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What Stali n Kn ew

What Stalin

Knew

the

Enigma of

Barbarossa

David E. Murphy

Yale University Press

New Haven & London

Copyright ∫ 2005 by David E. Murphy.

All rights reserved.

This book may not be reproduced, in whole or in part, including illustrations, in any form

(beyond that copying permitted by Sections 107 and 108 of the U.S. Copyright Law and

except by reviewers for the public press), without written permission from the publishers.

Designed by James J. Johnson and set in New Aster type by Keystone Typesetting, Inc.

Printed in the United States of America by Vail-Ballou Press.

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data

Murphy, David E., 1921–

What Stalin knew : the enigma of Barbarrosa / David E. Murphy.

p.

cm.

Includes bibliographical references and index.

ISBN 0-300-10780-3 (cloth : alk. paper)

1. World War, 1939–1945—Campaigns—Eastern Front. 2. Stalin, Joseph, 1879–1953—

Military leadership. 3. Soviet Union—Politics and government—1936–1953. I. Title.

D764.M845 2005

940.54%217—dc22

2004065916

A catalogue record for this book is available from the British Library.

The paper in this book meets the guidelines for permanence and durability of the

Committee on Production Guidelines for Book Longevity of the Council on Library

Resources.

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1

For my wife, Star

In the early 1920s, Stalin and a few colleagues were relaxing in

Morozovka Park, lying in the grass. One asked: ‘‘What’s the best

thing in the world?’’ ‘‘Books,’’ replied one. ‘‘There is no greater

pleasure than a woman, your woman,’’ said another. Then Stalin

said, ‘‘The sweetest thing is to devise a plan, then, being on the alert,

waiting in ambush for a goo-oo-ood long time, finding out where the

person is hiding. Then catch the person and take revenge!’’

—MIKLOS KUN,
Stalin: An Unknown Portrait

Contents

Acknowledgments

ix

Sources

xi

Introduction: Stalin’s Absolute Control, Misconceptions, and

Disastrous Decisions

xv

Abbreviations and Acronyms

xxi

CHAPTER 1
Stalin versus Hitler: Background

1

CHAPTER 2
The Outspoken General: Ivan Iosifovich Proskurov

7

CHAPTER 3
Proskurov Sets Stalin Straight

14

CHAPTER 4
Soviet Borders Move Westward

29

CHAPTER 5
The Finns Fight: Proskurov Made a Scapegoat

47

CHAPTER 6
Soviet Military Intelligence Residencies in

Western Europe

62

CHAPTER 7
Soviet Military Intelligence Residencies in

Eastern Europe

71

CHAPTER 8
Who Were You, Dr. Sorge? Stalin Never Heard of You.

84

viii

CONTENTS

CHAPTER 9
NKVD Foreign Intelligence

91

CHAPTER 10
Fitin’s Recruited Spies

97

CHAPTER 11
Listening to the Enemy

108

CHAPTER 12
Working on the Railroad

117

CHAPTER 13
The Border Troops Knew

124

CHAPTER 14
Proskurov Is Fired

137

CHAPTER 15
Golikov and Operation Sea Lion

145

CHAPTER 16
‘ We Do Not Fire on German Aircraft in Peacetime’’

162

CHAPTER 17
German Deception: Why Did Stalin Believe It?

173

CHAPTER 18
Secret Letters

185

CHAPTER 19
The Purges Revived

192

CHAPTER 20
On the Eve

204

CHAPTER 21
A Summer of Torture

216

CHAPTER 22
The Final Reckoning

232

Conclusion: Will the Future Be a Repeat of the Past?

245

Appendix 1: Organization and Functions of Soviet Military

Intelligence

253

Appendix 2: Hitler’s Letters to Stalin

256

Appendix 3: Those Executed without Trial on October 28, 1941

259

Appendix 4: Chronology of Agent Reporting

261

Glossary of Spies and Their Masters

264

Notes

275

Index

301

Acknowledgments

This book is the result of a suggestion by Jonathan Brent, editorial director

of Yale University Press, who first brought to my attention the extensive

collection of archival documents on Soviet intelligence being assembled

by Aleksandr N. Yakovlev and members of his International Democracy

Foundation in Moscow. Brent felt it would be a valuable contribution to an

understanding of the events leading up to the German invasion of the

USSR on June 22, 1941, if I, as a career intelligence officer, were to exam-

ine how the Soviet intelligence services functioned at that time and how

Stalin reacted to the information they provided on the German threat.

From the outset, Jonathan Brent and his staff at Yale University Press were

unstinting in their support of my efforts. Special thanks to my copy editor,

Roslyn Schloss, whose herculean work transformed this text.

My research has greatly benefited from the advice and assistance of

friends and colleagues in the United States who brought to my attention

publications on this subject. Robert Tarleton made available to me mate-

rial from his own extensive library, as did Harriet Scott, who continues to

follow Russian military affairs. My old friend William J. Spahr, Zhukov’s

biographer, was always ready to respond to my questions. Another friend,

Hayden B. Peake, now curator of the CIA Historical Collection, encour-

aged me in my work, as did CIA historians Kevin C. Ruffner, Donald P.

