Battle of Kursk
The Battle of Kursk was a Second World War engagement between German and Soviet forces on the Eastern Front near Kursk in the Soviet Union, during July and August 1943. The battle began with the launch of the German offensive, Operation Citadel, on 5 July, which had the objective of pinching off the Kursk salient with attacks on the base of the salient from north and south simultaneously. After the German offensive stalled on the northern side of the salient, on 12 July the Soviets commenced their Kursk Strategic Offensive Operation with the launch of Operation Kutuzov against the rear of the German forces in the northern side. On the southern side, the Soviets launched powerful counterattacks the same day, one of which led to a large armoured clash, the Battle of Prokhorovka. On 3 August, the Soviets began the second phase of the Kursk Strategic Offensive Operation with the launch of Operation Polkovodets Rumyantsev against the German forces in the southern side of the Kursk salient; the battle was the final strategic offensive that the Germans were able to launch on the Eastern Front.
Because the Allied invasion of Sicily had begun, Adolf Hitler was forced to have troops training in France diverted to meet the Allied threat in the Mediterranean, rather than use them as a strategic reserve for the Eastern Front. Hitler canceled the offensive at Kursk in part to divert forces to Italy. Germany's extensive losses of men and tanks ensured that the victorious Soviet Red Army enjoyed the strategic initiative for the remainder of the war; the Germans hoped to weaken the Soviet offensive potential for the summer of 1943 by cutting off the forces that they anticipated would be in the Kursk salient. The Kursk salient or bulge was 250 kilometres long from north to south and 160 kilometres from east to west; the plan envisioned an envelopment by a pair of pincers breaking through the northern and southern flanks of the salient. Hitler believed that a victory here would reassert German strength and improve his prestige with his allies, who were considering withdrawing from the war, it was hoped that large numbers of Soviet prisoners would be captured to be used as slave labour in the German armaments industry.
The Soviet government had foreknowledge of the German intentions, provided in part by the British intelligence service and Tunny intercepts. Aware months in advance that the attack would fall on the neck of the Kursk salient, the Soviets built a defence in depth designed to wear down the German armoured spearhead; the Germans delayed the offensive while they tried to build up their forces and waited for new weapons the new Panther tank but larger numbers of the Tiger heavy tank. This gave the Red Army time to construct a series of deep defensive belts; the defensive preparations included minefields, artillery fire zones and anti-tank strong points, which extended 300 km in depth. Soviet mobile formations were moved out of the salient and a large reserve force was formed for strategic counter-offensives; the Battle of Kursk was the first time in the Second World War that a German strategic offensive was halted before it could break through enemy defences and penetrate to its strategic depths.
The maximum depth of the German advance was 8–12 kilometres in the north and 35 kilometres in the south. Though the Red Army had succeeded in winter offensives their counter-offensives following the German attack at Kursk were their first successful strategic summer offensives of the war; as the Battle of Stalingrad ground to its conclusion, the Red Army moved to a general offensive in the south, in Operation Little Saturn. By January 1943, a 160 to 300 km wide gap had opened between Army Group B and Army Group Don, the advancing Soviet armies threatened to cut off all German forces south of the Don River, including Army Group A operating in the Caucasus. Army Group Center came under significant pressure as well. Kursk fell to the Soviets on 8 February 1943, Rostov fell on 14 February; the Soviet Bryansk and newly created Central Fronts prepared for an offensive which envisioned the encirclement of Army Group Center between Bryansk and Smolensk. By February 1943 the southern sector of the German front was in strategic crisis.
Since December 1942 Field Marshal Erich von Manstein had been requesting "unrestricted operational freedom" to allow him to use his forces in a fluid manner. On 6 February 1943, Manstein met with Hitler at the headquarters in Rastenburg to discuss the proposals he had sent, he received an approval from Hitler for a counteroffensive against the Soviet forces advancing in the Donbass region. On 12 February 1943, the remaining German forces were reorganised. To the south, Army Group Don was placed under Manstein's command. Directly to the north, Army Group B was dissolved, with its forces and areas of responsibility divided between Army Group South and Army Group Center. Manstein inherited responsibility for the massive breach in the German lines. On 18 February, Hitler arrived at Army Group South headquarters at Zaporizhia just hours before the Soviets liberated Kharkov, had to be hastily evacuated on the 19th. Once given freedom of action, Manstein intended to utilise his forces to make a series of counterstrokes into the flanks of the Soviet armoured formations, with the goal of destroying them while retaking Kharkov and Kursk.
