20th Army (Soviet Union)
The 20th Army was a field army of the Red Army that fought on the Eastern Front during World War II. The Army was first formed in the Orel Military District in June 1941. On 22 June 1941 the Army was part of the Reserve of the Supreme High Command and was located west of Moscow. On 27 June 1941 it was proposed to Joseph Stalin that the Soviet armies would defend the line going through the Daugava-Polotsk-Vitebsk-Orsha-Mogilev-Mazyr as part of the Reserve Front. Committed as part of Western Front in defensive battles in Belarus and Vyazma. By 5 August 1941 the army, in David Glantz's words, had been'reduced to a skeleton.' The strength of the 289th Rifle Division had fallen to 285 men, 17 machine guns, one anti-tank gun, the 73rd Rifle Division to 100 men and 4 to 5 machine guns, 144th Rifle Division to 440 men, 153rd Rifle Division to 750 men. The Army HQ was disbanded having been destroyed in the Vyazma Pocket. Source: Combat composition of the Soviet Army via tashv and Leo Niehorster 61st Rifle Corps 110th Rifle Division 144th Rifle Division 172nd Rifle Division 69th Rifle Corps 73rd Rifle Division 229th Rifle Division 233rd Rifle Division 18th Rifle Division 301st Howitzer Artillery Regiment 537th High Power Howitzer Artillery Regiment 438th Corps Artillery Regiment 7th Mechanised Corps 14th Tank Division 18th Tank Division 1st Moscow Motor Rifle Division 9th Motorcycle Regiment 60th Pontoon Bridge Battalion Lieutenant General Fyodor Remezov Lieutenant General Pavel Kurochkin Lieutenant General M. F. Lukin Lieutenant General F. A. Ershakov Reestablished in November 1941 from Operational Group Liziukov.
Reformed November 1941 for the Battle of Moscow, including 331st and 350th Rifle Divisions, the 28th, 35th, 64th separate rifle brigades. Fought as part of the Western Front. In 1942-43 it operated on the Rzhev-Sychevka bridgehead, took part in the Rzhev-Vyazma offensive operation. In 1944 it became part of the Stavka Reserve and was reassigned to Kalinin Front and Leningrad Front, it was disbanded in April 1944 by being dispersed within the formations of 3rd Baltic Front. The army was in strategic reserve from July 1943 to April 1944. In April 1944 the headquarters was used to form the 3rd Baltic Front. Lieutenant General Andrey Vlasov Lieutenant General Max Reyter Major General N. I. Kiriukhin Lieutenant General Mikhail Khozin Lieutenant General Nikolai Berzarin Major General A. N. Ermakov Lieutenant General Nikolai Berzarin Major General A. N. Ermakov Lieutenant General Anton Lopatin Lieutenant General Nikolai Gusev
Bukovina is a historical region, variously described as in Central or Eastern Europe. The region is located on the northern slopes of the central Eastern Carpathians and the adjoining plains, today divided between Romania and Ukraine. A region of Moldavia during the Middle Ages, the territory of what became known as Bukovina was, from 1774 to 1918, an administrative division of the Habsburg Monarchy, the Austrian Empire, Austria-Hungary. After World War I, Romania established its control over Bukovina. In 1940, the northern half of Bukovina was annexed by the Soviet Union in violation of the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact, is part of Ukraine; the name Bukovina came into official use in 1775 with the region's annexation from the Principality of Moldavia to the possessions of the Habsburg Monarchy, which became the Austrian Empire in 1804, Austria-Hungary in 1867. The official German name of the province under Austrian rule, die Bukowina, was derived from the Polish form Bukowina, which in turn was derived from the common Slavic form of buk, meaning beech tree.
Another German name for the region, das Buchenland, is used in poetry, means "beech land", or "the land of beech trees". In Romanian, in literary or poetic contexts, the name Țara Fagilor is sometimes used. In English, an alternative form is The Bukovina an archaism, however, is found in older literature. In modern Ukraine, the name "Bukovina" is unofficial, but is common when referring to the Chernivtsi Oblast, as over two thirds of the oblast is the northern part of Bukovina. In Romania the term Northern Bukovina is sometimes synonymous with the entire Chernivtsi Oblast of Ukraine, while Bukovina refers to the Suceava County of Romania; the territory of Bukovina had been part of Moldavia since the 14th century. It was first delineated as a separate district in 1775, was made a nominal duchy within the Austrian Empire in 1849; the Moldavian state had appeared by the mid-14th century expanding its territory all the way to the Black Sea. Bukovina and neighboring regions were the nucleus of the Moldavian Principality, with the city of Suceava as its capital from 1388.
