Army Group South
Army Group South was the name of two German Army Groups during World War II. It was first used in the 1939 September Campaign, along with Army Group North to invade Poland, in the invasion of Poland Army Group South was led by Gerd von Rundstedt and his chief of staff Erich von Manstein. Two years later, Army Group South became one of three groups into which Germany organised their forces for Operation Barbarossa. Army Group Souths principal objective was to capture Soviet Ukraine and its capital Kiev, Ukraine was a major center of Soviet industry and mining and had the good farmland required for Hitlers plans for the Lebensraum. To carry out these initial tasks its battle order included the First Panzer Group and the German Sixth and Eleventh Armies, Luftlotte 1, the German Sixth Army, which fought in the destructive Battle of Stalingrad, was re-constituted and made part of Army Group South. In preparation for Operation Blue, the 1942 campaign in southern Russia, in February 1943, Army Group Don and the existing Army Group B were combined and re-designated Army Group South.
A new Army Group B became a major formation elsewhere, on 4 April 1944, Army Group South was re-designated Army Group North Ukraine. Army Group North Ukraine existed from 4 April to 28 September, in September 1944, Army Group South Ukraine was again re-designated Army Group South. At the end of World War II in Europe, Army Group South was again renamed, as Army Group Ostmark, Army Group Ostmark was one of the last major German military formations to surrender to the Allies
Semyon Konstantinovich Timoshenko was a Soviet military commander and Marshal of the Soviet Union. Timoshenko was born into a peasant family at Furmanivka, in the Budjak region, in 1914, he was drafted into the army of the Russian Empire and served as a cavalryman on Russias western front. On the outbreak of the Russian Revolution in 1917, he sided with the Bolsheviks, joining the Red Army in 1918, during the Russian Civil War, Timoshenko fought on various fronts. His most important encounter occurred at Tsaritsyn, where he commanded a regiment, and met and befriended Joseph Stalin. This connection would ensure his rapid advancement after Stalin gained control of the Communist Party by the end of the 1920s, by the end of the Civil and Polish-Soviet Wars, Timoshenko had become the commander of the Red Army cavalry forces. Thereafter, under Stalin, he became Red Army commander in Byelorussia, in Kiev, in the northern Caucasus and Kharkov, in 1939, he was given command of the entire western border region and led the Ukrainian Front during the Soviet occupation of eastern Poland.
He became a member of the Communist Partys Central Committee, as a loyal friend, Timoshenko survived Stalins Great Purge, to be left as the Red Armys senior professional soldier. In January 1940, Timoshenko took charge of the Soviet armies fighting Finland in the Soviet-Finnish War and this had begun the previous November, under the disastrous command of Kliment Voroshilov. Under Timoshenkos leadership, the Soviets succeeded in breaking through the Finnish Mannerheim Line on the Karelian Isthmus and his reputation increased, Timoshenko was made the Peoples Commissar for Defence and a Marshal of the Soviet Union in May, replacing Stalins crony Marshal Voroshilov as Commissar. During the critical period of the purge, Stalin had used Timoshenko as a military district commander who could hold key appointments while their incumbents were liquidated or exiled. Timoshenko was a competent but traditionalist military commander who saw the urgent need to modernise the Red Army if, as expected. Overcoming the opposition of more conservative leaders, he undertook the mechanisation of the Red Army.
He reintroduced much of the harsh discipline of the Tsarist Russian Army. In September, he was transferred to the Ukraine to replace Budyonny, in November and December 1941 Timoshenko organized major counter offensives in the Rostov region, as well as carving a bridgehead into German defenses south of Kharkov in January 1942. In May 1942, with 640,000 men, after initial Soviet successes, the Germans struck back at Timoshenkos exposed southern flank, halting the offensive, encircling Timoshenkos armies, and turning the battle into a major Soviet defeat. General Georgy Zhukovs success in defending Moscow during December 1941 had persuaded Stalin that he was a better commander than Timoshenko, Stalin removed Timoshenko from front-line command, giving him roles as overall commander of the Stalingrad, North-Western, Leningrad and Baltic fronts. After the war, Timoshenko was reappointed commander of the Baranovichi Military District, of the South Urals Military District, in 1960, he was appointed Inspector-General of the Defence Ministry, a largely honorary post.
