||The Red Army achieves a breakthrough
||The Red Army captures Kaluga to the
southwest of Moscow.
||German forces in the Crimea repulse
a Soviet landing at Eupatoria.
||In Moscow, the Russian Foreign Minister
denounces German atrocities in occupied Russia, where in Kiev
alone 52,000 people have been massacred. ‘The Soviet Union
will never forget or forgive’.
||The Soviet North West Front begins
an offensive south of Lake Ilmen in an attempt to encircle Demyansk.
At the same time the newly created Volkhov Front launches an
attack to force the Germans back from around Leningrad.
||Field Marshal von Leeb, C-in-C of Army
Group North, requests permission to withdraw his forces south
of Lake Ilmen behind the river Lovat, as the 2nd Corps at Demyansk
is in serious danger of being cut off. Hitler refuses von Leebs
request who resigns in protest. His place as C-in-C of Army
Group North is taken up by Field Marshal von Kuechler.
||Army Group Centre evacuates the Kaluga
sector and takes up winter positions 20 miles to the West.
||The Red Army cuts the main supply route
for the German 2nd and 10th Corps at Demyansk near Lake Ilmen,
forcing the Luftwaffe to begin flying in supplies. Field Marshal
von Bock takes over command of Army Group South from Field Marshal
von Reichenau who died of a heart attack. The Soviet South West
Front launches an offensive across the river Donets, to the
South of Kharkov in an attempt to cut of all German forces north
of the Sea of Azov. German troops of 11th Army recapture Feodosiya
and seal off the Soviet bridgehead at Kerch in the Crimea.
||German troops of Army Group Centre,
recapture Sukhinichi near Kaluga.
in the Ukraine slows down after a 60-mile thrust.
|The Red Army begins an
offensive toward Vyazma. Zhukov is promoted to command the West
Theatre, which includes the Kalinin, West and Bryansk Fronts.
||German forces of Army Group Centre
launch a counterattack at Vyazma, cutting off and encircling
several Red Army divisions.
||The Soviet North West Front finally
cut all land communication for 90,000 troops of the German 2nd
and 10th Corps at Demyansk, as the 11th and 1st Shock Armies
link up on the river Lovat, about 25 miles to the west of Demyansk.
||The Russians advance in to White Russia,
but meet strong German resistance.
||The Soviet Union introduces universal
||The Red Army launches an
major attack against Army Group B from the Kerch peninsula in
the eastern Crimea.
||An offensive by Army Group North cuts
off the Soviet 2nd Shock Army, commanded by General Vlasov,
in a salient between Novgorod and Gruzino. Operation 'Munich'
is launched. Joined by a new air detachment, German troops attack
partisan bases around Yelnya and Dorogobuzh. Operation 'Bamberg'
kicks off near Bobruisk, with SS Police troops attacking Russian
villages. The German security forces burn many villages and
kill 3,500 people, which only infuriate the Russian civilians
more, which encourages many of them join the partisans, making
the whole exercise very counter-productive. The 3rd Panzer Army
diaries says "There are indications that the partisan movement
in the region of Velikiye Luki, Vitebsk, Rudnya, Velizh, is
now being organised on a large scale. The fighting strength
of the partisans hitherto active, is being bolstered by individual
units of regular red army troops."
||The Red Army offensive at Kerch in
the Crimea is defeated with heavy losses to the Russians.
||A Polish newspaper editor is beheaded
for listening to the BBC, as German terror continues in Poland.
||Fuhrer Directive 41 rolls
off the mimeograph machines in Rastenberg and the Wehrmacht
has its marching orders for 1942. Leningrad is to finally be
captured, but that's a secondary objective. The big plan is
in the South, which involves 2nd Army and 4th Panzer Army breaking
through to Voronezh on the Don. 6th Army will break out South
of Kharkov and combine with the 4th Panzer Army to surround
the enemy. After that, the 4th Panzer Army and 6th Army will
drive East under the command of Army Group B and surround Stalingrad
from the North, while Army Group A's 17th Army and 1st Panzer
Army will do so from the South. Once Stalingrad is taken, the
6th Army will hold the flank defense line while Army Group A
drives South into the Caucasus to seize the oilfields and become
the northern punch of a grand pincer movement (the southern
half being Rommel) to seize Suez, the Nile Delta, the Middle-East
and its oilfields.
||The Germans make some limited advances
towards their surrounded units at Kholm-Staraya Russa. Russian
troops attack furiously at Kerch in the Crimea, but there have
no success because of the stubborn German defense.
||Progress continues as German relieve
forces push nearer the surrounded Kholm garrison. The Russians
try to land troops near Eupatoria in the Crimea, but are stopped
dead by the Germans.
||Both German and Russian forces pause
for breath after an extremely difficult winter (temperatures
dropped to a nippy Minus 30C). The Russians have outrun their
supply lines and exhausted their supply store of tanks and guns,
which has allowed the initiative to slip back to the Germans.
