Operation Koltso was the last part of the Battle of Stalingrad. It resulted in the capitulation of the remaining Axis forces encircled in the city, the operation was launched on 10 January 1943 with a mass artillery bombardment of the German positions outside the city by the seven encircling Soviet armies. In the first three days, the Soviets lost 26,000 men and over half their tanks, the western half of the Stalingrad pocket had been lost by 17 January. On the 10th, it clear the main goal was the Pitomnik airfield. The 44th, 76th and 28th Infantry Divisions were badly hit, the 3rd Infantry Division, deployed on the southwestern corner of the cauldron since the end of Nov.1942, was ordered to retreat to new defensive positions to avoid encirclement. The fighting paused for four days while the Soviet forces regrouped and redeployed for the phase of the operation. The second phase of the offensive began on 20 January with a Soviet push toward the airfield at Gumrak, two days later, the airfield was occupied by the Soviets.
Its capture meant an end to the evacuation of the German wounded, Paulus on 22 January sent a radio message to OKH, Russians in action in 6 km wide on both sides Voroponovo, some with flags unfurled to the east. Withdrawal to neighboring fronts who are without ammunition, supply with ammunition from other fronts no longer possible. More than 12,000 unprovided for wounded in the encirclement, what orders shall I give the troops who have no more ammunition and will be further attacked with heavy artillery and massed infantry. Fastest decision necessary because dissolution in some places already started, confidence in the leadership still exists. The Axis retreated back into the city itself, but resistance to the Soviet advance gradually diminished due to the exhaustion of all supplies on the Axis side. On 25 January, LI Corps commander Walther von Seydlitz-Kurzbach told his commanders to decide for themselves on the matter of surrender. He was immediately relieved of his command by Paulus, Seydlitz-Kurzbach fled the German lines under German fire and personally surrendered to the Soviets.
On 26 January, detachments of 21st Army met up with the 13th Guards Division to the north of the Mamaev Kurgan and many of his senior German commanders were in the smaller southern pocket based in the city center of Stalingrad. The northern pocket was led by XI Corps commander General Strecker, in bitter fighting, the Soviets gradually cleared the city center. By 31 January, German resistance in the pocket was confined to individual buildings. Soviet forces reached Pauluss headquarters in the Univermag Department Store and the remaining German soldiers ceased their resistance, Soviet Staff officers entered the building and negotiated terms with General Schmidt
Socialist Republic of Romania
The Socialist Republic of Romania refers to Romania under Marxist-Leninist one-party Communist rule that existed officially from 1947 to 1989. From 1947 to 1965, the state was known as the Romanian Peoples Republic, the country was a Soviet-aligned Eastern Bloc state with a dominant role for the Romanian Communist Party enshrined in its constitutions. As World War II ended, Romania, a former Axis member, was occupied by the Soviet Union, more members of the Communist Party and communist-aligned parties gained control of the administration and pre-war political leaders were steadily eliminated from political life. In December 1947, King Michael was induced to abdicate and the Peoples Republic of Romania was declared, at first, Romanias scarce post-war resources were drained by the SovRoms, new tax-exempt Soviet-Romanian companies that allowed the Soviet Union to control Romanias major sources of income. Another drain was the war reparations paid to the Soviet Union, in the 1950s, Romanias communist government began to assert more independence, for example, the withdrawal of all Soviet troops from Romania by 1958.
In the 1960s and 1970s, Nicolae Ceaușescu became General Secretary of the Communist Party, Chairman of the State Council, Ceaușescus denunciation of the 1968 Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia and a brief relaxation in internal repression helped give him a positive image both at home and in the West. However, rapid growth fueled by foreign credits gradually gave way to an austerity. A large number of people were executed or died in custody during communist Romanias existence, while judicial executions between 1945 and 1964 numbered 137, deaths in custody are estimated in the tens or hundreds of thousands. Many more were imprisoned for political, economical or other reasons and suffered abuse, geographically, it bordered the Black Sea to the east, the Soviet Union to the north and east, Hungary to the north, Yugoslavia to the west and Bulgaria to the south. Romanian forces fought under Soviet command, driving through Northern Transylvania into Hungary proper and this changed in March 1945, when Dr.
