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Encyclopedia > Battle of the Lower Dnieper
Battle of The Lower Dnieper
Part of World War II
Image:Crossing_the_Dnieper.gif
Soviet soldiers crossing the Dnieper on self-made rafts.
Date: 24 August 194323 December 1943
Location: Dnieper river, USSR
Result: Decisive Soviet Victory
Combatants
Axis Soviet Union
Commanders
Erich von Manstein Rokossovsky,
Konev
Strength
1,250,000 men
12,600 guns
2,100 tanks
2,000 planes
2,650,000 men
51,000 guns
2,400 tanks
2,850 planes
Casualties
Low est.: 500,000+ killed and wounded
High est.: 1,500,000 killed and wounded
300,000+ killed, 900,000+ wounded
Soviet-German War
Barbarossa – Bialystok-Minsk –SilberfuchsSmolenskUman1st KievOdessaLeningradTyphoon1st RostovMoscow – Toropets-Kholm Operation – Demyansk PocketSevastopol1st Rzhev-Vyazma2nd KharkovOperation Blue1st VoronezhEdelweissStalingradVelikiye LukiUranus – 2nd Rzhev-Sychevka – SaturnKrasny BorOperation Spark3rd KharkovKurskBelgorod4th KharkovDnieperKorsun – 2nd Kiev – Hube's Pocket – NarvaCrimea – Târgul Frumos – Bagration – Lvov-Sandomierz – RomaniaDebrecenBalticBudapest – Vistula-Oder – Balaton – Königsberg – BerlinHalbePrague