However, the Germans are aware that they can no longer take
Moscow with a knockout blow and so choose another alternative.
They intend to drive southward as part of a "grand pincer"
movement through the Caucasus to link up with Rommel's Afrika
Corps, which will solve their oil problems, disable the Russian
economy, and menace the Middle East.
||Adolf Hitler plans the German summer
offensive, but the first priority is to remove the Barvenkovo
salient in the Ukraine, which is gives the Russian a springboard
to retake Kharkov, or turn South and retake the Ukraine. General
Friedrich Paulus, a tall, ascetic Prussian staff officer, draws
up the plans for an panzer offensive to pinch out this salient.
Amazingly, the Russian are simultaneously planning their own
offensive out of the salient.
||The Russian plan to hit the Germans
with a powerful force of 640,000 men, 1,200 tanks, and 900 aircraft
in the Kharkov area, while the Germans plan to hit the Russians
with 636,000 men, 1,000 tanks, and 1,220 aircraft.
||Heavy fighting also continues
on the front around besieged Leningrad whose inhabitants are
suffering from bombing, disease and starvation. The siege of
the Crimean fortress of Sevastopol by the 11th Army continues
with a ceaseless bombardment by batteries of heavy guns (up
to 800mm) and hundreds of bombers (up to 1,000 sorties a day)
of Luftflotte 7.
||The German 11th Army begins its summer
offensive in order to clear the Eastern Crimea. The 11th Army
has thirteen Infantry, one Panzer, and one Cavalry division.
Luftwaffe support is provided by Fliegerkorps 8 and naval support
comes from German E-boats and Italian midget submarines, which
attack Russian supply ships reinforcing Sevastopol. The Germans
hit Gen. D.T. Kozlov's Crimean Front along Feodosiya Bay and
crash through the 44th Army's two divisions, relying on Junkers
87 Stukas to do the damage.
||Winston Churchill warns that Britain
will use poison gas on Germany if the Germans do so on the Soviet
Union. The battle for Sevastopol rumbles on, with the Russian
Coastal Army fielding 106,000 men, 600 guns, 100 mortars, 38
tanks, and 55 planes. The Germans hurl 204,000 men, 670 guns,
450 mortars, 720 tanks, and 600 aircraft at Sevastopol. The
Germans also move in 19 motor torpedo boats, 30 patrol boats,
eight ASW boats, and a unit of 150 bombers trained in anti-shipping
operations. German artillery ranges from 76mm field guns to
mammoth 800-mm railway-mounted super-heavy siege mortars.
||German troops continue their attack
at Sevastopol, surrounding some defenders at Ak-Monay. The Luftwaffe
is making about 1,800 sorties per day.
||Timoshenko’s offensive grinds
forward into Army Group South with two pincer attacks, one Northwest
out of the Izyum bulge by the 6th Red Army and the other West
then Southwest by the 28th Red Army from the Volchansk area,
designed to converge west of Kharkov. The Red Army falls back
towards Kerch in the Crimea.
||The siege of Leningrad continues. Tanya
Savicheva, a young girl, writes in her address book, "Mummy
13th May at 7.30 morning 1942. The Savichevs are dead, all dead,
only Tanya remains." Her book also lists the death of her
brothers, grandmother, and two uncles. Evacuated to Gorky on
the Volga, Tanya herself dies of chronic dysentery in the summer
||Kerch is captured by German troops,
forcing the Russians to evacuate their troops across the straits
in extremely difficult conditions and under heavy fire. For
five days, Russian ships shuttle back and forth, finally pulling
out 86,000 men, including 23,000 wounded.
||The Russians continue to evacuate their
forces across the Kerch Straits, leaving behind vast amounts
of artillery and heavy equipment, which the Germans then turn
upon the besieged fort of Sevastopol.
||German forces finally halt the Russian
summer offensive just short of Kharkov and let loose Group von
Kleist’s with a strength of 15 Divisions (1st Panzer Army
and 17th Army), of which two are Panzer and one Motorised. The
Germans aim for Izyum to the South of Kharkov in order to pinch
off the Russian salient. The Germans attack with their usual
skill, technology, and ferocity and drive through the Russian
defenses. The Germans have a 4.4-1 edge in tanks, 1.7-1 edge
in artillery, and 1.3-1 edge in infantry on the battlefield.
