Eastern Front (World War II)
The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of conflict between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union and other Allies, which encompassed Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northeast Europe, Southeast Europe from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It has been known as the Great Patriotic War in the former Soviet Union and modern Russia, while in Germany it was called the Eastern Front, or the German-Soviet War by outside parties; the battles on the Eastern Front of the Second World War constituted the largest military confrontation in history. They were characterized by unprecedented ferocity, wholesale destruction, mass deportations, immense loss of life due to combat, exposure and massacres; the Eastern Front, as the site of nearly all extermination camps, death marches and the majority of pogroms, was central to the Holocaust. Of the estimated 70-85 million deaths attributed to World War II, over 30 million, the majority of them civilian, occurred on the Eastern Front.
The Eastern Front was decisive in determining the outcome in the European theatre of operations in World War II serving as the main reason for the defeat of Nazi Germany and the Axis nations. The two principal belligerent powers were Germany and the Soviet Union, along with their respective allies. Though never engaged in military action in the Eastern Front, the United States and the United Kingdom both provided substantial material aid in the form of the Lend-Lease to the Soviet Union; the joint German–Finnish operations across the northernmost Finnish–Soviet border and in the Murmansk region are considered part of the Eastern Front. In addition, the Soviet–Finnish Continuation War may be considered the northern flank of the Eastern Front. Germany and the Soviet Union remained unsatisfied with the outcome of World War I. Soviet Russia had lost substantial territory in Eastern Europe as a result of the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk, where the Bolsheviks in Petrograd conceded to German demands and ceded control of Poland, Estonia, Latvia and other areas, to the Central Powers.
Subsequently, when Germany in its turn surrendered to the Allies and these territories were liberated under the terms of the Paris Peace Conference of 1919 at Versailles, Soviet Russia was in the midst of a civil war and the Allies did not recognize the Bolshevik government, so no Soviet Russian representation attended. Adolf Hitler had declared his intention to invade the Soviet Union on 11 August 1939 to Carl Jacob Burckhardt, League of Nations Commissioner, by saying: Everything I undertake is directed against the Russians. If the West is too stupid and blind to grasp this I shall be compelled to come to an agreement with the Russians, beat the West and after their defeat turn against the Soviet Union with all my forces. I need the Ukraine as happened in the last war; the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact signed in August 1939 was a non-aggression agreement between Germany and the Soviet Union. It contained a secret protocol aiming to return Central Europe to the pre–World War I status quo by dividing it between Germany and the Soviet Union.
Finland, Estonia and Lithuania would return to the Soviet control, while Poland and Romania would be divided. The Eastern Front was made possible by the German–Soviet Border and Commercial Agreement in which the Soviet Union gave Germany the resources necessary to launch military operations in Eastern Europe. On 1 September 1939 Germany invaded Poland, starting World War II. On 17 September, the Soviet Union invaded Eastern Poland, and, as a result, Poland was partitioned among Germany, the Soviet Union and Lithuania. Soon after that, the Soviet Union demanded significant territorial concessions from Finland, after Finland rejected Soviet demands, the Soviet Union attacked Finland on 30 November 1939 in what became known as the Winter War – a bitter conflict that resulted in a peace treaty on 13 March 1940, with Finland maintaining its independence but losing its eastern parts in Karelia. In June 1940 the Soviet Union illegally annexed the three Baltic states; the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact ostensibly provided security to the Soviets in the occupation both of the Baltics and of the north and northeastern regions of Romania, although Hitler, in announcing the invasion of the Soviet Union, cited the Soviet annexations of Baltic and Romanian territory as having violated Germany's understanding of the Pact.