Contents

Combatants Allies: Poland, British Commonwealth, France/Free France, Soviet Union, United States, China, and others Axis Powers: Germany, Italy, Japan, and others Casualties Military dead: 17 million Civilian dead: 33 million Total dead: 50 million Military dead: 8 million Civilian dead: 4 million Total dead: 12 million World War II... Image File history File links Crossing_the_Dnieper. ... Soviet redirects here. ... This article is about the river. ... Children successfully test their raft, in Brixham harbour, south Devon, England. ... August 24 is the 236th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (237th in leap years), with 129 days remaining. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) is a common year starting on Friday. ... December 23 is the 357th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (358th in leap years). ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) is a common year starting on Friday. ... This article is about the river. ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... Generalfeldmarschall Erich von Manstein Erich von Manstein (November 24, 1887-June 10, 1973) was a lifelong professional soldier who rose to become one of the most prominent commanders of Nazi Germanys Armed Forces (Wehrmacht) during World War II; he attained the rank of Field Marshal (Generalfeldmarschall), although he was... Marshal of the Soviet Union Konstantin Rokossovsky Konstantin Konstantinovich Rokossovsky (Russian: КОНСТАНТИН КОНСТАНТИНОВИЧ РОКОССОВСКИЙ, Polish name Konstanty Rokossowski) (December 21, 1896 - August 3, 1968), Soviet military commander and Polish Defence Minister, was born in the town of Velikie Luki near Pskov in northern Russia, the son of a Polish railway... Marshal of the Soviet Union Ivan Koniev Ivan Stepanovich Koniev (Russian Иван Степанович Конев) (December 28, 1897 - May 21, 1973), Soviet military commander, was born into a peasant family near Podosinovsky in central Russia (now in Kirov Oblast). ... The Eastern Front was the theatre of combat between Nazi Germany and its allies against the Soviet Union during World War II. It was somewhat separate from the other theatres of the war, not only geographically, but also for its scale and ferocity. ... Combatants Axis Powers Soviet Union Commanders Supreme commander: Adolf Hitler Supreme commander: Josef Stalin Strength ~ 3,200,000 ~ 2,600,000 Casualties 830,903 (174,000 dead, 36,000 missing, 604,000 injured) unknown Operation Barbarossa (Unternehmen Barbarossa) was the German codename for Nazi Germanys invasion of the Soviet... Combatants Wehrmacht Red Army Commanders Field Marshal Fedor von Bock Army General D. Pavlov Strength Unknown Unknown Casualties Unknown 425,000 The Battle of Bialystok-Minsk was one of the Border Battles during the opening stage of Operation Barbarossa, the German invasion of the Soviet Union in 1941. ... Combatants Germany / Finland Soviet Union Commanders Generaloberst Nikolaus von Falkenhorst (Armee Norwegen) Komdiv R. I. Panin (Northern Front) Strength Unknown Unknown Casualties Unknown Unknown Operation Silver Fox (Unternehmen Silberfuchs) was a German operation during World War II. Its main goal was the capture of the Soviet port at Murmansk through... The eastern front at the time of the Battle of Smolensk. ... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Gerd von Rundstedt Kiroponos Mikhail Strength 500,000 677,085 Casualties 100,000 dead or wounded 200,000 dead or wounded 300,000 captured The Battle of Kiev was a huge encirclement battle in Ukraine during World War II. It lasted from mid-August to... The Battle of Odessa was part of the Soviet-German War in 1941. ... Combatants Axis Powers Soviet Union Commanders Wilhelm Ritter von Leeb Georg von Kuechler Kliment Voroshilov Georgy Zhukov Strength 725,000 930,000 Casualties Unknown 300,000 military, 16,470 civilians from bombings and estimated 1 million civilians from starvation The Siege of Leningrad (Russian: блокада Ленинграда) was the German seige of Leningrad... The eastern front at the time of Operation Typhoon. ... The eastern front at the time of the Battle of Rostov. ... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Fedor von Bock Georgi Zhukov Strength ~ 1,500,000 ~ 1,500,000 Casualties 250,000 650,000 The Battle of Moscow refers to the defense of the Soviet capital of Moscow and the subsequent counter-offensive against the German army, between October 1941 and January... Combatants Wehrmacht Red Army Commanders Colonel General Ernst Busch General Kurochkin Strength Unknown 122,100 Casualties Unknown 29,200 The Toropets-Kholm Operation was a military operation ~conducted by the Red Army during the Soviet-German War, from 9th January to 6th February 1942 south of Lake Ilmen. ... Demyansk Pocket (German: die Demjansker Operation, Russian: ) is a name of encirclement of German troops by Red Army near Demyansk (Demjansk), south of Leningrad, during the Second World War, which lasted mainly from February 8 until April 21, 1942. ... Combatants Germany, Romania Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Filipp Oktyabrskiy, Ivan Petrov Strength 350,000+ 106,000 Casualties 50,000 killed, wounded and captured. ... The formation of the Rzhev salient during the winter of 1941-1942. ... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Friedrich Paulus, Fedor von Bock Semyon Timoshenko Strength 1000 Tanks,1500 Aircraft, 300,000 Men 1300 Tanks,620 Aircraft, 450,000 Men Casualties 20,000 207,057 Personnel, 652 tanks, 1,646 guns, 3,278 mortars and 57,626 horse. ... Battle of Stalingrad Conflict World War II Date June 28, 1942 - February 2, 1943 Place Stalingrad, USSR Result Soviet victory The Battle of Stalingrad was a major turning point in World War II, and is considered the bloodiest battle in human history and arguably one of the greatest come-backs... Combatants Germany, Hungary Soviet Union Commanders Hermann Hoth Gusztav Jany Yevgeny Golikov Strength Casualties The Battle of Voronezh was a battle of the Eastern Front of World War II, fought in and around the city of Voronezh on the Don river in June and July 1942. ... The Battle of Caucasus is a generic name for a series of operations during the Great Patriotic War. ... Combatants Axis Powers Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Friedrich Paulus Georgy Zhukov Vasily Chuikov Strength 500,000 Germans 1,700,000 Casualties 850,000 killed, wounded and captured 750,000+ killed, wounded and captured 40,000+ civilian dead The Battle of Stalingrad was a major turning point in World... Battle of Velikiye Luki Conflict World War II Date November 1942 – February 1943 Place Velikiye Luki, Pskov Oblast, Russia Result Qualified Soviet victory The Battle of Velikiye Luki between Germany and the Soviet Union occurred in and around the Russian city Velikiye Luki during the winter of 1942-1943. ... The eastern front at the time of Operation Uranus. ... The eastern front at the time of the Second Rzhev-Sychevka Offensive. ... Soviet advances during Operations Uranus, Mars and Saturn Operation Saturn was a Red Army operation on the Eastern Front of World War II that led to battles in the northern Caucasus and Donets Basin regions of the Soviet Union from December 1942 to February 1943. ... Combatants Germany (Spain) Soviet Union Commanders Emilio Esteban Infantes Vladimir P. Sviridov Strength 5,900 44,000 Casualties 3,945 dead, wounded, missing, or captured 11,000 dead, wounded, missing or captured The Battle of Krasny Bor was fought between the German Wehrmachts 250th Infantry Division, composed of Spanish... Operation Spark (1943) was a military operation by the Red Army during January 1943 which intended to create a land connection to break the siege of Leningrad, which was conducted by the German Wehrmacht. ... Combatants Voronezh Front Southwestern Front Army Group South First Panzer Army Fourth Panzer Army Commanders Filipp Golikov Nikolay Vatutin Erich von Manstein †Theodor Eicke Strength 300,000 men 160,000 men Casualties Voronezh Front: army of Popov: 3,000 KIA, 11,000 WIA, Southwestern Front: 20,000 KIA, 90,000... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Walther Model Nikolai Vatutin Konstantin Rokossovsky Strength 800,000 infantry 2,700 tanks 2,000 aircraft 1,300,000 infantry 3,600 tanks 2,400 aircraft Casualties 200,000 dead, wounded, and captured 500 tanks 200 aircraft 607,737 dead, wounded, and... The Battle of Belgorod was fought early August, 1943 between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. ... The Fourth Battle of Kharkov was fought on August 23, 1943 between Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union. ... Korsun Pocket, also known as the Cherkassy Pocket, was the name of the large pocket of German troops between the towns of Korsun and Cherkassy on the lower Dnepr River in the Southern Ukraine, during World War II. In January of 1944, the encroaching Soviet Red Army executed a pincer... The 1943 Battle of Kiev resulted in a Soviet victory, forcing the German invaders of the Soviet Union to retreat further. ... Battle of the Kamenets-Podolsky Pocket Conflict World War II Date March 25, 1944 – April 15, 1944 Place Kamenets-Podolsky / Tarnopol, USSR Result Soviet Defeat; German Evacuation The Battle of the Kamenets-Podolsky Pocket, also known as Hubes Pocket, was a battle on the Eastern Front of World War... Battle of Narva Conflict {{{conflict}}} Date {{{date}}} Place {{{place}}} Result {{{result}}} The Battle of Narva took place in the first half of 1944. ... Combatants Red Army Wehrmacht 17. ... The Battle of Târgul Frumos (May 2-4, 1944) was fought at IaÅŸi, Romania between Nazi Germany and its Romanian allies on one side and the Soviet Red Army. ... Combatants Axis Soviet Union Commanders Ernst Busch Konstantin Rokossovski Georgy Zhukov Aleksandr Vasilevsky Strength 800,000 1,700,000 Casualties (Soviet est. ... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Josef Harpe (Heeresgruppe Nordukraine) Ivan Koniev (1st Ukrainian Front) Strength 368,000 men 340 AFVs 4,800 guns 1,200,000 men 1,979 AFVs 11,265 guns Casualties 37,400 men 520 AFVs 198,000 men 1,285 AFVs The Lvov-Sandomierz Operation was... The Battle of Debrecen, was a battle on the Eastern Front of World War II. In October 1944 General der Artillerie Maximilian Fretter-Picos 6. ... Combatants Red Army Wehrmacht Commanders Soviet STAVKA German OKW Strength Unkown Unknown Casualties 260,000 all causes Unknown // Overview The Battle of the Baltic, called the Baltic Operation by the Red Army who undertook it, denotes combat operations between the German Wehrmacht and the Red Army in the Baltic region... The Battle Of Budapest was a 2 month long siege in which Soviet forces captured the city of Budapest from German SS forces and Hungarian forces in World War II. Categories: World War II stubs | Battles and operations of World War II ... The eastern front at the time of the Vistula-Oder Offensive. ... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Josef Dietrich (6. ... Combatants Axis Soviet Union Commanders General Otto von Lasch Marshal Vasilevsky Marshal Rokossovsky Strength 130,000 250,000 Casualties 50,000 60,000 The Battle of Königsberg was the last battle of the East Prussian Operation. ... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Poland Commanders Gotthard Heinrici Helmuth Weidling Helmuth Reymann Wilhelm Mohnke Georgy Zhukov Ivan Konev Vassili Chuikov Strength 1 million men, 1,500 AFVs, 3,300 aircraft 2. ... The Battle of Halbe occurred during the last days of April 1945 in the Spree Forest near the village of Halbe, south-east of Berlin. ... The Eastern Front at the time of the Prague Offensive. ...


