Battle of Stalingrad
The Battle of Stalingrad was the largest confrontation of World War II, in which Germany and its allies fought the Soviet Union for control of the city of Stalingrad in Southern Russia. Marked by fierce close quarters combat and direct assaults on civilians in air raids, it was the largest and bloodiest battle in the history of warfare. After their defeat at Stalingrad, the German High Command had to withdraw vast military forces from the Western Front to replace their losses; the German offensive to capture Stalingrad began in August 1942, using the 6th Army and elements of the 4th Panzer Army. The attack was supported by intensive Luftwaffe bombing; the fighting degenerated into house-to-house fighting. By mid-November 1942, the Germans had pushed the Soviet defenders back at great cost into narrow zones along the west bank of the Volga River. On 19 November 1942, the Red Army launched Operation Uranus, a two-pronged attack targeting the weaker Romanian and Hungarian armies protecting the German 6th Army's flanks.
The Axis forces on the flanks were overrun and the 6th Army was cut off and surrounded in the Stalingrad area. Adolf Hitler ordered that the army make no attempt to break out. Heavy fighting continued for another two months. By the beginning of February 1943, the Axis forces in Stalingrad had exhausted their ammunition and food; the remaining units of the 6th Army surrendered. The battle lasted one week and three days. By the spring of 1942, despite the failure of Operation Barbarossa to decisively defeat the Soviet Union in a single campaign, the Wehrmacht had captured vast expanses of territory, including Ukraine and the Baltic republics. Elsewhere, the war had been progressing well: the U-boat offensive in the Atlantic had been successful and Erwin Rommel had just captured Tobruk. In the east, they had stabilized their front in a line running from Leningrad in the north to Rostov in the south. There were a number of salients, but these were not threatening. Hitler was confident that he could master the Red Army after the winter of 1942, because though Army Group Centre had suffered heavy losses west of Moscow the previous winter, 65% of its infantry had not been engaged and had been rested and re-equipped.
Neither Army Group North nor Army Group South had been hard pressed over the winter. Stalin was expecting the main thrust of the German summer attacks to be directed against Moscow again. With the initial operations being successful, the Germans decided that their summer campaign in 1942 would be directed at the southern parts of the Soviet Union; the initial objectives in the region around Stalingrad were the destruction of the industrial capacity of the city and the deployment of forces to block the Volga River. The river was the Caspian Sea to central Russia, its capture would disrupt commercial river traffic. The Germans cut the pipeline from the oilfields; the capture of Stalingrad would make the delivery of Lend Lease supplies via the Persian Corridor much more difficult. On 23 July 1942, Hitler rewrote the operational objectives for the 1942 campaign expanding them to include the occupation of the city of Stalingrad. Both sides began to attach propaganda value to the city, based on it bearing the name of the leader of the Soviet Union.
Hitler proclaimed that after Stalingrad's capture, its male citizens were to be killed and all women and children were to be deported because its population was "thoroughly communistic" and "especially dangerous". It was assumed that the fall of the city would firmly secure the northern and western flanks of the German armies as they advanced on Baku, with the aim of securing these strategic petroleum resources for Germany; the expansion of objectives was a significant factor in Germany's failure at Stalingrad, caused by German overconfidence and an underestimation of Soviet reserves. The Soviets realized, they ordered that anyone strong enough to hold a rifle be sent to fight. If I do not get the oil of Maikop and Grozny I must finish this war. Army Group South was selected for a sprint forward through the southern Russian steppes into the Caucasus to capture the vital Soviet oil fields there; the planned summer offensive, code-named Fall Blau, was to include the German 6th, 17th, 4th Panzer and 1st Panzer Armies.
