In European military tradition, military units may be acknowledged for their achievements in specific wars or operations of a military campaign. These honours usually take the form of a place and a date, theatre honours could be listed and displayed on regimental property but not emblazoned on the colours. Since battle honours are emblazoned on colours, artillery units. These honour titles were permitted to be used as part of their official nomenclature, similar honours in the same tenor include unit citations. Battle honours, theatre honours, honour titles and their ilk form a part of the variety of distinctions which serve to distinguish military units from each other. For the British Army, the need to adopt a system to recognise military units battlefield accomplishments was apparent since its formation as an army in the part of the 17th century. Although the granting of battle honours had already been in place at the time, before then, a regiments colours were practical tools for rallying troops in the battlefield and not quite something for displaying the units past distinctions.
The first battle honour to be awarded in the British Army was granted to the 15th Hussars for the Battle of Emsdorf in 1760, other regiments received battle honours for some of their previous engagements. The battle honour is held by the successor regiment, the Princess of Waless Royal Regiment. During these early years of the British standing army, a regiment needed only to engage the enemy with musketry before it was eligible for a battle honour, thus in 1882, a committee was formed to adjudicate applications of battle honour claims. This committee, called the Battles Nomenclature Committee, still maintains its function in the British Army today. A battle honour may be granted to infantry/cavalry regiments or battalions, as well as ships and squadrons, they are granted to sub-units such as companies. Battle honours are presented in the form of a name of a country, region, or city where the units distinguished act took place. Not every battle fought will automatically result in the granting of a battle honour, conversely, a regiment or a battalion might obtain more than one battle honour over the course of a larger operation.
Similarly, while in Korea, Princess Patricias Canadian Light Infantry earned both Kapyong and Korea 1951–1953, supporting corps/branches such as medical, ordnance, or transport do not currently receive battle honours. However and uniquely the Royal Logistic Corps has five battle honours inherited from its previous transport elements, Commonwealth artillery does not maintain battle honours as they carry neither colours nor guidons—though their guns by tradition are afforded many of the same respects and courtesies. However, both the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers were in 1832 granted by King William IV the right to use the Latin Ubique, meaning everywhere and this is worn on the cap badge of both the Corps of Royal Engineers and the Royal Regiment of Artillery. The practice was extended to these same regiments and corps in the successor Commonwealth armed forces
Battle of Kursk
The Battle of Kursk was a Second World War engagement between German and Soviet forces on the Eastern Front near Kursk in the Soviet Union during July and August 1943. The German offensive was code-named Operation Citadel and led to one of the largest armoured clashes in history, the German offensive was countered by two Soviet counter-offensives, Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev and Operation Kutuzov. For the Germans, the battle was the strategic offensive that they were able to launch on the Eastern Front. Their extensive loss of men and tanks ensured that the victorious Soviet Red Army enjoyed the strategic initiative for the remainder of the war. The Germans hoped to weaken the Soviet offensive potential for the summer of 1943 by cutting off a number of forces that they anticipated would be in the Kursk salient. The Kursk salient or bulge was 250 kilometres long north to south and 160 kilometres from east to west. The plan envisioned an envelopment by a pair of breaking through the northern and southern flanks of the salient.
Adolf Hitler believed that a victory here would reassert German strength and improve his prestige with his allies and it was hoped that large numbers of Soviet prisoners would be captured to be used as slave labour in the German armaments industry. The Soviet government had foreknowledge of the German intentions, provided in part by the British intelligence service, aware months in advance that the attack would fall on the neck of the Kursk salient, the Soviets built a defence in depth designed to wear down the German armoured spearhead. The Germans delayed the offensive while they tried to build up their forces and waited for new weapons, mainly the new Panther tank and this gave the Red Army time to construct a series of deep defensive belts. The defensive preparations included minefields, artillery fire zones and anti-tank strong points, Soviet mobile formations were moved out of the salient and a large reserve force was formed for strategic counter-offensives. The Battle of Kursk was the first time in the Second World War that a German strategic offensive was halted before it could break through enemy defences, the maximum depth of the German advance was 8–12 kilometres in the north and 35 kilometres in the south.
