Armoured warfare, mechanised warfare or tank warfare is the use of armoured fighting vehicles in modern warfare. It is a component of modern methods of war. The premise of armoured warfare rests on the ability of troops to penetrate defensive lines through use of manoeuvre by armoured units. Under these conditions, any sort of advance was very slow. Tanks were first developed in Britain and France in 1915, as a way of navigating the barbed wire, British Mark I tanks first went to action at the Somme, on 15 September 1916, but did not manage to break the deadlock of trench warfare. The first French employment on 16 April 1917, of the Schneider CA, was a failure, in the Battle of Cambrai British tanks were more successful, and broke a German trenchline system, the Hindenburg Line. Despite the generally unpromising beginnings, the military and political leadership in both Britain and France during 1917 backed large investments into armoured vehicle production and this led to a sharp increase in the number of available tanks for 1918.
The German Empire to the contrary, produced only a few tanks, twenty German A7V tanks were produced during the entire conflict, compared to over 4,400 French and over 2,500 British tanks of various kinds. Tactically, the deployment of armour during the war was typified by an emphasis on direct infantry support. The tanks main tasks were seen as crushing barbed wire and destroying machine-gun nests, theoretical debate largely focussed on the question whether a swarm of light tanks should be used for this or a limited number of potent heavy vehicles. Though in the Battle of Cambrai a large concentration of British heavy tanks effected a breakthrough, the manoeuvrability of the tank should at least in theory regain armies the ability to flank enemy lines. Following the First World War, the technical and doctrinal aspects of armoured warfare became more sophisticated and diverged into multiple schools of doctrinal thought, during the 1920s, only very few tanks were produced. There were however, important theoretical and technical developments, various British and French commanders who had contributed to the origin of the tank, such as Jean Baptiste Eugène Estienne, B. H.
Liddell Hart and J. F. C. Fuller, theorised about a future use of independent armoured forces, containing a large concentration of tanks. Especially Liddell Hart wrote many books about the subject, partly propagating Fullers theories, such doctrines were faced with the reality that during the 1920s the armoured vehicles, as early road transport in general, were extremely unreliable, and could not be used in sustained operations. Mainstream thought on the subject was more conservative and tried to integrate armoured vehicles into the infantry and cavalry organisation. To save weight, such designs had thin armour plating and this inspired fitting small-calibre high-velocity guns in turrets, J. Collins, after Fuller refused the function. The unit carried out operations on Salisbury Plain and was observed by the major nations, the United States, Germany
Walther Nehring was a German general in the Wehrmacht during World War II who commanded the Afrika Korps. Nehring was born on 15 August 1892 in Stretzin district of West Prussia, Nehring was the descendant of a Dutch family who had fled the Netherlands to escape religious persecution in the seventeenth century. His father, Emil Nehring, was an owner and officer of the Military Reserve. While Nehring was still a child the family moved to Danzig, Nehring joined the military service on 16 September 1911 in the Infanterie-Regiment 152. He became a commissioned Leutnant on 18 December 1913, between November and December 1942, he commanded the German contingent in Tunisia. After North Africa, Nehring was posted to the Eastern Front where he commanded first the XXIV Panzer Corps, Nehring returned to the XXIV in August 1944 and led the Corps until in March 1945 when he was made commander of the 1st Panzer Army. During 1944 he was the officer of the XXXXVIII Panzer Corps. Following the end of the war, Nehring wrote a history of the German panzer forces from 1916 to 1945.
He wrote the foreword to Len Deightons Blitzkrieg, From the Rise of Hitler to the Fall of Dunkirk, panzer-Division 383rd Oak Leaves on 8 February 1944 as General der Panzertruppe and commanding general of the XXIV. Panzerkorps 124th Swords on 22 January 1945 as General der Panzertruppe and commanding general of the XXIV
A corps is a military unit usually consisting of several divisions. Some military service branches are called corps, such as the Military Police Corps, Royal Logistic Corps, Quartermaster Corps, a few civilian organizations use the name corps to imply a similar service level, such as the Peace Corps. In many armies, a corps is a formation composed of two or more divisions, and typically commanded by a lieutenant general. During World War I and World War II, due to the scale of combat. In Western armies with numbered corps, the number is indicated in Roman numerals. II Corps was formed, with Militia units, to defend south-eastern Australia, sub-corps formations controlled Allied land forces in the remainder of Australia. I Corps headquarters was assigned control of the New Guinea campaign. In early 1945, when I Corps was assigned the task of re-taking Borneo, the Canadian Corps consisted of four Canadian divisions. After the Armistice, the peacetime Canadian militia was organized into corps and divisions.
