Tambov is a city and the administrative center of Tambov Oblast, located at the confluence of the Tsna and Studenets Rivers, about 480 kilometers south-southeast of Moscow. Population: 280,161; the name "Tambov" originates from the Moksha language word "томба" meaning "abyss", or "deep pool". Tambov was founded by the decree of Tsar Mikhail Fyodorovich on April 17, 1636, it was a border fortress against attacks by the Crimean Tatars, but it soon declined in importance as a military outpost. It became the region's administrative and trade centre. Roman Boborykin, the emperor's court menial and voivode was the town's first builder. Thanks to his experience, the fortress had been completed rapidly. Tambov was granted city status in 1719. In 1779, Tambov Viceroyalty was formed, on August 16, 1781, Empress Catherine the Great approved the city's coat of arms depicting a beehive, symbolizing the town's hardworking residents; this viceroyalty was formed from southern parts of Ryazan Viceyorality and northern parts of Voronezh Viceyorality.
In March 1786, the disgraced Russian poet and statesman Gavrila Derzhavin was appointed the governor of Tambov Governorate—a post that he held until December 1788. During that brief tenure, he accomplished a great deal: a theatre, a college, a dancing school, a printing business, an orchestra, a brickyard were built. Tambov erected a monument to Derzhavin. In November 1830, during the Cholera Riots in Russia, the citizens of Tambov attacked their governor, but they were soon suppressed by the regular army. In the 19th century Tambov became a significant cultural centre that supported a growing number of schools and other institutions. By 1897, its population was more than 50,000 people. During the Civil War, in 1920–1921, the region witnessed the Tambov Rebellion—a bitter struggle between local residents and the Bolshevik Red Army. In 1921, a Tambov Republic was established, but it was soon crushed by the Red Army under the command of Mikhail Tukhachevsky. Between 1928 and 1934, Tambov became okrug centre in Central Black Earth Oblast.
After dissolving the oblast on 13 June 1934, it became the raion center in Voronezh Oblast. Tambov became the centre of Tambov Oblast, created from oblasts of Voronezh and Kuybyshev on 27 September 1937; the oblast had present form after separation of Penza Oblast on 4 February 1939. During and after World War II, most of the Malgré-nous from Alsace-Moselle were jailed in "Camp #188" at Tambov. Between 4,000 and 10,000 French people died in this camp. In 1991, a 360-meter high guyed television antenna was built in Tambov. Tambov serves as the administrative center of the oblast and, within the framework of administrative divisions, it serves as the administrative center of Tambovsky District though it is not a part of it; as an administrative division, it is incorporated as the city of oblast significance of Tambov—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the city of oblast significance of Tambov is incorporated as Tambov Urban Okrug; the city is industrialized.
The city is served by Tambov Donskoye Airport. Tambov is the location of the Tambov air base of the Russian Air Force. A railway connection between Tambov and Moscow was first established in 1871; the railroad is not electrified. There are small suburban trains, or "rail buses" that connect Tambov Oblast's capital with other cities, such as Michurinsk and Kirsanov. Tambov has a humid continental climate; the average temperature of the coldest month is about -8 °C, the warmest month – about +20 °C. Because of the southerly location average annual temperature in Tambov is about 2 degrees higher than in Moscow. Annual rainfall ranges from 400 to 650 mm, more than half of them of precipitation falls in the warm season. Duration of the warm period is 154 days; the city is home to Tambov State University and Tambov State Technical University. The Tambov Art Gallery houses a vast collection of canvases by West-European artists. Russia's oldest drama theater is located in Tambov, as well as two universities, two military colleges, a musical school, a museum of local lore, other cultural institutions.
Tambov's professional association football team, FC Tambov, plays in the Russian Football National League. Andrey Kolmogorov, mathematician Constantin Fahlberg, a chemist known for artificial sweetener Saccharin Sergei Rachmaninoff, musician Alexander Lodygin, electrical engineer Nikolay Fyodorov, religious philosopher Lev Kuleshov, movie director Ida Kar, photographer Victor Merzhanov, pianist Anastasia Rodionova, tennis player Arina Rodionova, tennis player Yuri Zhirkov, football player Tambovskaya Bratva, a famous criminal gang from Tambov covering many areas of Russia. Tambov is a sister city of: Balchik, Bulgaria Bar-le-Duc, France Grodno, Belarus Sukhumi, Abkhazia Terre Haute, United States Тамбовская областная Дума. Закон №72-З от 21 июня 1996 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Тамбовской области», в ред. Закона №544-З от 11 июня 2015 г. «О внесении изменений в статью 7 Закона Тамбовской области "Об административно-территориальном устройстве Тамбовской области"». Опубликован: "Тамбовская жизнь", №131, 1996 г.
