The Continuation War consisted of hostilities between Finland and the Soviet Union from 1941 to 1944. The Continuation War began shortly after the end of the Winter War, in the Soviet Union, the war was considered part of the Great Patriotic War. Germany regarded its operations in the region as part of its war efforts on the Eastern Front. Acts of war between the Soviet Union and Finland recommenced on 22 June 1941, the day Germany launched its invasion of the Soviet Union, open warfare began with a Soviet air offensive on 25 June. Subsequent Finnish operations undid its post-Winter War concessions to the Soviet Union on the Karelian Isthmus and Ladoga Karelia, on the Karelian Isthmus, the Finns halted their offensive 30 km from Leningrad, at the pre-World War II border between the Soviet Union and Finland. Finnish forces did not participate in the siege of Leningrad directly, in 1944, Soviet air forces conducted air raids on Helsinki and other major Finnish cities. A ceasefire ended hostilities on 5 September and was followed by the Moscow Armistice on 19 September, the 1947 Paris peace treaty concluded the war formally.
Finland ceded Pechengsky District to the Soviets, leased Porkkala peninsula to them, shortly afterward, Germany invaded Poland and as a result the United Kingdom and France declared war against Germany. The Soviet Union invaded eastern Poland on 17 September, Moscow demanded that the Baltic states allow the establishment of Soviet military bases and the stationing of troops on their soil. The Baltic governments accepted these ultimatums, signing corresponding agreements in September and October 1939, the Finnish government refused, and the Red Army attacked Finland on 30 November 1939. Condemnation of the Soviets by the League of Nations and by all over the world had no effect on Soviet policy. International help for Finland was planned, but very little actual help materialized, the Moscow Peace Treaty, which was signed on 12 March 1940, ended the Winter War. By the terms of the treaty, Finland lost one eleventh of its national territory, Finland had avoided having the Soviet Union annex the whole country.
Finlands foreign policy had been based on multilateral guarantees for support from the League of Nations, Finnish public opinion favored the reconquest of Finnish Karelia. Finlands government declared the countrys defense to be its first priority, Finland purchased and received donations of war material during and immediately after the Winter War. On Finlands southern frontier the Soviet Union had acquired a base in Hanko near the capital Helsinki. Finland had to resettle some 420,000 evacuees from the lost territories, to ensure the supply of food, it was necessary to clear new land for the evacuees to cultivate. This was facilitated by the Rapid Settlement Act, the Finnish leadership wanted to preserve the spirit of unanimity that was commonly felt throughout the country during the Winter War
Battles of Rzhev
The operations took place in the general area of Rzhev and Vyazma against German forces. As a result, a salient was formed along the front line in the direction of the capital and it was strategically important for the German Army Group Centre due to the threat it posed to Moscow, and was therefore heavily fortified and strongly defended. The intent was for the 22nd Army, 29th Army and 39th Armies supported by the 11th Cavalry Corps to attack West of Rzhev, and penetrate deep into the western flank of Army Group Centres 9th Army. This was achieved in January, and by the end of the month the cavalry corps found itself 110 km in the depth of the German flank. To eliminate this threat to the rear of the Army Group Centres 9th Army, the cutting of a major highway to Rzhev by the cavalry signalled the commencement of the Toropets–Kholm Offensive. The offensive was conducted in late 1942 and this offensive was conducted by the Western Front against the Wehrmachts 4th Panzer Army and the 4th Army.
A Soviet airborne operation, conducted by the 4th Airborne Corps in seven separate landing zones, five of them intended to cut major road, in the aftermath of the Soviet winter counteroffensive of 1941–42, substantial Soviet forces remained in the rear of the German Ninth Army. These forces maintained a hold on the forested swamp region between Rzhev and Bely. On July 2,1942, Ninth Army under General Model launched Operation Seydlitz to clear the Soviet forces out, the Germans first blocked the natural breakout route through the Obsha valley and split the Soviet forces into two isolated pockets. The battle lasted eleven days and ended with the elimination of the encircled Soviet forces, the next Rzhev-Sychyovka Offensive codenamed Operation Mars. An NKVD double agent known as Heine provided information about the offensive to the OKH as part of the plan to divert German forces from any relief of those trapped at Stalingrad. German forces in the salient were eventually withdrawn by Hitler during Operation Büffel to provide greater force for the German offensive operation at Kursk, fighting in the area remained mostly static for 14 months.
