The World at War s01e05 Episode Script

Barbarossa (June - December 1941)

Russia, middle of June of 1941.
A unsafe and disoriented country.
Abundam the invasion rumors for Germany de Hitler.
In the Kremlin, the leaders of Russia they seemed abstracted of the Nazista threat, or if not, in minimum complacentes, as if, ignoring it, the threat could be extinguished.
However, thousand of German troops already they were to the long one of the border of Russia, ready for bloodiest terrestrial battle of history.
The battle that eventually would go to decide the World War II.
The World in War Barbarossa June - December 1941 Hitler, in July of 1940, it comes back of France in triumph, one met in the height of its power.
The rapidity and certainty of its victories they had frightened until its generals.
The doubts had had reply, the opposition of them would be reduced.
It was then that Hitler disclosed, that the Russians would be the following ones.
In the book "Mein Kampf" Adolf Hitler wrote: When we speak in a new territory, we must think about Russia, the proper destination points with respect to there.
Russia would have yielded an area inhabitable for the German people, Lebensraum.
The common German, as the Russians and the population in general, they had been apanhados of surprise, for the pact of Hitler with Stalin, in August of 1939.
It and to the others, seemed the change most reasonable it enters the rival greaters of the world.
The pact Nazi-Soviet the Hitler was useful.
It did not face obstacles, when invading the Poland and France.
For its side, Stalin, it gained maneuver space, while its Army if recoups of the bloody ones you purge of years 30.
It also had bet in one he fights drawn out, between Germany and the Allies.
But the German victories in the Ocidente, they had been faster of what it waited.
Hitler wanted to attack Russia soon in the Fall of 1940 e was left to convince, only for this time, that it would be impossible to leave for the war, in a height of those, had to the climate in Russia e also for being urgent necessary e, to remake the German Army, as well as, the Air Force, before initiating this new campaign.
In August of 1939, when Hitler signed the pact with Russia, to the afternoon it had a film, that it showed the Russian troops in stopped in front of the Kremlin.
It was sufficiently made an impression alliviated e, because with the pact, that army it was neutralized.
But, later, when the German troops if they had joined the Russians, in the occupation of the Poland, the officers had communicated the Hitler, that the armament of those Russian units he was very precarious.
It, first, it did not believe very, but when the Russians had attacked the Finnish and had not had success he was presumptuous of that it was really truth.
E already did not consider the Russian Army so strong how much it judged.
The doubts how much to the force of the Red Army they increased inside of proper Russia.
You purge them of years 30 had decimated the leadership power.
e more than half of its commanders had been deceased, for the impulsive ideas of Stalin.
All the commanders of each military district had been eliminated.
All the commanders of the divisions of the Army they had been eliminated.
The regiment commanders, e had exceptions here, also they had been eliminated.
That is more than what fragility politics.
The Army was decapitated, so to speak.
After the weak performance against the Finnish, they had been taken measured for its reform.
When Moscow knew of the victory of the Wehrmacht on the Frenchmen, these reforms had been sped up.
Still they were incomplete in the Summer of 1940.
Exactly thus, Stalin it used to advantage the chance, while Hitler if pledged in the battle of England, to take possetion itself, first, of the Baltic States of the Estonia, Letonia and Lituânia followed e of, still in this month, of the regions of the Romenia, known as Bessarabia e Bukovina of the North, a movement that, to the eyes of Hitler, it left the Russian troops, too much close to the wells of oil Rumanian of Ploesti, the only place of supplying of oil of the Germans, vital for its tanks, airplanes and ships.
But with most of its troops still in the Ocidente, Hitler did not intervine.
Instead of this, it exerted pressure diplomatics on the Balkans trying to gain its support.
First, King Boris of Bulgaria he was invited to visit Hitler, in this Fall, the Berchtesgarden, following the prince Pablo, of Yugoslavia e the young King Michael, of the Romenia.
Michael already was under influence of its first-minister, the pro-German, Antonescu.
When the notice had disclosed that the Romenia and the Hungria, if they had joined to the Axle, the Russians had reacted brusquely.
They had accused Berlin to violate the Pact of August of 1939.
The weak friendship Soviet-German started to ruir.
In this exactly month, Hitler was more far, fortifying the Axle.
It signed a new military alliance with Italy and Japan.
The Tripartite Pact.
It aimed at alegadamente, United States and England.
The Russians did not think thus.
They had protested violently.
Hitler invited the council member next to Stalin, Molotov, to dislocate Berlin in November of 1940, to help, in its to understand, to clarear the situation.
It was a disastrous visit for the relations Soviet-Germans.