Though the Red Army had succeeded in winter offensives previously, their counter-offensives following the German attack at Kursk were their first successful strategic summer offensives of the war. As the Battle of Stalingrad slowly ground to its conclusion the Red Army moved to an offensive in the south. Army Group Center came under significant pressure as well, Kursk fell to the Soviets on 8 February 1943, and Rostov on 14 February. The Soviet Bryansk and newly created Central Fronts prepared for an offensive which envisioned the encirclement of Army Group Center between Bryansk and Smolensk, by February 1943 the southern sector of the German front was in strategic crisis. Since December 1942 Field Marshal Erich von Manstein had been strongly requesting unrestricted operational freedom to him to use his forces in a fluid manner. On 6 February 1943, Manstein met with Hitler at the headquarters in Rasternburg to discuss the proposals he had previously sent and he received an approval from Hitler for a counteroffensive against the Soviet forces advancing in the Donbass region
A platoon is a military unit typically composed of two or more squads/sections/patrols. Platoon organization varies depending on the country and the branch, a platoon leader or commander is the officer in command of a platoon. This person is usually a junior officer—a second or first lieutenant or an equivalent rank, the officer is usually assisted by a platoon sergeant. A platoon is typically the smallest military unit led by a commissioned officer, Platoons normally consist of three or four sections or squads. In some armies, platoon is used throughout the branches of the army, in others, such as the British Army and other Commonwealth armies, platoons are associated with the infantry. In a few armies, such as the French Army, a platoon is specifically a cavalry unit, a unit consisting of several platoons is called a company/battery/troop. According to Merriam-Webster, The term was first used in the 17th century to refer to a body of musketeers who fired together in a volley alternately with another platoon.
The word came from the 17th-century French peloton, from pelote meaning a small ball, nonetheless it is documented that it took the meaning of a group of soldiers firing a volley together, while a different platoon reloaded. This implies an augmentative intention in the etymology, the modern French word peloton, when not meaning platoon, can refer to the main body of riders in a bicycle race. Pelote itself originally comes from the low Latin pilotta from Latin pila, meaning ball, the platoon was originally a firing unit rather than an organization. The system was said to have been invented by Gustavus Adolphus of Sweden in 1618, in the French Army in the 1670s, a battalion was divided into 18 platoons who were grouped into three firings, each platoon in the firing either actually firing or reloading. The system was used in the British, Russian. Each platoon was divided into four sections, each commanded by a corporal, due to a shortage of officers, a non commissioned officer rank of Platoon Sergeant Major was introduced from 1938 to 1940 for experienced non-commissioned officers who were given command of platoons.
In the Australian Army, an infantry platoon has thirty-six soldiers organized into three sections and a twelve-man maneuver support section. A lieutenant as platoon commander and a sergeant as platoon sergeant, accompanied by a platoon sig, a section comprises eight soldiers led by a corporal with a lance corporal as second in command. Each section has two fireteams of four men, one led by the corporal and the other by the lance corporal, each fireteam has one soldier with a 7. 62mm Maximi GSMG and the other three armed with Steyr F88 assault rifles. One rifle is equipped with an attached 40mm grenade launcher attachment for the lance corporal, more recently, the designated marksman of an Australian fireteam has been issued the HK417 in Afghanistan and possibly afterwards. The platoon may have three MAG58 general-purpose machine guns, one M2 Browning heavy machine gun or a Mk 19 grenade launcher at its disposal and this may not be the case for all British Infantry units, since the 51mm mortars are not part of the TOE post-Afghanistan
Order of the Red Banner
The Order of the Red Banner was the first Soviet military decoration. The order was established on 16 September 1918, during the Russian Civil War by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee and it was the highest award of Soviet Russia, subsequently the Soviet Union, until the Order of Lenin was established in 1930. Recipients were recognised for extraordinary heroism and courage demonstrated on the battlefield, the order was awarded to individuals as well as to military units, ships and social organizations, and state enterprises. In years it was awarded on the twentieth and again on the thirtieth anniversary of military service without requiring participation in combat. The Russian Order of the Red Banner was established during the Russian Civil War by decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee of September 16,1918, the first recipient was Vasily Blyukher on September 28,1918. The second recipient was Iona Yakir, during the Civil War there existed similarly named orders and decorations established by the Soviet communist governments of several other constituent and nonconstituent republics.
The August 1,1924 decree of the All-Russian Central Executive Committee established the all-Soviet Order of the Red Banner for deserving personnel of the Red Army, from 1918 till the late 1930s there was a collective variant - the Revolutionary Red Banner of Honor. This was in the form of a military color awarded to distinguished Red Army, Soviet Air Force and it was more older than the order, having been established on August 3, a month and several weeks before. As a military decoration, The Order of the Red Banner recognised heroism in combat or otherwise extraordinary accomplishments of military valour during combat operations. Before the establishment of the Order of Lenin on April 5,1930, during World War II, under various titles, it was presented both to individuals and to units for acts of extreme military heroism. Nearly all well-known Soviet commanders became recipients of the Order of the Red Banner, the order was awarded to individuals as well as whole formations, which added the prefix Red Banner to their official designations.
