Operation Barbarossa was the code name for Nazi Germanys invasion of the Soviet Union during World War II, which was launched on Sunday 22 June 1941. In the two leading up to the invasion, the two countries signed political and economic pacts for strategic purposes. Nevertheless, the German High Command began planning an invasion of the Soviet Union in July 1940, over the course of the operation, about four million Axis personnel invaded the western Soviet Union along a 2, 900-kilometer front, the largest invasion force in the history of warfare. In addition to troops, the Wehrmacht employed some 600,000 motor vehicles, the offensive marked an escalation of the war, both geographically and in the formation of the Allied coalition. Despite their successes, the German offensive stalled in the Battle of Moscow and was pushed back by the Soviet winter counteroffensive. The Red Army repelled the Wehrmachts strongest blows and forced the unprepared Germans into a war of attrition, the Wehrmacht would never again mount a simultaneous offensive along the entire strategic Soviet–Axis front.
The failure of the operation drove Hitler to demand further operations of limited scope inside the Soviet Union, such as Case Blue. The failure of Operation Barbarossa proved a point in the fortunes of the Third Reich. Most importantly, the operation opened up the Eastern Front, in more forces were committed than in any other theater of war in world history. The German armies captured 5,000,000 Soviet prisoners of war who were not granted protections stipulated in the Geneva Conventions, a majority of them never returned alive. The Nazis deliberately starved 3.1 million of the prisoners to death as part of a Hunger Plan that aimed to reduce the population of Eastern Europe, over a million Soviet Jews were murdered by Einsatzgruppen death squads and gassing as part of the Holocaust. On 10 February 1939, Hitler told his commanders that the next war would be purely a war of Weltanschauungen. Totally a peoples war, a racial war, on 23 November, once World War II had already started, Hitler declared that racial war has broken out and this war shall determine who shall govern Europe, and with it, the world.
The racial policy of Nazi Germany viewed the Soviet Union as populated by non-Aryan Untermenschen, Hitler claimed in Mein Kampf that Germanys destiny was to turn to the East as it did six hundred years ago. Accordingly, it was stated Nazi policy to kill, deport, or enslave the majority of Russian and other Slavic populations and repopulate the land with Germanic peoples, under the Generalplan Ost. Likening the Soviets to the forces of Genghis Khan, Hitler told Croatian military leader Slavko Kvaternik that the Mongolian race threatened Europe. Following the invasion, Wehrmacht officers told their soldiers to target people who were described as Jewish Bolshevik subhumans, the Mongol hordes, the Asiatic flood, German army commanders cast the Jews as the major cause behind the partisan struggle. The main guideline policy for German troops was Where theres a partisan, theres a Jew, many German troops viewed the war in Nazi terms and regarded their Soviet enemies as sub-human
Heinz Wilhelm Guderian was a German general during World War II, noted for his success as a leader of Panzer units in Poland and France and for partial success in the Soviet Union. Guderian had pioneered motorized tactics in the army, while keeping himself well informed about tank development in other armies. In particular, he promoted the use of communication between tank-crews, and devised shock-tactics that proved highly effective. In 1940, he led the Panzers that broke the French defences at Sedan, France, in 1941, his attack on Moscow was delayed by orders from Hitler with whom he disagreed sharply. After the German defeat at the Battle of Moscow he was transferred to the reserve and this marked the end of his ascendancy. He was appointed Chief of the General Staff of the Army, from 1945-48, Guderian was held in U. S. custody, but released without charge. He advised on the re-establishment of military forces in West Germany, Guderian was born in Kulm, West Prussia, the son of Clara and Friedrich Guderian.
