World War II
World War II, known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945, although related conflicts began earlier. It involved the vast majority of the worlds countries—including all of the great powers—eventually forming two opposing alliances, the Allies and the Axis. It was the most widespread war in history, and directly involved more than 100 million people from over 30 countries. Marked by mass deaths of civilians, including the Holocaust and the bombing of industrial and population centres. These made World War II the deadliest conflict in human history, from late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, and formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. In December 1941, Japan attacked the United States and European colonies in the Pacific Ocean, and quickly conquered much of the Western Pacific.
The Axis advance halted in 1942 when Japan lost the critical Battle of Midway, near Hawaii, in 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained all of its territorial losses and invaded Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in South Central China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy, thus ended the war in Asia, cementing the total victory of the Allies. World War II altered the political alignment and social structure of the world, the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The victorious great powers—the United States, the Soviet Union, the United Kingdom, the Soviet Union and the United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the Cold War, which lasted for the next 46 years. Meanwhile, the influence of European great powers waned, while the decolonisation of Asia, most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic recovery.
Political integration, especially in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities, the start of the war in Europe is generally held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland and France declared war on Germany two days later. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or even the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred simultaneously and this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935. The British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the forces of Mongolia and the Soviet Union from May to September 1939, the exact date of the wars end is not universally agreed upon.
It was generally accepted at the time that the war ended with the armistice of 14 August 1945, rather than the formal surrender of Japan
Dmitry Danilovich Lelyushenko (Russian, Дми́трий Дани́лович Лелюше́нко, was a Soviet military commander, Army General. Twice the Hero of the Soviet Union, Hero of Czechoslovakia, member of the CPSU from 1924. Born in Rostov Oblast, ethnically Ukrainian, in 1941, during the first months of the Great Patriotic War, Dmitry Danilovich Lelyushenko became a strong influence during the defence of Moscow against the German invasion. His subsequent battlefield commands were largely successful and his actions in 1945 involved directing forces during the Red Army’s attacks on both Berlin and Prague. Born in 1901, at 17 Lelyushenko rode with Semyon Budyonny in the Bolshevik forces during the Russian Civil War, Lelyushenko seems to have cut both a stocky and quite aggressive figure with the fashionably-shaven head of a Soviet officer combining with a demeanour that was both energetic and demanding. He was not a consensual commander or given to delegating responsibility from afar, preferring to visit the front line, likewise his managerial approach was hands-on, often appearing in training areas to personally demonstrate technique to his subordinates.
He was typical of many Soviet commanders in that during the Great Patriotic War he both worked and lived in his office 24 hours a day, the Soviet occupation of Polish territory was bloodless from Lelyushenko’s own experience. However shortly afterwards, in December 1939, the Brigade moved north to participate in Red Army operations against the Finns, now a Colonel, Lelyushenko directed tank attacks against Finland’s Mannerheim line in the period February – March 1940. This was an experience and in addition he received the award ‘Hero of the Soviet Union’ for personal bravery. His brigade meanwhile won the Order of Lenin, Lelyushenko enjoyed rapid promotion in this phase of his career. This early war Soviet formation consisted, at the time, of 2 tank divisions and 1 motorized rifle division. Tanks on strength were all BT7 and T26 models, the new T34, on June 23,1941, the day after Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, Lelyushenko set about reorganising his command to combat the specific threats of the German invasion.
