325th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)
The 325th Rifle Division was formed in September 1941, as a standard Red Army rifle division, made up of older reservists and young men with no prewar training. As with many other divisions in the 320-330 series it was flung into the fighting west of Moscow in the 10th Army to defend the capital and to take part in the winter counteroffensive. After a year on a quiet sector the division rejoined the fighting in the late winter of 1943 distinguishing itself sufficiently to be redesignated as the 90th Guards Rifle Division. After disappearing from the Soviet order of battle for more than a year a new division was formed in the spring of 1944, based on a cadre of two distinguished rifle brigades, gave creditable service for the duration, completing its combat path in East Prussia; the division first formed on September 1941 at Morshansk in the Oryol Military District. Col. Nikolai Boleslavovich Ibianskii was appointed to command on the same day and he would lead the division through its entire 1st formation, being promoted to Major General on July 21, 1942.
Its basic order of battle was as follows: 1092nd Rifle Regiment 1094th Rifle Regiment 1096th Rifle Regiment 893rd Artillery RegimentThe division formed in the eastern part of the Oryol District. It was still short of all sorts of basic equipment when it was assigned to 10th Army in the Reserve of the Supreme High Command in October. Short or not, it went into battle with 10th Army in early December on the southern flank of Western Front. At this time it was still noted as having insufficient weaponry, including antitank guns and machine guns, lacked communications equipment and transport. By December 5, just prior to the start of the Soviet counteroffensive, the 325th was at Spassk-Ryazansky when it received a directive from STAVKA, along with the rest of 10th Army to attack the next day in the direction of Mikhailov and Stalinogorsk. By December 7 the division was fighting along a line from Pecherniki to Berezovo; as the advance unfolded the Army's left-flank divisions, including the 325th, tended to lag, forcing Western Front headquarters to demand that the pace be increased.
On the morning of December 14 the division had concentrated in the area of Yepifan. The advance continued that day, by December 26 the division was moving tho the line Kurakovo - Temryan behind the 322nd Rifle Division, beginning the fight for Belyov, one of the Army's key objectives. On December 28 the 325th and 326th were in 10th Army's second echelon in the Boloto - Gorodnya - Kalinovka area; the following day the division was ordered to begin advancing to reach the Kozelsk area and concentrated there by the 30th. As the advance continued the new objective became Mosalsk. 1st Guards Cavalry Corps was directed there on January 8, 1942, overnight liberated the town with the help of the 325th, subordinated to that Corps. The intention was to continue to advance on Vyasma after regrouping. By the end of January 11 the division had reached Aleksino - Rodnya, 4 km north of Mosalsk. On January 14 the cavalry cut the Minsk - Warsaw highway in the Lyudkovo - Solovevka area, while the 325th covered the Corps operations by defending the line Aleksino - Vysokoe - Khotibino - Pyshkino, but by now German Army Group Center was receiving reinforcements from the west and its air support was growing stronger.
The fighting for the highway went on until January 29, although the cavalry continued to advance, the 325th did not, Vyasma remained in enemy hands. In February 1942, the division was transferred to 50th Army, still in Western Front, just to the north, it remained on this quiet sector until February 1943. Meanwhile, Col.-Gen. K. K. Rokossovsky's Don Front, having crushed the German 6th Army at Stalingrad in Operation Koltso, was moving north. On February 15 these forces, with additions, were re-designated as Central Front. One of the additions was the 325th, transferred to 21st Army within that Front; this redeployment ran into many difficulties with regard to transportation in mid-winter, it wasn't until mid-March that this Army was in a position to begin to advance. The intention of the STAVKA was that 21st Army would take part in an offensive to destroy the German forces in the salient around Oryol, liberate Bryansk, advance into the rear of Army Group Center. In the event this operation failed to reach these ambitious objectives, but the 325th scored some successful tactical actions in its course, so when the 21st Army became the 6th Guards Army in April, the 325th was re-designated as the 90th Guards Rifle Division on April 18.