The name of Moldavia is derived from a river flowing in Bukovina. In the 15th century, the region to the north, became the subject of disputes between the Principality of Moldavia and the Polish Kingdom. Pokuttya was inhabited by Hutsuls. In 1497 a battle took place at the Cosmin Forest, at which Stephen III of Moldavia, managed to defeat the much-stronger but demoralized army of King John I Albert of Poland; the battle is known in Polish popular culture as "the battle when the Knights have perished". In this period, the patronage of Stephen the Great and his successors on the throne of Moldavia saw the construction of the famous painted monasteries of Moldoviţa, Suceviţa, Humor, Voroneţ, Dragomirna and others. With their renowned exterior frescoes, these monasteries remain some of the greatest cultural treasures of Romania. Stephen settled the first Ruthenians in Bukovina with the hope of having a loyal and more numerous population that would contribute with taxes. In Suceava, in the 16th century, two percent of the population was Ruthenian.
In 1513, Moldavia started to pay annual tribute to the Ottoman Empire, but remained autonomous and was governed as before by a native Voivod / Prince. In May, 1600 Mihai Viteazul, united the two Romanian principalities and Transylvania under his leadership. For short periods of time, the Polish Kingdom occupied parts of northern Moldavia. However, the old border was re-established each time, as for example on 14 October 1703 the Polish delegate Martin Chometowski acknowledged "Between us and Wallachia God himself set Dniester as the border". In the course of the Russo-Turkish War of 1768–1774, the Ottoman armies were defeated by the Russian Empire, which occupied the region during 15 December 1769 – September 1774, during 14 September–October 1769. Bukovina was the reward. Prince Grigore III Ghica of Moldavia protested and was prepared to take action to recover the territory, but was assassinated, a Greek-Phanariot foreigner was put on the throne of Moldavia by the Ottomans; the Austrian Empire occupied Bukovina in October 1774.
Following the First Partition of Poland in 1772, the Austrians claimed that they needed it for a road between Galicia and Transylvania. Bukovina was formally annexed in January 1775. On 2 July 1776, at Palamutka and Ottomans signed a border convention, Austria giving back 59 of the occupied villages, retaining 278 villages. Bukovina was a closed military district the largest district, Kreis Czernowitz of the Austrian constituent Kingdom of Galicia and Lodomeria. On 4 March 1849, Bukovina became a separate Austrian Kronland'crown land' under a Landespräsident and was declared the Herzogtum Bukowina (a
Kharkiv known as Kharkov, is the second-largest city in Ukraine. In the northeast of the country, it is the largest city of the Slobozhanshchyna historical region. Kharkiv is the administrative centre of Kharkiv Oblast and of the surrounding Kharkiv Raion, though administratively it is incorporated as a city of oblast significance and does not belong to the raion. Population: 1,439,036 The city was founded in 1654 and after a humble beginning as a small fortress grew to be a major centre of Ukrainian industry and culture in the Russian Empire. Kharkiv was the first capital of the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic, from December 1919 to January 1934, after which the capital relocated to Kiev. Presently, Kharkiv is a major cultural, educational and industrial centre of Ukraine, with 6 museums, 7 theatres and 80 libraries, its industry specializes in machinery and in electronics. There are hundreds of industrial companies in the city, including the Morozov Design Bureau and the Malyshev Tank Factory.
Some sources offer that the city was named after Kharko. Among other names there are Charkow, Zakharpolis. Cultural artifacts date back to the Bronze Age, as well as those of Scythian and Sarmatian settlers. There is evidence that the Chernyakhov culture flourished in the area from the second to the sixth centuries; the city was founded by re-settlers who were running away from the war that engulfed Right-bank Ukraine in 1654. The years before the region was a sparsely populated part of the Cossack Hetmanate; the group of people came onto the banks of Lopan and Kharkiv rivers where an abandoned settlement stood. According to archive documents, the leader of the re-settlers was otaman Ivan Kryvoshlyk. At first the settlement was self-governed under the jurisdiction of a voivode from Chuhuiv, 40 kilometres to the east; the first appointed voivode from Moscow was Voyin Selifontov in 1656 who started to build a local ostrog. At that time the population of Kharkiv was just over 1000, half of whom were local cossacks, while Selifontov brought along a Moscow garrison of another 70 servicemen.
