Early in December 1941 German led Axis forces had driven to the gates of Moscow. However, the Red Army counter-attacked their overextended enemy. Soviet armies drove the Wehrmacht and its Axis allies back across the entirety of the front, and put the nail in Operation Barbarossa's coffin. Nevertheless, by early in January 1942 most of the initial Soviet counterstrokes had fizzled to a halt, and for good reason.
In just over six months of warfare the Soviet Union had lost control over 40 percent of its population, a third of its heavy industry, and staggering military losses reaching nearly 5
As we approach the 70th anniversary of the Warsaw Uprising I thought it would be appropriate to set the stage for the brave but doomed efforts of the Polish Resistance to free their city from Nazi occupation. Late in July of 1944 and as the Red Army approached Warsaw's outskirts it must have seemed as if the Soviet war machine was unstoppable. Alas, this would prove not to be true.
Even though much of the blame for the failure of the Polish Resistance to overcome their Nazi overlords must be placed at Stalin's feet (with his decision to not raise a finger to help the courageous resistance
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.
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.
Japan and the Soviet Union clashed repeatedly late in the 1930s most notably in 1938 near the Soviet port of Vladivostok, and then again in a massive battle in 1939 on the Soviet controlled Mongolian border at Khalkin Gol - Nomonhan. At Khalkin Gol the Red Army decisively defeated Japan, ultimately causing the Japanese to abandon plans for invading Siberia with up to 45 infantry divisions.
On March 4th Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov's 1st Ukrainian Front, including the 3rd Guards Tank Army and 4th Tank Army, attacked German Army Group South's left wing and forged numerous penetrations in German defensive lines already heavily weakened following the battle for the Korsun pocket.
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.
Throughout the winter of 1943-1944 Stavka maintained a relentless pace, consistently ordering up sequential offensives that never allowed the Germans to effectively regroup and build up reserves. In the late winter and early spring of 1944 the 1st, 2nd, 3rd and 4th Ukrainian Fronts, in opposition to German forces situated in the Western Ukraine, launched a massive series of offensives that would run along the breadth of the German defensive line south of the Pripet Marshes all the way to the Black Sea.
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.