The II SS Panzer Corps had arrived from France in January 1943, refitted and up to near full strength. Armoured units from the 1st Panzer Army of Army Group A had pulled out of the Caucasus and further strengthen
Transcaucasian Military District
The Transcaucasian Military District, a military district of the Soviet Armed Forces, traces its history to May 1921 and the incorporation of Armenia and Georgia into the Soviet Union. It was disbanded by being redesignated as a Group of Forces in the early 1990s after the Soviet Union collapse; the military district formed as a basis of the modern day armed forces of Armenia and Georgia. It was formed from the Red Army's Separate Caucasian Army, which became the Red Banner Caucasian Army in August 1923. On 17 May 1935 the Red Banner Caucasus Army was redesignated the Transcaucasian Military District; the Georgian and Azerbaijani national formations, plus units from the 11th Soviet Red Army, all joined the new district about this time. In July 1936 the District's formations and units received designations according to the countrywide numbering scheme and became: the 9th Mountain Rifle Division, named for the Central Executive Committee of the Georgian SSR. On 22 June 1941 the District consisted of the 3rd, 23rd Rifle Corps and 40th Rifle Corps, the 28th Mechanised Corps, which included the 6th and 54th Tank Divisions and the 236th Motorised Division, five unattached divisions – the 63rd, 76th, 77th Rifle, the 17th Mountain Cavalry Division and the 24th Cavalry Division, three fortified regions.
On 1 August 1941 the 46th Army was formed from the 3rd Rifle Corps headquarters. 45th Army was formed from the 23rd Rifle Corps. 45th and 46th Armies guarded the Turkish border. The 44th Army was formed from the 40th Rifle Corps and the 47th Army formed from the 27th Mechanized Corps. Both armies were deployed on the Iranian border. On 23 August, the military district became the Transcaucasus Front. District headquarters was subordinated to the front's military council and directed the formation of new units, it was disbanded on 14 September 1941. On 28 January 1942, the military district was reformed when the Caucasian Front was divided into the Transcaucasian Military District and the Crimean Front; the district was commanded by Ivan Tyulenev and included the 45th and 46th Armies, as well as 4 rifle divisions and a rifle brigade. On 28 April 1942, the district became the second formation of the Transcaucasian Front. On 9 July 1945, the Baku Military Districts were formed from the Transcaucasian Front.
Tbilisi Military District Headquarters was in Tbilisi and was formed from the Transcaucasian Front headquarters. The district controlled forces in the Armenian SSRs; the district was commanded by former 27th Army commander. The headquarters of the Baku Military District was formed from 69th Army headquarters and was located in Baku; the district controlled forces in the Azerbaijan SSR and Dagestan ASSR. It was commanded by former 69th Army commander. In October 1945, Army General Ivan Maslennikov took command. On 15 November 1945, control of forces in the Nakhichevan ASSR was transferred from the Tbilisi Military District to the Baku Military District. Lieutenant General Mikhail Ozimin became Tbilisi Military District commander in April 1946. In May 1946, both districts became part of the Transcaucasian Military District, commanded by Maslennikov. After the war the Transcaucasus Front reverted to being a part of the Headquarters Transcaucasus Military District, in Tbilisi. In 1979 Scott and Scott reported the District' headquarters address as Tbilisi-4, Ulitsa Dzneladze, Dom 46.
The District became part of the Southern Direction, headquartered in Baku and including the North Caucasus and Turkestan Military Districts, in the late 1970s and early 1980s. Komandarm 2nd rank Mikhail Lewandowski Komkor Nikolay Kuibyshev Marshal of the Soviet Union Alexander Yegorov Komkor Ivan Tyulenev Lieutenant General Mikhail Yefremov Lieutenant General Dmitry Kozlov Lieutenant General Vladimir Lvov Maslennikov, Army General.
Nakhchivan is the capital of the eponymous Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic of Azerbaijan, located 450 km west of Baku. The municipality of Nakhchivan consists of the city of Nakhchivan, the settlement of Əliabad and the villages of Başbaşı, Haciniyyət, Qaraçuq, Qaraxanbəyli, Qarağalıq, Daşduz, it is spread over the foothills of Zangezur Mountains, on the right bank of the Nakhchivan River at an altitude of 873 m above sea level. Since June 9, 2009, by the decree of the President of the Azerbaijan Republic, the Bulqan, Garakhanbeyli and Haciniyyət villages of the Babek Rayon are included in the scope of the administrative territorial unit of the Nakhchivan city. Heinrich Hübschmann argued that Nakhichevan was named Naxcavan, the result of the combination of the name Naxc and avan, thus translates to "Naxc's town", evolved into Nakhichevan. According to Harrison Gray Otis Dwight, Nakhichevan derives from the composition of nakh and ichevan, thus translates to "first resting-place" or "first descent".
