Georgy Konstantinovich Zhukov was a Soviet Red Army General who became Chief of General Staff, Deputy Commander-in-Chief, Minister of Defence and a member of the Politburo. During World War II he participated in multiple battles commanding the 1st Belorussian Front in the Battle of Berlin, which resulted in the defeat of Nazi Germany, the end of the War in Europe. In recognition of Zhukov's role in World War II, he was chosen to accept the German Instrument of Surrender and to inspect the Moscow Victory Parade of 1945. Born into a poverty-stricken peasant family in Strelkovka, Maloyaroslavsky Uyezd, Kaluga Governorate, Zhukov became an apprentice furrier in Moscow. In 1915 the Army of the Russian Empire conscripted him. During World War I, Zhukov was awarded the Cross of St. George twice, promoted to the rank of non-commissioned officer for his bravery in battle, he joined the Bolshevik Party after the 1917 October Revolution. After recovering from a serious case of typhus he fought in the Russian Civil War over the period 1918 to 1921, serving with the 1st Cavalry Army, among other formations.
He received the decoration of the Order of the Red Banner for his part in subduing the Tambov Rebellion in 1921. At the end of May 1923, Zhukov became a commander of the 39th Cavalry Regiment. In 1924, he entered the Higher School of Cavalry, from which he graduated the next year, returning afterward to command the same regiment. In May 1930, Zhukov became commander of the 2nd Cavalry Brigade of the 7th Cavalry Division. In February 1931, he was appointed the Assistant Inspector of Cavalry of the Red Army. In May 1933, Zhukov was appointed a commander in the 4th Cavalry Division. In 1937, he became a commander of the 3rd Cavalry Corps of the 6th Cavalry Corps. In 1938, he became a deputy commander of the Belorussian Military District for cavalry. In 1938, Zhukov was directed to command the First Soviet Mongolian Army Group, saw action against Japan's Kwantung Army on the border between Mongolia and the Japanese-controlled state of Manchukuo; this campaign was an undeclared war that lasted from 1938 to 1939.
What began as a border skirmish escalated into a full-scale war, with the Japanese pushing forward with an estimated 80,000 troops, 180 tanks and 450 aircraft. These events led to the strategically decisive Battle of Khalkhin Gol. Zhukov requested major reinforcements, on 20 August 1939, his "Soviet Offensive" commenced. After a massive artillery barrage, nearly 500 BT-5 and BT-7 tanks advanced, supported by over 500 fighters and bombers; this was the Soviet Air Force's first fighter-bomber operation. The offensive first appeared to be a typical conventional frontal attack. However, two tank brigades were held back and ordered to advance around on both flanks, supported by motorized artillery and other tanks; this daring and successful manoeuvre encircled the Japanese 6th Army and captured the enemy's vulnerable rear supply areas. By 31 August 1939, the Japanese had been cleared from the disputed border, leaving the Soviets victorious; this campaign had significance beyond local outcome. Zhukov demonstrated and tested the techniques used against the Germans in the Eastern Front of the Second World War.
These innovations included the deployment of underwater bridges and improving the cohesion and battle-effectiveness of inexperienced units by adding a few experienced, battle-hardened troops to bolster morale and overall training. Evaluation of the problems inherent in the performance of the BT tanks led to the replacement of their fire-prone petrol engines with diesel engines, provided valuable practical knowledge, essential to the success in development of the T-34 medium tank used in World War II. After this campaign, Nomonhan veterans were transferred to units that had not seen action, to better spread the benefits of their battle experience. For his victory, Zhukov was declared a Hero of the Soviet Union. However, the campaign – and Zhukov's pioneering use of tanks – remained little known outside of the Soviet Union itself. Zhukov considered Nomonhan invaluable preparation for conducting operations during the Second World War. In 1940 Zhukov became an Army General. In autumn 1940, G. K. Zhukov started preparing the plans for the military exercise concerning the defence of the Western border of the Soviet Union, which at this time was pushed further to the west due to the annexation of Eastern Poland.
