Distortion of History: Why the West Forgot How the USSR Saved It in 1945

Translated by Ollie Richardson & Angelina Siard



The website of the TV channel “Tvzvezda” has published a series of articles on the great Patriotic war of 1941-1945 by writer Leonid Maslovsky, based on his book “Russkaya Pravda”, published in 2011.

In his opinion articles, Maslovsky reveals “the myths of the imaginary foe, Russia, and the events of the great Patriotic war, showing the greatness of our Victory.” The author notes that in his articles he is going to “show the US’ unhelpful role in West Germany’s preparations for war with the USSR”.

Currently the US, England, and France don’t even invite representatives of Russia to annual celebrations devoted to the victory in 1945 over Hitler’s Germany. It’s as if there weren’t any Soviet troops in 1945 in Germany.

The whole world is already assimilated to the idea that allegedly the troops of the US with the assistance of the troops of England destroyed fascist Germany, and the USSR (Russia) has no relation to it. Due to this blatant scandalous distortion of history and humiliation of the people of Russia, it is necessary to dwell upon the question why the grandiose offensive of our troops in January, 1945, was shifted backwards to an earlier period of time.

The troops of the US and England landed on the European continent in Northern France only in June, 1944, because they were afraid of the Germans. With a huge desire not to allow the Red army into Europe, they understood that they weren’t able to do this, because the German troops would destroy their armies without breaking a sweat, in passing, like small insects getting under their feet.

By the middle of 1944 the Red Army reduced the forces of the Wehrmacht to such an extent that even the careful Americans dared to oppose Germany using the troops of the US and England.

On the 6th of June, 1944, and in the next days Hitler didn’t take any effective measures against the landed troops of the US and England. He obviously considered their armies to be incapable of conducting battles against the troops of Germany, and thus threw all forces and means against the coming troops of the Red Army.

But, having received a small respite on the Eastern front, the German command decided to show to the US and England what their Armed Forces are capable of. “On the 16th of December the Germans began an offensive in Ardennes. They, having inflicted a serious defeat on the American units resisting them, rushed to the Maas River. On the 1st of January the fascists struck a new blow, intending to return Alsace,” writes V.V. Sukhodeev.

Due to the victorious offensive of the German troops threatening the Anglo-American group with a full defeat, Churchill addressed a message to Stalin: “Very heavy battles are ongoing in the West, and big decisions can be demanded at any time from the supreme command. You know from your own experience how troubling a situation is when there is a need to defend a very wide front after a temporary loss of the initiative.

It is very desirable and necessary for General Eisenhower to know in general what you suppose to do, because this, of course, will be reflected in all of his and our decisions … I will be grateful if you are able to tell me whether we can count on the large Russian offensive on the Vistula front or somewhere in another place during January and at any other moment, about which you, perhaps, will wish to mention. I won’t transfer this very classified information to anyone … I consider this matter to be urgent”.

On the 7th of January, 1945, I.V. Stalin sent to Churchill the following answer: “It is very important to use our superiority in artillery and aviation against the Germans … There is a need for clear weather for aviation and a lack of low fog preventing artillery from carrying out aimed fire. We prepare ourselves for an offensive, but now the weather doesn’t favor our offensive.

However, taking into account the position of our allies on the western front, the HQ of the Supreme Command decided to finish preparation with an increased speed and, ignoring the weather, to open broad offensive actions against the Germans on all the central front no later than the second half of January. You shouldn’t doubt that we will do everything that can be done in order to render assistance to our fine allied troops”.

The Soviet Supreme Command made the decision to begin an offensive even before the time period promised to Churchill. Huge in its scale, it began on January 12th at the front from the Baltic Sea to the Carpathians. The German command was compelled to stop its offensive in the West and to hastily begin the transfer of a large mass of its troops to the east – against the coming Soviet armies.

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On the 17th of January Churchill wrote to Stalin: “On behalf of the Government of her Majesty and from all my heart, I want to express to you our gratitude and congratulations on the occasion of such a huge offensive that you began on the Eastern front”.

This was also confirmed by Eisenhower in a letter to the Soviet military leaders: “The important news that the valorous Red Army moved forward with a new powerful breakthrough is apprehended by allied armies in the West with enthusiasm”.

