World War I
World War I, known as the First World War, the Great War, or the War to End All Wars, was a global war originating in Europe that lasted from 28 July 1914 to 11 November 1918. More than 70 million military personnel, including 60 million Europeans, were mobilised in one of the largest wars in history and it was one of the deadliest conflicts in history, and paved the way for major political changes, including revolutions in many of the nations involved. The war drew in all the worlds great powers, assembled in two opposing alliances, the Allies versus the Central Powers of Germany and Austria-Hungary. These alliances were reorganised and expanded as more nations entered the war, Japan, the trigger for the war was the assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria, heir to the throne of Austria-Hungary, by Yugoslav nationalist Gavrilo Princip in Sarajevo on 28 June 1914. This set off a crisis when Austria-Hungary delivered an ultimatum to the Kingdom of Serbia. Within weeks, the powers were at war and the conflict soon spread around the world.
On 25 July Russia began mobilisation and on 28 July, the Austro-Hungarians declared war on Serbia, Germany presented an ultimatum to Russia to demobilise, and when this was refused, declared war on Russia on 1 August. Germany invaded neutral Belgium and Luxembourg before moving towards France, after the German march on Paris was halted, what became known as the Western Front settled into a battle of attrition, with a trench line that changed little until 1917. On the Eastern Front, the Russian army was successful against the Austro-Hungarians, in November 1914, the Ottoman Empire joined the Central Powers, opening fronts in the Caucasus and the Sinai. In 1915, Italy joined the Allies and Bulgaria joined the Central Powers, Romania joined the Allies in 1916, after a stunning German offensive along the Western Front in the spring of 1918, the Allies rallied and drove back the Germans in a series of successful offensives. By the end of the war or soon after, the German Empire, Russian Empire, Austro-Hungarian Empire, national borders were redrawn, with several independent nations restored or created, and Germanys colonies were parceled out among the victors.
During the Paris Peace Conference of 1919, the Big Four imposed their terms in a series of treaties, the League of Nations was formed with the aim of preventing any repetition of such a conflict. This effort failed, and economic depression, renewed nationalism, weakened successor states, and feelings of humiliation eventually contributed to World War II. From the time of its start until the approach of World War II, at the time, it was sometimes called the war to end war or the war to end all wars due to its then-unparalleled scale and devastation. In Canada, Macleans magazine in October 1914 wrote, Some wars name themselves, during the interwar period, the war was most often called the World War and the Great War in English-speaking countries. Will become the first world war in the sense of the word. These began in 1815, with the Holy Alliance between Prussia and Austria, when Germany was united in 1871, Prussia became part of the new German nation. Soon after, in October 1873, German Chancellor Otto von Bismarck negotiated the League of the Three Emperors between the monarchs of Austria-Hungary and Germany
Prisoner of war
A prisoner of war is a person, whether combatant or non-combatant, who is held in custody by a belligerent power during or immediately after an armed conflict. The earliest recorded usage of the prisoner of war dates to 1660. The first Roman gladiators were prisoners of war and were named according to their ethnic roots such as Samnite, typically, little distinction was made between enemy combatants and enemy civilians, although women and children were more likely to be spared. Sometimes, the purpose of a battle, if not a war, was to capture women, a known as raptio. Typically women had no rights, and were legally as chattel. For this he was eventually canonized, during Childerics siege and blockade of Paris in 464, the nun Geneviève pleaded with the Frankish king for the welfare of prisoners of war and met with a favourable response. Later, Clovis I liberated captives after Genevieve urged him to do so, many French prisoners of war were killed during the Battle of Agincourt in 1415. In the Middle Ages, a number of religious wars aimed to not only defeat, in Christian Europe, the extermination of heretics was considered desirable.