From 1961 he chaired the State Committee for War Veterans and he died in Moscow in 1970
Adolf Hitler was a German politician who was the leader of the Nazi Party, Chancellor of Germany from 1933 to 1945, and Führer of Nazi Germany from 1934 to 1945. As dictator of the German Reich, he initiated World War II in Europe with the invasion of Poland in September 1939 and was central to the Holocaust, Hitler was born in Austria, part of Austria-Hungary, and raised near Linz. He moved to Germany in 1913 and was decorated during his service in the German Army in World War I and he joined the German Workers Party, the precursor of the NSDAP, in 1919 and became leader of the NSDAP in 1921. In 1923 he attempted a coup in Munich to seize power, the failed coup resulted in Hitlers imprisonment, during which he dictated the first volume of his autobiography and political manifesto Mein Kampf. Hitler frequently denounced international capitalism and communism as being part of a Jewish conspiracy, by 1933, the Nazi Party was the largest elected party in the German Reichstag, which led to Hitlers appointment as Chancellor on 30 January 1933.
Hitler aimed to eliminate Jews from Germany and establish a New Order to counter what he saw as the injustice of the post-World War I international order dominated by Britain, Hitler sought Lebensraum for the German people in Eastern Europe. His aggressive foreign policy is considered to be the cause of the outbreak of World War II in Europe. He directed large-scale rearmament and on 1 September 1939 invaded Poland, resulting in British, in June 1941, Hitler ordered an invasion of the Soviet Union. By the end of 1941 German forces and the European Axis powers occupied most of Europe, failure to defeat the Soviets and the entry of the United States into the war forced Germany onto the defensive and it suffered a series of escalating defeats. In the final days of the war, during the Battle of Berlin in 1945, Hitler married his long-time lover, on 30 April 1945, less than two days later, the two killed themselves to avoid capture by the Red Army, and their corpses were burned. Hitler and the Nazi regime were responsible for the killing of an estimated 19.3 million civilians, in addition,29 million soldiers and civilians died as a result of military action in the European Theatre of World War II.
The number of civilians killed during the Second World War was unprecedented in warfare, Hitlers father Alois Hitler Sr. was the illegitimate child of Maria Anna Schicklgruber. The baptismal register did not show the name of his father, in 1842, Johann Georg Hiedler married Aloiss mother Maria Anna. Alois was brought up in the family of Hiedlers brother, Johann Nepomuk Hiedler, in 1876, Alois was legitimated and the baptismal register changed by a priest to register Johann Georg Hiedler as Aloiss father. Alois assumed the surname Hitler, spelled Hiedler, Hüttler, the Hitler surname is probably based on one who lives in a hut. Nazi official Hans Frank suggested that Aloiss mother had been employed as a housekeeper by a Jewish family in Graz, and that the familys 19-year-old son Leopold Frankenberger had fathered Alois. No Frankenberger was registered in Graz during that period, and no record has been produced of Leopold Frankenbergers existence, Adolf Hitler was born on 20 April 1889 in Braunau am Inn, a town in Austria-Hungary, close to the border with the German Empire.
He was one of six born to Alois Hitler and Klara Pölzl
Army Group A
Army Group A was the name of several German Army Groups during World War II. During the German invasion of the Low Countries and France Army Group A was under the command of Generaloberst Gerd von Rundstedt and was responsible for the break-out through the Ardennes and it was composed of 45½ divisions, including the 7 panzer divisions of Panzer Group Kleist. For Case Blue, the offensive of the German Armed Forces, Army Group South was split into Army Group A. He was eventually liberated along with prisoners in South Tyrol by the US Army in May 1945. On 25 January 1945 Hitler renamed three army groups, Army Group North became Army Group Courland, Army Group Centre became Army Group North and Army Group A became Army Group Centre
Battle of the Caucasus
The Battle of the Caucasus is a name given to a series of Axis and Soviet operations in the Caucasus area on the Eastern Front of World War II. The operation was authorised by Hitler on 23 July 1942, the main forces included Army Group A commanded by Wilhelm List, 1st Panzer Army, 4th Panzer Army, 17th Army, part of the Luftflotte 4 and the 3rd Romanian Army. Army Group A was supported to the east by Army Group B commanded by Fedor von Bock, the land forces, accompanied by 15,000 oil industry workers, included 167,000 troopers,4,540 guns and 1,130 tanks. Several oil firms such as German Oil on Caucasus, Ost-Öl and Karpaten-Öl had been established in Germany and they were awarded an exclusive 99-year lease to exploit the Caucasian oil fields. For this purpose, a number of pipes—which proved useful to Soviet oil industry workers—were delivered. A special economic inspection A, headed by Lieutenant-General Nidenfuhr was created, bombing of the oil fields was forbidden. To defend them from destruction by Soviet units under the command of Nikolai Baibakov and Semyon Budyonny, an SS guard regiment, the head of the Abwehr developed Operation Schamil, which called for landing in the Grozny and Maikop regions.