He entered the Army in 1907, on 1 October 1913 he married Margarete Goerne, with whom he had two sons, Heinz Günther and Kurt. At the outset of World War I Guderian served as a Signals Officer in the 5th Cavalry Division, on 28 February 1918 Guderian was appointed to the General Staff Corps. Like many Germans, he disagreed with Germany signing the armistice in 1918, early in 1919, Guderian was selected as one of the four thousand officers to continue on in military service for the reduced size German army, the Reichswehr. He was assigned to serve on the staff of the command of the Eastern Frontier Guard Service. In June 1919, Guderian joined the Iron Brigade as its second General Staff officer, the commanders of the regular German army had intended that this move would allow the army to reassert its control over the Iron Division, their hopes were disappointed. Rather than restrain the Freikorps, Guderians anti-communism caused him to empathize with the Iron Divisions efforts to defend Prussia against the Soviet threat, Guderian was assigned as a company commander for the 10th Jäger-Battalion.
Later he joined the Truppenamt, which was a form of the Armys General Staff which had been officially forbidden by the Treaty of Versailles. In 1927 Guderian was promoted to major and transferred to the command of Army transport and this placed Guderian at the center of German development of armoured forces. Guderian, who was fluent in both English and French, studied the works of British maneuver warfare theorists J. F. C, in 1931, he was promoted to Oberstleutnant and became chief of staff to the Inspectorate of Motorized Troops under Oswald Lutz. In 1933 he was promoted to Oberst or Colonel, Guderian wrote many papers on mechanized warfare during this period. Some of these trial maneuveres were conducted in Soviet Russia, in October 1935 he was made commander of the newly created 2nd Panzer Division
The Soviet Union, officially the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. It was nominally a union of national republics, but its government. The Soviet Union had its roots in the October Revolution of 1917 and this established the Russian Socialist Federative Soviet Republic and started the Russian Civil War between the revolutionary Reds and the counter-revolutionary Whites. In 1922, the communists were victorious, forming the Soviet Union with the unification of the Russian, Ukrainian, following Lenins death in 1924, a collective leadership and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s. Stalin suppressed all opposition to his rule, committed the state ideology to Marxism–Leninism. As a result, the country underwent a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization which laid the foundation for its victory in World War II and postwar dominance of Eastern Europe. Shortly before World War II, Stalin signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, in June 1941, the Germans invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theater of war in history.
Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at battles such as Stalingrad. Soviet forces eventually captured Berlin in 1945, the territory overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Eastern Bloc. The Cold War emerged by 1947 as the Soviet bloc confronted the Western states that united in the North Atlantic Treaty Organization in 1949. Following Stalins death in 1953, a period of political and economic liberalization, known as de-Stalinization and Khrushchevs Thaw, the country developed rapidly, as millions of peasants were moved into industrialized cities. The USSR took a lead in the Space Race with Sputnik 1, the first ever satellite, and Vostok 1. In the 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, the war drained economic resources and was matched by an escalation of American military aid to Mujahideen fighters. In the mid-1980s, the last Soviet leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost.
The goal was to preserve the Communist Party while reversing the economic stagnation, the Cold War ended during his tenure, and in 1989 Soviet satellite countries in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist regimes. This led to the rise of strong nationalist and separatist movements inside the USSR as well, in August 1991, a coup détat was attempted by Communist Party hardliners. It failed, with Russian President Boris Yeltsin playing a role in facing down the coup. On 25 December 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the twelve constituent republics emerged from the dissolution of the Soviet Union as independent post-Soviet states
During the Invasion of Poland, Western journalists adopted the term blitzkrieg to describe this form of armoured warfare. The term had appeared in 1935, in a German military periodical Deutsche Wehr, German manoeuvre operations were successful in the campaigns of 1939–1941 and by 1940 the term blitzkrieg was extensively used in Western media. Blitzkrieg operations capitalized on surprise penetrations, general enemy unreadiness and their inability to match the pace of the German attack, during the Battle of France, the French made attempts to re-form defensive lines along rivers but were frustrated when German forces arrived first and pressed on. Despite being common in German and English-language journalism during World War II, some senior officers, including Kurt Student, Franz Halder and Johann Adolf von Kielmansegg, even disputed the idea that it was a military concept. Kielmansegg asserted that many regarded as blitzkrieg was nothing more than ad hoc solutions that simply popped out of the prevailing situation.