Moscow partitioned the annexed Romanian territory between the Ukrainian and Moldavian Soviet republics. Adolf Hitler had argued in his autobiography Mein Kampf for the necessity of Lebensraum: acquiring new territory for Germans in Eastern Europe, in particular in Russia, he envisaged settling Germans there, as according to Nazi ideology the Germanic people constituted the "master race", while exterminating or deporting most of the existing inhabitants to Siberia and using the remainder as slave labour. Hitler as early as 1917 had referred to the Russians as inferior, believing that the Bolshevik Revolution had put the Jews in power over the mass of Slavs, who were, in Hitler's opinion, incapable of ruling themselves but instead being ruled by Jewish masters; the Nazi leadership, saw the war against the Soviet Union as a struggle between the ideologies of Nazism and Jewish Bolshevism, ensuring territorial expansion for the Germanic Übermensch, who according to Nazi ideology were the Aryan Herrenvolk, at the expense of
Germany the Federal Republic of Germany, is a country in Central and Western Europe, lying between the Baltic and North Seas to the north, the Alps to the south. It borders Denmark to the north and the Czech Republic to the east and Switzerland to the south, France to the southwest, Luxembourg and the Netherlands to the west. Germany includes 16 constituent states, covers an area of 357,386 square kilometres, has a temperate seasonal climate. With 83 million inhabitants, it is the second most populous state of Europe after Russia, the most populous state lying in Europe, as well as the most populous member state of the European Union. Germany is a decentralized country, its capital and largest metropolis is Berlin, while Frankfurt serves as its financial capital and has the country's busiest airport. Germany's largest urban area is the Ruhr, with its main centres of Essen; the country's other major cities are Hamburg, Cologne, Stuttgart, Düsseldorf, Dresden, Bremen and Nuremberg. Various Germanic tribes have inhabited the northern parts of modern Germany since classical antiquity.
A region named Germania was documented before 100 AD. During the Migration Period, the Germanic tribes expanded southward. Beginning in the 10th century, German territories formed a central part of the Holy Roman Empire. During the 16th century, northern German regions became the centre of the Protestant Reformation. After the collapse of the Holy Roman Empire, the German Confederation was formed in 1815; the German revolutions of 1848–49 resulted in the Frankfurt Parliament establishing major democratic rights. In 1871, Germany became a nation state when most of the German states unified into the Prussian-dominated German Empire. After World War I and the revolution of 1918–19, the Empire was replaced by the parliamentary Weimar Republic; the Nazi seizure of power in 1933 led to the establishment of a dictatorship, the annexation of Austria, World War II, the Holocaust. After the end of World War II in Europe and a period of Allied occupation, Austria was re-established as an independent country and two new German states were founded: West Germany, formed from the American and French occupation zones, East Germany, formed from the Soviet occupation zone.
Following the Revolutions of 1989 that ended communist rule in Central and Eastern Europe, the country was reunified on 3 October 1990. Today, the sovereign state of Germany is a federal parliamentary republic led by a chancellor, it is a great power with a strong economy. As a global leader in several industrial and technological sectors, it is both the world's third-largest exporter and importer of goods; as a developed country with a high standard of living, it upholds a social security and universal health care system, environmental protection, a tuition-free university education. The Federal Republic of Germany was a founding member of the European Economic Community in 1957 and the European Union in 1993, it is part of the Schengen Area and became a co-founder of the Eurozone in 1999. Germany is a member of the United Nations, NATO, the G7, the G20, the OECD. Known for its rich cultural history, Germany has been continuously the home of influential and successful artists, musicians, film people, entrepreneurs, scientists and inventors.
Germany has a large number of World Heritage sites and is among the top tourism destinations in the world. The English word Germany derives from the Latin Germania, which came into use after Julius Caesar adopted it for the peoples east of the Rhine; the German term Deutschland diutisciu land is derived from deutsch, descended from Old High German diutisc "popular" used to distinguish the language of the common people from Latin and its Romance descendants. This in turn descends from Proto-Germanic *þiudiskaz "popular", derived from *þeudō, descended from Proto-Indo-European *tewtéh₂- "people", from which the word Teutons originates; the discovery of the Mauer 1 mandible shows that ancient humans were present in Germany at least 600,000 years ago. The oldest complete hunting weapons found anywhere in the world were discovered in a coal mine in Schöningen between 1994 and 1998 where eight 380,000-year-old wooden javelins of 1.82 to 2.25 m length were unearthed. The Neander Valley was the location where the first non-modern human fossil was discovered.