Casualties began to mount as German aircraft raided his dispersal areas, Lelyushenko began his war with an offensive at Daugavpils on June 28 where his Corps put in a strong attack on the 56 Panzer Corps. This was noted by General von Manstein, in his book ‘Lost Victories’, however, the Soviet armies were struggling. It would seem that Lelyushenko’s strong character was an asset in this environment, responsible for his retaining poise, attached to the Northwestern Front Lelyushenko earned himself the Order of the Red Star for his stubborn defence as Soviet forces nonetheless fell back 450 km in 18 days. In August Lelyushenko was summoned by Stalin and charged with forming 22 tank brigades – a new type of formation – which were to be armed with T34 and KV1 tanks. In this capacity he had command over numerous future Soviet ‘leading lights’ of the forces, such as Rotmistrov, Solomatin. This strategy was approved and following the loss of Orel itself, Mtsensk, on the Zusha river, the newly formed Corps detrained here October 4,1941 in the face of the advance
Andrei Antonovich Grechko was a Soviet general, Marshal of the Soviet Union and Minister of Defense. Born in a town near Rostov-on-Don on 17 October 1903, the son of Ukrainian peasants, he joined the Red Army in 1919. After the Russian Civil War, Grechko was enrolled into the 6th Cavalry College in the city of Taganrog and he joined the Communist Party in 1928, and graduated from the Frunze Military Academy in 1936. He next attended the Soviet General Staff Academy, graduating in 1941, grechko’s first command during the second world war was of the 34th Cavalry Division, which put up a valiant fight around Kremenchug in the Ukraine. On 15 January 1942, Grechko was put in command of the entire V Cavalry Corps, starting 15 April 1942 and lasting until 16 October 1943, Grechko was placed in command of 12th Army, 47th Army, 18th Army, and 56th Army. All of these units were part of the North Caucasus Front, in October 1943, Grechko was promoted to Deputy Commander-in-Chief of 1st Ukrainian Front.
Then, on 14 December 1943, he was made the Commanding General of 1st Guards Army, the First Guards Army was a part of the 4th Ukrainian Front, which was led by Col. -Gen. Grechko led the 1st Guards in a number of operations, predominantly in Hungary. After the war, Grechko was the Commanding General of the Kiev Military District, between 1953 and 1957, Grechko was the Commander-in-Chief of Soviet Forces in East Germany. On 11 March 1955, along with five other high-ranking colleagues, from 1957-1960, Grechko was the Commander-in-Chief of the Ground Forces, and from 1960–1967, he was the Commander-in-Chief of the Warsaw Pact Forces). On 12 April 1967, Grechko was made the Minister of Defense, Grechko served in this capacity until his death in 1976. During the 1970s, Grechko served as the chairman of the commission that produced the official Soviet history of the Second World War. Grechko was a member in the Communist Party, and was a member of the Politburo. As Minister of Defense, Grechko helped modernize the Soviet Army, for Grechko, nuclear weapons would be weapons of first resort in a world war, not weapons of last resort.
The urn containing his ashes is buried by the Kremlin Wall Necropolis
Army Group South
Army Group South was the name of two German Army Groups during World War II. It was first used in the 1939 September Campaign, along with Army Group North to invade Poland, in the invasion of Poland Army Group South was led by Gerd von Rundstedt and his chief of staff Erich von Manstein. Two years later, Army Group South became one of three groups into which Germany organised their forces for Operation Barbarossa. Army Group Souths principal objective was to capture Soviet Ukraine and its capital Kiev, Ukraine was a major center of Soviet industry and mining and had the good farmland required for Hitlers plans for the Lebensraum. To carry out these initial tasks its battle order included the First Panzer Group and the German Sixth and Eleventh Armies, Luftlotte 1, the German Sixth Army, which fought in the destructive Battle of Stalingrad, was re-constituted and made part of Army Group South. In preparation for Operation Blue, the 1942 campaign in southern Russia, in February 1943, Army Group Don and the existing Army Group B were combined and re-designated Army Group South.
A new Army Group B became a major formation elsewhere, on 4 April 1944, Army Group South was re-designated Army Group North Ukraine. Army Group North Ukraine existed from 4 April to 28 September, in September 1944, Army Group South Ukraine was again re-designated Army Group South. At the end of World War II in Europe, Army Group South was again renamed, as Army Group Ostmark, Army Group Ostmark was one of the last major German military formations to surrender to the Allies
The Siverskyi Donets or Seversky Donets, usually simply called the Donets, is a river on the south of the East European Plain. It originates in the Central Russian Upland, north of Belgorod, flows south-east through Ukraine and again through Russia to join the Don River, the Donets is the fourth longest river in Ukraine and the biggest in the Eastern Ukraine. It is an important source of water in the east of the country. It gives its name to the Donets Basin, known commonly as the Donbass, the name Don and its diminutive, Donet are derived from Iranic, Sarmatian Dānu the river. According to V. Abaev the name Don derives from Iranic, the Slavic name of Seversky Donets derived from the fact that the river originates from the land of Severians. As the Italian-Polish chronicler Alexander Guagnini wrote, There is another, small Tanais, the Donets is the largest river in eastern Ukraine and the largest tributary of the Don. Its total length is 1,053 km and the area is 98,900 km2. Most of the rivers length 950 km stretches across Ukraine, the average annual flow is 25 m3 near the source and 200 m3 at the confluence to the Don.
