Riga Offensive (1944)
The Riga Offensive (known in was part of the larger Baltic Offensive on the Eastern Front during World War II. It took place late in 1944, drove German forces from the city of Riga. Soviet forces had advanced towards the Baltic coast in the beginning of their Tartu Offensive and at the end of the successful Belorussian Offensive, during July and August 1944, at one point had broken through to the Gulf of Riga; the victories in July were unexpected, at one point on July 31, the commander of the 8th mechanized brigade communicated with corps headquarters to notify them that it's tanks had reached the beach. In an unusual act, they were ordered to fill several bottles of sea water, have them signed, flown to The Kremlin as proof that Army Group North had been cut off from the Reich. During August, the German 18th Army had mounted a Operation Doppelkopf; the German Valga–Võrtsjärv line, supported by the local Estonian Omakaitse militia battalions, repelled the heavy pressure of the Soviet 3rd Baltic Front's Tartu Offensive.
The German Army Group North's commander, Ferdinand Schörner designed Operation Aster to pull his troops out of mainland Estonia. The parallel Riga Offensive would see Soviet forces apply further pressure on Army Group North, which still held much of Latvia and Estonia. Elements of: 1st Baltic Front 2nd Baltic Front 22nd Army 3rd Baltic Front Army Group North Sixteenth Army Eighteenth Army Elements of Army Group Centre temporarily reassigned to Army Group North Third Panzer Army Omakaitse The Soviet forces launched a ferocious attack on the Riga axis on September 14, 1944. Within 4 days, the German 16th Army had suffered serious damage, while in the 18th Army's sector, ten of the eighteen German divisions had been reduced to the Kampfgruppe level. In the northern segment placed along Lake Võrtsjärv, the Väike Emajõgi and Gauja rivers, the Soviet 3rd Baltic Front attacked the German XXVIII Army Corps backed by Omakaitse battalions. In fierce battles, the German and Estonian units held their positions.
From the south, the 43rd Army was threatening the approaches to Riga itself, where the German X Corps had been shattered. Schoerner began to move his divisions into the Courland Peninsula, intending to shorten the front and pull back from Riga. A counter-attack was carried out by the XXXIX Panzer Corps of 3rd Panzer Army, temporarily placed under Schörner's overall command, but the Soviet opposition was too strong. In the meantime, Stavka had been preparing a new axis of attack under the cover of a further push towards Riga, the new plan being put forward in a directive of September 24. On September 27, the 16th Army began to report Soviet traffic away from its front, to the south-west. In fact, several major Soviet force concentrations were being shifted southwards in preparation for a major thrust westwards towards Memel by the 1st Baltic Front. German intelligence detected the movement of several of the armies involved, but were unable to detect their destination; the resulting offensive, the Battle of Memel, was launched on October 5.
Schoerner's forces around Riga and in Courland were now cut off. On October 9, Schoerner signalled that he would attack towards Memel and try and re-establish the land connection if Riga could be evacuated. Soviet forces were again moving forwards outside Riga, brought the city within the range of artillery fire on October 10. Leaving a screening force of the 227th Infantry Division and the guns of the 6th Motorized Anti-Aircraft Division, the 18th Army retreated through Riga into Courland, destroying bridges on its route. Riga was taken by forces of the 3rd Baltic Front on October 13. Over the next few days Soviet units were reported in action to the west of Riga, stating that German forces had been cleared from the eastern bank of the Lielupe River by October 17. Army Group North had been driven into the Courland Pocket, where it remained isolated until the end of the war in Europe
The Lielupe is a river in central Latvia. Its length is 119 km; the surface area of its drainage basin is 17,600 km². The average fall of the Lielupe is about and its average flow is 106 m³/s, although a maximum of 1380 m³/s has been reached during floods; the Lielupe begins at the confluence of the Mūsa rivers near Bauska. For the upper part of its course, the river flows through a dolomite valley with a few small rapids, until it reaches Mežotne, where it widens and deepens over the flat Zemgale Plain. For many years the Lielupe would overflow its shallow banks and flood surrounding fields and villages during the spring thaw. Today many parts of the Lielupe's banks are contained with earthen dikes to prevent disastrous floods. Much of the Lielupe is covered in river grasses. At its lower reaches, the river flows parallel to the coast line of the Gulf of Riga; the Lielupe flows into the Baltic Sea, while the Buļļupe branch flows into the Daugava River. The modern mouth of the river appeared in 1755.
