In October 1941, the Germans had a real opportunity to enter the city. Why not logged in? The fact is that they feared flank attacks and wanted to do everything in military science, that is, surround Moscow from three sides, and then quietly break into the city.
October 1941 was the worst month in the history of our capital. Firstly, it could have been blown up by the outgoing units of the NKVD. Secondly, if the Germans occupied Moscow, wild reprisals would have begun over the surviving inhabitants.
As for the mining of the city, it is known that Stalin signed a secret decree of the State Defense Committee, according to which the "five" was led, headed by Beria, who led the mining of all the most important objects of the capital. It was supposed to destroy absolutely everything except plumbing and sanitary, even the subway.
The question involuntarily arises: “Was Stalin ready to surrender Moscow?” It is difficult to answer. But the fact that during the events described the government moved from the capital to Kuibyshev, leads to some reflections.
In the post-war period, Zhukov told trusted people that the leader did not believe, or, as he put it, “didn’t particularly believe” that he would succeed in keeping Moscow.
It is known that on October 15, Stalin awoke (perhaps he did not sleep at all all night) unusually early and ordered to gather all members of the Politburo in his office. When everyone was there, the leader announced that everyone needed to evacuate today, that is, on the 15th in the evening. He himself will leave the city the next morning, that is, October 16.
There was talk that Stalin went to the station, walked along the platform for an hour, pondered, then returned. In fact, he did not go to any station: he would never have been taken by train, because the train, even if it were covered from the air, even if anti-aircraft guns were put on the platform, could have been destroyed by the German air force. . At the Central airport of Stalin waited "Douglas", which should have taken him. All his belongings - absolutely everything - were taken to Kuibyshev. Apparently, the father of nations did not believe that the city could be kept. He was ready to give it away.
As for the order “On the evacuation of the capital”, it had the most disastrous consequences. As the authorities ran out of the city, rumors of the surrender of Moscow spread instantly. Began a monstrous panic. And this is not surprising, because people did not know anything, they were not informed of anything. There was a feeling that the Germans would be in Moscow tomorrow. Some even ran outside to see if there were any German motorcyclists there.
But the most disgusting, the most indicative is that all those who, according to their duty, simply had to defend the city to the end or, at least, show that they were ready to keep the capital, ran off and fled. Who are we talking about? About the authorities. Central, urban ...
Just imagine how those in power burst out onto Yegoryevskoye Highway, rushing, loading their cars with products.
In fact, there was not a single courageous man in the city who would not run, who would say: “We will defend Moscow. I will stay here. We will restore order. ”
It is known that the second secretary of the city committee of the party, Georgy Popov, laid the blame on his direct leader - the first secretary of the Moscow regional committee and the city committee, Alexander Shcherbakov. In fact, chickened out absolutely everything. Here the whole Stalinist system of recruitment emerged: incapable of anything, independent, devoid of courage.
But there are many other examples where ordinary people occupied the line of defense. For example, Alexander Zevelev, who studied at the history department of IFLI, and his friends joined the Special Motorized Rifle Brigade. In those October days, they took positions in the center of Moscow.
And there are a great many such examples of fantastic courage of Moscow youth, which was considered to be pampered, not ready for trials. And a number of others - those who lectured her, guided her, reproached her - they ran. This is disgusting. That is, there was a picture of courage, on the one hand, and shame, on the other.
By the way, it was absolutely terrible: there were people in the city who were waiting for the Germans, were seriously discussing the new occupation administration, were tearing and burning the works of Lenin, Marx and Stalin, throwing portraits and busts of the leader into the garbage.
Over time, the panic, of course, subsided. Why? Stalin suddenly saw, realized that nothing was happening, the Germans did not enter, the troops were fighting. He saw it and realized that it was not necessary to run. But mainly, of course, Zhukov’s confidence affected him. All the time he called George Konstantinovich and asked: “Will the troops be able to hold Moscow?” And every time Zhukov, this over-confident man, answered that he had no doubt about it.
About this, by the way, Zhukov told the executive editor of the Red Star, David Ortenberg. There is a very funny story. In the midst of the Moscow panic, Stalin suddenly ordered that the city’s defense be entrusted to Zhukov, and he called Ortenberg himself with instructions to print a portrait of the commander. Ortenberg asked: “On which lane?” - “On the second,” the leader said.
Ortenberg sent a correspondent to Perhushkovo, to the headquarters of the Western Front. He called and reported that Zhukov did not want to be photographed, he had no time. Then Ortenberg called Zhukov himself:
- Need a photo.
- Which picture?! I have fights here.
- Supreme ordered.
- Oh well.
Then Ortenberg writes: “I thought that Stalin wanted to show the Muscovites what a decent person is protecting the city, and Zhukov told me:“ You are naive. He wanted to show who will answer for the surrender of the city, if that happens. ”