The Donets originates on the Central Russian Upland, near Podolkhi village, Prokhorovka area, north of Belgorod, at an elevation of 200 m above sea level. Its basin contains over 3000 rivers, of which 425 are longer than 10 km and 11 are longer than 100 km,1011 of those rivers flow into the Donets. These rivers are fed by melting snow, and thus the water supply is uneven during the year. The spring flood lasts about two months, from February to April - during this period the level rises by 3 to 8 m. Excessive flooding is due to abundant artificial water reservoirs constructed along the river. The width of the river ranges between 30 and 70 m, sometimes reaching 100–200 m and even 4 km in the reservoir area. The river bottom is sandy and uneven, with the depth varying between 0.3 and 10 m and the value of 2.5 m. The river freezes from around mid-December until late March and is covered by 20–50 cm thick ice, the river valley is wide, from 8–10 km in the upper part and up to 20–26 km downstream, and is asymmetrical.
The right bank is high, sometimes with chalk cliffs. The left bank is flat, contains numerous swamps and oxbow lakes
Operation Little Saturn
The success of Operation Uranus, launched on 19 November 1942, had trapped 250,000 -300,000 troops of General Friedrich Paulus German 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army in Stalingrad. To exploit this victory, the Soviet general staff planned a campaign of continuous and highly ambitious offensive operations. Later Joseph Stalin reduced his ambitious plans to a small campaign codenamed Operation Little Saturn. Despite these victories, the Soviets themselves became over extended, setting up the stages for the German offensives of the Third Battle of Kharkov, by 6 July, General Hermann Hoths Fourth Panzer Army had taken the city of Voronezh, threatening to collapse the Red Armys resistance. The rapid German advance threatened to cut the Soviet Union off from its southern territories, the operation formed part of the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad, and was aimed at destroying German forces in and around Stalingrad. Planning for Operation Uranus had commenced as early as September 1942 and these Axis armies were deployed in open positions on the steppe and lacked heavy equipment to deal with Soviet armor.
Operation Winter Storm, undertaken between 12–23 December 1942, was the German Fourth Panzer Armys attempt to relieve encircled Axis forces during the Battle of Stalingrad. In late November, the Red Army completed Operation Uranus, which resulted in the encirclement of Axis personnel in, German forces within the Stalingrad Pocket and directly outside were reorganized under Army Group Don, under the command of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein. They would be supported by the 6th Army of the Voronezh Front, while General Rodion Malinovskys Soviet 2nd Guards Army blocked the German advance on Stalingrad, the modified plan Operation Little Saturn was launched on 16 December. This operation consisted of a movement which threatened to cut off the relieving forces. The Italians resisted the Soviet attack for two weeks, although outnumbered 9 to 1 in some sectors, but with huge losses. Manstein sent the 6th Panzer Division to the Italians aid, of the 130,000 encircled troops, to the south the advance of General Gerasimenkos 28th Army threatened to encircle the 1st Panzer Army and General Trufanovs 51st Army attacked the relief column directly.
In a daring raid, by 24 December tanks of the 24th Tank Corps had reached Tatskinskaya, the Soviet tanks drove through snowstorms onto the airfield and roamed about for hours, destroying the German transport planes at their leisure. With the relief column under threat of encirclement, Manstein had no choice but to back to Kotelnikovo on 29 December. Of the 200,000 -250,000 soldiers encircled 90,000 survived to be taken prisoner, only 5,000 lived to return to Germany. The Soviets attacked and pushed back the remaining units of the German 24th Army Corps on the Alpini left flank and contemporarily attacked the Alpini themselves. The Alpini held the front, but within three days the Soviets advanced 200 kilometers to the left and right of the Alpini, who were encircled and forced to try to escape a siege. Although the Alpini corps was ordered to hold the front at all costs, on the evening of January 17, the commanding officer of the corps General Gabriele Nasci finally ordered the full retreat, which was fully carried out on January 19
72nd Mechanized Brigade (Ukraine)
The 72nd Kiev Mechanized Brigade is a formation of the Ukrainian Ground Forces. It was previously named the 29th Rifle Division and the 72nd Guards Rifle Division of the Soviet Ground Forces, in 1957, it became a motor rifle division. The 29th Rifle Division was redesignated the 72nd Guard Rifle Division by Directorate of the General Staff order №104 on 1 March 1943, the units of the division were renumbered. On March 3,1943, 72nd Guard Rifle Division was involved in battles for liberation of Belgorod, soon they were near Kharkiv and Krasnohrad. On 19 September, the division was awarded the title Krasnohrad, on 8 January 1944, the division was awarded the Order of the Red Banner. The division fought in the Budapest Offensive from late October 1944, on 15 December, units of the division reinforced Cavalry Mechanized Group Pliev during the attack on Szécsény. On 9 January, the division was attached to the 24th Guards Rifle Corps, the division captured the area around Bart. The divisions attack was stopped by the 1st Battalion of Grenadier Regiment 317 a kilometer north of the village, in May 1946, the division became the 7th Guards Rifle Brigade, part of the 33rd Guards Rifle Corps.