(Tambov Oblast Duma. Law #72-Z of June 21, 1996 On the Administrative-Territorial Structure of Tambov Oblast, as amended by the Law #544-Z of June 11, 2015 On Amending Article 7 of the Law of Tambov
The Crimean Offensive, known in German sources as the Battle of the Crimea, was a series of offensives by the Red Army directed at the German-held Crimea. The Red Army's 4th Ukrainian Front engaged the German 17th Army of Army Group A, which consisted of Wehrmacht and Romanian formations; the battles ended with the evacuation of the Crimea by the Germans. German and Romanian forces suffered considerable losses during the evacuation. During late 1943 and early 1944, the Wehrmacht was pressed back along its entire front line in the east. In October 1943, the 17th Army withdrew from the Kuban bridgehead across the Kerch Strait into the Crimea. During the following months, the Red Army pushed back the Wehrmacht in southern Ukraine cutting off the land-based connection of 17th Army through the Perekop Isthmus in November 1943; the Wehrmacht was able to hold on to the Crimea after it had been cut off by land due to their ability to supply it via the Black Sea. Holding the Crimea was considered important as its loss would negatively affect the attitude of Turkey and put Romanian oilfields under risk of Soviet air attacks.
Aside from Soviet landings across the Kerch Strait and in the north-eastern sector near Sivash at the end of 1943, the Soviet Army ignored the Crimea for the next five months. Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist was removed from the command of Army Group A on March 30, 1944, he was succeeded by Ferdinand Schörner. An assault across the Perekop Isthmus was launched on 8 April by elements of the 4th Ukrainian Front's 2nd Guards and 51st Armies; the 17th Army was unable to stop the advance. Kerch was reached by the Separate Coastal Army on 11 April; the 17th Army was retreating toward Sevastopol by 16 April, with remaining Axis forces in the Crimea concentrating around the city by the end of the third week of April. The OKH intended to hold Sevastopol as a fortress, as the Red Army had done during the first Crimean campaign in 1941–42. However, the fortifications of the city had never been restored and Sevastopol was not the strong defensive position that it had been in 1941. Fighting broke out in the city outskirts towards the end of April and the city fell on 9 May, less than a month after the start of the offensive.
The Axis sea evacuation to Constanța was attacked by Soviet land-based bombers. The evacuation of the Crimea in April–May 1944 was the most complex and extensive operation of the Romanian Navy during the Second World War. From 15 April to 14 May, numerous German and Romanian warships escorted many convoys between Constanța and Sevastopol; the scale and importance of the operation can be attested by the usage in combat of all four Romanian destroyers, the largest Axis warships in the Black Sea. The last phase of the evacuation saw the fiercest combat, as Axis ships transported, under constant attacks from Soviet aircraft and shore artillery, over 30,000 troops. Of these, 18,000 were transported by Romanian ships. On 11 May, the German tanker Friederike was torpedoed and damaged by Soviet submarine L-4, preventing her participation. In total and German convoys evacuated over 113,000 Axis troops from the Crimea, most of them during the first phase of the evacuation. No Romanian Navy warships were lost during the evacuation, however the destroyer Regele Ferdinand came close to being sunk.
She was struck by a large aerial bomb, which failed to detonate. The bomb was extracted several days after the end of the operation. Two naval actions involving the Romanian Navy took place during the second phase of the evacuation, near Sevastopol. On 18 April, the Soviet Leninets-class submarine L-6 was twice attacked with depth charges and damaged by the Romanian gunboat Ghiculescu, numerous bubbles emerged from the depths after each attack, before being finished off by the German submarine hunter UJ-104. During the night of 27 April, a convoy escorted by the Romanian gunboat Ghiculescu, the German submarine hunter UJ-115, one R-boat, two KFK naval trawlers and 19 MFPs engaged the Soviet G-5-class motor torpedo boats TKA-332, TKA-343 and TKA-344, after the three attacked and damaged the German submarine hunter UJ-104. Ghiculescu opened fire with tracer rounds, enabling the entire escort group to locate the two Soviet MTBs and open fire. TKA-332 was sunk. Over 12 Soviet aircraft were shot down during the evacuation, including two by the minelaying destroyer escort Amiral Murgescu.