They would be supported by the fifth column. After neutralizing the Soviet counter-attack in the Izyum-Barvenkovsk direction the German Army Group A rapidly attacked towards the Caucasus, when Rostov-on-Don, nicknamed The Gates of Caucasus, fell on 23 July 1942 the tank units of Ewald von Kleist moved across the Caucasian Mountain Range. The units of the 4th German Mountain Division, manned with Tyroleans, were active in this thrust and they succeeded in advancing 30 km toward Sukhumi. To attack from the Kuban region, capture the passes that led to Elbrus, and cover the Edelweiss flank, from the Old Karachay through the Khurzuk aul and the Ullu-kam Gorge the detachment reached the Khotyu-tau Pass, which had not been defended by the Soviet troops. Khotyu-tau gained a new name — The Pass of General Konrad, the starting point of the operation on the Krasnodar-Pyatigorsk-Maikop line was reached on 10 August 1942. On 16 August the battalion commanded by von Hirschfeld made a feint, on 21 August troops from the 1st Mountain Division planted the flag of Nazi Germany on the summit of Mount Elbrus, the highest peak in the Caucasus and Europe.
But the region was affected by warfare elsewhere in the Soviet Union, the Caucasus area became a new area of industry when 226 factories were evacuated there during the industrial evacuations undertaken by the Soviet Union in 1941. In 1942, the German Army launched Operation Edelweiss which was aimed at advancing to the oil field of Azerbaijan, the German offensive slowed as it entered the mountains in the southern Caucasus and did not reach all of its 1942 objectives. After the Soviet breakthroughs in the region around Stalingrad, the German forces in the Caucasus were put on the defensive and they established a defensive line in the Taman Peninsula from which they hoped to eventually launch new operations in the Caucasus. The fighting remained reasonably static until September 1943 when the Germans ordered fresh withdrawals which effectively ended the period of fighting in the Caucasus, Soviet Operations in 1943 consisted of the following. 648-651 Ivan Tyulenev, Cherez Tri Voyny, Moscow,1960, P.176.
Battle of Caucasus, Case for Georgian Alpinists, Translated by Michael P. Willis,2017, World War 2 Battles, The Battle of The Caucasus Ясен Дьяченко
The Caucasus /ˈkɔːkəsəs/ or Caucasia /kɔːˈkeɪʒə/ is a region at the border of Europe and Asia, situated between the Black and the Caspian seas. It is home to the Caucasus Mountains, which contain Europes highest mountain, the Caucasus region is separated between northern and southern parts. The southern parts consist of independent sovereign states, and the parts are under the jurisdiction of the Russian Federation. The region is known for its diversity, aside from Indo-European and Turkic languages, the Kartvelian, Northwest Caucasian. Pliny the Elders Natural History derives the name of the Caucasus from Scythian kroy-khasis, German linguist Paul Kretschmer notes that the Latvian word Kruvesis means ice. According to German philologists Otto Schrader and Alfons A. Nehring, the South Caucasus region and southern Dagestan were the furthest points of Persian expansions, with areas to the north of Caucasus Mountains practically impregnable. The mythological mountain of Qaf, the worlds highest mountain that ancient lore shrouded in mystery, was said to be situated in this region, the Caucasus might be associated with the legendary mountain.
The Ciscaucasus contains the majority of the Greater Caucasus Mountain range. It includes Southwestern Russia and northern parts of Georgia and Azerbaijan, the Transcaucasus is bordered on the north by Russia, on the west by the Black Sea and Turkey, on the east by the Caspian Sea, and on the south by Iran. It includes the Caucasus Mountains and surrounding lowlands, all of Armenia and Georgia are in South Caucasus. The main Greater Caucasus range is generally perceived to be the line between Asia and Europe. The highest peak in the Caucasus is Mount Elbrus in the western Ciscaucasus in Russia, the Caucasus is one of the most linguistically and culturally diverse regions on Earth. The nation states that comprise the Caucasus today are the post-Soviet states Georgia, three territories in the region claim independence but are recognized as such by only a handful or by no independent states, Nagorno-Karabakh and South Ossetia. Abkhazia and South Ossetia are recognised by the majority of independent states as part of Georgia, the Russian divisions include Krasnodar Krai, Stavropol Krai, and the autonomous republics of Adygea, Karachay–Cherkessia, Kabardino-Balkaria, North Ossetia, Ingushetia and Dagestan.