The Neanderthal 1 fossils are known to be 40,000 years old. Evidence of modern humans dated, has been found in caves in the Swabian Jura near Ulm; the finds included 42,000-year-old bird bone and mammoth ivory flutes which are the oldest musical instruments found, the 40,000-year-old Ice Age Lion Man, the oldest uncontested figurative art discovered, the 35,000-year-old Venus of Hohle Fels, the oldest uncontested human figurative art discovered. The Nebra sky disk is a bronze artefact created during the European Bronze Age attributed to a site near Nebra, Saxony-Anhalt, it is part of UNESCO's Memory of the World Programme. The Germanic tribes are thought to date from the Pre-Roman Iron Age. From southern Scandinavia and north Germany, they expanded south and west from the 1st century BC, coming into contact with the Celtic tribes of Gaul as well
Navahrudak is a city in the Grodno Region of Belarus. In the 14th century it was an episcopal, it is a possible first capital of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania, with Trakai noted as a possibility. It was part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, the Russian Empire and Poland until the Soviet invasion of Poland in 1939 when the Soviet Union annexed the area to the Byelorussian SSR, it was first mentioned in the Sophian First Chronicle and Fourth Novgorod Chronicle in 1044 in relation to a war of Yaroslav I the Wise against Lithuanian tribes. In 1241 it was destroyed by the Mongols, it was mentioned in the Hypatian Codex under the year of 1252 as Novogorodok the town was a major settlement in the remote western lands of the Krivichs that came under the control of the Kievan Rus at the end of the 10th century. Hypothesis is disputed, as there are earliest archaeological findings from 11th century only. In the 13th century, the fragile unity of the Kievan Rus disintegrated due to nomadic incursions from Asia, which reached a climax with the Mongol Horde's Siege of Kiev, resulting in Kiev's sacking, leaving a geopolitical vacuum in the region to be known under the conventional name Black Ruthenia.
The Early East Slavs splintered along preexisting tribal lines into a number of independent and competing principalities. Mindaugas of Lithuania made use of the plight to annex Navahrudak, which became part of Kingdom of Lithuania Grand Duchy of Lithuania. During the 16th century, Maciej Stryjkowski was the first who, in his chronicle, proposed theory, that Navahrudak became the capital of the 13th century state; this statement is supported by several other scholars, while others dispute this notion because contemporary chronicles of the 13th century do not give any reference about Navahrudak as capital stating that city was transferred to the king of Galicia–Volhynia. Vaišvilkas, the son and successor of Mindaugas, took monastic vows in Lavrashev Monastery near Novgorodok and founded an Orthodox convent there. Navahrudak was a part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth following the Union of Lublin in 1569. In 1795 it was incorporated into Grodno Governorate of Imperial Russia due to the Partitions of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth.
It was transferred to Minsk Governorate in 1843. The town was a center of thriving Jewish community, its 1900 population was 5,015. In the course of the First World War the town was under the German occupation from 22 September 1915 to 27 December 1918. During the ensuing Polish-Bolshevik war it was occupied by the Polish Army in 18 April 1919 and the Red Army in 19 July 1920 and the Polish one in 1 October 1920, it was ceded to the Second Polish Republic in the Peace of Riga signed on 18 March 1921 by the Soviet Russia and Poland, thus ending the hostilities. In the interwar period, Nowogródek served as capital of the Nowogródek province, until the 1939 invasion of Poland by Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. Soviet troops entered the city in 18 September 1939 and it was annexed into the Soviet Union via the Byelorussian SSR; the Polish inhabitants were exiled to Siberia and the Soviet Union, as prisoners. In the administrative division of the new territories, the city was the centre of the Navahrudak Voblast.
Afterwards the administrative centre moved to Baranavichy and name of voblast was renamed as Baranavichy Voblast, the city became the centre of the Navahrudak Raion. On 22 June 1941 Nazi Germany invaded the USSR and Navahrudak was occupied on 4 July, following one of the more tragic events when the Red Army was surrounded in what's known as the Novogrudok Cauldron. See Operation Barbarossa: Phase 1. During the German occupation it became part of the Reichskommissariat Ostland territory. Partisan resistance began; the Bielski partisans made of Jewish volunteers operated in the region. On 1 August 1943, Nazi troops shot down the Martyrs of Nowogródek; the Red Army reoccupied the city exactly three years after its German occupation on 8 July 1944. During the war more than 45,000 people were killed in the city and in the surrounding area, over 60% of housing was destroyed. Navahrudak was shtetl, it was home to the Novardok yeshiva, led by Rabbi Yosef Yozel Horwitz, as well as the hometown of Rabbi Yechiel Michel Epstein and of the Harkavy Jewish family, including Yiddish lexicograph Alexander Harkavy.