In his memoirs Zhukov reports that in this exercise he commanded the "Western" or "Blue" forces and his opponent was Colonel General D. G. Pavlov, the commander of the "Eastern" or "Red" forces, he noted. Zhukov in his memoirs describes the events of exercise as similar to actual events during the German invasion; as historian Bobylev reports in his article in "Military History Journal", the actual details of the exercises were reported differently in different memoirs of their participants. He reported that there were two exercises, one on 2–6 January 1941, another on 8–11 January 1941. In the first one "Western" forces attacked "Eastern" forces on 15 July, but "Eastern" forces counterattacked and by 1 August reached the original border. At that time, "Eastern" forces had a numerical advantage (for example, 51
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
4th Ukrainian Front
The 4th Ukrainian Front was the name of two distinct Red Army strategic army groups that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II. The front was first formed on 20 October 1943, by renaming the Southern Front and was involved in the Lower Dnieper Strategic Offensive Operation, two battles of Kiev and the Crimean Strategic Offensive Operation. After the liberation of Crimea, the front was disbanded in May 1944. For the second time the 4th Ukrainian Front was created on 4. August 1944, by separating the left wing of the 1st Ukrainian Front; the front took part in the Carpathian Offensive with the Battle of the Dukla Pass and after that the front was involved in the battles in East-, North- and Central Slovakia, as well as in the Moravian-Ostrava Offensive Operation on the Polish-Moravian borders and in the Prague Offensive, the final battle of World War II in Europe. The 4th Ukrainian Front actions were important for the liberation of the Czechoslovakia; the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps served within the front since November 1944 until May 1945.
On 25 August 1945, the front was disbanded and its elements incorporated into the Carpathian Military District. Units subordinated to the Front:35th Tank-destroyer Artillery Brigade, 530th Tank-Destroyer Artillery Regiment, 4th Guards Mortar Brigade, 2nd, 4th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 67th Guards Mortar Regiments, 270th Guards AA Artillery Regiment, 1069th AA Artillery Regiment, 1485th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment 19th Tank Corps 6th Guards Tank Brigade, 52nd Motorcycle Regiment, 5th Separate Armored Car Battalion, 46th and 54th Separate Armored Train Battalions 7th Engineer-Sapper Brigade, 2nd Pontoon-Bridge Brigade, 3rd Guards, 65th, 240th Separate Engineer Battalions, 17th Guards Mine Battalion, 102nd Pontoon-Bridge Battalion 2nd Guards Army 13th Guards Rifle Corps 3rd Guards Rifle Division 24th Guards Rifle Division 87th Guards Rifle Division 54th Rifle Corps 126th Rifle Division 315th Rifle Division 387th Rifle Division 55th Rifle Corps 87th Rifle Division 347th Rifle Division 116th Fortified Region 2nd Guards Breakthrough Artillery Division Independent units: 1095th, 1101st Gun Artillery Regiments, 331st Howitzer Artillery Regiment, 315th and 317th Artillery Battalions of High Impact, 113th Guards, 14th 1250th Tank-Destroyer Artillery Regiments, 133rd Guards, 483rd Mortar Regiments, 76th AA Artillery Division, 591st, 1530th AA Artillery Regiments 1452nd SP Artillery Regiment, 512 Independent Tank Battalion 43rd Special Purpose Engineer Brigade, Independent 258th and 255th Engineer Battalions 51st Army: 1st Guards Rifle Corps, 10th Rifle Corps, 63rd Rifle Corps 77th Rifle Division 78th Fortified Region 26th Artillery Division Independent units: 6th Guards Gun Artillery Brigade, 105th High Impact Howitzer Artillery Brigade, 647th, 1105th Gun Artillery Regiments, 85th Guards, 1231st Howitzer Artillery Regiment, 207th Guards Howitzer Artillery Regiment, 5th Guards, 15th, 21st Tank-destroyer Artillery Brigades, 764th 1246th Tank-destroyer Artillery Regiment, 19th Mortar Brigade, 125th Mortar Regiment.
