Black Sea Fleet
The Black Sea Fleet is the fleet of the Russian Navy in the Black Sea, the Sea of Azov and the Mediterranean Sea. The fleet is considered to have been founded by Prince Potemkin on May 13, 1783. In 1918, the fleet was inherited by the Russian SFSR the Soviet Union in 1922, where it became part of the Soviet Navy. Following the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991, the Black Sea Fleet and most of its vessels were inherited by the Russian Federation; the Black Sea Fleet's official primary headquarters and facilities are located in the city of Sevastopol. The remainder of the fleet's facilities are based in various locations on the Black Sea and the Sea of Azov, including Krasnodar Krai, Rostov Oblast and Crimea; the current commander is Vice Admiral Aleksandr Moiseev, who has held the position since June 2018. The Black Sea Fleet is considered to have been founded by Prince Potemkin on May 13, 1783, together with its principal base, the city of Sevastopol. Commanded by such legendary admirals as Dmitriy Senyavin and Pavel Nakhimov, it is a fleet of enormous historical and political importance for Russia.
In 1790, Russian naval forces under the command of Admiral Fyodor Ushakov defeated the Turkish fleet at the Battle of Kerch Strait. From 1841 onward, the fleet was confined to the Black Sea by the London Straits Convention; as a result of the Crimean War, one provision of the Treaty of Paris was that the Black Sea was to be a demilitarized zone like the Island of Åland in the Baltic Sea, although Russia subsequently renounced the treaty and reconstituted its naval strength and fortifications in the Black Sea. The crew of the battleship Potemkin revolted in 1905 soon after the Navy's defeat in the Russo-Japanese War. Lenin wrote that the Potemkin uprising had had a huge importance in terms of being the first attempt at creating the nucleus of a revolutionary army. During World War I, there were a number of encounters between the Russian and Ottoman navies in the Black Sea; the Ottomans had the advantage due to their having under their command the German battlecruiser SMS Goeben, but after the two modern Russian dreadnoughts Imperatritsa Mariya and Imperatritsa Ekaterina Velikaya had been built in Mykolaiv, the Russians took command of the sea until the Russian government collapsed in November 1917.
German submarines of the Constantinople Flotilla and Turkish light forces would continue to raid and harass Russian shipping until the war's end. During the Russian Civil War, the vast majority of the Black Sea Fleet was scuttled by Bolsheviks in Novorossiysk. In 1919 out of the remnants of the Russian Imperial Fleet was established the Red Fleet of Ukraine which existed few months before a major advance of the Armed Forces of South Russia which occupied all the South and East Ukraine. Most of the ships became part of the "Russian Squadron" of Wrangl's armed forces and after the evacuation sailed to Tunisia. Out of those ships, some were passed to the French Navy and some were salvaged. Upon the defeat of the Armed Forces of South Russia, the Ukrainian National Army and the Polish Armed Forces in Ukraine the Soviet government signed a military union with the Russian SFSR transferring all the command to the Commander-in-chief of Russia. Few ships that did stay in Black Sea were salvaged in the 1920s, while a large scale new construction programme began in the 1930s.
Over 500 new ships were built during that period as well as massive expansion of coastal infrastructure took place. The Fleet was commanded by Vice Admiral F. S. Oktyabrskiy on the outbreak of war with Germany in June 1941; the Fleet gave a credible account of itself as it fought alongside the Red Army during the Siege of Odessa and the Battle of Sevastopol. In 1952, Turkey decided to join NATO, placing the Bosporus Strait in the Western sphere of influence. Together with the advent of long-range nuclear weapons, this decreased the strategic value of any naval activity in the Black Sea. In the post-war period, along with the Northern Fleet, the Black Sea Fleet provided ships for the 5th Operational Squadron in the Mediterranean, which confronted the United States Navy during the Arab-Israeli wars, notably during the Yom Kippur War in 1973. In 1988 Coastal Troops and Naval Aviation units of the Black Sea Fleet included: Danube Flotilla: 116th River Ship Brigade 112th Reconnaissance Ship Brigade 37th Rescue Ship Brigade Marine and Coastal Defense Forces Department 810th Marine Brigade 362nd independent Coastal Missile Regiment 138th independent Coastal Missile Regiment 417th independent Coastal Missile Regiment 51st independent Coastal Missile Regiment Naval Air Forces Department of the Black Sea Fleet 2nd Guards Maritime Missile Aviation Division (three regiments of maritime attack Tu-22M2s5th Maritime Missile Aviation Regiment - disbanded 15.11.94.