Army Group South had overrun the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic in 1941. Poised in Eastern Ukraine, it was to spearhead the offensive. Hitler intervened, ordering the Army Group to split in two. Army Group South, under the command of Wilhelm List, was to continue advancing south towards the Caucasus as planned with the 17th Army and First Panzer Army. Army Group South, including Friedrich Paulus's 6th Army and Hermann Hoth's 4th Panzer Army, was to move east towards the Volga and Stalingrad. Army Group B was commanded by Field Marshal Fedor von Bock and by General Maximilian von Weichs; the start of Case Blue had been planned for late May 1942. However, a number of German and Romanian units that were to take part in Blau were besieging Sevastopol on the Crimean Peninsula. Delays in ending the siege pushed back the start date for Blau several times, the city did not fall until early July. Operation Fridericus I by the Germans against the "Isium bulge", pinched off the Soviet
Rodion Yakovlevich Malinovsky was a Soviet military commander in World War II, Marshal of the Soviet Union, Defense Minister of the Soviet Union in the late 1950s and 1960s. He contributed to the major defeat of Germany at the Battle of Stalingrad and the Battle of Budapest. During the post-war era, he made a pivotal contribution to the strengthening of the Soviet Union as a military superpower. Born in Odessa, After the death of his Catholic father, Malinovsky's mother left the city for the rural areas of Ukraine, remarried, her husband, a poverty-stricken Ukrainian peasant, refused to adopt her son and expelled him when Malinovsky was only 13 years old. The homeless boy survived by working as a farmhand, received shelter from his aunt's family in Odessa, where he worked as an errand boy in a general store. After the start of World War I in July 1914, only 15 years old at the time, hid on the military train heading for the German front, but was discovered, he convinced the commanding officers to enlist him as a volunteer, served in a machine-gun detachment in the frontline trenches.
In October 1915, as a reward for repelling a German attack, he received his first military award, the Cross of St. George of the 4th class, was promoted to the rank of corporal. Soon afterwards, he was badly spent several months in the hospital. After his recovery, he was sent to France in 1916 as a member of the Western Front Russian Expeditionary Corps. Malinovsky fought in a hotly contested sector of the front near Fort Brion and was promoted to sergeant, he suffered a serious wound in his left arm, received a decoration from the French government. After the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the French government disbanded some Russian units, but others were transferred to a newly created unit called the Russian Legion, attached to the Moroccan Division. Malinovsky fought against the Germans until the end of the war. During this time, he was awarded the French Croix de guerre and promoted to senior NCO, he returned to Odessa in 1919, where he joined the Red Army in the Civil War against the White Army and fought with distinction in Siberia.
He remained in the army after the end of the conflict, studying in the training school for the junior commanders, rose to commander of a rifle battalion. In 1926, he became a member of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union, membership of, a prerequisite for promotion in the military. In 1927, Malinovsky was sent to study at the elite Frunze Military Academy, he graduated in 1930, during the next seven years he rose to the Chief of Staff of the 3rd Cavalry Corps, where his commander was Semyon Timoshenko. After the start of the Spanish Civil War in 1936, Malinovsky volunteered to fight for the Republicans against the right-wing nationalists of General Francisco Franco and their Italian and German allies, he participated in directing several main operations. In 1938, he returned to Moscow, being awarded the top Soviet decorations, the Order of Lenin and the Order of the Red Banner, in recognition of his service in Spain. In the spring of 1941, who served the People's Commissar for Defence, was alarmed by the massive German military buildup on the Soviet borders, as the Wehrmacht was secretly preparing for Operation Barbarossa.
In order to strengthen the Red Army field command, he dispatched some of the top officers from the military academies to the field units. Malinovsky was promoted to General-Major, took command over the freshly raised 48th Rifle Corps, 9th Army in the Odessa Military District. A week prior to the start of the war, Malinovsky deployed his corps close to the Romanian border. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union in June 1941, with the Red Army suffering enormous defeats and losing hundreds of thousands of troops in German encirclements, Malinovsky emerged a competent general, his corps of three formed rifle divisions faced German Blitzkrieg along the line of the Prut River. While, as a rule, Red Army generals would lead their forces from behind the frontline, Malinovsky went to the crucial sectors of the battles to be with his soldiers and encourage them. Unable to stop the Wehrmacht, Malinovsky had to retreat along the Black Sea shore, while frustrating enemy attempts to encircle his troops; the Germans succeeded in cornering his corps in Mykolaiv, but Malinovsky breached their ring and retreated to Dnipropetrovsk.