Naval vessels flew a special ensign, the Order of the Red Banner was used as a long service award between 1944 and 1958 to mark twenty and thirty years of service in the military, state security, or police. This was surrounded by two golden panicles of wheat, at the bottom were the letters SSSR, additional awards of the Order bore a white enamelled shield with a silver sequence number at the bottom of the obverse. A recipient of three Orders of the Red Banner would wear a badge of the order followed by his second award bearing a number 2. The early variants of the Order were screw back badges to wear on clothing. Later variants hung from a standard Soviet pentagonal mount with a ring through the suspension loop, the mount was covered with an overlapping 24mm wide red silk moiré ribbon with 1. 5mm wide white edge stripes and a 7mm wide white central stripe. The Order of the Red Banner was worn on the side of the chest. If worn in the presence of Orders or medals of the Russian Federation, pavel Dybenko won 3 Orders of the Red Banner, his first in the 1921 bloody suppression of the naval rebellion in Kronstadt, his 2 others in 1922 in the suppression of peasants uprisings
Captain (armed forces)
The army rank of captain is a commissioned officer rank historically corresponding to the command of a company of soldiers. The rank is used by some air forces and marine forces. Today, a captain is typically either the commander or second-in-command of a company or artillery battery, in the Chinese Peoples Liberation Army, a captain may command a company, or be the second-in-command of a battalion. In NATO countries, the rank of captain is described by the code OF-2 and is one rank above an OF-1, the rank of captain is generally considered to be the highest rank a soldier can achieve while remaining in the field. The rank of captain should not be confused with the rank of captain or with the British-influenced air force rank of group captain. The term ultimately goes back to Late Latin capitaneus meaning chief, prominent, in Middle English adopted as capitayn in the 14th century, the military rank of captain was in use from the 1560s, referring to an officer who commands a company. The naval sense, an officer who commands a man-of-war, is earlier, from the 1550s.
He would in turn receive money from another nobleman to serve as his lieutenant, the funding to provide for the troops came from the monarch or his government, the captain had to be responsible for it. If he was not, or was otherwise court-martialed, he would be dismissed, the only pension for the captain was selling the right to another nobleman when he was ready to retire. In most countries, the air force is the junior service, such as the United States Air Force, use a rank structure and insignia similar to those of the army. However, the United Kingdoms Royal Air Force, many other Commonwealth air forces, a group captain is OF-5 and was derived from the naval rank of captain. In the unified system of the Canadian Forces, the air force rank titles are pearl grey, a variety of images illustrative of different forces insignia for captain are shown below, Captain Captain Senior captain Staff captain
Guards or Guards units were elite military units of Imperial Russia prior to 1917-18. The designation of Guards was subsequently adopted as a distinction for various units and formations of the Soviet Union, the tradition goes back to the a chieftains druzhina of medieval Kievan Rus and the Marksman Troops, the Muscovite harquebusiers formed by Ivan the Terrible by 1550. The exact meaning of the term Guards varied over time, in the Russian Empire, Imperial Russian Guard units, derived from German Leibgarde, were intended to ensure the security of the sovereign, that of Peter the Great in the 1690s. These were based on the Prussian Royal Life Guards, during the 19th century the Imperial Russian Guard regiments were not exclusively composed of Russian troops, but included Lithuanian and Ukrainian units. During the Brusilov Offensive the 1st and 2nd Guards numbers were supplemented with line army corp, in February–March 1917 the defection of reserve battalions of the Imperial Guard based in Petrograd was a major factor in the overthrow of the Tsarist government.