Russian co-ordination is poor and the Germans quickly gain local
air superiority. Russian officers lack adequate combat experience
to handle the fast pace of the German blitzkrieg, and their
divisions literally come apart.
||A busy day for Soviet partisans, who
blast railway tracks between Bryansk and Roslavl at five points.
Hungarian security troops move in to fight the partisans and
do so by killing everyone in the local villages. An irritated
Josef Goebbels diaries "In consequence, we can hardly get
any agricultural work done in such regions. The German 6th Army
launches an offensive to the North of the Russian salient in
order to link hands with Kleist’s Panzer’s who have
ripped a 50 mile gap through the Red Army’s flank. With
the Germans cutting off the Russian Barvenkovo offensive from
their rear, the Russian cancel their offensive, do a fast U-turn
and try to fight their way out of the pocket and back to safety.
Unfortunately, the attack is badly organised and uncoordinated.
||The Crimea is finally cleared of the
Red Army. 170,000 Russians taken prisoner. Manstein's gaze now
turns fully towards Sevastopol.
||The 6th Army and Kleist's Panzer’s
meets thereby pinching of the Russian salient Southeast of Kharkov.
||The Germans decide they've had quite
enough of the partisan harassment in Russia and launch operation
'Hanover', to clear the Bryansk-Vyazma railway. For six days,
45,000 German troops, including panzer and SS-police units,
search for an estimated 20,000 partisans, catching or killing
many of them. In the Barvenkovo salient, General Ewald von Kleist's
Panzer's start to chop up the Russian 6th and 9th Armies. Moscow
admits the loss of 5,000 dead, 70,000 missing, and 300 tanks
destroyed, but the Germans claim 24,000 POW's and 1,200 tanks.
||The Soviet Union and Great Britain
sign a 20-year treaty of alliance, to avert all chance of a
confrontation between Communism and the western democracies.
Both nations agree not to negotiate or conclude any armistice
with Germany or her allies "except by mutual consent."
||The siege of Sevastopol rages on, becoming
the only incident of a formal siege of a modern fortress being
pushed through to final reduction. Sevastopol is the premier
port on the Black Sea, and its defenses include three zones
of trenches, pillboxes, and batteries. The strongest defenses
lie in the middle zone, which includes the heights and the south
bank of the Belbek River. Among these hills are "Fort Stalin"
on the East and the massive western anchor of "Fort Maxim
Gorki I," with its turret of twin 305 mm (12-inch) guns
sweeping the length of the Belbek valley. 105,000 men defend
this port. Against this the Germans and Romanians range 203,000
men and some of the most powerful siege artillery ever disposed
by any army in World War II. Field Marshal Erich von Manstein
aims 305 mm, 350 mm, and 420 mm howitzers at the Russians, along
with two of the new, stubby "Karl" and "Thor"
600 mm mortars. Also on hand is the 800 mm (31.5-inch) "Big
Dora" from Krupp, which has to be transported to position
by 60 railway wagons. "Big Dora" is commanded by a
major general and a colonel, protected by two flak regiments
and periodically fed with a 10,500 lb. shell. Czech patriots
shoot Reinhard Heydrich in the suburbs of Prague. His condition
is described as critical.
||The Russian pocket Southeast of Kharkov
continues to be broken in. 200 Poles are taken from Warsaw to
the village of Magdalenka and shot. Among them are three women
brought on stretchers from Pawiak prison hospital.
||'Fridericus I' is completed as the
Russian pocket to the Southeast of Kharkov is finally wiped
out and 214,000 Russians captured, along with 1,200 tanks and
2,000 guns destroyed. German casualties in the fighting around
Kharkov amount to some 20,000.
||Hitler arrives at Poltava,
the HQ of Army Group South to approve Field Marshal von Bocks
plan for the main offensive. A high level plan had been prepared
to make the Russians believe that Moscow was still the objective,
Goebbels organised leaks to this effect to the foreign press
while Army Group Centre made overt preparations for an offensive
under the cover-name of 'Kremlin'. The siege of Sevastopol by
the 11th Army continues with a round-the-clock bombardment by
heavy artillery and Luftwaffe bombers.
||The Germans begin a five
day bombardment, using all the artillery at their disposal,
including super heavy siege artillery, against Sevastopol in
order to soften up the defences ready for the main assault.
||Reinhard Heydrich dies of his wounds.
||Operation 'Birdsong' kicks off between
Roslavl and Bryansk, as 5,000 German troops pursue 2,500 partisans.
