The Eastern Front of World War II. Operations of the Red Army

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Victory Day (9 May) is a holiday that commemorates the capitulation of Nazi Germany to the Soviet Union at the end of Second World War, known in the USSR and in the post-USSR as the Great Patriotic War.

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  • kurtyzana

    Nice… Russia payed sooo much in this war 27mln soldiers poor man which sometimes didnt even know where the europe is… and they gave their blood to liberate half the europe.

    • Slow Reader

      Little
      correction – soviets had around 10-11 million military casualties, the rest were
      purely civilian – people from the occupied by Nazis territories that were
      murdered or sent as unpaid work force to German factories and concentration
      camps.

      • Boris Kazlov

        Hmmm, not sure about that, mind posting sources? All reports so far show many more casualties in the Red Army.

        • Arseniy

          Soviet combatant casualties, according to Wikipedia, range between 8.7 and 10.6 million. German combatant casualties throughout WWII were 5.3 million, 4.7 million (89%) of which were by the Red Army, excluding casualties inflicted by the Soviet partisans. You also have to consider that the Nazis took 5.2 million Soviet POWs, mainly in 1941 during the start of their invasion of USSR, 3.6 million of which died in captivity, while the Soviet Union took 5.5 million POWs, mainly in 1945, of which 0.5 million died in captivity. The numbers speak for themselves concerning where the war was really fought and won!

          • grumpy_carpenter

            According to David Glantz and others who have had access to Soviet archives the Soviets his a lot of their casualties from the west so as not to show the true extent of the damage done to the USSR and save the reputation of Georgie Zhukov.

            I’ve read the true number of total casualties put as high as 50,000,000. Military casualties around Rezev, Operation Mars and the offensives on the right flank of Stalingrad were underreported and all fought under the command of Zhukov if memory server me correctly. These tactics of throwing unprepared armies into the meat grinder just to keep Whermacht forces in place cost terribly in terms of Russian casualties but allowed for the success of the counter offensive that defeated the German 6th Army at Stalingrad.

          • Victor LFC

            This sounds nonsense really …………… 50 milion casualties.

            I’ve read David Glantz and I haven’t read those remarks and neither those on Zhukov.

            The only I did read was that in fact during Operation Barbarossa only some incompetent officers lied about the casualty statistics to Stalin, purely to not get reprimanded for their criminal offenses.

            It had little success, since Stalin had his special agents lurking everywhere on the Front, to check if they were either still Communist at heart or not.

            Zhukov in fact was a brilliant and legendary General unrivaled in WWII.

            ^They call him ‘the man who defeated Hitler’ for a reason.

          • grumpy_carpenter

            Mr. Glantz made the comment during a presentation.

            He was asked a question about the honest number of casualties the Soviets suffered during WW2. his answer was: no one really knows for sure. he went on to talk about how the extent of the damage damage caused to the Soviet Union was considered a state secret.

            He said that the battles to divert German forces from Stalingrad were far bloodier than the Russians admit. Operation Mars and the offensives in the Kotuban region ion the left flank of Stalingrad in particularly suffered far more casualties than reported, but it wasn’t just limited to these operations.

            Another area where casualties were hugely underreported was the starvation in the Gulag camps and in Siberia during the war and the casualties during the mass deportation of Tartars, Volga Germans and other ethnic groups deemed unreliable.

            Total deaths due to the war certainly exceeded the official number of 26,000,000 and some have estimated them as high as 50,000,000. I’m a nine fingered carpenter so these numbers are way too big for me to get my head around.

            Zukhov…..brilliant or Beast? I’d say on a good day he was a brilliant yet brutal strategist on other days he was absolutely dreadful. He blew his brains out on Operation Mars as well as his initial assault on the Oder…..what was he thinking with those searchlights?

          • Victor LFC

            First, Do you remember what presentation and where? You have the transcript with you?

            Second. It’s contradicting to Krivosheyev’s research and that of himself too.
            In his book, Soviet Combat Losses, Krivosheyev states that about 34.5 million men and women of the USSR served in the Red Army at any given moment between 1941-1945. Glantz doesn’t seem to disagree with this figure. Then we have the estimated population of the Soviet Union on the eve of the Nazi invasion at around 200 million inhabitants.

            ^Therefore I am highly skeptical of the 50 million military casualty figure……… purely since it would be completely impossible mentioning the known facts above. I’m more realistic on Krivosheyev’s figure of 18-22 million military casualties.

            Third. You mean the Crimean Tatars, right? But you’re correct on the deportations of the Volga Germans, Koreans, Chechens and all other Soviet minorities with a history of hostility towards the rule of the Central Government, besides obvious prejudice of course that played a major part as well.

            Fourth, did Glantz considered the fact that the Soviet Union during Stalin’s tenure was extremely bureaucratic and as such most was reported accurately? The fact that still zillions of documents are classified, doesn’t prove the fact what you mentioned on Mars or the Kutoban region is true.

