Kiev or Kyiv is the capital and largest city of Ukraine, located in the north central part of the country on the Dnieper River. The population in July 2015 was 2,887,974, Kiev is an important industrial, scientific and cultural centre of Eastern Europe. It is home to many industries, higher education institutions. The city has an infrastructure and highly developed system of public transport. The citys name is said to derive from the name of Kyi, during its history, one of the oldest cities in Eastern Europe, passed through several stages of great prominence and relative obscurity. The city probably existed as a centre as early as the 5th century. A Slavic settlement on the trade route between Scandinavia and Constantinople, Kiev was a tributary of the Khazars, until seized by the Varangians in the mid-9th century. Under Varangian rule, the city became a capital of the Kievan Rus, completely destroyed during the Mongol invasion in 1240, the city lost most of its influence for the centuries to come.
It was a capital of marginal importance in the outskirts of the territories controlled by its powerful neighbours, first the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, followed by Poland. The city prospered again during the Russian Empires Industrial Revolution in the late 19th century, in 1917, after the Ukrainian National Republic declared independence from the Russian Empire, Kiev became its capital. From 1919 Kiev was an important center of the Armed Forces of South Russia and was controlled by the White Army. From 1921 onwards Kiev was a city of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, which was proclaimed by the Red Army, during World War II, the city again suffered significant damage, but quickly recovered in the post-war years, remaining the third largest city of the Soviet Union. During the countrys transformation to an economy and electoral democracy. Kievs armament-dependent industrial output fell after the Soviet collapse, adversely affecting science, Kiev emerged as the most pro-Western region of Ukraine where parties advocating tighter integration with the European Union dominate during elections.
As a prominent city with a history, its English name was subject to gradual evolution. The early English spelling was derived from Old East Slavic form Kyjev, the name is associated with that of Kyi, the legendary eponymous founder of the city. Early English sources use various names, including Kiou, Kiew, on one of the oldest English maps of the region, Moscoviae et Tartariae published by Ortelius the name of the city is spelled Kiou. On the 1650 map by Guillaume de Beauplan, the name of the city is Kiiow, in the book Travels, by Joseph Marshall, the city is referred to as Kiovia
Kharkiv or Kharkov is the second-largest city in Ukraine. In the northeast of the country, it is the largest city of the Slobozhanshchyna historical region, the city has a population of about 1.5 million people. Kharkiv is the centre of Kharkiv Oblast and of the surrounding Kharkiv district. The city was founded in 1654 and after a humble beginning as a small fortress grew to be a centre of Ukrainian industry, trade. Kharkiv was the first capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, from December 1919 to January 1934 and its industry specializes primarily in machinery and in electronics. There are hundreds of companies in the city, including the Morozov Design Bureau and the Malyshev Tank Factory, the Turboatom. Some sources indicate that the city may have named after the Hunnic name for swan. Other sources offer that the city was named after its near-legendary founder, archeological evidence discovered in the area of present-day Kharkiv indicates that a population has existed in that area since the second millennium BC.
Cultural artifacts date back to the Bronze Age, as well as those of Scythian and Sarmatian settlers, there is evidence that the Chernyakhov culture flourished in the area from the second to the sixth centuries. The city was founded by re-settlers who were running away from the war that engulfed Right-bank Ukraine in 1654, the years before the region was a sparsely populated part of the Cossack Hetmanate. The group of people came onto the banks of Lopan and Kharkiv rivers where a settlement stood. According to archive documents, the leader of the re-settlers was otaman Ivan Kryvoshlyk, at first the settlement was self-governed under the jurisdiction of a voivode from Chuhuiv that is 40 kilometres to the east. The first appointed voivode from Moscow was Voyin Selifontov in 1656 who started to build a local ostrog, at that time the population of Kharkiv was just over 1000, half of whom were local cossacks, while Selifontov brought along a Moscow garrison of another 70 servicemen. The first Kharkiv voivode was replaced in two years after constantly complaining that locals refused to cooperate in building the fort, Kharkiv became the centre of the local Sloboda cossack regiment as the area surrounding the Belgorod fortress was being heavily militarized.
