Battle of the Dnieper

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Battle of the Dnieper
Part of the Eastern Front of World War II
Map of dnieper battle grand.jpg
Map of the battle of the Dnieper and linked operations
Date26 August 1943 – 23 December 1943
(3 months, 3 weeks and 6 days)
Location
Result Soviet victory
Territorial
changes
Soviets reclaim left-bank Ukraine, including the city of Kiev and Donets basin
Belligerents
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg  Soviet Union Flag of Germany (1935-1945).svg  Germany
Flag of Romania.svg  Kingdom of Romania
Commanders and leaders
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Georgy Zhukov
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Aleksandr Vasilevsky
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Nikolai Vatutin
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Ivan Konev
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Rodion Malinovsky
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Fyodor Tolbukhin
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg Konstantin Rokossovsky
War ensign of Germany (1938-1945).svg Erich von Manstein
War ensign of Germany (1938-1945).svg Ewald von Kleist
War ensign of Germany (1938-1945).svg Günther von Kluge
Units involved
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg 1st Ukrainian Front
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg 2nd Ukrainian Front
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg 3rd Ukrainian Front
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg 4th Ukrainian Front
Flag of the Soviet Union (1936-1955).svg 1st Belorussian Front

War ensign of Germany (1938-1945).svg Army Group South

War ensign of Germany (1938-1945).svg 1st Panzer Army
War ensign of Germany (1938-1945).svg 4th Panzer Army
War ensign of Germany (1938-1945).svg 8th Army

War ensign of Germany (1938-1945).svg Army Group A

War ensign of Germany (1938-1945).svg 6th Army

War ensign of Germany (1938-1945).svg Army Group Center

War ensign of Germany (1938-1945).svg 2nd Army
Strength
26 August:
2,633,000 men (1,450,000 reinforcements) [1]
51,200 guns and mortars [1]
2,400 tanks and assault guns [1]
2,850 combat aircraft [1]
1,250,000 men (600,000 Romanian and 350,000 German Reinforcements) 12,600 guns and mortars 2,100 tanks and assault guns 2,000 aircraft
Casualties and losses

Krivosheev: 1,285,977 men [2]

348,815 killed or missing
937,162 wounded or sick

278,407 men (21 August – 20 December) [3]

44,235 killed
199,998 wounded
34,174 missing

The Battle of the Dnieper was a military campaign that took place in 1943 on the Eastern Front of World War II. It was one of the largest operations in World War II, involving almost 4,000,000 troops at a time stretched on a 1,400 kilometres (870 mi) long front. During its four-month duration, the eastern bank of the Dnieper was recovered from German forces by five of the Red Army's fronts, which conducted several assault river crossings to establish several lodgements on the western bank. Subsequently, Kiev was liberated in the Battle of Kiev.

The term military campaign applies to large scale, long duration, significant military strategy plans incorporating a series of inter-related military operations or battles forming a distinct part of a larger conflict often called a war. The term derives from the plain of Campania, a place of annual wartime operations by the armies of the Roman Republic.

Eastern Front (World War II) theatre of World War II - war between Germany and USSR 1941-1945

The Eastern Front of World War II was a theatre of conflict between the European Axis powers and co-belligerent Finland against the Soviet Union (U.S.S.R.), Poland and other Allies, which encompassed Central Europe, Eastern Europe, Northeast Europe (Baltics), and Southeast Europe (Balkans) from 22 June 1941 to 9 May 1945. It has been known as the Great Patriotic War in the former Soviet Union and modern Russia, while in Germany it was called the Eastern Front, or the German-Soviet War by outside parties.

World War II 1939–1945 global war

World War II, also 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, industrial, 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, and the only use of nuclear weapons in war.

Contents

2,438 Red Army soldiers were awarded the Hero of the Soviet Union which was more than had been awarded previously since the award's establishment and never again was there such a large number of laureates.[ citation needed ]

Hero of the Soviet Union Highest award of the USSR awarded to Soviet citizens and foreigners for heroic acts

The title Hero of the Soviet Union was the highest distinction in the Soviet Union, awarded personally or collectively for heroic feats in service to the Soviet state and society.