The last Axis pockets in the Crimea were destroyed on 12 May. The last Axis warship to leave the peninsula was Amiral Murgescu, carrying on board 1,000 Axis troops, including the German General Walter Hartmann. In a meeting with Adolf Hitler in Berchtesgaden, Jaenecke had insisted that Sevastopol should be evacuated and his cut off Army of 235,000 men withdrawn. After the loss of the Crimea, he was arrested in Romania and court-martialed. Only the intervention of Heinz Guderian saved his life, he was dismissed from the army on 31 January 1945. The German and Romanian formations suffered the loss of 57,000 men, many of whom drowned during the evacuation; the sinking of the Totila and Teja on 10 May alone caused up to 10,000 deaths. In total, the German losses at sea amounted to five cargo ships, one tanker, three tugs, three lighters, three motorboats and four submarine hunters, while the Romanians lost three cargo ships; the successful evacuation of Axis troops from the Crimea earned the commander of the Romanian Navy, Rear Admiral Horia Macellariu, the Knight's Cross of the Iron Cross.
The table below is based on information from Glantz/House When Titans Clashed.: 4th Uk
Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovsky was a Soviet military commander in World War II, Marshal of the Soviet Union, Defense Minister of the Soviet Union in the late 1950s and 1960s. He contributed to the major defeat of Germany at the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Budapest. During the post-war era, he made a pivotal contribution to the strengthening of the Soviet Union as a military superpower. Born in Odessa, After the death of his Catholic father, Malinovsky's mother left the city for the rural areas of Ukraine, remarried, her husband, a poverty-stricken Ukrainian peasant, refused to adopt her son and expelled him when Malinovsky was only 13 years old. The homeless boy survived by working as a farmhand, received shelter from his aunt's family in Odessa, where he worked as an errand boy in a general store. After the start of World War I in July 1914, only 15 years old at the time, hid on the military train heading for the German front, but was discovered, he convinced the commanding officers to enlist him as a volunteer, served in a machine-gun detachment in the frontline trenches.
In October 1915, as a reward for repelling a German attack, he received his first military award, the Cross of St. George of the 4th class, was promoted to the rank of corporal. Soon afterwards, he was badly spent several months in the hospital. After his recovery, he was sent to France in 1916 as a member of the Western Front Russian Expeditionary Corps. Malinovsky fought in a hotly contested sector of the front near Fort Brion and was promoted to sergeant, he suffered a serious wound in his left arm, received a decoration from the French government. After the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the French government disbanded some Russian units, but others were transferred to a newly created unit called the Russian Legion, attached to the Moroccan Division. Malinovsky fought against the Germans until the end of the war. During this time, he was awarded the French Croix de guerre and promoted to senior NCO, he returned to Odessa in 1919, where he joined the Red Army in the Civil War against the White Army and fought with distinction in Siberia.
He remained in the army after the end of the conflict, studying in the training school for the junior commanders, rose to commander of a rifle battalion. In 1926, he became a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, membership of, a prerequisite for promotion in the military. In 1927, Malinovsky was sent to study at the elite Frunze Military Academy, he graduated in 1930, during the next seven years he rose to the Chief of Staff of the 3rd Cavalry Corps, where his commander was Semyon Timoshenko. After the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Malinovsky volunteered to fight for the Republicans against the right-wing nationalists of General Francisco Franco and their Italian and German allies, he participated in directing several main operations. In 1938, he returned to Moscow, being awarded the top Soviet decorations, the Order of Lenin and the Order of the Red Banner, in recognition of his service in Spain. In the spring of 1941, who served the People's Commissar for Defence, was alarmed by the massive German military buildup on the Soviet borders, as the Wehrmacht was secretly preparing for Operation Barbarossa.