The service units of the Guard at the front disintegrated along with the remainder of the Imperial Army, the Red Guards were armed groups of workers formed during the Russian Revolution of 1917, although the designation and concept dates back to Moscow during the Revolution of 1905. In 1917 the volunteers of the Red Guard and their leaders formed the main strike force of the Bolsheviks. In October 1917 the Red Guards of Petrograd played a role in the capture of the Winter Palace. When the Soviet Red Army was formed in 1918, the Red Guards became the Army Reserve, the Guards badge was not introduced until 21 May 1943. Zhukov states the first period of the war gave birth to the Soviet Guards, for mass heroism and success in the battles of 1941-1942 the Guards title was awarded to 789 groups, separate units, and fighting ships of the Soviet Armed Forces. List of guards units of Ukraine
Pavlovs House was a fortified apartment building in which Red Army defenders held for 60 days against a heavy Wehrmacht offensive during the Battle of Stalingrad. The siege lasted from 27 September to 25 November 1942 and eventually the Soviet forces managed to relieve it from the siege and it gained its popular name from Sergeant Yakov Pavlov, who commanded the platoon that seized the building and defended it during the long battle. In late September 1942 between 30 and 50 soldiers of the 42nd Guards Regiment, 13th Guards Division secured the large apartment blocks from German control, the position was quickly fortified under the command of Lieutenant Ivan F. The Soviets had large amounts of support from the opposite side of the Volga. The strategic benefit of the house was that it defended a key section of the Volga bank, the tactical benefit of the house was its position on a cross-street, giving the defenders a 1 km line of sight to the north and west. In keeping with Stalins Order No, Pavlov was ordered to fortify the building and defend it to the last bullet and the last man.
Taking this advice to heart, Pavlov ordered the building to be surrounded with four layers of barbed wire and minefields, for better internal communication, Pavlovs soldiers breached the walls in the basement and upper floors, and dug a communications trench to Soviet positions outside. Supplies were brought in via the trench or by crossing the river, defying German air raids. Nevertheless and especially water was in short supply, lacking beds, the soldiers tried to sleep on insulation wool torn off pipes but were subjected to harassing fire every night in order to try to break their resistance. The Germans attacked the building several times a day, sources conflict on the date at which the siege began, and the date at which the Soviet reinforcements reached the building and lifted the siege. On September 27, a 30-man Russian platoon was ordered to retake an apartment building the Germans had just captured. Until November 25,1942 the defenders of Pavlovs House who participated in its defense from 26 September 1942 till 25 November 1942, the defense of the house lasted for 58 days and nights.
Vasily Chuikov, commanding general of the Soviet forces in Stalingrad, Pavlovs House was rebuilt after the battle and is still used as an apartment building today. There is a memorial constructed from bricks picked up after the battle on the East side facing the Volga. Pavlov was awarded the title Hero of the Soviet Union for his actions, a Russian TV documentary in 2009, Legendary Redoubt, on Russian Channel One reported on Pavlovs House. According to the documentary, the defense was in fact led by Lieutenant Ivan F. Afanasiev. This report does not discount Pavlovs efforts, which led to his earning the Hero of the Soviet Union, the last member of Pavlovs group, K. Turgunov from Turakurgan District, Namangan Province, Uzbekistan died on 16 March 2015, aged 93. Sihang Warehouse Pavlovs House - Stalingrad, September-November 1942 Map of Pavlovs House and the defenders of the house
Yakov Fedotovich Pavlov was a Soviet Red Army soldier who became a Hero of the Soviet Union for his role in defending Pavlovs House during the Battle of Stalingrad. Born in 1917 to a peasant family in the village of Krestovaya in northwestern Russia. During World War II, he fought on the Southwestern, Stalingrad, 3rd Ukrainian, Pavlov was a commander of a machine gun unit, an artilleryman, and a commander of a reconnaissance unit with the rank of senior sergeant. Vasily Chuikov, commanding general of the Soviet forces in Stalingrad, the building and its defense went down in history as Pavlovs House. For his actions in Stalingrad, he was awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union, the Order of Lenin, post-war, he joined the Communist Party. He was elected three times as Deputy to the Supreme Soviet of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, Pavlov died on 29 September 1981, and was buried in Novgorod
Mamayev Kurgan is a dominant height overlooking the city of Volgograd in Southern Russia. The name in Russian means tumulus of Mamai, the formation is dominated by a memorial complex commemorating the Battle of Stalingrad. The battle, a hard-fought Soviet victory over Axis forces on the Eastern front of World War II, control of the hill became vitally important, as it offered control over the city. To defend it, the Soviets had built strong defensive lines on the slopes of the hill, composed of trenches, barbed-wire, the Germans pushed forward against the hill, taking heavy casualties. When they finally captured the hill, they started firing on the city centre and they captured the Volgograd railway station on 14 September 1942. On the same day, the Soviet 13th Guards Rifle Division commanded by Alexander Rodimtsev arrived in the city from the east side of the river Volga under heavy German artillery fire, the divisions 10,000 men immediately rushed into the battle. On 16 September they recaptured Mamayev Kurgan and kept fighting for the railway station, by the following day, almost all of them had died.