Prelude

The Battle of the Lower Dnieper is considered to be one of the largest battles in world history, involving almost 4,000,000 men on both sides and stretching on a front 1400 kilometers wide. During a four-month campaign, Soviet troops liberated the left shore of the Dnieper, crossed it in force, and created several bridgeheads on the right shore, liberating Kiev as well. This article is about the river. ... This article is about the river. ... A monument to St. ...


It is also considered as one of the bloodiest battles, with more than 3,000,000 casualties on both sides (however, one must not forget that the area involved was huge, which explains the fact that Stalingrad has the title of the bloodiest battle in history, given its small area). Combatants Axis Powers Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Friedrich Paulus Georgy Zhukov Vasily Chuikov Strength 500,000 Germans 1,700,000 Casualties 850,000 killed, wounded and captured 750,000+ killed, wounded and captured 40,000+ civilian dead The Battle of Stalingrad was a major turning point in World...


After the end of Battle of Kursk, the Wehrmacht lost all hope of regaining the initiative. Losses were considerable, and more than that, its men were less experienced than before, because all its best troops were wasted in the Battle of Moscow and in the Battle of Stalingrad. Therefore, despite considerable strength, the Wehrmacht could only react, without being able to proactively fight back. Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Walther Model Nikolai Vatutin Konstantin Rokossovsky Strength 800,000 infantry 2,700 tanks 2,000 aircraft 1,300,000 infantry 3,600 tanks 2,400 aircraft Casualties 200,000 dead, wounded, and captured 500 tanks 200 aircraft 607,737 dead, wounded, and... German cavalry and motorized units entering Poland from East Prussia during the Polish Defensive War of 1939 Wehrmacht (help· info) (Defence force) was the name of the armed forces of Germany from 1935 to 1945. ... Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Fedor von Bock Georgi Zhukov Strength ~ 1,500,000 ~ 1,500,000 Casualties 250,000 650,000 The Battle of Moscow refers to the defense of the Soviet capital of Moscow and the subsequent counter-offensive against the German army, between October 1941 and January... Combatants Axis Powers Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Friedrich Paulus Georgy Zhukov Vasily Chuikov Strength 500,000 Germans 1,700,000 Casualties 850,000 killed, wounded and captured 750,000+ killed, wounded and captured 40,000+ civilian dead The Battle of Stalingrad was a major turning point in World...


Mid-August, Hitler understood that the Soviet offensive could not be contained - at least, not until some internal disagreement would break up among the Allies. Considering all this, he decided to buy time by constructing a series of fortifications to slow down the Red Army and demanded the Wehrmacht to defend its positions on the Dnieper at all costs. Adolf Hitler Adolf Hitler (April 20, 1889 – April 30, 1945, standard German pronunciation in the IPA) was the Führer (leader) of the National Socialist German Workers Party (Nazi Party) and of Nazi Germany from 1933 to 1945. ... When spelt with a capital A, Allies usually denotes the countries supporting the Triple Entente who fought together against the Central Powers in World War I and against the Axis Powers in World War II. For more information, see the related articles: Allies of World War I and Allies of... The short forms Red Army and RKKA refer to the Workers and Peasants Red Army, (in Russian: Рабоче-Крестьянская Красная Армия - Raboche-Krestyanskaya Krasnaya Armiya), the armed forces first organized by the Bolsheviks during the Russian Civil War in 1918. ... This article is about the river. ...


On the Soviet side, Stalin was determined to pursue his liberation of occupied territories, started at the beginning of the year. The Ukrainian industrial region was the first priority, since it was a densely populated area and its coal mines and other ores were a precious source for the Soviet economy that had to be reconstructed after the war. Therefore, the main axis of the attack would be in that direction, neglecting northern regions at the moment. Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვილი; see Other names section) (December 21, 1879[1] – March 5, 1953) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and leader of the Soviet Union. ... Coal is a fossil fuel extracted from the ground by underground mining or open-pit mining (surface mining). ...


The Start

German defense setup

Map of the battle of the Dnieper and linked operations
Map of the battle of the Dnieper and linked operations

The order to construct the Dnieper defense complex, known as "Eastern Wall", was issued on 11 August 1943 and immediately executed. Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1256x956, 176 KB) Summary Map of the Dnieper battle and connected operations in 1943 Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ... Image File history File links Download high resolution version (1256x956, 176 KB) Summary Map of the Dnieper battle and connected operations in 1943 Licensing File history Legend: (cur) = this is the current file, (del) = delete this old version, (rev) = revert to this old version. ...


All over Dnieper, fortifications were erected. However, there was no hope to achieve such a huge defense setup in such a short time. Therefore, the "Eastern wall" was not uniform. In areas where Soviet force-crossing was the most likely, such as near Kremenchug, Zaporizhzhia and Nikopol, the defense was the heaviest, while being lighter in other areas. Kremenchuk (Ukrainian: ; Russian: , Kremenchug) is an important industrial city in central Ukraine, located on the banks of Dnieper. ... Zaporizhia (Ukrainian: , Zaporizhzhia; Russian: , Zaporozhye) is a city in south-eastern Ukraine, the capital of Zaporizhia Oblast. ... Nikopol (Нікополь) is a town of Ukraine, in the government of Ekaterinoslav, on the right bank of the Dnieper, 70 miles S.S.W. of the town of Ekaterinoslav. ...


