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"Former Hitler rates": the historian revealed the details of the intelligence work of the Red Army

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Moscow, February 2 – Soviet military intelligence officers made a significant contribution to the victory in the Battle of Stalingrad, Hitler’s plans near Stalingrad became known to the Intelligence Directorate of the Workers ‘and Peasants’ Red Army before the Wehrmacht leadership, deputy head of the Association of Military Diplomats, Doctor of Historical Sciences, Vladimir Vinokourov told the News Agency.
On Thursday, Russia celebrates the 80th anniversary of the victory at Stalingrad – the battle that fundamentally changed the course of the Great Patriotic War of 1941-1945.
“The defeat of the Nazi forces was directly related to the Soviet military diplomats, who, being far from their homeland, found the keys to the Wehrmacht’s operations and helped the Soviet troops crush the enemy at Stalingrad,” said Vinokurov.

Red Army intelligence recognizes directive “Blau”

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Vinokurov recalled that in the first quarter of 1942 the General Staff of the Red Army tried to determine where the German command could deliver the main blow. According to him, opinions differed, but one thing prevailed: the main goal of the German troops was still Moscow.
However, Hitler had more extensive plans, which were finalized on April 5 in the form of Directive No. 41 (“Blau”), which contained the German command’s strategic plan for waging war on the Eastern Front in 1942. The main strike was planned in the southern direction With the aim of destroying the enemy west of the Don River and seizing the oil regions in the Caucasus and the passes through the Caucasus Mountain Range. Great attention was paid to the Stalingrad direction.
Thanks to the work of Soviet military diplomats, the main provisions of Directive No. 41 became known in Moscow much earlier than it was approved. General Sergei Shtemenko noted this fact as follows: “In the summer of 1942, the enemy’s plan to seize the Caucasus was revealed <...> Very quickly. But this time the Soviet command was not able to guarantee decisive actions to defeat the advancing enemy grouping in a short time.

Moscow is aware of Berlin’s plans

“The first report on Hitler’s plans for a spring offensive on the Eastern Front reached Moscow from the office of the military attaché at the USSR Embassy in London on March 3, 1942. It was reported that Germany was planning an offensive in the US in the spring of 1942 in the direction of the Caucasus. For these purposes, Berlin reached agreements on sending 16 new Romanian, 12 Italian, 10 Bulgarian, Slovak and several Hungarian divisions to the Eastern Front.
He recalled that already on March 15, a source of an employee of the Soviet military attache apparatus in London transmitted the contents of the conversations of the Japanese ambassador in Berlin with German Foreign Minister Ribbentrop, which took place on February 18, 22 and 23. In these conversations, Ribbentrop announced that he was in Germany’s operations Against the Soviet Union in 1942, the southern sector of the Eastern Front would be of paramount importance. He said that the offensive would begin there, and the battle would unfold in the north.
Vinokurov stressed that other military diplomatic missions were also actively operating in 1942. Information from them allowed the Red Army Intelligence Directorate to prepare a special message to the General Staff in March 1942: “The preparation for the spring offensive was confirmed by the transfer of German troops and materials. During the period from January 1 to March 10, 1942, up to 35 divisions are deployed, and the human replenishment of the active army is constantly going on. <...> The center of gravity of the spring offensive would be transferred to the southern sector of the front with an auxiliary strike in the north, while at the same time demonstrating on the central front against Moscow. For the Spring Offensive, Germany would raise, together with the Allies, 65 new divisions. <...> The most likely date for the spring offensive is mid-April or early May 1942.
At the end of March, military diplomats continued to report: “The most likely direction of the main German offensive on the Eastern Front will be the Rostov direction. The goal of the military offensive is to capture the USSR oil base and then reach Stalingrad with a blow to the Volga.
He noted that at the end of March, in April and in May, the Intelligence Directorate continued to receive explanatory information from its foreign services about the plans of the Germans. On March 31, Janow, a source in the office of the military attaché of the governments of Poland, Yugoslavia and Czechoslovakia in London, reported to Moscow: “According to a reliable source from Berlin, the German offensive plan on the Eastern Front provides for the following: two directions: an attack on Leningrad to strengthen Finland, a severance of relations and surrender To the USSR across the White Sea, as well as an offensive to the Caucasus, where the main effort is expected in the direction of Stalingrad and the secondary – to Rostov In addition, after the capture of the Crimea – to Maikop.The main goal of the offensive is the capture of the Volga along length. And the Germans intend to erect strong fortifications on the western bank.

The grouping of the Wehrmacht near Stalingrad was revealed

“Thus, thanks to the efforts of Soviet military diplomats, before the start of the offensive operation of the Soviet troops near Stalingrad, the entire front of our troops opened almost the entire group of enemy forces in the first line of the battalion, troops and defense system of numerous enemy formations.”
“Accurate information was obtained about the deployment of the main strike units of the Nazi forces in the 6th Field and 4th Tank Army, the 3rd Romanian Army and the 8th Italian Army, about the tasks and strength of the 4th Air Fleet of the German Air Force, the military diplomat confirmed.

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