The first Kharkiv voivode was replaced in two years after complaining that locals refused to cooperate in building the fort. Kharkiv became the centre of the local Sloboda cossack regiment as the area surrounding the Belgorod fortress was being militarized. With the resettlement of the area by Ukrainians it came to be known as Sloboda Ukraine, most of, included under the jurisdiction of the Razryad Prikaz headed by a district official from Belgorod. By 1657 the Kharkiv settlement had a fortress with underground passageways. In 1658 Ivan Ofrosimov was appointed as the new voivode, who worked on forcing locals to kiss the cross to show loyalty to the Moscow tsar; the locals led by their otaman. However, with the election of the new otaman Tymish Lavrynov the community sent a request to the tsar to establish a local Assumption market, signed by deans of Kharkiv churches. Relationships with the neighboring Chuhuiv sometimes were non-friendly and their arguments were pacified by force. With the appointment of the third voivode Vasiliy Sukhotin was finished the construction of the city fort.
Meanwhile, Kharkiv had become the centre of Sloboda Ukraine. The Kharkiv Fortress was erected around the Assumption Cathedral and its castle was at University Hill, it was between today's streets: vulytsia Kvitky-Osnovianenko, Constitution Square, Rose Luxemburg Square, Proletarian Square, Cathedral Descent. The fortress had 10 towers: Chuhuivska Tower, Moskovska Tower, Vestovska Tower, Tainytska Tower, Lopanska Corner Tower, Kharkivska Corner Tower and others; the tallest was Vestovska, some 16 metres tall, while the shortest one was Tainytska which had a secret well 35 metres deep. The fortress had the Lopanski Gates. In 1689 the fortress was expanded and included the Saint-Pokrov Cathedral and Monastery, baptized and became the center of local eparchy. Coincidentally in the same year in the vicinity of Kharkiv in Kolomak, Ivan Mazepa was announced the Hetman of Ukraine. Next to the Saint-Pokrov Cathedral was located the Kharkiv Collegiate, transferred from Belgorod to Kharkiv in 1726. In the course of the administrative reform carried out in 1708 by Peter the Great, the area was included into Kiev Governorate.
Kharkiv is mentioned as one of the towns making a part of the governorate. In 1727, Belgorod Governorate was split off, Kharkiv moved to Belgorod Governorate, it was the center of Kharkiv Sloboda Cossack regiment. The regiment at some point was detached from Belgorod Governorate attached to it again, until in 1765, Sloboda Ukraine Governorate was established with the seat in Kharkiv. Kharkiv University was established in 1805 in the Palace of Governorate-General. Alexander Mikolajewicz Mickiewicz, brother of Adam Mickiewicz was a professor of law in the university, another celebrity Goethe searched for instructors for the school. In 1906 Ivan Franko received a doctorate in Russian linguistics here; the streets were first cobbled in the city centre in 1830. In 1844 the 90 m
Carpathian Military District
The Carpathian Military District was a military district of the Soviet Armed Forces during the Cold War and subsequently of the Armed Forces of Ukraine during the early Post-Soviet period. It was established on 3 May 1946 on the base of the 1st Ukrainian Front, 4th Ukrainian Front, Lviv Military District, it became part of the Armed Forces of Ukraine in 1991 and was disbanded by being redesignated the Western Operational Command in January 1998. Two districts were formed in what was to become the district's territory in 1944 and 1945. During May 1944 in the freed territory of the West Ukraine the Lvov Military District was formed, headed by the former deputy commander of the 2nd Ukrainian Front. On 9 July 1945 the Carpathian Military District was ordered created from the headquarters of the 4th Ukrainian Front in Chernovtsy. Under the command of former front commander Army General Andrey Yeryomenko, it was responsible for troops on the territory of Stanislav, Chernovtsy, Vinnitsa and Kamenets-Podolsk Oblasts, excluding Berezdovsky, Shepetovsky and Slavutsky Districts.
