Moscow Defence Zone
The Moscow Defence Zone was a front of the Red Army during World War II, to defend Moscow from the German advance. It was set up on 2 December 1941 to manage the troops of 24th and 60th Armies and part of the anti-aircraft defences; the Moscow Defence Zone was established on December 2, 1941. It controlled the armies earmarked for the defence of Moscow, the 24th and 60th Armies
The Don is one of the major Eurasian rivers of Russia and the fifth-longest river in Europe. The Don basin is between the Dnieper basin to the west, the Volga basin to the east, the Oka basin to the north; the Don rises in the town of Novomoskovsk 60 kilometres southeast of Tula, flows for a distance of about 1,870 kilometres to the Sea of Azov. From its source, the river first flows southeast to Voronezh southwest to its mouth; the main city on the river is Rostov on Don. Its main tributary is the Seversky Donets. According to the Kurgan hypothesis, the Volga-Don river region was the homeland of the Proto-Indo-Europeans c. 4000BC. The Don river functioned as a fertile cradle of civilization where the Neolithic farmer culture of the Near East fused with the hunter-gatherer culture of Siberian groups, resulting in the nomadic pastoralism of the Proto-Indo-Europeans. In antiquity, the river was viewed as the border between Europe and Asia by some ancient Greek geographers. In the Book of Jubilees, it is mentioned as being part of the border, beginning with its easternmost point up to its mouth, between the allotments of sons of Noah, that of Japheth to the north and that of Shem to the south.
During the times of the old Scythians it was known in Greek as the Tanaïs and has been a major trading route since. Tanais appears in ancient Greek sources as both the name of the river and of a city on it, situated in the Maeotian marshes. Pliny gives the Scythian name of the Tanais as Silys. According to Plutarch, the Don River was home to the legendary Amazons of Greek mythology; the area around the estuary is speculated to be the source of the Black Death. While the lower Don was well known to ancient geographers, its middle and upper reaches were not mapped with any accuracy before the gradual conquest of the area by Muscovy in the 16th century; the Don Cossacks, who settled the fertile valley of the river in the 16th and 17th centuries, were named after the river. The fort of Donkov was founded by the princes of Ryazan in the late 14th century; the fort stood on the left bank of the Don, about 34 kilometers from the modern town of Dankov, until 1568, when it was destroyed by the Crimean Tatars, but soon restored at a better fortified location.
It is shown as Donko in Mercator's Atlas, Donkov was again relocated in 1618, appearing as Donkagorod in Joan Blaeu's map of 1645. Both Blaeu and Mercator follow the 16th-century cartographic tradition of letting the Don originate in a great lake, labelled Resanskoy ozera by Blaeu. Mercator still follows Giacomo Gastaldo in showing a waterway connecting this lake to Ryazan and the Oka River. Mercator shows Mtsensk as a great city on this waterway, suggesting a system of canals connecting the Don with the Zusha and Upa centered on a settlement Odoium, reported as Odoium lacum in the map made by Baron Augustin von Mayerberg, leader of an embassy to Muscovy in 1661. In modern literature, the Don region was featured in the work And Quiet Flows the Don by Mikhail Aleksandrovich Sholokhov, a Nobel-prize winning writer from the stanitsa of Veshenskaya. At its easternmost point, the Don comes near the Volga, the Volga-Don Canal, connecting the two rivers, is a major waterway; the water level of the Don in this area is raised by the Tsimlyansk Dam, forming the Tsimlyansk Reservoir.
For the next 130 kilometres below the Tsimlyansk Dam, the sufficient water depth in the Don River is maintained by the sequence of three dam-and-ship-lock complexes: the Nikolayevsky Ship Lock, Konstantinovsk Ship Lock, the best known of the three, the Kochetovsky Ship Lock. The Kochetovsky Lock, built in 1914–1919 and doubled in 2004–2008, is 7.5 kilometres below the fall of the Seversky Donets into the Don, 131 kilometres upstream of Rostov-on-Don, the Kochetovsky Ship Lock is located. This facility, with its dam, maintains sufficient water level both in its section of the Don and in the lowermost stretch of the Seversky Donets; this is presently the last lock on the Don. In order to improve shipping conditions in the lower reaches of the Don, the waterway authorities support the proposals for the construction of one or two more low dams with locks, in Bagayevsky District and also in Aksaysky District. Main tributaries from source to mouth: Krasivaya Mecha Bystraya Sosna Veduga Voronezh Tikhaya Sosna Bityug Black Kalitva Khopyor – 1,010 kilometres Medveditsa Ilovlya Chir Seversky Donets – 1,053 kilometres Aidar – 264 kilometres Sal Manych Aksay Temernik Don goat And Quiet Flows The Don Rostov railway drawbridge Don at GEOnet Names Server
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
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
2nd Belorussian Front
The 2nd Belorussian Front was a military formation, of Army group size, of the Soviet Army during the Second World War. Soviet army groups were known as Fronts; the 2nd Belorussian Front was created in February 1944 as the Soviets pushed the Germans back towards Byelorussia. General Colonel Pavel Kurochkin became its first commander. In hiatus in April 1944, its headquarters was reformed from the army headquarters of the disbanding 10th Army. On 2 January 1944 2BF entered the former Polish territories. On 26 June 1944 the Front's forces captured Mogilev in the Mogilev Offensive. On 4 July, 2BF was tasked with mopping up the remains of Army Group Centre's Fourth Army under the command of General von Tippelskirch and the remains of the Ninth Army in a large pocket southeast of Minsk. On 9 July The 2BF attacks northwest from Vitebsk as part of a major Soviet offensive east of Riga towards Rezekne in order to cut off the German Army Group North. On 29 July Soviets reach the coast cutting Army Group North off in Eastern Latvia.
