Operation Little Saturn
Operation Saturn, revised as Operation Little Saturn, was a Red Army operation on the Eastern Front of World War II that led to battles in the North Caucasus and Donets Basin regions of the Soviet Union from December 1942 to February 1943. The success of Operation Uranus, launched on 19 November 1942, had trapped 250,000–300,000 troops of General Friedrich Paulus' German 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army in Stalingrad. To exploit this victory, the Soviet general staff planned a winter campaign of continuous and ambitious offensive operations, codenamed "Saturn". Joseph Stalin reduced his ambitious plans to a small campaign codenamed "Operation Little Saturn"; the offensive succeeded in smashing Germany's Italian and Hungarian allies, applied pressure on the over stretched German forces in Eastern Ukraine and prevented further German advances to the relief of the entrapped forces at Stalingrad. Despite these victories, the Soviets themselves became over extended, setting up the stages for the German offensives of the Third Battle of Kharkov and the Battle of Kursk.
On 17 May 1942, German Army Groups A and B launched a counteroffensive against advancing Soviet armies around the city of Kharkov, resulting in the Second Battle of Kharkov. By 6 July, General Hermann Hoth's Fourth Panzer Army had taken the city of Voronezh, threatening to collapse the Red Army's resistance. By early August, General Paul Ludwig Ewald von Kleist's First Panzer Army had reached the oil center of Maykop, 500 kilometres south of the city of Rostov, taken by the Fourth Panzer Army on 23 July; the rapid German advance threatened to cut the Soviet Union off from its southern territories, while threatening to cut the lend-lease supply lines from Persia. However, the offensive began to peter out, as the offensive's supply train struggled to keep up with the advance and spearhead units began to run low on fuel and manpower. Operation Uranus was the codename of the Soviet strategic operation in World War II which led to the encirclement of the German Sixth Army and Fourth Romanian armies, portions of the German Fourth Panzer Army.
The operation formed part of the ongoing Battle of Stalingrad, was aimed at destroying German forces in and around Stalingrad. Planning for Operation Uranus had commenced as early as 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 fact that German forces in the southern Soviet Union were overstretched around Stalingrad, using weaker Romanian armies to guard their flanks. These Axis armies were deployed in open positions on the steppe and lacked heavy equipment to deal with Soviet armor. Operation Winter Storm, undertaken between 12–23 December 1942, was the German Fourth Panzer Army's attempt to relieve encircled Axis forces during the Battle of Stalingrad. In late November, the Red Army completed Operation Uranus, which resulted in the encirclement of Axis personnel in and around the city of Stalingrad. German forces within the Stalingrad Pocket and directly outside were reorganized under Army Group Don, under the command of Field Marshal Erich von Manstein.
As the Red Army continued to build strength, in an effort to allocate as many resources as possible to the eventual launch of the planned Operation Saturn, which aimed to isolate Army Group A from the rest of the German Army, the Luftwaffe had begun an attempt to supply German forces in Stalingrad through an air bridge. However, as the Luftwaffe proved incapable of carrying out its mission and it became more obvious that a successful breakout could only occur if it was launched as early as possible, Manstein decided to plan and launch a dedicated relief effort. After the defeat of the Romanian Army around Stalingrad and the successful encirclement of the German Sixth Army, Stalin started a counter-offensive nicknamed "Operation Little Saturn" in order to enlarge the area controlled by the Soviet Army in eastern Ukraine until Kharkov and Rostov. Zhukov states the South-Western Front was assigned a mission in which the 1st and 3rd Guard armies and the 5th Tank Army "were to strike out in the general direction of Morozovsk and destroy the enemy grouping in that sector."
They would be supported by the 6th Army of the Voronezh Front. The first stage — an attempt to cut off the German Army Group A in the Caucasus — had to be revised when General Erich von Manstein launched Operation Winter Storm on 12 December in an attempt to relieve the trapped armies at Stalingrad. While General Rodion Malinovsky's Soviet 2nd Guards Army blocked the German advance on Stalingrad, the modified plan Operation Little Saturn was launched on 16 December; this operation consisted of a pincer movement. General Fyodor Isidorovich Kuznetsov's 1st Guards Army and General Dmitri Danilovich Lelyushenko's 3rd Guards Army attacked from the north, encircling 130,000 soldiers of the Italian 8th Army on the Don and advancing to Millerovo; the Italians resisted the Soviet attack for nearly two weeks, although outnumbered 9 to 1 in some sectors, but with huge losses. Manstein sent the 6th Panzer Division to the Italians' aid: of the 130,000 encircled troops, only 45,000 survived after bloody fighting to join the Panzers at Chertkovo on 17 January.