Strategic situation

Following the Battle of Kursk, the Wehrmacht's Heer and supporting Luftwaffe forces in the southern Soviet Union were on the defensive in the southern Ukraine. By mid-August, Adolf Hitler understood that the forthcoming Soviet offensive could not be contained on the open steppe and ordered construction of a series of fortifications along the line of the Dnieper river.

Battle of Kursk World War II battle in the Soviet Union

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 also 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.

<i>Luftwaffe</i> Aerial warfare branch of the German military forces during World War II

The Luftwaffe was the aerial warfare branch of the combined German Wehrmacht military forces during World War II. Germany's military air arms during World War I, the Luftstreitkräfte of the Army and the Marine-Fliegerabteilung of the Navy, had been disbanded in May 1920 as a result of the terms of the Treaty of Versailles which stated that Germany was forbidden to have any air force.

Adolf Hitler Leader of Germany from 1934 to 1945

Adolf Hitler was a German politician and leader of the Nazi Party. He rose to power as Chancellor of Germany in 1933 and later Führer in 1934. During his dictatorship from 1933 to 1945, he initiated World War II in Europe by invading Poland in September 1939. He was closely involved in military operations throughout the war and was central to the perpetration of the Holocaust.

On the Soviet side, Joseph Stalin was determined to launch a major offensive in Ukraine. The main thrust of the offensive was in a southwesterly direction; the northern flank being largely stabilized, the southern flank rested on the Sea of Azov.

Joseph Stalin Soviet leader

Joseph Vissarionovich Stalin was a Soviet revolutionary and politician of Georgian ethnicity. He led the Soviet Union from the mid–1920s until 1953 as General Secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union (1922–1952) and Premier (1941–1953). While initially presiding over a collective leadership as first among equals, he ultimately consolidated enough power to become the country's de facto dictator by the 1930s. A communist ideologically committed to the Leninist interpretation of Marxism, Stalin helped to formalise these ideas as Marxism–Leninism, while his own policies became known as Stalinism.

Sea of Azov Sea on the south of Eastern Europe linked to the Black Sea

The Sea of Azov is a sea in Eastern Europe. To the south it is linked by the narrow Strait of Kerch to the Black Sea, and it is sometimes regarded as a northern extension of the Black Sea. The sea is bounded in the northwest by Ukraine, in the southeast by Russia. The Don and Kuban are the major rivers that flow into it. The Sea of Azov is the shallowest sea in the world, with the depth varying between 0.9 and 14 metres. There is a constant outflow of water from the Sea of Azov to the Black Sea.

Planning

RokossovskyKK.jpg
Central Front Konstantin Rokossovsky
Vatutin.jpg
Voronezh Front Nikolai Vatutin
IS Konev 01.jpg
Steppe Front Ivan Konev
1973 CPA 4285.jpg
Southwestern Front Rodion Malinovsky

Soviet planning

The operation began on 26 August 1943. Divisions started to move on a 1,400-kilometer front that stretched between Smolensk and the Sea of Azov. Overall, the operation would be executed by 36 Combined Arms, four Tank and five Air Armies. 2,650,000 personnel were brought into the ranks for this massive operation. The operation would use 51,000 guns and mortars, 2,400 tanks and 2,850 planes.

Smolensk City in Smolensk Oblast, Russia

Smolensk is a city and the administrative center of Smolensk Oblast, Russia, located on the Dnieper River, 360 kilometers (220 mi) west-southwest of Moscow. Population: 326,861 (2010 Census); 325,137 (2002 Census); 341,483 (1989 Census).

The Dnieper is the third largest river in Europe, behind only the Volga and the Danube. In its lower part, its width can easily reach three kilometres, and being dammed in several places made it even larger. Moreover, its western shorethe one still to be retakenwas much higher and steeper than the eastern, complicating the offensive even further. In addition, the opposite shore was transformed into a vast complex of defenses and fortifications held by the Wehrmacht.

Europe Continent in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere

Europe is a continent located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. It is bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south. It comprises the westernmost part of Eurasia.

Danube river in Central Europe

The Danube is Europe's second longest river, after the Volga. It is located in Central and Eastern Europe.

