Southwest direction:

Strategic expansion on the Southwest direction.

On the Southwest direction the group of armies "South", was resisted by forces of Southwest and South Fronts. The Soviet grouping on the Southwest direction was strongest on all front, because the impact on Kiev was considered as the main impact of the Red Army. However here again Soviet forces have not finished a concentration and expansion. So, in Kiev military district  in immediate proximity from borders was only 16 Soviet divisions, and 14 settled down in 50-100 kms from it. The promotion to the border forces of 31st (193rd, 195th, 200th RD), 36th (140th, 146th, 228th RD), 37th (80th, 139th, 141st RD), 49th (190th, 198th, 109th RD) and 55th (130th, 169th, 189th RD) Rifle Corps began from middle of June.

Strategic expansion on the South direction.


In Odesa military district in 50-km  front line was nine Soviet divisions, and six settled down in 50-100 kms behind a border. Besides on territory of districts the forces of 16th and 19th Soviet Armies arrived, from which structure by June 22 has concentrated 10 divisions (7 rifle, 2 tank and 1 motorize), aggregate number 129675 men, 1505 guns and mortars and 1071 tanks. At all not being completed on staffs of military time, the Soviet armies surpassed German group, however they have not finished a concentration and expansion

   "Kiev" and "Odessa" military district (Russia) Group of armies "South" (German)     Ratio
Divisions                             91,5                             61,5                            1,5:1
Man                      1412136                      1508500                               1:1
Guns and mortars                          26580                          16008                            1,7:1
Tanks                            8069                            1144                               7:1
Aircrafts                            4696                            1829                            2,6:1

The German armies had only some superiority in alive force, but considerably conceded in tanks, planes and artillery.

The group of armies "South" in structure of three armies and one tank group in total twenty six field, four motorize, four mountain and five tank divisions, put impact by mobile forces in Kiev direction with a task to destroy Russian forces in Galitsiya and the West Ukraine to the west of Dnieper river and  take possession of ferries through the Dnieper river in Kiev area. This group of armies was supported by 4th Air Fleet.

At the Prut river  together with the Romanian formations 11-th German army was unwrapped. In the beginning it had a task only defence character: to protect the vital territory of Romania. Only during the further development of events 11th Army should pass in offensive with the purpose to prevent the organized withdrawal of Russian forces, resisting to it.

The Shock group on the left wing included 6th and 17th Armies together with 1st Panzer Group in structure of five tank and four motorize divisions. Between Peremyshl and Tomashuv, in mountain area, to which the new Russian border lasting up to the  crest of Carpathians to the southwest  of Chernovtsy 17th German army was unwrapped. It should break through a frontier defense, reject by the strong left flank the Soviet forces , facing to it, on the southeast and, using success of 1st Panzer Group, it is duly to reach Vinnitsa  area from the north. Then 17th Army should continue offensive to the east or to the southeast depending on conditions.

6th German Army  was to the north of 17th Army in readiness of offensive to break through a defense by both sides of Lutsk. Covering the north wing of group of armies against probable impacts of the Soviet forces from Pripyatsk bogs area, it should break as it is possible by the large forces on Gitomer.

Between both armies the 1st Panzer Group was located. It has received a task in interaction with two armies to break through Russian positions between Rava-Russian and Kovel, and then through Berdichev and Gitomer reach the Dnieper river in area of Kiev. German command hoped, that 1st Panzer Group can therefrom advance further on the southeast, that by impact in rear of the Soviet forces block a withdrawal through the Dnieper river.

In Bessarabiya there were eleven rifle, one cavalry, two tank division and seven motor-mechanized brigades, which on wide front covered Soviet border at the Prut river and in depth dispose up to opposite bank of the Dnestr river. In area between Chernovitsk and Pripyatsk bogs behind the border were basic Soviet forces up to twenty seven rifle, seventeen cavalry, three tank divisions and four motor-mechanized brigades. Behind them were unwrapped twelve shooting and three cavalry divisions one tank division and three motor-mechanized brigades. Therefore group of armies "South" has met here powerful defense.

Frontier fights        

Though the Soviet forces have incurred heavy losses, but have left from Germans encirclement and  have removed forces behind the Sluch, West Bug and Dniester rivers. July 7, 11th German Panzer Division have reached Berdichev, and 3rd Motorized Corps of 1st Panzer Group and 6th Army came to Zhitomir. As a result of this German break there was a threat of Kiev capture and encirclement of 6th and 12th  Soviet Armies.

Kiev defence operation (July 7  - September 26)      

September 26, the battle was finished. Germans informed that capture in captivity 665 thousand Russian soldiers.

Summy-Kharkov' defense operation

October 5, 1st Panzer Division SS has left to the Azov sea in Berdyansk. There was encirclement near Chernigovka. In a result of this battle the Soviet 18th Army was destroyed.

Taganrog was fall on October 12. On October 28, Germans came to the Mius river- the last barrier before Rostov.

Battle of Rostov

November 29, Rostov-Don was released and German 1st Panzer Army was broken.


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