Petru Groza of the Ploughmens Front, a party closely associated with the Communists, became prime minister. His government was broad-based on paper, including members of most major parties except the Iron Guard. However, the Communists held the key ministries, and most of the ministers nominally representing non-Communist parties were, like Groza himself, despite the Kings disapproval, the first Groza government brought land reform and womens suffrage. However, it brought the beginnings of Soviet domination of Romania. In the elections of 19 November 1946, the Communist-led Bloc of Democratic Parties claimed 84% of the votes, a show trial of their leadership was arranged, and they were put in jail. Other parties were forced to merge with the Communists, in 1946 and 1947, hundreds of participants in the pro-Axis government were executed as war criminals, primarily for their involvement in the Holocaust and for attacking the Soviet Union. Antonescu himself was executed 1 June 1946, by 1947, Romania remained the only monarchy in the Eastern Bloc.
On 30 December that year, Michael was at his palace in Sinaia when Groza and they presented him with a pretyped instrument of abdication and demanded that he sign it. With pro-Communist troops surrounding his palace and his lines cut
A field army is a military formation in many armed forces, composed of two or more corps and may be subordinate to an army group. Likewise, air armies are equivalent formation within some air forces, a field army is composed of 100,000 to 150,000 troops. Particular field armies are named or numbered to distinguish them from army in the sense of an entire national land military force. In English, the style for naming field armies is word numbers, such as First Army, whereas corps are usually distinguished by Roman numerals. A field army may be given a name in addition to or as an alternative to a numerical name, such as the British Army of the Rhine. The term is derived from the fact that they were commanded by Roman emperors, while the Roman comitatensis is sometimes translated as field army, it may be translated as the more generic field force or mobile force. In some armed forces, an army is or has been equivalent to a corps-level unit, prior to 1945, this was the case with a gun within the Imperial Japanese Army, for which the formation equivalent in size to a field army was an area army.
In the Soviet Red Army and the Soviet Air Forces, an army was subordinate in wartime to a front and it contained at least three to five divisions along with artillery, air defense and other supporting units. In peacetime, a Soviet army was subordinate to a military district. Modern field armies are large formations which vary significantly between armed forces in size and scope of responsibility. For instance, within NATO a field army is composed of a headquarters, a battle is influenced at the field army level by transferring divisions and reinforcements from one corps to another to increase the pressure on the enemy at a critical point. NATO armies are controlled by a general or lieutenant general, Military unit Military history List of numbered armies
Romania in World War II
Following the outbreak of World War II on 1 September 1939, the Kingdom of Romania under King Carol II officially adopted a position of neutrality. However, the changing situation in Europe during 1940, as well as domestic political upheaval. Fascist political forces such as the Iron Guard rose in popularity and power, urging an alliance with Nazi Germany and its allies. In summer 1940, a series of disputes were diplomatically resolved unfavorably to Romania. The new regime firmly set the country on a course towards the Axis camp, Romanian forces played a large role during the fighting in Ukraine, Bessarabia and elsewhere. Romanian troops were responsible for the persecution and massacre of up to 260,000 Jews on Romanian-controlled territories, after the tide of war turned against the Axis, Romania was bombed by the Allies from 1943 onwards and invaded by advancing Soviet armies in 1944. Despite this late association with the side, Greater Romania was largely dismantled, losing territory to Bulgaria and the Soviet Union.
Approximately 370,000 Romanian soldiers died during the war, most of them in Soviet captivity and this led to the achievement of the long-standing nationalist goal of creating a Greater Romania, a national state that would incorporate all ethnic Romanians. However, the gained territories included significant Hungarian, Bulgarian and Russian minorities. This occasionally led to violent conflict, as exemplified by the Hungarian-Romanian War, to contain Hungarian irredentism, Romania and Czechoslovakia established the Little Entente in 1921. Under the pretext of stabilizing the country, the increasingly autocratic King Carol II proclaimed a dictatorship in 1938. The new regime featured corporatist policies that often resembled those of Fascist Italy, on 13 April 1939, France and the United Kingdom had pledged to guarantee the independence of the Kingdom of Romania. Negotiations with the Soviet Union concerning a similar guarantee collapsed when Romania refused to allow the Red Army to cross its frontiers, on 23 August 1939 Germany and the Soviet Union signed the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact.
