1st Baltic Front
The First Baltic Front was a major formation of the Red Army during the Second World War. It was commanded by Army General Andrey Yeryomenko, succeeded by Army General Bagramyan, it was formed by renaming the Kalinin Front in October 12, 1943, took part in several important military operations, most notably Bagration in the summer of 1944. The 1st Baltic Front assisted in lifting the Siege of Leningrad on January 27, 1944, as well as in Operation Samland, at that time known as the Samland Group, captured Königsberg in April 1945; as of June 23, 1944, the First Baltic Front consisted of the following units and their commanders: Baltic Front, led by front commander Army General Hovhannes Bagramyan 4th Shock Army, led by General-Lieutenant P. F. Malyshev 83rd Rifle Corps6th Guards Army, led by General Lieutenant I. M. Chistyakov 2nd Guards Rifle Corps 22nd Guards Rifle Corps 23rd Guards Rifle Corps 103rd Guards Rifle Corps Army artillery43rd Army, led by General Lieutenant A. P. Belaborodov 1st Rifle Corps 60th Rifle Corps 92nd Rifle Corps 1st Tank Corps3rd Air Army, led by General Lieutenant N. F. Papivin 11th Fighter Aviation Corps Army General Andrey Yeremenko Army General Ivan Bagramyan Lieutenant General Dmitry Leonov Lieutenant General Mikhail Rudakov Colonel General Vladimir Kurasov Zaloga, Steven J. Bagration 1944 - The Destruction of Army Group Center.
New York: Osprey Publishing, 1996, p. 24 ISBN 1-85532-478-4
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
3rd Belorussian Front
The 3rd Belorussian Front was a Front of the Red Army during the Second World War. The 3rd Belorussian Front was created on April 24, 1944, from forces assigned to the Western Front. Over 381 days in combat, the 3rd Belorussian Front suffered 166,838 killed, 9,292 missing, 667,297 wounded and frostbitten personnel while advancing from the region some 50 kilometers southeast of Vitebsk in Russia to Königsberg in East Prussia. Operations the 3rd Belorussian Front took part in include the Belorussian Offensive Operation, the Baltic Offensive Operation, the East Prussian Offensive Operation. Although costly, the advance of the 3rd Belorussian Front was in great part victorious, with one of the few defeats occurring during the Gumbinnen Operation in October 1944. 3rd Belorussian Front was formally disbanded on August 15, 1945. Colonel General Ivan Chernyakhovsky Marshal of the Soviet Union Aleksandr Vasilevsky General Hovhannes Bagramyan
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
1st Ukrainian Front
The 1st Ukrainian Front was a front—a force the size of a Western Army group—of the Soviet Union's Red Army during the Second World War. On October 20, 1943, the Voronezh Front was renamed to the 1st Ukrainian Front; this name change reflected the westward advance of the Red Army in its campaign against the German Wehrmacht, leaving Russia behind and moving into Ukraine. The front participated or conducted battles in Ukraine, Poland and Czechoslovakia during 1944 and 1945. During 1944, the front participated with other fronts in the battles of Korsun-Shevchenkivskyy, the battle of Hube's Pocket in Ukraine, it conducted the Lviv-Sandomierz Offensive, during which the Front was controlling the Soviet 1st Guards Tank Army, 3rd Guards Tank Army, 4th Tank Army, 3rd Guards, 5th Guards Army, 13th, 38th, 60th Armies. It took part in the battle for Ternopil'. In 1945 the front participated in the Vistula-Oder offensive, conducted the Silesian and Prague Operations, the siege of Breslau, it participated in the Berlin operations in Germany and Poland.
The front conducted the major part of the Halbe Encirclement, in which most of the German 9th Army was destroyed south of Berlin. By this time the Polish Second Army was operating as part of the Front. 1st Ukrainian Front provided the defence against the counter-attacks by Armee Wenck which aimed to relieve Berlin and the 9th Army. The Prague Offensive was the final battle of World War II in Europe. Following the war, the Front headquarters formed the Central Group of Forces of the Red Army in Austria and Hungary, guarding the Iron Curtain. General Nikolai F. Vatutin Marshal Georgy K. Zhukov Marshal Ivan S. Konev The armies that were part of the 1st Ukrainian Front included: 13th Army 27th Army 38th Army 40th Army 47th Army 60th Army 3rd Guards Tank Army 2nd Air Army? 5th Guards Army 2nd Polish Army 52nd Army 4th Guards Tank Army 28th Army 31st Army 3rd Guards Army Konev, I. S. Aufzeichnungen eines Frontbefehlshabers Konev, I. S. Das Jahr 1945 Ziemke, E. F. Stalingrad to Berlin Tissier, Tony Slaughter at Halbe Duffy, Christopher Red Storm on the Reich Antill, P.
Battle for Berlin: April – May 1945. 1st Ukrainian Front on Unithistory
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