Additionally, on 7 September 1943, the SS forces and the Wehrmacht received an order to thoroughly pillage areas they had to retreat from to slow down the Red Army and to try and create supplies issues for Soviet forces.


Soviet offensive on the left shore

Main article: Battle of Ukraine (1943)


On 24 August 1943, the Soviet divisions started moving on a 1400 kilometer front stretching between Smolensk and the Azov Sea. The operation staged was huge, mobilizing 2,650,000 men, 51,000 guns, 2,400 tanks and 2,850 planes, and involving 5 fronts: A view of Smolensk in 1912 Smolensk (Russian: ) is a city in western Russia, located on the Dnieper River at 54. ... The shallow Sea of Azov is clearly distinguished from the deeper Black Sea. ...

Overall, the operation was executed by 36 rifle armies, 4 Tank and 5 Air armies. The Central Front was a Front (military subdivision) of the Soviet Army during the Second World War. ... October 20 is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 72 days remaining. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) is a common year starting on Friday. ... The 1st Belorussian Front (alternative spellings are 1st Byelorussian Front and 1st Belarusian Front) was a Soviet Army Front during the Great Patriotic War. ... // Background The Voronezh Front was a military subdivision of the Soviet Unions Red Army during the Second World War. ... October 20 is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 72 days remaining. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) is a common year starting on Friday. ... This article needs to be cleaned up to conform to a higher standard of quality. ... Steppe Front was a Front of the Soviet Army during the Great Patriotic War. ... October 20 is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 72 days remaining. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) is a common year starting on Friday. ... The Steppe Front was a Front (military subdivision) of the Soviet Army during the Second World War. ... The Southernwestern Front was one of the Soviet Army fronts during the World War II. In 1941 it took part in the tank battles in western Ukraine and the defensive operation around Kiev, in which the Front Chief of Staff General Mikhail Kirponos was killed and the entire Front captured... October 20 is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 72 days remaining. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) is a common year starting on Friday. ... The Southwestern Front was a Front (military subdivision) of the Soviet Army during the Second World War. ... The Southern Front was one of the Soviet Army fronts during the World War II, cretaed under the command of Army General Ivan Tyulenev. ... October 20 is the 293rd day of the year (294th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 72 days remaining. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) is a common year starting on Friday. ... The Southern Front was a Front (military subdivision) of the Soviet Army during the Second World War. ...


Despite a great superiority in numbers, the offensive was by no means easy. German opposition was ferocious and fight raged for every town and city. One tactic widely used by the Wehrmacht was leaving some troops in each city and on each hill, slowing down the Soviet offensive.


Three weeks after the start of the offensive, and despite heavy losses on Soviet side, it became all too clear that the Wehrmacht could not possibly hope to contain the Soviet offensive in the flat, open terrain of the steppes, where Red Army's number strength prevailed. Von Manstein was forced to ask for as much as 12 new divisions if one would hope to contain the Soviet offensive - but German reserves were perilously thin. Years later, Manstein will write in his memoirs: A memoir, as a literary genre, forms a sub-class of autobiography. ...


"After analysing this situation, I concluded that we can't keep the Donbass with the forces that we already possess, and that even a greater danger for the whole Eastern Front is being created on the north flank of the group. The 8th and 4th armies won't be able to contain the Sovet offensive for very long".


Therefore, on 15 September 1943, Hitler ordered the Group Army South to retreat to Dnieper defense line.


The fight for Poltava city was especially bitter. The city was heavily fortified and its garrison ready. After a few unconclusive 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, Poltava was retaken. Poltava (Ukrainian: Полта́ва) is a city and oblast center in Poltava Oblast in central Ukraine with some 313,400 inhabitants (2004). ... US Marines fight in the city of Fallujah during Operation Al Fajr (New Dawn) in November 2004. ...


Towards the end of September 1943, Soviet forces more or less finished reaching the Dnieper in its lower part. The hardest part was still to come, though.


Dnieper airborne operation

In order to try and soften the defenses on Dnieper's right shore, the Soviet command decided to attempt a paradrop the right shore. On 24 September 1943 the Dnieper airborne operation was launched. The Soviet paratroopers were supposed to get hold of a bridgehead and retain it until the reinforcements come. September 24 is the 267th day of the year (268th in leap years). ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) is a common year starting on Friday. ... An American Paratrooper using a MC1-B series parachute Paratroopers are soldiers trained in parachuting and generally operate as part of an airborne force. ... A bridgehead is literally a military fortification that protects the end of a bridge that is closest to the enemy. ...