Student described it as ideas that emerged from the existing circumstances as a response to operational challenges. The Wehrmacht never officially adopted it as a concept or doctrine, modern historians use the term casually as a generic description for the style of manoeuvre warfare practised by Germany during the early part of World War II, rather than as an explanation. According to Frieser, in the context of the thinking of Heinz Guderian on mobile combined arms formations, blitzkrieg can be used as a synonym for modern manoeuvre warfare on the operational level. The traditional meaning of blitzkrieg is that of German tactical and operational methodology in the first half of the Second World War, that is often hailed as a new method of warfare. The word, meaning lightning war, in its strategic sense describes a series of quick, the devices were largely removed when the enemy became used to the noise after the Battle of France in 1940 and instead bombs sometimes had whistles attached. It is common for historians and writers to include psychological warfare by using Fifth columnists to spread rumours, the origin of the term blitzkrieg is obscure.
It was never used in the title of a doctrine or handbook of the German army or air force. Both used the term to mean a swift strategic knock-out, rather than a new military doctrine or approach to war. The first article deals primarily with supplies of food and materiel in wartime, the term blitzkrieg is used with reference to German efforts to win a quick victory in the First World War but is not associated with the use of armoured, mechanised or air forces. It argued that Germany must develop self-sufficiency in food, because it might again prove impossible to deal a swift knock-out to its enemies, the author vaguely suggests that a massive strategic air attack might hold out better prospects but the topic is not explored in detail. Sternberg wrote that Germany was not prepared economically for a long war and he did not go into detail about tactics or suggest that the German armed forces had evolved a radically new operational method. His book offers scant clues as to how German lightning victories might be won, in English and other languages, the term had been used since the 1920s.
It was applied to the bombing of Britain, particularly London, the German popular press followed suit nine months later, after the fall of France in 1940, hence although the word had been used in German, it was first popularized by British journalism
Kremlin Wall Necropolis
Burials in the Kremlin Wall Necropolis in Moscow began in November 1917, when 240 pro-Bolshevik victims of the October Revolution were buried in mass graves at Red Square. It is centered on both sides of Lenins Mausoleum, initially built in wood in 1924 and rebuilt in granite in 1929–1930, in 1925–1927 burials in the ground were stopped, funerals were now conducted as burials of cremated ash in the Kremlin wall itself. Burials in the ground only resumed with Mikhail Kalinins funeral in 1946, the practice of burying dignitaries at Red Square ended with the funeral of Konstantin Chernenko in March 1985. The Kremlin Wall Necropolis was designated a landmark in 1974. The moat was lined with a fortress wall, and spanned by three bridges connecting the Kremlin to the posad. From 1776–1787 Matvey Kazakov built the Kremlin Senate that today provides a backdrop for the present-day Necropolis, throughout the 18th century the unused, neglected fortifications deteriorated and were not properly repaired until the 1801 coronation of Alexander I.
In one season the moat with bridges and adjacent buildings was replaced with a span of paved square. More reconstruction followed in the 19th century, the stretch of Kremlin wall south from Senate Tower was badly damaged in 1812 by the explosion at the Kremlin Arsenal set off by the retreating French troops. Eventually, the structures of the towers were deemed sound enough to be left in place. Peters bastions were razed, The Kremlin wall facing Red Square was rebuilt shallower than before, in July 1917, hundreds of soldiers of the Russian Northern Front were arrested for mutiny and desertion and locked up in Daugavpils fortress. Later,869 Dvinsk inmates were transported to Moscow, the jailed soldiers launched a hunger strike, public support to them threatened to develop in citywide riot. On September 22,593 inmates were released, the rest were left behind bars until the October Revolution, the released soldiers, collectively called Dvintsy, stayed in the city as a cohesive unit, based in Zamoskvorechye District and openly hostile to the ruling Provisional Government.
