Eastern Front of WWII animated: 1943/44


in the last months of 1942 the German forces were encircled at Stalingrad at first the Germans hoped to reverse the situation by relieving the pocket and maintaining it by air supply however as 1943 began the Germans were forced to abandon their plans to relieve the city and were pushed back from its approaches despite that they ordered their troops in Stalingrad to hold out as long as possible in order to tie up Soviet units and by time the advance of the Red Army created the possibility of the German troops in the Caucasus to be cut off they ordered a full withdrawal from the region where their forces in the north kept a path of retreat open the main effort of the Red Army was however directed against them garyun and Italian units on the northern flank their lightly equipped forces were unable to hold the line and were forced into a harsh winter retreat most of them lost their combat capabilities or were destroyed leaving a large gap in the access lines the German units in the north had also to retreat but they were able to keep their battle worthiness intact at the same time the Germans managed to pull back part of their forces from the Caucasus the remaining troops formed a bridgehead on the coast to retain the opportunity for a summer push towards the oil fields during January both sides had their full attention set on the southern sector the lack of the German reserves allowed the Red Army to achieve too small but significant victories they reestablished a land connection to Leningrad and in the central part of the front they captured the railway junction of Bailey Kia looking for the axis the situation in the south continued to deteriorate the German troops in Stalingrad surrendered freeing up significant numbers of Soviet units the Red Army forces moving west into the Ukraine were not very formidable but the large gap in the axis line left them little opposition the Soviet command decided to exploit this opportunity and attempted to cut off almost all of the Army Group south in response the Germans used the forces retreat from the Caucasus to extend their front eastwards and pulled their main force west the Red Army moved further west to bypass their line and encircle them but this overextended their forces the Germans counter-attack from two sides and disorganized their forward detachments having caught the Soviet southern flank off-balance the Germans now wanted to push in both from north and south at the same time destroying the whole Soviet force they began to master their units for the northern attack in the south their troops continued onwards retaking Kharkov but in the north they failed to concentrate a force sufficient for the attack though they were able to stop the Red Army’s advance by this time both the Soviets and the Germans had exhausted their forces and went on defensive as the fighting in the south had drawn all German reinforcements the Red Army prepared to launch a major offensive in the north and center the Germans realized the danger and responded by abandoning their most vulnerable positions before the Soviets had finished deployment and the attacks that took place failed to achieve their goals being confronted with a much stronger German line the Red Army abandoned its offensive plans and the Eastern Front became quiet with the end of the winter campaign the axis had lost the capabilities necessary to knock the Soviet Union out of the war by capturing the area’s vital for its war effort now they planned to win through attrition by holding onto the occupied areas and inflicting vast casualties to the attacking Red Army in this way they could trade the areas remaining under the Soviet control dry of resources and create the stalemate the radar me on the other hand set out to take back the economically vital Western lands of the Soviet Union which would give it a strategic advantage however this time they would play it safe the previous offensives had been threatened by the German armored counter-attacks and this time they decided to receive them on prepared defenses at the same time with building up the fortifications the Red Army formed a massive offensive force as part of their defense strategy the Germans planned a number of limited offensives to encircle Soviet forces and shorten their defensive line the most promising of these was the encirclement of the Soviet units in the Kursk salient it took three months for the German build-up to match the gradually improved Soviet defenses and in the beginning of July they launched their attack the Germans made some headway but were ultimately stopped dead in the depth of the Soviet defences having for the time tide up the strongest German armored units the Red Army now released its forces for the offensive the attacks were to be carried out in consecutive stages along several sectors of the front first the raid army struct into the rare of the German troops north of Kursk being unable to contain the attack and wishing to avoid the danger of encirclement the Germans began the process of evacuating the salient at the same time the Red Army launched an attack in the south the Germans redeployed their forces and contained it by this time the Soviet units south of Kursk had finished reorganisation and pushed towards Harkov the Germans redeployed their forces to the sector but failed to hold the city though succeeded in temporarily containing the Soviet advance the situation in the north was more under the German control the Red Army failed to break through the German defenses near Smolensk at the same time the Germans had finished their withdrawal to the new line strengthening their positions further by this time the Germans had been able to maintain the balance and check the Red Army’s attacks however the renewal of the Soviet offensive near the sea broke the German line and forced them into a large-scale retreat even more the concurrent offensive against the lightly fortified German positions on the former western edge of the Kursk salient resulted