Examples include the 13th century Albigensian Crusade and the Northern Crusades, the inhabitants of conquered cities were frequently massacred during the Crusades against the Muslims in the 11th and 12th centuries. Noblemen could hope to be ransomed, their families would have to send to their captors large sums of wealth commensurate with the status of the captive. In feudal Japan there was no custom of ransoming prisoners of war, in Termez, on the Oxus, all the people, both men and women, were driven out onto the plain, and divided in accordance with their usual custom, they were all slain. The Aztecs were constantly at war with neighbouring tribes and groups, for the re-consecration of Great Pyramid of Tenochtitlan in 1487, between 10,000 and 80,400 persons were sacrificed. During the early Muslim conquests, Muslims routinely captured large number of prisoners, aside from those who converted, most were ransomed or enslaved. Christians who were captured during the Crusades, were either killed or sold into slavery if they could not pay a ransom.
The freeing of prisoners was highly recommended as a charitable act, there evolved the right of parole, French for discourse, in which a captured officer surrendered his sword and gave his word as a gentleman in exchange for privileges. If he swore not to escape, he could gain better accommodations, if he swore to cease hostilities against the nation who held him captive, he could be repatriated or exchanged but could not serve against his former captors in a military capacity. Early historical narratives of captured colonial Europeans, including perspectives of literate women captured by the peoples of North America. The writings of Mary Rowlandson, captured in the fighting of King Philips War, are an example
The Iron Cross was a military decoration in the Kingdom of Prussia, and in the German Empire and Nazi Germany. It was established by King Friedrich Wilhelm III of Prussia in March 1813 backdated to the birthday of his late wife Queen Louise on 10 March 1813 during the Napoleonic Wars, Louise was the first person to receive this decoration. The recommissioned Iron Cross was awarded during the Franco-Prussian War, World War I, the Iron Cross was normally a military decoration only, though there were instances of it being awarded to civilians for performing military functions. The design of the symbol was black with a white or silver outline. It was ultimately derived from the cross pattée occasionally used by the Teutonic Order from the 13th century, the black cross patty was used as the symbol of the German Army from 1871 to March/April 1918, when it was replaced by the Balkenkreuz. In 1956, it was re-introduced as the symbol of the Bundeswehr, the Black Cross is the emblem used by the Prussian Army, and by the army of Germany from 1871 to present.
It was designed on the occasion of the German Campaign of 1813, from this time, the Black Cross featured on the Prussian war flag alongside the Black Eagle. The design is due to neoclassical architect Karl Friedrich Schinkel, based on a sketch by Frederick William, the design is ultimately derivative of the black cross used by the Teutonic Order. This heraldic cross took various forms throughout the history, including a simple Latin cross. When the Quadriga of the Goddess of Peace was retrieved from Paris at Napoleons fall, an Iron Cross was inserted into her laurel wreath, making her into a Goddess of Victory. The Black Cross was used on the naval and war flags of the German Empire, the Black Cross was used as the symbol of the German Army until 1915, when it was replaced by a simpler Balkenkreuz. The Reichswehr of the Weimar Republic, the Wehrmacht of Nazi Germany, the traditional design in black is used on armored vehicles and aircraft, while after German reunification, a new design in blue and silver was introduced for use in other contexts.
The ribbon for the 1813,1870 and 1914 Iron Cross was black with two white bands, the colors of Prussia. The non-combatant version of this award had the same medal, but the black, the ribbon color for the 1939 EKII was black/white/red/white/black. Since the Iron Cross was issued several different periods of German history. For example, an Iron Cross from World War I bears the year 1914, the reverse of the 1870,1914 and 1939 series of Iron Crosses have the year 1813 appearing on the lower arm, symbolizing the year the award was created. The 1813 decoration has the initials FW for King Frederick William III, the final version shows a swastika. There was the 1957 issue, a replacement medal for holders of the 1939 series which substituted an oak-leaf cluster for the banned swastika
Andrey Andreyevich Vlasov or Wlassow was a Russian Red Army general and collaborationist. At the wars end he changed again and aided the Prague uprising but was tribunaled in Moscow for treason. Born in Lomakino, Nizhny Novgorod Governorate, Russian Empire, Vlasov was originally a student at a Russian Orthodox seminary and he distinguished himself as an officer and gradually rose through the ranks of the Red Army. Vlasov joined the Communist Party in 1930, sent to China, he acted as a military adviser to Chiang Kai-shek from 1938 to November 1939. Upon his return, Vlasov served in several assignments before being given command of the 99th Rifle Division, after just nine months under Vlasovs leadership, after an inspection by Semyon Timoshenko, the division was recognized as one of the best divisions in the Army in 1940. Timoshenko presented Vlasov with a gold watch, as he found the 99th the best of all. The historian John Erickson says of Vlasov at this point that was an up-and-coming man, in 1940, Vlasov was promoted to major general, and on June 22,1941, when the Germans and their allies invaded the Soviet Union, Vlasov was commanding 4th Mechanized Corps.