After an absence of over a year from the Red Army order of battle, a new 325th Rifle Division was formed on May 7, 1944, in the 22nd Army of 2nd Baltic Front, based on cadres from the 23rd Rifle Brigade and the 54th Rifle Brigade. This brigade, based on training and reserve units in the Kharkov Military District, began forming in October 1941. Uniquely among Red Army rifle brigades the rifle battalions kept their pre-war reserve battalion numbers. In November the brigade was evacuated to the Stalingrad area ahead of the German advance. After completing its training and equipment it was railed far to the north, where it was assigned to the 2nd Shock Army in Volkhov Front in December; the 23rd took part in the Lyuban Offensive Operation in January 1942. As of January 27 it was part of Operational Group Zhiltsov with two other rifle brigades with orders "to liquidate the enemy in the Zemtitsy and Liubtsy region and sever the Leningrad - Novgorod rail line..." By March it was trapped in the Volkhov Pocket, took various units
Battle of Moscow
The Battle of Moscow was a military campaign that consisted of two periods of strategically significant fighting on a 600 km sector of the Eastern Front during World War II. It took place between October 1941 and January 1942; the Soviet defensive effort frustrated Hitler's attack on Moscow, the capital and largest city of the Soviet Union. Moscow was one of the primary military and political objectives for Axis forces in their invasion of the Soviet Union; the German strategic offensive, named Operation Typhoon, called for two pincer offensives, one to the north of Moscow against the Kalinin Front by the 3rd and 4th Panzer Armies severing the Moscow–Leningrad railway, another to the south of Moscow Oblast against the Western Front south of Tula, by the 2nd Panzer Army, while the 4th Army advanced directly towards Moscow from the west. According to Andrew Roberts, Hitler's offensive towards the Soviet capital was nothing less than an'all-out attack': "It is no exaggeration to state that the outcome of the Second World War hung in the balance during this massive attack".
The Soviet forces conducted a strategic defence of the Moscow Oblast by constructing three defensive belts, deploying newly raised reserve armies, bringing troops from the Siberian and Far Eastern Military Districts. As the German offensives were halted, a Soviet strategic counter-offensive and smaller-scale offensive operations forced the German armies back to the positions around the cities of Oryol and Vitebsk, nearly surrounded three German armies, it was a major setback for the Germans, the end of the idea of a fast German victory in the USSR. Field Marshal Walther von Brauchitsch was excused as commander of OKH, with Hitler appointing himself as Germany's supreme military commander. Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion plan, called for the capture of Moscow within four months. On 22 June 1941, Axis forces invaded the Soviet Union, destroyed most of the Soviet Air Force on the ground, advanced deep into Soviet territory using blitzkrieg tactics to destroy entire Soviet armies; the German Army Group North moved towards Leningrad, Army Group South took control of Ukraine, Army Group Centre advanced towards Moscow.
By July 1941, Army Group Center crossed the Dnieper River, on the path to Moscow. In July 1941, German forces captured an important stronghold on the road to Moscow. At this stage, although Moscow was vulnerable, an offensive against the city would have exposed the German flanks. In part to address these risks, in part to attempt to secure Ukraine's food and mineral resources, Hitler ordered the attack to turn north and south and eliminate Soviet forces at Leningrad and Kiev; this delayed the German advance on Moscow. When that advance resumed on 30 September 1941, German forces had been weakened, while the Soviets had raised new forces for the defence of the city. For Hitler, the Soviet capital was secondary, he believed the only way to bring the Soviet Union to its knees was to defeat it economically, he felt. When Walther von Brauchitsch, Commander-in-Chief of the Army, supported a direct thrust to Moscow, he was told that "only ossified brains could think of such an idea". Franz Halder, head of the Army General Staff, was convinced that a drive to seize Moscow would be victorious after the German Army inflicted enough damage on the Soviet forces.
This view was shared by most within the German high command. But Hitler overruled his generals in favor of pocketing the Soviet forces around Kiev in the south, followed by the seizure of Ukraine; the move was successful, resulting in the loss of nearly 1,000,000 Red Army personnel killed, captured, or wounded by 26 September, further advances by Axis forces. With the end of summer, Hitler redirected his attention to Moscow and assigned Army Group Center to this task; the forces committed to Operation Typhoon included four infantry armies supported by three Panzer Groups and by the Luftwaffe's Luftflotte 2. Up to two million German troops were committed to the operation, along with 1,000–2,470 tanks and assault guns and 14,000 guns. German aerial strength, had been reduced over the summer's campaign. Luftflotte 2 had only 549 serviceable machines, including 158 medium and dive-bombers and 172 fighters, available for Operation Typhoon; the attack relied on standard blitzkrieg tactics, using Panzer groups rushing deep into Soviet formations and executing double-pincer movements, pocketing Red Army divisions and destroying them.