The district's troops were from the 4th Ukrainian Front, but included units transferred from the Lvov and Kiev Military Districts. By the fall of 1945, the district included the 27th and 38th Armies, transferred from the Southern and Central Groups of Forces, respectively; the 35th Guards, 33rd, 37th Rifle Corps were directly subordinated to the district headquarters when 27th Army disbanded around this time. On 8 September the 133rd Rifle Corps at Stanislav was disbanded with its two divisions; the 31st Tank Division was directly subordinated to the district at Proskurov. By a decree of the Council of Ministers of the Soviet Union on 3 May 1946, the Lvov and Carpathian Military Districts were merged as the Carpathian Military District with headquarters at Lvov; the District's territory included 10 regions of the Ukrainian SSR – Vinnytsia, Zhitomir, Stanislav, Rovno, Kamenets-Podolsk and Chernovtsy. The 52nd Army began reorganizing on the district's territory as the 8th Mechanized Army; the newly created district included the 13th and 38th Armies, with air support provided by the 14th Air Army.
The 13th and 38th Armies totalled five rifle corps headquarters and seventeen divisions between them. In 1947, the 50th, 280th, 395th Rifle, 18th Tank, the 23rd and 25th Mechanized Divisions were disbanded; the 3rd Mountain Rifle Corps was in the Lvov Military District in September 1945. It became part of the 38th Army in the Carpathian Military District, but disbanded by 1957. Troops of the district, including 57th Air Army, took part in'Operation Danube,' the 1968 Warsaw Pact invasion of Czechoslovakia; the District became subordinate to the Western Strategic Direction in the late 1970s/early 80s. The 8th Tank, 13th, 38th Armies were stationed in the District for most of its existence; the 14th Air Army and 2nd Army of the Soviet Air Defence Forces were located there. Scott and Scott reported the HQ address in 1979 as Lviv-8, Vulytsa Vatutina, Bud 12. In September 1990, the 66th Artillery Corps was formed in Novye Belokorovichi, Zhitomir Oblast, from parts of the disbanded HQ 50th Rocket Army.
It took under control 81st Artillery Divisions. After the dissolution of the Soviet Union, President of Ukraine Leonid Kravchuk appointed Lieutenant General Petro Ivanovich Shulyak, former commander of the 13th Army, as commander of the district on April 7, 1994, in Presidential Ukaz N 143/94. Former Soviet and Western sources agree on an end-1980s figure of three tank divisions and nine or ten motor rifle divisions in the District. In its last years under Ukrainian control the District saw a large reduction in the number of troops within it as Ukraine reduced the 780,000 troops it had inherited from the Soviet Union to comply with the treaty on Conventional Armed Forces in Europe; the District's forces at the end of the 1980s included: 8th Tank Army - Redesignated 8th Army Corps 1 December 199323rd Tank Division, 1990 converted into a military equipment storage unit 30th Guards Tank Division 13th Red Banner Army 51st Guards Motor Rifle Division 97th Guards Motor Rifle Division 161st Motor Rifle Division 38th Army 17th Guards Motor Rifle Division 70th Guards Motor Rifle Division.
Redesignated 857th Weapons and Equipment Storage Base January 1991. 128th Guards Motor Rifle Division District Troops26th Artillery Division Included 897th Guards Gun Artillery Kiev Red Banner order of Bogdan Khmelnytsky Regiment, now the 11th Artillery Brigade 81st Artillery Division 24th Motor Rifle Division 66th Guards Training Motor Rifle Division 128th Guards Tank Training Regiment, 145th, 193rd, 195th Guards Motor Rifle Training Regiments 117th Guards Tank Training Division 242nd, 254th, 286th Tank Training Regiments, 320th Guards Motor Rifle Training Regiment. Division became the 119th Guards District Training Centre. 242nd Tank Training Regiment became the 95th Airmobile Brigade. 8th Special Forces Brigade GRU (formed Izyaslav, Khmelnitskiy Oblast, Carpathian Military District, Decembe
Battle of the Sea of Azov
The Battle of the Sea of Azov known as the Chernigovka pocket was an Axis military campaign fought between 26 September 1941 and 11 October 1941 on the northern shores of the Sea of Azov on the Eastern Front of World War II during Operation Barbarossa. It resulted in a complete Axis victory over the Red Army. After destroying four Soviet armies at Kiev in late September 1941, the German Army Group South advanced east and south to capture the industrial Donbass region and the Crimea. Within days of the battle of Kiev's conclusion, the Soviet Southern Front launched an attack on 26 September with two armies on the northern shores of the Sea of Azov against elements of the German 11th Army, advancing into the Crimea. After pushing back the Romanian 3rd Army, which fought under German command, the Soviet advance ground to a halt when the Leibstandarte SS Adolf Hitler Brigade arrived to reinforce their Axis allies. On 1 October the 1st Panzer Army under Ewald von Kleist swept south to isolate the two Soviet armies.