Before the war, the population was 20,000. During a series of "actions" in 1941, the Germans killed all but 550 of the 10,000 Jews; those not killed were sent into slave labor. After the war, the area remained part of the Byelorussian SSR, USSR, a rapid rebuilding process restored most of the destroyed infrastructure. On 8 July 1954, following the disestablishment of the Baranavichy Voblast, the raion, along with Navahrudak became part of the Hrodna Voblast, in which it remains to this day, in modern Belarus. Navahrudak Castle, sometimes anachronistically called Mindaugas' Castle, was built in the 14th century and is in ruins since being burnt down by the Swedes in 1706; the Orthodox SS. Boris and Gleb Church, Belarusian Gothic, started in 1519, but not completed until the 1630s; the Roman Catholic Transfiguration Church (1712–23, includes surviving chapels of an older gothic
50th Rifle Division (Soviet Union)
The 50th Rifle Division was an infantry division of the Red Army from 1936 to 1946. The division took part in the Soviet invasion of the Winter War. After Germany launched Operation Barbarossa, the 50th fought in the Battle of Moscow, the Battles of Rzhev, the Donbass Strategic Offensive, the Dnieper–Carpathian Offensive, the Jassy–Kishinev Offensive, Vistula–Oder Offensive and the Berlin Offensive. In May 1936, the division was formed from Construction Headquarters No. 27 as the Urovskaya Division of the Polotsk Fortified Region. It took part in the Soviet invasion of Poland in September 1939. On 17 September, it was part of the 3rd Army's 4th Rifle Corps. On 2 October, it was transferred to the 10th Rifle Corps of the same army; the 50th Rifle Division fought in the Winter War. On 28 December, it was stationed in the region near Lake Sukhodolskoye. On 18 January 1940, it was subordinated to the 13th Army; the division became part of the 30th Rifle Corps on 30 January. On 21 January, the division went to the front lines.
From 1–2 February, it fought in the Pasuri village on the Karelian Isthmus. On 11 February, it again attacked Finnish positions at Pasuri, it broke through the Finnish positions at Salmenkayta due to its artillery support, which affected Finnish troops in the bunkers, according to reports by Finnish officers. On 23 February, it was stationed near the Salmenkayta River. Between 1–7 April, the division was transported by train back to Belarus; the division was based in Lida and was part of the 21st Rifle Corps. In January 1941, it returned to Polotsk. On 22 June, Germany attacked the Soviet Union in Operation Barbarossa. According to the Western Front order of 24 June, the 21st Rifle Corps, including the division, became part of the 13th Army, it defended the line of the Viliya River northwest of Molodechno. The division received orders to advance on Ashmyany. However, divisional intelligence discovered that German armored and motorized forces were present in the town; the division was forced to retreat towards Molodechno under pressure from the German motorized troops.
After the German capture of Minsk on 26 June, 13th Army was split into several groups. Molodechno was captured by German troops the next day; the 50th Rifle Division retreated along the northern flank towards the Berezina River north of Barysaw. On the morning of 30 June, the division was in region of Pleshchenitsy; the remnants of the 64th Rifle Division and the 100th Rifle Division's 331st Rifle Regiment were attached to the division there. On 1 July, the division withdrew from Pleshchenitsy. On 2 July, the division was attacked by German troops of the 20th Motorized Division advancing down the Logoysky road and was forced to retreat from Begoml. However, the division was able to hold the German advance for three days during fighting north of Barysaw. On 5 July, the division was fighting near Vitebsk from 7 July. On 11 July, it was sent to Velizh to reform due to heavy losses. On 14 July, German troops attacked the division had to retreat to the east. On 23 July, remnants of the division were withdrawn from the fighting with the intention of reinforcing positions 12 kilometers east of Vyazma.