When Molotov visited Berlin, he is obvious that he was distrustful of being poisoned by bacteria e asked for that all its plates and cups they were boiled, before being used.
It was rough in its commentaries e did not save Hitler.
Sufficiently intransigent, difficult smile, it remembered my teacher of Mathematics, with its eyeglasses, hostile eyeglasses looking at its pupil, Hitler e saying:"Our agreement of the last year he continues valid?" E Hitler thinking that it would be one me the translation answered: "Clearly, because not" E Molotov said:"Yes.
I ask this because of the Finnish.
It is with very friendly relations with the Finnish.
It invites people of the Finlândia e sends there for missions e the Finnish they are very dangerous people.
They weaken our security e we have to act how much to this.
E we go to act how much to this.
" After what Hitler it blew up and it declared: I understand it very well.
It wants to make war against the Finlândia e this is of question.
It heard well? Impossible.
Because mine abastecimentos of iron, nickel e other raw materials, they will be cut.
" He was very violent, a championship of weight-heavy in quarrel politics.
Still with Molotov in Berlin, Hitler commanded its generals that they planned the attack to Russia for 15 of May of 1941.
They had presented a project detailed that it assigned for: Barbarossa operation, as Emperor Prussiano of ruiva beard, that it has centuries, it takes part in a cruzade against the Slavs.
The generals of Hitler they believed that attacking Russia with England still resisting, it would be as that to fight in two fronts, something that in the "Mein Kampf" it would be the greater of the military errors.
But Hitler defended, e with some reason, in this Winter of 1940, that England, still that not being defeated, it was not a threat.
Therefore a campaign for the East it would be an only front, since that it was uncurled quickly.
Years before Hitler it had written: "The armies do not exist for the peace.
They only exist for the persistence triumphant in war time.
" The moral of the Wehrmacht it was in its height.
For where to march to follow? It could not advance on England for land e an amphibious combat not it was of the affability of Hitler.
It seemed that alone a magnetism it could impeliz it, against its last one antagonist in the Europe.
lmpeliz it in the same way that Armies of Napoleão it had been, when being left, impatient, throughout the Canal.
East, always for East, for the infindável Russia.
The Red Army in 1941 it was the greater of the world.
Number of tanks it exceeded, in airplanes it equaled, the set of the remains armies of the entire world.
Although its imperfections, the Red Army most it was equipped, of what the previous victims of the Wehrmacht.
E its reorganization since fiasco of the Finnish War, well it was directed.
But and its moral? Hitler was certain of that wise person the reply.
"It is alone a kick in the door and all that structure will fall for land.
" The leaders of Russia still they thought that would have time, for its army if to prepare to fight.
In March of 1941, the Russian troops already had faced the Germans, throughout the borders with Hungria, the Romenia and Bulgaria.
Also Yugoslavia seemed to become a satellite of Germany, until, encouraged for British Private services a public interest action in Belgrade, it obtained to banish the nazistas.
For incredible that it seems, Moscow it firmed a pact with the rebels.
Soon in the following day, Hitler attacked Yugoslavia.
Irritated with the revolt, it gave to operation the name "Retaliation".
The Operation Retaliation compelled to postpone the Barbarossa Operation, per five weeks crucial.
But now Russia was alert while the Wehrmacht it invaded its new allied one.
Hitler invaded Greece, without that Moscow protested of new.
This inertia had effect on Hitler.
It became it still more stubborn e its troops easily new victories arrebatavam.
The proper spies of Stalin they had sent information, on the concentration of troops throughout its borders, information these that Stalin preferred to ignore.
The diplomats of the Ocidente also they had informed it and it did not bind.
It argued with its comrades, that for inevitable that it was the conflict Soviet-nazista, these information were only a British stratagem.
The interesting one is that, as much Roosevelt as Churchill, each one to its way, they had informed Stalin, that Hitler went to attack Russia.
Stalin thought that was a trick ours, to mobilize it and to distract, stimulating Hitler to attack.
Stalin was well cliente of that in the World War I, it was the mobilization of the Czar, that it took the emperor Austrohungarian to attack Russia e it did not want to be the causer of this.
It had one suspicion traditional and compulsory: "When the British say some thing,"said us Stalin, "they must always think about the opposite.
If the British inform in them of something, it must mean that in they want against the Germans.
" Therefore, the main reason, it neglected all the acknowledgments.
A military stop particularly impressive, as that reaffirming the confidence of the Russian people, face to all the rumors of an imminent invasion.
The Russian diplomacy tried still to calm Hitler, waiting with this to postpone any attack, until the reforms of the Army Red was complete.