By 1657 the Kharkiv settlement had a fortress with underground passageways, in 1658 Ivan Ofrosimov was appointed as the new voivode, who worked on forcing locals to kiss the cross to show loyalty to the Moscow tsar. The locals led by their otaman Ivan Kryvoshlyk refused, with the election of the new otaman Tymish Lavrynov the community sent a request to the tsar to establish a local Assumption market, signed by deans of Kharkiv churches. Relationships with the neighboring Chuhuiv sometimes were non-friendly and often their arguments were pacified by force, with the appointment of the third voivode Vasiliy Sukhotin was completely finished the construction of the city fort. Meanwhile, Kharkiv had become the centre of Sloboda Ukraine, the Kharkiv Fortress was erected around the Assumption Cathedral and its castle was at University Hill
The Wehrmacht was the unified armed forces of Nazi Germany from 1935 to 1946. It consisted of the Heer, the Kriegsmarine and the Luftwaffe, after the Nazi seizure of power in 1933, one of Adolf Hitler’s most overt and audacious moves was to establish the Wehrmacht, a modern armed forces fully capable of offensive use. In December 1941, Hitler designated himself as commander-in-chief of the Wehrmacht, the Wehrmacht formed the heart of Germany’s politico-military power. In the early part of World War II, Hitlers generals employed the Wehrmacht through innovative combined arms tactics to devastating effect in what was called a Blitzkrieg, the Wehrmachts new military structure, unique combat techniques, newly developed weapons, and unprecedented speed and brutality crushed their opponents. Closely cooperating with the SS, the German armed forces committed war crimes and atrocities. By the time the war ended in Europe in May 1945, only a few of the Wehrmacht’s upper leadership were tried for war crimes, despite evidence suggesting that more were involved in illegal actions.
The German term Wehrmacht generically describes any nations armed forces, for example, the Frankfurt Constitution of 1848 designated all German military forces as the German Wehrmacht, consisting of the Seemacht and the Landmacht. In 1919, the term Wehrmacht appears in Article 47 of the Weimar Constitution, establishing that, from 1919, Germanys national defense force was known as the Reichswehr, a name that was dropped in favor of Wehrmacht on 21 May 1935. In January 1919, after World War I ended with the signing of the armistice of 11 November 1918, in March 1919, the national assembly passed a law founding a 420, 000-strong preliminary army, the Vorläufige Reichswehr. The terms of the Treaty of Versailles were announced in May, the army was limited to one hundred thousand men with an additional fifteen thousand in the navy. The fleet was to consist of at most six battleships, six cruisers, submarines and heavy artillery were forbidden and the air-force was dissolved. A new post-war military, the Reichswehr, was established on 23 March 1921, General conscription was abolished under another mandate of the Versailles treaty.
The Reichswehr was limited to 115,000 men, and thus the armed forces, under the leadership of Hans von Seeckt, though Seeckt retired in 1926, the army that went to war in 1939 was largely his creation. Germany was forbidden to have an air-force by the Versailles treaty and these officers saw the role of an air-force as winning air-superiority and strategic bombing and providing ground support. That the Luftwaffe did not develop a strategic bombing force in the 1930s was not due to a lack of interest, but because of economic limitations. The leadership of the Navy led by Grand Admiral Erich Raeder, officers who believed in submarine warfare led by Admiral Karl Dönitz were in a minority before 1939. By 1922, Germany had begun covertly circumventing the conditions of the Versailles Treaty, a secret collaboration with the Soviet Union began after the treaty of Rapallo. Major-General Otto Hasse traveled to Moscow in 1923 to further negotiate the terms, Germany helped the Soviet Union with industrialization and Soviet officers were to be trained in Germany
A division is a large military unit or formation, usually consisting of between 10,000 and 20,000 soldiers. Infantry divisions during the World Wars ranged between 10,000 and 30,000 in nominal strength, in most armies, a division is composed of several regiments or brigades, in turn, several divisions typically make up a corps. In the West, the first general to think of organising an army into smaller units was Maurice de Saxe, Marshal General of France. He died at the age of 54, without having implemented his idea, victor-François de Broglie put the ideas into practice. He conducted successful practical experiments of the system in the Seven Years War. The first war in which the system was used systematically was the French Revolutionary War. It made the more flexible and easy to manoeuvre. Under Napoleon, the divisions were grouped together into corps, because of their increasing size, napoleons military success spread the divisional and corps system all over Europe, by the end of the Napoleonic Wars, all armies in Europe had adopted it.
In modern times, most military forces have standardized their divisional structures, the peak use of the division as the primary combat unit occurred during World War II, when the belligerents deployed over a thousand divisions. With technological advances since then, the power of each division has increased. Divisions are often formed to organize units of a particular type together with support units to allow independent operations. In more recent times, divisions have mainly been organized as combined arms units with subordinate units representing various combat arms, in this case, the division often retains the name of a more specialized division, and may still be tasked with a primary role suited to that specialization. For the most part, large cavalry units did not remain after World War II, in general, two new types of cavalry were developed, air cavalry or airmobile, relying on helicopter mobility, and armored cavalry, based on an autonomous armored formation. The former was pioneered by the 11th Air Assault Division, formed on 1 February 1963 at Fort Benning, on 29 June 1965 the division was renamed as the 1st Cavalry Division, before its departure for the Vietnam War.