Among other things, this pact recognized the Soviet interest in Bessarabia and this Soviet interest was combined with a clear indication that there was an explicit lack of any German interest in the area. Eight days later, Nazi Germany invaded the Second Polish Republic, expecting military aid from Britain and France, Poland chose not to execute its alliance with Romania in order to be able to use the Romanian Bridgehead. In 1940, Romanias territorial gains made following World War I were largely undone, in July, after a Soviet ultimatum, Romania agreed to give up Bessarabia and Northern Bukovina. Two thirds of Bessarabia were combined with a part of the Soviet Union to form the Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic. The rest was apportioned to the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, Hungary had lost Transylvania after World War I in the Treaty of Trianon
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
The Axis powers, known as the Rome–Berlin–Tokyo Axis, were the nations that fought in World War II against the Allied Powers. The Axis agreed on their opposition to the Allies, but did not completely coordinate their activity, the Axis grew out of the diplomatic efforts of Germany and Japan to secure their own specific expansionist interests in the mid-1930s. The first step was the treaty signed by Germany and Italy in October 1936, Mussolini declared on 1 November that all other European countries would from on rotate on the Rome–Berlin axis, thus creating the term Axis. The almost simultaneous second step was the signing in November 1936 of the Anti-Comintern Pact, Italy joined the Pact in 1937. At its zenith during World War II, the Axis presided over territories that occupied parts of Europe, North Africa. There were no three-way summit meetings and cooperation and coordination was minimal, the war ended in 1945 with the defeat of the Axis powers and the dissolution of their alliance. As in the case of the Allies, membership of the Axis was fluid, at the time he was seeking an alliance with the Weimar Republic against Yugoslavia and France in the dispute over the Free State of Fiume.
The term was used by Hungarys prime minister Gyula Gömbös when advocating an alliance of Hungary with Germany, when Mussolini publicly announced the signing on 1 November, he proclaimed the creation of a Rome–Berlin axis. Italy under Duce Benito Mussolini had pursued an alliance of Italy with Germany against France since the early 1920s. He believed that Italy could expand its influence in Europe by allying with Germany against France, in early 1923, as a goodwill gesture to Germany, Italy secretly delivered weapons for the German Army, which had faced major disarmament under the provisions of the Treaty of Versailles. General Hans von Seeckt supported an alliance between Germany and the Soviet Union to invade and partition Poland between them and restore the German-Russian border of 1914. The discussions concluded that Germans still wanted a war of revenge against France but were short on weapons, however at this time Mussolini stressed one important condition that Italy must pursue in an alliance with Germany, that Italy must.
Tow them, not be towed by them, the French government warned Italy that it had to choose whether to be on the side of the pro-Versailles powers or that of the anti-Versailles revanchists. Grandi responded that Italy would be willing to offer France support against Germany if France gave Italy its mandate over Cameroon, France refused Italys proposed exchange for support, as it believed Italys demands were unacceptable and the threat from Germany was not yet immediate. In 1932, Gyula Gömbös and the Party of National Unity rose to power in Hungary, Gömbös sought to alter Hungarys post–Treaty of Trianon borders by forming an alliance with Austria and Italy, knowing that Hungary alone was not capable of challenging the Little Entente powers. At the meeting between Gömbös and Mussolini in Rome on 10 November 1932, the question came up of the sovereignty of Austria in relation to the rise to power in Germany of the Nazi Party. Mussolini was worried about Nazi ambitions towards Austria, and indicated that at least in the term he was committed to maintaining Austria as a sovereign state.
Italy had concerns over a Germany which included Austria laying land claims to German-populated territories of the South Tyrol within Italy, Mussolini said he hoped the Anschluss could be postponed as long as possible until the breakout of a European war that he estimated would begin in 1938
The operation formed part of the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad, and was aimed at destroying German forces in and around Stalingrad. Planning for Operation Uranus had commenced in September 1942, and was developed simultaneously with plans to envelop and destroy German Army Group Center and these Axis armies lacked heavy equipment to deal with Soviet armor. The situation was exacerbated by the German decision to relocate several mechanized divisions from the Soviet Union to Western Europe, units in the area were depleted after months of fighting, especially those which took part in the fighting in Stalingrad. In comparison, the Red Army deployed over one million personnel for the purpose of beginning the offensive in, Soviet troop movements were not without problems, due to the difficulties of concealing their build-up, and to Soviet units commonly arriving late due to logistical issues. Operation Uranus was first postponed from 8 to 17 November, to 19 November, at 07,20 Moscow time on 19 November, Soviet forces on the northern flank of the Axis forces at Stalingrad began their offensive, forces in the south began on 20 November.
By late 22 November Soviet forces linked up at the town of Kalach, instead of attempting to break out of the encirclement, German dictator Adolf Hitler decided to keep Axis forces in Stalingrad and resupply them by air. In the meantime and German commanders began to plan their next movements, on 28 June 1942, the Wehrmacht began its offensive against Soviet forces opposite of Army Group South, codenamed Case Blue. After breaking through Red Army forces by 13 July, German forces encircled and captured the city of Rostov. The responsibility to take Stalingrad was given to the Sixth Army, the following day, the Battle of Stalingrad began when vanguards of the Sixth Army penetrated the suburbs of the city. By November the Sixth Army had occupied most of Stalingrad, pushing the defending Red Army to the banks of the Volga River, the German command was intent upon finalizing its capture of Stalingrad. Ultimately, command of Soviet efforts to relieve Stalingrad was put under the leadership of General Aleksandr Vasilevsky, Operation Uranus involved the use of large Soviet mechanized and infantry forces to encircle German and other Axis forces directly around Stalingrad.
