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The Eastern Front WW2: In Maps (Color)

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Maps And Text:

Operation Barbarossa: Nazi Invasion of the USSR June 22 - September 1, 1941 maps
Operation Barbarossa: Nazi Invasion of the USSR June 22 - September 1, 1941

German armed forces achieved strategic surprise and made substantial progress towards their initial objectives. Army Group Center reached Smolensk by July. Large Soviet military forces were surrounded as a result. An operational pause ensued at the center of the front while armored forces from Army Group Center struck south to link up with forces striking northward from Army Group South. This move destroyed a substantial concentration of Soviet armed forces around Kiev.

The Eastern Front December 5, 1941 April 1942
The Eastern Front December 5, 1941 to end of April 1942

After the German offensive toward Moscow was called off on December 5, 1941 the Soviets launch a counteroffensive that recovered substantial territory by the end of April 1942. Soviet forces, however, did not achieve their strategic objectives and were relatively depleted by that time. German strength, meanwhile, was growing as was their confidence.

Red Army Advances to Kiev Isolates  Crimea August 18 - December 23, 1943
Red Army Advances to Kiev and Isolates the Crimea August 18 - December 23, 1943

The Soviet follow-up offensive after Kursk carried the Red Army inexorably forward. Although it failed to encircle significant German forces, the Soviet armed forces trapped the German Army Group A in the Crimea and recaptured Kiev before the end of December 1943.

Eastern front maps after Stalingrad
Soviet Pursuit After Stalingrad: January 13 - March 26, 1943

By the time the German 6th Army surrendered at Stalingrad, the Red Army aggressively pursued the remnants of Army Group Don, now renamed Army Group South, further west. Soviet units recaptured Kharkov and were approaching the Dniepr River. However, the commander of Army Group South, F.M. von Manstein marshaled forces for a counterattack in March 1943 that stabilized the southern wing of the Eastern Front until the Battle of Kursk in July 1943.

Soviet Gains on the Eastern Front: July 1, 1943 - June 1944

Red Army military forces pushed the Axis armies back to the Rumanian frontier in the south leaving a massive German salient, defended by Army Group Center, before Moscow.

Eastern Front: Soviet Gains June 1944 - January 1945. The constant military pressure on the southern front led to a serious German intelligence failure in the summer of 1944. The Soviet summer offensive, opened on June 22, 1944, was directed against the Minsk salient. Army Group Center collapsed under the weight of the Red Army assault and the Soviet armed forces advanced on to the Vistula River line. The Balkans were cleared of German forces in the follow-up offensive.

Vistula to Oder: Soviet Advance Across Poland January 11 - February 2, 1945

Soviet Advance into East Prussia; Seige of Königsberg January 13 - May 9, 1945

German Counterattack and the Soviet Drive on Vienna March 6 - April 15, 1945. The German military plan and execution of offensive operations against Soviet forces advancing beyond Budapest failed to produce lasting results. Soviet counterattacks followed and pushed the German defenders back behind Vienna.

The Final Soviet Offensive: Oder to Elbe April 16 - May 8, 1945


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Source for the following maps
Invasion of Russia. Operation Barbarossa. June 22 to August 25, 1941 (Click to enlarge map)

Invasion of Russia. World War Two. Eastern Front. August 26 to December 5, 1941 ( Click to enlarge map)

Soviet counter-offensive. December 6, 1941 to May 7, 1942 (Click to enlarge map)

Eastern Front. German advance. May 7 to July 23, 1942 (Click to enlarge map)

 Eastern Front. German advances. July 24 to November 18, 1942. Stalingrad. (Click to enlarge map)

Soviet offensive. November 19 to December 12, 1942 (Click to enlarge map)

Russian attacks. December 13, 1942 to February 18, 1943 (Click to enlarge map)

German offensive. February 19 to March 18, 1943 (Click to enlarge map)

 Eastern front. Summer 1943 and Kursk (Click to enlarge map)

Eastern front. Russian offensive. July 17 to December 1, 1943 (Click to enlarge map)

Eastern front Leningrad. Soviet offensive. December 2, 1943 to April 30, 1944 (Click to enlarge map)

Soviet offensive. June 22 to August 19, 1944. Balkans and Baltic attacks. (Click to enlarge map)

Poland. Russian offensive. January 12 to March 30, 1945 (Click to enlarge map)

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Points To Ponder


It is difficult to distinguish between the quality of both the German and Russian soldiers. Both were motivated by their love for their motherland. But there were others factors that drove the two sides to such desperate fighting.

One, both sides knew that this was a no-holds bar war. Not fighting was thus not an option.

Second, both Hitler and Stalin had squads that killed any deserter. Turning away from fighting was just not possible.

Thus was seen some of the most bitter, brutal and desperate fighting on the WW2 eastern (Russian) Front.
"Those who do not remember the past are condemned to repeat it."
-- George Santayana


"Be polite; write diplomatically; even in a declaration of war one observes the rules of politeness."
--Otto von Bismarck

"When the enemy advances, withdraw; when he stops, harass; when he tires, strike; when he retreats, pursue.'
--Mao Zedong


"The main thing is to make history, not to write it."
--Otto von Bismarck

"When you have to kill a man it costs nothing to be polite."
--Winston Churchill


"In time of war the loudest patriots are the greatest profiteers."
--August Bebel

"God is not on the side of the big battalions, but on the side of those who shoot best."

Quotes about War....

"Anyone who has ever looked into the glazed eyes of a soldier dying on the battlefield will think hard before starting a war."
---Otto von Bismarck


"Naturally the common people don't want war; neither in Russia, nor in England, nor in America, nor in Germany. That is understood. But after all, it is the leaders of the country who determine policy, and it is always a simple matter to drag the people along, whether it is a democracy, or a fascist dictatorship, or a parliament, or a communist dictatorship. Voice or no voice, the people can always be brought to the bidding of the leaders. That is easy. All you have to do is to tell them they are being attacked, and denounce the pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same in any country."
--Hermann Goering


"To conquer the enemy without resorting to war is the most desirable. The highest form of generalship is to conquer the enemy by strategy."
--Tzu Sun

"All men are brothers, like the seas throughout the world; So why do winds and waves clash so fiercely everywhere?"
--Emperor Hirohito