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Counteroffensive

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"To the Commander of the South-Western Direction, Marshal of the Soviet Union, comrade Timoshenko
September 16th, 1941

I direct to you materials written by brigade commander comrade Ivanov

Member of the Military Council of the South Front, Army Commissar 1st Class, Zaporozhets"

"Ideas about the upset of further offensive of fascist forces
Maps: 2,500,000 and 1,000,000

Mistakes and weaknesses of the fascists

The enemy still considers our army to be clumsy, unable to make bold moves, unable to use trickery and deceit in operational maneuvers. He relies on our passivity and simplicity. Because of this, the fascist commanders allow:
  1. Actions in large groups only in distinct directions.
  2. Large spaces between large groups are uncovered.
  3. There are no large tank, motorized, or artillery reserves.
  4. The rear is not protected, roads and bridges are not controlled or defended.
  5. Settlements are not guarded at night.
  6. Attack groups are supplied by motor transport with supply lines stretching over hundreds of kilometers.
We must use these weaknesses and mistakes.

How the enemy offensive can be upset

It is impossible to stop the fascists with screens and counterattacks against their strike groups alone. In order to upset the offensive it is necessary to capture and defend important junctions in his rear, preferably in German territory: East Prussia and eastern Germany.

This will force him to transfer tanks, artillery, and motorized infantry from the front, as there are no reserves from the rear, disperse his forces to guard settlements and communications. This can be used to smash the fascists while they are split.

Settlements where highways lead directly should be the first to be captured: Brest (750 km), Lvov (500 km). In case of fast and successful movement, Warsaw, Lodz, Poznan (another 500 km) and Breslau (500 km).

It is necessary to aim for at least a portion of forces to make it to German territory to force them to destroy their own cities.

Repainting tanks, airplanes, and dressing in German uniforms can sew distrust in German ranks, spread panic, and force them to spread their attention and efforts to reinforcing their rear.

Forces to carry out these tasks

Independent Fronts cannot carry out these tasks. It is necessary to gather all forces and measures, using all reserves, rear forces and staffs, removing everything from secondary sectors.

Decisively collect all extra vehicles from rear line units, staffs, reduce extra organizations. Safe and passive areas of the front and the rear can be converted to horse transport.

Using all efforts to trick the enemy, gather mobile light units of no more than 1000 vehicles each in the first echelon, including the maximum amount of tanks (the rest are trucks with infantry and sappers)."


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