Shortly after the invasion began, Vlasovs corps retook Przemyśl, holding it for six days, as a lieutenant general, he commanded the 37th Army near Kiev and escaped encirclement. He played an important role in the defense of Moscow, as his 20th Army counterattacked, Vlasovs picture was printed in the newspaper Pravda as that of one of the defenders of Moscow. Described by some historians as charismatic, Vlasov was decorated on January 24,1942, Vlasov was ordered to relieve the ailing commander Klykov after the Second Shock Army had been encircled. Other forces failed to exploit Vlasovs advances and his army was left stranded in German-held territory, the 2nd Shock Army was surrounded and, in June 1942, destroyed. After Vlasovs army was surrounded, he himself was offered an escape by aeroplane, the general refused and hid in German-occupied territory, ten days later, on July 12,1942, a local farmer exposed him to the Germans. Vlasovs opponent and captor, Nazi general Georg Lindemann, interrogated him about the surrounding of his army and details of battles, had Vlasov imprisoned in occupied Vinnytsia.
Alexandrovs work was reported to the FSB by Russian nationalists as inciting hatred but his university, regardless of the political pressure, while in prison, Vlasov met Captain Wilfried Strik-Strikfeldt, a Baltic German who was attempting to foster a Russian Liberation Movement. Strik-Strikfeldt had circulated memos to this effect in the Wehrmacht, with Lieutenant Colonel Vladimir Boyarsky, Vlasov wrote a memo shortly after his capture to the German military leaders suggesting cooperation between anti-Stalinist Russians and the German Army. Vlasov was taken to Berlin under the protection of the Wehrmachts propaganda department, while there, he and other Soviet officers began drafting plans for the creation of a Russian provisional government and the recruitment of a Russian army of liberation under Russian command. Vlasov founded the Russian Liberation Committee, in hopes of creating the Russian Liberation Army—known as ROA, in the spring of 1943, Vlasov wrote an anti-Bolshevik leaflet known as the Smolensk Proclamation, which was dropped from aircraft by the millions on Soviet forces and Soviet-controlled soil.
In March of the year, Vlasov published an open letter titled Why Have I Taken Up the Struggle Against Bolshevism
The City Municipality of Bremen is a Hanseatic city in northwestern Germany, which belongs to the state Free Hanseatic City of Bremen. As a commercial and industrial city with a port on the River Weser, Bremen is part of the Bremen/Oldenburg Metropolitan Region. Bremen is the second most populous city in Northern Germany and eleventh in Germany, Bremen is a major cultural and economic hub in the northern regions of Germany. Bremen is home to dozens of galleries and museums, ranging from historical sculptures to major art museums. Bremen has a reputation as a working class city, along with this, Bremen is home to a large number of multinational companies and manufacturing centers. Companies headquartered in Bremen include the Hachez chocolate company and Vector Foiltec, four-time German football champions Werder Bremen are based in the city. Bremen is some 60 km south from the Weser mouth on the North Sea, with Bremerhaven right on the mouth the two comprise the state of the Free Hanseatic City of Bremen.