Losses and setbacks elsewhere along the front finally compelled the Germans to abandon the salient in order to free up reserves for the front as a whole, defending the salient required 29 divisions. Its abandonment freed up 22 of those divisions and created a reserve which allowed the Germans to stabilize the front. The retreat of the Germans in Operation Büffel was tactically and militarily successful, the Soviet Army paid a high price for their defeat at Rzhev, but with the Germans were forced to withdraw from an important bridgehead which enabled the Germans to threaten Moscow. Losses for the series of operations around the Rzhev salient from 1941 to 1943 are difficult to calculate. These operations cover a series of battles and defensive operations over a wide area involving many formations on both sides. For the whole series of Rzhev battles, the numbers are not clear yet, since the mobilized manpower of both sides were enormous and the fighting is violent, casualties should be very high
Defense of Brest Fortress
The defence of Brest Fortress took place 22–29 June 1941. The Brest Fortress, defended by the Red Army against the Wehrmacht, held out longer than expected and, after the Second World War had finished, in 1965 the fortress received the title of Hero Fortress for the 1941 defense. The area around the nineteenth-century Brest Fortress was the site of the 1939 Battle of Brześć Litewski, according to the terms of the 1939 German-Soviet Nonaggression Pact the territory around Brest as well as 52% of the Poland was assigned to the Soviet Union. Thus, in the summer of 1941, the Germans had to capture the fortress yet again - this time from the Soviets, the Germans planned to seize Brest and the Brest Fortress which was located in the path of Army Group Centre during the first day of Operation Barbarossa. The fortress and the city controlled the crossings over the Bug River, the garrison in the fortress comprised approximately 9,000 Soviet soldiers, including regular soldiers, border guards and NKVD operatives.
There were 300 families of the servicemen inside the fortress as well, the 45th Infantry Division had the task to take the fortress during the first day. For the first five minutes of the shelling it was supported by parts of the artillery of the 31st, the fortress had no warning when the Axis invaded on 22 June 1941, and became the site of the first major fighting between Soviet forces and the Wehrmacht. The attack started with a 29-minute shelling with artillery and Nebelwerfers by the German Wehrmacht, the initial artillery fire took the unprepared fortress by surprise, inflicting heavy material and personnel casualties. Some managed to escape the fortress, most were trapped inside by the encircling German forces, heavy fighting continued two more days. In the evening of June 24,1941, some 368 Germans were dead, on June 25 and June 26,1941, local fighting continued mainly in the citadel. Till the evening of June 26,1941, most of the northern Kobrin fortification, the Germans deployed various powerful guns, rocket mortars 15 cm Nebelwerfer 41 and resorted to flame throwers.
The civilians inside the fortress tended the wounded, reloaded the machine-gun discs and belts with cartridges, children brought ammunition and food supplies from half-destroyed supply depots, scavenged weapons and watched enemy movements. On 26 June small Soviet forces tried to break out from the siege but were unsuccessful, the same day Zubachyov and Fomin were captured. Zubachyov was sent to a POW camp in Hammelburg where he died along with about 3.2 million of his countrymen, Yefim Fomin was executed on spot for being a commissar and a Jew. R. Gschöpf wrote, The total German losses in the battle for the Brest fortress were about 629 killed, the Soviet losses numbered about 6,800 POWs and about 2,000 dead. The magnitude of losses can be weighed by the fact that total German losses on the Eastern Front up to 30 June 1941 amounted to 8,886 killed. The fighting at Brest therefore accounted for over 5 percent of all German fatalities, after eight days of fierce fighting the Germans had captured the whole fortress.