Early in the Second World War, Canadas contribution to the British-French forces fighting the Germans was limited to a single division, after the fall of France in June 1940, a second division moved to England, coming under command of a Canadian corps headquarters. This corps was renamed I Canadian Corps as a corps headquarters was established in the UK. I Canadian Corps eventually fought in Italy, II Canadian Corps in NW Europe, after the formations were disbanded after VE Day, Canada has never subsequently organized a Corps headquarters. The Chinese Republic had 133 Corps during the Second Sino-Japanese War, the Corps became the basic tactical unit of the NRA having strength nearly equivalent to an allied Division. The French Army under Napoleon used corps-sized formations as the first formal combined-arms groupings of divisions with reasonably stable manning, Napoleon first used the Corps dArmée in 1805. The use of the Corps dArmée was an innovation that provided Napoleon with a significant battlefield advantage in the early phases of the Napoleonic Wars.
The Corps was designed to be an independent military group containing cavalry and infantry and this allowed Napoleon to mass the bulk of his forces to effect a penetration into a weak section of enemy lines without risking his own communications or flank. This innovation stimulated other European powers to adopt similar military structures, the Corps has remained an echelon of French Army organization to the modern day. As fixed military formation already in peace-time it was used almost in all European armies after Battle of Ulm in 1805, in Prussia it was introduced by Order of His Majesty from November 5,1816, in order to strengthen the readiness to war
1st Panzer Army
The 1st Panzer Army was a German tank army which was a large armoured formation of the Wehrmacht during World War II. When originally formed on 1 March 1940, the 1st Panzer Army was named Panzer Group Kleist with Colonel General Ewald von Kleist in command, Panzer Group Kleist was the first operational formation of several Panzer corps in the Wehrmacht. Created for the Battle of France on 1 March 1940, it was named after its commander Ewald von Kleist, after the successful invasion it was deployed in occupied France, being renamed into Panzer Group 1 in November. In April 1941, Panzer Group 1 took part in the invasion of Yugoslavia as part of Field Marshal Maximilian von Weichss Second Army. In May 1941, Panzer Group Kleist became Panzer Group 1, at the start of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, Panzer Group 1 included the III, XIV and XLVIII Army Corps with five panzer divisions and four motorized divisions equipped with 799 tanks. Panzer Group 1 served on the sector of the Eastern Front against the Red Army and was involved the Battle of Brody which involved as many as 1,000 Red Army tanks.
On October 6,1941, Panzer Group 1 was enlarged to the 1st Panzer Army following the fall of Kiev, the army captured Rostov, but was forced to retreat eight days later. In January 1942, Army Group Kleist, which consisted of the First Panzer Army along with the Seventeenth Army, was formed with its namesake, Army Group Kleist played a major role in repulsing the Red Army attack in the Second Battle of Kharkov in May 1942. Army Group Kleist was disbanded that month, the First Panzer Army, still under Kleist, which had been attached to Army Group South earlier, became part of Army Group A under Field Marshal Wilhelm List. Army Group A was to lead the thrust into the Caucasus during Operation Blue and capture Grozny, the First Panzer Army was to spearhead the attack. An initially successful attack was led, with Rostov, Krasnodar, however, in September 1942, Army Group As offensive was stalled in the Caucasus, and List was sacked. After Adolf Hitler briefly took control of Army Group A. As Kleist took command of Army Group A, Colonel-General Eberhard von Mackensen took the reins of the First Panzer Army.