            In fact, Krivosheyev, who has only been one of a few to have had excess to the Soviet Historical Archives during Yeltsin’s Presidency, included all the above what you just mentioned.

            ^Not just Krivosheyev, but also the professional academics of The US Historical Review which have revealed thanks to scienitifc and historical research that between 1934-1953 1 million Soviet citizens died in the Gulag’s and not 10 or 20 million what has often been claimed by the likes of Solzhenitsyn, Conquest and Medvedev.

            Zhukov ……….. one word: Brilliant! Have you forgotten Khalkhin Gol, Vistula-Oder, Moscow, Stalingrad, Kursk? Not to forget that Zhukov wasn’t actually involved in Operation Mars besides the initial planning in August 1942, before being sent to the Stalingrad Front on personal orders by Stalin?

            Here to provide you on some better information why he is know as the “General that defeated Hitler”. https://www.quora.com/Who-was-the-best-general-of-World-War-2/answer/Khalid-Elhassan

          • RF_Guy

            Actually even today many people call Zhukov a “Butcher”. Party officials called him what you said above because he was Stalin’s favorite. Zhukov is responsible for many lost lives. Rokosovki is the one I would call brilliant.

  • Robert Mullin

    I think it’s also important to mention what exactly saved Moscow from being attacked. That being the onset of winter causing many difficulties for the German supply lines and their inadequate winter gear. Almost like the motherland itself played it’s part in the defense of it’s people, buying time for the Russians to get their footing and drive back the Fascists. It just sounds better than the German’s simply being “Too Weak”.

    • Alberto Campos

      Winter played no rule. No one ever told you that was a fraud, created to lower the prowess of Soviet generals and the courage of every citizen?

      • Robert Mullin

        Actually, I was saying that fate sided with Russia when winter came. Anyone would be caught off guard and ill-prepared to being stabbed in the back by the Germans and their surprise Blitzkrieg. The desperate scorched earch defence that ensued by the Red Army helped to deny the Nazis resources and transportation routes but the Germans still advanced. Only after the Germans got slowed down further by winter did the Russians get the time to regroup, re-equip and start pushing back in a more favorable position.

        If the Russians knew the Germans were about to launch Operation Barborossa, I’m pretty sure they never would have made it as far as Moscow’s outskirts.

        • Alberto Campos

          The Germans were “slowed down” since the beginning (even in tiny places like Brest-Litovsk, right on the border). They expected to win in six weeks with their frustrating blitzkrieg, eight at the very maximum. Hitler had already set up his tour in Moscow for August 26 (or 28). In October (!!!) they still was in Kiev. Do you tell me it was the Winter what slowed down their advance???
          More, for your info: ten days after the assault, begginning of July, Keitel and the other generals warned Hitler that they got it wrong and that it would be a very lengthy war. In July 1941!!! So they’ve changed their plans accordingly, and what followed we all know. But don’t talk me about winter, or mud, or snow.

    • grumpy_carpenter

      That’s the story the Germans tell. Fu@ked over by General winter and the arrogance of the Austrian corporal otherwise the Wehrmacht would have rolled over the racially inferior Russian forces.

      While the STAKVA planners used the weather to their advantage the real reason the Wehrmacht was defeated in front of Moscow was the release of the crack Russian divisions on the manchurian border after Japan signed a non aggression treaty with the Soviets and then attacked Pearl harbour.

      Until it was certain the Japanese couldn’t attack the USSR because they had their hands full they had to keep their best divisions on the Manchurian border.

      The germans were too weak to defeat the Soviet Union with the forces assembeled for barbarrossa. The were well trained, well led but weak in infantry, logistics and manufacturing capacity to last more than a single campaign season in Russia. Barbarrossa was a gamble that if the germans took Moscow, leningrad and the Ukraine to Rostov on Don the USSR would collapse as a political entity.

      The Germans failed to achieve their objectives in 1941 so in 1942 they set a more achievable goal of taking the Baku oil fields which would at least give them the fuel to stay in the war. They unfortunately failed in their campaign shortages the second season as well.

      The third campaign season was Kursk, which the Germans had no chance of winning due to their lack of intelligence about the Soviet forces arrayed to launch a counter attack once the Germans were ground down on the Kursk defences and the lack of infantry which left the armoured spearheads flanks vulnerable to attack, showing their advance to a crawl.

      Histories told prior to the fall of the USSR tells us that Kursk could have been won by the Germans given an earlier start or more time but that was the history written by the Germans. To his death Von Manstein had no idea that Kursk was a Soviet trap and there were 4 Soviet tank armies held in reserve for a counter attack once Kursk ground the Germans to a halt

  • Daniel

    I just want to say i kinda liked this website, cool videos and stuff. But again, this became something like a propaganda website for Russia and Putin’s actions. Sad but in some countries free Press doesn’t exists. You can judge for yourself if i’m right or not.

    • Did Putin fight in WW2?