Before the Buļļupe was the Lielupe's main channel. About 50-55% of the water discharge of the river is from melted snow; the Lielupe is navigable for a range of the longest continuous range among Latvian rivers. Municipalities along the river include Bauska, Mežotne, Kalnciems, Jūrmala and Riga; the Lielupe gives its name to a railway station and a neighbourhood in the city of Jūrmala. Information about Lielupe river basin
Sevastopol is the largest city on the Crimean Peninsula and a major Black Sea port. The city is administered as a federal city of the Russian Federation following Crimea's annexation by Russia in 2014. Ukraine and most of the UN member countries continue to regard Sevastopol as a city with special status within Ukraine. Sevastopol has a population of 393,304, concentrated near the Sevastopol Bay and surrounding areas; the location and navigability of the city's harbours have made Sevastopol a strategically important port and naval base throughout history. The city has been a home to the Russian Black Sea Fleet, why it was considered as a separate city in Crimea of significant military importance and was once operated by the Soviet Union as a closed city. Although small at 864 square kilometres, Sevastopol's unique naval and maritime features have been the basis for a robust economy; the city enjoys moderate warm summers. The city is an important centre for marine biology research. In particular, dolphins have been studied and trained in the city by the military since the end of World War II.
The name of Sevastopolis was chosen in the same etymological trend as other cities in the Crimean peninsula. It is a compound of the Greek adjective, σεβαστός and the noun πόλις. Σεβαστός is the traditional Greek equivalent of the Roman honorific Augustus given to the first emperor of the Roman Empire and awarded as a title to his successors. Despite its Greek origin, the name is not from Ancient Greek times; the city was named after Empress Catherine II of the Russian Empire founded Sevastopol in 1783. She visited the city in 1787, accompanied by Joseph II, the Emperor of Austria, other foreign dignitaries. In the west of the city, there are well-preserved ruins of the ancient Greek port city of Chersonesos, founded in the 5th century BC by settlers from Heraclea Pontica; this name means "peninsula", reflecting its immediate location. It is not related to the ancient Greek name for the Crimean Peninsula as a whole: Chersonēsos Taurikē; the name of the city is spelled as: In English, the current prevalent spelling of the name is Sevastopol.
In English, the current spelling has the pronunciation or, whilst the former spelling has the pronunciation or. Ukrainian: Севастополь. Crimean Tatar: Aqyar, pronounced. In the 6th century BC, a Greek colony was established in the area of the modern-day city; the Greek city of Chersonesus existed for two thousand years, first as an independent democracy and as part of the Bosporan Kingdom. In the 13th and 14th centuries, it was sacked by the Golden Horde several times and was totally abandoned; the modern day city of Sevastopol has no connection to the ancient and medieval Greek city, but the ruins are a popular tourist attraction located on the outskirts of the city. Sevastopol was founded in June 1783 as a base for a naval squadron under the name Akhtiar, by Rear Admiral Thomas MacKenzie, a native Scot in Russian service. Five years earlier, Alexander Suvorov ordered that earthworks be erected along the harbour and Russian troops be placed there. In February 1784, Catherine the Great ordered Grigory Potemkin to build a fortress there and call it Sevastopol.
