Libmonster ID: U.S.-1514
Author(s) of the publication: Artie D. Alexander

This publication, dedicated to foreign cavaliers of the legendary Soviet Order of Victory, is notable for the fact that for the first time it examines not only little-known details of the biographies of Western commanders, but also analyzes in detail the interaction of the Allies with the Red Army. And also-the relations of Western military leaders and politicians with the Soviet leader Stalin before and after and, of course, during the Second World War.

The Order of Victory, the rarest and most expensive of the Soviet orders, was established at a difficult time for the USSR, when the Red Army was fighting the enemy on our land, and the final victory over the Nazis was still a long year and a half away. But the enemy had already been defeated at Stalingrad and on the Kursk Bulge, and it was time to reward not only soldiers and officers, but also those top military leaders who commanded the fronts. The first Decree of the Presidium of the Supreme Soviet of the USSR on awarding the Order of Victory was signed on April 10, 1944 - the Order No. 1 was awarded to Marshal Zhukov. The second recipient was Marshal Vasilevsky. The third was Stalin himself. In total, nineteen awards were awarded to eleven Soviet military leaders (three of whom - Marshals Zhukov and Vasilevsky, and Generalissimo Stalin-were awarded twice) and five foreign citizens. Subsequently, the Order of Victory was awarded to Brezhnev, but this award was canceled.

Among the foreign recipients of the order are US Army General Dwight D. Eisenhower, British Field Marshal Bernard Montgomery, Yugoslav Marshal Josip Broz Tito, Polish Marshal Michal Rola-Zimerski, and Romanian King Mihai I. Each of them contributed to the fight against the Nazis...

General Dwight D. Eisenhower

Among the leaders of the allies in the anti-Hitler coalition awarded the Order of Victory could be General de Gaulle, the head of"Fighting France". But this award did not take place immediately after the war. What is the reason? It is possible that the general during the war and after it sharply clashed with the Americans, wanting to "return the greatness of France", and not give it under the power of the occupation administration of the allied powers, so the Soviet leadership preferred not to complicate the situation. "But twenty years later, the idea of awarding de Gaulle, formerly one of the leaders of the struggle against Hitler, and now the president of France, with the highest military order of the Soviet Union again appeared in the USSR... But for some reason, the Politburo decided not to give de Gaulle the Order of Victory. Perhaps because, after becoming a politician, de Gaulle not only continued his anti-American line, but also categorically did not get along with the French communists..."

Field Marshal Montgomery was never in the USSR, and the order was presented to him at the headquarters of the Allied occupation forces in Germany. Montgomery received the Order of Victory in June 1945 at the headquarters of the Allied forces in Frankfurt-from the hands of Marshal Zhukov. Moreover, this is the only copy of the order that has not a screw, but a pin mount, since these are the English rules for wearing awards.

Gromov A.

Military leaders of the anti-Hitler coalition.

Moscow: Veche Publ., 2015, 352 p. ill. 3000 copies. (p) ISBN 978-5-4444-2635-7

But Josip Broz Tito first came to Russia before the revolution, having been captured during the First World War. In January 1920, he was able to go home. He returned to the Land of the Soviets 15 years later as an employee of the Comintern. And the outbreak of World War II also caught Tito on his way to Moscow. And in February 1941, Germany demanded that Yugoslavia join the Triple Pact-the Axis countries. However, after the signing of the protocol, unrest began in Belgrade under the slogan " Better war than a pact!". Axis forces soon invaded Yugoslavia. "At times, Tito was reproached , saying that the Communists did not come out to fight the Germans as soon as the invasion began, but waited for something. But in reality, the need to wait was not the decision of the Oldest, but dictated from Moscow. The Comintern's directive to start an armed struggle has not been received."

The beginning of the war for everyone was full of illusions and disappointments at the same time. "At first, many leaders of the Yugoslav Communist Party and the partisan movement were sure that the Red Army would very soon completely defeat the Germans and come to the aid of the Balkan brothers. Even a direct instruction from Moscow to organize mass sabotage and destroy communications raised doubts: but of course, after all, in a matter of months the Russians will be here, so wouldn't it be better to save both enterprises and bridges..."

However, overseas, the outbreak of war was initially treated even less seriously. And the problems that General Eisenhower had to solve were very similar to those that we know about from the memoirs of domestic military leaders: "American troops had no combat experience. Those who acquired it in the heavy battles for the Philippines died, were captured or partisan in the jungle..."

And what happened in England is surprisingly similar to the situation in the USSR before the start of the war. Field Marshal Montgomery in his memoirs recalled the lack of equipment and weapons, and the loss of even what was there during the retreat of the expeditionary forces. And this is against the background of official statements about the best army in the world.

The study allows us to see the war really as a world war. The tragic episodes of the Battle for the Philippines are intertwined with the dangerous journeys of Arctic convoys. The African battles, in which the Allies first felt themselves capable of defeating the German war machine, and the landing in Sicily are shown in constant connection with the confrontation in Stalingrad and on the Kursk Bulge. The final stage of the war is also described in detail, when a general offensive impulse was combined with cold-blooded political games and an undercover calculation of who would be the main winner of the"brown plague".

The most forgotten and little - known of the five foreigners awarded the Order of Victory is the Polish military commander Michal Rolja-Zymerski. The publication traces his fate - the post of Polish Defense Minister, the arrest and release of which he may have owed to Khrushchev.

Marshal of Yugoslavia Josip Broz Tito

And King Mihai had a special influence on the events of August 1944. "After hearing the king's agreed phrase, officers from his personal guard entered the office with pistols at the ready. Mihai said: "Dear Marshal, seeing the desire of my people, expressed by the representatives of the majority, the leaders of the democratic parties - to withdraw immediately from the war in order to save the country from disaster - we have decided to overthrow you today.".. Simultaneously with the coup at the top, the Romanian communists, with the approval of the king, raised an armed uprising in Bucharest."

In May 1946, Marshal Tolbukhin presented King Mihai with the Order of Victory. And in 1947, Romania ceased to be a monarchy. According to one version, the king was forced by threats to sign the abdication, and then he and his family were sent on a special train. And on the other, " for refusing the crown, the monarch received a round sum to his personal account and a plane as a gift. Indirect evidence that this could have been the case is that the precious Order of Victory remained in the King's possession." In 2005, Mihai I was invited to Moscow to celebrate the 60th anniversary of the Victory. Now he is the only living knight of the Order of Victory.

Field Marshal Montgomery and Soviet military leaders Zhukov and Rokossovsky in Berlin


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