On the morning of 7 May 1945 and as the Third Reich collapsed, soldiers of Combat Command A (CCA), U.S. 9th Armored Division mounted up their vehicles and resumed their advance eastward further into north-western Czechoslovakia. Temporarily attached to the 1st Infantry Division, CCA’s mission was to liberate the Czech city of Karlovy Vary. CCA’s task forces rolled forward against negligible German resistance. Nevertheless, after only a couple hours, higher headquarters radioed orders for CCA to halt its forces in place.
Tomorrow is the 70th Anniversary of the Soviet counterattack before Moscow that put the final nail in Barbarossa' s coffin. Though the grossly overextended German army in the Soviet Union had long since been ground down to a fraction of its strength from six months prior; this counterstroke would do tremendous damage to a Wehrmacht badly positioned for defending against a strategic level counter offensive.
In mid-November 1941 Field Marshal Fedor von Bock's Army Group Center began the final phase of the German assault on Moscow spearheaded by the Third Panzer Army and Fourth Panzer Army. Some 233,000 men, 1,300 tanks, 1,880 guns and 800 aircraft efficiently split Rokossovsky's 16th Army and Leliushenko's 30th Army as the Germans hammered away at a similar number of Russian men and aircraft but far less guns and tanks; the Russian defenders could only put 1,254 guns and 502 tanks into the field.
The 1941-45 war fought between Germany and Russia ranks as the bloodiest war fought in human history. Yet, in spite of this historically significant and horrific distinction, modern descriptions of the war often remain grounded in myth or distortion.