To the south the advance of General Gerasimenko's 28th Army threatened to encircle the 1st Panzer Army and General Trufanov's 51st Army attacked the relief column directly. In a dar
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
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
4th Ukrainian Front
The 4th Ukrainian Front was the name of two distinct Red Army strategic army groups that fought on the Eastern Front in World War II. The front was first formed on 20 October 1943, by renaming the Southern Front and was involved in the Lower Dnieper Strategic Offensive Operation, two battles of Kiev and the Crimean Strategic Offensive Operation. After the liberation of Crimea, the front was disbanded in May 1944. For the second time the 4th Ukrainian Front was created on 4. August 1944, by separating the left wing of the 1st Ukrainian Front; the front took part in the Carpathian Offensive with the Battle of the Dukla Pass and after that the front was involved in the battles in East-, North- and Central Slovakia, as well as in the Moravian-Ostrava Offensive Operation on the Polish-Moravian borders and in the Prague Offensive, the final battle of World War II in Europe. The 4th Ukrainian Front actions were important for the liberation of the Czechoslovakia; the 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps served within the front since November 1944 until May 1945.
On 25 August 1945, the front was disbanded and its elements incorporated into the Carpathian Military District. Units subordinated to the Front:35th Tank-destroyer Artillery Brigade, 530th Tank-Destroyer Artillery Regiment, 4th Guards Mortar Brigade, 2nd, 4th, 19th, 21st, 23rd, 67th Guards Mortar Regiments, 270th Guards AA Artillery Regiment, 1069th AA Artillery Regiment, 1485th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Regiment 19th Tank Corps 6th Guards Tank Brigade, 52nd Motorcycle Regiment, 5th Separate Armored Car Battalion, 46th and 54th Separate Armored Train Battalions 7th Engineer-Sapper Brigade, 2nd Pontoon-Bridge Brigade, 3rd Guards, 65th, 240th Separate Engineer Battalions, 17th Guards Mine Battalion, 102nd Pontoon-Bridge Battalion 2nd Guards Army 13th Guards Rifle Corps 3rd Guards Rifle Division 24th Guards Rifle Division 87th Guards Rifle Division 54th Rifle Corps 126th Rifle Division 315th Rifle Division 387th Rifle Division 55th Rifle Corps 87th Rifle Division 347th Rifle Division 116th Fortified Region 2nd Guards Breakthrough Artillery Division Independent units: 1095th, 1101st Gun Artillery Regiments, 331st Howitzer Artillery Regiment, 315th and 317th Artillery Battalions of High Impact, 113th Guards, 14th 1250th Tank-Destroyer Artillery Regiments, 133rd Guards, 483rd Mortar Regiments, 76th AA Artillery Division, 591st, 1530th AA Artillery Regiments 1452nd SP Artillery Regiment, 512 Independent Tank Battalion 43rd Special Purpose Engineer Brigade, Independent 258th and 255th Engineer Battalions 51st Army: 1st Guards Rifle Corps, 10th Rifle Corps, 63rd Rifle Corps 77th Rifle Division 78th Fortified Region 26th Artillery Division Independent units: 6th Guards Gun Artillery Brigade, 105th High Impact Howitzer Artillery Brigade, 647th, 1105th Gun Artillery Regiments, 85th Guards, 1231st Howitzer Artillery Regiment, 207th Guards Howitzer Artillery Regiment, 5th Guards, 15th, 21st Tank-destroyer Artillery Brigades, 764th 1246th Tank-destroyer Artillery Regiment, 19th Mortar Brigade, 125th Mortar Regiment.
