General Vlasov: a traitor or an “ambiguous figure”?

Continuing the theme of betrayal of the highest ranks of the Red Army during the Great Patriotic War, raised in article about the tragedy of June 22, 1941, it is impossible to ignore the figure of Lieutenant General Andrei Vlasov. During his lifetime, this man was branded with the title of "chief traitor" of that era and became the personification of shameful collaboration with Hitler's invaders and executioners.

In the bad years of “perestroika” and the “troubled times” that followed in Russia, as it is not surprising, attempts were made not only to moral bleaching, but also to legal rehabilitation of both the general himself and those structures and formations that he headed. Fortunately, they did not succeed. And yet, some still see the subject for discussion in this figure, stubbornly trying to present it as "ambiguous." Is there room for doubt in the history of Vlasov and Vlasov?

Born of a revolution

One of the biggest mysteries of Andrei Vlasov, around which the most heated debates are held, is the motive for his transition to the side of the Nazis. The clumsy agitation prepared by specialists from Goebbels’s department, signed under the title “Why I took the road to fighting Bolshevism,” of course, cannot give a true answer. However, even in it there is one valuable point, namely the phrase:

I was not offended by the Soviet regime in anything.

Verily, this is still poorly said! The future traitor general was just the perfect embodiment of the words from the International: "Who was nothing, that will become everything!" The thirteenth child in a poor peasant family from the Nizhny Novgorod district - in tsarist Russia, he could not count on anything. Therefore, he tried to escape from the plow, to receive a spiritual education. However, a revolution broke out. In 1919, Vlasov was in the Red Army, and, almost immediately - in command posts and began his journey along the fronts of the Civil War.

I must say that from that moment on, Vlasov’s personality manifested one of the main features that determined, perhaps, his entire future life - the ability to take the “right”, strong side in time. Well, suppose a seminarian who has fallen into revolutionaries is, so to speak, a classic of the genre. However, the whole thing is that young Andryusha was not a revolutionary — to fight “for the national happiness”, like Gaidar’s heroes, barely saying goodbye to the school bench, he didn’t break and entered the army upon conscription, reaching the appropriate age. And the Bolshevik, by and large, in spite of the fact that there is no great origin, doesn’t somehow call Vlasov the language either, even if he later wrote in his autobiography that “he always stood firmly on the positions of the general line party ", for which" fought ", sparing no strength. Nevertheless, Andrei Vlasov became a member of the CPSU (b) already in 1930 - when everything in the country was finally “settled down” and it became clear that without the treasured “red book” with Ilyich’s profile on the cover, the path to the heights of a military career was closed.

There is no doubt that this ambitious, far from stupid man, and we must pay tribute to the peasant boy who is not untalented in the military field at all, is worthless. He "moved" up the career ladder rather quickly, without disdaining any diligent studies (traditional courses "Shot", Frunze Academy), or hard work. He was able to prove himself in any sector - in staff and teaching, in command positions and even as a military adviser in distant China under the government of Chiang Kai-shek, who awarded Vlasov the Order of the Golden Dragon. By the way, they are trying to imagine exactly his stay in the Celestial Empire of Vlasov as a kind of “saving harbor”, in which he “stayed” the “purges” that raged in 1937 in the Red Army. This does not correspond to reality at all. Vlasov was sent to China only towards the end of 1938, and before that, according to reliable data, he was a member of the tribunal of the Kiev and Leningrad military districts. During this time, these judicial authorities did not issue any acquittals. So Vlasov did not “stay out” anywhere in any way — he participated in them in the most active way.

Another pre-war story that does not paint this man, to put it mildly, has circulation. Allegedly, having arrived after completing the advisory mission with an inspection in the 99th Rifle Division, Vlasov “laid eyes on her”. Finding real flaws in the unit was quite problematic, but the cunning inspector was not at a loss - the real denunciation lay on the command table, in which the divisive officer 99 was blamed for “intensified study of the tactics of warfare by the Wehrmacht”. Interestingly, what was he supposed to study in 1939? The history of the war with Napoleon ?! The reaction to a well-composed “signal” followed more than predicted - the unlucky wise guy left in an unknown direction on the “funnel”, and Andrei Vlasov, who received the general rank, somehow became the commander of the division. I can not vouch for the absolute certainty of this episode, but it really fits into the desire of the future head of the ROA to make a career at all costs.

