В my articlededicated to the order of the Headquarters of the Supreme High Command No. 270 of August 16, 1941, I just "caught the edge" of a huge topic concerning the fate of the representatives of the highest command personnel of the Red Army who were captured by the invaders during the Great Patriotic War.
Since in this case it was a question of several generals accused of treason, someone might have the idea that such decisions were made in relation to every single high-ranking commander who, against their will, found themselves on the enemy side of the front. All the more so that the liberal public goes out of its way to prove that the attitude towards everyone who was captured in the USSR (and personally by Stalin) was downright "inhumanly cruel" and unfair. They were not considered for people, they were declared traitors and enemies without any discrimination. Well, and of course, if they were not executed immediately, without trial or investigation, then they were driven into camps until the end of their days ... Well, it's high time to tell about how things were in reality.
A bit of dry arithmetic
To understand how the next liberal fables in the horror genre correspond to reality, we will begin with the most accurate and impartial figures. I will make a reservation right away - they cannot be called completely complete for the simple reason that, according to various sources, the number of representatives of the military elite of the USSR who were captured is different. The figure "floats" from over 70 to almost 90 people. It is quite simple to explain this - in 1941, in the nightmare and confusion of the first days, weeks, months of the war, events developed so rapidly and tragically that entire military units could sink "nowhere" huge mass graves, or even disappeared altogether without burial and at least some kind of memory. But the bulk of the top commanders (as well as all our other soldiers) were captured by the rapidly advancing Nazis in the terrible 1941 year - more than 60 people. During the cruel military setbacks of 1942 (the same Kharkov disaster and others), a dozen generals were captured. However, five of them were not lucky in the later years of the Great Patriotic War. Military fate, as you know, is dangerous and changeable ... Of these (we will adhere to the average number), about eight dozen representatives of the highest command personnel captured by the enemy, of course, not all survived the war. It is absolutely reliably known about twenty-seven generals of the Red Army that they died in Nazi camps and dungeons - some heroic, some martyr. The destinies of three are generally shrouded in darkness. This is 30 people, but some historians are again inclined to believe that there were more of them. Next are those who survived. Separate among them are the six who managed to escape from captivity on their own. Of course, we will have a more detailed discussion about them.
Now we turn to those generals who, at the end of the Great Patriotic War, seem to have safely returned to their homeland, to the Soviet Union. According to the logic of Messrs. Liberals, all of them immediately and unequivocally had to be “put up against the wall”, since there was a corresponding order. In fact, everything turned out differently - exactly half of those who returned (22 people), after a thorough and long check, were not only acquitted, but also restored in all their regalia: titles, awards, etc. The fate of the second half was unenviable - the overwhelming majority of them faced a death sentence, two died in custody, two more managed, having “rewound” more than a solid camp term, to be released. We will talk about this category in more detail below, but for now we will try to summarize the intermediate results. As you can see, the fate of the top commanders of the Red Army, who were captured, developed in completely different ways. Despite the seemingly absolutely unambiguous interpretation of such a situation order No. 270, no one hacked off the shoulder, did not stigmatize everyone as a traitor. The NKVD and SMERSH, in whose hands were the very "scales" by which the actions of the heroes of our conversation were measured, were, no matter who they tried to assert, not a gang of bloodthirsty maniacs, but the most serious organizations consisting of professionals of the highest standard. Yes, they were also living people - with their likes, dislikes, stereotypes and beliefs. However, facts were at the forefront of those who carried out scrupulous, sometimes years-long, inquiries and investigations into the cases of the survivors of the captivity of senior commanders. That is why the relevant cases grew to a multitude of plump volumes, filled with testimonies of witnesses, intelligence reports, and Soviet and German documents. If, as some are trying to prove, the generals who were shot after the war were “executed for nothing”, no one would do such extremely laborious things. However, even in the case of absolutely unambiguous traitors and Hitler's lackeys - "Vlasovites", the investigation lasted more than a year. They were looking not for "proof of guilt", of which there was uncountable, but the truth ...
The verification carried out established ...
Someone may say: “Well, why was it necessary to mock people? Have they already suffered, experienced bullying, hunger and mortal danger? " Like, it would be possible not to torture them, to send them into retirement on the sly - and that's the end of it. Was it worth all these people to publican during interrogations, to keep them in cells, to judge and punish? Well, don't tell me ... First, in any country, and even more so in any army, a soldier who has returned from captivity is treated, at least, with apprehension and great caution - no matter what is said to the public. The practice of recruiting such people for subsequent work for the special services (and not only the military) is too widespread (yes, almost universal), and by no means necessarily by the state whose armed forces they were captured. Liberators, you know, they are also different ... According to absolutely reliable information, representatives of the United States and Great Britain offered "fruitful cooperation" to almost all of our generals who ended up in their occupation zones in 1945. Subordinates of Beria needed, at least, to make sure that these tempting offers were rejected not in words, but in deeds. Secondly, and this is perhaps an even more important point, the essence of true Stalinism (and not the squalor that liberal "historians" are trying to portray in their writings under this name) was precisely that the degree of responsibility of any person , endowed with power and authority under Joseph Vissarionovich was directly proportional to the level of his elevation. That is why there was one demand from the soldier, and another from the captain. Well, let alone a general - you know yourself ... There was no other way then neither in the army, nor in the special services, nor in industry, nor in science. Are you the boss? So the demand from you will be like a boss, not like a private.