124th Maritime Missile Aviation Regiment - disbanded 1993. 943rd Maritime Missile Aviation Regiment - disbanded 1996. 30th independent Maritime Reconnaissance Aviation Regiment 318th independent Anti-Submarine Aviation Regiment 78th independent Shipborne Anti-Submarine Helicopter Regiment 8
Semyon Mikhailovich Budyonny was a Russian cavalryman, a military commander during the Russian Civil War and World War II, a close political ally of Soviet leader Joseph Stalin. During the Russian Civil War, Budyonny's large cavalry force helped the Bolsheviks to victory and Budyonny himself became the subject of several popular patriotic songs, he was promoted to the rank of Marshal of the Soviet Union in 1935. He was an opponent against the pre-war development of Soviet mechanized forces. In World War II, he received the blame for many of Stalin's military strategy errors, but he was retained in the Soviet high command because of his bravery and popularity, he was a notable horse-breeder, who declared that the tank could never replace the horse as an instrument of war. Budyonny was born into a poor peasant family on the Kozyurin farmstead near the town of Salsk in the Don Cossack region of the southern Russian Empire. Although he grew up in a Cossack region, Budyonny was not a Cossack—his family came from Voronezh province.
He was of Russian ethnicity. He worked as a farm labourer, shop errand boy, blacksmith's apprentice, driver of a steam-driven threshing machine, until the autumn of 1903, when he was drafted into the Imperial Russian Army, he became a cavalryman reinforcing the 46th Cossack Regiment during the Russo-Japanese War of 1904-1905. After the war, he was transferred to the Primorsk Dragoon Regiment. In 1907, he was sent to the Academy for Cavalry Officers in the St. Petersburg Riding School, he graduated first in his class after a year, becoming an instructor with the rank of junior non-commissioned officer. He returned to his regiment as a riding instructor with a rank of senior non-commissioned officer. At the start of World War I, he joined a reserve dragoon cavalry battalion. During World War I, Budyonny was the 5th Squadron's non-commissioned troop officer in the Christian IX of Denmark 18th Seversky Dragoon Regiment, Caucasian Cavalry Division on the Western Front, he became famous for his attack on a German supply column near Brzezina, was awarded the St. George Cross, 4th Class.
However, there was a general ineptitude of the officers. In November 1916, the Caucausian Cavalry Division was transferred to the Caucasus Front, to fight against the Ottoman Turks, he was involved in a heated confrontation with the squadron sergeant major regarding the officers' poor treatment of the soldiers and the continual lack of food. The sergeant major struck out at Budyonny, who retaliated by punching the ranking officer, knocking him down; the soldiers backed Budyonny during questioning, claiming that the sergeant major was kicked by a horse. Budyonny was stripped of his St. George Cross, though he could have faced death. Budyonny would go on to be awarded the St. George Cross, 4th class, a second time, during the Battle of Van, he received the St. George Cross, 3rd class, fighting the Turks near Mendelij, on the way to Baghdad, he received the St. George Cross, 2nd class, for operating behind Turkish lines for 22 days, he received the St. George Cross, 1st class, for capturing a senior non-commissioned officer and six men.