The Soviets kept reinforcing their units in the city as fast as they could, the Germans assaulted up to twelve times a day, and the Soviets would respond with fierce counter-attacks. The hill changed hands several times, by 27 September, the Germans again captured half of Mamayev Kurgan. The Soviets held their own positions on the slopes of the hill, the defenders held out until 26 January 1943, when the counterattacking Soviet forces relieved them. The battle of the city ended one week with an utter German defeat. When the battle ended, the soil on the hill had been so thoroughly churned by shellfire, the earth on the hill had remained black in the winter, as the snow kept melting in the many fires and explosions. In the following spring the hill would still remain black, as no grass grew on its scorched soil, the hills formerly steep slopes had become flattened in months of intense shelling and bombardment. Even today, it is possible to find fragments of bone, after the war, the Soviet authorities commissioned the enormous Mamayev Kurgan memorial complex.
Vasily Chuikov, who led Soviet forces at Stalingrad, lies buried at Mamayev Kurgan, Soviet sniper Vasily Zaytsev was reburied there in 2006. The monumental memorial was constructed between 1959 and 1967, and is crowned by an allegorical statue of the Motherland on the top of the hill. The monument, designed by Yevgeny Vuchetich, has the full name The Motherland Calls and it consists of a concrete sculpture,52 metres tall, and 85 metres from the feet to the tip of the 27-metre sword, dominating the skyline of the city of Stalingrad. The construction uses concrete, except for the blade of the sword
Kursk is a city and the administrative center of Kursk Oblast, located at the confluence of the Kur and Seym Rivers. The area around Kursk was the site of a point in the Soviet–German struggle during World War II. Archaeology indicates that the site of Kursk was settled in the 5th or 4th century BCE, the settlement was fortified and included Slavs at least as early as the 8th century CE. The first written record of Kursk is dated 1032 and it was mentioned as one of Severian towns by Prince Igor in The Tale of Igors Campaign, brother, your swift steeds. The seat of a principality, Kursk was raided by the Polovtsians in the 12th and 13th centuries. The city was no than 1283. It was ruled by Grand Duchy of Lithuania between 1360 and 1508, Kursk joined the centralized Russian state in 1508, becoming its southern border province. It was an important center of the trade with Ukraine and hosted an important fair. However, a century the city re-emerged in a new place, in 1596 a new fortress was built, in 1616 it was garrisoned by over 1,300 soldiers.
At the beginning of the 17th century Kursk was repeatedly attacked by Polish-Lithuania, the Crimean Tatars, and the Nogai horde, residents of Oryol and other southern Russian cities were resettled in Kursk. The city developed due to its advantageous position on the shortest route from Moscow to the Crimea. It was raided frequently by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth and Crimean Khanate until the late 17th century and was ruled by the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth between 1611 and 1618 and it was successively part of the Kiev Governorate, Belgorod Governorate, and Kursk Viceroyalty. Town status was granted to Kursk in 1779 and it became the administrative center of Kursk Governorate in 1797. After a fire in 1781 devastated Kursk, a new plan for the city was developed in which a market center would be at the heart of the city, in 1768 the Voskirsensko Ilinskaya Church was built. In 1778 both the Sergiev Cathedral Kazan Cathedral Baroque and Trinity Sergius Cathedral were completed, the city opened its first school for the nobility in 1783. A mens gymnasium was opened in 1808 and a seminary in 1817, a womens gymnasium was opened in 1870.
At the beginning of the 20th century Kursk played a dominant role in the industry and in other industries as well, so, in the 1900s. Working conditions in the factories of Kursk were harsh and often resulted in strikes, Kursk workers participated in the general political strike during the 1905 Russian Revolution
Volgograd, formerly Tsaritsyn, 1589–1925, and Stalingrad, 1925–1961, is an important industrial city and the administrative center of Volgograd Oblast, Russia. It is 80 kilometers long, north to south and is situated on the bank of the Volga River, after which the city was named. The city became famous for its resistance during the Battle of Stalingrad against the German Army in World War II and it is often regarded as the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. Although the city may have originated in 1555, documented evidence of Tsaritsyn located at the confluence of the Tsaritsa, grigori Zasekin established the fortress Sary Su as part of the defences of the unstable southern border of the Tsardom of Russia. The structure stood slightly above the mouth of the Tsaritsa River on the right bank and it soon became the nucleus of a trading settlement. In 1607 the fortress garrison rebelled against the troops of Tsar Vasili Shuisky for six months, in 1608 the city acquired its first stone church, St.