Local tradition states that Nakhichevan was founded by Noah after the Flood, was his place of death and burial. According to Saint Movses Khorenatsi, King Tigranes I of Armenia settled Median prisoners of war at Nakhichevan in the second century BC. Nakhichevan is first mentioned in Ptolemy's Geographia as Naxouana. Nakhichevan was destroyed by Shahanshah Shapur II in 363 and its Armenian and Jewish population was deported to Iran. Emperor Heraclius travelled through the city en route to Atropatene in 623 during the Byzantine–Sasanian War of 602–628; the Arab siege of Nakhichevan in 650 led Theodore Rshtuni to conclude a truce. After the rebellion of 703, Muhammad ibn Marwan had the rebel nobles burnt alive in churches in Nakhichevan and Goghtn in 705. Nakhichevan temporarily came under the control of the Kingdom of Armenia in c. 900, but was swiftly taken by Muhammad ibn Abi'l-Saj. The city was the temporary refuge of Atabeg Nusrat al-Din Abu Bakr after his defeat at the Battle of Shamkor in 1195, Nakhichevan was conquered by the Kingdom of Georgia in 1197.
In 1225, Nakhichevan was ruled by daughter of Atabeg Muhammad Jahan Pahlavan. Genoese merchants were known to trade in the city by 1280; the city was conquered by Timur in 1401, but was taken by King George VII of Georgia in 1405. Nakhichevan was conquered by Shahanshah Ismail I in 1503. Shahanshah Abbas I of Persia reconquered Nakhichevan from the Ottoman Empire in 1603-1604. Nakhichevan was annexed to the Russian Empire per the Treaty of Turkmenchay in 1828; the city became the centre of the Nakhichevansky Uyezd in the Erivan Governorate in 1849. In 1896, Nakhichevan had a population of 7,433 two-thirds of which were Azeri-speaking Muslims and one-third Armenian Christians. After the February Revolution of 1917, a soviet was formed in Nakhichevan, but the city was under the control of the Special Transcaucasian Committee from March to November 1917, its successor the Transcaucasian Commissariat from November 1917 to March 1918. Turkey occupied Nakhichevan from June until November, after which the city was occupied by British soldiers in January 1919, a military governor was appointed to administer Nakhichevan.
It was decided that Nakhichevan would be granted to Armenia on 6 April 1919, the city was annexed on 6 June 1919. Britain, France and the US, with approval from Armenia and Azerbaijan, agreed on 25 October 1919 to appoint American Colonel Edmond D. Daily as General-Governor of Nakhichevan, elections would be held, both Armenia and Azerbaijan would withdraw its forces from the territory. However, in March 1920, Turkish forces led by Kâzım Karabekir occupied Nakhichevan. Soviet Russia took control of Nakhichevan on 28 July 1920, the city became part of the newly formed Nakhichevan Soviet Socialist Republic; the Treaty of Moscow of 16 March 1921, the Treaty of Kars of 21 October 1921, between Russia and Turkey agreed that Nakhichevan would be an autonomous territory under the protection of Azerbaijan and delimited its borders with Turkey. In February 1923, the city formed part of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Krai within the Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic, but became the capital of the Nakhichevan Autonomous Soviet Socialist Republic within the ASSR in March 1924.
The bishop of Mardpetakan resided at Nakhichevan, the Armenian historian Tovma Artsruni records Sahak Vahevuni as bishop of Nakhichevan and Mardpetakan and brother of Apusahak Vahevuni. The city is spread over the foothills of Zangezur chain, on the right bank of the Nakhchivan River at an altitude of 1,000 m; the floods and soil erosion spiked because of the decreased forest cover along riverbanks. As a result, reforestation projects implemented in the city to encourage tree planting. Nakhchivan has a continental semi-arid climate with short but cold, snowy winters and long, dry hot summers. According to the State Statistics Committee of Azerbaijan, the number of population of city was 63,8 thousand in 2000. Traditionally, Nakhchivan was home to trade industry, handicraft and hatmaking; these industries have been replaced. The restoration enterprises and development industry, liberalization of foreign trade and the extension of the customs infrastructure, responsible for Nakchivan's growth in the last two decades, are now major parts of Nakchivan's economy.