Anti-Aircraft Artillery forces 2nd Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division 15th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division 18th Anti-Aircraft Artillery Division 77th Guards Artillery Regiment 32nd Guards Tank Brigade, 22nd Guards Separate Tank Regiment, 30th and 33rd Separate Armored Train Battalions 12th Assault Engineer Brigade, 63rd Engineer-Sapper Brigade, 5th Guards, 1504 Separate Engineer Battalions, 275th Separate Sapper Battalion The front's first operations were the Lower Dnieper Strategic Offensive Operation and the Kiev Strategic Offensive and Kiev Strategic Defensive operations. In early 1944, after an amphibious landing against the German-held Crimea, begun the Crimean Strategic Offensive Operation in which 4UF, including 2nd Guards Army, 51st Army and the Separate Coastal Army destroyed the 17th Army, holding out there. 5th Shock Army and 28th Army were part of the Front at the time, but do not appear from U. S. military maps to have taken part in the battle. 1st Guards Army 18th Army 8th Air Army 1st Czechoslovak Army Corps, since November 1944 38th Army, since November 1944 60th Army, since March 1945 general Ivan Yefimovich Petrov general Andrey Ivanovich Yeryomenko
Issa Alexandrovich Pliyev was a Soviet military commander, Army General, twice Hero of the Soviet Union, Hero of the Mongolian People's Republic. During World War II, Pliyev commanded several mechanized cavalry units, ranging from regiments to army corps; the military historians David Glantz and Jonathan House described Pliyev as a "great practitioner of cavalry operations in adverse terrain". Pliyev became known in the West for his involvement in the Cuban Missile Crisis. Issa Pliyev started his military career in the Red Army in 1922, he graduated from the Leningrad Cavalry school in 1926, from the Frunze Military Academy in 1933 and from the Soviet General Staff Academy. He joined the Communist party in 1926. At the start of the invasion of the Soviet Union, Pliyev commanded the 50th Cavalry Division, his unit participated in the Battle of Stalingrad. Pliyev commanded cavalry-mechanized group consisting of 4th Guards Cavalry Corps and 4th Mechanized Corps during the Bereznegovataia-Snigirevka Operation along the Black Sea coast, as part of the 3rd Ukrainian Front under Army General Rodion Malinovsky.
During Operation Bagration in the summer of 1944, part of the 1st Belorussian Front, Pliyev's cavalry-mechanized group attacked towards Slutsk. According to Glantz and House, the unit was successful in exploiting the operational breakthrough. In the fall of 1944, he commanded a cavalry-mechanized group consisting of two divisions during the Battle of Debrecen, he ended the war in command of the Soviet-Mongolian Cavalry-Mechanized Group of the Transbaikal front in Manchuria, fighting against the Japanese Kwantung Army. After the war, Pliyev continued his career in the military, took command of the Stavropol Military District in February 1946. In June he became commander of the 9th Mechanized Army, stationed in Romania with the Southern Group of Forces, he commanded 13th Army between February 1949, in western Ukraine. Pliyev graduated from higher academic courses at the Military Academy of the General Staff in 1949, in April took command of the 4th Army in the Transcaucasian Military District. In June 1955, he was appointed First Deputy commander of the North Caucasus Military District, succeeding to command of the district in April 1958.
On 27 April 1962 Pliyev was promoted to Army General. In June his troops took part in suppressing Novocherkassk riots. During the Cuban Missile Crisis he was the commander of Group of Soviet forces as part of the Operation Anadyr in Cuba from July 1962 to May 1963. After returning from Cuba, he assumed command of the North Caucasus Military District again. In June 1968, Pliyev became an advisor for the Ministry of Defense of the USSR's Group of Inspectors General, a position for elderly senior officers, he died on 6 February 1979 in Moscow. Pliyev was buried in the Walk of Fame in Vladikavkaz. Pliyev was awarded five Orders of Lenin, three Orders of the Red Banner, two Orders of Suvorov, Order of Kutuzov, numerous medals and nine foreign orders, he was decorated twice Hero of the Soviet Union. Плиев И.А.. Через Гоби и Хинган. 1965. Плиев И.А.. Конец Квантунской армии. 1969 Soviet invasion of Manchuria Glantz, David. When Titans Clashed: How the Red Army Stopped Hitler. University Press of Kansas. ISBN 9780700621217
. The Soviet–Afghan War lasted over nine years, from December 1979 to February 1989. Insurgent groups known collectively as the mujahideen, as well as smaller Maoist groups, fought a guerrilla war against the Soviet Army and the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan government in the rural countryside; the mujahideen groups were backed by the United States, Saudi Arabia, Pakistan, making it a Cold War proxy war. Between 562,000 and 2,000,000 civilians were killed and millions of Afghans fled the country as refugees to Pakistan and Iran; the war derives from a 1978 coup when Afghanistan's communist party took power, initiating a series of radical modernization reforms throughout the country that were forced and unpopular among the more traditional rural population and the established traditional power structures. The regime's nature of vigorously suppressing opposition, including executing thousands of political prisoners, led to the rise of anti-government armed groups, by April 1979 large parts of the country were in open rebellion.
