Rzhev: Unknown Battle of Georgy Zhukov, Part 1, English Subtitles


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Transcript:
NTV TELEVISION PRESENTS
A DOCUMENTARY FILM BY ALEXEY PIVOVAROV
IN THE SPRING OF 1942 COMMANDER OF THE 33RD ARMY OF WESTERN FRONT
RECEIVES AN ORDER FROM MARSHAL ZHUKOV
"ABANDON YOUR SURROUNDED ARMY - RETURN BY PLANE TO MAINLAND"
HAD GENERAL EFREMOV OBEY THAT ORDER HE WOULD HAVE DEFINITELY SURVIVE THE WAR
HE WOULD BE GIVEN A NEW ARMY TO COMMAND
TO FIGHT THE REST OF THE WAR
AND HE WOULD BE NOW CELEBRATED
BUT EFREMOV HAD CHOSEN NOT TO OBEY THAT ORDER
RZHEV:UNKNOWN BATTLE OF GEORGY ZHUKOV
AFTER A SUCCESSFUL COUNTER-OFFENSIVE NEAR MOSCOW RED ARMY ADVANCED TO VICINITY OF RZHEV AND VYAZMA
IN JANUARY 1942 IT WAS STOPPED HERE
AND FOR 13 MORE MONTHS THE RED ARMY COULD NOT MOVE FORWARD
IN SPITE OF ENORMOUS EFFORTS AND HUGE LOSSES
FOR THAT REASON BATTLE OF RZHEV WAS IGNORED IN THE OFFICIAL SOVIET HISTORY
ALL TEXTBOOKS MOVE ON TO THE BATTLE OF STALINGRAD IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE MOSCOW COUNTER-OFFENSIVE
IN REALITY THERE WAS EXACTLY ONE YEAR IN BETWEEN THEM
DURING THIS YEAR THERE WAS CONTINUOUS FIGHTING NEAR RZHEV
MOST OF THE INFORMATION PRESENTED HERE IS STILL CLASSIFIED
THE DOCUMENTS ARE STORED IN A SECRET ARCHIVE
BUT IT IS NO LONGER POSSIBLE TO HIDE THE TRUTH
AND TODAY WE CAN ACCURATELY RECONSTRUCT THOSE EVENTS
JANUARY 5, 1942. GEORGY ZHUKOV AND AND IVAN KONEV, COMMANDERS OF WESTERN AND KALININ FRONTS
ARE CALLED TO KREMLIN, TO CONFER WITH THE "SUPREME"
"GERMANS ARE IN DISARRAY AFTER THEIR LOSS NEAR MOSCOW" DECLARES STALIN
"THEY DID NOT PREPARE FOR OUR WINTER"
"NOW" HE ASSERTS, "IS THE MOST OPPORTUNE MOMENT FOR A GENERAL COUNTER-OFFENSIVE"
BOTH ZHUKOV AND KONEV KNOW THIS IS NOT TRUE
TROOPS ARE WORN OUT BY THE DECEMBER COUNTER-OFFENSIVE
THEY NEED REST AND REINFORCEMENTS, WHICH AREN'T THERE
LATER, ZHUKOV WROTE THAT HE ARGUED WITH THE "SUPREME", BUT STALIN DIDN'T LISTEN
"OUR GOAL IS NOT TO GIVE GERMANS A PAUSE" STALIN CONTINUED
"WE MUST FORCE THEM TO USE UP THEIR RESERVES BEFORE SPRING"
SO IT WAS DECIDED TO START THE OFFENSIVE AT ONCE
THE 33RD ARMY OF THE WESTERN FRONT IS PREPARING TOGETHER WITH THE REST
THE 45-YEAR OLD COMMANDER MICHAIL EFREMOV IS A CELEBRITY
SINCE THE BEGINNING OF THE WAR HE ALREADY COMMANDED THREE ARMIES AND BRYANSK FRONT