The city has a wide range of cultural activities and museums. Heydar Aliyev Palace, which has a permanent local painting exhibition and a theatre hall for an audience of 1000 people, a re
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
Gomel is the administrative centre of Gomel Region and with 526,872 inhabitants the second-most populous city of Belarus. There are at least six narratives of the origin of the city’s Belarusian name. One of the more plausible is that the name is derived from the name of the stream Homeyuk, which flowed into the river Sozh near the foot of the hill where the first settlement was founded. Names of other Belarusian cities are formed along these lines: for example, the name Minsk is derived from the river Menka, Polatsk from the river Palata, Vitsebsk from the river Vitsba. In historical sources from 1142 to the 16th century, the city is mentioned as Hom', Homiy, Homey, or Homyi; these forms are tentatively explained as derivatives of an unattested *gomŭ of uncertain meaning. The modern name for the city has been in use only since the 16th–17th centuries. During the Soviet period, another story about the city's name was popular: raftsmen on the river Sozh warned each other about the danger of running into sandy shallows by shouting «Ho!
Ho! Mel!». A more recent narrative, propagated by some modern researchers, is that the name is derived from an ancient Belarusian greeting: «Dats u homel», which means «to pat on the shoulder». Gomel was founded at the end of the 1st millennium AD on the lands of the Eastern Slavic tribal union of Radimichs, it lays on the banks of the Homeyuk stream. Sozh's high right bank, cut through by canyons, provided a natural fortification. For some time, Gomel was the capital of the Gomel Principality, before it became part of the Principality of Chernigov. Gomel is first mentioned in the Hypatian Codex under the year of 1142 as being territory of the princes of Chernigov. For some time, Gomel was ruled by the prince of Smolensk Rostislav Mstislavich before it was re-captured by Iziaslav III Davidovich, after whose death it belonged to Sviatoslav Olgovich and to Sviatoslav's son Oleg. Under Oleg, Gomel went to the Principality of Novhorod-Siverskyi; the next ruler was Igor Svyatoslavich – the hero of "The Tale of Igor's Campaign".
During this period, the town was the centre of a volost. In the 12th–13th centuries the city's area was not less than 40 ha, it had developed various crafts and was connected by trading routes with the cities of Northern and Southern Rus'. Archeological data have shown that the city was badly damaged during the Mongol-Tatar assault in the first half of the 13th century. In 1335, the Gomel region was joined to the Great Duchy of Lithuania by Algirdas. From 1335 to 1406 it was under the ownership of prince Patricia Narymuntovich and his sons, from 1406 to 1419 the city was ruled by the Great Duke's deputies, from 1419 to 1435 it belonged to prince Svitrigaila, from 1446 to 1452 to prince Vasiliy Yaroslavich, from 1452 to 1483 to Mozhaysk prince Ivan Andreyevich, from 1483 to 1505 to his son Semyon, who transferred it to the Grand Duchy of Moscow. During the Second Muscovite-Lithuanian War of 1500–1503 Lithuania tried to regain Gomel and other lands transferred to Moscow, but suffered defeat and lost one-third of its territory.
In 1535, Lithuanian and Polish forces under Jerzy Radziwiłł, Jan Tarnowski and Andrzej Niemirowicz re-captured the city after the surrender of Moscow's deputy, D. Shchepin-Obolensky. In the same year, the Great Duke of Lithuania Sigismund Kęstutaitis founded the Gomel Starostwo. According to the peace agreement of 1537, Gomel together with its volost remained a Lithuanian possession. In 1535–1565 Gomel is the centre of starostwo, from 1565 onwards Gomel is in the Rechytsa Powiat of the Minsk Voivodeship. In 1560, the city's first coat of arms was introduced. In 1569, Gomel became part of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth. From this moment on, the city became the arena of numerous attacks and battles between Cossaks and the Polish-Lithuania Commonwealth. In 1572, Gomel Starostwo was given to B. Sapega. At the beginning of the 1570s, Gomel was captured by the forces of Ivan the Terrible, but in 1576 it was re-captured by J. Radziwiłł. In 1581, Gomel was again attacked by Russian troops, in 1595–1596 it was in the hands of Severyn Nalyvaiko's Cossaks.