In four weeks, 1,198 partisans are killed, for the loss of 58
German dead. Even so, the Germans are not happy as "The
partisans," a German officer reports, "continued their
old tactic of evading, withdrawing into the forests, or moving
in larger groups into the areas South and Southwest of the Roslavl-Bryansk
highway and into the Kletnya area." Although no further
partisan attacks are reported in the area, "mines continued
to be planted" and several German vehicles damaged.
||General Erich von Manstein hurls his
troops in the grand assault on the besieged port of Sevastopol
in a two-pronged assault. The Soviets resist fanatically in
excellent fortifications. The Germans gain ground but take heavy
casualties, and have to bring in reinforcements to take the
city. However, the continuous German attacks wear down the defenders
ammunition supplies, which must be brought in by sea through
a tight German blockade maintained by the Luftwaffe, E-boats,
and Italian midget submarines.
||Fifteen Poles, including 12 women are
publicly hanged in Posen. The bodies left hanging for 48 hours
as a warning.
||Heydrich lies in state in Berlin. Himmler
calls him, ‘a noble, honest and decent human being’.
|| Another German offensive in the East
begins as two German armies of 33 division, five of them Panzer,
attack from Kharkov on the Volchansk Front, a massive assault
that will roll on until the 26th, scattering the Russian forces
ahead of them. Prague radio announces the extermination of Lidice,
a village of about 2,000. All the men were shot and women sent
to concentration camps. All buildings are razed to the ground
as a reprisal for Heydrich killing.
||German troops of the 16th Regiment
of the 22nd Airlanding Division take Fort Stalin in Sevastopol.
|| German troops seize Fort Maxim Gorky
in Sevastopol, digging out Russian naval infantry (in their
black Sailor hats) with flame-throwers. Germans announce the
killing of Heydrich’s assassins, just two hours after
ultimatum demanding information expired.
||Plans for the offensive in to the Caucasus
are captured by the Russians when a staff officer from the 23rd
Panzer Division is shot down. Against all order, he was carrying
the plans on his person. 40th Panzer Corps commander, General
Stumme and his chief of staff are immediately sacked and imprisoned
on Hitlers express orders. No changes were made to the plan
as although the Russians considered them authentic, they believed
that it was only a subsidiary thrust and that the main objective
was still Moscow, which suited the Germans.
||Fort Lenin in Sevastopol falls to the
||German infantry and combat engineers
of 11th Army are gaining ground slowly in their assault on Sevastopol,
but the ferocious Russian defense at Sevastopol forces Adolf
Hitler to do something he doesn't like to do, namely delay the
German Summer offensive.
||The Russians withdraw to the South
side of Sevastopol's bay, preserving their front, as the bombardment
and German attacks increase.
||German troops drive a wedge into Sevastopol's
defenses. The Russians are running out of men, space and time.
Surviving fighter aircraft are sent to the Caucasus, conceding
the skies to the Luftwaffe. Soon the Russian AA guns are out
of ammunition and the defenders face Stukas with rifles and
machine guns. Artillery shells are running low too.
||German troops capture Kupyansk over
the river Oskel, for use as a launch pad for their summer offensive.
At Rastenberg, Adolf Hitler decorates SS General Eicke, Commanding
Officer of the SS Totenkopf Division, with the Oak Leaves for
the Knight's Cross, for his Divisions bravery in holding out
in the Demyansk pocket the previous winter. Eleven of Eicke's
officers and men also receive the Knight's Cross. After the
ceremony, Hitler and Eicke chat and Eicke tells the Fuhrer that
his Division is pretty well worn out, short of vehicles and
wishes it to be transferred to France. Instead, Hitler gives
Eicke home leave.
||Low clouds cover the skies over the
Ukraine, providing a suitably ominous overture to Operation
'Blau', the German summer offensive. Field Marshal Fedor von
Bock ("The Preacher of Death") hurls three armies
and 11 Panzer divisions East in a massive assault whose objective
is nothing short of the Caucasus mountains and oilfields. In
classic blitzkrieg style, the Germans fan out across open steppe
and grassland, crushing the 40th Army, folding the 13th Army
northward and disintegrating the reeling 21st and 28th Armies.