Because of the high German losses the German High Command demanded General Fritz Schlieper to present a report regarding combat at Brest 22–29 June 1941
Battle of Uman
The Battle of Uman was the German and allied encirclement of the 6th and 12th Soviet Armies—under the command of Lieutenant General I. N. Muzyrchenko and Major General P. G. The Soviet forces were under command of the Southwestern Direction, commanded by Marshal Semyon Budyonny. This was among the large Axis encirclements that were executed against the Red Army, in mid July the Soviet 22nd and 15th Mechanized Corps engaged the German 3rd Motorized Corps near Kiev, and was decimated. The 1st Panzerarmee bypassed much of the forces, leaving the German 6th Armys 297th Infantry Division to defeat the remnants with anti-tank. On June 26th, the Soviets launched a second counter-attack on the 1st Panzerarmee from the north and south, the attack comprised elements of the Red 8th, 9th and 19th Mechanized Corps, altogether fielding about 1600 tanks. An intense battle took place four days, ending in a Soviet defeat. All action by Soviet forces failed as advance guard elements of the German 17th Field Army were reinforced by the 16th Panzer Division, in mid-July German troops cut the rail road at Talnoye and captured bridges over the Gorniy Tikich, and Sinucha rivers.
As the Axis victory at Uman was secured, 1st Panzerarmee turned north to assist the 2nd Panzerarmee in operations at Kiev in September, Budyonny had 1.5 million troops under his command in two strategic sectors of the front to defend, at Kiev, and Vinnytsia-Uman. General Karl-Heinrich von Stülpnagel’s 17th Field Army advanced to the South of Uman, Budyonny was under strict orders from Joseph Stalin, who micromanaged the war early on, not to retreat under any circumstances. On 28 July, an order was given to the Southwestern and Southern Fronts to stop the Germans from crossing the Dnieper, as a result, an opportunity to avoid the danger of encirclement by retreating in the Southeastern direction was lost. The effect of the closing Axis forces was to force the concentration of the two Soviet Armies in an ever reduced area, with the combined HQs of the armies located in the town of Podvisokoye. On 2 August, the encirclement was closed by the meeting of Panzer Group 1 and this encirclement was reinforced the next day by a second joining formed when the German 16th Panzer Division met with the Hungarian Mechanized Corps.
By 8 August, the Soviet resistance had generally stopped, remnants of 20 divisions from the 6th Army and the 12th Army were trapped. German sources after the war reported about 103,000 troops were taken prisoner, included among officers taken prisoner were commanders of both the 6th and 12th armies, four corps commanders, and 11 division commanders. As the pocket was eliminated, the tanks of 1st Panzerarmee turned north, the Crimean objective was for a time left to the field armies, the first of many times when Hitler would change his mind about strategic objectives of the Army Groups
Battle of Moscow
The Battle of Moscow is the name given by Soviet historians to two periods of strategically significant fighting on a 600 km sector of the Eastern Front during World War II. It took place between October 1941 and January 1942, the Soviet defensive effort frustrated Hitlers attack on Moscow, capital of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics and the largest Soviet city. Moscow was one of the military and political objectives for Axis forces in their invasion of the Soviet Union. Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion plan, called for the capture of Moscow within four months, the German Army Group North moved towards Leningrad, Army Group South took control of Ukraine, and Army Group Center advanced towards Moscow. By July 1941, Army Group Center crossed the Dnieper River, in August 1941, German forces captured Smolensk, an important stronghold on the road to Moscow. At this stage, although Moscow was vulnerable, an offensive against the city would have exposed the German flanks. In part to address these risks, in part to attempt to secure Ukraines food and mineral resources, Hitler ordered the attack to turn north and south and eliminate Soviet forces at Leningrad and this delayed the German advance on Moscow.
When that advance resumed on 2 October 1941, German forces had been weakened, for Hitler, the Soviet capital was secondary, and he believed the only way to bring the Soviet Union to its knees was to defeat it economically. He felt this could be accomplished by seizing the economic resources of Ukraine east of Kiev, when Walther von Brauchitsch, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, supported a direct thrust to Moscow, he was told that only ossified brains could think of such an idea. Franz Halder, head of the Army General Staff, was convinced that a drive to seize Moscow would be victorious after the German Army inflicted enough damage on the Soviet forces. This view was shared by most within the German high command, but Hitler overruled his generals in favor of pocketing the Soviet forces around Kiev in the south, followed by the seizure of Ukraine. The move was successful, resulting in the loss of 660,000 Red Army personnel by 26 September, with the end of summer, Hitler redirected his attention to Moscow and assigned Army Group Center to this task.