RESERVED, ATTENTIVE, WITH A MILITARY DEMEANOR
HE IS LIKED BY THE TROOPS
IN OLD RUSSIA HIS TYPE WOULD BE CALLED "TZAR'S SERVANT, SOLDIERS' FATHER"
EFREMOV IS FROM THE FIRST GENERATION OF THE "RED" GENERALS
WHO GREW UP WITH THE RED ARMY
HE COMMANDED A BRIGADE AND A DIVISION IN THE CIVIL WAR
THEN HE GRADUATED FROM THE MILITARY-POLITICAL AND FRUNZE ACADEMIES
HE IS ONE OF THE LUCKY FEW TOP COMMANDERS WHO AVOIDED THE 1936-1938 PURGES
HIS 33RD ARMY IS ABOUT TO START OFFENSIVE TOWARD VYAZMA
SVETLANA GERASIMOVA, HISTORIAN
THE GOAL OF THE JANUARY 1942 COUNTER-OFFENSIVE
WAS TO DESTROY THE GERMAN ARMY GROUP "CENTER"
AND TO FREE CITIES RZHEV, VYAZMA, SYCHEVKA, GZHATSK
BUT THIS GOAL WAS NOT ACHIEVED
RZHEV-VYAZMA BULGE WAS CREATED AS RESULT OF THE COUNTER-OFFENSIVE
IT WAS LOCATED DANGEROUSLY CLOSE TO MOSCOW
SVETLANA GERASIMOVA, A HISTORIAN FROM TVER'
BEGAN TO STUDY RZEV BATTLE WHEN ARCHIVES WERE STILL CLOSED
YOU CAN SEE ON THE MAP - IT IS A BULGE
A GERMAN CLAW AIMED AT MOSCOW
THE OBJECTIVE OF COUNTEROFFENSIVE: CUT IT FROM BOTH SIDES
JANUARY 8 - KALININ FRONT BEGINS OFFENSIVE
JANUARY 10 - WESTERN FRONT BEGINS OFFENSIVE
EFREMOV'S 33RD ARMY BREAKS THROUGH TOWARD VYAZMA
BUT THE SOVIET "WEDGES" CUT TOO DEEP INTO THE ENEMIES DEFENSE LINES
AND THEY GET STUCK...
SINCE THEY TOOK RZHEV AND VYAZMA THREE MONTHS AGO
GERMANS BUILT SOME OF THE BEST DEFENSES HERE
ITS REMNANTS ARE SEEN HERE EVEN NOW
THESE ARE FORMER SOVIET PILLBOXES
THEY WERE LEFT IN 1941 WITHOUT A FIGHT
IN 1942 BESIDE THE PILLBOXES, IN FRONT OF THE RED ARMY ARE
DEEP TRENCHES, DUGOUTS, MACHINE GUN EMPLACEMENTS, MINEFIELDS, AND WELL-EQUIPPED ARTILLERY POSITIONS
THE ENTIRE AREA IS WELL RANGED
IN ADDITION GERMANS HAVE COMPLETE AIR SUPERIORITY
IN CONTRAST, RED ARMY DOES NOT EVEN HAVE ENOUGH SHELLS FOR ARTILLERY BARRAGE
THEY ATTACK WITH LITTLE PREPARATIONS, WITHOUT SUPPLIES AND REINFORCEMENTS
INFANTRY CARRIES THE BRUNT OF IT ALL
IT ALONE FACES THE WELL-PREPARED ENEMY DEFENCES
VLADIMIR KARPOV, RZHEV VETERAN
FORWARD, YOUR F*** MOTHER!- YELLS OUR COMMANDER
SO WE MOVE FORWARD, IN THE DARKNESS UNTIL DAWN
THEN WE SEE A GREY LINE IN FRONT OF US - BARBED WIRE
THE ILL TRAINED SOLDERS STARTED SHOUTING "HOORAY", WOKE UP GERMANS
WHEN WE APPROCHED THE WIRE, WE SEE IT'S UNDAMAGED
WE STARTED OVER THE WIRE, MACHINE GUNS LEFT US HANGING ON IT...
