Sokolov Vasily Dmitrievich (born in 1919). Writer. Was born in Ivanovka, Lipetsk region. Member of the Great Patriotic War. Member of the CPSU (b) since 1949. Education – incomplete higher. Member of the Writers’ Union since 1952. Awarded the Order of the Patriotic War II degree, the Red Star (twice), “Badge of Honor”, medals.
Among his works: “The Morning of a New Bulgaria” (1951), “From the Front Notes” (1956), “The Heart of the Winged” (1961), “The Past War” (1980), “Equalization on the Banner” (1984). Sokolov is the author of the novels “Invasion” (1963) and “Crash” (1970).
“All that I experienced in the days of the Moscow battle,” Sokolov writes, “was reflected in my work, including in the novel” Invasion. “In this novel I tried to capture the thoughts and military affairs of the rank and file defenders of the capital, to reveal the images of generals and especially the commander of the front Zhukova… The book opened the way for me to Marshal Zhukov, initiated meetings and long conversations, which helped me to complete a difficult work on the entire trilogy on the Great Patriotic War, including also the novels “Crash” and “Deliverables” “.
I, of course, wrote down the stories of Georgiy Konstantinovich in detail during the conversations. But apart from these records, I save as precious relics letters of the marshal – benevolent, detailed, frank. I am the first to bring three of them here for the first time. “(Sokolov V. The word about Marshal Zhukov Marshal Zhukov, M., 1989. P. 204-263.)
Naturally, in the letters of Zhukov to Sokolov about the war, Stalin was given a large place. Here are some quotes:
“Unfortunately, it must be noted that Stalin, on the eve and at the beginning of the war, underestimated the role and significance of the General Staff, this sole and most important working body of the People’s Commissariat of Defense and Supreme Arms Supreme Council, neither my predecessors nor I had an opportunity to report exhaustively to Stalin on the state of defense the country, our capabilities, and the capabilities of our potential enemy. “Stalin only listened occasionally and briefly to the People’s Commissar or to the Chief of... the General Staff.
… Legally, the Stavka was conceived as a collective body of the Supreme High Command, in fact, Stalin almost never collected the General Staff in full, but called to consider the questions of those of its members whom he considered necessary to call. I often had to work with Stalin at the beginning of the war as a chief of staff, and from August 1942 until the end of the war as deputy. Supreme Commander-in-Chief. At the beginning of the war with Stalin it was very, very difficult to work. First of all, he was poorly versed in the methods, methods and forms of conducting modern war, especially with such an experienced and powerful enemy as the German army. All his knowledge was purely amateurish, and we needed a great restraint and the ability to briefly and clearly communicate the situation and his proposals… We must pay tribute to Stalin, he worked hard on himself, to master military affairs. In order to go deeper into the situation on the fronts, Stalin often practiced the call of the General Staff sentiments to him, who in all details reported to him the development and course of events.
… A particularly negative side of Stalin throughout the war was that, poorly aware of the practical side of preparing the operation of the front, the army and the troops, he set completely unrealistic terms for the beginning of the operation, as a result of which many operations began to be poorly prepared, the troops suffered unjustified losses, and operations did not reach the goal, “faded away”.
Me and Vasilevsky often had to report on the unrealistic demands of the Supreme, listen to insulting words from Stalin, but still we usually managed to insist on real terms, and this, as a rule, was justified by the success of our troops.
… After the battle on the Volga, especially after the defeat of the enemy on the Kursk Bulge, Stalin had a good mastery of the experience of warfare and was quite skilled in operational-strategic issues. “
A short biography from the book: Torchinov VA, Leontyuk AM Around Stalin. Historical and biographical reference book. St. Petersburg, 2000