The offensive caught the Red Army by surprise, forcing them to retreat on 3 October to avoid encirclement. The Germans now attacked from the west and east, cutting the Soviets off on 7 October after capturing Melitopol and Berdiansk; the Soviet 9th and 18th Armies were annihilated in four days. The Soviet defeat was total. All units of the German 11th Army and the 1st Panzer Army lost 12,421 men combined from 21 September to 10 October; the death of or capture of two-thirds of all Southern Front troops in four days unhinged the Front's left flank, allowing the Germans to capture Kharkiv on 24 October. Kleist's 1st Panzer Army took the Donbass region that same month, while Manstein's 11th Army was freed to conquer Crimea with its full strength from 18 October onward. After concluding the Battle of Kiev in September 1941, the German Army Group South advanced from the Dniepr to the Sea of Azov coast; the city of Rostov was assigned as the objective for the 11th Army now commanded by General von Schobert, however he died in a crash on the same day after landing his liaison Fieseler Storch aircraft in a minefield.
To replace him, General of Infantry von Manstein was ordered to travel from the Leningrad sector of the front to the extreme southern sector. He would receive support from the 4th Luftwaffe Air Fleet. At this time the LIV Army Corps of the 11th Army was still engaged in Crimea, because the Romanian forces were still engaged in the Siege of Odessa, the Army's resources for the Rostov objective were limited against retreating Red Army troops; therefore von Manstein replaced the LIV Corps with the smaller XXX Army Corps and XLIX Mountain Corps, ordered the LIV Corps into the first echelon in the advance to Rostov. Late in September the 3rd Romanian Army joined the 11th Army in its advance towards Rostov, but was depleted by the attacks of the Soviet 9th and 18th Armies on 26 September; this forced a halt to the Army's advance to safeguard its flank, forced Manstein to use his only mobile reserve unit, the Leibstandarte Brigade to shore up Romanian defenses. After the LSSAH had stabilized the Romanian sector, the Soviets increased the pressure on XXX Army Corps.
The Soviets did not respond to the buildup of the 1st Panzer Army on their northern flank. On 1 October the Germans started their counterattack from the west; the rapid advance of German armored and motorized forces from the north compelled the Soviets to retreat on 3 October. The 11th Army took up the pursuit, with the Leibstandarte's attack eliminating the Soviet 30th Rifle Division's HQ section and dispersing its subordinate formations. Melitopol was captured by III Panzer Corps on 5 October; the LSSAH reconnaissance battalion under Kurt Meyer captured Berdiansk on 6 October. The XIV motorized Army Corps under Gustav Anton von Wietersheim linked up with the Leibstandarte to encircle seven Red Army divisions in the Mariupol-Berdiansk area on 7 October. Four days the battle was over and the 150,000 9th and 18th Army troops caught in the pocket had been killed or captured; the Germans took more than 106,332 prisoners, both in the pocket and during the pursuit, along with 212 tanks and 772 guns of all types.
The 18th Army commander Smirnov was killed in action and buried with full military honours by the Germans. The assault on Rostov began on 17 November, on 21 November the Germans took Rostov. However, the German lines were over-extended, von Kleist's warnings that his left flank was vulnerable and that his tanks were ineffective in the freezing weather were ignored. On 27 November the Soviet 37th Army, commanded by Lieutenant-General Anton Ivanovich Lopatin, as part of the Rostov Strategic Offensive Operation, counter-attacked the 1st Panzer Army's spearhead from the north, forcing them to pull out of the city. Adolf Hitler countermanded the retreat; when von Rundstedt refused to obey, Hitler sacked him, replaced him with von Reichenau. However, von Reichenau saw at once that von Rundstedt was right and succeeded in persuading Hitler, via Franz Halder, to authorise the withdrawal, the 1st Panzer Army was forced back to the Mius River at Taganrog, it was the first significant German withdrawal of the war.