The region has many different languages and language families, there are more than 50 ethnic groups living in the region. Russian is used as a common language, today the peoples of the Northern and Southern Caucasus tend to be either Eastern Orthodox Christians, Oriental Orthodox Christians, or Sunni Muslims. Shia Islam has had many adherents historically in Azerbaijan, located in the part of the region. Located on the peripheries of Turkey and Russia, the region has been an arena for political, religious, throughout its history, the Caucasus was usually incorporated into the Iranian world
Braunschweig, called Brunswick in English, is a city of 252,768 people, in the state of Lower Saxony, Germany. It is located north of the Harz mountains at the furthest navigable point of the Oker river, Braunschweig is the second largest city in Lower Saxony and a major centre of scientific research and development. The date and circumstances of the foundation are unknown. The towns original name of Brunswik is a combination of the name Bruno and Low German wik, the towns name therefore indicates an ideal resting-place, as it lay by a ford across the Oker River. Another explanation of the name is that it comes from Brand. The city was first mentioned in documents from the St. Magni Church from 1031, up to the 12th century, Braunschweig was ruled by the Saxon noble family of the Brunonids, through marriage, it fell to the House of Welf. In 1142 Henry the Lion of the House of Welf became duke of Saxony and he turned Dankwarderode Castle, the residence of the counts of Brunswick, into his own Pfalz and developed the city further to represent his authority.
Under Henrys rule the Cathedral of St. Blasius was built and he had the statue of a lion, his heraldic animal, the lion subsequently became the citys landmark. Henry the Lion became so powerful that he dared to refuse military aid to the emperor Frederick I Barbarossa, Henry went into exile in England. He had previously established ties to the English crown in 1168, through his marriage to King Henry II of Englands daughter Matilda, his son Otto, who could regain influence and was eventually crowned Holy Roman Emperor, continued to foster the citys development. By the year 1600, Braunschweig was the seventh largest city in Germany, the Princes of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel didnt regain control over the city until the late 17th century, when Rudolph Augustus, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, took the city by siege. In the 18th century Braunschweig was not only a political, influenced by the philosophy of the Enlightenment, dukes like Anthony Ulrich and Charles I became patrons of the arts and sciences.
In 1745 Charles I founded the Collegium Carolinum, predecessor of the Braunschweig University of Technology, with this he attracted poets and thinkers such as Lessing and Jakob Mauvillon to his court and the city. Emilia Galotti by Lessing and Goethes Faust were performed for the first time in Braunschweig, in 1806, the city was captured by the French during the Napoleonic Wars and became part of the short-lived Napoleonic Kingdom of Westphalia in 1807. The exiled duke Frederick William raised a corps, the Black Brunswickers. After the Congress of Vienna in 1815, Braunschweig was made capital of the reestablished independent Duchy of Brunswick, in the aftermath of the July Revolution in 1830, in Brunswick duke Charles II was forced to abdicate. His absolutist governing style had alienated the nobility and bourgeoisie. During the night of 7–8 September 1830, the palace in Braunschweig was stormed by an angry mob, set on fire
Battle of Kalach
The Battle of Kalach took place between the German Sixth Army and elements of the Soviet Stalingrad Front between July 25 and August 11,1942. The Soviets deployed the 62nd and 64th Armies in a Don River bridgehead west of Kalach with the intent of impeding the German advance on Stalingrad, in the initial period of the battle, the Germans attacked and managed to surround part of the 62nd Army. In reaction, the Soviets counter-attacked and temporarily forced the Germans onto the defense, following resupply of German forces, the roles again reversed and the Germans attacked into the flanks of the Soviet bridgehead, successfully collapsing it. The German victory positioned the Sixth Army to cross the Don River and advance on Stalingrad, following the occupation of the Crimea and the Battle of Kharkov, the Germans launched their 1942 summer offensive with the objectives of occupying the Don Basin and the Caucasus. Advancing as part of Army Group B, the German Sixth Army pushed toward the town of Kalach on the Don River as a step toward the capture of Stalingrad.