For example, in early July the Sixth Army was defending a 160-kilometer line, Army Group B had the 48th Panzer Corps, which had the strength of a weakened panzer division, and a single infantry division as reserves. For the most part the German flanks were held by arriving non-German Axis armies, while German forces were used to spearhead continued operations in Stalingrad, their 37-millimeter PaK anti-tank guns were antiquated and they were largely short of ammunition. Only after repeated requests did the Germans send the Romanian units 75-millimeter PaK guns, the Italians and Hungarians were positioned at the Don west of the Third Romanian Army, but the German commanders did not hold in high regard the capability of those units to fight. The Sixth Army had suffered casualties during the fighting in the city of Stalingrad proper. In some cases, such as that of the 22nd Panzer Division, German formations were overextended along large stretches of front, the XI Army Corps, for example, had to defend a front around 100 kilometers long.
The Red Army allocated an estimated 1,100,000 personnel,804 tanks,13,400 artillery pieces and over 1,000 aircraft for the upcoming offensive. Across the Third Romanian Army, the Soviets placed the redeployed 5th Tank Army, as well as the 21st and 65th Armies, in order to penetrate, in total, the Soviets had amassed 11 armies and various independent tank brigades and corps
Order of the Star of Romania
The Order of the Star of Romania is Romanias highest civil Order and second highest State decoration after the defunct Order of Michael the Brave. It is awarded by the President of Romania and it has five ranks, from lowest to the highest, Commander, Grand Officer, Grand Cross, and Grand Cross with Collar. Krétly presented a model, which was accepted by the domnitor. It was decided that the order would have five ranks, Officer, Grand Officer, the domnitor decided that the name of the honour would be The Order of the Union. Because of this, the motto of the new order would fit the event, the obverse of the insignia would bear the numbers 5 and 24, the days of January when he was elected in both Moldova and Wallachia. Most of the insignia produced for him remained stored in the Royal Palaces dungeons, in April 1877, when Romania gained independence from the Ottoman Empire, the debate regarding the institution of Romanian decorations was revived. Mihail Kogălniceanu, Minister of Foreign Affairs in the Ion Brătianu cabinet, because of the already earlier supplied Order of The Union, it was decided that the shape of the decoration would be the same, modifying only the domnitors seal.
The motto was changed, because the old one was not appropriate to the moment. Regarding the name, Kogălniceanu insisted on Steaua Dunării, the name Steaua României appeared on May 10,1887, when the law was voted in the Parliament, as the first law of the Sovereign Romania. By Royal Decree, King Carol II changed the order of precedence in the Romanian honours system, as a result, in 1932, The Star of Romania dropped in precedence from second place to fourth place. In 1937, it dropped to seventh place, in 1938, the order was given a superior rank, called Clasa I, between the Grand Officer rank and the Grand Cross rank, with a maximum of 50 civilians and 15 military personnel. The statutes established by King Carol II were changed by General Ion Antonescu, the rules were the ones used during World War I. The order The Star of Romania became the second in the national hierarchy, after 1948, all the existing decorations were outlawed, and their wearing was forbidden. Just by keeping the insignia, one was considered a delinquent in the first years of communism, cumming List of military decorations National Decorations System Ordinul național Steaua României, Presidency of Romania website Recipients of the order, Presidency of Romania website
Order of Michael the Brave
The Order, which may be bestowed either on an individual or on a whole unit, was named in honor of Michael the Brave, a late 16th-century Prince of Wallachia and Moldavia. Requirements, Awarded to officers only for exceptional deeds on the battlefield and it is the highest ranking Romanian military order. Special Class - During its time as an order of the Kingdom of Romania, this grade was only reserved for the Sovereign, since the revival of the Order, the Grand Master does not wear the Collar. Since its revival this grade has rarely been awarded, the Second Class Insignia of the Order is referred to as a Commander of the Order. The Third Class Insignia of the Order is referred to as an Officer of the Order and this grade was widely awarded rather than the higher grades. ro History of the Order at the Romanian Presidency site Order of Michael the Brave and its recipients at ww2awards. com
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