Anti-Aircraft Artillery forces 2nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division 15th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division 18th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division 77th Guards Artillery Regiment 32nd Guards Tank Brigade, 22nd Guards Separate Tank Regiment, 30th and 33rd Separate Armored Train Battalions 12th Assault Engineer Brigade, 63rd Engineer-Sapper Brigade, 5th Guards, 1504 Separate Engineer Battalions, 275th Separate Sapper Battalion The front's first operations were the Lower Dnieper Strategic Offensive Operation and the Kiev Strategic Offensive and Kiev Strategic Defensive operations. In early 1944, after an amphibious landing against the German-held Crimea, begun the Crimean Strategic Offensive Operation in which 4UF, including 2nd Guards Army, 51st Army and the Separate Coastal Army destroyed the 17th Army, holding out there. 5th Shock Army and 28th Army were part of the Front at the time, but do not appear from U. S. military maps to have taken part in the battle. 1st Guards Army 18th Army 8th Air Army 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps, since November 1944 38th Army, since November 1944 60th Army, since March 1945 general Ivan Yefimovich Petrov general Andrey Ivanovich Yeryomenko
Siege of Breslau
The Siege of Breslau known as the Battle of Breslau, was a three-month-long siege of the city of Breslau in Lower Silesia, lasting to the end of World War II in Europe. From 13 February 1945 to 6 May 1945, German troops in Breslau were besieged by the Soviet forces which encircled the city as part of the Lower Silesian Offensive Operation; the German garrison's surrender on 6 May was followed by the surrender of all German forces two days after the battle. In August 1944, Adolf Hitler declared the city of Breslau to be a fortress, ordering that it must be defended at all costs, he named Karl Hanke to be the city's "Battle Commander". On 19 January 1945, the civilian population was forced to leave (many thousands died in the bitter cold of the makeshift evacuation; the German Army, aided by the Home Guard and slave labourers turned the city into a military fortress: Breslau was to be capable of a lengthy defense against the advancing Soviets. A large area of the city center was turned into an airfield.
Late in January, a regiment of Hitler Youth was sent to reinforce the garrison of Festung Breslau. SS regiment "Besslein" took part. On 2 February 1945, Hanke presented colors to the newly formed Home Guard units in Breslau. On the same day, Major General Hans von Ahlfen became the garrison commander of Fortress Breslau. Ahlfen, who commanded for only three weeks, had been selected by the Commander-in-Chief of Army Group Center, Ferdinand Schörner; the capture of a bridgehead on the west bank of the Oder by the 1st Ukrainian Front during the Vistula–Oder Offensive allowed the Soviet forces to encircle Breslau. Breslau fell in the sector of the Soviet 6th Army, commanded by Lieutenant General Vladimir Gluzdovsky. Gluzdovsky, relieved of his army command for his performance in positional fighting in eastern Belarus during the winter of 1943–1944, commanded the 6th Army on a secondary attack axis during the Vistula–Oder Offensive. Marshal of the Soviet Union Ivan Konev, commander of the 1st Ukrainian Front, in a 31 January directive, ordered the 6th Army to attack the rear of the German forces defending Breslau, to capture the city within four days of the beginning of the attack, part of the Lower Silesian Offensive.
The Breslau attack was not a priority for Konev, as the same directive tasked his troops with reaching the Elbe and capturing Berlin. However, the capture of Breslau would secure a crucial road junction, ensuing uninterrupted supply of the front; the start of the attack of the 6th Army was delayed for two days, from 6 to 8 February, by the overstretched supply lines of the front, which resulted from the advances it made during the Vistula–Oder Offensive. Due to a lack of rail transport and ammunition had to be transported from right bank of the Vistula to the Oder bridgeheads by road. Despite securing vehicles from the units defending the bridgehead, the 6th Army scraped together just 170 vehicles to transport 350 tons of ammunition and 180 tons of fuel. By the morning of 8 February and mortar units had enough ammunition for between two and five units of fire and infantry guns enough for between one and a half and two units of fire; the only tank support for the army was provided by the 7th Guards Mechanized Corps of Lieutenant General Ivan Korchagin, which late on 7 February fielded 186 T-34 tanks, 21 each of the ISU-122 and SU-76 self-propelled gun, the SU-85 tank destroyer – at its authorized strength.