In order to strengthen the Red Army field command, he dispatched some of the top officers from the military academies to the field units. Malinovsky was promoted to General-Major, took command over the freshly raised 48th Rifle Corps, 9th Army in the Odessa Military District. A week prior to the start of the war, Malinovsky deployed his corps close to the Romanian border. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, with the Red Army suffering enormous defeats and losing hundreds of thousands of troops in German encirclements, Malinovsky emerged a competent general, his corps of three formed rifle divisions faced German Blitzkrieg along the line of the Prut River. While, as a rule, Red Army generals would lead their forces from behind the frontline, Malinovsky went to the crucial sectors of the battles to be with his soldiers and encourage them. Unable to stop the Wehrmacht, Malinovsky had to retreat along the Black Sea shore, while frustrating enemy attempts to encircle his troops; the Germans succeeded in cornering his corps in Mykolaiv, but Malinovsky breached their ring and retreated to Dnipropetrovsk.
In August, he was promoted to Chief of Staff of the badly battered 6th Army, soon replaced its commander. He was promoted to General-Leytenant. After the retreat of the Red Army to the Donbass, Malinovsky commanded a joint operation of the 6th and 12th armies, managing to drive the Wehrmacht out of the region. In December 1941, Malinovsky received command of the Southern Front, consisting of three weak field armies and two division-sized cavalry corps, they were short of manpower and equipment, but Malinovsky managed to push deep into the defenses of the Germans, after 6 months of fighting, were suffering from fatigue and shortages as well. On 12 May 1942, Malinovsky and the Southwestern Front, under the overall command of Timoshenko, launched a joint attack in the Second Battle of Kharkov pushing the Germans back 100 kilometres. Timoshenko suffered a heavy defeat. Although Stalin, in spite of opposition by his top military advisers, supported the ill-fated Kharkov offense, he became suspicious that Malinovsky had intentionally failed his
Operation Uranus was the codename of the Soviet 19–23 November 1942 strategic operation in World War II which led to the encirclement of the German Sixth Army, the Third and Fourth Romanian armies, portions of the German Fourth Panzer Army. The operation was executed at the midpoint of the five month long Battle of Stalingrad, was aimed at destroying German forces in and around Stalingrad. Planning for Operation Uranus had commenced in September 1942, was developed with plans to envelop and destroy German Army Group Center and German forces in the Caucasus; the Red Army took advantage of the German army's poor preparation for winter, the fact that its forces in the southern Soviet Union were overstretched near Stalingrad, using weaker Romanian troops to guard their flanks. These Axis armies lacked heavy equipment to deal with Soviet armor. Due to the length of the front created by the German summer offensive, aimed at taking the Caucasus oil fields and the city of Stalingrad and other Axis forces were forced to guard sectors beyond the length they were meant to occupy.
The situation was exacerbated by the German decision to relocate several mechanized divisions from the Soviet Union to Western Europe. Furthermore, units in the area were depleted after months of fighting those which took part in the fighting in Stalingrad; the Germans could only count on the XXXXVIII Panzer Corps, which had the strength of a single panzer division, the 29th Panzergrenadier Division as reserves to bolster their Romanian allies on the German Sixth Army's flanks. In comparison, the Red Army deployed over one million personnel for the purpose of beginning the offensive in and around Stalingrad. Soviet troop movements were not without problems, due to the difficulties of concealing their build-up, to Soviet units arriving late due to logistical issues. Operation Uranus was first postponed from 8 to 17 November to 19 November. At 07:20 Moscow time on 19 November, Soviet forces on the northern flank of the Axis forces at Stalingrad began their offensive. Although Romanian units were able to repel the first attacks, by the end of 20 November the Third and Fourth Romanian armies were in headlong retreat, as the Red Army bypassed several German infantry divisions.
German mobile reserves were not strong enough to parry the Soviet mechanized spearheads, while the Sixth Army did not react enough nor decisively enough to disengage German armored forces in Stalingrad and reorient them to defeat the impending threat. By late 22 November Soviet forces linked up at the town of Kalach, encircling some 290,000 men east of the Don River. Instead of attempting to break out of the encirclement, German leader Adolf Hitler decided to keep Axis forces in Stalingrad and resupply them by air. In the meantime and German commanders began to plan their next movements. On 28 June 1942, the Wehrmacht began its offensive against Soviet forces opposite of Army Group South, codenamed Case Blue. After breaking through Red Army forces by 13 July, German forces encircled and captured the city of Rostov. Following the fall of Rostov, Hitler split German forces operating in the southern extremity of the southern Russian SFSR in an effort to capture the city of Stalingrad and the Caucasus oil fields.