Facing the Wehrmacht were three Soviet fronts forming a defensive line between the cities of Vyazma and Bryansk, which barred the way to Moscow. The armies comprising these fronts had been involved in heavy fighting. Still, it was a formidable concentration consisting of 1,000 tanks and 7,600 guns; the Soviet Air Force had suffered appalling losses of some 7,500 to 21,200 aircraft. Extraordinary industrial achievements had begun to replace these, at the outset of Typhoon the VVS could muster 936 aircraft, 578 of which were bombers. Once Soviet resistance along the Vyazma-Bryansk front was eliminated, German forces were to press east, encircling Moscow by outflanking it from the north and south. Continuous fighting had reduced their effectiveness, logistical difficulties became more acute. General Guderian, commander of the 2nd Panzer Army, wrote that some of his destroyed tanks had not been replaced, there were fuel shortages at the start of the operation; the German attack went according to plan, with 4th Panzer Group pushing through the middle nearly unopposed and
Penza is a city and the administrative center of Penza Oblast, located on the Sura River, 625 kilometers southeast of Moscow. Population: 517,311 . Penza was founded as a Russian frontier fortress-city, to this day, remnants of the Lomovskaya sentry line built in 1640 have been preserved at the western edge of the city, remains of earth ramparts dating from the mid-16th century are preserved in the city center; until 1663, Penza was a wooden stockade with only a small settlement. In May 1663, the architect Yuri Kontransky arrived in Penza on the Tsar's orders to direct the construction of a fortress city, as part of a wider fortress building program to protect Russia from attacks by Crimean Tatars; the initial construction consisted of a wooden Kremlin, a village, quarters for the nobility, small tradesmen, merchants. The Muscovite government placed the Ukrainian Cossacks here, who constructed a fortress and called it "Cherkassy Ostroh", from which the regional city of Penza has developed, thanks to the arrival of new settlers Russians.
The Ukrainian roots of the city and its first settlers are now remembered in the names of Cherkasskaya street, along with the "Cherkassy" historical district. In 1774, the insurgent army led by Yemelyan Pugachev occupied Penza after the citizens of the city welcomed the rebellious Cossacks; the first stone houses started to appear after 1801, by 1809 Penza's population had grown to more than 13,000 people. In 1918, Vladimir Lenin sent a telegram to communists in the Penza area, complaining about the "insurrection of five kulak districts", he urged the public hanging of 100 "landlords, bloodsuckers", grain seizure, hostage taking. This telegram has been used on Lenin. During the Russian Civil War, the Czechoslovak Legions launched an anti-Bolshevik uprising in Penza. During the Soviet period, the city developed as a regional industrial center; the Ural mainframe was made here between 1959 and 1964. Penza is the administrative center of the oblast. Within the framework of administrative divisions, it is incorporated as the city of oblast significance of Penza—an administrative unit with a status equal to that of the districts.
As a municipal division, the city of oblast significance of Penza is incorporated as Penza Urban Okrug. Penza lies on the M5 highway linking Moscow and Chelyabinsk. Penza Airport serves domestic flights. Local public transport includes buses and marshrutkas; the city of Penza is seen as a regional center for higher education. It has 13 colleges and 77 public schools. Besides this, Penza is home to three theatres, four museums, three art galleries including The Museum of One Painting named after G. V. Myasnikov. Facilities of higher education include: Penza State University Penza State Pedagogical University Penza State University of Architecture and Construction Penza Artillery Engineering Institute Penza State Technological Academy Penza State Agricultural Academy Penza branch of the Moscow's Institute of Economics and Law Penza branch of the Russian State University of Innovative Technologies and Entrepreneurship Penza has a humid continental climate with long, cold winters and warm summers.
A heat wave in the months of June and August 2010, raised temperatures from previous norms by 15 °C in Penza. Some of the higher fluctuations in temperatures were recorded with seven straight days of temperatures +40 °C and higher compared to the previous year where the higher temperatures for the same period were, on average, 20 °C lower. Penza first hosted the Russian Sidecarcross Grand Prix in 2009, did so again in 2010, on August 15. Dizel Penza is Penza's professional hockey team, playing in the VHL. Dizelist Penza is a junior club playing in the NMHL; the city football team FC Zenit Penza was established in 1918 but now plays in the Russian Amateur League. Penza has a professional rugby union club, Imperia-Dynamo Penza, from Russia's Professional Rugby League. A minor planet, 3189 Penza, discovered by Soviet astronomer Nikolai Chernykh in 1978, is named after the city. Penza is twinned with: Békéscsaba, Hungary Busan, South Korea Gansu, China Ramat Gan, Israel Ternopil, Ukraine Center of Theatrical Arts «House of Meyerhold» Penza Planetarium List of largest cuckoo clocks Законодательное Собрание Пензенской области.