Fortification military constructions and buildings designed for defense in warfare and military bases

A fortification is a military construction or building designed for the defense of territories in warfare, and is also used to solidify rule in a region during peacetime. The term is derived from the Latin fortis ("strong") and facere.

Faced with such a situation, the Soviet commanders had two options. The first would be to give themselves time to regroup their forces, find a weak point or two to exploit (not necessarily in the lower part of the Dnieper), stage a breakthrough and encircle the German defenders far in the rear, rendering the defence line unsupplied and next to useless (very much like the German Panzers bypassed the Maginot line in 1940). This option was supported by Marshal Zhukov and Deputy Chief of Staff A. I. Antonov, who considered the substantial losses after the fierce battle of Kursk. The second option would be to stage a massive assault without waiting, and force the Dnieper on a broad front. This option left no additional time for the German defenders, but would lead to much larger casualties than would a successful deep operation breakthrough. This second option was backed by Stalin due to the concern that the German "scorched earth" policy might devastate this region if the Red Army did not advance fast enough.

Stavka (the Soviet high command) chose the second option. Instead of deep penetration and encirclement, the Soviet intended to make full use of partisan activities to intervene and disrupt Germany's supply route so that the Germans could not effectively send reinforcements or take away Soviet industrial facilities in the region. Stavka also paid high attention to the possible scorched earth activities of German forces with a view to preventing them by a rapid advance.

The assault was staged on a 300-kilometer front almost simultaneously. All available means of transport were to be used to transport the attackers to the opposite shore, including small fishing boats and improvised rafts of barrels and trees (like the one in the photograph). The preparation of the crossing equipment was further complicated by the German scorched earth strategy with the total destruction of all boats and raft building material in the area. The crucial issue would obviously be heavy equipment. Without it, the bridgeheads would not stand for long.

Soviet organisation

German planning

Army Group South Erich von Manstein Bundesarchiv Bild 183-H01757, Erich von Manstein.jpg
Army Group South Erich von Manstein

The order to construct the Dnieper defence complex, known as "Eastern Wall", was issued on 11 August 1943 and began to be immediately executed.

Fortifications were erected along the length of the Dnieper. However, there was no hope of completing such an extensive defensive line in the short time available. Therefore, the completion of the "Eastern Wall" was not uniform in its density and depth of fortifications. Instead, they were concentrated in areas where a Soviet assault-crossing were most likely to be attempted, such as near Kremenchuk, Zaporizhia and Nikopol.

Additionally, on 7 September 1943, the SS forces and the Wehrmacht received orders to implement a scorched earth policy, by stripping the areas they had to abandon of anything that could be used by the Soviet war effort.

German organisation

Description of the strategic operation

Initial attack

German soldiers manning defensive positions on the Dnieper Hitlerdnieper.jpg
German soldiers manning defensive positions on the Dnieper

Despite a great superiority in numbers, the offensive was by no means easy. German opposition was ferocious and the fighting raged for every town and city. The Wehrmacht made extensive use of rear guards, leaving some troops in each city and on each hill, slowing down the Soviet offensive.

Progress of the offensive

Soviet soldiers crossing the Dnieper on improvised rafts Crossing the Dnieper.png
Soviet soldiers crossing the Dnieper on improvised rafts

Three weeks after the start of the offensive, and despite heavy losses on the Soviet side, it became clear that the Germans could not hope to contain the Soviet offensive in the flat, open terrain of the steppes, where the Red Army's numerical strength would prevail. Manstein asked for as many as 12 new divisions in the hope of containing the Soviet offensive – but German reserves were perilously thin.

On 15 September 1943, Hitler ordered Army Group South to retreat to the Dnieper defence line. The battle for Poltava was especially bitter. The city was heavily fortified and its garrison well prepared. After a few inconclusive days that greatly slowed down the Soviet offensive, Marshal Konev decided to bypass the city and rush towards the Dnieper. After two days of violent urban warfare, the Poltava garrison was overcome. Towards the end of September 1943, Soviet forces reached the lower part of the Dnieper.