The responsibility to take Stalingrad was given to the Sixth Army, which turned towards the Volga River and began its advance with heavy air support from the Luftwaffe's Luftflotte 4. On 7 August, two German panzer corps were able to flank and encircle a Soviet force of 50,000 personnel and 1,000 tanks, on 22 August German forces began to cross the Don River to complete the advance towards the Volga; the following day, the Battle of Stalingrad began when vanguards of the Sixth Army penetrated the suburbs of the city. By November the Sixth Army had occupied most of Stalingrad, pushing the defending Red Army to the banks of the Volga River. By this stage, there were indications of an impending Soviet offensive which would target Wehrmacht forces around the city, including increased Soviet activity opposite the Sixth Army's flanks, information gained through the interrogation of Soviet prisoners. However, the German command was intent upon finalizing its capture of Stalingrad. In fact, head of Army General Staff General Franz Halder had been dismissed in September after his efforts to warn about the danger, developing along the over-extended flanks of the Sixth Army and the Fourth Panzer Army.
As early as September the Soviet Stavka began planning a series of counteroffensives to encompass the destruction of German forces in the south, fighting in Stalingrad and in the Caucasus, against Army Group Center. Command of Soviet efforts to relieve Stalingrad was put under the leadership of General Aleksandr Vasilevsky; the Stavka developed two major operations to be conducted against Axis forces near Stalingrad and Saturn, planned for Operation Mars, designed to engage German Army Group Center in an effort to distract reinforcements and to inflict as much damage as possible. Operation Uranus involved the use of large Soviet mechanized and infantry forces to encircle German and other Axis forces directly around Stalingrad; as preparations for the offensive commenced, the attack's starting points were positioned on stretches of front to the rear of the German Sixth Army preventing the Germans from reinforcing those sectors where Axis units were too overstretched to occupy effectively. The offensive was a double envel
Morshansk is a town in Tambov Oblast, located on the Tsna River 93 kilometers north of Tambov. Population: 41,556 ; the exact origins of Morshansk are unknown. A village called Morsha, it was granted town status in 1779 by Catherine the Great because of its growth in relation to the fact that it was a major bread trading center on the Tsna River. Within the framework of administrative divisions, Morshansk serves as the administrative center of Morshansky District though it is not a part of it; as an administrative division, it is incorporated separately as the town of oblast significance of Morshansk—an administrative unit with the status equal to that of the districts. As a municipal division, the town of oblast significance of Morshansk is incorporated as Morshansk Urban Okrug. Nikolai Valentinov Russian Marxist Тамбовская областная Дума. Закон №72-З от 21 июня 1996 г. «Об административно-территориальном устройстве Тамбовской области», в ред. Закона №544-З от 11 июня 2015 г. «О внесении изменений в статью 7 Закона Тамбовской области "Об административно-территориальном устройстве Тамбовской области"».
Опубликован: "Тамбовская жизнь", №131, 1996 г.. Тамбовская областная Дума. Закон №232-З от 17 сентября 2004 г. «Об установлении границ и определении места нахождения представительных органов муниципальных образований в Тамбовской области», в ред. Закона №606-З от 7 декабря 2015 г. «О внесении изменений в Закон Тамбовской области "Об установлении границ и определении места нахождения представительных органов муниципальных образований в Тамбовской области"». Вступил в силу со дня официального опубликования. Опубликован: "Тамбовская жизнь", №185.. Website of Morshansk
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
Hermann Hoth was a German army commander and war criminal during World War II. He fought as a panzer commander on the Eastern Front. Hoth commanded the 3rd Panzer Group during Operation Barbarossa in 1941, the 4th Panzer Army during the Wehrmacht's 1942 summer offensive. Following the encirclement of the 6th Army in the Battle of Stalingrad in November 1942, Hoth's panzer army unsuccessfully attempted to relieve it during Operation Winter Storm. After Stalingrad, Hoth was involved in the Third Battle of Kharkov, the Battle of Kursk in the summer of 1943 and the Battle of Kiev. Hoth implemented the criminal Commissar Order during the invasion of the Soviet Union. After the war, Hoth was convicted of war crimes and crimes against humanity in the High Command trial and sentenced to 15 years, he was released on parole in 1954. Born in 1885, Hoth joined the army in 1903 and was awarded both classes of the Iron Cross during World War I, he remained in the Reichswehr in the interwar period. Following the reorganization of the German military into the Wehrmacht in 1935, he was appointed to command the 18th Infantry Division.