Закон №774-ЗПО от 9 марта 2005 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Пензенской области», в ред. Закона №2484-ЗПО от 28 ноября 2013 г. «О внесении изменений в статью 15 Закона Пензенской области "Об административно-территориальном устройстве Пензенской области"». Вступил в силу через десять дней после дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Пензенские губернские ведомости", №6, стр. 49, 18 марта 2005 г.. Законодательное Собрание Пензенской области. Закон №690-ЗПО от 2 ноября 2004 г. «О границах муниципальных образований Пензенской области», в ред. Закона №2681-ЗПО от 4 марта 2015 г. «О внес
Operation Barbarossa was the code name for the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union, which started on Sunday, 22 June 1941, during World War II. The operation stemmed from Nazi Germany's ideological aims to conquer the western Soviet Union so that it could be repopulated by Germans, to use Slavs as a slave labour force for the Axis war effort, to murder the rest, to acquire the oil reserves of the Caucasus and the agricultural resources of Soviet territories. In the two years leading up to the invasion and the Soviet Union signed political and economic pacts for strategic purposes; the German High Command began planning an invasion of the Soviet Union in July 1940, which Adolf Hitler authorized on 18 December 1940. Over the course of the operation, about three million personnel of the Axis powers – the largest invasion force in the history of warfare – invaded the western Soviet Union along a 2,900-kilometer front. In addition to troops, the Wehrmacht deployed some 600,000 motor vehicles, between 600,000 and 700,000 horses for non-combat operations.
The offensive marked an escalation of World War II, both geographically and in the formation of the Allied coalition. Operationally, German forces achieved major victories and occupied some of the most important economic areas of the Soviet Union and inflicted, as well as sustained, heavy casualties. Despite these Axis successes, the German offensive stalled in the Battle of Moscow at the end of 1941, the subsequent Soviet winter counteroffensive pushed German troops back; the Red Army absorbed the Wehrmacht's strongest blows and forced the Germans into a war of attrition that they were unprepared for. The Wehrmacht never again mounted a simultaneous offensive along the entire Eastern front; the failure of the operation drove Hitler to demand further operations of limited scope inside the Soviet Union, such as Case Blue in 1942 and Operation Citadel in 1943 – all of which failed. The failure of Operation Barbarossa proved a turning point in the fortunes of the Third Reich. Most the operation opened up the Eastern Front, in which more forces were committed than in any other theater of war in world history.
The Eastern Front became the site of some of the largest battles, most horrific atrocities, highest World War II casualties, all of which influenced the course of both World War II and the subsequent history of the 20th century. The German armies captured 5,000,000 Red Army troops, who were denied the protection guaranteed by the Hague Conventions and the 1929 Geneva Convention. A majority of Red Army POWs never returned alive; the Nazis deliberately starved to death, or otherwise killed, 3.3 million prisoners of war, as well as a huge number of civilians. Einsatzgruppen death-squads and gassing operations murdered over a million Soviet Jews as part of the Holocaust; as early as 1925, Adolf Hitler vaguely declared in his political manifesto and autobiography Mein Kampf that he would invade the Soviet Union, asserting that the German people needed to secure Lebensraum to ensure the survival of Germany for generations to come. On 10 February 1939, Hitler told his army commanders that the next war would be "purely a war of Weltanschauungen... a people's war, a racial war".
On 23 November, once World War II had started, Hitler declared that "racial war has broken out and this war shall determine who shall govern Europe, with it, the world". The racial policy of Nazi Germany portrayed the Soviet Union as populated by non-Aryan Untermenschen, ruled by Jewish Bolshevik conspirators. Hitler claimed in Mein Kampf that Germany's destiny was to "turn to the East" as it did "six hundred years ago". Accordingly, it was stated Nazi policy to kill, deport, or enslave the majority of Russian and other Slavic populations and repopulate the land with Germanic peoples, under the Generalplan Ost; the Germans' belief in their ethnic superiority is evident in official German records and discernible in pseudoscientific articles in German periodicals at the time, which covered topics such as "how to deal with alien populations". While older histories tended to emphasize the notion of a "Clean Wehrmacht", the historian Jürgen Förster notes that "In fact, the military commanders were caught up in the ideological character of the conflict, involved in its implementation as willing participants."