However, the operation turned out to be a complete failure. Because pilots were completely unfamiliar with the place, the first wave of paratroopers was dropped on Soviet lines or in the Dnieper, and the second wave of 5,000 troops got scattered on several dozen square kilometers. Moreover, because of a poorly performed reconnaissance that failed to spot German mechanized forces, most troops, lacking anti-tank weapons, were killed shortly after their landing. The other, having lost all radio link with their HQ, tried to attack German supply depots or joined the partisan forces. Mixed reconnaissance patrol of the Polish Home Army and the Soviet Red Army during Operation Tempest, 1944 Reconnaissance is the military term for the active gathering of information about an enemy, or other conditions, by physical observation. ... Anti-tank, or simply AT, refers to any method of combating military armored fighting vehicles, notably tanks. ... HQ is an abbreviation for: Hardware qualification Headquarters Hero Quest (board game) Heros Quest (computer game) Hydro-Quebec This is a disambiguation page — a navigational aid which lists other pages that might otherwise share the same title. ... Belorussian guerrillas liquidated, injured and took prisoner some 1. ...


Despite heavy losses, it is estimated that the Dnieper airborne operation, which attracted the attention of a significant number of German mechanized troops, allowed a force-crossing in better conditions. Nevertheless, after the failure of Vyazma and Dnieper paradrops, the STAVKA refused to use massive airborne operations again. Stavka is an abbreviation for Shtab vierhovnogo komandovania, or General Headquarters of armed forces in late Imperial Russia and in the Soviet Union. ...


Force-crossing the Dnieper

Choosing the scenario

Dnieper is the third largest river in Europe, second only to Volga and Danube. In its lower part, its width can easily reach 3 kilometers, and the fact that it was dammed in several places made it even larger. Moreover, as all big rivers, its right shore - the one still to be retaken - was much higher and steeper than the left one (this occurs because of the Coriolis Force on the flowing water), thus complicating even more the offensive. In addition, the opposite shore was transformed into a vast complex of defenses and fortifications held by the Wehrmacht. The Murray River in Australia. ... Europe is conventionally considered one of the seven continents of Earth which, in this case, is more a cultural and political distinction than a physiographic one, leading to some dispute as to Europes actual borders. ... For other meanings of the word Volga see Volga (disambiguation) Волга Length 3,690 km Elevation of the source 225 m Average discharge  ? m³/s Area watershed 1. ... The Danube bend at Visegrád is a popular destination of tourists The Danube (German: Donau, Slovak: Dunaj, Hungarian: Duna, Slovenian: Donava, Croatian: Dunav, Serbian: Дунав/Dunav, , Bulgarian: Дунав (Dunav), Romanian: Dunăre, Ukrainian: , Latin: Danuvius), all ultimately derived from the PIE *dānu, meaning river or stream, is Europes second... Scrivener Dam, in Canberra, Australia, was engineered to withstand a once-in-5000-years flood event A dam is a barrier across flowing water that obstructs, directs or retards the flow, often creating a reservoir, lake or impoundment. ... In physics, the Coriolis effect is an inertial force first described by Gaspard-Gustave Coriolis, a French scientist, in 1835. ... Table of Fortification, from the 1728 Cyclopaedia. ...


In front of such a situation, the Soviet commanders had two options. The first one 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 Dnieper), stage a breakthrough and encircle the German defenders rendering the defense line next to useless (very much like German Panzers bypassed the Maginot line in 1940). This, however, would give German time to get more reserves and futhermore, would expose Soviet troops to flank mechanized attacks, every Soviet commander's nightmare since 1941. Breakthrough is the name of an abstract strategy board game. ... PzKpfw V-D, a Panther tank   Panzer? is German for armour. ... The Maginot Line (IPA: [maÊ’ino], named after French minister of defense André Maginot) was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, machine gun posts and other defences which France constructed along its borders with Germany and with Italy in the wake of World War I. Generally the term... 1940 (MCMXL) was a leap year starting on Monday (the link is to a full 1940 calendar). ... Reserve can mean several things; 1. ... A flank is the side of either a horse or a military unit. ... For the movie, see 1941 (film) 1941 (MCMXLI) was a common year starting on Wednesday (the link is to a full 1941 calendar). ...

Soviet soldiers crossing the Dnieper on a raft
Soviet soldiers crossing the Dnieper on a raft

The second option would be to stage a massive assault without waiting and force the Dnieper on a large front. This option left no additional time to German defenders, but would lead to much larger casualties. For political reasons (Stalin wanted Kiev to be retaken on 7 November) the second option was chosen. Image File history File links Dnieper_Forcing_Raft1. ... Image File history File links Dnieper_Forcing_Raft1. ... This article is about the river. ... Iosif (usually anglicized as Joseph) Vissarionovich Stalin (Russian: Иосиф Виссарионович Сталин), original name Ioseb Jughashvili (Georgian: იოსებ ჯუღაშვილი; see Other names section) (December 21, 1879[1] – March 5, 1953) was a Bolshevik revolutionary and leader of the Soviet Union. ... A monument to St. ... November 7 is the 311th day of the year (312th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 54 days remaining. ...


