of the war that he could not have advanced further into our country.66

War Readiness

In March 1941, rumors of war were circulating among the foreign diplomats in Moscow, and U.S. Under Secretary of State Sumner Welles told the Soviet ambassador in Washington that the State Department had information, which it regarded as "authentic," of a plan for a German attack on the Soviet Union "in the not distant future."67 By then, no doubt, information about the planned attack as authentic as Welles' was available to the Soviet government from its own sources.68 The History of the Great Patriotic War states:

In the existing situation it was necessary to be extremely careful to avoid provocations . . . while at the same time taking all possible measures to bring the Soviet Armed Forces to full readiness for war. But because J. V. Stalin made serious errors in evaluating the politico-military situation as it developed prior to the outbreak of the Great Patriotic War, such a dual policy did not exist.69

In Vasilevskiy's opinion, Stalin could not decide what to do.70 The History of the Second World War maintains that " . . . the military leadership of the Soviet Union [which included Stalin] knew a collision with Germany to be unavoidable," but "preparations to resist aggression were accompanied by a necessity not to give Germany a direct excuse to unleash a war."71

Stalin's effort to gain time failed. His most astute move, the signing of a neutrality treaty with Japan on 13 April 1941, valuable as it might be in the longer run, at best made only a negligible change in his position with regard to Germany. The treaty had no effect as a deterrent, and Hitler ignored its more likely intent as a gesture of Soviet willingness to collaborate. The treaty gave Stalin a none too dependable confirmation of what he already believed, namely, that Germany and Japan would not attack at the same time, and it created a remote possibility that Japan, freed to turn toward likely conflict with the United States, might draw Germany, its partner in the Tripartite Pact, in and away from the Soviet Union.72

Stalin's play for time, however, was not nearly as detrimental to Soviet preparedness as some accounts make it appear. He gave the armed forces as much support as they believed they needed. The covering plan called for 170 divisions and 2 brigades, and as of June 1941, those were deployed: 56 divisions and 2 brigades in the first


echelon, 52 divisions in the second, and 62 divisions in the third echelon. On 13 May, the General Staff ordered 28 divisions and 4 army headquarters from the Urals, the Caucasus, and the Far East transferred to the western frontier and began organizing an army at Mogilev on the Dnepr River behind the Western Special Military District. (The second strategic echelon was to form along the line of the Dnepr and Dvina rivers.) A call-up of nearly 800,000 reservists in late May brought the total of men under arms to about 5 million, and early graduations from the officers' schools provided officers for the increase. In May, also, instructions went out to the Ural, North Caucasus, Volga, and Kharkov Military Districts to have elements of their forces ready to move to the Dnepr-Dvina line.73

These actions, of course, achieved far less than full war readiness. Aside from the gaps in personnel and equipment of the divisions and mechanized corps, the frontier military districts' dispositions were loose.74 The first covering echelon had seven divisions less than were planned; the third, seven divisions more. The first echelon was mostly in barracks up to 30 miles away from the border. The second echelon's divisions were 30 to 60 miles from the border, and those of the third echelon, as much as 180 miles back. In addition, nonmechanized units were going to have to depend for mobility on being able to draw some quarter million motor vehicles and forty thousand tractors from civilian use. Bringing up the reinforcements from the interior and integrating them into the plans would take time. Moreover, the border to be defended was the 1940 one, almost none of which had been under Soviet control before September 1939 and some only since the spring and summer of 1940. Fortifications along the old border, the so-called Stalin Line built in the 1930s, had been abandoned and in part dismantled. A new line had been under construction since November 1939, and 2,500 reinforced concrete emplacements had been built, but only 1,000 of those had artillery; the rest had only machine guns.75

On the other hand, the shortcomings in the defensive deployment do not seem to have weighed very heavily in the Soviet strategic thinking of the time. The History of the Second World War says, "As a practical matter, the military leadership left a strategic defensive out of consideration. Defensive operations in the initial period of the war were regarded as significant only for parts of the strategic front and for the assignments of the covering armies."76 The Soviet planning apparently also did not take the possibility of a surprise attack into account. Zhukov tells why:

The Peoples Commissariat of Defense and the General Staff believed that war between such big countries as Germany and Russia would follow the existing scheme: the main forces engage in battle after several days of frontier fighting. As regards the concentration and deployment deadlines, it was assumed that conditions for the two countries were the same.77


In short, the military leadership anticipated a lag between the outbreak of war, declared or undeclared, and the actual beginning of operations. Zhukov mentions "several days." Vasilevskiy says the plans from the summer of 1940 until BARBAROSSA assumed ten to fifteen days.78 Ivanov gives "not less than two weeks," and Marshal V. D. Sokolovskiy, in his work on Soviet strategy, specifies fifteen to twenty days.79 This was the period, Sokolovskiy indicates, in which mobilization was to be completed and the covering plan would be in effect.80 Moreover, and perhaps more significantly, Soviet theory assumed that, after the hiatus, the hostilities would fall into a predictable pattern, and the war would "inevitably take on a character of extended attrition, with battles being decided primarily by the ability of the rear to provide the front with more material and human resources over a prolonged period of time than were available to the enemy.81

On the Eve of Invasion

Since Stalin's death, some Soviet accounts of the war, particularly those written during the Khrushchev period, have maintained that up to the last minute Stalin refused to respond to the signs of an impending invasion. The most often cited evidence is a TASS news agency release printed in Pravda on 14 June 1941. It quoted "responsible circles in Moscow" as condemning the "absurd rumors of war between Germany and the Soviet Union" and dismissed the rumors as propaganda "concocted by forces hostile to Germany and the Soviet Union." The "circles" declared that Germany and the Soviet Union were abiding strictly by the terms of the nonaggression pact.82 Zhukov has added that on the same day, 14 June, he and Timoshenko asked to put the troops in the frontier military districts on alert, but Stalin refused, saying, "That means war. Do you understand that or not?"83 The History of the Great Patriotic War attributes "a negative influence on the military readiness of the Soviet Armed Forces and on the alertness of command and political personnel" to the TASS dispatch.84 One account infers that the dispatch sustained a peacetime atmosphere among the troops of the frontier districts when the Germans were about to overrun the country.85

On the other hand, Vasilevskiy states that the dispatch "at first" aroused surprise in the General Staff, "as it did also among the Soviet people," but "thereafter no new instructions were issued, which made clear that it was not directed to the Armed Forces or to the public." "At the end of the same day," Vasilevskiy continues, "the Deputy Chief of the General Staff, General N. F. Vatutin, explained that the objective of the TASS communique was to test the true intentions of the Hitlerites and did not otherwise require our attention."86 The History of the Second World War maintains, as Vasilevskiy does, that


the dispatch was a probe for a German reaction and says that the Soviet government quickly took the subsequent German silence as a sign that war was about to break out. Therefore, the History adds, the Commissariat of Defense, between 14 and 19 June, ordered the frontier military districts to set up command posts from which they could exercise their appointed wartime functions as army group commands and to camouflage airfields, military units, and "important military objectives."87

If Stalin and the military leadership were convinced war was impending, they also had a very good idea of exactly when to expect it. Richard Sorge, a Soviet master spy in Tokyo, who was a German newspaperman with extremely well-informed contacts, gave them that information. On 15 June he sent a radiogram that read, "War will begin on 22 June. . . ." and another that stated, "Attack will proceed on a broad front commencing 22 June."88

