Battle of Kiev.
Germans begane offensive on August 22, with purpose to route Soviet forces defense in Kiev area. To this time the group of armies "South" by forces of 1st Panzer Group adjoined with 11th army and Romanian forces captured big area between Bug and Dnieper rivers.
In area of city Kremenchug placed German 1st Panzer Group (seven infantry,
two motorized, five tank divisions - on 22.06.41). To the north, in area between
Cherkassy and Kremenchug there was 17th Army (seven infantry, three light, one
mountain, two security divisions - on 22.06.41). More to the left of 17th Army
at Dnieper river placed 6th Army (five infantry, one security divisions). It
occupied covering position in relation to the big Soviet bridge-head in area
of Kiev. After successful fights near Gomel the left flank of this army adjoined
to 2nd Army, which placed in area of Gomel and Novozybkov. In area between Klintsy
and Pochep placed 2nd Panzer Group (five tank, three mechanized, one cavlry,
four infantry divisions). Settling down front on a southeast up to Novozybkov,
2nd Panzer Group should narrow area for encirclement, according to the new instruction
it was entered.
The bridge-head in area of Kiev was protected by large Soviet Southwest grouping. It's marshal was Budennyj (then Kirponose). Under his command there were 5th, 26th, 37th, 21st, 38th Armies and other formations.
Fighting report on the orzanization of defense on the left bank of Dnieper river.
1. Southwest Front, continuing to keep behind itself Kiev fortification and
Cherkas bridge-head, removes the right wing to evening 24.08.41 (5th Army and
formations of 27th Rifle Corps) on the eastern bank of Dnieper river and strong
defends on all extent of front.
2. 5th Army to be removed to evening of 24.8.1941 on the eastern bank of Dnieper river with task by forces of five rifle divisions, two motorized divisions, one air-landing brigade -strong defend front Loev, Staro Glybov. Staf -Chernigov.
3. 27th Rifle Corps, having strengthened by one rifle division Kiev fortification, other forces departs to evening 24.8 on east bank of Dnieper river with a task- strong defend front Stary Glybov, Svarom'ye. With a withdrawal on eastern bank of Dnieper river passes in structure of 37th Army. 37th Army (six rifle, five air-landing and unirts of Kiev fortification) continue defend Kiev.
4. 26th Army, having included in it's structure 64th Rifle Corps, continue by nine rifle divisions and one motorized division defend eastern bank of Dnieper river at front Bortnitchy, Domantov. Staf- Glemyazovo.
5. 38th Army, continuing by three rifle, one motorized divisions and one air-landing brigade keep the Cherkassk bridge-head, other forces (two rifle and one cavalry divisions) defend a northeast bank the Dnieper river at front Korobkovka, Perevolochnaya. Staf - Globovo.
6. Reserves of front (four rifle, three cavalry and one antitank brigade) and their operative applicability:
a) Northern group (four rifle and one antitank brigade), being grouped by two rifle divisions and one brigade in area Berezna, Dubrovnoye, Chernigov and to two rifle divisions on the southern bank of the Desna river on a site Optovo, Yaduty, has a task in case of break of the opponent from side Starodub and Gomel in the general direction on Bahmach, in interaction with forses of the Central Front, by counterstrokes destroy the broken German formations;
b) Southern group (three cavalry divisions), settling down behind the left wing of front: one cavalry division in area Buromki and to two - Vesely Podol, Verbke be in readiness to put impacts from depth in interaction with forces of 38th Army to not admit an output of the opponent on the northeast bank of the Dniepr river at front actions of 38th Army.
The large Russian forces were on
bridgehead on the right bank of Dnieper river. Their determination to defense
this area was only on a hand to German armies.
August 25, 2nd German Army and 2nd Panzer Group take the offensive in the south direction. The Panzer Group take possession of Konotop city, located far in rear of the Soviet front line.
By the end of August on open right flank of Soviet Southwest Front, on the Desna river (in area to the north and northwest of Konotop), new 40th Soviet Army was created. On 125-kilometer front from Shostka up to Volovine there were only two rifle divisions (135th, withdrawed from the border and 239th, not yet finished formation). To aid of 40th Army forces, 2nd Air-landing Corps and 10th Tank Division were thrown in counterattack. Germans was stopped on several days, but since August 27, 40th Soviet Army was involved in wearisome defense fights.
30, 21st Army located on the north of Bryansk Front has unexpectedly departed,
having opened flank of Southwest Front. The German formations immediately have
directed in break on approaches to Chernigov, and on their ways remained only
weak forces of Soviet 15th Rifle Corps. Except two regiments of 45th RD, directed
under Chernigov, there was thrown 204th Air-landing Brigade. Two battalions
of 62nd RD was put task to liquidate seized by 2nd German Army bridge-head on
Desna river in Vibli area (southeast of Chernigov).
In the evening of September 7, the Military Council of Southwest Front has informed the Soviet High Command, that conditions at the front line has become complicated. The Germans has concentrated superior forces, develop success offensive on Konotop, Chernigov and Kremenchug directions. The threat of an encirclement of the main forces of 5th Soviet Army was clearly designated. The front applied the basic efforts on the Kremenchug direction to liquidate enemy bridgehead.
As a result of strong fights during September 5-7, conditions on Southwest
has become complicated. The Germans have concentrated superior forces, develops
success on the main directions:
1. Konotop direction: at the front of 40th Army the opponent by two panzer divisions and two motor-divisions, circumventing the right flank of front by the main forces, has achieved a boundary of the Seym river. At the front of 21st Army the opponent, operating on converging directions Chernotochy, Sosnitsa and Shors, Makoshino by the general grouping up to six infantry, one panzer, one motor-division, has compelled 21st Soviet Army depart on a boundary Desna river.
