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Southwestern Front

The State of the Red Army on June 22, 1941

on Wed, 11/22/2017 - 21:28

When Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941 Hitler's minions confronted a Soviet military establishment very much in flux. On the one hand, the Red Army was huge - having added four million men to its ranks in the previous three years. On the other hand, Stalin's purges had greatly undermined the doctrinal and leadership basis that had put the Red Army on the path to perhaps being Europe's preeminent military force by the end of the 1930s. In addition to suffering shortages of experienced, well trained officers the Red Army had, much like the Wehrmacht, armed in breadth but not depth.

Manstein's February 1943 Backhand Blow

on Fri, 02/17/2012 - 15:29

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