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
Fyodor Ivanovich Tolbukhin was a Soviet military commander. Tolbukhin was born into a peasant family in the province of Yaroslavl and he volunteered for the Imperial Army in 1914 at the outbreak of World War I. He was steadily promoted, advancing from private to captain by 1916 and he was decorated for bravery multiple times. In August 1918 Tolbukhin joined the Red Army, where he served as the chief of staff of the 56th infantry division, after the Russian Civil War ended, Tolbukhin was given a number of staff positions. He attended the Frunze Military Academy for advanced training, graduating in 1931. In 1937, after a series of positions, Tolbukhin was given command of a division. In 1938, he was chief of staff of the Transcaucasus Military District. Tolbukhin remained in position through the opening phases of Operation Barbarossa until August 1941, when he was made the chief of staff of the Crimean Front. From May to July 1942, he was the assistant commander of the Stalingrad Military District, after that, he was the commander of the 58th Army until March 1943.
The 58th was involved in the Battle of Stalingrad, where Tolbukhins superior, Colonel-General Andrei Yeremenko, praised his command organization, after his command of the 57th, Tolbukhin was placed in command of the Southern Front. In October 1943 the Southern Front was renamed 4th Ukrainian Front, Tolbukhin assisted Rodion Malinovskys 3rd Ukrainian Front in the Lower Dnieper Offensive and Dnieper–Carpathian Offensive. In May 1944, Tolbukhin was transferred to control of 3rd Ukrainian Front, during the Summer Campaign, from June to October 1944, Tolbukhin and Malinovsky launched their invasion of the Balkans and were able to conquer most of Romania. On September 12,1944, two days after Malinovsky was promoted to Marshal of the Soviet Union, Tolbukhin was promoted to the same rank, while Malinovsky moved northwest, towards Hungary and Yugoslavia, Tolbukhin occupied Bulgaria. Starting in the Winter Campaign, Tolbukhin shifted his army to the northwest axis, thereby liberating much of Yugoslavia, after the war, Tolbukhin was commander-in-chief of the Southern Group of Forces, which comprised the Balkan region.
In January 1947, Tolbukhin was made the commander of the Transcaucasus Military District, Tolbukhin is generally regarded as one of the finest Soviet generals of World War II. Tolbukhin was the recipient of awards and medals including the highest Soviet medal and rank. Tolbukhin was a hero of Yugoslavia, whose capital Belgrade he liberated, the urn containing his ashes is buried in the Kremlin necropolis wall, and there is a monument to him in his native Yaroslavl. A Prospect in Odessa holds his name, one of main streets in Belgrade, the capital of Serbia was named after general Tolbukhin, Marshal Tolbukhin Street
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
Soviet evacuation of Tallinn
Soviet forces had occupied Estonia in June 1940. In expectation of a Soviet breakout, the Kriegsmarine and the Finnish Navy had started on 8 August 1941 to lay minefields off Cape Juminda on the Lahemaa coast, at the same time the German 3. Schnellbootflottille with E-boats S-26, S-27, S-39, S-40 and S-101 was concentrated at Suomenlinna outside Helsinki, German Junkers Ju 88 bombers from Kampfgruppe 806 based on airfields in Estonia were put on alert. On 19 August the final German assault on Tallinn began, during the night of 27/28 August 1941 the Soviet 10th Rifle Corps disengaged from the enemy and boarded transports in Tallinn. This, together with heavy German shelling and aerial bombardment killed at least 1,000 of the evacuees in the harbor. On 28 August KG77 and KGr 806 sank the 2,026 grt steamer Vironia, the 2,317 grt Lucerne, the 1,423 grt Atis Kronvalds, the rest of the Soviet fleet were forced to change course. This took them through a mined area. As a result,21 Soviet warships, including five destroyers, struck mines, on 29 August, the Luftwaffe, now reinforced with KG76, KG4 and KG1, accounted for the transport ships Vtoraya Pyatiletka and Leningradsovet sunk.
In addition, the ships Ivan Papanin, Saule and the Serp i Molot were damaged by I. /KG4, that evening the armada was attacked by Finnish and German torpedo boats, and the chaotic situation made organized mine sweeping impossible. Darkness fell at 22,00 and the Soviet armada stopped and anchored at midnight in the heavily mined water, early on 29 August Ju 88 bombers attacked the remains of the convoys off Suursaari, sinking two transports. Meanwhile, the ships made best speed to reach the safety of the Kronstadt batteries. The heavily damaged merchant ship Kazakhstan disembarked 2300 men of the 5000 on board before steaming on to Kronstadt, in the following days ships operating from Suursaari rescued 12,160 survivors. The Soviet evacuation of Tallinn succeeded in evacuating 165 ships,28,000 passengers and 66,000 tons of equipment, at least 12,400 are thought to have drowned in circumstances little known outside the former Soviet Union. The event was long downplayed by the Communist regime after the war, the evacuation may have been the bloodiest naval disaster since the battle of Lepanto.