E while the generals they discussed, the diplomats rationed cereals e other raw materials essential to Germany, closing the eyes to the airplanes of German recognition, on the Soviet territory, even though softening the defense in the border, not to offend Berlin.
E while the Commissioner of Foreign affairses of Stalin, it presses the hand to the military attaché of Hitler, in Moscow, three million German troops they advanced for the border.
The biggest terrestrial battle of history it was you give to start.
The shock was enormous when that everything started.
I remember that night well.
It had left, I arrived late and I bound the radio.
It was in the radio of Kharkov or of Kiev or any another one e arrived stories of bombings and attacks, I thought that it was a program as of the Orson Welles, where it bombed New Iorque.
One remembers? Later we discover that it was real.
They had said that the Red Army it would never fight in its territory.
That the first shot would be data in enemy territory.
E suddenly, in day 22, they had said them that Sebastopol she was being bombed.
Kiev was being bombed, Bombed Smolensk.
The enemy jammed, our forces.
After the success of the other campaigns, we were confident of that the "Barbarossa" also would have success.
The first phase of the advance she was very fast.
We made 100 more than km per day.
Not yet we had lost a battle, therefore, we were accustomed to leave victorious people.
The plan of Hitler was, with three numerous armies, to find and to destroy the forces Russians, in the stated period of 4 months.
I never had been in the war.
We did not have fear.
We thought that we went to gain the war against Russia, because the wars against the Poland and France, they had been victories for Germany.
Beyond the factor surprise, the Germans had the advantage of an smashing superiority, in men and armament, in those chosen points for the attack of its tank.
Three Russian divisions of infantry they had been decimated in the first day e more five destroyed.
During the passage of the River Bug, we were attacked by several obsolete Russian airplanes, that they were abated immediately e we are very made an impression with the superiority of our Air Force, at the beginning.
During the two first days, two a thousand airplanes had been destroyed Russians, the majority in the soil.
The biggest Air Force of the world had practically been eradicated.
Without aerial protection, the Russian troops in the border they had lost the force and they had disappeared.
In one week, the Wehrmacht already the half way of Moscow went.
In one month, the Germans already they had taken, the double of the area of its proper country.
The Russian cities fell face to the power of the armored cars.
In one of them the trams still circulated.
The citizens cried out with enthusiasm to the tanks German, thinking that they were its.
Most of the time, very we were well received for the population.
We had the impression of that we would go to conquer the Russian people.
As the Frenchmen, in the previous Summer, the Russians operated with tanks in small groups, instead of the massive formations of panzers German.
Easy to be deceptive for the antitank Germans, its carcasses in flames they were spread for the battlefield.
in only two confrontations, in Minsk and Smolensk, in the month of July.
Half million of Russians had been died in first the fifteen days e close to a million, made prisoners.
With passing of the weeks, the Russian losses were accumulated, confusing the Germans, that they opposed to believe, that they could continue to lose as many lives human beings.
As in France, the previous year, Hitler was more worried in destroying the enemy forces in the ground, of what to take cities, or to conquer territory.
Its generals nor always they saw the things in this manner.
Attemped, perhaps, for golden gallons, they rivaled between itself, to be captor of this or that city, mainly, Moscow.
To capture the Russian capital without delay, according to general he would be decisive.
Hitler preferred to destroy first the Russian forces in the south, waiting that the battle she was decisive.
Moscow was not its first priority.
In August, it commanded that its panzers capsized for south.
Kiev, capital of the Ukraine, it was taken in middle of September.
In one of most spectacular surrounding movements, of military history, panzers German had arrested in Kiev about 750 a thousand Russians.
The German camera made an excellent filming, of these long columns of Russian unfortunate persons, for which the aircraft marshalling area of combat, it had now finished.
It had a new hell now: the arrest at the hands of the nazistas.
Of these hundreds of prisoners Russians who we see here, but three would come back with life.
In the end of September of 1941, but three months after the war, the Russians had lost about three million men.
But the Russian resistance before the apparent fatality, it would go to leave the astonished world.
The Germans had been instructed to look at the Russian enemy, as a sub-human being, but it did not delay very, so that the soldiers German of the aircraft marshalling area, they saw more to it as super-human being of what sub-human being.
The Russians rare cry out, when wounded, e seems whenever it has many of them in the horizon.
A colonel of the Wehrmacht wrote: "When attacking Russia, the German army, it is as an elephant to attack an invasion of ants.
The elephant will go to kill thousand, perhaps millions, but finally, they are as much, that they will go to win it e it will be eaten until the bone.
" The orientation in Russia is so difficult, as it is in the desert, only that we do not see the horizon.