The realisation of the initial building plans fell to Captain Fyodor Ushakov who in 1788 was named commander of the port and of the Black Sea squadron. It became an important naval base and a commercial seaport. In 1797, under an edict issued by Emperor Paul I, the military stronghold was again renamed to Akhtiar. On 29 April, 1826, the Senate returned the city's name to Sevastopol. One of the most notable events involving the city is the Siege of Sevastopol carried out by the British, French and Turkish troops during the Crimean War, which lasted for 11 months. Despite its efforts, the Russian army had to leave its stronghold and evacuate over a pontoon bridge to the north shore of the inlet; the Russians chose to sink their entire fleet to prevent it from falling into the hands of the enemy and at the same time to block the entrance of the Western ships into the inlet. When the enemy troops entered Sevastopol, they were faced with the ruins of a glorious city. A panorama of the siege was created by Franz Roubaud.
After its destruction in 1942 during World War II, it was restored and is housed in a specially constructed circular building in the city. It portrays the situation at the height of the siege, on 18 June 1855. During World War II, Sevastopol withstood intensive bombardment by the Germans in 1941–42, supported by their Italian and Romanian allies during the Battle of Sevastopol. German forces used railway artillery—including history's largest-ever calibre railway artillery piece in battle, the 80-cm calibre Schwerer Gustav—and specialised mobile heavy mortars to destroy Sevastopol's heavy fortifications, such as the Maxim Gorky Fortresses. After fierce fighting, which lasted for 250 days, the untakable fortress city fell to Axis forces in July 1942, it was intended to be renamed to "Theoderichsha
44th Army (Soviet Union)
The 44th Army of the Soviet Union's Red Army was an army-level command active during World War II. Part of the Transcaucasian Front, its main actions included the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran and the Kerch amphibious landings, before being transferred to the Southern Front on 6 February 1943. There it took part in the Rostov and Melitopol offensives; the army was disbanded in November 1943 and its units were transferred to other armies. The 44th Army was formed on 1 August 1941 from the 40th Rifle Corps, ostensibly to guard the Soviet-Iranian border in the Transcaucasian Military District, it was composed of the 20th and 77th Mountain Rifle Divisions, as well as the 17th Cavalry Division and other smaller units. Former 40th Rifle Corps commander Major General Alexander Khadeyev became the army's commander. On 23 August, it became part of the Transcaucasian Front. On 25 August, the army began its fighting in the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran by crossing the border and moving into Gilan Province.
It captured Bandar Rasht by the next day. By 1 September, the 220th Separate Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, 36th and 265th Fighter Aviation Regiments and the 205th Separate Sapper Battalion had joined the army. In October 1941, the army was relocated from Iran to Makhachkala. In late November, it transferred to the Black Sea coast at Anapa. From 25 December, it fought in the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula. Along with the 51st Army and units of the Black Sea Fleet, the army helped capture the Kerch Peninsula, it was landed at Feodosiya. On 30 December, the army transferred to the Caucasian Front. On 15 January 1942, Pervushin was wounded when an airstrike hit his command post. Major General Ivan Dashichev became acting commander, leading the army during its retreat from advancing German troops; the army suffered heavy losses from the German counterattacks and Dashichev was replaced in command by Major General Serafim Rozhdestvensky on 21 January. He was arrested soon after for "negligence in command" and would serve 10 years in the gulag.
The army moved to control of the Crimean Front on 28 January 1942. Rozhdestvensky was replaced in command on 11 February by Lieutenant General Stepan Chernyak; the army launched several unsuccessful attacks during April. On 8 May, German troops launched Operation Trappenjagd. Troops of the XXX Army Corps broke through the front lines of the 44th Army. A German landing behind the main line of resistance unhinged the 44th Army's second echelon; the army's line soon collapsed, the German troops captured 4,514 prisoners by the end of the day. The army was evacuated to the Taman Peninsula; the army suffered heavy losses during the battle. On 20 May, the 44th Army became part of the North Caucasian Front and was concentrated in Tikhoretsk, it moved to Makhachkala soon after. On 29 May, Chernyak was relieved of command because of the defeat in Crimea, he was replaced by Major General Andrei Khryashchev. On 16 June, the army was composed of the 138th, 156th, 157th, 236th and 302nd Rifle Divisions, among other units.