The marshes and moraines near Bremen have been settled since about 12,000 BC, burial places and settlements in Bremen-Mahndorf and Bremen-Osterholz date back to the 7th century AD. Since The Renaissance, some scientists have believed that the entry Fabiranum or Phabiranon in Ptolemys Fourth Map of Europe, written in 150 AD, but Ptolemy gives geographic coordinates, and by these dates Phabiranon is situated northeast of the mouth of river Visurgis. At that time the Chauci lived in the now called north-western Germany or Lower Saxony. By the end of the 3rd century, they had merged with the Saxons, during the Saxon Wars the Saxons, led by Widukind, fought against the West Germanic Franks, the founders of the Carolingian Empire, and lost the war. Charlemagne, the King of the Franks, made a new law, the Lex Saxonum which stated that Saxons were not allowed to worship Odin, in 787 Willehad of Bremen became the first Bishop of Bremen. The citys first stone walls were built in 1032, around this time trade with Norway and the northern Netherlands began to grow, thus increasing the importance of the city.
The city was recognised as an entity with its own laws. Property was to be inherited without feudal claims for reversion to its original owner. This privilege laid the foundation for Bremens status of imperial immediacy, since the city was the major taxpayer, its consent was generally sought. In this way the city wielded fiscal and political power within the Prince-Archbishopric, in 1260 Bremen joined the Hanseatic League. In 1350, the number of inhabitants reached 20,000, around this time the Hansekogge became a unique product of Bremen
West Germany is the common English name for the Federal Republic of Germany or FRG in the period between its creation on 23 May 1949 to German reunification on 3 October 1990. During this Cold War era, NATO-aligned West Germany and Warsaw Pact-aligned East Germany were divided by the Inner German border, after 1961 West Berlin was physically separated from East Berlin as well as from East Germany by the Berlin Wall. This situation ended when East Germany was dissolved and its five states joined the ten states of the Federal Republic of Germany along with the reunified city-state of Berlin. With the reunification of West and East Germany, the Federal Republic of Germany, enlarged now to sixteen states and this period is referred to as the Bonn Republic by historians, alluding to the interwar Weimar Republic and the post-reunification Berlin Republic. The Federal Republic of Germany was established from eleven states formed in the three Allied Zones of occupation held by the United States, the United Kingdom and France, US and British forces remained in the country throughout the Cold War.
Its population grew from roughly 51 million in 1950 to more than 63 million in 1990, the city of Bonn was its de facto capital city. The fourth Allied occupation zone was held by the Soviet Union, as a result, West Germany had a territory about half the size of the interbellum democratic Weimar Republic. At the onset of the Cold War, Europe was divided among the Western and Eastern blocs, Germany was de facto divided into two countries and two special territories, the Saarland and divided Berlin. The Federal Republic of Germany claimed a mandate for all of Germany. It took the line that the GDR was an illegally constituted puppet state, though the GDR did hold regular elections, these were not free and fair. For all practical purposes the GDR was a Soviet puppet state, from the West German perspective the GDR was therefore illegitimate. Three southwestern states of West Germany merged to form Baden-Württemberg in 1952, in addition to the resulting ten states, West Berlin was considered an unofficial de facto 11th state.