In any event, Stalin knew by mid-June that "to escape war, even in the very near future, was impossible" and permitted the final preparations to begin. The rule, however, was "to do what was necessary to strengthen the defenses . . . but not do anything in the frontier zone that could provoke the fascists or hasten their attack on us."89 The Defense Commissariat ordered the frontier military districts to shift their divisions closer to the border and into the positions designated for them in the special plan for defending the state frontier. The movements began on 15 June, but, on the 22d, "only certain" of the divisions were in position.90 On the 21st, the Politburo acted to create a single command for the armies being brought from the interior military districts to the line of the Dnepr and Dvina. On the night of the 21st, a war alert directive went out from Moscow. It ordered all units to combat readiness and those close to the border to man the fortifications and firing points in secret during the night. Troops on the border were not to respond to any German provocations or to take any other action without special orders.91 The directive did not reach all the field commands in the hours left before the German attack, and the state of readiness otherwise was far from complete. Nevertheless, there was, in general, no conflict with "the concept of initial operations projected by the Commissariat of Defense and the General Staff, which assumed that the aggressor would first undertake to invade our territory with partial forces and instigate border battles under the cover of which both sides would complete their mobilizations and mass their forces."92

First word of the German attack, reports of airfields and cities being bombed, reached the Commissariat of Defense at about 0400 on 22 June.93 Four hours later, after consulting with Stalin, Timoshenko issued a second directive. It ordered the ground forces to "attack and annihilate all enemy forces"


that had violated the frontier and the air units to strike sixty to ninety miles inside German territory and to bomb Koenigsberg and Memel.94

In Moscow, apparently, most of the day of the 22d was consumed trying to get information about what was happening from the fronts, which, in turn, were trying to do the same with their subordinate commands. By evening, "regardless of incomplete reports . . . the situation required an immediate decision to organize further resistance against the enemy."95 At 2115, Timoshenko dispatched a third directive: Northwest and West Fronts were to mount converging thrusts by infantry and armor from Kaunas and Grodno to Suwalki, and Southwest Front was to do the same toward Lublin to cut off the Germans on the sixty-mile stretch of frontier between Vladimir-Volynskiy and Krystynopol.96 Therewith, the frontier forces were ordered to "the offensive in the main directions for the purposes of destroying the enemy's assault groupings and carrying the war to his territory."97


Table of Contents ** Previous Chapter (Foreword) * Next Chapter (II)


1. Institut Marksizma-Leninizma, Istoriya Velikoy Otechestvennoy Voyny Sovetskogo Soyuza, 1941-1945 (Moscow: Voyennoye Izdatelstvo, 1961), vol. II, pp. 11, 17 (hereafter cited as IVOVSS in footnotes and History of the Great Patriotic War in text).

2. Max Domarus, ed., Hitler, Reden und Proklamotionen, 1932-1945 (Munich: Sueddeutscher Verlag, 1965), vol. II, p. 1664.

3. Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins (New York: Harper, 1950), p. 303.

4. J. M. A. Gwyer, Grand Strategy (London: Her Majesty's Stationery Office, 1964), vol. III, pt. I, p. 90.

5. Percy Ernst Schramm, gen. ed., Kriegstagebuch des Oberkommandos der Wehrmacht (Frankfurt: Bernard & Graefe, 1961-1965), vol. IV, pp. 1752-53 (hereafter cited as OKW, KTB). See also R. Raiber, "FHQ 'Wolfsschanze,'" After the Battle, no. 19 (London: Battle of Britain Prints, Ltd., 1977).

6. Franz Halder, Kriegstagebuch (Stuttgart: W. Kohlhammer, 1964), vol. II, p. 319 (hereafter cited as Halder Diary).

7. British Air Ministry Pamphlet 248, The Rise and Fall of the German Air Force (London: His Majesty's Stationery Office, 1948), pp. 162-66.

8. Die Seekriegsleitung und die Vorgeschichte des Feldzuges gegen Russland, H22/439 file.

9. Panzer divisions had about 17,000 men and 125 tanks; motorized divisions, 14,000 men and 50 tanks. The infantry in both was truck mounted. Infantry divisions had 15,000 men and used horse-drawn equipment in part.

10. Department of the Army, Pamphlet 20-261a, The German Campaign in Russia--Planning and Operations, 1940-1942 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1955), pp. 38-41; OKW, KTB, vol. I, p. 1213; British Air Ministry Pamphlet 248, p. 165.