After the end of the Vietnam War, the 1st Cavalry Division was reorganised and re-equipped with tanks, the development of the tank during World War I prompted some nations to experiment with forming them into division-size units. Many did this the way as they did cavalry divisions, by merely replacing cavalry with AFVs. This proved unwieldy in combat, as the units had many tanks, instead, a more balanced approach was taken by adjusting the number of tank, infantry and support units. A panzer division was a division of the Wehrmacht and the Waffen-SS of Germany during World War II
Battle of Kiev (1941)
The First Battle of Kiev was the German name for the operation that resulted in a very large encirclement of Soviet troops in the vicinity of Kiev during World War II. This encirclement is considered the largest encirclement in the history of warfare, the operation ran from 7 August to 26 September 1941 as part of Operation Barbarossa, the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union. In Soviet military history, it is referred to as the Kiev Strategic Defensive Operation, kirponos was trapped behind German lines and killed while trying to break out. The battle was a defeat for the Red Army, exceeding even the Battle of Białystok–Minsk of June–July 1941. The encirclement trapped 452,700 soldiers,2,642 guns and mortars and 64 tanks, the Southwestern Front suffered 700,544 casualties, including 616,304 killed, captured or missing during the battle. The 5th, 37th, 26th, 21st and the 38th armies, consisting of 43 divisions, were almost annihilated, like the Western Front before it, the Southwestern Front had to be recreated almost from scratch.
After the rapid progress of Army Group Centre through the sector of the Eastern front. A substantial Soviet force, nearly the entire Southwestern Front, positioned in, on 3 August, Hitler temporarily cancelled the drive on Moscow in favor of driving south and attacking Kiev in Ukraine. However, on 12 August 1941, Supplement to Directive No, the three Panzer Groups, under the control of Army Group Center, will lead the advance on Moscow. On 18 August, OKH submitted a survey to Hitler regarding the continuation of operations in the East. The paper made the case for the drive to Moscow, arguing again that Army Groups North and South were strong enough to accomplish their objectives without any assistance from Army Group Center. Pointing out that there was enough time left before winter to conduct a single decisive operation against Moscow. On 20 August, Hitler rejected the proposal based on the idea that the most important objective was to deprive the Soviets of their industrial areas, on 21 August Jodl of OKW issued a directive, which summarized Hitlers instructions, to Brauchitsch commander of the Army.
The paper reiterated that the capture of Moscow before the onset of winter was not a primary objective, Hitler referred to the Soviet forces in the salient collectively as the Russian 5th Army. Engel in his diary for 21 August 1941, simply summarized it as, Halder offered his own resignation and advised Brauchitsch to do the same. However, Brauchitsch declined, stating Hitler would not accept the gesture, Halder withdrew his offer of resignation. On 23 August, Halder convened with Bock and Guderian in Borisov, during a meeting between Guderian and Hitler, with neither Halder nor Brauchitsch present, Hitler allowed Guderian to make the case for driving on to Moscow, and rejected his argument. In point of fact Hitler had already issued the orders for the shift of Guderians panzer group to the south, Guderian returned to his panzer group and began the southern thrust in an effort to encircle the Soviet forces in the salient
Nazi Germany is the common English name for the period in German history from 1933 to 1945, when Germany was governed by a dictatorship under the control of Adolf Hitler and the Nazi Party. Under Hitlers rule, Germany was transformed into a fascist state in which the Nazi Party took totalitarian control over all aspects of life. The official name of the state was Deutsches Reich from 1933 to 1943, the period is known under the names the Third Reich and the National Socialist Period. The Nazi regime came to an end after the Allied Powers defeated Germany in May 1945, Hitler was appointed Chancellor of Germany by the President of the Weimar Republic Paul von Hindenburg on 30 January 1933. The Nazi Party began to eliminate all opposition and consolidate its power. Hindenburg died on 2 August 1934, and Hitler became dictator of Germany by merging the powers and offices of the Chancellery, a national referendum held 19 August 1934 confirmed Hitler as sole Führer of Germany. All power was centralised in Hitlers person, and his word became above all laws, the government was not a coordinated, co-operating body, but a collection of factions struggling for power and Hitlers favour.