Before and during the invasion of the Soviet Union, German troops were indoctrinated with anti-Bolshevik, anti-Semitic, anti-Slavic ideology via movies, lectures and leaflets. Likening the Soviets to the forces of Genghis Khan, Hitler told Croatian military leader Slavko Kvaternik that the "Mongolian race" threatened Europe. Following the invasion, Wehrmacht officers told their soldiers to target people who were described as "Jewish Bolshevik subhumans", the "Mongol hordes", the "Asiatic flood", the "Red beast". Nazi propaganda portrayed the war against the Soviet Union as both an ideological war between German National Socialism and Jewish Bolshevism and a racial war between the Germans and the Jewish and Slavic Untermenschen. An'order from the Führer' stated that the Einsatzgruppen were to execute all Soviet functionaries who were "less valuable Asiatics and Jews". Six months into the invasion of the Soviet Union, the Einsatzgruppen had murdered in excess of 500,000 Soviet Jews, a figure greater than the number of Red Army soldiers killed in combat during that same time frame.
German army command
The Soviet Union the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics, was a socialist state in Eurasia that existed from 1922 to 1991. Nominally a union of multiple national Soviet republics, its government and economy were centralized; the country was a one-party state, governed by the Communist Party with Moscow as its capital in its largest republic, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. Other major urban centres were Leningrad, Minsk, Alma-Ata, Novosibirsk, it spanned over 10,000 kilometres east to west across 11 time zones, over 7,200 kilometres north to south. It had five climate zones: tundra, steppes and mountains; the Soviet Union had its roots in the 1917 October Revolution, when the Bolsheviks, led by Vladimir Lenin, overthrew the Russian Provisional Government which had replaced Tsar Nicholas II during World War I. In 1922, the Soviet Union was formed by a treaty which legalized the unification of the Russian, Transcaucasian and Byelorussian republics that had occurred from 1918. Following Lenin's death in 1924 and a brief power struggle, Joseph Stalin came to power in the mid-1920s.
Stalin committed the state's ideology to Marxism–Leninism and constructed a command economy which led to a period of rapid industrialization and collectivization. During his rule, political paranoia fermented and the Great Purge removed Stalin's opponents within and outside of the party via arbitrary arrests and persecutions of many people, resulting in at least 600,000 deaths. In 1933, a major famine struck the country. Before the start of World War II in 1939, the Soviets signed the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, agreeing to non-aggression with Nazi Germany, after which the USSR invaded Poland on 17 September 1939. In June 1941, Germany broke the pact and invaded the Soviet Union, opening the largest and bloodiest theatre of war in history. Soviet war casualties accounted for the highest proportion of the conflict in the effort of acquiring the upper hand over Axis forces at intense battles such as Stalingrad and Kursk; the territories overtaken by the Red Army became satellite states of the Soviet Union.
The post-war division of Europe into capitalist and communist halves would lead to increased tensions with the United States-led Western Bloc, known as the Cold War. Stalin died in 1953 and was succeeded by Nikita Khrushchev, who in 1956 denounced Stalin and began the de-Stalinization; the Cuban Missile Crisis occurred during Khrushchev's rule, among the many factors that led to his downfall in 1964. In the early 1970s, there was a brief détente of relations with the United States, but tensions resumed with the Soviet–Afghan War in 1979. In 1985, the last Soviet premier, Mikhail Gorbachev, sought to reform and liberalize the economy through his policies of glasnost and perestroika, which caused political instability. In 1989, Soviet satellite states in Eastern Europe overthrew their respective communist governments; as part of an attempt to prevent the country's dissolution due to rising nationalist and separatist movements, a referendum was held in March 1991, boycotted by some republics, that resulted in a majority of participating citizens voting in favor of preserving the union as a renewed federation.
Gorbachev's power was diminished after Russian President Boris Yeltsin's high-profile role in facing down a coup d'état attempted by Communist Party hardliners. In late 1991, Gorbachev resigned and the Supreme Soviet of the Soviet Union met and formally dissolved the Soviet Union; the remaining 12 constituent republics emerged as independent post-Soviet states, with the Russian Federation—formerly the Russian SFSR—assuming the Soviet Union's rights and obligations and being recognized as the successor state. The Soviet Union was a powerhouse of many significant technological achievements and innovations of the 20th century, including the world's first human-made satellite, the first humans in space and the first probe to land on another planet, Venus; the country had the largest standing military in the world. The Soviet Union was recognized as one of the five nuclear weapons states and possessed the largest stockpile of weapons of mass destruction, it was a founding permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as well as a member of the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, the World Federation of Trade Unions and the leading member of the Council for Mutual Economic Assistance and the Warsaw Pact.