11. M. V. Zakharov, ed., 50 let vooruzhennykh sil SSSR (Moscow: Voyennoye Izdatelstvo, 1968), pp. 199, 234; Institut Marksizma-Leninizma, Velikaya Otechestvennaya Voyna Sovetskogo Soyuza, 1941-1945 (Kratkaya Istoriya) (Moscow: Voyennoye Izdatelstvo, 1970), p. 62 (hereafter cited as VOV (Kratkaya Istoriya) in footnotes and Short History in text. See also John Erickson, The Soviet High Command (New York: St. Martin's Press, 1962), p. 478.

12. I. Kh. Bagramyan, Istoriya voyn i voyenitogo iskusstva (Moscow: Voyennoye Izdatelstvo, 1970), pp. 67, 102.

13. S. A. Ivushkevich, et al., Sovetskiye vooruzhennye sily (Moscow: Voyennoye Izdatelstvo, 1978), p. 233. (To help the reader distinguish between opposing forces, all Soviet military organizations appear in italics throughout this volume.)

14. P. A. Zhilin, ed., Velikaya Otechestvennaya Voyna, Kratkiy nanchnopopularnyy ocherk (Moscow: Izdatelstvo Politicheskoy Literatury, 1970), p. 74 (hereafter cited as VOV in footnotes and Popular Scientific Sketch in text); Institut Voyennoy Istorii Ministerstva Oborony SSSR, Istoriya Vtoroy Mirovoy Voyny, 1939-1945 (Moscow: Voyennoye Izdatelstvo, 1973-1982), vol. IV, p. 38 (hereafter cited as IVMV in footnotes and History of the Second World War in text).

15. IVMV, vol. III, p. 418.

16. IVOVSS, vol. I, p. 463.

17. IVMV, vol. IV, p. 55.

18. Carl Mannerheim, Erinnerungen (Zurich: Atlantis Verlag, 1952), p. 374.

19. The military purge had begun in the summer of 1937 with the arrest and execution of Marshal Sovetskogo Soyuza M. H. Tukhachevskiy and continued thereafter through 1938. In it the Soviet Army lost all of its military district commanders, all of its corps commanders, "nearly all" of its division and brigade commanders, and half of its regimental commanders. The purge reduced the then existing officer strength in all ranks by one fifth. The navy and air force were hit equally hard. Institut Marksizma-Leninizma, Velikaya Oteckestvennaya Voyna Sovetskogo Soyuza, 1941-1945 (Kratkaya Istoriya) (Moscow: Voyennoye Izdatelstvo, 1965), p. 39. The information cited does not appear in the 1970 edition of VOV (Kratkaya Istoriya).

20. IVOVSS, vol. I, pp. 463-69. See also John Erickson, The Road to Stalingrad (London: Weidenfeld and Nicholson, 1975), pp. 50-54 and A. I. Eremenko, Pomni voyny (Donetsk: Donbass, 1971), pp. 128-30.

21. Zakharov, 50 let, pp. 202, 236; Bagramyan, Istoriya voyn, p. 96; Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkios, p. 303; VOV (Kratkaya Istoriya), p. 42.

22. S. P. Ivanov, Nachalnyy period voyny (Moscow: Voyennoye Izdatelstvo, 1974), p. 200; IVMV, vol. III, p. 420. See also B. Perrett, Fighting Vehicles of the Red Army (London: Ian Allen, 1969), pp. 32-36, 49-52.

23. Tyushkevich, Vooruzhennye sily, p. 273; G. A. Deborin and B. S. Telpukhovskiy, Itogi i uroki velikoy otechestvennoy voyny (Moscow: Izdatelstvo "Mysl," 1975), p. 260.

24. I. E. Krupchenko, et al., Sovetskiye tankovye voyska (Moscow: Voyennoye Izdatelstvo, 1973), pp. 12-14; Tyushkevich, Vooruzhennye sily, p. 240.