We feel ourselves lost.
The imensidão of the space is such, that some soldiers they were melancholic.
The plain valleys, valleys, plain hillsides, e valleys and plain hillsides interminable.
It did not have limit.
We did not see an end e this so desolating age.
We saw the fields enormous, maize fields, of horizon the horizon.
We had never seen a thing of those.
It was very great.
It is not obtained to imagine the vastness of that country e we advanced of a river to the other, of a position for another one e did not have an end for that.
"To change the space for time", it was the traditional Russian strategy.
The time was not of the side of Hitler, if it wanted to reach its decisive victory before the Winter.
I remember to come of airplane of Kubishev e to be digging a ditch enormous around Moscow.
They seemed ants in its drudgery e was practically all the civil population of Moscow, men, women and children, that they were digging.
I think that they had appealed to all the available emotional forces.
I remember, for example, of many churches to be open of new, after having been closed during much time.
In a situation of those, it appears always any thing between us.
The tradition of Borodino.
Borodino is the place where Napoleão was defeated.
It appeared a religious feeling sudden, it is not known of where, e this helped to join the people.
With the overwhelmd Ukraine e surrounded Leningrad, Hitler turned its attention for the target most valuable, Moscow.
Thing that its generals begged, since the beginning of the campaign.
Moscow, in October of 1941, already it was a city of the front line.
The Germans were only about 300 km, in August, when Hitler panzers for south deviated its.
It had frequent rumors of an anticipated surrender.
The city has very under it military regulations.
It was rare the day without one visits of the Luftwaffe.
The battle for Moscow started the serious one, in the beginning of October.
Immediately, the things had run badly for its defenders.
In two enormous ones movements in "hand-vise", the Germans had captured more 700 a thousand Russian troops.
Goebbels called correspondents of war Berlin to announce, the imminent fall of Moscow.
We had had a pretty Summer, without climatic problems, or of any another type.
As much how much I remember, it started to snow e started the cold, for return of 10 of October e we knew immediately that we were not prepared or equipped, for what it waited in them.
When a commander he asked to its quarter-general, when it could wait clothes of Winter, they had said to it not to make more asked for unnecessary.
In the day where they had fallen first snows in Moscow, its defenders had received the new commander:Zhukov.
The German private information they had not informed Hitler, although Zhukov to have commanded the defense of Leningrad with enormous efficiency, since middle of September.
But the defense of Moscow would be one bigger test to the command of Zhukov.
The first snows soon they had melted, transforming the roads in authentic quagmires.
But some roads in Russia they were paved.
Therefore, in October, the terrible phase of the mud started, the roads were completely soaked, becoming improper it stops any vehicle, except tanks.
While infantry, we had to march to the long one of the side of the roads, to leave to pass cars and tanks.
The wheels of mine artillery had been broken.
E during two or three days, we had to improvise one forms to advance, requesting some horses and wagons.
We were all satisfied ones, with the success of the troops Germans in Russia, but England was the first one to say that something was missed, when Goebbels made a great one campaign for all Germany, to collect skins and clothes of Winter for the German troops.
We discover of that something unexpected if it passed.
We did not have agasalhos, nor nothing.
only the things that we had in the Summer.
E we were very angry for not terms better equipment.
The time got worse.
Many commanders German they had hesitated before the Winter.
Hitler did not think thus.
Convinced of that the victory would be its before the Winter starting, it commanded the generals who continued.
Soon, the land was frozen others to support panzers.
The delay was welcome, allowing the Zhukov to organize the defense of Moscow.
The Russians had less than 400 tanks to defend Moscow.
The "space" was depleted for Zhukov, but the "time" continued of its side, with the cold winds of the Winter to blow of the North.
But, in 14 of October, a formation of panzers it obtains to advance and it takes Kalinin, situated to less than 160 km to the north.
One days later, one another one formation takes Mozhaysk, while an infantry division Gorki reached, but the 60 km.
The panic invaded the citizens of Moscow.
Those that had obtained, they had run away, about two million, including departments of the Government.
Féretro of Lenin was evacuated, with other treasures of the Kremlin.
It was a great shock, when in those two or three days, probably some most advanced ones, some motorized troops had arrived, about 40 or 50 km of Moscow.
I must say that it had a great frightening in Moscow.
It had people trying to leave.
They judged that the Germans they were arriving.
It is easy to imagine, that it enters days 16 of October e 20 of October, the population thought that Moscow it would fall in the following days e was to that if it had the panic.
The people stopped the officers of the private services e insulted them without fear some.
In a normal situation, they would not make a thing of these.