Immediately after the October Revolution in Saint Petersburg, Dvintsy became the force of the Bolsheviks in Moscow. Late at night of October 27–28 a detachment of two hundred men marching north to Tverskaya Street confronted the loyalist forces near the State Historical Museum on the Red Square. In the fighting 70 of the Dvintsy, including their company commander Sapunov, were killed at the barricades, on the following day the loyalists, led by Colonel Konstantin Ryabtsev, succeeded in taking over the Kremlin. They gunned down the surrendered Red soldiers at the Kremlin Arsenal wall, more were killed as the Bolsheviks stormed the Kremlin, finally taking control on the night of November 2–3. Voices reached us across the place, and the sound of picks. Mountains of dirt and rock were piled high near the base of the wall, climbing these we looked down into two massive pits, ten or fifteen feet deep and fifty yards long, where hundreds of soldiers and workers were digging in the light of huge fires
Imperial Russian Army
The Imperial Russian Army was the land armed force of the Russian Empire, active from around 1721 to the Russian Revolution of 1917. In the early 1850s, the Russian army consisted of more than 900,000 regular soldiers, the last living veteran of the Russian Imperial Army was the Ukrainian supercentenarian Mikhail Krichevsky, who died in 2008. Russian tsars before Peter maintained professional hereditary musketeer corps, known as streltsy and these were originally raised by Tsar Ivan IV, originally an effective force, they had become highly unreliable and undisciplined. In times of war the forces were augmented by peasants. There were different kinds of regiments, such as regulars, dragoons, in 1631, the Russians created two regular regiments in Moscow. During the Russo-Polish War of 1632–1634, six regular regiments, one reiter regiment. Initially, they recruited children of the boyars and streltsy, Cossacks. After the war with Poland, all of the regiments were disbanded, during another Russo-Polish War, they were created again and became a principal force of the Russian army.
Often and dragoon regiments were manned with datochniye lyudi for lifelong military service, reiters were manned with small or landless gentry and boyars children and were paid with money for their service. More than a half of the officers were representatives from the gentry. In times of peace, some of the regiments were usually disbanded, in 1681, there were 33 regular regiments and 25 dragoon and reiter regiments. In the late 17th century, regiments of the new type represented more than a half of the Russian Army, Conscription in Russia was introduced by Peter I of Russia in December 1699, though reports say Peters father used it. Conscription of peasants and townspeople was based on system, per settlement. Initially it was based on the number of households, it was based on the population numbers, the term of service in the 18th century was for life. In 1793 it was reduced to 25 years, in 1834, it was reduced to 20 years plus five years in the reserve, and in 1855 to 12 years plus three years in the reserve.
The history of the Russian army in this era was linked to the name of Russian General Alexander Suvorov, considered one of a few great generals in history who never lost a battle. From 1777 to 1783 Suvorov served in the Crimea and in the Caucasus, becoming a lieutenant-general in 1780, from 1787 to 1791 he again fought the Turks during the Russo-Turkish War of 1787–1792 and won many victories. Suvorovs leadership played a key role in a Russian victory over the Poles during the Kościuszko Uprising, many lower-level officers were poorly trained and had difficulty getting their men to perform the sometimes complex manoeuvres required in a battle
Eastern Front (World War II)
The battles on the Eastern Front constituted the largest military confrontation in history. They were characterized by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, and immense loss of life due to combat, exposure and massacres. The Eastern Front, as the site of nearly all extermination camps, death marches, ghettos, of the estimated 70 million deaths attributed to World War II, over 30 million, many of them civilian, occurred on the Eastern Front. The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome of the European portion of World War II and it resulted in the destruction of the Third Reich, the partition of Germany for nearly half a century and the rise of the Soviet Union as a military and industrial superpower. The two principal belligerent powers were Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union, along with their respective allies. Though never engaged in action in the Eastern Front, the United Kingdom. The joint German–Finnish operations across the northernmost Finnish–Soviet border and in the Murmansk region are considered part of the Eastern Front, in addition, the Soviet–Finnish Continuation War may be considered the northern flank of the Eastern Front.