Dnieper airborne operation

(The following is, largely, a synopsis of an account by Glantz [4] with support from an account by Staskov. [5] )[ verification needed ]

Stavka detached the Central Front's 3rd Tank Army to the Voronezh Front to race the weakening Germans to the Dnieper, to save the wheat crop from the German scorched earth policy, and to achieve strategic or operational river bridgeheads before a German defence could stabilize there. The 3rd Tank Army, plunging headlong, reached the river on the night of 21–22 September and, on the 23rd, Soviet infantry forces crossed by swimming and by using makeshift rafts to secure small, fragile bridgeheads, opposed only by 120 German Cherkassy flak academy NCO candidates and the hard-pressed 19th Panzer Division Reconnaissance Battalion. Those forces were the only Germans within 60 km of the Dnieper loop. Only a heavy German air attack and a lack of bridging equipment kept Soviet heavy weaponry from crossing and expanding the bridgehead.

The Soviets, sensing a critical juncture, ordered a hasty airborne corps assault to increase the size of the bridgehead before the Germans could counterattack. On the 21st, the Voronezh Front's 1st, 3rd and 5th Guards Airborne Brigades got the urgent call to secure, on the 23rd, a bridgehead perimeter 15 to 20 km wide and 30 km deep on the Dnieper loop between Kaniv and Rzhishchev, while Front elements forced the river.

The arrival of personnel at the airfields was slow, necessitating, on the 23rd, a one-day delay and omission of 1st Brigade from the plan; consequent mission changes caused near chaos in command channels. Mission change orders finally got down to company commanders, on the 24th, just 15 minutes before their units, not yet provisioned with spades, anti-tank mines, or ponchos for the autumn night frosts, assembled on airfields. Owing to the weather, not all assigned aircraft had arrived at airfields on time (if at all). Further, most flight safety officers disallowed maximum loading of their aircraft. Given fewer aircraft (and lower than expected capacities), the master loading plan, ruined, was abandoned. Many radios and supplies got left behind. In the best case, it would take three lifts to deliver the two brigades. Units (still arriving by the over-taxed rail system), were loaded piecemeal onto returned aircraft, which were slow to refuel owing to the less-than-expected capacities of fuel trucks. Meanwhile, already-arrived troops changed planes, seeking earlier flights. Urgency and the fuel shortage prevented aerial assembly aloft. Most aircraft, as soon as they were loaded and fueled, flew in single file, instead of line abreast, to the dropping points. Assault waves became as intermingled as the units they carried.

As corps elements made their flights, troops (half of whom had never jumped, except from training towers) were briefed on drop zones, assembly areas and objectives only poorly understood by platoon commanders still studying new orders. Meanwhile, Soviet aerial photography, suspended for several days by bad weather, had missed the strong reinforcement of the area, early that afternoon. Non-combat cargo pilots ferrying 3rd Brigade through drizzle expected no resistance beyond river pickets but, instead, were met by anti-aircraft fire and starshells from the 19th Panzer Division (only coincidentally transiting the drop zone, and just one of six divisions and other formations ordered, on the 21st, to fill the gap in front of the 3rd Tank Army). Lead aircraft, disgorging paratroopers over Dubari at 1930, came under fire from elements of the 73rd Panzer Grenadier Regiment and division staff of 19th Panzer Division. Some paratroops began returning fire and throwing grenades even before landing; trailing aircraft accelerated, climbed and evaded, dropping wide. Through the night, some pilots avoided starshell-lit drop points entirely, and 13 aircraft returned to airfields without having dropped at all. Intending a 10 by 14 km drop over largely undefended terrain, the Soviets instead achieved a 30 by 90 km drop over the fastest mobile elements of two German corps.

On the ground, the Germans used white parachutes as beacons to hunt down and kill disorganized groups and to gather and destroy airdropped supplies. Supply bonfires, glowing embers, and multi-color starshells illuminated the battlefield. Captured documents gave the Germans enough knowledge of Soviet objectives to arrive at most of them before the disorganized paratroops.