War test

Which commander was Vlasov? Perhaps that’s good. He headed the 99th Infantry Division very quickly became the best in the Kiev Special Military District (in the opinion of the same Tymoshenko - almost the best in the entire Red Army), for which he was awarded the first Order of the Red Banner and a gold watch in addition. He met the war as a commander and gentleman of the Order of Lenin - he was led by the 4th mechanized corps, which was located on June 22, 1941 in one of the most difficult areas - Lviv. I must admit, I fought bravely and professionally - I didn’t get surrounded by the first terrible days and weeks, eventually leading the 37th Army, which defended Kiev. After the terrible collapse of the defense of the capital of Ukraine, Vlasov, again, survived. Moreover, he was awarded a personal reception by Stalin, by whose order he formed the 20th Army, which covered itself with deserved fame. Vlasov becomes a lieutenant general and receives another Red Banner.

So Vlasov from the category of simply worthy commanders smoothly moves to the cohort of the first heroes of the Great Patriotic War. He is being interviewed, filmed in a newsreel, they are even getting ready to write books about him, in a word - they are beginning to actively “untwist and promote”. It is how the extremely promising commander Andrei Vlasov is entrusted with participation in a matter of utmost importance - the operation to break through the blockade of Leningrad. In the spring of 1942 he became deputy commander of the Volkhov Front - and it was from this appointment that General Vlasov's path to the fall and betrayal began. He is at the head of the ill-fated 2nd strike army, in fact, by chance, having arrived there with an inspection and staying at the forefront “for control and assistance”. After a short time, the army commander Nikolai Klykov was evacuated to the rear due to a serious illness, and Vlasov, continuing to remain the deputy commander of the front, in addition to his own will, takes over as its full leader officially. At this time, from the connection, in fact, there was already one name left: according to the reports of Vlasov himself (which corresponded unambiguously to the truth), several dozen people were counted not only in the battalions - in brigades and regiments. Ammunition and food are almost over. The soldiers ate the wagon horses and moldy crackers, there were cases of deaths from starvation ...

However, the version that the Loban offensive operation was “the crazy whim of the Soviet command”, which subsequently “threw the 2nd army to the mercy of fate”, put into circulation by Vlasov himself and his associates, and then picked up by the “rehabilitators”, does not hold water . What does “whim” mean ?! Yes, the Red Army men died in battle, under enemy fire, but in the surrounded Leningrad at that time hunger, enemy shelling and bombardments mowed down children, women, old people! The operation to release the city was aimed primarily at their rescue. As for the “abandoned” army, the blame for the command, or rather, for specifically heading the combined Volkhov and Leningrad Fronts, Colonel General Mikhail Khozin, can only be attributed to delaying the withdrawal of hopelessly bogged down troops. The Bet order on this score just existed, and it was precisely for its non-fulfillment that Khozin subsequently flew off the post ... 52 and 59 armies, sparing no strength, tried to strike back, to help the soldiers of the 2nd shock to break through the encirclement. However, the overwhelming superiority of the Nazis in aviation and artillery reduced these desperate attempts to nothing. In the best case, narrow corridors were shot through, firing along and across. A few fortunate ones were lucky to escape through them from captivity or death. General Vlasov was not among them ...

The choice is always

The most interesting thing is that Vlasov had a very real opportunity to avoid both captivity and death. According to the recollections left by the participants in those events, the opinions regarding the further plan of action in the detachment of staff officers who were surrounded were divided. The chief of communications of the army, Major General Afanasyev, proposed moving to the places where the local partisans were supposedly located, but all the satellites, except four, rejected his idea. As a result, Afanasyev reached the partisans and was evacuated by plane, being the only senior commander of the 2nd Army who left the encirclement. He was not subjected to any reprisals; he finished the service with the main communications of artillery throughout the Soviet army. Vlasov, according to the memoirs, by that time was completely demoralized and suppressed, had lost all initiative and desire to fight. After wandering for several days in the surrounding forests, the general, accompanied by a woman who served in the headquarters as a cook, went into one of the villages in search of food. The meeting with the locals turned out to be marvelously “successful” - Vlasov and his companion asked for help from the local headman, as a result of which they were almost instantly locked up either in the barn or in the bathhouse until the Germans arrived.