Despite their ideological antipathy, both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union shared a dislike for the outcome of World War I. The Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact signed in August 1939 was an agreement between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. It contained a secret protocol aiming to return Central Europe to the pre–World War I status quo by dividing it between Germany and the Soviet Union, Estonia and Lithuania would return to Soviet control, while Poland and Romania would be divided. I need the Ukraine so that they cant starve us out, the two powers invaded and partitioned Poland in 1939. The annexations were never recognized by most Western states, the annexed Romanian territory was divided between the Ukrainian and Moldavian Soviet republics. Adolf Hitler had argued in his autobiography Mein Kampf for the necessity of Lebensraum, acquiring new territory for Germans in Eastern Europe, Wehrmacht officers told their troops to target people who were described as Jewish Bolshevik subhumans, the Mongol hordes, the Asiatic flood and the red beast.
The vast majority of German soldiers viewed the war in Nazi terms, Hitler referred to the war in unique terms, calling it a war of annihilation which was both an ideological and racial war. In addition, the Nazis sought to wipe out the large Jewish population of Central, after Germanys initial success at the Battle of Kiev in 1941, Hitler saw the Soviet Union as militarily weak and ripe for immediate conquest. On 3 October 1941, he announced, We have only to kick in the door, Germany expected another short Blitzkrieg and made no serious preparations for prolonged warfare. Throughout the 1930s the Soviet Union underwent massive industrialization and economic growth under the leadership of Joseph Stalin, Stalins central tenet, Socialism in one country, manifested itself as a series of nationwide centralized Five-Year Plans from 1929 onwards. It served as a testing ground for both the Wehrmacht and the Red Army to experiment with equipment and tactics that they would employ on a wider scale in the Second World War
Order of the October Revolution
The Order of the October Revolution was instituted on October 31,1967, in time for the 50th anniversary of the October Revolution. It was conferred upon individuals or groups for services furthering communism or the state, or in enhancing the defenses of the Soviet Union, military and it is second highest Soviet order, after the Order of Lenin. Above it was a red flag bearing the words October Revolution in Russian, a Hammer and Sickle emblem was placed at the bottom. The badge was worn on the left chest with a red ribbon bearing five blue stripes at the centre, the Russian cruiser Aurora was itself awarded with the Order of the October Revolution, the only ship ever to have received the award. Military units and institutions receiving the award applied the name to their title upon its reception. Order of the October Revolution at the Directory of the orders, Order of the October Revolution Reference Page
Kharkov Governorate was a governorate of the Russian Empire founded in 1835. It embraced the region of Sloboda Ukraine. From 1765 to 1780 and from 1796 to 1835 the governorate was called the Sloboda Ukraine Governorate, in 1780-1796 there existed the Kharkov Viceroyalty. By the Imperial census of 1897, in bold are languages spoken by more people than the state language
The Russian Empire was a state that existed from 1721 until it was overthrown by the short-lived February Revolution in 1917. One of the largest empires in history, stretching over three continents, the Russian Empire was surpassed in landmass only by the British and Mongol empires. The rise of the Russian Empire happened in association with the decline of neighboring powers, the Swedish Empire, the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Persia. It played a role in 1812–14 in defeating Napoleons ambitions to control Europe. The House of Romanov ruled the Russian Empire from 1721 until 1762, and its German-descended cadet branch, with 125.6 million subjects registered by the 1897 census, it had the third-largest population in the world at the time, after Qing China and India. Like all empires, it included a large disparity in terms of economics, there were numerous dissident elements, who launched numerous rebellions and assassination attempts, they were closely watched by the secret police, with thousands exiled to Siberia.