Russian troop command crumbles under the drive. Russian logistics,
exhausted by the Moscow counteroffensive, cannot keep up with
the demand. A German sergeant tells Propaganda Kompanie men
"It's quite different from last year, it's more like Poland.
The Russians aren't nearly so thick on the ground. They fire
their guns like madmen, but they don't hurt us!". That
evening, in Sevastopol, German troops cross North Bay under
a smoke screen and seize the southern shore, capturing Inkerman
in the process.
||The drive on the Caucasus roars on
as German columns kick up dust clouds that can be seen 40 miles
away and leave behind burning villages and town. "It is
the formation of the Roman Legions, now brought up to date in
the 20th century to tame the Mongol-Slav horde," exults
German propaganda. In Sevastopol, German troops attack from
their bridgehead, while more forces blast in across the Fedyukhin
Heights, forcing the Russians back.
||As the Panzer's roll eastward in Russia,
they haul in hordes of Russian POW's. With five German armies
(two panzer), two Romanian, one Italian (including a number
of mountain divisions) and one Hungarian Army in the van, all
tolled 89 divisions on the offensive. While the Panzer's are
fully motorised, the bulk of the remaining forces depend on
horses for transport and supply. As the advance lengthens, so
do the supply lines, and shortages soon begin to appear at the
sharp end. The Russian garrison at Sevastopol begins to evacuate
itself by night. Field Marshal Wilhelm Keitel, chief of the
Oberkommando der Wehrmacht, telegraphs his troops, "In
line with the prestige and dignity of the German Army, every
German soldier must maintain distance and such an attitude with
regard to Russian POW's as takes account of the bitterness and
inhuman brutality of the Russians in battle." Prestige
and dignity will be maintained, Keitel continues, as follows
"Fleeing prisoners of war are to be shot without preliminary
warning to stop. All resistance of POW's, even passive, must
be entirely eliminated immediately by the use of arms."
Russian POW's are placed into camps where the dead lie undisturbed
for weeks on end. German guards periodically enter the camps
to get rid of bodies with flame-throwers.
||A number of Red Army formations
are encircled as Hoth's 4th Panzer Army and von Weich's 2nd
Army link up near Starry Oskol. However, most those trapped
manage to filter through German lines and escape across the
||Sevastopol, the Crimean capital, finally
falls to Germans, along with 97,000 Soviet prisoners. The German
and Romanian forces lost 24,000 men.
||The Germans claim to have pushed the
Russians back across the Don along a broad front.
||Advanced units of 4th Panzer Army reach
the Don north and south of Voronezh, which causes the Russians
to begin its evacuation.
||4th Panzer Army enters Voronezh, 150
miles to the east of Kursk. Army Group A begins its offensive
in to the Donets Basin. The STAVKA (Red Army High Command)
creates the Voronezh Front under General Rokossovsky and is
the widening gap between the Bryansk and South-West Fronts.
||The 4th Panzer Army at Voronezh begins
an offensive southeast along the west bank of the Don, with
the aim of meeting up with 6th Army which is advancing East
toward the Don from Kharkov. The objective is to establish bridgeheads
across the river in the Kalach area and then continue on to
Stalingrad. However, heavy rain and lack of fuel slowed the
advance, allowing the Russians time to withdraw their armies
intact. Army Group A's, 1st Panzer Army crosses the Donet's
||Germans admit substantial Russian forces
are east of the Don. Panzer units of 4th Panzer Army and 6th
Army of Army Group B join up just North of Kalach on the Don,
while 17th Army and 1st Panzer Army of Army Group A continue
their advance toward Rostov.
||Troops of Army Group North complete
the reduction of the Volkhov pocket, taking 30,000 Soviet prisoners,
including General Vlasov, CO of the Second Guards Army and later
to become C-in-C of the anti-Bolshevik Russian Liberation Army.