As defenders, the Soviets were reacting to German initiatives, to meet this goal, while the Soviets were generally withdrawing before the German offensive, they retained a bridgehead across the Don at Kalach with lines behind the Tsimla and Chir Rivers. The battlefield was the country west and northwest of Kalach. The terrain of the battlefield is mostly open with occasional treelines that obscure lines of sight, the land rolls slightly and exhibits small rises with an average elevation of 100 to 200 meters above sea level. Cross country vehicular movement is constricted by balkas, steep banks that have been strongly cut by erosion. Between the treelines and balkas, the countryside is agricultural with occasional villages, the relatively open nature of the terrain favors long-range direct fire weapons such as the long 75-mm cannon that were mounted on German Panzer IV tanks. A lack of commanding terrain and structures made observation for artillery fire challenging, in the event, the German forces enjoyed air superiority over the Kalach battlefield with the commitment of the entire VIII Air Corps under the command of General Fiebig.
German Sixth Army had ranged from north to south the VIII, XIV Panzer, LI, and XXIV Panzer Corps, commanding some 270,000 men, over 500 tanks, the German forces had superior battle experience and excellent gunnery skills. Their movement and attacks enjoyed air support, but the Sixth Army had temporarily outrun its supplies, particularly in the cases of fuel, Soviet opposition in the Don bend was still weak, but it was increasing. 62nd Army had 6 rifle divisions, a brigade, and 6 independent tank battalions on its half of the line, and 64th Army had 2 rifle divisions. To the north of the 62nd Army was the 63rd Army, rifle divisions of the Stalingrad Front were in a perilous state, with over half of them understrength, ranging in strength between 300 and 4,000 men. The tank armies would be committed before their organization was complete and without the cohesion enjoyed by more experienced, the Soviet forces in the Kalach Bridgehead were subordinated to the Stalingrad Front under the command of General-Lieutenant Vasiliy N.
Gordov. After a ten-day hiatus caused by a lack of transportation, German Sixth Army returned to the offensive, on 23 July, Paulus submitted his plan to take Stalingrad. He proposed to sweep to the Don on both sides of Kalach, take bridgeheads on the run, and drive a wedge of armor flanked by infantry across the thirty miles
Fedor von Bock
Fedor von Bock was a German field marshal who served in the German army during the Second World War. Bock commanded Operation Typhoon, the failed attempt to capture Moscow during the autumn. The Wehrmacht offensive was slowed by stiff Soviet resistance around Mozhaisk, and by the rasputitsa, the Soviet counteroffensive soon drove the German army into retreat, and Bock—who recommended an earlier withdrawal—was subsequently relieved of command by Adolf Hitler. A monarchist, Bock was not heavily involved in politics, however, he did not sympathize with plots to overthrow Adolf Hitler, and never filed protests over the treatment of civilians by the SS and his own troops. Bock was outspoken, a privilege Hitler extended to him only because he had been successful in battle. Bock—along with his wife and his stepdaughter—were killed by a strafing British fighter-bomber on 4 May 1945 as they traveled by car toward Hamburg. Fedor von Bock was born in Küstrin, a city on the banks of the Oder River in the Province of Brandenburg.
At the age of eight, Bock went to study at an academy in Berlin. The education emphasized Prussian militarism, and he became adept in academic subjects such as modern languages, mathematics. He spoke fluent French, and some English and Russian, at an early age, and largely due to his father, Bock developed an unquestioning loyalty to the state and dedication to the military profession. While not a brilliant theoretician, Bock was a highly determined officer, as one of the highest-ranking officers in the Reichswehr, he often addressed graduating cadets at his alma mater, which closed in 1920. His theme was always that the greatest glory that could come to a German soldier was to die for the Fatherland and he quickly earned the nickname Holy Fire of Küstrin. In 1905, Bock married Mally von Reichenbach, a young Prussian noblewoman, in 1908, Bock entered the War Academy in Berlin, and after a years study he joined the ranks of the General Staff. He soon joined the Army League and came to know Walther von Brauchitsch, Franz Halder, by the time World War I began in 1914, Bock was a captain, he served as a battalion commander in January and February 1916.