In October 1953, it became a division again, the 72nd Guards Rifle Division became a motor rifle division stationed in the Kiev Military District at Bila Tserkva on 4 June 1957. It was part of the 1st Army, on 19 February 1962, the 280th Separate Equipment Maintenance and Recovery Battalion was activated. A missile battalions was activated on the same day. In 1968, the 220th Separate Guards Sapper Battalion became an Engineer Sapper Battalion, in 1972, the 191st Separate Chemical Defence Company became the 23rd Separate Chemical Defence Battalion. The 1345th Separate Anti-Tank Artillery Battalion was activated on 15 November 1972, the motor transport battalion became the 892nd Separate Material Supply Battalion in 1980. In 1990, the division was equipped with 133 T-64 main battle tanks, during the Cold War, the division was maintained at 25% strength, with one full strength regiment. After the fall of the Soviet Union it was transferred to Ukraine, in 1992, Colonel Volodymyr Lytvyntsevu - Commander 72nd Guards Motor Rifle Division of the Kiev Military District was given the rank of Major General.
On August 23,1995, Colonel Nikolai Nikolaevich Tsytsyurskomu, Commander 72nd Mechanized Infantry Division of the 1st Army Corps of the Odessa Military District, was given the rank of Major-General. In accordance with a decree of August 23,1998, division commander Colonel Grigoriy Pedchenko was promoted to major-general, on June 29,1999 the 72nd Guards Mechanized Division of the North Operational Command of the Armed Forces of Ukraine was given the honorary title of Kiev. It was reduced in size to a brigade in 2002
25th Guards Rifle Division
The 25th Guards Rifle Division Chapayevskaya was a division of the Soviet Red Army. The division was reorganised and reformed several times until the collapse of the Soviet Union, when it entered service in the Ukrainian Army as the 25th Mechanised Division. Formed in the period from 24 April 1942 to 12 July 1942, pursuant to Directive GSHKA N org/2/783669 on 16 April 1942, by converting the 2nd Guards Rifle Brigade, ex 71st Naval Rifle Brigade. Participated in the battles to establish a bridgehead on the river Don north of the city Korotoyak in August 1942, Ostrogozh-Rossoshanskij, Voronezh-Kastornoye, Kharkov offensive and she took part in the operation to take the city of Budapest, Bratislava. After the end of World War II, the 25th Guards Rifle Division was given the name and honors of the pre-war 25th Rifle Division, thus it received the name Chapayevskaya after the commander of the 25th RD during the Civil War, Vasily Chapayev. The divisions full title became 25th Guards Rifle Sinelkov-Budapest Red Banner Order of Suvorov, Chapayev The 2nd Guards Rifle Brigade was formed from 25th GRD at Kiev, Kiev MD with 20th Guards Rifle Corps after the war.