Only six T-34s were listed as under repair. Nearly an hour of artillery bombardment, begun at 08:35 on 8 February, preceded the start of the 6th Army attack. Elements of the 7th Guards Mechanized Corps crossed to the bridgehead, accompanied by the artillery bombardment, by 12:00 its first echelon, which consisted of the 24th Guards Mechanized and 57th Guards Tank Brigades, outran their infantry support and advanced into the rear of the German defenses; the two forward brigades ran into fierce German resistance on the railway line from Breslau to the southwest on 10 and 11 February, with the 25th Guards Mechanized Brigade and 57th Guards bogged down at the Domslau station and Koberwitz village and station, respectively. They suffered heavy losses in tanks and men to German tanks and artillery, as well as panzerfausts fired from house basements. Combining their attacks, the 25th and 57th Guards broke through between Domslau and Koberwitz, but were stopped. During the same days, the corps' 24th and 26th Guards Mechanized Brigades, holding defensive positions, were struck by a German tank counterattack between Gross-Baudis and Kostenblut.
The 24th and 26th Guards Brigades were relieved by the 309th Rifle Division, fresh from the fighting at Liegnitz, early on 12 February. The bringing up of infantry units strengthened the Soviet defense on the outer edge of the partial encirclement. Another German counterattack, involving the 8th and 19th Panzer Divisions as well as Volkssturm and flak units, began at 18:20 on that day, lasting until 13 February, it achieved temporary success with the capture of Gross Peterwitz, but was soon pushed back to its jumping-off positions by a Soviet counterattack on its flank. The German situation further det
3rd Guards Tank Army
The 3rd Guards Tank Army was a tank army established by the Soviet Union's Red Army during World War II. The 3rd Tank Army was created in 1942 and fought in the southern areas of the Soviet Union and Poland in Germany and Czechoslovakia until the defeat of Germany in 1945. Postwar, the army served as occupation troops in East Germany, went through several name changes, was deactivated in 1969; the 3rd Tank Army was formed as part of the Reserve of the Supreme High Command on the basis of the 58th Army in the Moscow Military District in May 1942. It was placed under the command of Lieutenant General Prokofy Romanenko, its initial composition was 12th and 15th Tank Corps, one motor rifle division, two rifle divisions. As part of the Soviet Western Front, the 3rd Tank Army counter-attacked the German Second Panzer Army in August 1942. Soon afterwards, in September 1942, Romanenko handed over to Colonel General Pavel Rybalko, who held command of the Army for the remainder of the war. Committed to the fighting for Kharkov in March 1943 as part of the Voronezh Front, the 3rd Tank Army was subsequently encircled and destroyed by German forces.
The Army's remnants were reorganised as the 57th Army. The army was reformed as the 3rd Guards Tank Army in May 1943, including the 9th Mechanised Corps & 12th & 15th Tank Corps. In 1943, the army took part in the Orel offensive and, assigned to the Voronezh and First Ukrainian Fronts, played a leading role in the liberation of Left Bank Ukraine. During the Orel offensive the 12th and 15th Tank Corps became the 6th and 7th Guards Tank Corps, respectively; the army was among the first Soviet troops to reach the Dnieper River in October 1943. In 1944, it fought in the Lvov-Sandomierz offensive operations; the army subsequently fought in southern Poland, in the Battle of Berlin. It overran the OKH command post at Zossen, headquarters for German Eastern Front operations, on April 21, 1945; the army drove on Prague, entering that city on May 9. Soon after the end of the war, the 6th and 7th Guards Tank Corps were converted into tank divisions with the same numbers, the 9th Mechanized Corps into the 9th Mechanized Division.
By 1946, the army had been re-designated as the 3rd Guards Mechanized Army and was headquartered in Luckenwalde, East Germany, as part of the Group of Soviet Forces in Germany. The 3rd Guards Mechanized Army was one of several Soviet armies used in the suppression of the 1953 uprising in East Germany, moving the 6th Guards Tank Division into Dessau and Wittenberg as well as the 9th Mechanized Division into Lübben and Spremberg. On 29 April 1957, the 3rd Guards Mechanized Army became the 18th Guards Army. At the same time the 14th Guards Mechanized Division became the 14th Guards Motor Rifle Division. In 1958, the 82nd Motor Rifle Division, the former 9th Mechanized Corps, was withdrawn to Slavuta in the Carpathian Military District, where it disbanded. Up to 1964 it had preserved two formations which had served with it during World War II: the 6th and 7th Guards Tank Divisions. In August 1964, the headquarters of the 18th Guards Army was relocated to Alma-Ata, where it became the operational group of the Turkestan Military District.