It recognised the GDR as a de facto government within a single German nation that in turn was represented de jure by the West German state alone. From 1973 onward, East Germany recognised the existence of two German countries de jure, and the West as both de facto and de jure foreign country, the Federal Republic and the GDR agreed that neither of them could speak in the name of the other. The first chancellor Konrad Adenauer, who remained in office until 1963, had worked for an alignment with NATO rather than neutrality. He not only secured a membership in NATO but was a proponent of agreements that developed into the present-day European Union, when the G6 was established in 1975, there was no question whether the Federal Republic of Germany would be a member as well. With the collapse of communism in Central and Eastern Europe in 1989, symbolised by the opening of the Berlin Wall, East Germany voted to dissolve itself and accede to the Federal Republic in 1990. Its five post-war states were reconstituted along with the reunited Berlin and they formally joined the Federal Republic on 3 October 1990, raising the number of states from 10 to 16, ending the division of Germany
General of the Artillery (Germany)
General der Artillerie may mean,1. A rank of general, comparable to modern armed forces OF-8 grade, in the Imperial Army. Cavalry officers of equivalent rank were called general of the cavalry, the Wehrmacht had General der Panzertruppen, General der Gebirgstruppen, General der Pioniere, General der Fallschirmtruppen, General der Nachrichtentruppen. Today in the Bundeswehr, the rank of lieutenant general corresponds to the rank of general of the artillery. There was no equivalent rank in the army of East Germany,2. in the Bundeswehr, the position of an artillery officer responsible for certain questions of troop training and equipment, usually with the rank of Brigadegenerals. The position of general of the artillery is connected with that of commander of the artillery school, corresponding service positions exist for other branches of the army. Since in this usage it refers to a not a rank. The form of address is usually Herr General and/or Herr Oberst, walther von Reichenau (, date of rank,1 October 1936, promoted to Generalfeldmarschall,19 July 1940
Clasp to the Iron Cross
The Clasp to the Iron Cross was a metal medal clasp displayed on the uniforms of German Wehrmacht personnel who had been awarded the Iron Cross in World War I. A holder of the 1914 Iron Cross could be awarded a second or higher grade of the 1939 Iron Cross, to permit the two medals to be worn together, a 1939 Clasp would be worn on the original 1914 Iron Cross. It depicted an eagle clutching an oak leaf wreath surrounding a swastika above a trapezoid bearing the year 1939. It was attached to the 1914 Iron Cross medal ribbon through a tunic button, a similar award had been made in 1914 but was quite rare, since there were few in service at that time who held the even earlier 1870 Iron Cross. For the First Class award, the larger but identical clasp, was pinned directly on the upper breast pocket above the Iron Cross 1st class of the wearer and this pin-back clasp was usually awarded in a presentation case. For Führer and Fatherland, Military Awards of the Third Reich
National Committee for a Free Germany
The National Committee for a Free Germany was a German anti-Nazi organization that operated in the Soviet Union during World War II. The rise of the Nazi Party to power in Germany in 1933 led to the outlawing of the Communist Party of Germany and persecutions of its members, with the German invasion of the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa, German prisoners of war began to fall into Soviet hands. Several attempts to establish an organization from those POWs were made with little success since most of them still believed in the final victory of the Wehrmacht. Its leadership consisted of 38 members, including 28 Wehrmacht POWs and 10 exiled communists, two months after the founding of the NKFD, the League of German Officers was founded, its leader was General Walther von Seydlitz-Kurzbach. The main task of the BDO was to deliver propaganda aimed at the German armed forces, the BDO merged with the NKFD. Although the NKFD operated in the Soviet Union and consisted partly of communists, it used conservative symbols and ideology.
The stated goal of the NKFD organisation was a return to the borders of 1937, the opening of negotiations for peace. It called for the preservation of the power of the Wehrmacht, the NKFD believed that German civilians and soldiers had to place the interests of the German nation above those of their Nazi leaders. As the war progressed and it increasingly clear that an anti-Nazi putsch would not occur. NKFD and BDO activity focused on propaganda and had their own newspaper and they sent leaflets to German soldiers at the front and POWs in the Soviet camps. Red Army Major Lev Kopelev described the joint psychological warfare at Grudziądz in March 1945 by the Red Army, General Walther von Seydlitz-Kurzbach offered to raise an anti-Hitler army from NKFD and BDO members to fight against the Nazis, but the Soviets did not accept this offer. Some NKFD members were attached to frontline Soviet units to interrogate German POWs, other NKFD members fought behind the German lines alongside Soviet partisan units.