25. IVOVSS, vol. I, pp. 417-19, 453, 476.

26. Ibid., p. 454.

27. VOV, p. 51; VOV (Kratkaya Istorya), p. 54; Ivanov, Nachalnyy period, p. 208; IVMV, vol. IV, p. 25, gives 2,680,000 men.

28. Krupchenko, Tankovye voyska, p. 21, indicates that the Russians formed 21 tank and 7 motorized divisions and were forming 39 tank and 13 motorized divisions in the western military districts. The authorized strength of rifle divisions was set at 14,483 men in April 1941, down from a previous 18,000. A rifle division consisted of 3 infantry and 2 artillery regiments. IVMV, vol. III, p. 118; Tyushkevich, Vooruzhennye sily, p. 236.

29. IVMV, vol. IV, p. 60; Krupchenko, Tankovye voyska, p. 21.

30. Ivanov, Nachalnyy period, p. 215; VOV, p. 51.

31. Krupchenko, Tankovye voyska, p. 14; Ivanov, Nachalnyy period, p. 215.

32. Ivanov, Nachalnyy period, p. 214; VOV, p. 51.

33. Halder Diary, vol. II, p. 49.

34. Ibid.

35. Ibid.

36. Georges Jorre, The Soviet Union (London: Long mans, 1961), pp. 183-84, 192.

37. Der Fuehrer und Oberste Befehlshaber der Wehrmarht, OKW, WFSt. Abt. L (I) Nr. 33408/40, Weisung Nr. 21, Fall BARBAROSSA, 18.12.40, German High Level Directives, CMH files; DA Pamphlet 20-261a, pp. 17-25.

38. Halder Diary, vol. II, p. 214.

39. Nikolai Voznesenskiy, The Economy of the USSR During World War II (Washington, D.C.: Public Affairs Press, 1948), p. 8.

40. Halder Diary, vol. II, p. 214.

41. Deutsches Institut fuer Wirtschaftsforschung, Die deutsche Industrie im Kriege, 1939-1945 (Berlin: Dunkker & Humblodt, 1954), pp. 23, 27, 34, 87.

42. Halder Diary, vol. II, p. 214.

43. OKW, WFSt, Abt. L (I Op.) Nr. 4488641, Weisung Nr. 32, 11.6.42, German High Level Directives, CMH files.

44. Nikita Khrushchev, Khrushchev Remembers (Boston: Little, Brown, 1970), p. 134.

45. A. M. Vasilevskiy, Delo vsey zhizni (Moscow: Izdatelstvo Politicheskoy Literature, 1976), p. 101; Ivanov, Nachalnyy period, pp. 202-03.

46. IVMV; vol. III, p. 434.

47. Vasilevskiy, Delo, pp. 101, 106-07.

48. G. K. Zhukov, The Memoirs of Marshal Zhukov (New York: Delacorte Press, 1971), p. 211.

49. IVMV, vol. III, p. 434.

50. Ivanov, Nachalnyy period, p. 203.

51. Ibid., p. 204.

52. J. V. Stalin, Sochineniya (Moscow: Izdatelstvo Politicheskoy Literatury, 1947), vol. V, p. 163; IVOVSS, vol. I, p. 437.

53. IVOVSS, vol. I, p. 433; IVMV, vol. III, pp. 409-10. See A. I. Eremenko, V nachale Voyny (Moscow: Izdatelstvo "Nauka," 1964), pp. 36-48; K. A. Meretskov, Serving the People (Moscow: Progress Publishers, 1971), pp. 125-26; Zhukov, Memoirs, pp. 183-84.

54. See Vasilevskiy, Delo, p. 106.

55. Zhukov, Memoirs, p. 185.

56. Ibid., p. 187; Meretskov, Serving the People, pp. 126-27.

57. Eremenko also dealt with the critique in his first memoir, written in the early 1960s. There he gave the impression that Stalin's remarks were haphazard and superficial. Comparison of the two versions shows that the variances between them lie less in the reporting than in the author's emphasis and interpretation. See Eremenko, V nachale, pp. 34-37. See also Erickson, Road to Stalingrad, p. 54.