On the sixtieth anniversary a memorial was unveiled at Juminda,71 -28 August 1941, off Cape Juminda Minesweeper No. Also, mines heavily damaged destroyer leader Minsk, destroyers Gordy and Slavnyi, minesweeper T-205, list of shipwrecks in August 1941 Bergstrom, Christer. Barbarossa - The Air Battle, July–December 1941
Battle of Smolensk (1941)
The First Battle of Smolensk was a battle during the opening stage of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union, in World War II. It took place around the city of Smolensk between 10 July and 10 September 1941, about 400 km west of Moscow, the Wehrmacht had advanced 500 km into the USSR in the 18 days after the invasion on 22 June 1941. During the battle the German army encountered unexpected resistance, leading to a delay in their advance on Moscow. Three Soviet armies were encircled and destroyed just to the south of Smolensk, on 22 June 1941, the Axis nations invaded the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. At first, the met with spectacular success, as the surprised Soviet troops were not able to offer coordinated resistance. After three weeks of fighting, the Germans had reached the Dvina and Dnieper rivers and planned for a resumption of the offensive, the main attack aimed at Moscow, was carried out by Army Group Centre. Its next target on the way to the Soviet capital was the town of Smolensk, the German plan called for the 2nd Panzer Group to cross the Dnieper, closing on Smolensk from the south, while the 3rd Panzer Group was to encircle the town from the north.
After their initial defeats, the Red Army began to recover and took measures to ensure a more determined resistance, Stalin placed Field Marshal Semyon Timoshenko in command and transferred five armies out of the strategic reserve to Timoshenko. These armies had to conduct counter-offensives to blunt the German drive, the German high command was not aware of the Soviet build-up until they encountered them on the battlefield. Facing the Germans along the Dnieper and Dvina rivers were stretches of the Stalin Line fortifications, the defenders were the 13th Army of the Western Front and the 20th Army, 21st Army and the 22nd Army of the Soviet Supreme Command Reserve. The 19th Army, was forming up at Vitebsk, while the 16th Army was arriving at Smolensk, the result was a disaster, as the offensive ran directly into the anti-tank defenses of the German 7th Panzer Division and the two Soviet mechanized corps were virtually wiped out. On 10 July, Guderians 2nd Panzer Group began an attack over the Dnieper, his forces overran the weak 13th Army and by 13 July, Guderian had passed Mogilev.
His spearhead unit, the 29th Motorised Division, was already within 18 km of Smolensk, the 3rd Panzer Group had attacked, with the 20th Panzer Division establishing a bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Dvina river, threatening Vitebsk. As both German panzer groups drove east, the 16th, 19th and 20th armies faced the prospect of encirclement around Smolensk, from 11 July, the Soviets tried a series of concerted counter-attacks. The Soviet 19th Army and 20th Army struck at Vitebsk, while the 21st, several other Soviet armies attempted to counter-attack in the sectors of the German Army Group North and Army Group South. This effort was part of an attempt to implement the Soviet prewar general defense plan. The Soviet attacks managed to slow the Germans but the results were so marginal that the Germans barely noticed them as a large coordinated defensive effort, Hoths 3rd Panzer Group drove north and east, parallel to Guderians forces, taking Polotsk and Vitebsk. The 7th Panzer Division and 20th Panzer Division reached the area east of Smolensk at Yartsevo on July 15 and this advanced bridgehead became the center of the Yelnya Offensive, one of the first big coordinated Soviet counter-offensives of the war
Budapest is the capital and most populous city of Hungary, one of the largest cities in the European Union and sometimes described as the primate city of Hungary. It has an area of 525 square kilometres and a population of about 1.8 million within the limits in 2016. Budapest became a single city occupying both banks of the Danube river with the unification of Buda and Óbuda on the west bank, the history of Budapest began with Aquincum, originally a Celtic settlement that became the Roman capital of Lower Pannonia. Hungarians arrived in the territory in the 9th century and their first settlement was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241–1242. The re-established town became one of the centres of Renaissance humanist culture by the 15th century, following the Battle of Mohács and nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule, the region entered a new age of prosperity, and Budapest became a global city after its unification in 1873. It became the co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a power that dissolved in 1918.
Budapest was the point of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Hungarian Republic of Councils in 1919, the Battle of Budapest in 1945. Budapest is an Alpha- global city, with strengths in arts, design, entertainment, finance, media, services and tourism. Its business district hosts the Budapest Stock Exchange and the headquarters of the largest national and international banks and it is the highest ranked Central and Eastern European city on Innovation Cities Top 100 index. Budapest attracts 4.4 million international tourists per year, making it the 25th most popular city in the world, further famous landmarks include Andrássy Avenue, St. It has around 80 geothermal springs, the worlds largest thermal water system, second largest synagogue. Budapest is home to the headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, the European Police College, over 40 colleges and universities are located in Budapest, including the Eötvös Loránd University, Central European University and Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
Budapest is the combination of the city names Buda and Pest, One of the first documented occurrences of the combined name Buda-Pest was in 1831 in the book Világ, written by Count István Széchenyi. The origins of the names Buda and Pest are obscure, according to chronicles from the Middle Ages, the name Buda comes from the name of its founder, brother of the Hunnic ruler Attila. The theory that Buda was named after a person is supported by modern scholars, an alternative explanation suggests that Buda derives from the Slavic word вода, voda, a translation of the Latin name Aquincum, which was the main Roman settlement in the region. There are theories about the origin of the name Pest. One of the states that the word Pest comes from the Roman times. According to another theory, Pest originates from the Slavic word for cave, or oven, the first settlement on the territory of Budapest was built by Celts before 1 AD
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
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
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