John the Baptist. At the beginning of the 17th century, the garrison consisted of 350 to 400 people, in 1670 troops of Stepan Razin captured the fortress, they left after a month. In 1708 the insurgent Cossack Kondraty Bulavin held the fortress, in 1717 in the Kuban pogrom, raiders from the Kuban under the command of the Crimean Tatar Bakhti Gerai blockaded the town and enslaved thousands in the area. In August 1774 Yemelyan Pugachev unsuccessfully attempted to storm the city, in 1708 Tsaritsyn was assigned to the Kazan Governorate, in 1719 to the Astrakhan Governorate. According to the census in 1720, the city had a population of 408 people, in 1773 the city became the provincial and district town. From 1779 it belonged to the Saratov Viceroyalty, in 1780 the city came under the newly established Saratov Governorate. In the 19th century Tsaritsyn became an important river-port and commercial center, the population expanded rapidly, increasing from fewer than 3,000 people in 1807 to about 84,000 in 1900.
The first railroad reached the town in 1862, the first theatre opened in 1872, the first cinema in 1907. In 1913 Tsaritsyn got its first tram-line, and the citys first electric lights were installed in the city center, during the Russian Civil War of 1917-1923, Tsaritsyn came under Soviet control from November 1917. In 1918 White troops under the Ataman of the Don Cossack Host, Pyotr Krasnov, the Reds repulsed three assaults by the Whites. However, in June 1919 the White Armed Forces of South Russia under the command of General Denikin captured Tsaritsyn, the fighting from July 1918 to January 1920 became known as the Battle for Tsaritsyn. The city was renamed Stalingrad after Joseph Stalin on April 10,1925 and this was officially to recognize the citys and Stalins role in its defense against the Whites between 1918 and 1920. In 1931, the German settlement-colony Old Sarepta became a district of Stalingrad, renamed Krasnoarmeysky Rayon, it became the largest area of the city
Battle of Stalingrad
Marked by fierce close quarters combat and direct assaults on civilians by air raids, it is often regarded as one of the single largest and bloodiest battles in the history of warfare. German forces never regained the initiative in the East and withdrew a vast military force from the West to replace their losses, the German offensive to capture Stalingrad began in August 1942, using the German 6th Army and elements of the 4th Panzer Army. The attack was supported by intensive Luftwaffe bombing that reduced much of the city to rubble, the fighting degenerated into house-to-house fighting, and both sides poured reinforcements into the city. By mid-November 1942, the Germans had pushed the Soviet defenders back at great cost into narrow zones along the west bank of the Volga River. On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus, the Axis forces on the flanks were overrun and the 6th Army was cut off and surrounded in the Stalingrad area. Adolf Hitler ordered that the stay in Stalingrad and make no attempt to break out, attempts were made to supply the army by air.
Heavy fighting continued for two months. By the beginning of February 1943, the Axis forces in Stalingrad had exhausted their ammunition, the remaining units of the 6th Army surrendered. The battle lasted five months, one week, and three days, the war had been progressing well, the U-boat offensive in the Atlantic had been very successful and Rommel had just captured Tobruk. In the east, they had stabilized their front in a running from Leningrad in the north to Rostov in the south. There were a number of salients, but these were not particularly threatening, neither Army Group North nor Army Group South had been particularly hard pressed over the winter. Stalin was expecting the main thrust of the German summer attacks to be directed against Moscow again, with the initial operations being very successful, the Germans decided that their summer campaign in 1942 would be directed at the southern parts of the Soviet Union. The initial objectives in the region around Stalingrad were the destruction of the capacity of the city.
The river was a key route from the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea to central Russia and its capture would disrupt commercial river traffic. The Germans cut the pipeline from the oilfields when they captured Rostov on 23 July, the capture of Stalingrad would make the delivery of Lend Lease supplies via the Persian Corridor much more difficult. On 23 July 1942, Hitler personally rewrote the operational objectives for the 1942 campaign, both sides began to attach propaganda value to the city based on it bearing the name of the leader of the Soviet Union. The expansion of objectives was a significant factor in Germanys failure at Stalingrad, caused by German overconfidence, the Soviets realized that they were under tremendous constraints of time and resources and ordered that anyone strong enough to hold a rifle be sent to fight. If I do not get the oil of Maikop and Grozny I must finish this war, Army Group South was selected for a sprint forward through the southern Russian steppes into the Caucasus to capture the vital Soviet oil fields there