In the midst of the Great Depression, the Nazis restored economic stability and ended mass unemployment using heavy military spending, extensive public works were undertaken, including the construction of Autobahnen. The return to economic stability boosted the regimes popularity, especially antisemitism, was a central feature of the regime. The Germanic peoples were considered by the Nazis to be the purest branch of the Aryan race, millions of Jews and other peoples deemed undesirable by the state were murdered in the Holocaust. Opposition to Hitlers rule was ruthlessly suppressed, members of the liberal and communist opposition were killed, imprisoned, or exiled. The Christian churches were oppressed, with many leaders imprisoned, education focused on racial biology, population policy, and fitness for military service. Career and educational opportunities for women were curtailed and tourism were organised via the Strength Through Joy program, and the 1936 Summer Olympics showcased the Third Reich on the international stage.
Propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels made effective use of film, mass rallies, the government controlled artistic expression, promoting specific art forms and banning or discouraging others. Beginning in the late 1930s, Nazi Germany made increasingly aggressive territorial demands and it seized Austria and Czechoslovakia in 1938 and 1939. Hitler made a pact with Joseph Stalin and invaded Poland in September 1939. In alliance with Italy and smaller Axis powers, Germany conquered most of Europe by 1940, reichskommissariats took control of conquered areas, and a German administration was established in what was left of Poland. Jews and others deemed undesirable were imprisoned, murdered in Nazi concentration camps and extermination camps, following the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941, the tide gradually turned against the Nazis, who suffered major military defeats in 1943
Soviet Armed Forces
The OGPU was made independent and amalgamated with the NKVD in 1934, and thus its Internal Troops were under the joint management of the Defense and Interior Commisariats. The Council of Peoples Commissars set up the Red Army by decree on January 15,1918, credit as the founder of the Red Army generally goes to Leon Trotsky, the Peoples Commissar for War from 1918 to 1924. At the beginning of its existence, the Red Army functioned as a voluntary formation, however, a decree of May 29,1918 imposed obligatory military service for men of ages 18 to 40. To service the massive draft, the Bolsheviks formed regional military commissariats, Democratic election of officers was abolished by decree, while separate quarters for officers, special forms of address and higher pay were all reinstated. After General Aleksei Brusilov offered the Bolsheviks his professional services in 1920, the Bolshevik authorities set up a special commission under the chair of Lev Glezarov, and by August 1920 had drafted about 315,000 ex-officers.
Most often they held the position of military advisor, a number of prominent Soviet Army commanders had previously served as Imperial Russian generals. In fact, a number of former Imperial military men, notably a member of the Supreme Military Council, Mikhail Bonch-Bruevich, had joined the Bolsheviks earlier, the Polish-Soviet War represented the first foreign campaign of the Red Army. The Soviet counter-offensive following the 1920 Polish invasion of Ukraine at first met with success, in 1934, Mongolia and the USSR, recognising the threat from the mounting Japanese military presence in Manchuria and Inner Mongolia, agreed to co-operate in the field of defence. On March 12,1936, the co-operation increased with the ten-year Mongolian-Soviet Treaty of Friendship, in May 1939, a Mongolian cavalry unit clashed with Manchukuoan cavalry in the disputed territory east of the Halha River. There followed a clash with a Japanese detachment, which drove the Mongolians over the river, the Soviet troops quartered there in accordance with the mutual defence protocol intervened and obliterated the detachment.
Escalation of the conflict appeared imminent, and both sides spent June amassing forces, on July 1 the Japanese force numbered 38,000 troops. The combined Soviet-Mongol force had 12,500 troops, the Japanese crossed the river, but after a three-day battle their opponents threw them back over the river. The Japanese kept probing the Soviet defences throughout July, without success, on August 23 the entire Japanese force found itself encircled, and on August 31 largely destroyed. Artillery and air attacks wiped out those Japanese who refused to surrender, Japan requested a cease-fire, and the conflict concluded with an agreement between the USSR, Mongolia and Japan signed on September 15 in Moscow. In the conflict, the Red Army losses were 9,703 killed in action, the Japanese lost 25,000 KIA, the grand total was 61,000 killed, missing and taken prisoner. Shortly after the cease-fire, the Japanese negotiated access to the battlefields to collect their dead, finding thousands upon thousands of dead bodies came as a further shock to the already shaken morale of the Japanese soldiers.