The STAVKA establishes the Stalingrad Front under Marshal Timoshenko,
from the remnants of the South-West front.
||Hitler switches forces from Army Group
B's drive against Stalingrad, to Army Group A in the Donets
Basin, as he was convinced that strong Russian forces were still
west of the river Don and was determined to trap them in the
Rostov area. This move reduced Army Group B to that of flank
protection for Army Group A.
||The advance by Army Group A towards
Rostov continues against minimal Soviet resistance.
||The Germans take Boguchar and Millerovo,
less than 200 miles from Stalingrad. However, they have only
captured 80,000 Russian's since the 28th June.
||Hitler changes his mind and orders
Army Group B to resume its offensive towards Stalingrad. However,
as almost all the German Army had be transferred to Army Group
A, the advance was left to Paulus's 6th Army which had been
reinforced by a panzer and an infantry Corps. The remaining
panzers with Army Group A were ordered to thrust south over
the lower Don on a broad front.
||The Russians recapture the bridgehead
at Voronezh on the Don.
||Hitler, dissatisfied by what he viewed
as von Bocks tardiness since the beginning of the summer offensive,
dismisses him from command of Army Group B, dissolves his command
HQ and gives command of Army Group B to von Weichs. Hitler also
issues Directive No.45 for Operation 'Brunswick', the capture
of the Caucasus. Army Group A, once having destroyed the enemy
in the Rostov area, was to secure the entire eastern coastline
of the Black Sea, simultaneously capturing Maikop and Grozny
and the advance to Baku. Army Group B would continue east to
seize Stalingrad and the advance down the Volga to Astrakhan.
This meant that the two would advance on diverging axes and
a large gap would develop between them. This was aggravated
by the return of Hoth's 4th Panzer Army to Army Group B. Marshal
Timoshenko is removed from command of the Stalingrad Front and
replaced by General Gordov.
||Rostov-on-Don is captured by the 1st
Panzer Army, thus clearing the way for the advance of Army Group
A toward the Caucasus and Kuban region. Large numbers of Russian
troops are liquidated in and around Rostov after German troops
have secured the city.
||Army Group A brakes out of its bridgeheads
on the lower Don, along with the 4th Panzer Army which holds
the eastern most of these. Army Group A drives south, whilst
4th Panzer Army attacks east and then north-east to link up
with the rest of Army Group B as its advances towards Stalingrad.
The South Front under General Malinovsky is being quickly shattered
and the remnants are absorbed in to the North Caucasus Front,
which is commanded by Marshal Budenny. Despite the lack of supplies
are intense heat, the Germans make rapid progress. Further north,
the 6th Army attempts to bounce its way across the river Don,
but is initially repulsed and so waits for the 4th Panzer Army
||German troops take Bataysk, and 6th
Army launches an attack to destroy the soviet bridgehead west
||The effect of the fall of Rostov spreads
panic and terror in the Soviet Union, prompting harsh counter-measures
by the Soviet High Command.
||German troops take Proletarskaya
and establish a bridgehead over the Manych River in the Caucasus
||The Red Army launches a
counter-offensive at Rzhev, which leads to the temporary encirclement
of six German divisions, although these are successfully supplied
by massive air drops from the Luftwaffe. Army Group A consolidates
its bridgehead over the Manych River, while Army Group B struggles
to reduce the Soviet bridgehead at Kalach in the Don Estuary
west of Stalingrad.
||The German advance into
the Northern Caucasus continues.
||Army Group A continues
to fan out into the Caucasus region, while advance units reach
the Kuban River. Army Group B continues its fight to cut off
the Soviet defenders near Kalach in the Don bend near Stalingrad.
||Advance units of 4th Panzer Army cross
the Aksay river in their drive toward Stalingrad.
||1st Panzer Army captures Voroshilovsk,
over 200 miles to the south east of Rostov. The 4th Panzer Army
moving northeast runs straight into the Soviet 64th and 57th
Armies. Stalin creates the new Southwest Front out of a part
of the forces assigned to Stalingrad Front.
||German 1st Panzer Army crosses the
Kuban river at Armavir.
||Units of the 6th Army cross the Don
river at Kalach during their advance toward Stalingrad.
||The 1st Panzer Army captures the Maikop
oilfields, which were left burning furiously by the Red Army,
so little refined fuel was found. German 17th Army which was
advancing behind the 1st Panzer Army reaches Krasnodar, on the
||With the support of von Richthofen's
4th Air Fleet, which had been transferred from Army Group A,
the 6th Army crosses the Don and reaches the outskirts of Stalingrad.
||In their advance south toward the Grozny
oilfields, units of Army Group A capture Elista near the Caspian
Sea. Churchill arrives in Moscow for talks with Sralin. During
4 days of often acrimonious talks, Stalin was eventually forced
to accept that there would be no 'second front' during 1942.
||German forces cross the upper Kuban
river at Krasnodar in the Caucasus.
||The first foreign newspaper since the
Revolution appears in Russia. Units of Army Group A reach the
foothills of the Caucasus.
||General Paulus's 6th Army begins an
attack to take Stalingrad itself, although he had still not
been joined by Hoth's 4th Panzer Army.
||The Russians counter-attack to the
north of Stalingrad, but elsewhere German troops reach the Volga.