The forces committed to Operation Typhoon included three infantry armies supported by three Panzer Groups and by the Luftwaffes Luftflotte 2, up to two million German troops were committed to the operation, along with 1,000 tanks and 14,000 guns. German aerial strength, had severely reduced over the summers campaign. Luftflotte 2 had only 549 serviceable machines, including 158 medium and dive-bombers and 172 fighters, the attack relied on standard blitzkrieg tactics, using Panzer groups rushing deep into Soviet formations and executing double-pincer movements, pocketing Red Army divisions and destroying them. Facing the Wehrmacht were three Soviet fronts forming a line between the cities of Vyazma and Bryansk, which barred the way to Moscow. The armies comprising these fronts had involved in heavy fighting. Still, it was a formidable concentration consisting of 1,250,000 men,1,000 tanks and 7,600 guns, the Soviet Air Force had suffered appalling losses of some 7,500 or 21,200 aircraft
First Battle of Kharkov
The Soviet 38th Army was ordered to defend the city while its factories were dismantled for relocation farther east. The German 6th Army needed to take the city in order to close the gap between the 4th Panzer Group and the 17th Army. By 20 October the Germans had reached the edge of the city. In that time, most of Kharkovs industrial equipment had been evacuated or rendered useless by the Soviet authorities, in the autumn of 1941, Kharkov was considered one of the Soviets most important strategic bases for railroad and airline connections. It not only connected the east-west and north-south parts of Ukraine, but several regions of the USSR including the Crimea, the Caucasus, the Dnieper region. Kharkov was one of the largest industrial centers of the Soviet Union, one of its greatest contributions was the Soviet T-34 tank that was both designed and developed at the Kharkov Tractor Factory. It was considered to be the most powerful tank plant in the country, other factories that were located in the city included the Kharkov Aircraft Plant, Kharkov Plant of the NKVD, and the Kharkov Turbine Plant.
Military products that were in Kharkov before the battle started included, tanks, Su-2, artillery tractors,82 mm mortars, sub-machine guns and other military equipment. The main objective for the German troops was to capture the railroad and military plants, adolf Hitler himself stressed the importance of those military plants stating, … The second in importance is south of Russia, particularly the Donets Basin, ranging from the Kharkov region. It was rated at 901,000 people on 1 May 1941, in September 1941 the population skyrocketed to 1.5 million people, due to numerous evacuees from other cities. After multiple attacks and many deaths, the population of Kharkov decreased to 180 –190,000, Kharkov was one of the most important Soviet centers for the fleeing Jewish population. According to records, Kharkov had 10,271 people of Jewish ethnicity living in the city, 75% of whom were women, after the battle, many of them were either transferred to concentration camps or executed. After the Battle of Kiev, Army Group Center was ordered to redeploy its forces for the attack on Moscow, Army Group South, and in particular Walther von Reichenaus 6th Army and Carl-Heinrich von Stülpnagels 17th Army took the place of the Panzer Divisions.
Meanwhile, needed to stabilize its southern flank and poured reinforcements into the area between Kursk and Rostov, at the expense of its forces in front of Moscow. The Southwestern Front, which had completely destroyed during the battle of Kiev, was re-established under the command of Marshal Semyon Timoshenko. The 6th, 21st, 38th and 40th Armies were reconstituted almost from scratch, with the Battle of Moscow under way, the Germans had to protect their flanks, and on 6 October von Reichenau advanced through Sumy and Okhtyrka in the direction of Belgorod and Kharkov. On the same day, the 17th Army commenced its offensive from Poltava towards Lozova, the Southwestern Fronts 6th Army and 38th Army failed to conduct a coordinated defense and were beaten back. In the lead up to the Battle of Moscow, the Red Army suffered a defeat at Vyazma and Bryansk
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
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
Siege of Leningrad
The siege started on 8 September 1941, when the last road to the city was severed. Although the Soviets managed to open a land corridor to the city on 18 January 1943. It was one of the longest and most destructive sieges in history, Leningrads capture was one of three strategic goals in the German Operation Barbarossa and the main target of Army Group North. By 1939 the city was responsible for 11% of all Soviet industrial output and it has been reported Adolf Hitler was so confident of capturing Leningrad that he had invitations printed to the victory celebrations to be held in the citys Hotel Astoria. According to a sent to Army Group North on 29 September, After the defeat of Soviet Russia there can be no interest in the continued existence of this large urban center. Following the citys encirclement, requests for surrender negotiations shall be denied, since the problem of relocating and feeding the population cannot, in this war for our very existence, we can have no interest in maintaining even a part of this very large urban population.