In August, he was promoted to Chief of Staff of the badly battered 6th Army, soon replaced its commander. He was promoted to General-Leytenant. After the retreat of the Red Army to the Donbass, Malinovsky commanded a joint operation of the 6th and 12th armies, managing to drive the Wehrmacht out of the region. In December 1941, Malinovsky received command of the Southern Front, consisting of three weak field armies and two division-sized cavalry corps, they were short of manpower and equipment, but Malinovsky managed to push deep into the defenses of the Germans, after 6 months of fighting, were suffering from fatigue and shortages as well. On 12 May 1942, Malinovsky and the Southwestern Front, under the overall command of Timoshenko, launched a joint attack in the Second Battle of Kharkov pushing the Germans back 100 kilometres. Timoshenko suffered a heavy defeat. Although Stalin, in spite of opposition by his top military advisers, supported the ill-fated Kharkov offense, he became suspicious that Malinovsky had intentionally failed his
25th Army (Soviet Union)
The 25th Army was a Red Army field army of World War II that served in the Russian Far East. Formed in June 1941, the 25th Army did not see combat until the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945, when it advanced into northern Korea. After World War II it was responsible for the Soviet Civil Administration in the northern Korean Peninsula, helped establish a Communist state in North Korea under the rule of Kim Il-Sung; the army remained in North Korea until it was withdrawn in 1948, was stationed in Primorsky Krai until its 1957 disbandment. It was formed in the Soviet Far East Front on the basis of the headquarters of the 43rd Rifle Corps on 20 June 1941 in accordance with an order of 8 March. Headquartered at Voroshilov, it was commanded by Lieutenant General Filipp Parusinov; the army comprised 39th Rifle Corps with 32nd Rifle Division, 40th, 92nd Rifle Divisions, as well as the 105th Rifle Division and the 106th, 107th, 108th, 110th, 111th Fortified Areas as Army troops. The army was responsible for defending the border in Primorsky Krai.
On 10 August 1943, the army became part of the Maritime Group of Forces, which on 20 April 1945 became part of the Far Eastern Front, was soon directly subordinated to the Stavka. In June, Colonel General Ivan Chistyakov took command of the army. On 5 August, the army became part of the 1st Far East Front, redesignated from the Maritime Group of Forces in preparation for the Soviet invasion of Manchuria. At the time, the 393rd Rifle Division and the 7th and 113th Fortified Areas were in the army's direct subordination. By the beginning of the invasion on 9 August, the army included the 39th Rifle Corps with the 40th, the 384th, the 386th Rifle Divisions, the 393rd Rifle Division, the 7th, 106th, 107th, 108th, 110th, 111th, the 113th Fortified Areas. During the Soviet invasion of Manchuria, the army fought in the Harbin-Kirin Offensive. By the end of 10 August the army overcame Japanese resistance to capture the Dongning, Dongxin-zhen, the Hunchun fortified areas, cut the Dongning-Tumyntsa-Hunchun road, advanced through Japanese defenses to a depth of 15 kilometres to 20 kilometres.
On 11 August, the 25th Army captured Laoheishan and Hunchun, on the next day captured the ports of Unggi and Rason on the east coast of Korea alongside landing forces of the Pacific Fleet. As a result of its advances, the army received the 5th Army's 17th Rifle Corps and the 88th Rifle Division and 10th Mechanized Corps from front reserve. With the reinforcements, the army received a new task: to advance south and cut the communications between Japanese troops in Korea and those in Manchuria, in cooperation with the Pacific Fleet landing forces, to capture ports on the east coast of Korea. In fulfilling this task, the army defeated parts of the Japanese 3rd and 34th Armies and captured Wangqing on 15 August, Chongjin on 16 August and Yanji on 17 August, among others. Between 18 and 20 August, the army disarmed surrendered Japanese troops, was redeployed to the Pyongyang area at the end of the month; the army's headquarters was established at Pyongyang on 26 August after Chistyakov rejected the option of Hamhung on the previous day after the 25th Army was given the task of occupying what would become North Korea.