In December 1942, as the German Sixth Army was already being crushed in the Battle of Stalingrad, the First Panzer Army was ordered to evacuate through Rostov in January 1943, before the Soviet forces could cut it off in the Kuban. By February 1943 it had been withdrawn west of the Don River, in January 1943, von Mackensens First Panzer Army became attached to Army Group Don under Field Marshal Erich von Manstein. The month after that, von Manstein redeployed the First Panzer Army together with the Fourth Panzer Army to counter-attack Soviet penetrations along his northern flank, the First Panzer Army contributed to the success of the Third Battle of Kharkov in March 1943. In October 1943 Soviet forces crossed the Dnieper River between Dnipropetrovsk and Kremenchug, the First Panzer Army counter-attacked along with the 8th Army, but failed to dislodge the Soviet forces. At the end of month, as the Red Army closed in on Kiev
Heinrich Eberbach was a General der Panzertruppe in the Wehrmacht during World War II. He was a recipient of the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross with Oak Leaves, heinrich Eberbach was born on 24 November 1895 in Stuttgart, the German Empire. Eberbach graduated with his Abitur on 30 June 1914, on 1 July 1914, Eberbach joined the Army of Württemberg. With the outbreak of World War I, Eberbachs unit was deployed on the Western Front, on 16 October 1914, Eberbach was wounded in his thigh by artillery shrapnel. In September 1915, Eberbach was severely wounded, losing his nose, during the 1920s Eberbach was a police officer, in 1935 he joined the Wehrmacht. In 1938 Eberbach became commander of a Panzer regiment, in the newly formed 4th Panzer Division under Generalmajor Georg-Hans Reinhardt, Eberbach participated in the German Invasion of Poland in September 1939 and in 1940 in the Battle of France. His unit supported General Manteuffels offensive across the Meuse River in May, shortly after the start of Operation Barbarossa in June 1941, he was assigned as commander of the 5th Panzer Brigade in Leo Geyr von Schweppenburgs XXIV Panzer Corps.
During Operation Typhoon, Eberbach spearheaded Panzer Group 2s offensive towards Moscow as the commander of a combined-arms kampfgruppe within the 4th Panzer Division, Kampfgruppe Eberbachs losses had been light,6 tanks knocked out,34 men killed and 121 wounded. This was a price to pay for the complete rupturing of the Soviet lines. 4th Panzer division had captured 1,600 Soviet troops, in March 1942 he was made commander of the 4th Panzer Division, in the German lines opposite the Russian town of Sukhinichi, roughly 120 miles west of Tula. In late November 1942 Eberbach was appointed commander of the XLVIII Panzer Corps that had just been overrun in the days of Operation Uranus. Eberbach was soon wounded and evacuated, remaining hospitalized until February and he became Inspector of the Armored Troops in the Home Army, was awarded the Knights Cross of the Iron Cross and promoted to Lieutenant General. In November 1943 Eberbach became commander of troops around Nikopol and fought in battles around Zhitomir in the Soviet Union, in early 1944 Eberbach was promoted to the rank of General der Panzertruppe.
During the Normandy invasion, he fought against the British landings along the Juno, on 2 July he took command of Panzer Group West when Leo Geyr von Schweppenburg was wounded. On 9 August, this force was divided, with 5th Panzer Army retreating with the most damaged units, Eberbach was directed to lead this force in the counterattack through Mortain toward Avranches that was intended to cut off the Allied forces which had broken out of Normandy. According to Eberbachs post-war memoirs, he had no confidence in the attack, when General Warlimont of OKW arrived at his HQ on 1 August to get a closer look at the situation, Eberbach told him that the only possible solution was an immediate retreat to the Seine-Yonne line. However, Warlimont denied Eberbachs request to withdraw, and instead confirmed the order to attack, the attack failed, and most of Panzergruppe Eberbach and 7th Army was surrounded and destroyed in the Falaise Pocket. Eberbach escaped and was given command of the remnants of 7th Army on 21 August, on 31 August while out on a reconnaissance patrol, Eberbach was captured by British troops at Amiens
The Elbe is one of the major rivers of Central Europe. It rises in the Krkonoše Mountains of the northern Czech Republic before traversing much of Bohemia and its total length is 1,094 kilometres. The Elbes major tributaries include the rivers Vltava, Havel, Schwarze Elster, the Elbe river basin, comprising the Elbe and its tributaries, has a catchment area of 148,268 square kilometres, the fourth largest in Europe. The basin spans four countries, with its largest parts in Germany, much smaller parts lie in Austria and Poland. The basin is inhabited by 24.5 million people, the Elbe rises at an elevation of about 1,400 metres in the Krkonoše on the northwest borders of the Czech Republic near Labská bouda. Of the numerous small streams whose waters compose the infant river, here the Elbe enters the vast vale named Polabí, and continues on southwards through Hradec Králové and to Pardubice, where it turns sharply to the west. At Kolín some 43 kilometres further on, it bends gradually towards the north-west, at the village of Káraný, a little above Brandýs nad Labem, it picks up the Jizera.