The assault would be staged on a 300-kilometer front almost simultaneously. All available means of transport would be used to transport the attackers on the opposite shore, including fisherman boats and home-made rafts of barrels and trees (like the one on the photograph). The crucial issue would obviously be heavy equipment. Without it, the bridgeheads would not stand for long. A Long Island fisherman cleans his nets A fisherman in central Chile A fisherman is a person who engages in the activity of fishing. ... Children successfully test their raft, in Brixham harbour, south Devon, England. ...


The crossing

Soviet soldiers using fishermen's boat to cross the Dnieper under enemy fire.
Soviet soldiers using fishermen's boat to cross the Dnieper under enemy fire.

The first bridgehead on Dnieper's right shore was established on 22 September 1943 at the confluence of Dnieper and Pripyat rivers, in the northern part of the front. On 24 September, another bridgehead was created near Dneprodzerzhinsk, another on 25 September near Dnepropetrovsk and yet another one on 28 September near Kremenchug. By the end of the month, 23 bridgeheads were created on the right shore, some of them 10 kilometers wide and 1-2 kilometers deep. Image File history File linksMetadata Dnieper_Forcing_Boats. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Dnieper_Forcing_Boats. ... A bridgehead is literally a military fortification that protects the end of a bridge that is closest to the enemy. ... September 22 is the 265th day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (266th in leap years). ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) is a common year starting on Friday. ... The name Pripyat, also spelled Prypyat, Prypyat, Prypyat, Prypiat, Pripiat, Prypyat, Prypyat, Prypyat, Pripet, etc. ... September 24 is the 267th day of the year (268th in leap years). ... Dniprodzerzhynsk (Ukrainian: , Russian: ) is a city in the Dnipropetrovsk Oblast of Ukraine, and a port on the Dnieper River. ... September 25 is the 268th day of the year (269th in leap years). ... REDIRECT Dnipropetrovsk ... September 28 is the 271st day of the year in the Gregorian calendar (272nd in leap years). ...


By all accounts, the crossing of the Dnieper can be described as an "attack rage". Soldiers used every available floating device to cross the river, under heavy German fire and taking heavy losses. After that, Soviet troops had to basically dig themselves in the clay ravines composing Dnieper's right shore.


Securing the bridgeheads

Soviet soldiers attacking on a bridgehead in October 1943.
Soviet soldiers attacking on a bridgehead in October 1943.

Obviously, German troops soon launched heavy counterattacks on almost every bridgehead, hoping to annihilate them before heavy equipment could be transported across the river. Image File history File linksMetadata Dnieper_Forcing_Offensive. ... Image File history File linksMetadata Dnieper_Forcing_Offensive. ... Counterattack is a military science term for a type of attack by defending force against an enemy attacking force. ... A bridgehead is literally a military fortification that protects the end of a bridge that is closest to the enemy. ...


For instance, the Borodaevsk bridgehead, mentioned by Marshal Konev in his memoires, was under a heavy panzer and aviation counterattack. Bombers were everywhere, bombing both the bridgehead and the reinforcements crossing the river. Konev complained at once about a patent lack of organization of the air support, set up air patrols to prevent bombers from approaching the bridgeheads and ordered to bring more artillery to counter tank attacks from the opposite shore. When Soviet aviation became more organized and hundreds of guns and Katyushas started firing, the situation started to improve and the bridgehead was eventually preserved. Marshal of the Soviet Union Ivan Koniev Ivan Stepanovich Koniev (Russian Иван Степанович Конев) (December 28, 1897 - May 21, 1973), Soviet military commander, was born into a peasant family near Podosinovsky in central Russia (now in Kirov Oblast). ... PzKpfw V-D, a Panther tank   Panzer? is German for armour. ... It has been suggested that Modern Aviation be merged into this article or section. ... Counterattack is a military science term for a type of attack by defending force against an enemy attacking force. ... In military tactics, to patrol, or conduct a patrol, is to conduct reconnaissance of a designated area or route. ... Katyusha rockets on ZiS-6 For the song, see Katyusha (song). ...


Such fights were commonplace on every bridgehead. Even if all bridgeheads were preserved, losses were terrific - at the beginning of October, most divisions were at only 25 to 50 per cent of their nominal strength.