Steury, and Michael Warner. Serge Karpovich, a former colleague and

longtime friend, was most helpful in housing me in Moscow, introducing

x

ACKNOWLEDGMENTS

me to friends and relatives there, and untangling particularly difficult Rus-

sian sentences encountered in translation.

I owe special thanks to Gennady Inozemtsev for his hospitality and

that of his family in Moscow and his help in guiding me through the

complexities of Russian bureaucracy and the Russian Internet. Very im-

portant was his contact on my behalf with Lidiya Ivanovna Morozova,

General Proskurov’s daughter, who shared her memories of her father.

Sergei A. Kondrashev, my coauthor on
Battleground Berlin: CIA versus

KGB in the Cold War,
also deserves mention for his efforts on my behalf in

dealing with the Russian Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) and for his

hospitality in Moscow.

Finally, and most significantly, without the help of my wife, Star, this

book would never have been finished. Her encouragement was constant,

as were her proofreading and patient transformation of my rough chapters

into acceptable computer form.

Sources

My principal resource in the research carried out in writing this book was

the two-volume collection of documents
1941 god
(The Year 1941) pub-

lished in Moscow in 1998 by the Mezhdunarodny Fond ‘‘Demokratiya’’

(International Democracy Foundation) in the series Rossiya—XX Vek. Ac-

cording to the principal editor, academician Aleksandr N. Yakovlev, the

collection was prepared in response to a 1995 directive from Boris N.

Yeltsin, then president of the Russian Federation. The Russian documents

were assembled from the Foreign Policy Archive of the Russian Federation

(AVP RF), Archive of the President of the Russian Federation (AP RF), Cen-

tral Archive of the Foreign Intelligence Service (TsA SVR), Russian State

Military Archive (RGVA), Russian State Economics Archive (RGAEh),

Russian Center for the Preservation and Study of Documents of Recent

History (RtsKhIDNI), Center for the Preservation of Current Documenta-

tion (TsKhSD), Central Archive of the Defense Ministry of the Russian

Federation (TsA MO RF), and Central Archive of the Federal Security Ser-

vice (TsA FSB). The collection also contains German documents bearing

on this period from various archives in the Federal Republic of Germany.

I used two collections of documents in addition to the principal collec-

tion by A. N. Yakovlev. One,
Organy Gosudarstvennoy Bezopasnosti SSSR

v Velikoy Otechestvennoy Voine
(Organs of State Security USSR in the

Great Fatherland War), was published in two volumes in early 1995 by the

Federal Service of Counterintelligence (FSK), later renamed the Federal

xii

SOURCES

Security Service (FSB). It contains documents reflecting reporting by both

the FSK and the Foreign Intelligence Service (SVR) for the period up

to June 1941. It is particularly valuable because it contains detailed bio-

graphic summaries on each of the persons named in the documents. The

second,
Sekrety Gitlera Na Stole U Stalina
(Hitler’s Secrets on Stalin’s

Desk), was jointly published later in 1995 by the FSB and the SVR. It deals

with documents covering just the period of March through June 22, 1941.

There is some duplication in entries in both books of documents from the

TsA SVR and TsA FSB. Some documents from both publications are also to

be found in
1941 god.

The goal of these publications is to demonstrate that in the prewar

period the internal security and foreign intelligence services of state se-

curity provided the Soviet leadership with ample warning of an impending

German attack, yet their reporting was disregarded. The ostensible rea-

sons for this are argued in both books in slightly different ways. In addi-

tion, they both present their versions of the events and circumstances that

led up to the German invasion of the Soviet Union, contending that France

and England, supported by the United States, planned from the early

1930s to direct Germany’s growing military might against the USSR in a

campaign to eliminate ‘‘Bolshevism.’’ As a result, the West and the Soviet

Union failed to form an anti-Hitler coalition and Stalin was forced to

conclude a nonaggression treaty with Germany. I do not agree with this

position but it enjoys wide support in official circles in Russia today. It is

still used by some to exonerate Stalin for his behavior in the months lead-

ing up to the German invasion and to explain the failure of intelligence

reporting to sway Stalin from his conviction that if only Hitler were not

provoked by Soviet defensive measures, he would not invade until the

USSR was better prepared.

Unlike these two collections, Yakovlev’s
1941 god
places the blame

squarely on Stalin. Some complain that in his selection of documents

Yakovlev emphasized ones predicting a German invasion rather than those

indicating German forces would be used in attacking England. This crit-

icism is not completely accurate but it is true that the Yakovlev collection

does not discuss the contributing archives’ criteria for submitting docu-

ments or the standard the compilers observed in their selection process.

We do know, however, that
1941 god
is the only Russian publication that

contains officially released military intelligence reports and summaries,

complete with the appropriate references from the Central Archive of the

Defense Ministry (TsA MO RF).

SOURCES

xiii

No official history of the GRU, the military intelligence, has yet been

published. In 2001 Olma Press in Moscow published a two-volume collec-

tion by Aleksandr I. Kolpakidi and Dmitry P. Prokhorov entitled
Imperia

GRU,
which assembles information on the history, organization, and per-

sonalities of the military intelligence without, though, providing archival

references. In 2002 the St. Petersburg publishing house Neva, in conjunc-

tion with Olma Press, published
GRU: Dela i Liudi
in the series Rossia v

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