Back at the Soviet airfields, the fuel shortage allowed only 298 of 500 planned sorties, leaving corps anti-tank guns and 2,017 paratroops undelivered. Of 4,575 men dropped (seventy percent of the planned number, and just 1,525 from 5th Brigade), some 2,300 eventually assembled into 43 ad-hoc groups, with missions abandoned as hopeless, and spent most of their time seeking supplies not yet destroyed by the Germans. Others joined with the nine partisan groups operating in the area. About 230 made it over (or out of) the Dnieper to Front units (or were originally dropped there). Most of the rest were almost casually captured that first night or killed the next day (although, on that first night, the 3rd Co, 73rd Panzer Grenadier Regiment, suffered heavy losses while annihilating about 150 paratroopers near Grushevo, some 3 km west of Dubari).

The Germans underestimated that 1,500 to 2,000 had dropped; they recorded 901 paratroops captured and killed in the first 24 hours. Thereafter, they largely ignored the Soviet paratroopers, to counterattack and truncate the Dnieper bridgeheads. The Germans deemed their anti-paratrooper operations completed by the 26th, although a modicum of opportunistic actions against garrisons, rail lines, and columns were conducted by remnants up to early November. For a lack of manpower to clear all areas, forests of the region would remain a minor threat.

The Germans called the operation a fundamentally sound idea ruined by the dilettantism of planners lacking expert knowledge (but praised individual paratroops for their tenacity, bayonet skills and deft use of broken ground in the sparsely wooded northern region). Stavka deemed this second (and, ultimately, last) corps drop a complete failure; lessons they knew they had already learned from their winter offensive corps drop at Viazma had not stuck. They would never trust themselves to try it again.

Soviet 5th Guards Airborne Brigade commander Sidorchuk, withdrawing to the forests south, eventually amassed a brigade-size command, half paratroops, half partisans; he obtained air supply, and assisted the 2nd Ukrainian Front over the Dnieper near Cherkassy to finally link up with Front forces on 15 November. After 13 more days combat, the airborne element was evacuated, ending a harrowing two months. More than sixty percent never returned.

Assault-crossing the Dnieper

Soviet soldiers preparing rafts to cross the Dnieper (the sign reads "Onwards to Kiev!") Dayosh Kiev.jpg
Soviet soldiers preparing rafts to cross the Dnieper (the sign reads "Onwards to Kiev!")

The first bridgehead on the Dnieper's western shore was established on 22 September 1943 at the confluence of the Dnieper and Pripyat rivers, in the northern part of the front. On 24 September, another bridgehead was created near Dniprodzerzhynsk, another on 25 September near Dnipropetrovsk and yet another on 28 September near Kremenchuk. By the end of the month, 23 bridgeheads were created on the western side, some of them 10 kilometers wide and 1-2 kilometres deep.

The crossing of the Dnieper was extremely difficult. Soldiers used every available floating device to cross the river, under heavy German fire and taking heavy losses. Once across, Soviet troops had to dig themselves into the clay ravines composing the Dnieper's western bank.

Securing the lodgements

Soviet soldiers attacking on a lodgement in October 1943 Dnieper Forcing Offensive.jpg
Soviet soldiers attacking on a lodgement in October 1943

German troops soon launched heavy counterattacks on almost every bridgehead, hoping to annihilate them before heavy equipment could be transported across the river.

For instance, the Borodaevsk lodgement, mentioned by Marshal Konev in his memoirs, came under heavy armored attack and air assault. Bombers attacked both the lodgement and the reinforcements crossing the river. Konev complained at once about a lack of organization of Soviet air support, set up air patrols to prevent bombers from approaching the lodgements and ordered forward more artillery to counter tank attacks from the opposite shore. When Soviet aviation became more organized and hundreds of guns and Katyusha rocket launchers began firing, the situation started to improve and the bridgehead was eventually preserved.

Such battles were commonplace on every lodgement. Although all the lodgements were held, losses were terrible – at the beginning of October, most divisions were at only 25 to 50% of their nominal strength.

Lower Dnieper Offensive

By mid-October, the forces accumulated on the lower Dnieper bridgeheads were strong enough to stage a first massive attack to definitely secure the river's western shore in the southern part of the front. Therefore, a vigorous attack was staged on the Kremenchuk-Dnipropetrovsk line. Simultaneously, a major diversion was conducted in the south to draw German forces away both from the Lower Dnieper and from Kiev.