The location of the 25th Army's headquarters in Pyongyang determined the location of the future North Korean capital. After the end of the war with Japan it included 39th Rifle Corps and 88th Rifle Corps and 8 fortified regions but they were all reorganised in 1946 into machine-gun artillery divisions. There were the 72nd, 76th, 218th, 259th Tank Brigades. On 1 October, the army became part of the Primorsky Military District; the two corps were disbanded in August 1946 and 65th Rifle Corps was transferred to the 25th Army from the 5th Army. The division of Korea between the United States and the Soviet Union after the defeat of Japan had been agreed to at the Tehran Conference in 1943; the 25th Army served as the occupation force in north of the 38th parallel while the U. S. Army Military Government in Korea was established in the south. Under the Soviet Civil Administration the 25th Army helped place Kim Il-Sung and the Korean Workers' Party into power, they assisted with the purges of former collaborators, businessmen and religious leaders.
These people would either flee to the future South Korea or would be banished or imprisoned in the Hamgyong Province. In late 1948, the army was withdrawn from North Korea and stationed in southern Primorsky Krai on the Korean and Chinese borders, as well as on the Peter the Great Gulf coast, its headquarters was located in Shkotovo. In March 1953 the army included the 9th, 10th, 21st, 24th Machine-Gun Artillery Divisions; the 10th Mechanized Division had become part of the 65th Rifle Corps by this time, the 40th Rifle Division was directly subordinated to the army. In April 1953, the Primorsky Military District was disbanded, the army became part of the Far Eastern Military District; the army's last commander was Lieutenant General Ivan Rubanyuk, who assumed command on 18 May 1953. The 65th Rifle Corps and its divisions were disbanded in the summer of 1956 and the remaining 25th Army rifle divisions became motor rifle divisions in the spring of 1957. On 1 May, the army included the 40th, 84th, 147th, the 148th Motor Rifle Divisions.
In December 1957, the army was disbanded and its remaining divisions transferred to the 5th Army. The 84th, 147th, 148th Divisions were disbanded along with the 25th Ar
36th Army (Soviet Union)
The 36th Army was a military formation of the Red Army and the Soviet Ground Forces, formed twice. Formed in mid-1941, the army spent much of World War II as part of the Transbaikal Military District guarding the Manchurian and Mongolian-Soviet borders. During the Soviet invasion of Manchuria in August 1945, the army advanced over the Greater Khingan mountains and overran the Japanese Hailar fortified region in fierce fighting, it was disbanded after the end of the war in mid-1948. The army was reformed in 1976 from the 86th Army Corps, itself established in 1968 as a result of rising Sino-Soviet tensions, it garrisoned the Transbaikal until being reduced to the 55th Army Corps in 1989 as the Cold War ended. The army was formed in July 1941 in the Transbaikal Military District from the 12th Rifle Corps, under the command of Major General Sergey Fomenko, promoted to lieutenant general on 16 October 1943, it included the 65th, 93rd, 94th, 114th Rifle Divisions as well as the 31st and 32nd Fortified Regions, supported by a number of artillery units, among others.
The army became part of the Transbaikal Front in September when the latter was created from the district, for the rest of World War II guarded the Manchurian-Soviet and Mongolian-Soviet borders in the Transbaikal. For the August 1945 Soviet invasion of Manchuria, the army included the 2nd and 86th Rifle Corps, the 293rd and 298th Rifle Divisions, the 31st and 32nd Fortified Regions, tank and other units; as part of the Khingan–Mukden Offensive, the army was tasked with an advance from the Dauriya area and positions northeast of Duroy to Hailar in order to secure the attack of the main force of the Transbaikal Front against a Japanese counterattack from the north. To expedite the advance of the army a mobile group consisting of the 205th Tank Brigade, rifle regiments aboard vehicles and anti-aircraft artillery regiments, self-propelled artillery and missile launcher battalions as well as sapper companies was formed. Beginning their attack on the night of 9 August without artillery or aerial bombardment, the forces of the army swiftly overran Japanese covering units, captured the Jalainur-Manchuria fortified region on the right flank, crossed the Argun River on the left flank to advance on Hailar.