The division became part of 19th Army's reserve on 2 August. On 6 August, the division was sent back into combat during the Battle of Smolensk; the division advanced 17 kilometers from Yartsevo and held defensive positions on the line of Ryadnyi and Chistaya. The division was still holding the positions on 3 October, southeast of Dukhovshchina, but on 4 October, it withdrew to the line of the Vop River and defend the east bank at Kurganova and Ozerische, repulsing German attempts at crossing the river. On 5 October, army commander Ivan Konev ordered the division to move to Vyazma. Due to various motor transport delays, the division didn't arrive at Vyazma until 7 October. Upon its arrival, the division was ordered by Rokossovsky to defend the northern approaches to the city. Due to the German advance, the division was forced to retreat to the east, it was able to escape being encircled in the Vyazma Pocket. On 19 October, the division fought in the battle for Vereya but was removed and transferred to the area of Dorokhovo and Shchalikovo, covering the Mozhaysk approaches.
Having made a night march, the division arrived at the Shchalikovo area by the morning of 20 October and fought in combat with advancing German troops. By the evening of 20 October, the division moved across the Protva River near Alexino and Petrischeva, it withdrew to Dorokhov, where it organized a defence. The division was assisted by the remnants of the 103rd Rifle Divisions. On 23 October, the division came under heavy attack along with the 22nd Tank Brigade and was forced to retreat eastwards. On 25 October, more than 800 personnel of the 230th Reserve Training Rifle Regiment, attached to the division, were killed in the village of Gorbovo. By 31 October, the division had stopped its retreat at Tuchkovo. From 16 November to 11 December, it held the line at Polushkino and Agafonov. On 2 December, it was involved in heavy fighting in the villages of Trioitskye and Vlasov. On 11 December, it went on the offensive, crossing the Moskva River on 13 December and capturing several villages; the division continued to advance and by 20 December had captured Krasotinom and the village of Kagonovich on the south bank of the Moskva.
On 21 December, German troops launched a heavy counterattack and the division was forced to withdraw across the river. On 11 January 1942, the division recaptured Tuchkovo. On 12 January, it continued to advance in towards Mozhaisk and surrounded German troops in Beloborodova. On 13 January, it captured Dubrovka. Continuing to pursue the Germ
Grodno, or Hrodna is a city in western Belarus. It is located on the Neman close to the borders of Lithuania, it has 373,547 inhabitants. It is the capital of Grodno District. In Belarusian, the city is sometimes referred to as Го́радня or Гаро́дня. In Latin it was known as Grodna, in Polish as Grodno, in German as Garten, in Yiddish as גראָדנע, Grodne; the Lithuanian name of the city is Gardinas. The modern city of Grodno originated as a small fortress and a fortified trading outpost maintained by the Rurikid princes on the border with the lands of the Baltic tribal union of the Yotvingians; the first reference to Grodno dates to 1005. The official foundation year is 1127. At this year Grodno was mentioned in the Primary Chronicle as Goroden' and located at a crossing of numerous trading routes, this Slavic settlement originating as far as the late 10th century, became the capital of a poorly attested but separate principality, ruled by Yaroslav the Wise's grandson and his descendants. Along with Navahrudak, Grodno was regarded as the main city on the western borderlands of Black Ruthenia.
The border region neighboured the Grand Duchy of Lithuania. It was attacked by various invaders the Teutonic Knights. In the 1240–1250s the Grodno area, as well as the most of Black Ruthenia, was controlled by princes of Lithuanian origin to form the Baltic state—Grand Duchy of Lithuania—on these territories. After the Prussian uprisings a large population of Old Prussians moved to the region; the famous Lithuanian Grand Duke Vytautas was the prince of Grodno from 1376 to 1392, he stayed there during his preparations for the Battle of Grunwald. Since 1413, Grodno had been the administrative center of a powiat in Trakai Voivodeship. To aid the reconstruction of trade and commerce, the grand dukes allowed the creation of a Jewish commune in 1389, it was one of the first Jewish communities in the grand duchy. In 1441 the city received its charter, based on the Magdeburg Law; the city was the site of two battles, Battle of Grodno and Battle of Grodno during the Great Northern War. After the First Partition of the Polish–Lithuanian Commonwealth, Grodno became the capital of the short-lived Grodno Voivodeship in 1793.