The word "Soviet" is derived from a Russian word сове́т meaning council, advice, harmony and all deriving from the proto-Slavic verbal stem of vět-iti, related to Slavic věst, English "wise", the root in "ad-vis-or", or the Dutch weten. The word sovietnik means "councillor". A number of organizations in Russian history were called "council". For example, in the Russian Empire the State Council, which functioned from 1810 to 1917, was referred to as a Council of Ministers after the revolt of 1905. During the Georgian Affair, Vladimir Lenin envisioned an expression of Great Russian ethnic chauvinism by Joseph Stalin and his supporters, calling for these nation-states to join Russia as semi-independent parts of a greater union, which he named as the Union of Soviet Republics of Europe and Asia. Stalin resisted the proposal, but accepted it, although with Lenin's agreement changed the name of the newly proposed sta
A field army is a military formation in many armed forces, composed of two or more corps and may be subordinate to an army group. Air armies are equivalent formation within some air forces. A field army is composed of 100,000 to 150,000 troops. Particular field armies are named or numbered to distinguish them from "army" in the sense of an entire national land military force. In English, the typical style for naming field armies is word numbers, such as "First Army". A field army may be given a geographical name in addition to or as an alternative to a numerical name, such as the British Army of the Rhine, Army of the Niemen or Aegean Army; the Roman army was among the first to feature a formal field army, in the sense of a large, combined arms formation, namely the sacer comitatus, which may be translated as "sacred escort". The term is derived from the fact that they were commanded by Roman emperors, when they acted as field commanders. While the Roman comitatensis is sometimes translated as "field army", it may be translated as the more generic "field force" or "mobile force".
In some armed forces, an "army" has been equivalent to a corps-level unit. Prior to 1945, this was the case with a gun within the Imperial Japanese Army, for which the formation equivalent in size to a field army was an "area army". In the Soviet Red Army and the Soviet Air Forces, an army was subordinate in wartime to a front, it contained at least three to five divisions along with artillery, air defense and other supporting units. It could be classified as either tank army. In peacetime, a Soviet army was subordinate to a military district. Modern field armies are large formations which vary between armed forces in size and scope of responsibility. For instance, within NATO a field army is composed of a headquarters, controls at least two corps, beneath which are a variable number of divisions. A battle is influenced at the field army level by transferring divisions and reinforcements from one corps to another to increase the pressure on the enemy at a critical point. NATO armies are commanded by a general or lieutenant general.
Armeeoberkommando Military unit Military history List of numbered armies
Army Group Centre
Army Group Centre was the name of two distinct strategic German Army Groups that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II. The first Army Group Centre was created on 22 June 1941, as one of three German Army formations assigned to the invasion of the Soviet Union. On 25 January 1945, after it was encircled in the Königsberg pocket, Army Group Centre was renamed Army Group North, Army Group A became Army Group Centre; the latter formation retained its name until the end of the war in Europe. The commander in chief on the formation of the Army Group Centre was Fedor von Bock. Army Group HQ troops537th Signals Regiment 537th Signals Regiment Panzer Group 2 XXIV Panzer Corps 1st Cav. Div. 3rd Pz, 4th Pz. 10th Mot. Div. 267th IDXLVI Panzer Corps SS "Das Reich" Div. 10th Pz. Inf. Reg. "Gross Deutschland"XLVII Panzer Corps 17th Pz, 18th Pz, 29th Mot. Div. 167th IDXII Army Corps 31st ID, 34th ID, 45th ID 255th ID Panzer Group 3 V Army Corps 5th ID, 35th IDVI Army Corps 6th ID, 26th IDXXXIX Panzer Corps 7th Pz, 20th Pz, 14th Mot.