It was transferred to the Transcaucasian Front. Until August, the army held a defensive line from Gudermes to the mouth of the Terek River. During this time, Khryashcev was replaced in command by Major General Ivan Yefimovich Petrov. On 9 August, the army became part of the front's Northern Group of Forces. During the fall of 1942, it fought in defensive battles in the Caucasus. On 10 October, Petrov was promoted to command the front's Black Sea Group of Forces and was replaced by Major General Kondrat Melnyk. In November, Melynk was transferred to command the 58th Army and was replaced by Lieutenant General Vasily Khomenko. In December, the army pushed German troops back to positions north of Mozdok during a series of counterattacks. During January 1943, the army attacked towards Stavropol during the North Caucasian Strategic Offensive, it captured Stavropol on 21 January. On 24 January, it became part of the reformation of the North Caucasian Front; the army transferred to the Southern Front on 6 February.
It captured Azov on 7 February. By 18 February, the army reached the line of Ryasnyi on the left bank of the Sambek River, east of Taganrog; the army held the line until the beginning of the Donbass Strategic Offensive in August. During the offensive, the army helped capture Taganrog on 30 August. Along with units of the Black Sea Fleet, the 44th Army captured Mariupol on 10 September. From 26 September, it fought in the Melitopol Offensive. At the end of October, the army was placed in regrouped northeast of Kakhovka; the army was soon placed in relieving elements of the 5th Shock Army. It defended the line of Zavadovka and Britsantsy. Lieutenant General Khomenko and army artillery commander Major General Bobkov mistakenly drove their vehicles into German lines on 9 November and were killed. Stalin feared that the generals had disbanded the army, its units were transferred to other armies
A battle honour is an award of a right by a government or sovereign to a military unit to emblazon the name of a battle or operation on its flags, uniforms or other accessories where ornamentation is possible. In European military tradition, military units may be acknowledged for their achievements in specific wars or operations of a military campaign. In Great Britain and those countries of the Commonwealth which share a common military legacy with the British, battle honours are awarded to selected military units as official acknowledgement for their achievements in specific wars or operations of a military campaign; these honours take the form of a place and a date. Theatre honours, a type of recognition in the British tradition allied to battle honours, were introduced to honour units which provided sterling service in a campaign but were not part of specific battles for which separate battle honours were awarded. Theatre honours could be listed and displayed on regimental property but not emblazoned on the colours.
Since battle honours are emblazoned on colours, artillery units, which do not have colours in the British military tradition, were awarded honour titles instead. These honour titles were permitted to be used as part of their official nomenclature, for example 13 Field Regiment. Similar honours in the same tenor include unit citations. Battle honours, theatre honours, honour titles and their ilk form a part of the wider variety of distinctions which serve to distinguish military units from each other. For the British Army, the need to adopt a system to recognise military units' battlefield accomplishments was apparent since its formation as a standing army in the part of the 17th century. Although the granting of battle honours had been in place at the time, it was not until 1784 that infantry units were authorised to bear battle honours on their colours. Before a regiment's colours were practical tools for rallying troops in the battlefield and not quite something for displaying the unit's past distinctions.
The first battle honour to be awarded in the British Army was granted to the 15th Hussars for the Battle of Emsdorf in 1760. Thereafter, other regiments received battle honours for some of their previous engagements; the earliest battle honour in the British Army is Tangier 1662–80, granted to the Tangier Horse, the oldest line cavalry regiment of the British army, who in 1969 amalgamated with the Royal Horse Guards to become The Blues and Royals. Awarded the honour was the 2nd Regiment of Foot, or the Tangier Regiment now The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment, the senior English regiment in the Union, for their protracted 23-year defence of the Colony of Tangier; the battle honour is still held by the Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment. During these early years of the British standing army, a regiment needed only to engage the enemy with musketry before it was eligible for a battle honour. However, older battle honours are carried on the standards of the Yeomen of the Guard and the Honourable Corps of Gentlemen at Arms, neither of which are part of the army, but are instead the Sovereign's Bodyguard, in the personal service of the sovereign.