After the Russian Revolution overthrew the Tsarist regime in 1917, Budyonny was elected chairman of the squadron committee and a member of the regimental committee. When the Caucasian Cavalry Division was moved to Minsk, he was elected chairman of the regimental committee and deputy chairman of the divisional committee. Returning to Platovskaya, Budyonny was elected deputy chairman of the Stanista Soviet of Workers', Peasants', Cossacks' and Soldiers' Deputies on 12 January 1918. On 18 February, he was elected to be a member of the Salsk District Presidium and head of the District Land Department. On the night of 23 February, Budyonny organized a force of 24 men to retake Platovskaya from the white guards, but Budyonny was soon joined by a large number of new recruits. By morning, they had killed 350 White Russian soldiers, his force now consisted of 520 men, of which he formed a cavalry squadron of 120. He was elected battalion commander. In October 1918, the 1st Socialist Cavalry Regiment was formed, with Budyonny as deputy commander.
He first met Stalin and Voroshilov in July 1918. Budyonny's cavalry regiment was reorganized as a cavalry brigade on 7 August; the Civil War broke out in 1918, Budyonny organised a Red Cavalry force in the Don region, which became the 1st Cavalry Army. This Army played an important role in winning the Civil War for the Bolsheviks, driving the White General Anton Denikin back from Moscow. Budyonny joined the Bolshevik party in 1919 and formed close relationships with Stalin and Voroshilov. In 1920 Budyonny's Cavalry Army took part in the invasion of Poland in the Polish–Soviet War, in which it was successful at first, pushing Polish forces out of Ukraine and breaking through Polish southern frontlines; however the Bolsheviks forces sustained a heavy defeat in the Battle of Warsaw because Budyonny's Army was bogged down at Lviv. After his army was defeated in the Battle of Komarów, Budyonny was sent south to fight the Whites in Ukraine and the Crimea. Despite the defeat in Poland, he was one of Soviet Russia's military heroes by the end of the Civil War.
In 1920, Soviet songwriter Dmitry Yakovlevich wrote the song "Budyonny's March", one of the first songs to become popular throughout the Soviet Union. From 1921-1923, Budyonny was deputy commander of the North Caucasian Militar
Krasnodar Krai is a federal subject of Russia, located in the North Caucasus region in Southern Russia and administratively a part of the Southern Federal District. Its administrative center is the city of Krasnodar; the third most-populous federal subject, the krai had a population of 5,226,647 as of the 2010 Census. Krasnodar Krai is formally and informally referred to as Kuban, a term denoting former Kuban People's Republic and historic region of Kuban situated between the Sea of Azov and the Kuban River, composed of the krai's territory, it is bordered by Rostov Oblast to the north, Stavropol Krai to the east, Karachay-Cherkessia to the south-east, Adygea is an enclave within the krai. Krasnodar Krai shares an international border with Georgia to the south, a disputed border with Crimea across the Kerch Strait; the northern part of the krai belongs to the Don Steppe, while southern region's Mediterranean climate has made it a popular tourist location. Novorossiysk is Russia's main port on the Black Sea, one of the few cities awarded the title of the Hero City, Sochi was host of the XXII Olympic Winter Games in 2014.
Krasnodar Krai is home to significant infrastructure of the Russian Navy's Black Sea Fleet. Krasnodar Krai is located in the southwestern part of the North Caucasus and borders with Rostov Oblast in the northeast, Stavropol Krai and Karachay-Cherkessia in the east, with the Abkhazia region in the south; the Republic of Adygea is encircled by the krai territory. The krai's Taman Peninsula is situated between the Sea of Azov in the north and the Black Sea in the south. In the west, the Kerch Strait separates the krai from the contested Crimean Peninsula, internationally recognised as part of Ukraine but under de facto Russian control. At its widest extent, the krai stretches for 327 kilometers from north to south and for 360 kilometers from east to west; the krai is split into two distinct parts by the Kuban River, which gave its name to this entire geographic region. The southern, seaward part is the western extremity of the Caucasus range, lying within the Crimean Submediterranean forest complex ecoregion.
