During the spring of 1944 the Red Army finally began wrapping up its enormously expensive eight month campaign to evict German forces from the Ukraine. The linchpin of this effort came against Army Group South's left wing - defended by its First and Fourth Panzer Armies. On March 4th Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov's 1st Ukrainian Front, spearheaded by the 3rd Guards Tank Army and 4th Tank Army, attacked German Army Group South's left wing. Zhukov's men forged numerous penetrations in German defensive lines already heavily weakened following the battle for the Korsun pocket.
Early in 1943 the Red Army had launched a series of massive offensives across the breadth of the German Eastern Front. In particular, and as the German Sixth Army fought to its destruction at Stalingrad, multiple Soviet fronts, spearheaded by General N.F. Vatutin's Southwestern Front, surged across southern Russia. Meanwhile, Erich von Manstein, commanding the whole of the reconstituted German Army Group South, the former Army Groups A, B and Don, fell back before the Soviet advance and regrouped his armies.
Soviet General Cherniakhovsky’s 60th Army, part of Golikov’s Voronezh Front, took
On November 23,1942, and following the November 19, 1942 beginning of Operation Uranus, the spearheads from the Soviet Southwest and Stalingrad fronts, met at Kalach to Stalingrad’s west. They had cut off the entire German 6th Army and part of the 4th Panzer Army in a massive pocket. Following a belated and thwarted German relief effort the final role for the formerly proud and merciless 6th Army was to tie down the Soviet armies around Stalingrad as German Army Group A completed its withdrawal from the Caucusus.