On 13 September 2BF captured Łomża, west of Białystok. In November 1944 Marshal Konstantin Rokossovsky was appointed commander of 2BF just in time for its last two great offensives of World War II; as part of a massive attack by four Fronts on 14 January 1945 2BF attacked East Prussia and Pomerania. 27th July 1944 Liberation of Bialystok 10 January 2BF attacked towards Neustett but was halted by German counterattacks. 14 January 2BF attacks East Prussia. 24 January 1st and 2nd Belorussian Fronts attack in Pomerania. German Second Army cut off. 27 February Elements of the 2BF enter. 5 March The fortress city of Graudenz on the Vistula surrenders to troops of the 2BF 10 March 2BF captures Zoppot 13 March 2BF launches an offensive against the Braunsberg pocket south of Königsberg 18 March 1st Polish Army of the 2BF captured the fortress city of Kolberg 23 March 2BF attacked the German II Army in the Danzig area. 30 March Soviet troops capture Danzig, 20 April 2BF offensive across the lower Oder towards Neubrandenburg and Rostock.
25 April 2BF, seized a large bridgehead on the Oder River south of Stettin forcing the centre of the III Panzer Army back to Prenzlau. 26 April 2BF takes Stettin. 27 April 2BF captures Prenzlau and Angermünde 70 km northwest of Berlin 5 May elements of the 2BF entered Peenemunde. On 9 April 1945 Königsberg in East Prussia fell to the Red Army; this freed up 2BF to move west to the east bank of the Oder river. During the first two weeks of April the Soviets performed their fastest Front redeployment of the war. General Georgy Zhukov concentrated his 1st Belorussian Front, deployed along the Oder river from Frankfurt in the south to the Baltic, into an area in front of the Seelow Heights; the 2BF moved into the positions being vacated by the 1BF north of the Seelow Heights. While this redeployment was in progress gaps were left in the lines and the remnants of the German II Army, bottled up in a pocket near Danzig managed to escape across the Oder. In the early hours on 16 April the final offensive of the war to capture Berlin and link up with Western Allied forces on the Elbe started with attacks by 1BF and To the south General Konev's 1st Ukrainian Front.
On 20 April the 2BF join in the attack. By 25 April 2BF broke out of its bridge head south of Stettin and had by the end of the war captured all of Germany north of Berlin as far west as the front lines of the British 21 Army Group which had advanced over the river Elbe in some places. In Demmin on and around 1 May 1945 members of the 65th Army of 2nd Belorussian Front first broke into a distillery and rampaged through the town, committing mass rapes, arbitrarily executing civilians, setting fire to buildings; the Headquarters of the 2nd Byelorussian Front become the Headquarters of the Northern Group of Forces, the Soviet occupation force in Poland, effective on 10 June 1945. Most of the NGF's forces were drawn from 2nd Belorussian Front, along with some elements of the 1st Byelorussian and 1st Ukrainian Fronts; the Armies that were part of the 2nd Belorussian Front included: 2nd Shock Army 19th Army 49th Army 50th Army 65th Army 70th Army 5th Guards Tank Army 4th Air Army Antill, P. Battle for Berlin: April – May 1945, http://www.historyofwar.org/articles/battles_berlin.html
The Leningrad Front was formed during the 1941 German approach on Leningrad by dividing the Northern Front into the Leningrad Front and Karelian Front on August 27, 1941. The Leningrad Front was given the task of containing the German drive towards Leningrad and defending the city from the approaching Army Group North. By September 1941, German forces to the south were stopped on the outskirts of Leningrad, initiating the two-and-a-half-year-long Siege of Leningrad. Although Finnish forces to the north stopped at the old Finnish–Soviet border, the Leningrad front suffered severe losses on the Finnish Front. From September 8, soldiers of the front were forced to conduct operations under the conditions of a blockade, with little supply; some supplies did reach the city however via the lake Road of Life. During the blockade, the front executed various offensive and defensive operations, until with the help of the Baltic and Volkhov Front, the blockade was lifted. From June 1942, Leonid Govorov had been the commander of the front, in June 1944, he was awarded the title Marshal of the Soviet Union.