It is known as Circassia. The northern part is a steppe zone, it is known as Kuban region. The height of the mountains exceeds 3,000 meters, with Mount Tsakhvoa being the highest at 3,346 meters. Mount Fisht, at 2,867 meters, is the Great Caucasus' westernmost peak with a glacier; the Black Sea coast stretches from the Kerch Strait to Adler and is shielded by Caucasus Mountains from the cold northern winds. Numerous small mountain rivers flow in the coastal areas creating picturesque waterfalls. Lake Abrau, located in the wine-making region of Abrau-Dyurso, is the largest lake in the northeastern Caucasus region. Lake Ritsa is considered to be one of the most picturesque lakes in the region and "the diamond of Caucasus"; the region's earliest known inhabitants are referred to, generically, as the Maiōtai. During the 6th century BCE, Pontic Greeks founded the area's first cities, such as Phanagoria and Hermonassa, who traded with nomadic tribes including the Skuthai and Sindi. From the 8th to the 10th centuries, the area was dominated by the Khazars, a Turkic people who had earlier migrated from the east onto the Pontic-Caspian Steppe, where they reputedly converted to Judaism.
After the defeat of the Khazar Khanate in 965 Kievan prince Svyatoslav conquered the area, it came under the rule of Kievan Rus', it formed the Tmutarakan principality. Due to the increasing claims of Byzantium at the end of the 11th century, the Tmutarakan principality came under the authority of the Byzantine emperors. In that period of history, the Circassians were first mentioned, under the ethnonym Kasogs. For example, Rededi Prince Kasozhsky was mentioned in The Tale of Igor's Campaign. In 1243–1438 the current territory of the Kuban was part of the Golden Horde. After the collapse of the latter, parts of Kuban were held under the Crimean Khanate and the Ottoman Empire, which dominated the region; the Tsardom of Russia began to challenge the protectorate of the Ottoman Empire in the area during the Russian-Turkish wars. In April 1783, by decree of Catherine II, right-bank Kuban and Taman Peninsula were annexed to the Russian Empire. In 1792–1793 Cossacks moved there from Zaporozhye, now located in Ukraine, formed the Black Sea Area troops, with the creation of a solid cordon line for the Kuban River and the marginalization of the neighboring Circassians.
During the campaign for control of the North Caucasus Russia pushed away the Ottoman Empire from the region, followed by elimination of local population as well. For this see Russian conquest of the Western Caucasus. In 1783, the present northern territory of the Kuban region became part of Russia after the liquidation of the Crimean Khanate. A border garrison was located there from 1793 to 1794; the remaining area was relegated to the Cossacks. The administrative region was accorded the status of "Land of Black Sea Cossack Army". In 1860, most of the occupied area of the territory of the modern Kuban-Krasnodar region was formed of, controlled by, remnants of the Black Sea Cossack Host and the western p
Western Front (Soviet Union)
The Western Front was a front of the Red Army, one of the Red Army Fronts during World War II. The Western Front was created on 22 June 1941 from the Western Special Military District; the first Front Commander was Dmitry Pavlov. The western boundary of the Front in June 1941 was 470 km long, from the southern border of Lithuania to the Pripyat River and the town of Włodawa, it connected with the adjacent North-Western Front, which extended from the Lithuanian border to the Baltic Sea, the Southwestern Front in the Ukraine. The 1939 partition of Poland according to the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact established a new western border with no permanent defense installations, the army deployment within the Front created weak flanks. At the outbreak of war with Germany, the Western Special Military District was, in accordance with Soviet pre-war planning converted into the Western Front, under the District's commander, Army General Dmitry Grigorevich Pavlov; the main forces of the Western Front were concentrated forward along the frontier, organized in three armies.