The 6th and 7th Guards Tank Divisions and the 14th Guards Motor Rifle Division were transferred to other units within the GSFG. The operational group was converted back into the 18th Army on 4 March 1969, but was used to activate the headquarters of the Central Asian Military District on 24 June; the 3rd Tank Army was commanded by the following officers: Lieutenant General Prokofy Romanenko Major General Pavel Rybalko The 3rd Guards Tank Army, 3rd Guards Mechanized Army, 18th Guards Army were commanded by the following officers: Lieutenant General Pavel Rybalko Lieutenant General Vasily Mitrofanov Lieutenant General Vasily Butkov Lieutenant General Viktor Obukhov Major General Sergey Sokolov Major General Georgy Anishchik Beloborodov, Afanasy, ed.. Военные кадры Советского государства в Великой Отечественной войне 1941 – 1945 гг. Moscow: Voenizdat. Bonn, Keith E. Slaughterhouse. Bedford: Aberjona Press, 2005. ISBN 0-9717650-9-X. Feskov, V. I.. I.. A.. A.. Вооруженные силы СССР после Второй Мировой войны: от Красной Армии к Советской.
Tomsk: Scientific and Technical Literature Publishing. ISBN 9785895035306. Glantz, David M. Companion to Colossus Reborn. Lawrence: University Press of Kansas, 2005. ISBN 0-7006-1359-5. Poirier, Robert G. and Conner, Albert Z. The Red Army Order of Battle in the Great Patriotic War. Novato: Presidio Press, 1985. ISBN 0-89141-237-9. Shein, Dmitry. Танки ведет Рыбалко. Боевой путь 3-й Гвардейской танковой армии. Красная армия. Элитные войска. Moscow: Yauza/Eksmo. ISBN 978-5-699-20010-8. Zvartsev, Alexander, ed.. 3-я гвардейская танковая. Боевой путь 3-й гвардейской танк
Battle of the Korsun–Cherkassy Pocket
The Korsun-Shevchenkovsky Offensive led to the Battle of the Korsun–Cherkasy Pocket which took place from 24 January to 16 February 1944. The offensive was part of the Dnieper–Carpathian Offensive. In it, the 1st and 2nd Ukrainian Fronts, commanded by Nikolai Vatutin and Ivan Konev, encircled German forces of Army Group South in a pocket near the Dnieper River. During weeks of fighting, the two Red Army Fronts tried to eradicate the pocket; the encircled German units attempted a breakout in coordination with a relief attempt by other German forces, resulting in heavy casualties, estimates of which vary. The Soviet victory in the Korsun-Shevchenkovsky Offensive marked the successful implementation of Soviet deep operations. Soviet Deep Battle doctrine envisaged the breaking of the enemy's forward defences to allow fresh operational reserves to exploit the breakthrough by driving into the strategic depth of the enemy front; the arrival of large numbers of American- and British-built trucks and halftracks gave the Soviet forces much greater mobility than they had before.
This, coupled with the Soviet capacity to hold large formations in reserve gave the Red Army the ability to drive deep behind German defenses again and again. Though the Soviet operation at Korsun did not result in the collapse in the German front that the Soviet command had hoped for, it marked a significant deterioration in the strength available to the German army on that front in heavy weaponry, nearly all of, lost during the breakout. Through the rest of the war the Red Army would place large German forces in jeopardy, while the Germans were stretched thin and attempting to extract themselves from one crisis to the next. Mobile Soviet offensives were the hallmark of the Eastern front for the remainder of the war. In the autumn of 1943, the German forces of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein's Army Group South including General Otto Wöhler's 8th Army had fallen back to the Panther–Wotan line, a defensive position that in Ukraine followed the Dnieper river. However, when the German forces arrived, only planning and construction had been started, the defensive positions did not exist.