Pay attention to the forces of German troops: having transferred a considerable part of their units against the Red Army already after the disembarkation of allies, the Germans managed to take the offensive against the troops of the US and England, and not only in Ardennes. As was stated above, the German troops on January 1st, 1945, took the offensive in Alsace.

And the condition of the troops of the US and England is characterised by the fact that, having a significant superiority in front of the German troops in forces and means, the troops of allies started retreating.

“In a matter of days the troops of Hitler broke through the weak defense of the 1st American army by up to 40km at the front, by December 22nd seized the cities St. Hubert and Marche and, having soon come to the River Maas, found themselves on the boundary of Dinan more quickly, without introducing any reserves for the development of this offensive.

Thus, having wedged 100–110 kilometers into the territory occupied by the American troops, they broadened the front of the breakthrough by up to 100 kilometers, having separated the English and American troops into two parts.

Seeing such success, the main command of Hitlerites changed the direction of the main blow and decided to develop further actions already on the left flank where there were the 5th tank and 7th armies. The commander of the group of armies Model for carrying out this operation started to hastily transfer units and divisions from other places for the strengthening of troops in the new chosen direction…

The German command didn’t manage to concentrate all necessary forces to land a crushing blow on the troops of allies, and the started successful offensive of the Soviet troops in the East not only forced the enemy to stop the completion of the preparation of the planned blow, but also compelled those units and divisions that were supposed to participate in this operation to be quickly transferred to the Eastern front.

Thus, the 5th and 6th tank armies, consisting of a striking group of Germans in Ardennes, already by January 17th were withdrawn from their locations and were urgently transferred to the East. So, not for the first time, the Soviet troops enticed towards themselves the forces of the enemy from its deep rear that were supposed to achieve completely other aims,” wrote A.E. Golovanov.

During the counter-attack of the German troops, the army of the US and England simply fled in panic, without using their significant superiority in forces and means. As it follows from the above, they stopped only because the Germans ceased to advance and went to the Eastern front to fight against the Soviet armies.

From the given material it is obvious that if the Red Army didn’t start on January 12th, 1945, one of the largest offensives against the German troops for all the time of war (the seven largest simultaneous operations, including Vistula and Oder) – as a result of which the powerful defense of the enemy was breached all along 1,200 kilometers, then the troops of the US and England would be completely crushed by the German troops at the very beginning of their offensive.

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It would have been enough for Stalin to not accelerate, but, on the contrary, to simply postpone the offensive of our fronts for a few weeks, and only memories would have remained of the troops of the US and England. It would be possible to explain the delay having referred to the unpreparedness of the Soviet army for an offensive after intense long battles. But Stalin made the decision that provided the rescue of allies from annihilation.

Probably, such a decision can be explained by many factors: the high moral qualities of the leader and, first of all, his high decency; an aspiration to keep friendly relations with allies and to divide spheres of influence in Europe with the consent of all parties, and by this ensuring the safety of the USSR for a long time; the weighed assessment of our military, economic, and political opportunities; and the aspiration to approach the day of the end of war.

It is precisely in the name of the soonest arrival of peace that Stalin rescued allies from annihilation. In my opinion, it is precisely this factor that was the most important one at the time of decision-making by I.V. Stalin.

But it is possible that he would behave in a different way if he knew for sure that these “allies” – 46 years after the victory of the USSR over Hitler’s Germany – will destroy the Soviet Union using the hands of the 5th column of the US and England.

The first word in the Berlin operation belonged to the tank units. The general armies, having a huge mass of artillery and heavy armoured machinery, were exclusively strong in their strikes, and tanks with motor-infantry could strike the blows extremely quickly with big separation from the main troops.

It should be noted that along with the most numerous and best-in-the-world intermediate T-34 tank, our designers created in 1942 the SU-76 self-propelled artillery, which became the most mass-produced. It is precisely the T-34-85 tank and SU-76 that were the most widespread samples of the armoured machinery of the Red Army also in the battle for Berlin.

Rokossovsky wrote: “Artillerists and infantrymen went hand in hand in combat. With the help of gunners, the rifle units forced their way through, stormed the centers of resistance, repelled the tank attacks of the enemy. Where cannons couldn’t pass via mechanical tugging, the riflemen pushed them manually. The soldiers especially loved the SU-76 self-propelled artillery pieces. These light, mobile machines kept up everywhere, in order to support and rescue the infantry with their fire and tracks, while the infantrymen, in turn, were ready to defend them from the fire of the enemy anti-tank riflemen and faustpatrone”.