At the end of the offensive, Soviet forces controlled a bridgehead 300 kilometers wide and up to 80 kilometers deep in some places. In the south, the Crimea was now cut off from the rest of the German forces. Any hope of stopping the Red Army on the Dnieper's east bank was lost.

Outcomes

The Battle of the Dnieper was another defeat for a Wehrmacht that required it to restabilize the front further West. The Red Army, which Hitler hoped to contain at the Dnieper, forced the Wehrmacht's defences. Kiev was recaptured and German troops lacked the forces to annihilate Soviet troops on the Lower Dnieper bridgeheads. The west bank was still in German hands for the most part, but both sides knew that it would not last for long.

Additionally, the Battle of the Dnieper demonstrated the strength of the Soviet partisan movement. The "rail war" operation staged during September and October 1943 struck German logistics very hard, creating heavy supply issues.

Incidentally, between 28 November and 1 December 1943 the Teheran conference was held between Winston Churchill, Franklin D. Roosevelt, and Stalin. The Battle of the Dnieper, along with other major offensives staged in 1943, certainly gave Stalin a dominant position for negotiating with his Allies.

Soviet operational phases

From a Soviet operational point of view, the battle was broken down into a number of different phases and offensives.

The first phase of the battle :

Chernigov-Pripyet Offensive 26 August – 30 September 1943
Sumy-Priluki Offensive 26 August – 30 September 1943
Poltava-Kremenchug Offensive 26 August – 30 September 1943

The second phase of the operation includes :

Melitopol Offensive 26 September – 5 November 1943
Zaporizhia Offensive 10–14 October 1943
Kremenchug-Pyatikhatki Offensive 15 October – 3 November 1943
Dnepropetrovsk Offensive 23 October – 23 December 1943
Krivoi Rog Offensive 14–21 November 1943
Apostolovo Offensive 14 November – 23 December 1943
Nikopol Offensive 14 November – 31 December 1943
Aleksandriia-Znamenka Offensive 22 November – 9 December 1943
Krivoi Rog Offensive 10–19 December 1943
Chernobyl-Radomysl Offensive Operation (1–4 October 1943)
Chernobyl-Gornostaipol Defensive Operation (3–8 October 1943)
Lyutezh Offensive Operation (11–24 October 1943)
Bukrin Offensive Operation (12–15 October 1943)
Bukrin Offensive Operation (21–24 October 1943)
Rauss' November 1943 counterattack

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Nikopol–Krivoi Rog Offensive 30 January – 29 February 1944 military offensive

The Nikopol–Krivoi Rog Offensive was an offensive by the Red Army's 3rd Ukrainian Front and elements of the 4th Ukrainian Front against the German 6th Army in the area of Nikopol and Krivoi Rog in Dnipropetrovsk Oblast in central Ukraine between 30 January and 29 February 1944. It took place on the Eastern Front of World War II and was part of the wider Dnieper–Carpathian Offensive, a Soviet attack against Army Group South to retake the rest of Ukraine that fell to Germany in 1941.

The 61st Rifle Corps was a Red Army infantry corps during World War II, formed twice. The 61st Rifle Corps was formed firmed in Tula during September 1939. After Operation Barbarossa, it was transferred to the front in Belarus and fought in the Battle of Smolensk. After suffering heavy losses at Smolensk, it was disbanded in early August 1941. Reformed in spring 1943, the corps fought in Operation Kutuzov, the Lublin–Brest Offensive and the Berlin Offensive. The corps was disbanded after the end of the war in summer 1945.

The 16th Guards Tank Division was a tank division of the Soviet Army and later the Russian Ground Forces.

The 7th Guards Tank Division was a tank division of the Soviet Army during the Cold War.

References

Citations

  1. 1 2 3 4 Frieser et al. 2007, p. 343.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 25 May 2013. Retrieved 10 December 2017.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  3. The History of Soviet Airborne Forces, Chapter 8, Across The Dnieper (September 1943), by David M. Glantz, Cass, 1994. (portions online)
  4. 1943 Dnepr airborne operation: lessons and conclusions Military Thought, July 2003, by Nikolai Viktorovich Staskov. (online) See ref at Army (Soviet Army) under 40th Army entry.

Bibliography