At Mělník its stream is more than doubled in volume by the Vltava, or Moldau, upstream from the confluence the Vltava is in fact much longer, and has a greater discharge and a larger drainage basin. Some distance lower down, at Litoměřice, the waters of the Elbe are tinted by the reddish Ohře, in its northern section both banks of the Elbe are characterised by flat, very fertile marshlands, former flood plains of the Elbe now diked. At Magdeburg there is a viaduct, the Magdeburg Water Bridge, from the sluice of Geesthacht on downstream the Elbe is subject to the tides, the tidal Elbe section is called the Low Elbe. Within the city-state the Unterelbe has a number of streams, such as Dove Elbe, Gose Elbe, Köhlbrand, Northern Elbe, Reiherstieg. Some of which have been disconnected for vessels from the stream by dikes. In 1390 the Gose Elbe was separated from the stream by a dike connecting the two then-islands of Kirchwerder and Neuengamme. The Dove Elbe was diked off in 1437/38 at Gammer Ort and these hydraulic engineering works were carried out to protect marshlands from inundation, and to improve the water supply of the Port of Hamburg.
The Northern Elbe passes the Elbe Philharmonic Hall and is crossed under by the old Elbe Tunnel, a bit more downstream the Low Elbes two main anabranches Northern Elbe and the Köhlbrand reunite south of Altona-Altstadt, a locality of Hamburg. Right after both anabranches reunited the Low Elbe is passed under by the New Elbe Tunnel, the last structural road link crossing the river before the North Sea. At the bay Mühlenberger Loch in Hamburg at kilometre 634, the Northern Elbe and the Southern Elbe used to reunite, leaving the city-state the Lower Elbe passes between Holstein and the Elbe-Weser Triangle with Stade until it flows into the North Sea at Cuxhaven. Near its mouth it passes the entrance to the Kiel Canal at Brunsbüttel before it debouches into the North Sea, the Elbe has been navigable by commercial vessels since 1842, and provides important trade links as far inland as Prague
Western Front (World War II)
The Western Front of the European theatre of World War II encompassed Denmark, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, France and Germany. World War II military engagements in Southern Europe and elsewhere are generally considered under separate headings, the Western Front was marked by two phases of large-scale combat operations. The second phase consisted of ground combat, which began in June 1944 with the Allied landings in Normandy. The Phoney War was a phase of World War II marked by a few military operations in Continental Europe in the months following the German invasion of Poland. Although the great powers of Europe had declared war on one another, neither side had yet committed to launching a significant attack and this was the period in which The United Kingdom and France did not supply significant aid to Poland, despite their pledged alliance. While most of the German Army was fighting against Poland, a much smaller German force manned the Siegfried Line, there were only some local, minor skirmishes.
The British Royal Air Force dropped propaganda leaflets on Germany and the first Canadian troops stepped ashore in Britain, while Western Europe was in a strange calm for seven months. In their hurry to re-arm and France had both begun to buy large numbers of weapons manufacturers in the United States at the outbreak of hostilities. The non-belligerent United States, contributed to the Western Allies by discounted sales of military equipment, German efforts to interdict the Allies trans-Atlantic trade at sea ignited the Battle of the Atlantic. However, when the Allies made a counter-landing in Norway following the German invasion, the Kriegsmarine, suffered very heavy losses during the two-months of fighting required to seize all of mainland Norway. In May 1940, the Germans launched the Battle of France, the Western Allies soon collapsed under the onslaught of the so-called blitzkrieg strategy. The majority of the British and elements of the French forces escaped at Dunkirk, with the fighting ended, the Germans began to consider ways of resolving the question of how to deal with Britain.
If the British refused to agree to a treaty, one option was to invade. However, Nazi Germanys Kriegsmarine, had suffered losses in Norway. With the Luftwaffe unable to defeat the RAF in the Battle of Britain and these were built in anticipation of an Allied invasion of France. Because of the massive logistical obstacles a cross-channel invasion would face, on 19 August 1942, the Allies began the Dieppe Raid, an attack on Dieppe, France. Most of the troops were Canadian, with some British contingents, the raid was a disaster, almost two-thirds of the attacking force became casualties. However, much was learned as a result of the operation – these lessons would be put to use in the subsequent invasion
Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist
Following the war, he was extradited to the Soviet Union and was convicted of war crimes, he died in prison. In April 1941, Kleist commanded the 1st Panzer Group, comprising III, XIV and XLVIII Panzer Corps and XXIX Infantry Corps, with this formation he participated in the subsequent Operation Barbarossa as part of Army Group South. In 1942, Kleist was sent to troops in the Caucasus in order to capture important oil wells in the area. On 22 November 1942, he was placed in command of Army Group A and he was promoted to field marshal in 1943. He was relieved of his command in March 1944, Kleist was taken prisoner by U. S. forces in 1945, and was sent to Yugoslavia to face war crimes charges in 1946. In 1948 he was extradited to the Soviet Union where he was given a 10-year sentence in 1952 for war crimes and he died in the Vladimir Central Prison in 1954, the highest ranked German officer to die in Soviet captivity. Herausgegeben und eingeleitet von Robert Gellately, artemis und Winkler, Düsseldorf / Zürich 2005, ISBN 3-538-07217-5.
