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Ca s vedei c acest lucru este real i recunoscut oficial de sovietici, vin n

completare cu cteva fragmente din Regulamentul de campanie al Armatei


Roii a muncitorilor i ranilor din 1936 (pe scurt PU-36), practic regulamentul
de lupt al armatei sovietice. Iat ce prevede acesta referitor la urmrirea
inamicului:
Orice btlie, fie ofensiv sau defensiv, are ca scop nfrngerea inamicului. Numai
un atac hotrt pe direcia principal de efort, care va duce la o urmrire
irezistibil, are ca rezultat distrugerea n totalitate a forelor inamice i a
materialului acestuia. Lupta mpotriva inamicului cu scopul vdit de a-l nvinge
trebuie s fie la baza pregtirii i conducerii fiecrui soldat i ofier al Armatei Roii.
Inamicul trebuie atacat ntr-o manier curajoas i decisiv oriunde este gsit, fr
a mai atepta ordine specifice n acest sens. (Seciunea 2 din PU-36)
Dup anihilarea aprrii inamice, trebuiesc urmrite cu vigoare trupele ce au
scpat din ncercuire i capturate totalitatea instalaiilor i vehiculelor de transport
din zona inamic din spate. Trupele de recunoatere de toate tipurile trebuie s
stabileasc:
-

pe ce rute i cu ce fore se retrage inamicul


n ce sectoare i ce fore las ariergrzi care pot opune rezisten
organizarea inamicului pe timpul retragerii (aduce rezerve,
coloanelor de retragere, dac se pregtesc poziii de rezisten etc)

direcia

Forele inamice scpate din ncercuire pot fi distruse numai prin urmrire. Aceasta
se realizeaz independent de ctre trupele de infanterie i tancuri i infanterie,
imediat ce retragerea unei pri din forele inamice devine evident. n urmrire
trebuiesc utilizate totalitatea trupelor disponibile, puse la dispoziia comandanilor
n acest scop. n timpul urmririi este interzis oprirea pentru a atepta unitile
vecine, chiar i cel mai mic detaament de tancuri sau infanterie poate da lovitura
decisiv inamicului printr-o aciune curajoas. (Seciunea 203)
Comandantul unei formaiuni de lupt conduce unitile i tehnica disponibil ntrun avans rapid pentru a tia cile de retragere ale inamicului ct de repede posibil.
Penru a menine o presiune continu pe flancuri, urmrirea trebuie efectuat pe un
front ct mai larg. Comandanii forelor de urmrire i protejeaz flancurile contra
oricrei surprize prin elemente de siguran i de recunoatere. Unitile
mecanizate ce au ptruns n dispozitivul inamic l vor ataca din spate i i vor tia
rutele de retragere. (Seciunea 204)
Numai naltul comandament este autorizat s ntrerup urmrirea, lund n
considerare capacitatea combativ a trupelor sale i starea armamentului, situaia
general a aprovizionrii i posibilele rapoarte privitoare la existena unor uniti
inamice proaspete. Pn ce primete ordin s nceteze urmrirea, fiecare
comandant trebuie s aloce totalitatea trupelor de la dispoziia sa urmririi i
nfrngerii definitive a inamicului. (Seciunea 205)

Vedem doar prin aceste scurte extrase importana dat de conducerea militar a
URSS nc din 1936 urmririi inamicului cu scop de distrugere a capacitii sale
combative. Sunt detaliate aici i modalitile de executare a urmririi: pe front, pe
flanc sau combinat, pe front i pe flanc, cea ideal cu scopul propus, cel al
distrugerii inamicului, de a preveni regruparea sa i revenirea n lupt a unitilor
sale care chiar dac reuesc s scape fr arme, pot reveni i lupta din nou, de data
asta cu mai mult experien combativ, mai bine organizai i mai bine pregtii.
Urmrirea trebuie realizat cu maximum de for, vitez i agresivitate, folosind
uniti de recunoatere pentru estimarea corect a mrimii i potenialului
inamicului n retragere precum i pentru identificarea rutelor de retragere n scopul
tierii acestora. Urmrirea se face fr un ordin superior n acest sens, pentru a nu
da timp inamicului s se regrupeze, dimpotriv, doar ncetarea sau ntreruperea
urmririi se face numai din ordin superior de la naltul comandament!
Mai mult, urmrirea trebuie executat de toate forele disponibile, fr excepie,
inclusiv artileria i aviaia cu scopul hruirii inamicului n retragere pentru a-i limita
spaiul de manevr, fcnd dezangajarea i regruparea mult mai dificil. Orice
unitate scpat trebuie privit ca i un potenial pericol pe viitor, n acest sens
urmrirea i dstrugerea sau capturarea inamicului n retragere este privit ca o
msur preventiv pentru evitarea unor btlii grele n viitor.
Acestea sunt directivele primite de Armata Roie nc din 1936, aa au acionat la
Stalingrad, n cadrul Operaiei Bagration sau n asaltul de la Vistula la Oder, fr s
in seama de granie sau obstacole naturale. Au ncercat i la Smolensk i
Moscova, dar forele limitate avute la dispoziie i-au mpiedicat s obin rezultatul
scontat.
S nu uitm c la fel au procedat n Basarabia n 1940, devansnd unitile romne
ce se retrgeau fr lupt, iar n Bucovina au ocupat tot aa i inutul Hera pe care
nu l-au mai returnat niciodat. n Basarabia au utlizat uniti parautate n
adncime pentru a captura i dezarma unitile romne n retragere, care aveau
ordin s nu rspund la provocri.
Iar noi, n 1941, dac ne opream pe Nistru, nu am fi nerespectat chiar una din
bazele doctrinei militare sovietice, respectiv cea a urmririi? Nu ar fi rs de noi
comandanii i strategii Armatei Roii? Pe motiv c nu am urmrit inamicul n
retragere? Ei nu ne-ar fi urmrit dac aveau ocazia?
Faptul c problema trecerii Nistrului a fost folosit de polticienii sovietici ca pretext
pentru alte msuri mpotriva noastr este alt poveste n care sovieticii i apoi ruii
dau dovad de maxim ipocrizie. Da, tovari, trecnd Nistrul noi am urmat litera i
spiritul doctrinei, tacticii i strategiei Armatei Roii prevzute n Regulamentul de
campanie al Armatei Roii a muncitorilor i ranilor din 1936, distribuit ca i
materie obligatorie de studiu i de aplicat n rzboi ctre toate unitile militare