The German 48th Panzer Corps, attacks northeast from Abganerovo,
but can not break clear of the Russian defences in the hills
of Tundutovo. On their northern flank, 4th Corps is also facing
resolute Russian resistance.
||The advance of 17th Army toward the
Black Sea port of Suchumi west of the Caucasus bogs down.
|| Hitlers orders that Leningrad should
finally be captured after a siege which has last a year. The
Luftwaffe begins a 48 hours long air raid on Stalingrad, that
involves over 4,000 sorties into the city. The city erupts into
a sea of flames along its 40 km length as oil storage tanks
pour their flaming contents into the Volga. Thousands of civilians
perish in the flames. The 6th Army punches a hole in Soviet
62nd Army's defense's as the 14th Panzer Corps crosses the Don
River at Vertyachiy and reaches the Volga at Rynok, north of
Stalingrad. An 8 km wide gap is torn between Vertyachiy and
Peskovatka that allows the 6th Army to reach Volga. Hoths 4th
Panzer Army is held up by stiff Red Army resistance south of
Stalingrad at Tinguta. The Germans make further progress on
the Kuban peninsula on the Black Sea. A platoon of 1st Gebirgsjäger
Division hoists the Swastika flag on the top of Mt. Elbrus,
the highest peak in the Caucasus. This marks the 'high water'
mark in the German attempts to secure the Black Sea coastline.
Matters for Army Group A were not helped by the increased priority
given to Army Group B in its fight for Stalingrad.
||The Russians launch a new offensive
in Leningrad area. Stalin orders that the city of Stalingrad
is to be held at all costs and sends Marshal Zhukov to supervise
||The 4th Panzer Army breaks off attacks
south of Stalingrad. Communist Party Committee of Stalingrad
proclaims a state of siege.
||The Russians announce that their offensive
along the Moscow front has pushed the Germans back 15-20 miles
in a fortnight. German successes continue in Caucasus.
||The Red Army launches counterattacks
from the Leningrad pocket against Schluesselburg and the Volkhov
front. The Red Army's offensive on the Moscow front continues.
Zhukov is appointed Stalin’s First Deputy Commissar for
||Germans break through South west of
Stalingrad but are held to the north.
||With the Punishment Battalions
as rear guards, the Soviet 62nd and parts of 64th Army escapes
encirclement by the 48th Panzer Corps and withdraw across the
||The Germans claim to have
reached the Black Sea in the Caucasus, while units of the 1st
Panzer Army form a bridgehead across the Terek river at Mozdok.
||The defenders of Leningrad launch an
attack in a vain attempt to meet the relief forces. The pincers
of the 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army finally meet up to the west
of Stalingrad at Pitomnik. The Germans now attempted to break
into Stalingrad from the west, but were unable to do so because
of limited Red Army counter-attacks against his flanks, which
diverted a significant proportion of his forces. Luftflotte
4 continues its round-the-clock air attacks against Stalingrad.
||The 4th Gebirgsjäger division
of the 17th Army captures the Black Sea naval base of Novorossiysk,
while six Axis divisions cross the Straits of Kerch to Taman.
Heavy house-to-house fighting continues in the centre of Stalingrad.
||The 6th Army begins a four-mile advance
through Stalingrad to the Volga.
||Hitler sacks Field Marshal List and
takes personal command of Army Group A in the Caucasus, which
having been foiled by the Red Army in the western Caucasus,
was now meeting increased resistance in its drive towards Astrakhan
||The Red Army forces attacking from
besieged Leningrad fail to break the German lines.
||6th Army begins its final effort to
||Counter-attacks by the Soviet 62nd
Army in Stalingrad fails as the 6th Army renews its attack against
Stalingrad. The Soviet 62nd Army is hemmed into a narrow strip
of land no more than 10 miles at its widest and 4 miles as its
narrowest. However, a shortage of troops meant that the 6th
Army could only attack on very narrow frontages. Couple this
to the fact that the 6th Army was fighting in built-up areas,
meant that progress was slow and losses high. Even so, the 51st
Corps advanced toward the inner city and the Central Station.
||Fierce fighting between German and
Soviet forces erupts for possession of Mamayev Kurgan, the strategic
hill overlooking Stalingrad.