Typically, the general had a personal weapon with him. However, he didn’t even think about using it - he stepped towards the Nazis, who had stuck in the door, with the words: “I am General Vlasov! Do not shoot!" Thus ended the first life and the first death of Andrei Vlasov, a Soviet man, commander and order bearer, happened. Ahead lay a road that could be followed in only one direction ... From the very first minutes, he expressed his most ardent desire to cooperate with representatives of the “valiant Wehrmacht”, and very quickly reached this desire in the vile “Smolensk Memorandum” in which he suggested that Hitler create "The Russian army to fight Bolshevism." Subsequently, Vlasov, who loved to dissemble and play with words, tried to compare himself with General Samsonov, who during the First World War also found himself in a German environment and shot himself. Like, he didn’t do the same, because he "didn’t have what it was worth dying for." I’m sure that the matter is completely different - what he, unlike other people of his rank who lost their lives, but did not become enemy lackeys, did not have, is the concept of officer honor, putting at the forefront a primitive desire to survive at all costs and his own careerism . By the way, the Nazis at the head of the Russian military collaborators for a very long time did not want to see Vlasov (who looked a bit wild in this role), but Dmitry Karbyshev. Here he was for the role of a “living banner of the fighters against Bolshevism” was much better - a nobleman, a tsarist officer, military engineer, who enjoyed great prestige in the same Germany. However, Karbyshev threw the Nazis in the face: “I am a soldier and faithful to my duty!”, Preferring the martyrdom at Mauthausen to betrayal.

Captured by them at the same time as Vlasov, Major General Ivan Antyufeev, who commanded the 327th Infantry Division of the 2nd Shock Army, did not cooperate with the invaders. The hell of concentration camps passed, survived, instead of the “mandatory” in our liberals' opinion repressions of all Soviet prisoners of war in 1946, he was awarded the Order of Lenin for courage. Vlasov, by the way, already in captivity, who had begun to persuade the former subordinate to betrayal, Antyufeev spat splendidly on his face. As you can see, everyone had a choice. Yes, a terrible choice, intolerable, such that not everyone can handle it ... However, do not forget that when entering the military system, every soldier, not to mention officers, vows, among other things, to die for his homeland, if necessary . All talk of “circumstances” and “objective reasons” is but pathetic attempts at self-indulgence for cowards and Jude. Vlasov, incidentally, belonged to the second rather than the first. In the opinion of the same Ilya Ehrenburg, personally familiar with this character, the general went into the service of the Germans by virtue of the fact that "instead of beliefs, he had only ambition." It was important for him to remain a general - no matter in which army and in which state. Disgusting, in my opinion, nothing can be.

The activities of the infamous “Committee for the Liberation of the Peoples of Russia” (KONR) and the “Russian Liberation Army” (ROA), of which Vlasov became the “father,” I will not touch on in this article. This is a topic for a separate very voluminous conversation. I only note that these bastard Nazi puppets did not play any significant role in the Great Patriotic War - neither military, nor political. But forever left a terrible stain on our people, giving some spiteful critics the opportunity to declare that "among the Russians there were also traitors." What is characteristic, the shameful stigma of “Vlasovites” somehow fixed itself for all Nazi minions, even if they did not have the slightest relation to the ROA, like the policemen and other bastards operating in the occupied territories. Any talk about the fact that Andrei Vlasov and his gang even for hair, even for microns can be considered “fighters for the freedom of Russia” should, in my deepest conviction, be stopped in the bud. Doubters are invited to look at the “historical” photograph, which captures the friendly handshake of the head of the ROA and Heinrich Himmler, one of the main authors of detailed plans for the physical extermination of the Russian people. What the hell are “liberators" ?! The miserable henchmen of the executioners ...