By 1 December 1943, the line had been broken and the Soviet Army had crossed the Dnieper in force. Only two corps, the XI under General Wilhelm Stemmermann, the XLII Army Corps under Lieutenant General Theobald Lieb and the attached Corps Detachment B from the 8th Army were holding a salient in the new Soviet line; the salient to the west of Cherkasy extended some 100 kilometers to the Dnieper river settlement of Kanev, with the town of Korsun in the center of the salient, with the 1st Ukrainian Front to its left and the 2nd Ukrainian Front to its right. Marshal of the Soviet Union Georgy Zhukov realized the potential for destroying Wöhler's 8th Army, using tactics similar to those used to encircle and destroy Paulus's 6th Army in the Battle of Stalingrad. Zhukov recommended to the Soviet Supreme Command deploying the 1st and 2nd Ukrainian Fronts to form two armored rings of encirclement: an inner ring around the pocket, followed by the destruction of the forces it contained, an external ring to prevent relief formations from reaching the surrounded units.
Despite repeated warnings from Manstein and others, Hitler refused to allow the exposed units to be pulled back. General Konev held a conference at his headquarters at Boltushki on 15 January with his commanders and their political commissars to pass on the orders received from Stavka; the initial attack was to be conducted by Konev's own 2nd Ukrainian Front from the southeast by the 53rd Army and 4th Guards Army, with the 5th Guards Tank Army to exploit penetrations, supported by the 5th Air Army, to be joined in progress by the 52nd Army, 5th Guards Cavalry Corps and 2nd Tank Army. Additionally, from Vatutin's 1st Ukrainian Front, the 27th and 40th Armies were to be deployed from the northwest, with the 6th Tank Army to exploit penetrations, supported by the 2nd Air Army. Many of these formations had received an inflow of new personnel. Red Army planning further included extensive deception operations that the Soviets claimed were successful; the Soviet attack started on 24 January when Konev's 2nd Ukrainian Front attacked the salient from the southeast.
A breakthrough was achieved, the penetration was exploited by the 5th Guards Tank Army and the 5th Guards Cavalry Corps the following day. Despite the awareness of the German 8th Army's staff that an attack was imminent, they were surprised by the appearance of the 1st Ukrainian Front's newly formed 6th Tank Army; the 6th Tank Army, with 160 tanks and 50 self-propelled guns, was inexperienced and took longer than expected to penetrate the western flank of the salient. A "mobile group" from the 5th Mechanized Corps' 233rd Tank Brigade, under the command of General Savelev, with 50 tanks and 200 sub-machine gun armed infantrymen, occupied Lysyanka and moved into the outskirts of Zvenyhorodka by 28 January. Here, these troops of the 6th Tank Army met the 2nd Ukrainian Front's 20th Tank Corps. Over the next three days, the two tank armies formed a thinly manned outer ring around what was now the Korsun Pocket while another, ring was formed by the Soviet 27th, 52nd, 4th Guard Armies; the Soviet commanders were optimistic about the progress of the operation.
Stalin was promised a second Stalingrad, he expected it. Konev wired: "There is no need to worry, Comrade Stalin; the encircled enemy will not escape." Inside the pocket were nearly 60,000 men from six German divisions, at about 55% of their authorized strength, along with a number of smaller combat units. Among the trapped German forces were the 5th SS Panzer Division
Wrocław is a city in western Poland and the largest city in the historical region of Silesia. It lies on the banks of the River Oder in the Silesian Lowlands of Central Europe 350 kilometres from the Baltic Sea to the north and 40 kilometres from the Sudeten Mountains to the south; the population of Wrocław in 2018 was 639,258, making it the fourth-largest city in Poland and the main city of the Wrocław agglomeration. Wrocław is the historical capital of Lower Silesia. Today, it is the capital of the Lower Silesian Voivodeship; the history of the city dates back over a thousand years, its extensive heritage combines all religions and cultures of Europe. At various times, it has been part of the Kingdom of Poland, Kingdom of Bohemia, Kingdom of Hungary, Habsburg Monarchy and Germany. Wrocław became part of Poland again in 1945, as a result of the border changes after the Second World War, which included a nearly complete exchange of population. Wrocław is a university city with a student population of over 130,000, making it one of the most youthful cities in the country.