Again, conversations about “there was no choice”, “there was no way out” in this situation is also not very consistent, as some of the generals proved by their actions, according to whose fate our filmmakers should have made films, finally distracted from the screen version of the complete raving "about the war." Major General Alexander Bondovsky (by the way, who wore officer's shoulder straps back in the Russian Imperial Army) commanded the 85th Infantry Division, which met the war in one of the most difficult areas - in Belarus. Accordingly, he was already in German captivity on July 21, 1941. He stayed there for only five days - having somehow miraculously managed to break out of the column of prisoners - when they drove her through one of the villages, he fled. It took General Bondovsky a month and a half to get to his own people, and he made it all alone. Whatever it was, I got there. And again he fell into the clutches of the Nazis on October 21, 1941. This time the general enjoyed the "hospitality" of the occupiers even less - he fled that very night. And again the road to its own is a month long. It is quite natural that the adventures of the "lucky" general interested the Special Department. The check lasted three months, and Bondovsky ended up ... No, not in the camp barracks, but as a teacher of the famous Shot courses. However, the restless general could not sit in the rear, and after numerous requests in November 1943 he again found himself at the front. He fought heroically - until, in February 1944, he came under shelling, which ended with a severe wound for him. Nevertheless, even having lost his leg, General Bondovsky returned to the army - to teach in the same "Shot" ... The standard of the defender of the Motherland, in my opinion.
Everyone made their own choice
An equally gripping plot is the odyssey of another glorious commander, Major General Pavel Sysoev. This one, unlike Bondovsky, was "red" to the marrow of his bones, having fought with the Civilian. But he was the same Russian, Soviet warrior. He was captured while trying to break through the encirclement near Zhitomir, and even then only because as a result of a concussion he temporarily became blind. Eyesight returned already in the German camps, and with it - and the desire to fight with the hated enemy. Sysoev left the next camp at the head of a group of four equally desperate daredevils, leaving the Fritz as a "farewell gift" an exploded warehouse with weapons. To our great regret, making his way to the east, to the location of the Red Army, the general and his group ran into Bandera's men who were scouring Western Ukraine, who immediately "mobilized" them. However, they did it, as they say, on their own head - Sysoev left their ranks, taking with him not four, but a whole dozen fighters. This time they were more fortunate - they managed to get through to the partisans from the compound of Alexei Fedorov. General Sysoev quickly gained prestige there and became one of the deputy commanders, participated in the planning and preparation of many military operations. He was summoned to Moscow only in April 1944. Well, not for a banquet in the Kremlin, of course, but in the NKVD. The investigation lasted a long time - until 1946. However, as a result, General Sysoev was not expected to be shot or in a camp, but the higher academic courses of the Academy of the General Staff of the Red Army, after studying which he became one of the senior teachers of the Academy of the General Staff, where he served until retirement. As you can see, there was no "total repression against those who were in captivity" and was not even close! Each received that fate, which, in fact, he chose for himself, having made a decision: to surrender or to fight to the end.
No one even thought to write down the commander of the 10th Panzer Division, Major General Sergei Ogurtsov, who was captured in August 1941, fled and fought in a partisan detachment until October 1942, when he laid down his head in an unequal battle with the invaders. Legends will live forever about the unprecedented courage and unbending stamina of Lieutenant General Dmitry Karbyshev, who in captivity showed the highest example of courage and patriotism. Would anyone have thought to condemn him just for the very fact of his captivity? No one doubted the valor of Major General Semyon Tkachenko, commander of the 44th Kiev Red Banner Mountain Rifle Division, who was captured by policemen near Belaya Tserkovka during an attempt to break out of the encirclement. Whichever POW camps General Tkachenko found himself in, the Nazis had the most serious reasons for concern. Not only did he not stop trying to escape even in such terrifying places as the Flossenbürg penal concentration camp, in any of the places where Tkachenko was held was an organizer and an active member of underground resistance groups. In 1945, in Sachsenhausen, the general was preparing battle groups from the prisoners, intending to raise an uprising. Three months before the Victory, the Gestapo became aware of this and two hundred of the most dangerous, according to the Nazis, prisoners were sent to the gas chambers for immediate destruction. General Tkachenko led them into the last attack - unarmed, doomed, but not surrendering, Soviet soldiers and officers attacked the guards and every last one was killed. They fell in battle, as befits soldiers, and did not go submissively to execution, trampling down with their fearlessness and captivity, and death itself ... Soviet generals, even in captivity who remained faithful to the oath, led the resistance to the Nazis in their very lair and for this they were shot, starved to death , beaten to death during interrogations in the basements of the Gestapo were still an absolute majority.
And how, tell me, after that it was possible to show leniency to obvious traitors like Vlasov and his accomplices, to spare them and have mercy? Wouldn't this be a direct insult to the memory of heroes such as Tkachenko, Karbyshev and others, a mockery of their sacrifice and heroism? But there were, alas, several incredible geeks, like the former commander of the 36th Cavalry Division, Major General Yefim Zybin, who went into the punitive and "rose" in his servility before the fascist non-people to the post of commandant of the Hammelburg camp ... All these traitors are and Lieutenant General Vlasov, and others, who were held in the case of the ROVS created by him to please the Nazis, and such as Zybin, who received their noose or bullet in 1946, were not even awarded a human burial, and were not worthy of anything else. The Motherland had no complaints about those who had gone through the horrors of captivity with dignity - after a mandatory check (yes, a long, yes, difficult and painful) they were reinstated in ranks, given the opportunity to serve further. The original Stalin's resolution on the memo of the head of SMERSH Viktor Abakumov about the lack of evidence of the betrayal of Lieutenant General Mikhail Lukin, whom they tried to accuse of cooperation with Vlasov, was preserved: “A man devoted to the Motherland. Do not infringe on the service. " As a rule, it was so.
There remains, however, one more "execution list", dated, however, not 1946, but 1950. Which of the generals got into it and why? This is what we'll talk about next time.