Former General Vlasov and his accomplices, deprived of all ranks and awards, were hanged on August 1, 1946, without being awarded either an honest soldier's death from a bullet or a human burial. So ended his second life - a traitor to the Motherland and the enemy henchman. The final death of Andrei Vlasov can be considered the fact that this name itself forever became in his former Fatherland a symbol of betrayal and shame.
Dear reader, to leave comments on the publication, you must sign in.
  1. Sapsan136 Offline Sapsan136
    Sapsan136 (Sapsan136) 6 July 2019 09: 42
    Vlasov is a traitor unambiguously. Moreover, judging by his face, he has no relation to the Russian people, and according to the ROA lists, this gang was formed not from Russians, but from Soviet nationals, such as the Volga German Baron von Lampe and Bandera Naumenko .... General Denikin, for example, refused to cooperate with the Nazis.
  2. Oleg Zorin Offline Oleg Zorin
    Oleg Zorin (Oleg Zorin) 6 July 2019 20: 09
    Traitor definitely. A soldier who swore an oath and cheated on her is a traitor. Regardless of whether he is handsome as Apollo or the Terrible Quasimodo.
    PS. Nationality does not matter to him.
  3. Hayer31 Offline Hayer31
    Hayer31 (Kashchei) 6 July 2019 20: 46
    enabling some spiteful critics to claim that "among the Russians there were also traitors."

    Traitors everywhere, but what Gorbachev is not Russian? Or Yeltsin? Why not traitors?
    1. DPN Offline DPN
      DPN (DPN) 7 July 2019 09: 31
      The first Devil from a snuffbox, the second offended and could not forgive his insult.
  4. steelmaker Offline steelmaker
    steelmaker 6 July 2019 21: 08
    TRADER of course !!!!
  5. DPN Offline DPN
    DPN (DPN) 7 July 2019 09: 28
    Now the time has come when those who are fighting against the Soviet regime and pouring mud on it are not called traitors. The business is a heap, the general just wanted to live. This is my opinion. Otherwise, I would not have to hide it, for the holidays so far: V. Mausoleum Lenin.
  6. Pishenkov Offline Pishenkov
    Pishenkov (Alexey) 7 July 2019 11: 52
    Vlasov is a typical careerist whose main life goal was his own well-being. This proves both his whole life and all his actions. At the same time, he was really a very smart and capable person. Such people exist with every power and regime. They adapt to these modes and survive in them. He had no principles, neither pro-Soviet nor anti-Soviet. He lived exclusively for himself, including personally. And, of course, in his transition to the side of the enemy there were no ideological considerations. I just wanted to live, and preferably well.
    By the way, I think that in modern Russia, if something happens, there will be much more such "Vlasovs" than during the Second World War, unfortunately.
    And to the respected author, there are two comments:


    I can not vouch for the absolute certainty of this episode, but it really fits into the desire of the future head of the ROA to make a career at all costs.

    It is still not worth building on such "facts" of articles on a real historical theme, it is not even worth mentioning them, especially since there is a sufficient number of real and confirmed things on the topic.

    2. and more

    no significant role in the Great Patriotic War, these clever .. Nazi puppets did not play-neither military nor political

    One can indeed agree with this statement. With two reservations: firstly, the activities of Vlasov and his organization still had political weight, however, not in favor of the USSR - this, as the fact of the presence of a huge number of dissatisfied with the government, even kind of ready to take up arms, used in the West for propaganda purposes throughout the existence of the Union. And secondly: the current magnificent state of the historical appearance of the city of Prague, and the saved lives of tens of thousands of Czechs in the so-called "Prague Uprising", as well as the fact that during the direct liberation of this city - a millionaire by the forces of the spacecraft on May 9-10.05.1945, 500, not more than 1 people, as a result of the fact that there are practically no German troops left in the city, it is also possible to be registered in the ROA's "asset", the XNUMXst division of which, in general, unexpectedly for all parties, "fit" into this action, pursuing solely their own goals. Although the latter was carried out against the will of Vlasov himself ... So there was a certain political, military and historical role. And a visible confirmation of this is the fact that we are still discussing this today ...
  7. Yuri 5347 Offline Yuri 5347
    Yuri 5347 (Yuri) 7 July 2019 15: 19
    ...Objectively! But nevertheless, the title of the article is strange, like a question, in fact the question is missing, everything is simple - a traitor.
    1. Pishenkov Offline Pishenkov
      Pishenkov (Alexey) 7 July 2019 15: 52
      One does not interfere with the other - the traitor may well be an "ambiguous figure". By the way, there have been many different "controversial" traitors in history ...
  8. gorbunov.vladisl (Vlad Dudnik) 7 July 2019 16: 18
    General Vlasov: a traitor or an "ambiguous figure"?