This was the only occasion, where, probably if a small German force it obtained to be launched of parachute on the city, we would be in apuros.
But while Hitler traced its final attack Moscow, Zhukov also planned an attack.
But with what!? It already had removed as much troops how many he atreveu himself, of other sectors, to defend Moscow.
But it had a reserve where Russians not yet had touched.
Nor they had never thought to make it.
The 40 divisions of the Siberian Front, of the best troops of Russia, trained to fight in conditions of Winter.
Since June that they waited one has attacked Japanese.
In middle of October, the spy of Stalin in Tokyo, informs, that the objective of Japan it was in another place any.
Of this time, Stalin believed in its spies.
It dislocated the divisions Siberian for Moscow.
Exactly at this moment of crisis, Moscow arranged time stops to celebrate the anniversary of the Revolution e Stalin appeared to its people.
I would say that, despite of all its imperfections, Stalin gave a great service to the Ussr with this presence, because it showed two things: first, the commander supreme he did not run away; second, Stalin kept the courage.
This feeling of courage that, immediately, if it spread for the Armed Forces in general.
All the commanders said: "The proper Stalin was present".
The land dried.
Panzers already they obtained to twirl of new.
In 26 of November they had entered in Istra, situated only 50 km the west of Moscow.
Four days later they had taken Krasnaya Polyana, but the 30 km to the north.
Zhukov not yet had used the Siberians e the Germans had not given for the presence, close to Moscow, of these so recent troops.
The Germans also had its problems.
One morning finished thus.
It was all icecream e the cars were imprisoned in the mud, congealed.
The tanks did not obtain to twirl e, at this moment, my heart stopped.
It had far to that great city e I find that it was the first time e the last one, that vi Moscow.
The temperatures were below of 40º negative.
The oil made solid in Carter of the trucks and tanks.
The intense cold affected also the soldiers.
It had more victims due to the stomachal cold and problems, of what properly to the combats.
We had not paved of Winter, nor any equipment, to fight or to aguentar the cold e I think that this was great problem of the moment.
We lose a considerable part of our material, weapons, equipment heavy fast e, in general.
We, clearly, lose much people, had the ulcerações provoked for the cold e we had not pomadas or other ways, for simpler and primitive that they were, to fight them.
Of the 900 men of my battalion, had to the cold, in first the 14 days.
To the measure that went being more cold, in the end of November, principle of December, most of our artillery it total went being made unusable.
We did not have the oil adjusted lubricant, for this war of Winter.
However, the Russians had it e suddenly, ours soldiers had discovered of that of a moment for the other, the weapon left to go off.
The worse memory was the viaturas to freeze in the land e the oil of the engine to make solid.
We did not obtain to leave from there.
We needed and we wanted to leave from there.
I find that this was worse.
In Russia, it did not have signalling tablets e to find our way, we had made use the bodies icecream of the horses, throughout the snow walls, for not losing in them, during snowstorms.
E the landscape was so desolating.
Snow, always snow.
We were always solitary, dreaming of the hour where we would return Berlin.
But the maiorais of Berlin, they were refused to believe it worse.
The notice of periodicals made to believe that a diversion was everything.
The reality was well different.
In this height, we had advanced almost 2000 km.
Of beginning, Hitler, did not want to conceive that this crisis it was the end of all its strategical plan, but the Army was more cliente of the situation e the Russians had made the part most important, also to convince Hitler of that the Russian Campaign of this first year it had failed e had fond of the end.
With the moral of the Wehrmacht completely low, although some German troops to be alone the 25 km of the Kremlin, Zhukov freed its Siberians.
It was surprising, that moment.
The first moment where vi the Russian tanks, T-34, spreading itself quickly for the fields and the snow.
Our proper tanks they did not obtain to move itself, they did not obtain to go off, because he was too much cold.
When it wanted to come back, I found Russians for all the sides e was my first sensation of that already it did not go to have victory.
To the measure that recouped its territory, the Russians discovered the horror of the nazista occupation.
"Companionable, it kills a German", it was an expression very used.
In the first month, after the offensive Russian, more than 300 a thousand Germans they had been died or captured.
The worse memory of this withdrawal, it was the fear that we feel, night and day, to cairmos in captivity.
E already we knew the enemy the point to know, that in those cases, they treated severely the prisoners.
He was the first time that ours soldiers had perceived, that black times if approached.
When we had that to beat in withdrawal of Moscow, the Russian population and the soldiers Russians must have thought: "It is possible to defeat the German Army".
Two days after the beginning of the offensive Russian, the Japanese had attacked Pearl Harbor.
The war was taking a very different route.