The SU-76 wasn’t completely protected by armour, and the armour that was available for it didn’t distinguish itself in thickness, but it was light, manoeuvrable, and had an excellent field of view.

The tank divisions of the Soviet wonderful heavy IS-2 tanks were designed to offer direct support for infantry and mechanised units. The divisions of the IS-2 were the “core” of the Soviet tank and mechanised corps. Our industry produced also the KV-1C heavy tanks, the non-modernised predecessors of which struck the opponent in the first days and years of war with its power and thickness of armour. The destruction of these tanks in battle cost the Germans dearly.

Isaev writes that the tank armies consisting of tank and mechanised corps were the elite of the tank troops; the mighty, but complex instrument of war. Attention was paid to preserving them for the turning points of battle. I.S. Konev gives a number of very important explanations concerning the comparison of forces of the Soviet and German armies, and gives an assessment of our equipment. In his book he, in particular, wrote: “War is war, and, of course, the number of tanks in the tank army or corps changes – during different periods of war and from operation to operation, as well as during the operations themselves.

But so that the reader can imagine the real ratio of forces – ours and the enemy, – they must take the following into account: when it is said, for example, that in certain battles in certain areas the German tank corps resisted our tank army, this doesn’t at all mean a triple superiority of our forces proceeding from the scheme ‘three corps versus one’.

During its blossoming, let’s say by 1943, the full-blooded German tank corps consisting of three divisions had about 600-700 tanks, i.e. approximately as many as our tank army had in its structure.

By the way, I will say, since I started talking about it, that relevant amendments when comparing corps with corps and division with division should be mentioned when we speak also about infantry. The numerical structure of the German fascist infantry division, during a considerable period of the war, corresponded to the structure of about two of our rifle divisions.

Of course, during the war this ratio was changing. With every new defeat the Hitlerites with greater difficulty restored its units. But already in 1944, and even on the eve of 1945, this ratio still remained approximately in the same proportion.

A few words about equipment. The vast majority of the tanks that we began the war with – T-26, BT-5, BT-7 – were high-speed, but poorly armed, with light armor; they easily burned and in general were unreliable on the battlefield … By 1943 our tank units had at their disposal not the outdated BT, but the ’34’, which proved to be such a terrifying force that the enemy was compelled to counter our tanks with new types of fighting vehicles. It is in this way that ‘Tigers‘, ‘Ferdinands‘, and ‘Panzers‘ appeared, and subsequently the so-called ‘Royal tigers‘ …

I usually watched with particular interest the actions of our 122-mm cannon. It excellently fired at the German tanks, especially as the ‘Tigers’ didn’t possess high manoeuvrability … It is precisely this heavy tank (IS) and heavy self-propelled gun that later owned the battlefield. They were a thunderstorm for all German tanks and self-propelled equipment, including for the ‘Royal tigers’ that the Germans acquired in 1944.

‘Royal tigers’ were even more powerful and even less manoeuvrable machines than the simple ‘tigers’ with a 88mm cannon …

On the topic of our military equipment, I want to once again praisingly mention the most remarkable T-34 tank. The ’34’ passed through all the war, from beginning to end, and there was no better fighting vehicle in any army. No tank can be compared to it – neither American, English, or German. It was distinguished by its high manoeuvrability, the compactness of its design, and its small, ground-hugging dimensions, which increased its invulnerability and at the same time helped it to blend into the terrain and be masked”.

The T-34 had high passability, a good engine, and quite good armour. But it is possible to call this quite good armour excellent armour for an average tank. If the thickness of the armour is increased, then the T-34 will lose manoeuvrability and high passability, if the thickness of the armour is reduced, then the tank will lose its survivability, and will become more vulnerable.

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Our Soviet designers at the very beginning of the design process found a golden mean between the thickness of armour and other characteristics of the tank, and preserved it until the end of war, including in the modernisation of the T-34 tank, when a 85mm cannon was installed. This can’t be said about the German designers, who during all the war increased the thickness of their tank’s armour, making them less manoeuvrable, more vulnerable, and less passable.

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