58. Eremenko, Pomni voyny, pp. 129-30.

59. IVOVSS, vol. I, pp. 172-74, 179.

60. IVMV, vol. III, pp. 234-39. See also Erickson, Road to Stalingrad, pp. 80-81.

61. Vasilevskiy, Delo, p. 113.

62. Zhukov, Memoirs, p. 211.

63. Ivanov, Nachalnyy period, pp. 204-05.

64. Ibid., pp. 205-06.

65. See IVOVSS, vol. I, p. 443. See also Reinhard Gehlen, The Service (New York: World publishing, 1972), p. 26.

66. Vasilevskiy, Delo, p. 117.

67. U.S. Department of State, Foreign Relations of the United States, 1941 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1958), vol. I, pp. 133, 712-14; Erickson, Road to Stalingrad, pp. 73-75.

68. See IVOVSS, vol. I, p. 403.

69. Ibid., p. 404.

70. Vasilevskiy, Delo, p. 116.

71. IVMV, vol. III, p. 439.

72. See also IVOVSS, vol. I, pp. 399-401; Erickson, Road to Stalingrad, p. 76; Raymond James Sontag and James Stuart Beddie, eds., Nazi-Soviet Relations, 1939-1941 (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1948), pp. 212, 220; Gerhard Weinberg, Germany and the Soviet Union, 1939-1941 (Leiden: E. J. Brill, 1954), pp. 159-63; U.S. Department of State, Documents on German Foreign Policy, 1918-1945, Series D (Washington, D.C.: GPO, 1960), vol. XI, p. 204.

73. IVMV, vol. III, pp. 338-41, 440; VOV (Kratkaya Istoriya), p. 53; Ivanov, Nachalnyy period, p. 213; Deborin and Telpukhovskiy, Itogi i uroki, p. 74.

74. See p. 23.

75. IVMV, vol. III, pp. 435, 439, 441; VOV (Kratkaya Istoriya), p. 54. See also Erickson, Road to Stalingrad, pp. 70, 71 and Zhukov, Memoirs, pp. 211-14.

76. IVMV, vol. II, p. 415.

77. Zhukov, Memoirs, p. 215.

78. Vasilevskiy, Delo, p. 101.

79. Ivanov, Nachalnyy period, p. 206; V. D. Sokolovskiy, Soviet Military Strategy (Englewood Cliffs, N.J.: Prentice Hall, 1963), p. 232.

80. Sokolovskiy, Strategy, p. 232.

81. Ivanov, Nachalnyy period, p. 203.

82. IVMV, vol. III, p. 440.

83. Zhukov, Memoirs, p. 230.

84. IVOVSS, vol. II, p. 10.

85. S. P. Platonov, ed., Vtoraya Mirovaya Voyna (Moscow: Voyennoye Izdatelstvo, 1958), p. 1979.

86. Vasilevskiy, Delo, p. 119.

87. IVMV, vol. III, p. 441.

88. Deborin and Telpukhovskiy, Itogi i uroki, pp. 102-03.

89. Ivanov, Nachalnyy period, p. 212.

90. Ibid.

91. Deborin and Telpukhovskiy, Itogi i uroki, p. 75; Zhukov, Memoirs, p. 232; IVOVSS, vol. II, p. 11; IVMV, Vol. IV, p. 28.

92. Ivanov, Nachalnyy period, p. 213.

93. Vasilevskiy, Delo, p. 119.

94. IVOVSS, Vol. II, p. 18. See also Zhukov, Memoirs, p. 236.

95. IVMV, Vol. IV, p. 37.

96. Ibid., p. 38.

97. Ivanov, Nachalnyy period, p. 260.

Transcribed and formatted by Jerry Holden for the HyperWar Foundation