It became 25th GRD again in October 1953, the division was reorganized as a Motor Rifle Division in 1957, and eventually transferred to the 1st Guards Army in the Kiev Military District. Previously it had been the 38th Guards Mechanised Division, in December 1964, the division was renumbered the 25th Guards Motor Rifle Division. After the war, the 25th Guards Motor Rifle Division was one of the two divisions of the Soviet Army, named after the commanders. Order of Battle, 25th Guards Motor Rifle Division, 1988–9 25th Guards Motor Rifle Sinelnikovo-Budapest Order of the Red Banner, Order of Suvorov, the division retained its Soviet-era awards and honorifics. One of its regiments, the 280th Tank Regiment, was used to form a new armoured brigade, the 25th Mechanized Division was disbanded in 2000
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
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
Italian participation in the Eastern Front
The Italian participation in the Eastern Front during World War II began after the launch of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, on 22 June 1941. Mussolini did this despite the lack of enthusiasm shown by German dictator Adolf Hitler, from 1941 to 1943, the Italians maintained two units on the Eastern Front. The first Italian fighting force was a unit called the Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia. The second force was a unit which subsumed the CSIR. The second force was called the Italian Army in Russia and was known as the Italian 8th Army. The Italian Army in Russia suffered heavy losses during the Battle of Stalingrad and was withdrawn to Italy in 1943, only minor Italian units participated on the Eastern Front past that point. Constituted on 10 July 1941, the Italian Expeditionary Corps in Russia arrived in the southern Soviet Union between July and August 1941, the CSIR was initially subordinated to German General Eugen Ritter von Schobert’s 11th Army. On 14 August 1941, the CSIR was transferred to the control of German General Ewald von Kleists Panzer Group 1, on 25 October 1941, Panzer Group 1 was redesignated as the 1st Panzer Army.
The CSIR remained under von Kleist’s command until 3 June 1942 when it was subordinated to German General Richard Ruoff’s 17th Army, the CSIRs original commander, Italian General Francesco Zingales, fell ill in Vienna during the early stages of transport to the Soviet Union. On 14 July 1941, Zingales was replaced by Italian General Giovanni Messe, the CSIR had three divisions, the 52 Motorised Division Torino, the 9 Motorised Division Pasubio and the 3 Cavalry Division Amedeo Duca dAosta. The CSIR was sent to the sector of the German advance in the Ukraine in July 1941. In August 1941, as part of the German 11th Army, the CSIR pursued retreating Soviet troops between the Bug River and Dniestr River. While the 11th Army besieged Odessa, the CSIR was attached to First Panzer Group under General von Kleist, in its early encounters it was successful, taking a number of towns and cities and creating a favourable impression on its German allies. This cost them only 291 casualties of their own,87 killed,190 wounded, on October 20, the CSIR together with the German XXXXIX Mountain Corps captured the major industrial center of Stalino after heavy resistance from the Soviet defenders.
Units from the Pasubio Motorized Division captured the city of Gorlovka on November 2. While the CSIR did not participate in the siege of Odessa, with the onset of winter, the CSIR units began consolidating their occupation zone and preparing defensive works. In the last week of December, the 3rd Mobile Division was hit with a counterattack by Soviet forces. They managed to back the attacks long enough for the German 1st Panzer Army to provide back-up to their sector
1st Ukrainian Front
The 1st Ukrainian Front was a front—a force the size of a Western Army group—of the Soviet Unions Red Army during the Second World War. On October 20,1943 the Voronezh Front was renamed to the 1st Ukrainian Front and this name change reflected the westward advance of the Red Army in its campaign against the German Wehrmacht, leaving Russia behind and moving into Ukraine. The front participated or conducted battles in Ukraine, Germany, during 1944, the front participated with other fronts in the battles of Korsun-Shevchenkivskyy, and the battle of Hubes Pocket in Ukraine. It took part in the battle for Ternopil, in 1945 the front participated in the Vistula-Oder offensive, and conducted the Silesian and Prague Operations, and the siege of Breslau. It participated in the Berlin operations in Germany and Poland, the front conducted the major part of the Halbe Encirclement, in which most of the German 9th Army was destroyed south of Berlin. By this time the Polish Second Army was operating as part of the Front, finally 1st Ukrainian Front provided the defence against the counter-attacks by Armee Wenck which aimed to relieve Berlin and the 9th Army.
The Prague Offensive was the battle of World War II in Europe. Following the war, the Front headquarters formed the Central Group of Forces of the Red Army in Austria and Hungary, 5th Guards Army 2nd Polish Army 52nd Army 4th Guards Tank Army 28th Army 31st Army 3rd Guards Army Konev, I. S. Das Jahr 1945 Ziemke, E. F. Stalingrad to Berlin Tissier, Tony Slaughter at Halbe Duffy, Christopher Red Storm on the Reich Antill, battle for Berlin, April – May 1945