The ruling party itself experienced deep rivalries, in September 1979 the President, Nur Mohammad Taraki, was murdered under orders of the second-in-command, Hafizullah Amin, which soured relations with the Soviet Union. The Soviet government, under leader Leonid Brezhnev, decided to deploy the 40th Army on December 24, 1979. Arriving in the capital Kabul, they staged a coup, killing president Amin and installing Soviet loyalist Babrak Karmal from a rival faction; the deployment had been variously called an "invasion" or a legitimate supporting intervention on the basis of the Brezhnev Doctrine. In January 1980, foreign ministers from 34 nations of the Islamic Conference adopted a resolution demanding "the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of Soviet troops" from Afghanistan; the UN General Assembly passed a resolution protesting the Soviet intervention by a vote of 104 to 18, with 18 abstentions and 12 members of the 152-nation Assembly absent or not participating in the vote. Afghan insurgents began to receive massive amounts of aid and military training in neighboring Pakistan and China, paid for by the United States and Arab monarchies in the Persian Gulf.
As documented by the National Security Archive, "the Central Intelligence Agency played a significant role in asserting U. S. influence in Afghanistan by funding military operations designed to frustrate the Soviet invasion of that country. CIA covert action worked through Pakistani intelligence services to reach Afghan rebel groups." Soviet troops occupied the cities and main arteries of communication, while the mujahideen waged guerrilla war in small groups operating in the 80 percent of the country, outside government and Soviet control exclusively being the rural countryside. The Soviets used their air power to deal harshly with both rebels and civilians, levelling villages to deny safe haven to the mujahideen, destroying vital irrigation ditches, laying millions of land mines; the international community imposed numerous sanctions and embargoes against the Soviet Union, the U. S. led a boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics held in Moscow. The boycott and sanctions exacerbated Cold War tensions and enraged the Soviet government, which led a revenge boycott of the 1984 Olympics held in Los Angeles.
The Soviets planned to secure towns and roads, stabilize the government under new leader Karmal, withdraw within six months or a year. But they were met with fierce resistance from the guerillas, were stuck in a bloody war that lasted nine years. By the mid-1980s, the Soviet contingent was increased to 108,800 and fighting increased, but the military and diplomatic cost of the war to the USSR was high. By mid-1987 the Soviet Union, now under reformist leader Mikhail Gorbachev, announced it would start withdrawing its forces after meetings with the Afghan government; the final troop withdrawal started on May 15, 1988, ended on February 15, 1989, leaving the government forces alone in the battle against the insurgents, which continued until 1992 when the former Soviet-backed government collapsed. Due to its length, it has sometimes been referred to as the "Soviet Union's Vietnam War" or the "Bear Trap" by the Western media; the Soviets' failure in the war is thought to be a contributing factor to the fall of the Soviet Union.
In 1885, Russian forces seized the disputed oasis at Panjdeh south of the Oxus River from Afghan forces, which became known as the Panjdeh Incident. The border was agreed by the joint Anglo-Russian Afghan Boundary Commission of 1885–87; the Russian interest in the region continued on through the Soviet era, with billions in economic and military aid sent to Afghanistan between 1955 and 1978. After the Saur Revolution in 1978, the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan was formed on April 27, 1978; the government was one with a pro-farmer socialist agenda. It had close relations with the Soviet Union. On December 5, 1978, a treaty of friendship was signed between Afghanistan. In February 1979, the United States Ambassador to Afghanistan, Adolph Dubs, was kidnapped by Setami Milli militants and was killed during an assault carried out by the Afghan police, assisted by Soviet advisers. Dubs' death led to a major deterioration in Afghanistan–United States relations. In Southwestern Asia, drastic changes were taking place concurrent with the upheavals in Afghanistan.
In February 1979, the Iranian Revolution ousted the American-backed Shah from Iran, losing the United States as one of its most powerful allies. The United S
3rd Ukrainian Front
3rd Ukrainian Front was a Front of the Red Army during World War II. It was founded on 20 October 1943, on the basis of a Stavka order of October 16, 1943, by renaming the Southwestern Front, it included 1st Guards Army, 8th Guards Army, 6th, 12th, 46th Armies and 17th Air Army. It included 5th Shock, 4th and 9th Guards Army, 26th, 27th, 28th, 37th, 57th Army, 6th Guards Tank Army, the Bulgarian First and Fourth Armies; the Danube Flotilla was assigned to the Front's operational control. This included the 83rd Naval Infantry Brigade. In the first half of October 1943, Southwestern Front commanded by Army General Rodion Malinovsky was tasked with attacking the German Panther-Wotan line, securing the bridgeheads on the eastern bank of the Dnieper on the Izyum - Dnipropetrovsk axis during the Battle of the Lower Dnieper, but the first attempt to establish bridgeheads failed. Three infantry armies: 8th Guards, 3rd Guards and the 12th Army, two corps, 1st Guards Mechanized and 23rd Tank with 17th Air Army providing air support were assembled for the new assault.