sovietice de pe teritoriul URSS. Dac am fi nvat dup aceleai regulamente, tot


aa am fi procedat. Atunci, care e problema?

Though pursuit is seen during the closing stages of operations in depth, it,
nonetheless, played a
pivotal part in its finalization. The role of pursuit was by viewed by 1936
Regulations as one involving
the total destruction of enemy forces.
The goal of pursuit was to curtail the enemys potential for recovery, to prevent
regrouping or
remarshaling of its strength:
Any battleoffensive as well as defensivehas the goal of
defeating the enemy. But only a resolute attack in the main direction of
effort, which leads to irresistible pursuit, results in total destruction of
enemy forces and materiel.
A constant urge to fight the enemy with the goal of defeating
him, must be the basis of the training and conduct of any leader and
soldier of the Red Army. The enemy must be attacked in a resolute and
courageous manner wherever he is found, without specific orders being
given to that effect.166

The manual strongly urged Soviet officers to conduct pursuit with vigor and
unrelenting
aggression. Yet, to pursue enemy forces as they were retreating required more than
simply chasing
them pell-mell. Just as with every other military operation, pursuit had to begin with
reconnaissance.

Reconnaissance units were to assess the size and strength of the retreating enemy,
even during a full
rout. The commander was given a better idea of what he was dealing with and thus
able to select what
appropriate forces would be needed and how they could be best directed to cut off
their retreat.
Moreover, commanders were to proactively perform this task even before waiting
for the next issuance

165 PU-36, Section 7 and 113.


166 PU-36, Section 2.
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of orders.167 Time lost waiting for orders was time given to the enemy in favor of
his survival. The
manual stated:
After the annihilation of the enemy in the defense zone, relentless
pursuit of troops which have escaped from the encirclement and
confiscation of rear area installation and transport vehicles of the
enemy must commence immediately. Reconnaissance of all types must
establish the following:

a. in what strength and on what routes the enemy is


retreating;

b. in what sectors and in what strength his rear guards are


offering resistance;

c. how the enemy is reorganizing during his retreat (bringing


up reserves, retreat direction of the columns, preparation of
defense sectors, and their staffing).

Enemy forces which have escaped encirclement can be


destroyed only through relentless pursuit. This is performed
independently by tank and infantry troops as soon as a retreat
by part of the enemy forces becomes evident. Pursuit occurs
using all available forces, with full discretion of their
commanders as to their actions. During pursuit, it is forbidden
to wait for lagging neighbors to catch up. Even the smallest
infantry or tank detachment can administer the final blow to
the enemy by courageous action.168

As the above section noted, all units were to be involved in matters of pursuit.
Pursuit was not
to be seen as some chaotic dash for the enemy, but an orderly systematic effort,
using all available
forces, to ensure that all avenues of escape were closed to the enemy long before
they could be

167 Tukhachevskii, Novyi Voprosy Voiny, para. 77-98.


168 PU-36, Section 203.
65

reached.169 This task was to be done with urgency, but not at the cost of forsaking
caution and

thoroughness:
The commander of a combat team directs the pursuit by
quickly advancing available personnel and weapons to cut off the
enemy's retreat routes as quickly as possible. To retain steady pressure
on the enemy flanks, the pursuit is conducted along a wide front. The
commanders of the pursuit forces protect their flanks against surprise
enemy advances through security and reconnaissance.
Mechanized units which penetrate between the retreating
enemy troops attack them from the rear and cut off their retreat
routes.170