An advance of 40 kilometers was reached by the end of the day. Continuing the rapid offensive, the forces of the army surrounded the Hailar fortified region on the second day of the invasion and its main forces advanced deep into Manchuria. After crossing the Greater Khingan, on 17 August they captured Boketu and Zalantun; as the vanguard of the 205th Tank Brigade moved towards Qiqihar, reached on 19 August, elements of the army continued the reduction of the Hailar fortified region, which fell on 18 August. Following the surrender of the Kwantung Army, the troops of the army helped disarm Japanese troops; the army became part of the Transbaikal-Amur Military District when the front headquarters became a military district on 10 September. By 1 October, it included the 2nd Rifle Corps with the 103rd, 275th, 292nd Rifle Divisions, the 86th Rifle Corps with the 94th, 210th, the 298th Rifle Divisions, the 293rd Rifle Division and 31st and 32nd Fortified Regions directly subordinated to the army headquarters.
The headquarters of the 2nd Rifle Corps, the 103rd and 275th Divisions were disbanded as part of the postwar demobilization. The demobilization continued in early to mid-1946, during which the 210th, 292nd, 293rd, the 298th Divisions were disbanded; as a result, the army was reduced to the 86th Rifle Corps with the 36th and 94th Rifle Divisions and the 57th Rifle Division, 61st Tank Division, the 3rd and 8th Machine Gun Artillery Brigades by August of that year. Headquartered at Chita by May 1947, the army headquarters was used to reform the Transbaikal Military District headquarters there on 10 July; the 86th Rifle Corps headquarters became a new army headquarters at Tsugol. The existence of this formation was brief, in accordance with an order of 24 March 1948 the army headquarters was disbanded by July and used to help form the 14th Assault Army in the Chukotka Peninsula; the 86th Rifle Corps and 61st Tank Division were directly subordinated to the district. The following officers commanded the army: Major General Sergey Fomenko Lieutenant General Alexander Luchinsky Lieutenant General Sergey Fomenko The second formation of the 36th Army was formed as the 86th Army Corps of the Transbaikal Military District at Borzya on 19 April 1968, as a result of the Sino-Soviet split.
The numbering of the corps was a reference to the 86th Rifle Corps, in an attempt to continue traditions. The corps included the 122nd Guards Motor Rifle Division at Dauriya whose predecessors had been stationed in the region since 1945, two other Guards Motor Rifle Divisions transferred from the Moscow Military District: the 11th, 32nd, the 38th. However, the 32nd Guards returned to the Moscow Military District in 1970; the 86th Corps was redesignated as the second formation of the 36th Army on 1 June 1976, covering the southeast border of Transbaikal. In addition to its divisions, the army included other units transferred from European Russia, such as the 240th Anti-Aircraft Missile Brigade at Borzya, transferred in early 1975 from the 7th Tank Army of the Belorussian Military District. By the end of the 1980s, the 11th, 14th, 16th, 18th, 19th Fortified Regions were part of the army. On 1 June 1989, the army was downsized into the 55th Army Corps; that year, as Soviet military expenditure declined with the winding dow
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
World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
4th Army (Soviet Union)
The 4th Army was a Soviet field army of World War II that served on the Eastern front of World War II and in the Caucasus during the Cold War. It was disbanded after the fall of the Soviet Union, with its divisions being withdrawn to Russia and disbanded; the Fourth Army was created in August 1939 in the Belorussian Special Military District from the Bobruisk Army Group as an independent army. In September 1939, the Fourth Army took part in the Soviet invasion of Poland commanded by the future Marshal of Soviet Union V. I. Chuykov, the defender of Stalingrad, its order of battle in that operation is listed here. Elements of the army 4th Battalion, 29th Light Tank Brigade, took part in the German–Soviet military parade in Brest-Litovsk on September 22, 1939; when the German invasion of the Soviet Union commenced on 22 June 1941, the Army was part of the Western Front and had the 28th Rifle Corps, 14th Mechanised Corps, 49th and 75th Rifle Divisions, as well as the 62nd Fortified Region. General Colonel Pavlov, Commander of the Western Front, had decided to redeploy some of 4th Army’s troops early in 1941, John Erickson wrote that 12th Rifle Division was accordingly moved into Brest, HQ 14th Mechanised Corps to Kobrin, which in Erickson’s words, ‘deprived 4th Army of its reserve and its second echelon.’It should be understood that John Erickson was writing in the pre-1990 period when formation designations could be unclear, sometimes to the point of deliberate deception.