After the beginning of the struggle against Orthodox Christianity in Lithuania, Orthodox Nikolayevskiy Cathedral was closed on the order of Greek Catholic Eparch Josaphat Kuntsevych in 1621. In 1633 the city was besieged by the Cossaks of Bulgakov and Yermolin, in 1648 captured by the Golovatskiy's Cossack detachment, in 1649 by Martyn Nebaba's detachment. After that, Gomel got through several sieges in 1651 but in 1654 was captured by Ivan Zolotarenko's detachment, he and his sons held the city until 1667 and began to serve under Alexis of Russia, after the Truce of Andrusovo Gomel at last returned to the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth, where it first belonged to M. K. Radziwiłł and – till the annexation by the Russian Empire – to the Czartoryski family. During the Great Northern War Russian forces under Aleksandr Danilovich Menshikov stood in Gomel. In 1670, Gomel got the Magdeburg rights. Towards the middle of the 17th century, the city fell into crisis due to the struggles mentioned above.
It suffered significant damage, the population decreased and many crafts disappeared. The period when Gomel was part of the Russian Empire was marked by rapid growth of the population, urban infrastructure, industrial capacity. Gomel became part of the Russian Empire after the first partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772 and was confiscated by the imperial treasury. In 1775, Empress Catherine II gave Gomel and Gomel eldership in the eternal hereditary poss
Ninth United States Army
The Ninth Army is a field army of the United States Army, garrisoned at Caserma Ederle, Italy. It is the United States Army Service Component Command of United States Africa Command. Activated just eight weeks before the June 1944 Normandy landings, the Ninth Army was one of the main U. S. Army combat commands used during the campaign in Northwest Europe in 1944 and 1945, it was commanded at its inception by Lieutenant General William Simpson. It had been designated Eighth Army, but on arrival in the United Kingdom it was renamed to avoid confusion with the famous British formation of the same designation. All American field armies in the European Theatre of Operation were designated with odd numbers numbered field armies served in the Pacific Theatre of Operations; the first responsibility for Ninth Army, upon its arrival on 5 September was to take part in the final reduction of the German forces holding out in the French port of Brest. After the surrender of the town fifteen days Ninth Army was sent east to take its place in the line.
It came into the line between First Army. In November, Ninth Army was shifted to the northern flank of 12th Army Group, it undertook operations to close the front up to the Roer River. 16 December saw the opening of the last great German offensive of the Battle of the Bulge. Ninth Army was isolated from the headquarters of 12th Army Group, it was thus placed under the command of General Bernard Montgomery's 21st Army Group along with First Army, despite opposition from General Omar Bradley. Simpson reoriented his command to help in the reduction of the salient that the Germans had created. Many of Ninth Army's units passed to the command of First Army, doing the main work of reducing the German salient from the north. In the meantime, the remainder of Ninth Army continued to hold the line along the Roer; when First Army and Third Army had finished reducing the salient, First Army returned to the command of 12th Army Group, but Ninth Army remained under the command of 21st Army Group for the remainder of the Rhineland Campaign.
In late February 1945 the Ninth Army launched Operation Grenade, the southern prong of a pincer attack coordinated with Canadian First Army's Operation Veritable, with the purpose of closing the front up to the Rhine. By 10 March, the Rhine had been reached in all sectors of Ninth Army's front, it was not until after 20 March. However, after doing so, the Army struck east around the north of the Ruhr. An enormous pocket soon formed containing the German Army Group B under Walter Model. By 4 April, Ninth Army was switched back to 12th Army Group; the end was now in sight, as part of Ninth Army, along with the newly arrived Fifteenth Army, reduced the enormous Ruhr Pocket, other elements reached the Elbe on 12 April. On 2 May 1945, the whole of Ninth Army's front reached the agreed demarcation point with the Russians, the advance ceased. In 2012, US Army Africa was re-designated as US Army Africa under the Army modularization program. Operation Queen Operation Plunder The Struggle for Europe. 30 June 1976, 7 July 1976, University of Texas at San Antonio: Institute of Texan Cultures: Oral History Collection, UA 15.01, University of Texas at San Antonio Libraries Special Collections
North Western Operational Command
The North Western Operational Command is a command of the Belarus Ground Forces. It is commanded by Major General Alexander Grigoryevich Volfovich; the command includes a mixed artillery brigade. It was formed in 2001 from the 65th Army Corps; the command traces its lineage to the 65th Army of the Red Army, a field army of the Soviet Union during World War II. It was formed in October 1942 from rebuilding elements of the first formation of the 4th Tank Army on the Don Front; the army was commanded by Pavel Batov until after the fall of Berlin, served in various Fronts commanded by Konstantin Rokossovsky for the duration of the war. Postwar, the 65th Army was moved to the Belorussian Military District, where it became the 7th Mechanized Army. In 1957 it became the 7th Tank Army. With the Dissolution of the Soviet Union the army became part of the Belarus Ground Forces and was downsized into the 7th Army Corps in 1993. A year it was renamed the 65th Army Corps. 4th Tank Army, under command of Maj. Gen. Vasily Kryuchenkin, launched numerous counterattacks against the German corridor to Stalingrad from August to October, 1942, until it was depleted in strength.