      • occupybacon

        Whoever made this presentation is a skilled editor without any passion for history cause the map he chosen for the beginning of the video has nothing to do with WW2 history or reality at all, so i stopped the video after few seconds, I hope Putin will fire her/him j/k

        • Boris Kazlov

          Yes, Putin fires anybody in pro-Russian or independent media who does not toe the line, just like in the West.

          • occupybacon

            There is a bug in the Eastern (dictatorial) cultures: for them there is not other meaning for the word “independent” other than “Not with the West”. I don’t think West mass-media is Independent at all but putting Putin and pro-Russia in the same sentence with Independent Media is hilarious.

      • Daniel

        I think i didn’t said anything about this video in particular, i said it about this website based on what i saw in recent month or so. No offence but your answer looks like a 8 yrs. old child had answered. This websites is owned by russians and it is naturaly for them to be happy for what Russia did in 1945, but don’t forget…you are press website, you need to be impartial. Otherwise all your visitors will be russians in near future. It is just a thought.

      • Boris Kazlov

        Not him, he was the youngest child, but his brother died in the war, and so did all his uncles from his father’s side, who was a disabled vet, his mother nearly died and was rescued when they were hauling her away with the corpses.

        • Victor LFC

          Not all of his uncles. I’ve heard Putin remark on his fathers harrowing WWII account that he lost 4 of his 5 brothers during this event.The mother of Vladimir Putin almost died too during the Siege of Leningrad.

      • Jacek Wolski

        Does Baba Yaga exist? We all know the answer to this and to the question “Was Putin a soldier or an officer during WW2” Neither. Please raise the bar, there is no need for gutter journalism on this site.

    • satrac

      I’m going to mark you down for that comment. This website has been very informative and essential to my understanding over situations in Syria and Ukraine. I don’t agree with every opinion, it’s nice to get a counter opinion. Plus your comment should really be somewhere else because the video here is a tribute to Russian contribution to victory in WW2.

    • Boris Kazlov

      Yu are right that in some countries free press does not exist,e.g Turkey, maybe PUtin’s fault also?

  • Tyyppi

    “…USSR liberated Finland…”, Oi! RUSSIA NEVER did that. Finland won the crucial battle of Tali-Ihantala 1944, and both sides agreed to a peace. Finland kept its INDEPENDENCE and stayed a western democracy. The only axis sided country not occupied.

  • Tyypp

    Why did you delete my comment. USSR never liberated Finland.

  • Jacek Wolski

    Soviet army liberated Finland?! The Soviets invaded Finland 30th of November 1939 during what historians call The Winter War. They did not liberate Finland at anytime during the war. You got your facts wrong. Please research in depth before posting misinformation like that. Thank you.

    • hestroy

      Yes, they liberated them from fascist. But I remember how you “liberated” Cieszyn.

      • Jacek Wolski

        I’m not sure what Cieszyn has to do with the Soviet invasion of Finland in 1939….. If you’re trying to make a point, please articulate yourself, otherwise you’re just chasing shadows. Thank you

    • grumpy_carpenter

      Are you sure they were talking about the 1939 winter war and not the 1944 advance into Finland? The Finns in 1944 were essentially an extension of the Wehrmacht. They even wore German uniforms.

      • Jacek Wolski

        The Continuation War cost the Soviets close to 1 million military casualties. So they signed an interim peace agreement in Moscow on September 19 1944.The war against the Finns had become too costly for Stalin who needed the men elsewhere, to fight the Germans. He could not fully achieve his objectives with the amount of troops he could afford to spend against the Finns and in the time he had to do it, so he had to drop the request for unconditional surrender. Finland saved  herself from occupation and the fate suffered by the countries overrun by the Red Army in Eastern Europe. Sure, they lost a bit of land, but it was better to be free, then a slave under Stalin. That is history my friend, you cannot change it.

  • Honest American

    Stalin was a monster. Can anyone savor his victory? Under his direction, the soviets raped eastern Europe as they marched to Berlin. Is anyone in Russia proud of this heritage? I can’t respect anyone who can’t be honest. As an American I despise Roosevelt, Truman and Churchill. They were also monsters. Russians aren’t Soviets — they should celebrate their Russian heritage that pre-dates the disastrous era of the communist.

  • Ancient

    Yugoslavia was liberated completely by JNA (Yugoslav National Army). They fight the naciz for 5 years with partisan and then with fully organized army.
    Also it is more complex how and why Russia won. One aspect is Hitler insanity and pushing army despite all odds into winter, other that he should not attack Russia at all since he has agreement with Stalin.
    Other is war in Yugoslavia where Serbs was too much for Hitler troops and they have problems to transfer oil from Africa to Russia front or later to Germany and alps where they lost without oil.

    Third aspect is war in Africa where British win over Germans and Romel.

    As for Serbian concerned we were and we are still main player in Europe and wider. Maybe it looks bad for Serbia but things could change in a split of the second.

  • Dennis Feeney

    German ambition exceeded its ability, and with poor intelligence underestimated the strength and morale of the Soviet Red Army