The Soviet invasion opened a front for the Poles and forced them to abandon plans for defence in the Romanian bridgehead area. The Soviet and German advance halted roughly at the Curzon Line, the defined Soviet sphere of interest matched the territory subsequently captured in the campaign
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
Bruck an der Leitha
Bruck an der Leitha is a city located in Lower Austria, Austria at the border to the Burgenland, which is marked by the Leitha river. In and around Bruck parts of tools were found, which makes it likely that there was a settlement at that time. In Roman time, there was the crossing of two roads, one of them being the Amber Road, the other a link to the Via Militaris. The important Roman army camp Carnuntum was located ten miles northeast of Bruck at The Amber Road. In Bruck a Roman fortification is said to have been at the place of Schloss Prugg, after the end of the Roman Empire, the first traces of new settlement date from around 900. Graves from this time show Hungarian and Francian/Bavarian influence, in 1074 the settlement is first documented as Aschirichesprucca and elevated to the status of a city in 1239. During the 13th century Bruck was rebuilt according to a rectangular street-scheme north-east of the old settlement, though quite strongly fortified since, Bruck never played an important role in a military conflict.
In the long period of wars with the Turkish Empire the fortifications were already outdated, after this period, Bruck prospered and became an important center of wine production and trade. In the Napoleonic Wars Bruck was a center of maneuvers for the Austrian army, in 1867 an important permanent military base was erected. After the end of World War I in 1918 the Austro-Hungarian Empire broke up, most of Bruck belonged to Austria, but the military base and the main railway station was situated on the Hungarian side of the border. In 1921, when the parts of Hungary were integrated to Austrian territory under the name of Burgenland. Bruck an der Leitha became the capital of the same-named district, despite the important military base neighbouring Bruck, the town was not much affected by World War II. Today, Bruck has about 7300 inhabitants and still is the center of the district. Important sights are the city walls from the 13th century, the Baroque church and the old castle, Schloss Prugg, of the Dukes of Harrach
44th Infantry Division (Wehrmacht)
The 44th Infantry Division was formed on 1 April 1938 in Vienna, about two weeks after the Anschluss of Austria. It first saw combat at the start of the war in the Invasion of Poland, after a 9-month period of coastal defence the division was transferred East. On 22 June 1941, the took part in the invasion of the Soviet Union. It remained in the east after the failure of Operation Barbarossa, taking part in actions for the winter against the Soviet Army offensives near Izum. Refurbished, the participated in the German summer offensive, and was subsequently destroyed with the 6th Army at Stalingrad in January 1943. The division was rebuilt as Reichsgrenadier-Division Hoch- und Deutschmeister in Belgium when Hitler ordered the Stalingrad divisions should be reconstructed, by the summer of 1943 it was back up to strength and sent to fight in Italy, where it was heavily engaged at Monte Cassino. It withdrew up the Italian peninsula during 1944 and briefly clashed with American forces attacking the Gothic line, withdrawn to refit, it was instead sent to oppose the Soviet breakthrough in Hungary.
The division joined the efforts to recapture Budapest with the 6th SS Panzer Army, the remnants of the division retreated into Austria, until the final days of the war, when it marched west and surrendered to the American forces near Linz. The unit was established on 1 April 1938 shortly after the annexation of Austria from elements of the Austrian army, the usual establishment called for around 15.000 men. In January 1940 the Feldersatz Battalion was detached and became the 3rd battalion, 443rd infantry regiment, 164th infantry division, the German Army continued to expand, in February 1940 the 10 divisions of the 8th wave were created. The 44th gave up 2nd battalion 143 Infantry Regiment which became 1st battalion 523rd Infantry Regiment,297 Infantry Division, in September 1940, one third of the division was detached to form the 137th Infantry Division. The German Army formed new divisions by detaching one-third of two existing divisions, raising the remaining parts from new recruits, in this manner only one-third of the two old and one newly created divisions were new recruits.
Like all the divisions lost in the Battle of Stalingrad, it was reformed using other formations, on 17 February 1943, the division was reformed with the 887th and 888th Grenadier Regiments in Belgium. From August to November 1943, schwere Panzer-Kompanie/Tigergruppe Meyer, equipped with eight Tiger I tanks, was attached to the division for the disarmament of Italian formations in northern Italy, after a brief rest it was transferred to Hungary and fought the Red Army while retreating into Austria. It managed to capture by the Red Army and surrendered to US forces at Hohenfurth on 10 May 1945. Nine days later, in the hours of 1 September 1939, after a short artillery preparation. Soon the first prisoners were taken and the first casualties suffered, the Second World War in Europe, for the 44th Infantry Division would last from its first day in September 1939, to its last in May 1945, had started. The ethnic Germans, Volksdeutsche, in the border regions greeted the invading troops with some enthusiasm, with gifts of milk, the division continued its advance, crossing the San River and pushing into eastern Poland towards Lviv