To defend the Białystok salient, the front fielded the 10th Army, under Lieutenant General Konstantin Dmitrievich Golubev, supported by the 6th Mechanized Corps and 13th Mechanised Corps, under Major Generals Mikhail Georgievich Khatskilevich and Petr Nikolaevich Akhliustin. On 10th Army's left flank was 4th Army, under Lieutenant General Aleksander Andreevich Korobkov, supported by the 14th Mechanised Corps, under Major General Stepan Ilich Oborin. To the rear were 13th Army, under Lieutenant General Petr Mikhailovich Filatov; this army existed as a headquarters unit only, with no assigned combat forces. Among forces of Frontal designation were the 2nd Rifle Corps, 21st Rifle Corps, 44th Rifle Corps, 47th Rifle Corps, 50th Rifle Division, 4th Airborne Corps commanded by Aleksei Semenovich Zhadov at Minsk, the 58th, 61st, 63rd, 64th and 65th Fortified Regions. Mechanised forces in reserve included the 20th Mechanized Corps under Major General Andrei Grigorevich Nikitin at Minsk and the 17th Mechanized Corps, under Major General Mikhail Petrovich Petrov further forward at Slonim.
Altogether, on 22 June the Western Special Military District fielded 671,165 men, 14,171 guns and mortars, 2,900 tanks and 1,812 combat aircraft. The Western Front was on the main axis of attack by the German Army Group Centre, commanded by Field Marshal Fedor von Bock. German plans for Operation Barbarossa called for Army Group Centre's Second Panzer Group, under Colonel General Heinz Guderian, to attack south of Brest, advance through Slonim and Baranovichi, turning north-east towards Minsk where it would be met by Colonel General Hermann Hoth's Third Panzer Group, which would attack Vilnius, to the north of the Białystok salient, turn south-east. In addition to the two panzer groups. Army Group Centre included Field Marshal Günther von Kluge's Fourth Army and Colonel General Adolf Strauss' Ninth Army. Air support was provided by Field Marshal Albert Kesselring's Luftflotte 2 which contained more than half the German aircraft committed to the attack on the Soviet Union; the war started disastrously for the Western Front with the Battle of Białystok-Minsk.
The German Ninth and Fourth Armies of Army Group Centre penetrated the border north and south of the Białystok salient. The Front's tanks and aviation at airfields were annihilated by German air strikes. Soviet command and control suffered complete breakdown, worst hit was 4th Army which failed to establish communications both with headquarters above and below it. Attempts to launch a counter-attack with 10th Army on 23 June were unsuccessful; that same day the German Third Panzer Group captured Vilnius after outflanking 3rd Army. On 24 June Pavlov again attempted to organize a counter-attack, assigning his deputy Lieutenant General Ivan Vasilevich Boldin the command of 6th and 11th Mechanized Corps and 6th Cavalry Corps, commanded by Major General Ivan Semenovich Nikitin. With this mobile force Boldin was to attack northward from the Białystok region towards Grodno to prevent encirclement of Soviet forces in the salient; this attempted counter-attack was fruitless. Without any interference from Soviet fighters, Fliegerkorps VIII's close support aircraft were able to break the backbone of Western Front's counter-attack at Grodno.
6th Cavalry Corps was so badly mauled by this aerial onslaught against its columns that it was unable to deploy for attack. Jagdgeschwader 53's Hermann Neuhoff recalled: "We found the main roads in the area congested with Russian vehicles of all kinds, but no fighter opposition & little flak. We caused terrible destruction on the ground. Everything was ablaze by the time we turned for home." This air operation continued until nightfall on 24th June, resulting in 105 Tanks destroyed by German aircraft. Successful attacks were made by the Dornier 17's of KG 2. In effect Pavlov's counter-attack was routed. Of 6th Mechanized Corps' 1212 tanks, only about 200 reached their assembly areas due to air attacks and mechanical breakdowns, they ran out of fuel by the end of the day; the same fate awaited the 243 tanks of 11th Mechanized Corps, ordered to attack towards Grodno on 25 Ju
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
44th Army (Soviet Union)
The 44th Army of the Soviet Union's Red Army was an army-level command active during World War II. Part of the Transcaucasian Front, its main actions included the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran and the Kerch amphibious landings, before being transferred to the Southern Front on 6 February 1943. There it took part in the Rostov and Melitopol offensives; the army was disbanded in November 1943 and its units were transferred to other armies. The 44th Army was formed on 1 August 1941 from the 40th Rifle Corps, ostensibly to guard the Soviet-Iranian border in the Transcaucasian Military District, it was composed of the 20th and 77th Mountain Rifle Divisions, as well as the 17th Cavalry Division and other smaller units. Former 40th Rifle Corps commander Major General Alexander Khadeyev became the army's commander. On 23 August, it became part of the Transcaucasian Front. On 25 August, the army began its fighting in the Anglo-Soviet invasion of Iran by crossing the border and moving into Gilan Province.