Towards the very end of the war so-called Seydlitz-Troops were sent to the German lines in uniform with orders to blend in with the defenders, some rejoined their former comrades and others followed their orders. As the Red Army entered Germany, some NKFD members were appointed as officials in the government of the Soviet occupation zone. Freies Deutschland was the newspaper of the NKFD, published from 1943 to 1945. After the defeat of Nazi Germany, NKFD members mostly returned to the Soviet occupation zone in Germany and had a key role in building the German Democratic Republic. Some BDO members had a key role in building the National Peoples Army, anton Ackermann Wilhelm Adam Johannes R
Weimar Republic is an unofficial, historical designation for the German state between 1919 and 1933. The name derives from the city of Weimar, where its constitutional assembly first took place, the official name of the state was still Deutsches Reich, it had remained unchanged since 1871. In English the country was known simply as Germany. A national assembly was convened in Weimar, where a new constitution for the Deutsches Reich was written, in its fourteen years, the Weimar Republic faced numerous problems, including hyperinflation, political extremism, and contentious relationships with the victors of the First World War. The people of Germany blamed the Weimar Republic rather than their leaders for the countrys defeat. However, the Weimar Republic government successfully reformed the currency, unified tax policies, Weimar Germany eliminated most of the requirements of the Treaty of Versailles, it never completely met its disarmament requirements, and eventually paid only a small portion of the war reparations.
Under the Locarno Treaties, Germany accepted the borders of the republic. From 1930 onwards President Hindenburg used emergency powers to back Chancellors Heinrich Brüning, Franz von Papen, the Great Depression, exacerbated by Brünings policy of deflation, led to a surge in unemployment. In 1933, Hindenburg appointed Adolf Hitler as Chancellor with the Nazi Party being part of a coalition government, the Nazis held two out of the remaining ten cabinet seats. Von Papen as Vice Chancellor was intended to be the éminence grise who would keep Hitler under control, within months the Reichstag Fire Decree and the Enabling Act of 1933 had brought about a state of emergency, it wiped out constitutional governance and civil liberties. Hitlers seizure of power was permissive of government by decree without legislative participation and these events brought the republic to an end, as democracy collapsed, a single-party state founded the Nazi era. The Weimar Republic is so called because the assembly that adopted its constitution met at Weimar, Germany from 6 February 1919 to 11 August 1919, but this name only became mainstream after 1933.
To the right of the spectrum the politically engaged rejected the new democratic model, the Catholic Centre party, Zentrum favoured the term Deutscher Volksstaat while on the moderate left the Chancellors SPD preferred Deutsche Republik. Only during the 1930s did the term become mainstream, both within and outside Germany, after the introduction of the republic, the flag and coat of arms of Germany were officially altered to reflect the political changes. The Weimar Republic retained the Reichsadler, but without the symbols of the former Monarchy and this left the black eagle with one head, facing to the right, with open wings but closed feathers, with a red beak and claws and white highlighting. If the Reichs Eagle is shown without a frame, the charge and colors as those of the eagle of the Reichs coat of arms are to be used. The patterns kept by the Federal Ministry of the Interior are decisive for the heraldic design, the artistic design may be varied for each special purpose. The achievements and signs of movement were mostly done away with after its downfall
Propaganda is information, especially of a biased or misleading nature, used to promote a political cause or point of view. Propaganda is often associated with material prepared by governments, but activist groups, in the 2010s, the term propaganda is associated with a manipulative approach, but propaganda historically was a neutral descriptive term. Propaganda is a modern Latin word, the form of propagare, meaning to spread or to propagate. Originally this word derived from a new body of the Catholic church created in 1622, called the Congregatio de Propaganda Fide. Its activity was aimed at propagating the Catholic faith in non-Catholic countries, from the 1790s, the term began being used to refer to propaganda in secular activities. The term began taking a pejorative or negative connotation in the mid-19th century, primitive forms of propaganda have been a human activity as far back as reliable recorded evidence exists. The Behistun Inscription detailing the rise of Darius I to the Persian throne is viewed by most historians as an example of propaganda.
During the era of the American Revolution, the American colonies had a network of newspapers and printers who specialized in the topic on behalf of the Patriots. During the French Revolutionary and Napoleonic era, propaganda was widely used, abolitionists in Britain and the United States in the 19th century developed large, complex propaganda campaigns against slavery. The first large-scale and organised propagation of government propaganda was occasioned by the outbreak of war in 1914, after the defeat of Germany in the First World War, military officials such as Erich Ludendorff suggested that British propaganda had been instrumental in their defeat. Adolf Hitler came to echo this view, believing that it had been a cause of the collapse of morale. Later, the Nazis adapted many British propaganda techniques during their time in power, most propaganda in Germany was produced by the Ministry of Public Enlightenment and Propaganda. Joseph Goebbels was placed in charge of this ministry, the 1930s and 1940s, which saw the rise of totalitarian states and the Second World War, are arguably the Golden Age of Propaganda.