Hitlers ultimate plan was to raze Leningrad to the ground and give areas north of the River Neva to the Finns, Army Group North under Feldmarschall Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb advanced to Leningrad, its primary objective. Finnish military forces were north of Leningrad, while German forces occupied territories to the south, thus, it is argued that much of the Finns participation was merely defensive. The Germans planned on lack of food being their weapon against the citizens. On 27 June 1941, the Council of Deputies of the Leningrad administration organised First response groups of civilians, in the next days, Leningrads civilian population was informed of the danger and over a million citizens were mobilised for the construction of fortifications. Several lines of defences were built along the perimeter to repulse hostile forces approaching from north and south by means of civilian resistance. In the south, the line ran from the mouth of the Luga River to Chudovo, Uritsk, Pulkovo. Another line of defence passed through Peterhof to Gatchina, Kolpino, in the north the defensive line against the Finns, the Karelian Fortified Region, had been maintained in Leningrads northern suburbs since the 1930s, and was now returned to service.
Even the guns from the cruiser Aurora were moved inland to the Pulkovo Heights to the south of Leningrad, the 4th Panzer Group from East Prussia took Pskov following a swift advance and managed to reach Novgorod by 16 August. The Soviet defenders fought to the death, despite the German discovery of the Soviet defence plans on an officers corpse, after the capture of Novgorod, General Hoepners 4th Panzer Group continued its progress towards Leningrad. However, the 18th Army — despite some 350,000 men lagging behind — forced its way to Ostrov and Pskov after the Soviet troops of the Northwestern Front retreated towards Leningrad. On 10 July, both Ostrov and Pskov were captured and the 18th Army reached Narva and Kingisepp, from where advance toward Leningrad continued from the Luga River line. This had the effect of creating siege positions from the Gulf of Finland to Lake Ladoga, the Finnish Army was expected to advance along the eastern shore of Lake Ladoga
Otto Moritz Walter Model was a German field marshal during World War II. He is noted for his battles in the latter half of the war, mostly on the Eastern Front. He has been called the Third Reichs best defensive tactical commander, although he was a hard-driving, aggressive panzer commander early in the war, Model became best known as a practitioner of defensive warfare. His success at the head of the Ninth Army in the battles of 1941–42 determined his future career path. Model first came to Hitlers attention before World War II, their relationship had broken down by the end of the war after Model was defeated at the Battle of the Bulge. In April 1945, with the Third Reichs defeat imminent, Model committed suicide rather than be captured, Models decision to burn all his personal papers at the end of World War II means relatively little is known about his early years. Born to a teacher in Genthin, Saxony, he belonged to a lower-middle class. Following schooling at the Bürgerschule in Genthin, he graduated with his Abitur from the Domgymnasium Naumburg and he entered the army officer cadet school in Neisse in 1909, where he was an unexceptional student, and was commissioned a lieutenant in the 52nd Infantry Regiment von Alvensleben in 1910.
He made few friends among his officers and soon became known for his ambition, drive. These were characteristics that would mark his entire career, in World War I, the 52nd Infantry Regiment formed part of the 5th Division which fought on the Western Front. Model served as the adjutant of his regiments 1st Battalion, in May 1915, he was severely wounded near Arras, and in October he won the Iron Cross, First Class. His deeds brought him to the attention of his divisional commander who, despite misgivings about his uncomfortable subordinate, recommended Model for a posting on the German General Staff. He was promoted to captain in November 1917, and in 1918 was assigned to the staff of the Guard Ersatz Division and he ended the war with the 36th Reserve Division. By the end of the war, Model had gained a reputation as an officer with great potential. Early on in his career, Model had written a book on the Prussian general August Neidhardt von Gneisenau. It was thus no surprise that he was one of the 4,000 officers retained in the Reichswehr, the next year he married Herta Huyssen, they would in time have three children, Christa and Hansgeorg.
Model hated war stories and never discussed politics or the war with his wife, in 1925, Model was posted to the 3rd Infantry Division, an elite formation of the Reichswehr and one that was heavily involved in testing the technical innovations of that era. From 1928, he lectured in tactics and war studies for the basic General Staff training course and he became known both for his enthusiastic support of military modernisation and for his complete lack of tact