The fate of Semen Konstantinovich Timoshenko is rather unusual and deserves attention. The peasant son, a soldier of the First World War, three times the St. George Knight ... In 1919, Tymoshenko was 24 years old, and he already commanded a division in the 1st Cavalry Army. In the same year, a meeting took place near Tsaritsyno, which determined the fate of our hero - he met Stalin. From that moment on, the "father of nations" no longer let Tymoshenko out of sight.
Semen Konstantinovich, by the way, became also a literary hero. In “Konarmii”, Isaac Babel drew his portrait in the following way: “... stood up, seeing me, and I was surprised at the beauty of the gigantic body. He got up and with his purple hooves, a crimson hat, knocked to the side, with the orders impacted in the chest, he cut the house in half ... ” Such a giant, a giant, “red” trooper ...
At 25, Tymoshenko was a division commander, a successful military leader. Twenty years later, he was already in charge of an almost military campaign - Stalin entrusted him with the management of the Ukrainian front during the Polish campaign of 1939 - a task that Semyon Konstantinovich coped with brilliantly.
The second major achievement of Tymoshenko was the breakthrough of the “Mannerheim Line”. It was then that the all-Union, loud fame, supported by Stalin, came to him.
1937 - 1938 - the time of additional career growth of our hero: Tymoshenko occupied the positions vacated during the “purge” of the first commander of the Belarusian and then Ukrainian military districts, and became commander of the 1st rank. It is worth noting that the repression of Semyon Konstantinovich was defended by the aura of meeting Stalin, that he was part of the leader’s trusted circle.
By the way, in 1940 neither Zhukov, nor anyone else, namely Tymoshenko wrote an appeal to Stalin with the request to release the 300 repressed commanders who were still alive. And at his request 250 people were released. It must be said that in this respect he went against the management of the cadres of the Red Army, where they believed that since they were imprisoned, then let them sit. Rokossovsky, Gorbatov and many others were released directly on the proposal of the People's Commissar Tymoshenko.
Commander of the North-Western Front, commander of the 1st rank Semen Konstantinovich Timoshenko, 1939. A photo: waralbum.ru
In July 1941, Stalin threw our hero on the most dangerous direction - the West. The famous defensive operation near Smolensk is also a merit of Semyon Konstantinovich.
In September, Tymoshenko was appointed commander-in-chief of Southwestern troops. The stake led by Stalin hoped that our hero would be able to keep Kiev, the Dnieper. However, time has already been lost ...
In May 1942, Tymoshenko led the Kharkov operation, as a result of which a large group of the Red Army suffered a crushing defeat. From that moment on, it was not that the disgrace began; rather, the trusting relationship between him and Stalin disappeared. And the point is not in hostilities - pure politics.
On August 24 - 27, 1942, Pravda published a play by the playwright Korneychuk Front. Immediately it should be said that the author’s autograph of Stalin was in the author’s manuscript: I. Stalin.
What is the play "Front"? This is a colossal political statement by the Soviet leader in which he explains the reasons for the defeat in the war. What kind? There is a bad front commander, Gorlov, and a good army commander, Ognev. There is a member of the military council Gaidar. Wonderful such surname speaking. In the play, in general, all the names of those who speak: the chief of communications — Khrypun, the chief of staff — Blagonravov ... They recognized everyone who is who.
And what, strictly speaking, was the problem? The fact is that commanders, commanders from the time of the Civil War did not want to learn military science in this way. The Party of the Military Council corrected them: first, in a good way, she said that she had to take hold of the mind, then in a bad way. A member of the Military Council, Gaidar (none other than Joseph Vissarionovich himself) helped the army commander develop a plan of operation: the Germans were defeated, the bad front commander was removed from his post, a new, young commander who was supported by the party was appointed.
Naturally, Tymoshenko understood who and what was being discussed, and he personally wrote to Comrade Stalin: “The play published in the press by Comrade Korneychuk deserves special attention. This play harms us. It should be removed, the author brought to justice. " The leader did not wait long and answered Tymoshenko with a public telegram: “I received your telegram. In assessing the play you are wrong. The play will be of great educational importance for the commanders of the Red Army. Properly point out flaws. It is necessary to have the courage to recognize shortcomings and take measures to eliminate them. This is the only way to improve and improve the Red Army. ”
And then the leader was ordered: put the play in the theater of the Red Army, give all tickets to the generals, Korneychuk - the Stalin Prize ...
Tymoshenko and Zhukov on maneuvers, 1940. A photo: waralbum.ru
There is an opinion that for the failure of the operation “Polar Star” Tymoshenko was removed from the post of commander. From March 1943 until the end of the war, he was the representative of the Supreme Command Headquarters.
After the war, Semyon Konstantinovich comfortably commanded the troops of the military districts. In 1965 he was once again awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union. He died on March 31, 1970. He was buried on Red Square in the Kremlin wall.
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The article is based on the “Price of Victory” program broadcast by Ekho Moskvy radio station. Leading the program - Vitaly Dymarsky and Vladimir Ryzhkov. You can fully read and listen to the original interview. reference.