Hoth was promoted to Lieutenant-General and given command of the XV Motorised Corps in 1938, leading it in the invasion of Poland the following year. During the invasion of France in May 1940, his panzer corps was on Guderian's right flank during their advance through the Ardennes, contained the 5th Panzer and 7th Panzer Divisions. Hoth was promoted to Generaloberst in July 1940. In Operation Barbarossa in 1941, Hoth commanded the 3rd Panzer Group which captured Minsk and Vitebsk as part of Army Group Center's operations. In mid July, the 3rd Panzer Group was subordinated to Army Group North to shore up the flanks and attempted to seize Velikie Luki. Hoth's forces were driven back on 20 July when Red Army forces broke through the German lines, prompting criticism from Field Marshal Günther von Kluge, commander of Army Group Center for unnecessarily striking out too far to the north east. In mid to late August, Hoth's forces faced another setback owing to heavy losses and dispersal of efforts: facing the reinforced Soviet 19th Army, he committed the 7th Panzer Division without infantry support, which resulted in what the historian David Stahel describes as a "debacle".
The division's attack was repulsed with the loss of 30 tanks. As with all German armies on the Eastern Front, Hoth's Panzer Group implemented the Commissar Order. According to reports from subordinate units, the order was carried out on a widespread basis. In October Hoth was appointed commander of the 17th Army in Ukraine. Hoth was an active supporter of the war of annihilation against the Soviet Union, calling on his men to understand the need for "harsh punishment of Jewry". Under Hoth's command, units of the 17th Army took part in the hunt for and murder of Jews in its territory of control. Following the issuance of the Severity Order by Walter von Reichenau in October 1941, he issued the following directive to troops under his command in November 1941: Every sign of active or passive resistance or any sort of machinations on the part of Jewish-Bolshevik agitators are to be and pitilessly exterminated... These circles are the intellectual supports of Bolshevism, the bearers of its murderous organisation, the helpmates of the partisans.
It is the same Jewish class of beings who have done so much damage to our own Fatherland by virtue of their activities against the nation and civilisation, who promote anti-German tendencies throughout the world, who will be the harbingers of revenge. Their extermination is a dictate of our own survival. During the Soviet winter offensives of early 1942, Hoth's 17th Army was driven back in the Second Battle of Kharkov. In June 1942, he took over from General Richard Ruoff as commander of 4th Panzer Army; as part of Operation Blue, the German offensive in southern Russia, the army reached the Don River at Voronezh. Hoth was ordered to drive to Rostov-on-Don, it advanced to the north in support of the Sixth Army's attempt to capture Stalingrad. In November 1942, the Soviet Operation Uranus broke through the Axis lines and trapped the Sixth Army in Stalingrad. Hoth's panzer army led the unsuccessful attempt to relieve the Sixth Army, under the overall command of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein's Army Group Don.
By 25 December, the operation had failed. In February 1943, Hoth's 4th Panzer Army participated in the counteroffensive against the Soviet forces advancing in the Donbass region; the operation did not receive a name. Known as Third Battle of Kharkov, it commenced on 21 February, as the 4th Panzer Army launched a counter-attack; the German forces cut off the Soviet mobile spearheads and continued the drive north, retaking Kharkov on 15 March and Belgorod on 18 March. Exhaustion of both the Wehrmacht and the Red Army coupled with the loss of mobility due to the onset of the spring rasputitsa resulted in the cessation of operations for both sides by mid-March; the counteroffensive left a salient extending into the German area of control, centered around the city of Kursk, leading up to Operation Citadel. In July 1943, Hoth commanded the 4th Panzer Army in the Battle of Kursk as part of Army Group South. Operation Citadel called for a double envelopment, directed at Kursk, to surround the Soviet defenders and seal off the salient.
The Army Group South committed Hoth's 4th Panzer Army, alongside Army Detachment Kempf. Hoth's divisions, reinforced by the II SS Panzer Corps under Paul Hausser, penetrated several Soviet defensive lines, before being brought to a halt in the Battle of Prokhorovka. In the aftermath of Ku