Just as the failure to initiate pursuit at first opportunity was viewed as verboten, so
too was the
unauthorized breaking of pursuit during on-going operations. Only senior staff
officer were permitted
this, and only after a thorough assessment had been made:
Only the high command is authorized to discontinue pursuit,
taking into consideration the combat capability of the troop units and
the condition of their weapons, the general supply situation and
possible reports of encounters with new enemy forces. Until he receives
the order to break off pursuit, every commander must devote all forces
at his command to strive for the enemy's final defeat.171

For an on-going operation to be ultimately successful, an encircled enemy was to


neverunder
any circumstancesbe permitted to escape. The rationale behind the manuals
emphasis on

unrelenting aggression in the act of pursuit was simple. If sufficient numbers of


enemy personnel
managed to avoid encirclementeven without weapons and equipmentthere
loomed the possibility
that they would return to challenge you in the next battle, wiser, better organized
and much stronger

169 V.G. Reznichenko, Tactics (A Soviet View), translated by the CIS Multilingual
Section Secretary of State,
(Moscow: Military Publishing, 1984), 104-107. Retrieved from
www.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a183185.pdf
170 PU-36, Section 204.
171 PU-36, Section 205.
66

than seen previously. Given that risk, it became all the more incumbent upon Soviet
commanders to
pursue retreating enemy units with maximum aggression. In this way, pursuit acted
as a kind of
preventative measure, continuously knocking enemy forces off balance. This was to
be done in several
ways, with each form of pursuit offering specific advantages and disadvantages.
In all, there were three basic modes of pursuit: frontal, parallel, and combined.
Frontal pursuit occurs immediately after enemy forces have disengaged from
fighting in order to
retreat to more defensible positions. It was the most direct method of maintaining
contact with the
enemy during this time. All the elements making up combined arms formations
were to participate in
frontal pursuit. Long-range artillery and air forces, for instance, were to harass and
menace retreating

units. Ground forces, however, proved far more effective in being able to inflict
greater casualties upon
the enemy during pursuit.172 Frontal pursuit placed the greatest amount of
pressure upon a retreating
enemy, hindering efforts to consolidate a defensive position. Despite its usefulness,
however, frontal
pursuit was difficult to conduct at night, especially when facing natural barriers, like
rivers and
swamps.173 It was also incapable of limiting the enemys freedom to maneuver;
though units engaged in
frontal pursuit could continuously push them rearward, they could not prevent
retreating forces from
moving to a more favorable flanking position.
Parallel pursuit occurred when pursuing forces are moving in parallel to the enemys
route of
retreat. The main advantage lay in being able to strike the enemys flank at a time
when they were most
vulnerable and least prepared to deal with an attack.174 This mode of pursuit
proved particularly useful
for maintaining momentum for operations in depth, as the high rate of advance
needed to prevent the
enemy from consolidating his defenses could be achieved using fast moving forward
detachments, tank-

172 Reznichenko, Tactics, 104-106.


173 Ibid.
174 Andrei A. Sidorenko, The Offensive: A Soviet View, (Washington, D.C.:
Government Printing Office, 1973), 161164.
67

heavy units tasked with specific objectives.175 With sufficient forces allowing,
parallel pursuit could be
conducted alongside both flanks of the enemy. Though this severely limited his
room to maneuver, it
could not prevent his retreat entirely, for this required both frontal and parallel
pursuit to occur
simultaneously.
Combined pursuit incorporates both frontal and parallel pursuit. This mode was the
most
difficult for a retreating enemy to avoid. For a routed opponent, the highly
unfavorable battlefield
conditions created by combined pursuit made disengagement extremely arduous.
Because it was able
to maintain maximum contact with the enemy, combined pursuit hampered an
adversarys efforts to
conduct an organized and timely withdrawal. Of the three modes, it was the most
capable of achieving
total encirclement. In dealing with pursuing forces in their rear, flanks, and even
ahead of them, enemy
commanders were forced to split their forces, leaving even fewer troops to escape
from the closing ring
of Soviet forces.
Though it is generally witnessed during the concluding stages of an operation,
pursuit could
occur at any phase of a military operation, depending on the rate and accumulation
of tactical
successes. Because pursuit takes place during an enemys retreat, it tended to be
viewed as an action
that only happened in the very final stages of operations. From a tactical
perspective, this is certainly
true. However, when most tactical units became actively engaged in pursuit, it
then took on operational

significance. It is only when the enemy defense became compromised at the


operational level was it
said to have achieved operational closure.
stages of an offensive,

Though pursuit occurred during final

it was also understood by Soviet military leaders as signifying the beginning of the
next operation.