The need to develop a centralised system to oversee the selection and granting of battle honours arose in the 19th century following the increase of British military engagements during the expansion of the Empire. Thus in 1882, a committee was formed to adjudicate applications of battle honour claims; this committee called the Battles Nomenclature Committee, still maintains its function in the British Army today. A battle honour may be granted to infantry/cavalry regiments or battalions, as well as ships and squadrons. Battle honours are presented in the form of a name of a country, region, or city where the unit's distinguished act took place together with the year when it occurred. Not every battle fought will automatically result in the granting of a battle honour. Conversely, a regiment or a battalion might obtain more than one battle honour over the course of a larger operation. For example, the 2nd Battalion of the Scots Guards were awarded two battle honours for their role in the Falklands War.
While in Korea, Princess Patricia's Canadian Light Infantry earned both "Kapyong" and "Korea 1951–1953". A unit does not have to defeat their adversary to earn a battle honour: the Hong Kong Volunteer Defence Corps received the battle honour "Hong Kong" despite the defeat and capture of most of the force during the Japanese invasion of Hong Kong, while the cruiser HMAS Sydney was awarded the naval engagement honour "Kormoran 1941" after being sunk with all aboard by the German raider Kormoran. Supporting corps/branches such as medical, ordnance, or transport do not receive battle honours; however and uniquely the Royal Logistic Corps has five battle honours inherited from its previous transport elements, such as the Royal Waggon Train. Commonwealth artillery does not maintain battle honours as they carry neither colours nor guidons—though their guns by tradition are afforded many of the same respects and courtesies. However, both the Royal Artillery and Royal Engineers were in 1832 granted by King William IV the right to use the Latin "Ubique", meaning everywhere, as a battle honour.
This is worn on the cap badge of both the Corps of Royal Enginee
The Syvash or Sivash known as the Putrid Sea or Rotten Sea, consists of a large system of shallow lagoons on the west coast of the Sea of Azov. Separated from the sea by the narrow Arabat Spit, the water of the Syvash covers an area of around 2,560 km2 and the entire area spreads over about 10,000 km2, its eastern connection to the Sea of Azov is called the Henichesk Strait. The Syvash borders the northeastern coast of the main Crimean Peninsula; the Syvash nearly cuts the Crimean Peninsula off from the mainland, serving as a natural border for its autonomous republic. The long and narrow Arabat Spit runs to its east; the two bodies are connected in the north at the Henichesk Strait beside the port of Henichesk. To its west, the isthmus of Perekop connects Crimea to Ukraine; the Syvash is shallow. The deepest place is about 3 meters, with most areas between 1 meter deep; the bottom is covered with silt up to 5 m thick. Being shallow, the waters in the Syvash heat up in the summer and produce a putrid smell.
The wide area for evaporation leaves the water salty. The amount of various salts is estimated at 200 million metric tons. Several plants harvest the mineral resources of Syvash; the Syvash area is a wetland of international importance. The shores are low sloping and salty. In summer, the water level of Syvash decreases revealing barren solonets soils called "syvashes" by locals; the Syvash is sometimes divided into the Western Eastern Syvash. These are connected to each other by the Chongar Strait. During the Russian Civil War, the Syvash became famous for a surprise crossing by the Red Army during the Perekop-Chongar Operation; the Syvash may appear red in color due to the salt-tolerant micro-algae Dunaliella salina. The eastern parts of the Syvash contain less salt and are home to reeds and other wetland vegetation; the large islands in the Central Syvash are covered with steppes consisting of feather grass, tauric wormwood, crested wheat grass, fescue. The shores of the Syvash contains a large number of salt-tolerant vegetation, including glasswort, plantains, sea lavender, saltbush.
Media related to Syvash at Wikimedia Commons
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