He was decorated with Pour le Mérite, German Empires highest military decoration, Bock stayed on as an officer of the post-war Reichswehr, and rose through the ranks. The killings perpetrated by the Black Reichswehr were justified under the so-called Femegerichte system and these killings were ordered by the officers from Sondergruppe R. Several times Bock perjured himself in court when he denied that the Reichswehr had had anything to do with the Black Reichswehr or the murders they had committed. On 27 September 1923, Buchrucker ordered 4,500 men of the Black Reichswehr to assemble outside of Berlin as the first preparatory step toward a putsch
Operation Little Saturn
The success of Operation Uranus, launched on 19 November 1942, had trapped 250,000 -300,000 troops of General Friedrich Paulus German 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army in Stalingrad. To exploit this victory, the Soviet general staff planned a campaign of continuous and highly ambitious offensive operations. Later Joseph Stalin reduced his ambitious plans to a small campaign codenamed Operation Little Saturn. Despite these victories, the Soviets themselves became over extended, setting up the stages for the German offensives of the Third Battle of Kharkov, by 6 July, General Hermann Hoths Fourth Panzer Army had taken the city of Voronezh, threatening to collapse the Red Armys resistance. The rapid German advance threatened to cut the Soviet Union off from its southern territories, 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 as early as September 1942 and these Axis armies were deployed in open positions on the steppe and lacked heavy equipment to deal with Soviet armor.
Operation Winter Storm, undertaken between 12–23 December 1942, was the German Fourth Panzer Armys attempt to relieve encircled Axis forces during the Battle of Stalingrad. In late November, the Red Army completed Operation Uranus, which resulted in the encirclement of Axis personnel in, German forces within the Stalingrad Pocket and directly outside were reorganized under Army Group Don, under the command of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein. They would be supported by the 6th Army of the Voronezh Front, while General Rodion Malinovskys Soviet 2nd Guards Army blocked the German advance on Stalingrad, the modified plan Operation Little Saturn was launched on 16 December. This operation consisted of a movement which threatened to cut off the relieving forces. The Italians resisted the Soviet attack for two weeks, although outnumbered 9 to 1 in some sectors, but with huge losses. Manstein sent the 6th Panzer Division to the Italians aid, of the 130,000 encircled troops, to the south the advance of General Gerasimenkos 28th Army threatened to encircle the 1st Panzer Army and General Trufanovs 51st Army attacked the relief column directly.
In a daring raid, by 24 December tanks of the 24th Tank Corps had reached Tatskinskaya, the Soviet tanks drove through snowstorms onto the airfield and roamed about for hours, destroying the German transport planes at their leisure. With the relief column under threat of encirclement, Manstein had no choice but to back to Kotelnikovo on 29 December. Of the 200,000 -250,000 soldiers encircled 90,000 survived to be taken prisoner, only 5,000 lived to return to Germany. The Soviets attacked and pushed back the remaining units of the German 24th Army Corps on the Alpini left flank and contemporarily attacked the Alpini themselves. The Alpini held the front, but within three days the Soviets advanced 200 kilometers to the left and right of the Alpini, who were encircled and forced to try to escape a siege. Although the Alpini corps was ordered to hold the front at all costs, on the evening of January 17, the commanding officer of the corps General Gabriele Nasci finally ordered the full retreat, which was fully carried out on January 19
Battle of Voronezh (1942)
The German attack had two objectives. One was to seed confusion about the goals of the overall campaign. There was widespread feeling by almost all observers, especially Soviet high command, by strongly attacking toward Voronezh, near the site of the Germans deepest penetration the year before, it would hide the nature of the real action taking place far to the south. Soviet forces sent to the area to shore up the defenses would not be able to move with the speed as the Germans. The other purpose was to provide an easily defended front line along the river, the plan involved forces of Army Group South, at this time far north of their ultimate area of responsibility. The attack would be spearheaded by the 4th Panzer Army under the command of General Hermann Hoth, Hoths highly mobile forces would move rapidly eastward to Voronezh and turn southeast to follow the Don to Stalingrad. As the 4th moved out of the city, the infantry forces of the Second Army following behind them would take up defensive positions along the river.
The plan called for the 2nd to arrive just as the 4th had cleared the city, the city was defended by the troops of the 40th Army as part of the Valuiki-Rossosh Defensive Operation of General of Army Nikolai Fyodorovich Vatutins Southwestern Front. For reasons that are unclear, the bridge over the Devitsa was not destroyed, Soviet forces mounted a successful counterattack that tied up Hoths forces. At this point they should have been relieved by the infantry forces, intense house-to-house fighting broke out, and Hoth continued to push forward while he waited. At one point the 3rd Motorized Division broke across the Don, the 2nd did not arrive for another two days, by which time the 4th was heavily engaged and took some time to remove from the line. The 2nd continued the battle until 24 July, when the final Soviet forces west of the Don were defeated, the Soviet forces recaptured the city in the Battle of Voronezh of 1943. Sources Glantz, David M. & House, When Titans Clashed, How the Red Army Stopped Hitler, Kansas, University Press of Kansas, ISBN 0-7006-0899-0