The Lesser Terror, Soviet State Security, 1939–1953, die Eichenlaubträger 1939–1945 Band 1, A–K
Battle of Brody (1941)
It is known in Soviet historiography as a part of the border defensive battles. Although the Red Army formations inflicted heavy losses on the German forces, 1st Panzer Group, led by Generaloberst Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist, was ordered to secure the Bug River crossings and advance to Rovno and Korosten with the strategic objective of Kiev. It deployed two Corps forward and advanced between Lviv and Rovno in an attempt to cut the Lviv–Kiev railway line, thus driving a wedge along junction point between the Soviet 5th and 6th Armies. The Southwestern Front, under the command of General Mikhail Kirponos, had received intelligence on the size. They were surprised when Stavka ordered a general counter-attack under the title of Directive No.3 on the authority of Chief of General Staff Georgy Zhukov, most of the headquarters staff were convinced that the strategy would be to remain in a defensive posture until the situation clarified. The general orders of Directive No, six Soviet mechanized corps, with over 2,500 tanks, were massed to take part in a concentric counter-attack through the flanks of Panzer Group 1.
To achieve this, the 8th Mechanized Corps was transferred from the command of the 26th Army, positioned to the south of the 6th Army and this essentially brought all the mobile assets of the Southwestern Front to bear against the base of von Kleists thrust toward Kiev. The primary German infantry formation operating on this sector of the front, at the beginning of Operation Barbarossa, German armor was composed of a mix of Czech and German tanks, as well as small numbers of captured French and British tanks. Furthermore, nearly 50% of the tanks deployed by the Wehrmacht were the virtually obsolete Panzer I, of the 4000 armored vehicles available to the Wehrmacht, only 1400 were the new Panzer III and Panzer IV. In the first few hours of the invasion, German commanders were shocked to find that some Soviet tanks were immune to all anti tank weapons in use by the Wehrmacht, during pre-war exercises, Heinz Guderian noted that on their own, tanks were very vulnerable to infantry. While dispersing tanks among infantry formations solved many of the tanks weaknesses, at the beginning of June, the Red Army included over 19,000 tanks in their inventory, most of them light tanks such as the T-26 or BT-7.
The front armor of the T-26 was just 15mm thick, the poor design of Soviet shells meant that most rounds shattered on contact, rather than detonating. During the interwar years, far sighted military theorists such as Mikhail Tukhachevsky came to conclusions as Heinz Guderian regarding tanks in modern warfare. However, during the Great Purge Tukhachevsky was executed, Red Army tanks were dispersed widely throughout infantry divisions in the 1930s. Then came the shock of the Fall of France, however, by June 1941 this process was barely half complete, so many of the 10,000 tanks in the Red Army arsenal were still dispersed among infantry divisions on the eve of the invasion. This ensured that if the Red Army had a unified command. At full strength, a German Panzer Division was a formation with between 150 and 200 tanks, motorized infantry, motorized artillery, and motorized engineers. To support its logistical needs, each division included 2000 trucks
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 Commissar Order was an order issued by the German High Command on 6 June 1941 before Operation Barbarossa. Its official name was Guidelines for the Treatment of Political Commissars and it instructed the Wehrmacht that any Soviet political commissar identified among captured troops be summarily executed as an enforcer of the Judeo-Bolshevism ideology in military forces. According to the order, all prisoners who could be identified as thoroughly bolshevized or as active representatives of the Bolshevist ideology should be killed. Planning for Operation Barbarossa began in June 1940, on March 3,1941 Hitler explained to his closest military advisers how the war of annihilation was to be waged. Hitler declared, The intelligentsia established by Stalin must be exterminated, the most brutal violence is to be used in the Great Russian Empire. On March 30, Hitler addressed over 200 senior officers in the Reich Chancellery, among those present was Halder, who recorded the key points of the speech.