Batov, who had commanded the 51st Army and the 3rd Army, assumed command on October 22, with orders to rebuild these forces as a combined-arms army, the 65th, as part of Rokossovsky's new Don Front. This was accomplished by mid-November, at this time the army consisted of: 3 Guards Rifle Divisions 6 Rifle Divisions 2 Separate Tank Brigades 3 Army Artillery Regiments, 1 Howitzer Regiment, 5 Guards Mortar Regiments, supporting units. 65th Army played a leading role in Operation Uranus, the encirclement of the German forces at Stalingrad. Attacking out of the Kremenskaya bridgehead on the south bank of the Don. Rokossovsky wrote in reference to Batov and his army:" displayed fine initiative with an improvised mobile task force... By striking at the enemy's flank and rear, the task force ensured the swift advance of the other units." In the lead up to Operation Ring the 65th mounted an attack by two rifle divisions against the positions of the German 44th Infantry Division on January 7, 1943. This attack inflicted severe casualties.
A counterattack by German armor contained the Soviet advance, but did not regain the original line, consumed scarce fuel and ammunition, exposed the vehicles to concentrated artillery fire, leading to losses. When Ring kicked off at 0805 hours on January 10, 65th Army was backed by a 55 minute artillery barrage from over 500 guns and howitzers and 450 rocket launchers on an attack front of 12km, the highest density of Soviet artillery achieved to that point of the war; this was followed by air attacks from the 16th Air Army against positions to the rear of the main German line. About 0900 hours, shock groups of five rifle divisions of the Army, supported by the 91st Tank Brigade and six Guards heavy tank regiments; the front of the 44th Division was smashed quite and four depleted battalions were overrun. Following the German surrender at Stalingrad, Rokossovsky's forces were redeployed northwest to become the new Central Front in the region around Kursk. 65th Army exploited a gap between the weak Second German Army and the Second Panzer Army, but was brought to a halt by the spring rasputitsa, German reserves released by their evacuation of the Rzhev Salient, the German counter-offensive to the south of Kursk.
65th Army dug in during the three-month lull in operations, towards the northwestern sector of the Kursk salient. At this time the order of battle of the 65th Army was as follows: 18th Rifle Corps 27th Rifle Corps 37th Guards, 181st, 194th and 354th Rifle Divisions 4 Separate Tank Regiments, 2 Antitank Regiments, 2 Mortar Regiments, 2 Guards Mortar Regiments, other support unitsArmy strength: 100,000, 1,837 guns and mortars, 124 tanks and self-propelled guns. Due to its position in the western sector of the salient, the 65th emerged unscathed from the Battle of Kursk, was well equipped to exploit the German defeat. In late July and August the Army joined in the pursuit of German forces to the Dnepr River. On 15 Oct. with divisional and army artillery firing 1,000 shells per minute in support, the 193rd Rifle Division forced a crossing of the Dnepr. From this point on, the 65th Army began earning a well-deserved reputation for its abilities in river-crossing and bridgehead operations. Rokossovsky's command was renamed 1st Belorussian Front, in June, 1944, 65th Army took part in major strategic operations in Belorussia.
The Army's order of battle at this time was as follows: 18th Rifle Corps 105th Rifle Corps 15th and 356th Rifle Divisions, 115th Rifle Brigade 1st Guards Tank Corps 1 Separate Tank Regiment and 4 Separate Self-propelled Artillery Regiments, other support units. In a well-known confrontation at the planning stage, Rokossovski convinced Stalin that, given the terrain, it was better to strike two strong blows against the German forces than just one, he was counting on Batov's ability to lead his Army across swampy regions south of Bobruisk, using corduroy roads, swamp shoes, other means. 65th Army did not disappoint, within a few days the German Ninth Army was encircled and destroyed. For his