On 10 October 1943 Chuikov's 8th Guards launched the attack, with the tank corps being inserted on the 13 October. Germans retreated from Zaporizhia. On 23 October Malinovsky, who wanted to take Dnipropetrovsk, trap the First Panzer Army in the eastern reaches of the Dnieper bend, inserted the newly arrived 46th Army into combat. Together with 8th Guards it was trying to trap German forces against the western bank of Dnieper between Dnipropetrovsk and Dniprodzerzhynsk, the site of the huge Dnieper Hydroelectric Station; the 46th Army units tried to get to the station in time to prevent the destruction of the dam by retreating German troops. On 25 October Dnipropetrovsk was taken, but the installations and the Dam were destroyed. At the same time the Koniev's 2nd Ukrainian Front was attacking towards the Kryvyi Rih from the north with the 7th Guards Army, but the 1st Panzer Army was saved for the moment as Koniev's assault on Kryvyi Rih stalled at Ingulets river north of Kherson. However, Vatutin commanding the 1st Ukrainian Front located north of Poltava sent the 5th Guards Tank Army which penetrated north of Kryvyi Rih, was only halted by the stubborn German defence and length of its own logistic tail.
On conclusion, both operations allowed the two Fronts to create a single Krementchug-Dnipropetrovsk bridgehead expanded to Zaporizhia due to the breaching of the Wotan Line by the Southern Front. Units of the 6th Army seized bridgeheads south of Zaporizhia, by the end of December, along with 2nd Ukrainian Front held on the Dnieper major strategic stronghold. After the liberation of right-bank Ukraine by troops of the 3rd Ukrainian Front, in collaboration with 4th Ukrainian Front by making Nikopol-Krivoy Rog Operation 1944, the took to the district Ingulets, where in March–April launched an offensive at the Nikolayev-Odessa area. After carrying out the Bereznegovato-Snigirevskaya operation, the front readied itself for an attack on Odessa. Before the Odessa Offensive 3rd Ukrainian received substantial reinforcements, it now fielded seven Armies: 5th Shock Army, 6th Army, 8th Guards Army, 28th Army, 37th Army, 46th Army and 57th Army. Malinowsky formed a cavalry-mechanized group consisting of 4th Guards Cavalry Corps and 4th Mechanized Corps under Lt. Gen. Pliev.
The target was large Black Sea port Odessa. The attack opened on 6 March 1944 when Soviet troops forced the Ingulets, the Visun and the Ingul rivers, they assisted the Black Sea Fleet completing the liberation of southern Ukraine, liberated a large part of the Moldavian SSR and moved to Dniester and, seizing bridgeheads on its right bank, including Kitskansky bridgehead. In August 1944 the 3rd Ukrainian Front engaged in the Iassy-Kishinev Offensive, which resulted in the release of all the Moldavian SSR, Romania declaring war on Germany. On 8 September Soviet troops entered the territory of Bulgaria and by the end of the month occupied the country. From 28 September - 20 October 1944 3rd Ukrainian Front in collaboration with the People's Liberation Army of Yugoslavia with the participation of troops of the Fatherland Front in Bulgaria carried out the Belgrade Offensive, which resulted in the liberation of the capital of Yugoslavia and most of Serbia. In October 1944 - February 1945, the 3rd Ukrainian Front had forces involved in the Siege of Budapest, including 46th Army.
Its troops seized a bridgehead on its right bank. In January 1945, they repelled the enemy counter-attacks, trying to relieve the forces surrounded in Budapest, in March, during the German Operation Frühlingserwachen, a counter-offensive broke the German troops in the area of Lake Balaton; the successful completion of this battle made possible the beginning of the Vienna Offensive on 16 March, in conjunction with the left wing 2nd Ukrainian Front. Thereafter the front's forces completed the liberation of Hungary, expelled the enemy from the eastern part of Austria and took its capital, Vienna; the Front included 57th Army from October to December 1944. On 15 June 1945, the on the basis of a Stavka directive on May 29, 1945, the front was disbanded, reorganised as the Southern Group of Forces. 26th Army was grouped with 37th Army into the SGF. Front Commander: General of Army Rodion Malinovsky 1st Guards Army 6th Guards Rifle Corps 20th Guards Rifle Division 152nd Rifle Division 34th Rifle Corps 6th Rifle Division 24th Rifle Division 228th Rifle Division 195th Rifle Division3rd Guards Army: 34th Guards Rifle Corps 59th Guards Rifle Division 61st Guards Rifle Divis