Leni Riefenstahl, a filmmaker working in Nazi Germany, created one of the propaganda movies. US war films in the early 1940s in the United States were designed to create a patriotic mindset, the West and the Soviet Union both used propaganda extensively during the Cold War. Both sides used film and radio programming to influence their own citizens, each other, george Orwells novels Animal Farm and Nineteen Eighty-Four are virtual textbooks on the use of propaganda. During the Cuban Revolution, Fidel Castro stressed the importance of propaganda, Propaganda was used extensively by Communist forces in the Vietnam War as means of controlling peoples opinions. During the Yugoslav wars, propaganda was used as a strategy by governments of Federal Republic of Yugoslavia and Croatia
The Demyansk Pocket was the name given to the pocket of German troops encircled by the Red Army around Demyansk, south of Leningrad, during World War II on the Eastern Front. The pocket existed mainly from 8 February to 21 April 1942, a much smaller force was surrounded in the Kholm Pocket at the town of Kholm, about 100 km to the southwest. Both resulted from the German retreat following their defeat during the Battle of Moscow, the successful defence of Demyansk, achieved through the use of an airbridge, was a significant development in modern warfare. Its success was a contributor to the decision by the Wehrmacht command to try the same tactic during the Battle of Stalingrad. The intention was to sever the link between the German Demyansk positions, and the Staraya Russa railway that formed the lines of communication of the German 16th Army. However, owing to the very difficult wooded and swampy terrain, and heavy snow cover, on 8 January, a new offensive called the Rzhev–Vyazma Strategic Offensive Operation started.
Their commander was General der Infanterie Walter Graf von Brockdorff-Ahlefeldt, commander of the II Army Corps, the first thrust was made by the 11th Army, 1st Shock Army and the 1st and 2nd Guards Rifle Corps released for the operation from Stavka reserve. The front soon settled as the Soviet offensive petered out due to difficult terrain, the pocket contained two viable airfields at Demyansk and Peski capable of receiving transport aircraft. However the operation did use up all of Luftflotte 1s transport capability, on 21 March 1942, German forces under the command of Generalleutnant Walther von Seydlitz-Kurzbach attempted to manoevre through the Ramushevo corridor. Soviet resistance on the Lovat River delayed II Corps attack until April 14, over the next several weeks, this corridor was widened. A battle group was able to break the siege on 22 April, out of the approximately 100,000 men trapped, there were 3,335 lost and over 10,000 wounded. The supplies were delivered through over 100 flights of whitewashed Junkers Ju 52 transport aircraft per day, the Luftwaffe lost 265 aircraft, including 106 Junkers Ju 52,17 Heinkel He 111 and two Junkers Ju 86 aircraft.
In addition,387 airmen were lost, fighting in the area continued until 28 February 1943. The Soviets did not liberate Demyansk until 1 March 1943, with the retreat of the German troops, the success of the Luftwaffe convinced Reichsmarschall Hermann Göring and Hitler that they could conduct effective airlift operations on the Eastern front. Furthermore, it determined Hitler in his belief that encircled troops should automatically hold on to their territory, despite the Stalingrad airlift, the Germans suffered a devastating defeat nonetheless. Stalingrad, The Air Battle, 1942-January 1943, «Наука»,1969 Институт военной истории Министерства Обороны СССР, под редакцией и с предисловием члена-корреспондента АН СССР генерал-лейтенанта П. Жилина, cоставил и подготовил сборник кандидат военных наук, доцент, Утенков, научно-техническая работа проведена подполковником В. The Ghosts of Demiansk, In Memory of the Soldiers of the Soviet 1st Airborne Corps, the Soviet-German War 1941-1945, Myths and Realities, A Survey Essay