Since the beginning of the 20th century, the University of Wrocław Breslau University, produced 9 Nobel Prize laureates and is renowned for its high quality of teaching. Wrocław is classified as a Gamma-global city by GaWC, it was placed among the top 100 cities in the world for the quality of life by the consulting company Mercer and in the top 100 of the smartest cities in the world in the IESE Cities in Motion Index 2017 report. The city hosted the Eucharistic Congress in the Euro 2012 football championships. In 2016, the city was a European Capital of the World Book Capital. In this year, Wrocław hosted the Theatre Olympics, World Bridge Games and the European Film Awards. In 2017, the city was the host of the World Games; the city's name was first recorded as "Wrotizlava" in the chronicle of German chronicler Thietmar of Merseburg, which mentions it as a seat of a newly installed bishopric in the context of the Congress of Gniezno. The first municipal seal stated. A simplified name is given, as Wrezlaw, Prezla or Breslaw.
The Czech spelling was used in Latin documents as Vratislavia. At that time, Prezla was used in Middle High German. In the middle of the 14th century, the Early New High German form of the name, began to replace its earlier versions; the city is traditionally believed to be named after Wrocisław or Vratislav believed to be named after Duke Vratislaus I of Bohemia. It is possible that the city was named after the tribal duke of the Silesians or after an early ruler of the city called Vratislav; the city's name in various other languages is: Hungarian: Boroszló, Czech: Vratislav, German: Breslau, Hebrew: ורוצלב, Yiddish: ברעסלוי, Silesian German: Brassel, Latin: Vratislavia or Budorgis or Wratislavia. The city's name in other languages is available at the list of names of European cities. Persons born or living in the city are known as "Vratislavians". In ancient times at or near Wrocław was a place called Budorigum, it has been mapped to Claudius Ptolemy's map of AD 142–147. The city of Wrocław originated at the intersection of two trade routes, the Via Regia and the Amber Road.
Settlements in the area existed during the migration period. A Slavic tribe Ślężans erected on Ostrów Tumski a gord; the city was first recorded in the 10th century as Vratislavia, the Bohemian duke Vratislaus I founded here a Bohemian stronghold. Vratislavia was derived from the duke's name Vratislav. In 985, Duke Mieszko I of Poland conquered Silesia including Wrocław; the town was mentioned explicitly in the year 1000 AD in connection with a founding of a bishopric during the Congress of Gniezno. The medieval chronicle, Gesta principum Polonorum, written by Gallus Anonymus in 1112–1116, named Wrocław, along with Kraków and Sandomierz, as one of the three capitals of the Polish Kingdom. During Wrocław's early history, the control over it changed hands between Bohemia, the Kingdom of Poland, after the fragmentation of the Kingdom of Poland, the Piast-ruled duchy of Silesia. One of the most important events during this period was the foundation of the Diocese of Wrocław by the Polish Duke Bolesław the Brave in 1000.
Along with the Bishoprics of Kraków and Kołobrzeg, Wrocław was placed under the Archbishopric of Gniezno in Greater Poland, founded by Pope Sylvester II through the intercession of the Emperor Otto III in 1000, during the Congress of Gniezno. In the years 1034–1038 the city was affected by Pagan reaction in Poland; the city became a commercial centre and expanded to Wyspa Piasek, to the left bank of the River Oder. Around 1000, the town had about 1,000 inhabitants. In 1109 during the Polish-German war, Prince Bolesław III Wrymouth defeated the King of Germany Henry V at the Battle of Hundsfeld, stopping the German march into Poland. By 1139, a settlement belonging to Governor Piotr Włostowic was built, another was founded on the left bank of the River Oder, near the present seat of the University. While the city was Polish, there were communities of Bohemians, Jews and Germans. In the 13th century, Wrocław was the political centre of the divided Polish kingdom. In April 1241, during the First Mongol invasion of Poland the city was abandoned by the inhabitants and burned for strategic reason