Div. 20th Mot. Div. LVII Panzer Corps 12th Pz, 18th Pz, 19th Pz4th Army VII Army Corps 7th ID, 23rd ID, 258th ID, 268th ID, 221st Sec. Div. IX Army Corps 137th ID, 263rd ID, 292nd IDXIII Army Corps 17th ID, 78th IDXLIII Army Corps 131st ID, 134th ID, 252nd ID 286th ID 9th Army VIII Army Corps 8th ID, 28th ID, 161st IDXX Army Corps 162nd ID, 256th IDXLII Army Corps 87th ID, 102nd ID, 129th ID 403rd Sec. Div. On 22 June 1941, Nazi Germany and its Axis allies launched their surprise offensive into the Soviet Union, their armies, totaling over three million men, were to advance in three geographical directions. Army Group Centre's initial strategic goal was to defeat the Soviet armies in Belarus and occupy Smolensk. To accomplish this, the army group planned for a rapid advance using Blitzkrieg operational methods for which purpose it commanded two panzer groups rather than one. A quick and decisive victory over the Soviet Union was expected by mid-November; the Army Group's other operational missions were to support the army groups on its northern and southern flanks, the army group boundary for the being the Pripyat River.
July 1941 order of battle 3rd Panzer Group, 9th Army, 4th Army, 2nd Panzer Group, z. Vfg. 2nd ArmyAugust 1941 order of battle 3rd Panzer Group, 9th Army, 2nd Army, Army Group Guderian September 1941 order of battle 3rd Panzer Group, 9th Army, 4th Army, 2nd Panzer Group, 2nd ArmyBitter fighting in the Battle of Smolensk as well as the Lötzen decision delayed the German advance for two months. The advance of Army Group Centre was further delayed as Hitler ordered a postponement of the offensive against Moscow in order to conquer Ukraine first. October 1941 detailed order of battle2nd Army LIII Army Corps 56th ID, 31st ID, 167th IDLXIII Army Corps 52nd ID, 131st IDXIII Army Corps 260th ID, 17th ID Reserve: 112th ID2nd Panzer Army XXXIV Army Corps 45th ID, 134th IDXXXV Army Corps 95th ID, 296th ID, 262nd ID, 293rd IDXLVIII Panzer Corps 9th Pz, 16th Mot. Div. 25th Mot. Div. XXIV Panzer Corps 3rd Pz, 4th Pz, 10th Mot. Div. XLVII Panzer Corps 17th Pz, 18th Pz, 29th Mot. Div.4th Army VII Army Corps 197th ID, 7th ID, 23rd ID, 267th IDXX Army Corps 268th ID, 15th, 78th IDIX Army Corps 137th ID, 263rd ID, 183rd ID, 292nd IDPanzer Group 4, Subordinated to 4th ArmyXII Army Corps 34th ID, 98th IDXL Army Corps 10th Pz, 2nd Pz, 258th IDXLVI Panzer Corps 5th Bz, 11th Pz, 252nd ID LVII Panzer Corps 20th Pz, SS "Das Reich" Mot.
Div. 3rd Mot. Div. 9th Army XXVII Army Corps 255th ID, 162nd ID, 86th IDV Army Corps 5th ID, 35th ID, 106th ID, 129th IDVIII Army Corps 8th ID, 28th ID, 87th IDXXIII Army Corps 251st ID, 102nd ID, 256th ID, 206th ID 161st ID Panzer Group 3, Subordinated to 9th ArmyLVI Panzer Corps 6th Pz, 7th Pz, 14th Mot. Div. XLI Panzer Corps 1st Pz, 36th Mot. Div. VI Army Corps 110th ID, 26th ID, 6th IDNovember 1941 order of battle 2nd Panzer Army, 3rd Panzer Group, 2nd Army, 4th Army, 9th ArmyThe commander in chief as of 19 December 1941 was Günther von Kluge. 1942 opened for Army Group Centre with continuing attacks from Soviet forces around Rzhev. The German Ninth Army was able to repel these attacks and stabilise its front, despite continuing large-scale partisan activity in its rear areas. Meanwhile, the German strategic focus on the Eastern Front shifted to southwestern Russia, with the launching of Operation Blue in June; this operation, aimed at the oilfields in the southwestern Caucasus, involved Army Group South alone, with the other German army groups giving up troops and equipment for the offensive.
Despite the focus on the south, Army Group Centre continued to see fierce fighting throughout the year. While the Soviet attacks in early 1942 had not driven the Germans back, they had resulted in several Red Army units being trapped behind German lines. Eliminating the pockets took until July, the same month in which the Soviets made another attempt to break through the army group's front; the largest Soviet operation in the army group's sector that year, Operation Mars, took place in November. It was launched concurrently with Opera