in a breakthrough the Germans weren’t able to contain they now realized that they lacked the troops necessary to contain the Soviets in their present line and ordered a retreat to a much better defendable panther abort on position that was centered around that Knipper River and it’s tributaries at the same time the Soviet breakthrough near Smolensk hastened the retreat of Army Group center with the German forces taking a stronger defensive position the Red Army had to concentrate its main effort on a shorter section of the front they decided to make regaining Western murine the main priority first however we’ll take a look at the central part of the front where the Red Army had outrun the Germans to that nipper and had established a breach head-on the Junction’s of the Army Group center and south they planned to trap the whole Army Group centre by combined strikes from the bridgehead and from a breakthrough in the north where the other forces would pin the Germans in place in October while part of the Red Army was still recovering from the pursuit battles were fought in order to secure the bridgehead meanwhile the other forces began creating a bridge in a northern part of the front with their main focus being in the south the Red Army had established several bridge heads over the net in Ukraine after they had caught their heavy equipment over the river the attempted local breakouts first of which took place in the south the Germans were able to contain it then the Soviets broke through the German land front severing their connection with the Crimea they proceeded with another breakout attempt near Kiev but the Germans redeployed their troops and pushed it back towards the river having not fully succeeded in the breakouts the Red Army adopted a more systematic approach slowly but surely expanding its breach heads and massing troops for a larger breakout in the center the Red Army was now better prepared which allowed it to increase the pressure it resulted in a breakthrough in the north the Germans held on to the flanks in the hopes of conducting a counterattack and cutting the Soviet forces off then the Soviets launched their main attack from the southern bridgehead it broke through the lines and gained limited success though it failed to achieve its objective the Germans were able to prevent the deeper breakthrough by abandoning territory and pulling back to the frontline as 1943 ended the Red Army was ready for the winter offensive which would encompass the whole Soviet German front in Ukraine the Germans had concentrated their defenses in the Great Bend of the Dnieper this allowed the Red Army to catch them off-balance by mounting a breakout from the Kiev bridgehead the Germans managed to contain their advance only with great difficulties they wanted to keep their last position near the NIP river as a staging area for a possible counter-attack and did not evacuate it despite the evident threat the Red Army exploited this by cutting the salient off with a two-pronged attack the Germans launched a rescue attempt and were able to retrieve part of the encircled forces but without their heavy equipment with the German attention directed towards the pocket the Soviet forces launched attacks on the flanks threatening to sever the connection between the Army Group south and central meanwhile Soviet troops were continuing with their attempt to encircle a McRib Center itself in the north the Germans realized they lacked the force to cut off the radar miss breakthrough and abandoned the exposed salient the radar menow attempted to encircle the town of Vitebsk but it was not met with success most of the radars offensive assets were deployed in the south and as a result the goals of the soviet forces in the center proved be beyond the means to achieve them the offensives took limited territory at the price of large Schedule T’s and were eventually abandoned during the summer the Soviet pressure on the Army Group North had not been as strong as against the other army groups and the Germans had dispatched a lot of its strength to other fronts despite its greatly reduced strength the Army Group had not withdrawn to the shorter line and still held its forward positions the raid army attempted to encircle part of the German forces during the winter offensive the Germans evaded the encirclement and then attempted to resist on the new positions but they lacked the strength to do so and it was decided to his throw to the panther line both armies settled on the new line and during the remaining part of the winter the Red Army undertook only some limited attacks in order to probe the German defenses the Red Army was planning to achieve its main success in the south during the preceding half year the Soviet forces were slowly but steadily consolidating their positions on the west bank of the Dnieper and by the beginning of march this process was complete the German Army Group south was by then pushed into the open plains and did not retreat behind any other natural obstacle leaving it vulnerable the Soviets wanted to pin the whole army group to the Carpathian Mountains or the Black Sea and destroy it the axis were unable to resist the Soviet tank armies and the whole front fell back near the Black Sea they began pulling back their forces but in the West the Red Army encircled several German Corps the Soviets made the mistake by expecting the Germans to retreat southwards which allowed them to extract most of the track force back to their front lines then the Red Army captured the Crimea as the last operation of the winter campaign the soviet union had taken back its most economically valuable lands and gained the resources it needed to defeat Germany completely however with the front being still more close to Moscow than Berlin the question was how long shall I take the Germans meanwhile had problems to deal with the Western Allies had landed in Italy and were preparing to do the same in France the race to Berlin was on [Music]

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