Right shore campaign

The Wehrmacht delivers fire across the Dnieper.
The Wehrmacht delivers fire across the Dnieper.

Image File history File links Hitlerdnieper. ... Image File history File links Hitlerdnieper. ...

Lower Dnieper offensive

By mid-october, the forces accumulated on the lower Dnieper bridgeheads were important enough to stage a first massive attack to definitely secure Dnieper's right shore in the southern part of the front. Therefore, a massive attack was staged on Kremenchug-Dnepropetrovsk line. Simultaneously, a massive attack was staged in the south to divert as much attention as possible both from Lower Dnieper and from Kiev. REDIRECT Dnipropetrovsk ...


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


Kiev liberation

Main article: Battle of Kiev (1943) The 1943 Battle of Kiev resulted in a Soviet victory, forcing the German invaders of the Soviet Union to retreat further. ...


Criticisms

Stalin's will to retake Kiev before 7 November raised quite a few criticisms among historians. It is commonly accepted now that bridgeheads on the Lower Dnieper were deliberately "left alone" in order to draw German forces from Kiev, resulting in heavy losses. While this hypothesis could be true to some extent, one must not forget that the action of establishing a bridgehead alone is dangerous enough and can (and usually does) lead to heavy losses. November 7 is the 311th day of the year (312th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 54 days remaining. ...


Aftermath

The Battle of Dnieper was another stinging defeat for the Wehrmacht. The Red Army, which Hitler hoped to contain at the Dnieper, forced the Wehrmacht's defenses. Kiev was liberated and German troops lacked forces to annihilate Soviet troops on Lower Dnieper bridgeheads. The right shore was still in German possession for most part, but both sides knew that it would not last for long.


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


Incidentally, between 28 November and 1st December, 1943 the Teheran conference was held between Churchill, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, and Stalin. The battle of Dnieper, along with other major offensives staged in 1943, certainly allowed Stalin to be in a dominant position to negotiate with his Allies. November 28 is the 332nd day (333rd on leap years) of the year in the Gregorian Calendar. ... (Redirected from 1st December) December 1 is the 335th (in leap years the 336th) day of the year in the Gregorian calendar. ... 1943 (MCMXLIII) is a common year starting on Friday. ... From left to right, Stalin, Roosevelt, and Churchill The Tehran Conference was the meeting of Joseph Stalin, Franklin D. Roosevelt and Winston Churchill between November 28 and December 1, 1943 that took place in Tehran, Iran. ... Churchill redirects here. ... Franklin Delano Roosevelt (January 30, 1882–April 12, 1945), 32nd President of the United States, the longest-serving holder of the office and the only man to be elected President more than twice, was one of the central figures of 20th century history. ...


Casualties debate

Casualties during the Battle of Dnieper are still a subject of a heavy debate. Some sources put very low figures (200,000 to 300,000 total casualties) which is much lower than Battle of Kursk for instance. However, given the duration of the campaign and the huge area involved, more than one historian argues that the losses involved were huge, easily reaching or even surpassing those at the Battle of Stalingrad, but going "unnoticed" because of the big operation area (and of the aura of fame enveloping the latter). The death toll also depends on the time frame considered. It also depends whether the toll of the 1943 Smolensk battle, which was used as a kind of "deceptive manoeuver" for Dnieper battle, is included in Battle of Dnieper's statistics. Combatants Germany Soviet Union Commanders Erich von Manstein Walther Model Nikolai Vatutin Konstantin Rokossovsky Strength 800,000 infantry 2,700 tanks 2,000 aircraft 1,300,000 infantry 3,600 tanks 2,400 aircraft Casualties 200,000 dead, wounded, and captured 500 tanks 200 aircraft 607,737 dead, wounded, and...


On the subject of Soviet casualties, Nikolaï Shefov in its Russian fights puts on the figure of 373,000 KIA and more than 1,500,000 total Soviet casualties. Erickson (a Western historian) in his Barbarossa: The Axis and the Allies, puts a figure of 173,201 USSR KIA, during a time frame from 26 September to 20 December 1943, therefore not taking into account the period going from 24 August to 26 September. Given the heavy German resistance even before Dnieper force-crossing (Soviet sources estimate casualties from the post-Kursk offensive alone at 250,000 killed). Militaries use the term killed in action (KIA) as a casualty classification. ... September 26 is the 269th day of the year (270th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 96 days remaining. ... December 20 is the 354th day of the year (355th in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. ... August 24 is the 236th day of the year in the Gregorian Calendar (237th in leap years), with 129 days remaining. ... September 26 is the 269th day of the year (270th in leap years) in the Gregorian Calendar, with 96 days remaining. ...


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