In January 1943, forces of the Leningrad front made their first advances in years when they took the town of Shlisselburg from German forces, thus restoring communications between Leningrad and the rest of the country. In mid and late-January 1944 the Leningrad front, along with the Volkhov Front, the 1st Baltic Front and the 2nd Baltic Front, pushed back Army Group North and broke the 28-month-long blockade. Several days these forces would liberate all of the Leningrad Oblast and Kalinin Oblast. Six months the Leningrad Front took over the town of Narva. On April 21, 1944, parts of the Leningrad front were broken off to create the 3rd Baltic Front. In June 1944, the Leningrad front, along with the Baltic fleet had carried out the Vyborg operation; as a result of which, Finland would leave the German side of the war. From September–November 1944, the front participated in the Baltic Offensive, it advanced in the Narva-Tartu direction, towards Tallinn. Following the capture of continental Estonia, elements of the front, along with the Baltic fleet, took part in recapturing the Moonsund archipelago.
These were the last offensive operations of the front. Forces of the Leningrad Front were stationed on the Soviet-Finnish border, all along the Baltic coast from Leningrad to Riga; the Leningrad front was reinforced with elements of the disbanded 2nd Baltic Front. These forces were stationed near the Courland Pocket, with the task of containing the German Army Group Courland, which would continue to resist Soviet forces up until the end of war in Europe. On June 24, 1945, the Leningrad front was reorganized into the Leningrad Military District. Upon its creation in August 1941, the Leningrad front included: 8th Army 23rd Army 48th Army Koporye operational group Southern operational group Slutsk operational group Baltic FleetFollowing November 25, 1942, the structure of the Leningrad front increased, it subsequently included: Lieutenant General - Markian Popov. Continuation War#Trench warfare 1942-1943 Любанская операция
Northern Front (Soviet Union)
The Northern Front was a front of the Red Army during the Second World War. The Northern Front was created on June 1941 from the Leningrad Military District, its primary goal was the defense of the Kola Peninsula and the northern shores of the Gulf of Finland. On August 23, 1941, the Front's forces were divided into the Leningrad Front. Lieutenant General Markian M. Popov commanded the Front for the three months of its existence; the Front's major force structure was based on the 7th Army, 14th Army, 23rd Armies and the Leningrad People's Opolcheniye Army. Other forces included four Rifle Corps, two Mechanized Corps, seventeen Rifle Divisions, four Tank Divisions, two Motor Rifle Divisions, eight artillery regiments of the Reserve of Highest Command, eight Aviation Divisions, seven Fortified Regions, one Fortified Position, thirteen machinegun battalions; the formations of the Northern Front included the following subunits: 14th Army with its commander, General Lieutenant Frolov Valerian Alexandrovich, responsible for the Defence Sector No.1 which extended from the coast of the Barents Sea to include the entire Kola Peninsula and in particular the Murmansk to Kandalaksha railway.
14th Rifle Division defending the Petsamo sector 42nd Rifle Corps 104th Rifle Division 122nd Rifle Division 52nd Rifle Division 1st Tank Division 104 Gun Artillery Regiment of the Reserve of Highest Command 23rd Murmansk Fortified Region 35th, 100th, 82nd, 72nd and 101st Border Guard Detachments 1st Mixed Air DivisionNorthern Fleet commanded by Admiral Arseniy Golovko and its coast defence and naval aviation units. Separate 7th Army with its commander Lieutenant General Filip D. Garelenko responsible for the Defence Sector No.2 covering the longest sector of the Front between the Kola Peninsula and Lake Ladoga, in particular having the responsibility at once for the gap between the Ladoga and Onega lakes, the possible land assault to cut off Arkhangelsk. In fact the Stavka had determined the Army had four sectors in its responsibility.54th Rifle Division 71st Rifle Division 168th Rifle Division 237th Rifle Division 541 Howitzer Artillery Regiment of the Reserve of Highest Command 26th Sortavala Fortified Region 1st, 73rd, 80th and 3rd Border Guard Detachments 55th Mixed Air Division 153rd Fighter Aviation Regiment 72nd Bomber Aviation Regiment 23rd Army named for the Kirovsky District 76th Latvian Separate Rifle regiment on the 14 September.
2nd Division of People's Opolcheniye named for the Moskovsky District battalion of the Military-Political Border Guard School named for Voroshilov 519th Corps Artillery Regiment of Reserve of Highest Command Tank battalion of the Armoured Course for Enhancement of Command Staff 3rd Division of People's Opolcheniye named for the Frunzensky District (commander 1st Guards Division of People's Opolcheniye formed in the Kuybishev District 2nd Guards Division of People's Opolcheniye formed in the Sverdlovsk District tank battalion of the Leningrad garrison 4th Light Division of People's Opolcheniye named for the Dzerzhinsky District Separate battalion of Special Purpose 3rd Guards Division of People's Opolcheniye formed in the Petrograd District 4th Guards Division of People's Opolcheniye (Russi