The offensive along the Azov coast was resumed during Fall Blau. With air support from the Ju 87s of Sturzkampfgeschwader 77, Wilhelm List's Army Group A recaptured Rostov, the "gate to the Caucasus", on 23 July 1942 easily. Further South along the coast, the remaining small
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 Workers' and Peasants' Red Army shortened to Red Army was the army and the air force of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic, after 1922, the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics. The army was established after the 1917 October Revolution; the Bolsheviks raised an army to oppose the military confederations of their adversaries during the Russian Civil War. Beginning in February 1946, the Red Army, along with the Soviet Navy, embodied the main component of the Soviet Armed Forces; the Red Army provided the largest land force in the Allied victory in the European theatre of World War II, its invasion of Manchuria assisted the unconditional surrender of Imperial Japan. During operations on the Eastern Front, it accounted for 75–80% of casualties the Wehrmacht and Waffen-SS suffered during the war and captured the Nazi German capital, Berlin. In September 1917, Vladimir Lenin wrote: "There is only one way to prevent the restoration of the police, and, to create a people's militia and to fuse it with the army."
At the time, the Imperial Russian Army had started to collapse. 23% of the male population of the Russian Empire were mobilized. The Tsarist general Nikolay Dukhonin estimated that there had been 2 million deserters, 1.8 million dead, 5 million wounded and 2 million prisoners. He estimated the remaining troops as numbering 10 million. While the Imperial Russian Army was being taken apart, "it became apparent that the rag-tag Red Guard units and elements of the imperial army who had gone over the side of the Bolsheviks were quite inadequate to the task of defending the new government against external foes." Therefore, the Council of People's Commissars decided to form the Red Army on 28 January 1918. They envisioned a body "formed from the class-conscious and best elements of the working classes." All citizens of the Russian republic aged 18 or older were eligible. Its role being the defense "of the Soviet authority, the creation of a basis for the transformation of the standing army into a force deriving its strength from a nation in arms, furthermore, the creation of a basis for the support of the coming Socialist Revolution in Europe."
Enlistment was conditional upon "guarantees being given by a military or civil committee functioning within the territory of the Soviet Power, or by party or trade union committees or, in extreme cases, by two persons belonging to one of the above organizations." In the event of an entire unit wanting to join the Red Army, a "collective guarantee and the affirmative vote of all its members would be necessary." Because the Red Army was composed of peasants, the families of those who served were guaranteed rations and assistance with farm work. Some peasants who remained at home yearned to join the Army. If they were turned away they would prepare care-packages. In some cases the money they earned would go towards tanks for the Army; the Council of People's Commissars appointed itself the supreme head of the Red Army, delegating command and administration of the army to the Commissariat for Military Affairs and the Special All-Russian College within this commissariat. Nikolai Krylenko was the supreme commander-in-chief, with Aleksandr Myasnikyan as deputy.
Nikolai Podvoisky became the commissar for Pavel Dybenko, commissar for the fleet. Proshyan, Steinberg were specified as people's commissars as well as Vladimir Bonch-Bruyevich from the Bureau of Commissars. At a joint meeting of Bolsheviks and Left Socialist-Revolutionaries, held on 22 February 1918, Krylenko remarked: "We have no army; the demoralized soldiers are fleeing, panic-stricken, as soon as they see a German helmet appear on the horizon, abandoning their artillery and all war material to the triumphantly advancing enemy. The Red Guard units are brushed aside like flies. We have no power to stay the enemy; the Russian Civil War occurred in three periods: October 1917 – November 1918: From the Bolshevik Revolution to the First World War Armistice, developed from the Bolshevik government's nationalization of traditional Cossack lands in November 1917. This provoked the insurrection of General Alexey Maximovich Kaledin's Volunteer Army in the River Don region; the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk aggravated Russian internal politics.
The situation encouraged direct Allied intervention in the Russian Civil War, in which twelve foreign countries supported anti-Bolshevik militias. A series of engagements resulted, amongst others, the Czechoslovak Legion, the Polish 5th Rifle Division, the pro-Bolshevik Red Latvian Riflemen. January 1919 – November 1919: Initially the White armies advanced: from the south, under General Anton Denikin; the Whites defeated the Red Army on each front. Leon Trotsky reformed and counterattacked: the Red Army repelled Admiral Kolchak's army in June, the armies of General Denikin and General Yudenich in October. By mid-Nove