2. The Chernigov direction: the opponent, came to the river Desna on site Avdeevka, Vibly, aspires by forces over two divisions impact around of city of Chernigov and to leave for rear on the communications of 5th Soviet Army. By September, 14.00 7 the opponent has seized Anisovo.
3. Oster direction- during two last days the opponent has developed here the active actions by forces up to three infantry divisions. The main efforts applies in Morovsk direction, aspiring also to leave for rear on the communications of 5th Army. Here it forced the river Desna and has occupied farm of Barsukovo.
4. On the Kiev direction - at the front of 37th and 26th Soviet Armies of active actions of the opponent it is not observed.
5. The Kremenchug direction: having forwarded by forces up to three divisions, the opponent develops the actions in northern and northeast directions. To outcome September 6, 38th Soviet Army occupied by it's the left flank front Psyel river, Potoky, Soloshino.
September 7, the most intensive fights passed on Konotop, Chernigov and Oster directions. Threat of an encirclement of the main forces of 5th Soviet Army and cutting of its communications for today was clearly designated. SouthWestern Front makes the main efforts to the Kremenchug direction with a view of liquidation "deriev" bridgehead of the opponent, uses for this purpose all free forces. Reserves in structure of SouthWestern Front are not present more. In connection with created conditions the military Council of front asks to remove 5th Army, the right flank of 37th Army on a boundary Desna river at the front Brusilovo, Voropaevo to cover with rigid defense with strong engineering obstacles and that secured from right deduction of the Kiev bridgehead. This action will enable to create a front reserve by forces up to two rifle divisions. Necessity of a reserve urgently demands presence of open right flank.
The military council of front asked to resolve to remove 5th Army and the right flank of 37th Army on a boundary of the Desna river. Only September 9, the Soviet High Command has resolved a withdrawal but with deduction of the Kiev bridgehead.
"Priluky city. Hi. At the phone Kirponos, Burmistenko, Tupikov. Moscow. Hi, here Stalin, Shaposhnikov, Timoshenko. Your offer on removal forces on a boundary of theDesna river, known to you, seems to me dangerous. If to address to the recent past you recollect, that removal of forces from area Berdichej and Novograd-Volynsk at you more serious boundary - the river Dnepr and, despite of it was, at a withdrawal have lost two armies... And Germans was forwarded... On the eastern bank of Dnepr... An output the following:
1) Now to rearrange forces, even due to Kiev fortification area and other forces, and take desperate attacks on Konotop group of the opponent In interaction with Yeremenko (Bryansk Front)...
2) Immediately to organize a defensive boundary on the river Pseja or somewhere on this line, having exposed the big artillery group front to the north and to the west and having removed five or six divisions for this boundary.
3).. Only after execution of these two items, that is after creation of a fist against German Konotop group and after creation of a defensive boundary on the river Psel, say, after all it to begin evacuation of Kiev. Kiev not leave and bridges not blow up without the permission of the High Command. All. Good-bye".
The Military Council of front asked permit to allocate 5th Army and right flank of 37th Army behind the Desna river line. Down to September 17, Stalin didn't consided the question of removal Soviet forces from Kiev. It is explained that in this time undertaken offensive of Western, Reserve and Bryansk Fronts go on. The purpose of this Soviet offensive was defeat German 2nd Panzer Group comming from the north to Kiev.
September 10, 1st German Panzer Group together with 17th Army take the offensive. In fights which proceeded more than two weeks, 2nd German Army managed to promote up to the Desna river and force it. September 10, 3rd Panzer Division in interaction with the parachute forces landed in settlement Romny, cut of positions of 40th Soviet Army. Using this success, Germans were promptly set in rear of the Soviet formations, on Gayvoron. Simultaneously 2nd Panzer Group, continuously beating off counterattacks against stretched east flank, September 14, by advanced parts has reached Romny area.
" Broken on Romny, Lohvitsy and Severnye Podol, Horol German forces while, except for local garrison and weak groups, nothing opposed, and progress goes without resistance. Move on this direction 279th and 7th Soviet Rifle Divisions will be only on 14.9.1941, and that only with defensive tasks - to prevent defense by units on Piryatin and Priluky and covered rears of Soviet front. " (September, 13)
fights were conducted by 38th Soviet Army, since September 12, it began a withdrawal
on the east.
15, the first and second Panzer Groups of Germans have closed a ring in area
Lohvitsy, having surrounded the main forces of Southwest Front. In a ring there
were 5th, 26th, 37th Armies and sevsral formations of 21st and 38th Army.
September 17, the Soviet High Commander has permitted to Southwest Front to withdrawed
forces from Kiev.
From bridgehead, created by 17th German Army in area of Kremenchug, 1st Panzer Group together with 17th Army on September 16, in Lohvitsa area has incorporated with 2nd Panzer Group. As a result of this offensive, simultaneous impact of 6th German Army through Dnieper till both sides of Kiev, which September 19 was encircled and taken, and further progress of 2nd Army from the north, Russian forces which are taking place in a triangle of Kiev, Cherkassy, Lohvitsa, were compressed from different directions. At this time Panzer groups in fierce fights beat off attempts Russian to deblock the forces from the east. 4th and 2nd German Air Fleet, working consecutive waves, continuously supported overland armies.
September 19-21. Cavalry-mechanized group of Belov (2nd CC) conducted successful fights for Romny city. Group of Kamkov occupied front Ljuten'ka, Belotserkovka. Thus this counterstroke was rendered against rears of the German 47th Panzer Corps moving on the south, and promoted an output from an encirclement of units of 21st and 5th Soviet Armies.
September 26 the battle was finished.
In the report of German Supreme Command during battle of Kiev Germans capture
3718 guns, 884 tanks and take in captivity 665 thousand Russian soldiers.