He argued that the war against the Soviet Union cannot be conducted in a knightly fashion because it was a war of ideologies and he further declared that the commissars had to be liquidated without mercy because they were the bearers of ideologies directly opposed to National Socialism. Hitler was well aware that this order was illegal, but personally absolved in advance any soldiers who violated international law in enforcing this order and he erroneously claimed that the Hague Conventions of 1899 and 1907 did not apply since the Soviets hadnt signed them. In fact, Russia had signed both conventions, the paragraph in which General Müller called for Army commanders to prevent excesses was removed on the request of the OKW. Brauchitsch amended the order on 24 May 1941 by attaching Müllers paragraph, the final draft of the order was issued by OKW on 6 June 1941 and was restricted only to the most senior commanders, who were instructed to inform their subordinates verbally. The vast majority of the Wehrmacht officers and soldiers tended to regard the war in Nazi terms, the enforcement of the Commissar Order led to thousands of executions.
Every German general enforced the Commissar Order, erich von Manstein passed on the Commissar Order to his subordinates, who executed all the captured commissars, something that he was convicted of by a British court in 1949. After the war, Manstein lied about disobeying the Commissar Order, saying he had opposed to the order. When the Commissar Order became known among the Red Army, it delayed or prohibited surrender to the Wehrmacht and this unwanted effect was cited in German appeals to Hitler, who finally cancelled the Commissar Order after one year, on 6 May 1942. Commando Order Severity Order Nazi crimes against Soviet POWs German High Command orders for Treatment of Soviet Prisoners of War Burleigh, 1st ed. Cambridge, Cambridge University Press,1997. Jürgen Förster, Das Unternehmen Barbarossa als Eroberungs- und Vernichtungskrieg, in, Germany and the Second World War. The German Militarys Image of Russia, Alex J. Exploitation, Mass Murder, Political And Economic Planning for German Occupation Policy in the Soviet Union, 1940-1941.
Helmut Krausnick, Kommissarbefehl und Gerichtsbarkeitserlass Barbarossa in neuer Sicht, In, reinhard Otto, Gestapo und sowjetische Kriegsgefangene im deutschen Reichsgebiet 1941/42
Berdychiv is a historic city in the Zhytomyr Oblast of northern Ukraine. Serving as the center of the Berdychiv Raion, the city itself is of direct oblast subordinance. It is located 44 km south of the oblast capital, however the etymology of the name Berdychiv is not known. In 1483, Crimean Tatars destroyed the settlement, during the 1546 partition between Lithuania and Poland, the region was listed as a property of Lithuanian magnate. According to the Union of Lublin, Volhynia formed a province of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the fortified Carmelite monastery and plundered by Bohdan Khmelnytsky in 1647, was dissolved in 1864. In 1764, Kazimierz Pulaski defended the city with his 700 men surrounded by army during Bar Confederation. The town underwent rapid development after king Stanisław August Poniatowski, under pressure from the powerful Radziwiłł family and this made Berdychiv one of the most important trading and banking centers in the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, and later, the Russian Empire.
At the time, the saying Pisz na Berdyczów, because of the phrase being used in a popular poem by Juliusz Słowacki, Pisz na Berdyczów. Acquired a second meaning as a brush-off, send me a letter to nowhere or leave me alone, the banking industry was moved from Berdychiv to Odessa after 1850, and the town became impoverished again in a short period of time. In 1846, the town had 1893 buildings,69 of which were brick-made,11 streets,80 alleys, honoré de Balzac visited it in 1850 and noted that its unplanned development made it resemble the dance of a polka as some buildings leaned left while others leaned right. According to the census of 1789, the Jews constituted 75% of Berdychivs population, in 1797, Prince Radziwill granted seven Jewish families the monopoly privilege of the cloth trade in the town. By the end of the 18th century, Berdychiv became an important center of Hasidism, in its heyday, Berdychiv accounted some eighty synagogues and batei midrash, and was famous for its cantors. Berdychiv was one of the centers of the conflict between Hasidim and Mitnagdim, as the ideas of Haskalah influenced parts of the Jewish communities, a large group of Maskilim formed in Berdychiv in the 1820s.
In 1847,23,160 Jews resided in Berdychiv and by 1861 the number doubled to 46,683, constituting the second-largest Jewish community in the Russian Empire. The May Laws of 1882 and other government persecutions affected Jewish population and in 1897, 58% of Jewish males and 32% of Jewish females were literate. Until World War I, the growth was balanced by the emigration. During the 1917 October Revolution and Russian Civil War, the mayor of the town was the Bundist leader D. Lipets. In early 1919, the Jews of Berdychiv became victims of a pogrom, and in 1920, the Soviet authorities closed or destroyed most of the towns synagogues