As an important centre of trade and culture, Grodno remained one of the places where the Sejms were held. The Old and New Castles were visited by the Commonwealth monarchs including famous Stephen Báthory of Poland who made a royal residence here. In 1793 the last Sejm in the history of the Commonwealth occurred at Grodno. Two years afterwards, in 1795, Russia obtained the city in the Third Partition of Poland, it was in the New Castle on November 25 of that year that the last Polish king and Lithuanian grand duke Stanisław August Poniatowski abdicated. In the Russian Empire, the city continued to serve its role as a seat of Grodno Governorate since 1801; the industrial activities, started in the late 18th century by Antoni Tyzenhaus, continued to develop. Count Aleksander Bisping was arrested and imprisoned here during the January Uprising before his exile to Ufa. Like many other cities in Eastern Europe, Grodno had a significant Jewish population before the Holocaust: according to Russian census of 1897, out of the total population of 46,900, Jews constituted 22,700.
After the outbreak of World War I, Grodno was occupied by Germany and ceded by Bolshevist Russia under the Treaty of Brest-Litovsk in 1918. After the war the German government permitted a short-lived state to be set up there, the first one with a Belarusian name—the Belarusian People's Republic; this declared its independence from Russia in March 1918 in Minsk, but the BNR's Rada had to leave Minsk and fled to Grodno. All this time the military authority in the city remained in German hands. After the outbreak of the Polish–Bolshevik War, the German commanders of the Ober Ost feared that the city might fall to Soviet Russia, so on April 27, 1919 they passed authority to Poland; the city was taken over by the Polish Army the following day and Polish administration was established in the city. The city was lost to the Red Army on July 20, 1920 in what became known as the First Battle of Grodno; the city was claimed by Lithuanian government, after it was agreed by the Soviet–Lithuanian Treaty of 1920 signed on July 12, 1920 in Moscow that the city would be transferred to Lithuania.
However, Soviet defeat in the Battle of Warsaw made these plans obsolete, Lithuanian authority was never established in the city. Instead, the Red Army organised its last stand in the city and the Battle of Neman took place there. On September 23 the Polish Army recaptured the city. After the Peace Treaty of Riga, Grodno remained in Poland. Prosperity was reduced due to the fact that the city remained only the capital of a powiat, while the capital of the voivodship was moved to Białystok. However, in the late 1920s the city became one of the biggest Polish Army garrisons; this brought the local economy back on track. The city was a notable centre of Jewish culture, with 37% of the city's population being Jewish. During the Polish Defensive War of September-October 1939 the garrison of Grodno was used for the formation of numerous military units fighting against the invading Wehrmacht. In the course of the Soviet invasion of Poland heavy fighting took place in the city between Soviet and improvised Polish forces, composed of march
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
Komkor is the abbreviation for Corps Commander, was a military rank in the Soviet Armed Forces of the USSR in the period from 1935 to 1940. It was the designation for officers appointed to command a corps sized formation; until 1940 it was the fourth highest military rank of the Red Army, might have been rated OF-8 in NATO. It was equivalent to Corps commissar of the political staff in all military branches, Flag Officer 1st rank in the Soviet navy, or to Commissar of state security 3rd rank. With the reintroduction of regular general ranks in 1940, the designation Komkor was abolished, replaced by Colonel general; this particular rank was introduced by disposal of the Central Executive Committee of the Soviet Union and the Council of People's Commissars, from September 22, 1935. The new rank structure was as follows: Commander of a Brigade: Kombrig Command level Division: Komdiv Command level Corps: Komkor Command level Field army: Komandarm 2nd rank Command level Army group, Front: Komandarm 1st rank OF10-level: Marshal of the Soviet UnionA total number of 146 military personnel were promoted to Komkor.
However, 59 were purged during the Great Purge. As a result of the reintroduction of the regular military rank system in 1940, one Komkor was promoted to General of the Army, 51 to Lieutenant general, six to Major general. Komkor Leonid Grigorevich Petrovsky was promoted to Lieutenant general in 1941; the following officers were assigned the rank of Komkor by Order No. 2395 of the People's Commissar of Defence dated November 11, 1935, pertaining to the “personnel of the Army”: Mikhail Ivanovich Alafusov, executed 1937. By Order № 2412" of the Minister of Defence from November 23, 1935, to the “personnel of the Army”: Zotov, Stepan Andeeevich. By Order № 2484" of the Minister of Defence from November 26, 1935, to the “personnel of the Army”: Lepin, Eduard Davydovich, executed 1938. Kuybyshev, Nikolay Vladimirovich, executed 1938. On 8 January 1938, the following officers were promoted: Filipp Golikov, promoted to Marshal of the Soviet Union 1961.