Economically, the empire had an agricultural base, with low productivity on large estates worked by serfs. The economy slowly industrialized with the help of foreign investments in railways, the land was ruled by a nobility from the 10th through the 17th centuries, and subsequently by an emperor. Tsar Ivan III laid the groundwork for the empire that emerged and he tripled the territory of his state, ended the dominance of the Golden Horde, renovated the Moscow Kremlin, and laid the foundations of the Russian state. Tsar Peter the Great fought numerous wars and expanded an already huge empire into a major European power, Catherine the Great presided over a golden age. She expanded the state by conquest and diplomacy, continuing Peter the Greats policy of modernisation along West European lines, Tsar Alexander II promoted numerous reforms, most dramatically the emancipation of all 23 million serfs in 1861. His policy in Eastern Europe involved protecting the Orthodox Christians under the rule of the Ottoman Empire and that connection by 1914 led to Russias entry into the First World War on the side of France and Serbia, against the German and Ottoman empires.
The Russian Empire functioned as a monarchy until the Revolution of 1905. The empire collapsed during the February Revolution of 1917, largely as a result of failures in its participation in the First World War. Perhaps the latter was done to make Europe recognize Russia as more of a European country, Poland was divided in the 1790-1815 era, with much of the land and population going to Russia. Most of the 19th century growth came from adding territory in Asia, Peter I the Great introduced autocracy in Russia and played a major role in introducing his country to the European state system. However, this vast land had a population of 14 million, grain yields trailed behind those of agriculture in the West, compelling nearly the entire population to farm. Only a small percentage lived in towns, the class of kholops, close to the one of slavery, remained a major institution in Russia until 1723, when Peter I converted household kholops into house serfs, thus including them in poll taxation
4th Ukrainian Front
The 4th Ukrainian Front was a front of the Red Army during World War II. It was formed on October 20,1943 by renaming the Southern Front, the fronts first operations were the Lower Dnieper Strategic Offensive Operation and the Kiev Strategic Offensive and Kiev Strategic Defensive operations. 5th Shock Army and 28th Army were part of the Front at the time, 18th Army served with the front in 1944 and 1945. On 25 August 1945 the front was disbanded and elements incorporated into the Carpathian Military District
Order of Lenin
The Order of Lenin, named after the leader of the Russian October Revolution, was the highest decoration bestowed by the Soviet Union. Those who were awarded the titles Hero of the Soviet Union and it was bestowed on cities, factories, military units and ships. Corporate entities, various institutions and military units who received the said Order applied the full name of the order into their official titles. The order was established by the Central Executive Committee on April 6,1930, the first design of the Order of Lenin was sculpted by Pyotr Tayozhny and Ivan Shadr based on sketches by Ivan Dubasov. It was made by Goznak of silver with some lightly gold-plated features and it was a round badge with a central disc featuring Vladimir Lenins profile surrounded by smokestacks, a tractor and a building, possibly a power plant. A thin red-enamelled border and a circle of wheat panicles surrounded the disc, at the top was a gold-plated hammer and sickle emblem, and at the bottom were the Russian initials for USSR in red enamel.
Only about 800 of this design were minted, the second design was awarded from 1934 until 1936. This was a gold badge, featuring an silver plated disc bearing Lenins portrait. The disc is surrounded by two golden panicles of wheat, and a red flag with LENIN in Cyrillic script, a red star is placed on the left and the hammer and sickle emblem at the bottom, both in red enamel. The third design was awarded from 1936 till 1943, design was same as previous, but central disc was gray enamelled and Lenins portrait was separate piece made of platinum fixed by rivets. The fourth design was awarded from 1943 till 1991, design was same as previous, but was worn as a medal suspended from a ribbon. The badge was worn by screwback on the left chest without ribbon. Later it was worn as a suspended from a red ribbon with pairs of yellow stripes at the edges. The ribbon bar is of the same design, the portrait of Lenin was originally a riveted silver piece. For a time it was incorporated into a gold badge. The first Order of Lenin was awarded to the newspaper Komsomolskaya Pravda on 23 May 1930, among the first ten recipients were five industrial companies, three pilots, and the Secretary to the Central Executive Committee Avel Enukidze.
The first person to be awarded a second Order of Lenin was the pilot Valery Chkalov in 1936, another pilot, Vladimir Kokkinaki, became the first to receive a third Order in 1939. The first five recipients, a German and four Americans, received the award for helping in the reconstruction of Soviet industry