It captured Bandar Rasht by the next day. By 1 September, the 220th Separate Antiaircraft Artillery Battalion, 36th and 265th Fighter Aviation Regiments and the 205th Separate Sapper Battalion had joined the army. In October 1941, the army was relocated from Iran to Makhachkala. In late November, it transferred to the Black Sea coast at Anapa. From 25 December, it fought in the Battle of the Kerch Peninsula. Along with the 51st Army and units of the Black Sea Fleet, the army helped capture the Kerch Peninsula, it was landed at Feodosiya. On 30 December, the army transferred to the Caucasian Front. On 15 January 1942, Pervushin was wounded when an airstrike hit his command post. Major General Ivan Dashichev became acting commander, leading the army during its retreat from advancing German troops; the army suffered heavy losses from the German counterattacks and Dashichev was replaced in command by Major General Serafim Rozhdestvensky on 21 January. He was arrested soon after for "negligence in command" and would serve 10 years in the gulag.
The army moved to control of the Crimean Front on 28 January 1942. Rozhdestvensky was replaced in command on 11 February by Lieutenant General Stepan Chernyak; the army launched several unsuccessful attacks during April. On 8 May, German troops launched Operation Trappenjagd. Troops of the XXX Army Corps broke through the front lines of the 44th Army. A German landing behind the main line of resistance unhinged the 44th Army's second echelon; the army's line soon collapsed, the German troops captured 4,514 prisoners by the end of the day. The army was evacuated to the Taman Peninsula; the army suffered heavy losses during the battle. On 20 May, the 44th Army became part of the North Caucasian Front and was concentrated in Tikhoretsk, it moved to Makhachkala soon after. On 29 May, Chernyak was relieved of command because of the defeat in Crimea, he was replaced by Major General Andrei Khryashchev. On 16 June, the army was composed of the 138th, 156th, 157th, 236th and 302nd Rifle Divisions, among other units.
It was transferred to the Transcaucasian Front. Until August, the army held a defensive line from Gudermes to the mouth of the Terek River. During this time, Khryashcev was replaced in command by Major General Ivan Yefimovich Petrov. On 9 August, the army became part of the front's Northern Group of Forces. During the fall of 1942, it fought in defensive battles in the Caucasus. On 10 October, Petrov was promoted to command the front's Black Sea Group of Forces and was replaced by Major General Kondrat Melnyk. In November, Melynk was transferred to command the 58th Army and was replaced by Lieutenant General Vasily Khomenko. In December, the army pushed German troops back to positions north of Mozdok during a series of counterattacks. During January 1943, the army attacked towards Stavropol during the North Caucasian Strategic Offensive, it captured Stavropol on 21 January. On 24 January, it became part of the reformation of the North Caucasian Front; the army transferred to the Southern Front on 6 February.
It captured Azov on 7 February. By 18 February, the army reached the line of Ryasnyi on the left bank of the Sambek River, east of Taganrog; the army held the line until the beginning of the Donbass Strategic Offensive in August. During the offensive, the army helped capture Taganrog on 30 August. Along with units of the Black Sea Fleet, the 44th Army captured Mariupol on 10 September. From 26 September, it fought in the Melitopol Offensive. At the end of October, the army was placed in regrouped northeast of Kakhovka; the army was soon placed in relieving elements of the 5th Shock Army. It defended the line of Zavadovka and Britsantsy. Lieutenant General Khomenko and army artillery commander Major General Bobkov mistakenly drove their vehicles into German lines on 9 November and were killed. Stalin feared that the generals had disbanded the army, its units were transferred to other armies
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