ONLY EIGHT SURVIVED...
ON JANUARY 10 EFREMOV, HIS ARMY NEAR VYAZMA, GETS BAD NEWS
GERMANS ATTACKED IN THE REAR AND CUT HIM OFF THE MAIN FORCES
33RD ARMY IS SURROUNDED
GENERAL CONTACTS THE STAFF AND ASKS TO ALLOW RETREAT TO JOIN THE MAIN FORCES
AT THE MOMENT THE ARMY IS STRONG ENOUGH TO POSSIBLY DO IT
"NO" ORDERS ZHUKOV, "CONTINUE OPERATION, TIE UP ENEMY FORCES, ATTACK VYAZMA"
ZHUKOV BLAIMS EFREMOV FOR THE SITUATION: "YOU DID NOT TAKE CARE OF THE REAR"
EFREMOV IS DEEPLY HURT - ZHUKOV HIMSELF ORDERED TO MOVE FORWARD AND ONLY FORWARD
MEANWHILE, THERE IS PRECIOUS LITTLE TIME LEFT - GERMANS ARE TIGHTENING THE NOOSE
"IT IS EASY FOR THEM TO COMMAND FROM THE REAR!!!"
DECEMBER, 1941. KATYN FOREST, 10 KM FROM SMOLENSK, IS STRONGLY GUARDED.
FIGHTING IS SOMEWHERE FAR IN THE EAST, HERE ONLY SOUND OF BIRDS IS HEARD
IN 50 YEARS, THIS FOREST WILL BE KNOWN WORLDWIDE
IN 1940 NKVD EXECUTED HUNDREDS OF POLISH OFFICERS HERE
THE GENERAL STAFF OF GERMAN GROUP "MITTE" IS LOCATED HERE NOW
AFTER THE FAILURE OF MOSCOW OFFENSIVE ITS STAFF IS COMPLETELY REPLACED
THE COMMANDER FIELDMARSHAL VON BOCK FORCED TO RETIRE
HE IS REPLACED BY GUNTER VON GLUGE, WHO MADE A FAST RISING CAREER UNDER HITLER
HIS SUBORDINATES CALL HIM 'KLUGE HANS' - CLEVER HANS
GENERAL WALTER MODEL, MOST ARDENT HITLER SUPPORTER IN THE WERMACHT
HE IS CALLED 'HITLER'S FIREFIGHTER FOR HIS OPERATIVE TALENT AND FLEXIBILITY.
ALSO, 'MASTER OF OFFENCIVES', AND ALSO SIMPLY, 'STACHANOV"
HE WAS RECENTLY APPOINTED TO THE LEAST DESIRABLE POSITION - COMMANDER OF THE 9TH ARMY
THE ARMY IS POSITIONED ON THE TIP OF THE "RZHEV BULGE"
AN AVID HUNTER, THE FIRST AVAILABLE MORNING HE IS OUT IN THE FOREST WHERE THE 6TH DIVISION IS LOCATED
ON THE WAY HE OBSERVES THE RUSSIAN FLARES LIGHTING THE SKY IN THE NORTH, EAST, AND SOUTH
'MY GOD, I AM HERE WITH YOU ON AN ISLAND" HE EXCLAIMES
MODEL IS CALLED A FIREFIGHTER FOR A REASON
AFTER COUNTERSTRICKES ORGANIZED BY HIM IT'S THE RUSSIANS WHO ARE ON AN ISLAND NOW
MORE PRECICELY, ON TWO ISLANDS: EVREMOV NEAR VYAZMA, AND 29TH ARMY NEAR RZHEV
MONCHALOV FOREST IS EVEN NOW DENSE AND DESERTED
TWO WRITERS ARE WITH THE 29TH ARMY SURROUNDED BY GERMANS