    What a crazy article? Why a question mark? Does anyone doubt that the villain who served as the executioners of his people is not a traitor?
    There is no such problem. There is no such question. Vlasov is a scoundrel, a bastard and a traitor.
    1. Kristallovich Offline Kristallovich
      Kristallovich (Ruslan) 8 July 2019 08: 22
      In my opinion, before writing a comment, you should read the article ...
      1. gorbunov.vladisl (Vlad Dudnik) 8 July 2019 11: 32
        In my opinion, before writing a comment, you should read the article ...

        I read the article.
        And my first comment is that there is nothing to write articles about such villains at all. There is nothing to discuss in the topic of Vlasov.
        Vlasov is a scoundrel, a bastard and a traitor. The topic is closed.
  9. Rinat Offline Rinat
    Rinat (Rinat) 8 July 2019 20: 26
    Vlasov is uniquely a traitor
  10. Dedok Offline Dedok
    Dedok (Sergei) 12 July 2019 11: 00
    The fact that this person is a traitor - no one doubts.

    The question should arise - why did the combat general become a traitor?
    Under what circumstances did the deputy commander of the Volkhov Front become the commander of the 2-shock army? After all, this is not just an army, it is a shock army! (there were no guards then).
    Why is the deputy commander of the Volkhov front a traitor, and the commander of the Volkhov front a hero, a marshal, etc. etc.?
    When we start to examine the issue more closely, we see that this person was appointed commander of the 2-Shock Army on April 26, 1942, when the army was surrounded when the army had “no food, no cartridges” (when they write about a cow at headquarters, milk who was fed the traitor - they are silent about the fact that General Klykov - the real commander of 2-Shock - had a stomach ulcer and the cow was kept for him, but he was seriously ill - his soldiers carried in arms from Tikhvin, where he and his soldiers in late November - December 1941 defeated the Nazis and drove them to the West, chasing and chased them for Volkhov), but there was no order to the commander of the Volkhov Front to withdraw from the environment, and when he appeared, was to leave almost no one.
    And when they left, they became traitors ....
    Why was he appointed commander of the 2-shock army in this situation?
    The answer suggests itself - in order to remove responsibility (from oneself) for the death of about 200 people.
    You will reach Myasniy Bor on May 9: maybe one of the eyewitnesses - participants will still be alive at that moment, and you will hear the realities of the events around the 2-shock army.

    Remember the circumstances under which General Kirponos died?
    And who was his “right hand” on the political side? Do you know?
    Why did the general and headquarters in full force perish, but the “right hand” did not?

    All this is around us and in everyday life, only we pay for our mistakes - WE ourselves. And Heroes, titles, honors, etc. etc. for this they do not give us.
  11. Nikolay Malyugin (Nikolai Malyugin) 15 July 2019 07: 45
    What I am least concerned about is his words. Here we come to the fact that devotion to the motherland must be judged not by words, but by deeds. Vlasov is not only a traitor to the country, but also a traitor to his army. Which he cleaned up before committing his deeds. Now there is humanization of all scum. And I won’t be surprised if books about his childhood appear. Indeed, in childhood we were all beautiful. Find opus about traitors in our literature of all time. Vain work.
  12. Valentine Offline Valentine
    Valentine (Valentin) 18 July 2019 18: 32
    All this needs to be looked at in a wider range than yes or no. What happened in 1917 can be called a revolution, on the part of the winners (red), and a military coup - on the part of the losers (white). The country broke up into two warring camps that did not give each other mercy, and after all we were all Russians, in the usual sense of the word, but the son went to the father, the brother to the brother, and is this not what we are now seeing around the world, where they go bloody wars, and not only on a national-racial basis, but also on religions, on their branches and trends, of which there are simply enough in our troubled world. Someone really needs these "crusades" of all against all, so they push our heads against each other, former brothers, relatives and neighbors, some kind of "behind the scenes", making fabulous profits on this, and Ukraine is an example of how their "inhabitants of heaven" are enriched on the blood of their citizens, who have become for them cannon fodder and cattle for slaughter. And how many Russian guys are now fighting for "nezalezhnaya" in the ranks of the Armed Forces of Ukraine, and how many Ukrainians are fighting for the DNR-LNR ..... How can all this be understood, and can it ever be forgiven ...
  13. The comment was deleted.