According to Sharp the 12th Rifle Division was identified by the Germans on the Western Front, but the unit was assigned to the Far East for the entire war. The formation that appears to have been moved into Brest Fortress was 42nd Rifle Division. Facing the 4th Army across the Bug River was deployed the German Fourth Army, with twelve infantry divisions and a cavalry division, as well as Panzer Group 2; some units faced several difficulties. A. Khorobkov, the army commander, saw his officers on 10 June, General Major Stepan Oborin, 14th Mechanised Corps commander, emphasized that more than half his soldiers were untrained recruits, that his artillery had received guns for which there was no ammunition, that he only had enough lorries to make a quarter of the corps mobile – the rest would have to march. On the eve of the attack, 4th Army suffered, as did many Soviet formations, from German communication sabotage. Units lost telephone connections, electrical power, the Brest Fortress lost its water supply.
From about 5 am on 22 June fierce fighting began around the Brest fortress, but the seven battalions around the fortress, from 28th Rifle Corps, were undermanned and slow off the mark to man the defences. Despite these deficiencies the final German reduction of the fortress took some time in the face of determined Soviet resistance. By 1600 hours on 22 June, 4th Army HQ was back at Zapruda, whereupon Front HQ ordered that 14th Mechanised Corps be launched in an attack to clear Brest and reach the frontier line; however the Army staff felt the plan had no chance of success, so it proved. Three days Western Front ordered a general withdrawal to try to keep the frontier armies out of threatened German encirclement. Further instructions came through from Pavlov after a chance meeting the same day; however the Slutsk fortified district, as the district commander reminded Khorobkov, had long ago been instructed to dispatch all its weapons to the Brest fortress. The planned defence was thus non-existent, Slutsk fell on 27 June.
The Army took part in the defenses of the area around Babruysk. At the end of July 1941, the Fourth Army began to dissolve; the Fourth Army's staff members were absorbed into the general staff of the Central Front, the troops were absorbed into other armies. Source:Commander Lieutenant General Alexander A. Korobkov 28th Rifle Corps - Major General V. S. Popov 6th Rifle Division - Col. M. A. Popsiu-Shapko 42nd Rifle Division - Maj. Gen. I. S. Lazarenko 49th Rifle Division - Col. C. F. Vasil’ev 75th Rifle Division - Col. Nedwigin 14th Mechanized Corps - Major General S. I. Oborin 22nd Tank Division - Mj. Gen. V. P. Puganov 30th Tank Division - Col. Semen Bogdanov 205th Motor Rifle Division - Col. F. F. KudjurovOrder of Battle for Operation Barbarossa At the end of September 1941, the Fourth Army was formed for the second time, retaining its Independent status until December while remaining in the Reserve of the Supreme High Command; the field staffs of the 52nd and 54th Armies were used to fill the command contingent of the Army.
The new formation was made up of the 285th, 292nd, 311th Rifle Divisions along with the 27th Cavalry Division, a Tank brigade, the 2nd Reserve aviation group, other artillery and support units. The Fourth Army participated in the defense and attack of Tikhvin from October to December 1941. On December 17, 1941, the Fourth Army was allocated to the Volkhov Front. From January 1942 to November 1943, the Fourth Army fought on the front in Volkhov and Leningrad while doing many rear-area duties. Unlike in other parts of the Eastern Front, the Red Army was not making significant gains in