||Stalingrad railway station changes
hands several times.
||Bitter street fighting in the north
west suburbs of Stalingrad.
||The Russians launch an offensive on
the Voronezh front, 250 miles North west of Stalingrad.
||Paulus declares that the 6th Army need
substantial reinforcements if it is to continues its assault
in Stalingrad. Paulus and von Weichs were also very concerned
about their flank defence which consisted of Italian, Hungarian
and Romanian troops. However, Hitler was determined to capture
Stalingrad before reorganising the flanks.
||The 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army split
the Soviet 62nd Army in two and capture nearly the entire southern
part of the city, including the huge grain elevator which was
successfully defended by 40 Soviet marines for over a week.
||Soviet counterattacks to dislodge German
advance units near the Volga landing stage are unsuccessful.
||Units of Army Group A launch an attack
against the Black Sea port of Tuapse. The German Chief of Staff,
General Halder is sacked by Hitler and is replaced by General
||The ‘Final’ German offensive
begins at Stalingrad.
||The 6th Army succeed in capturing most
of the strategic Mamayev Kurgan hill and penetrates the heavily
defended Red October and Barricades housing estates.
||German pressure in Stalingrad
is again stepped up the 6th Army struggles desperately to clear
||The Russians cross the Volga to the
North west of Moscow and recapture 25 villages.
||The 6th Army continues
to push the decimated Soviet 62nd Army back toward the Volga,
but with heavy losses to both sides.
||The fourth German offensive begins
in Stalingrad as the 14th Panzer Corps launches an attack in
force to capture the Tractor Factory in the northern part of
||The 3rd Panzer Corps captures Malgobek
at the bend of the Terek river in the Caucasus.
||The Red Army ends its system of dual
leadership by abolishing the position of the Communist political
commissar in favor of a single military commander in its various
||The Russians regain some ground in
Stalingrad, but at heavy cost.
||In the northern part of Stalingrad,
units of the 6th Army advance in bitter fighting and surround
the heavily defended Tractor Factory, following a series of
devastating attacks (over 3,000 sorties) by bombers of Luftflotte
||The advance by Army Group A toward
the Black Sea port of Tuapse is halted due to difficult terrain
and stubborn Soviet resistance.
||Against fierce Soviet resistance, the
6th Army capture most of the Red October and Barricades factories
in the northern part of the city.
||Germans capture two more streets in
Stalingrad with severe losses. The last German offensive in
the Caucasus begins.
||The Soviet 37th Army is defeated in
||The Germans capture Nalchik in the
Caucasus, only 50 miles from the Grozny oil fields.
||In their advance toward
Ordshonikidse in the Caucasus, units of 3rd Panzer Corps capture
Alagir on the upper Terek river.
||Bitter street fighting continues in
Stalingrad with neither side making much progress. Due to increasing
supply problems and the onset of winter, Army Group A's advance
in to the Caucasus ends with the 13th Panzer Division of 3rd
Panzer Corps being stopped 5 miles short of Ordshonikidze, the
southeastern-most point in Russia to be reached by the Wehrmacht.
||In an interview with American journalists,
Stalin describes US military aid as of little effect.
||Halted before Ordshonikidse in the
Caucasus, the 13th Panzer Division is fighting to prevent itself
being cut off by superior Soviet forces attacking its flanks
and rear. In a speech to the Congress of Soviet Deputies, Stalin
warns the United States and Britain that 'the absence of a second
front against Fascist Germany may end badly for all freedom
loving countries, including the Allies themselves'. He declares
that 'the aim of the coalition is to save mankind from reversion
to savagery and mediaeval brutality'.
||6th Army launches its last major attack
to capture Stalingrad and succeeds in reaching the Volga near
the Red October factory on a frontage of 600 yards. The 13th
Panzer-Division of 3rd Panzer Corps begins to disengage its
units halted before Ordshonikidse to avoid being cut off by
the heavy Soviet attacks against its communications.
||The Red Army opens its winter offensive
with a pincer movement round Stalingrad with the aim of encircling
and destroying the German forces fighting in Stalingrad. The
initial attacks by the Soviet 5th Tank Army from the north and
the 51st Army from the south are directed against the exposed
rear flanks of 6th Army and 4th Panzer Army held by the Romanian
3rd and 4th Army's which are overrun and scattered. Russian
gains in Caucasus are also announced.
||Northeast and southwest of Stalingrad,
the attacking Soviet armies are making rapid progress in the
direction of Kalach on the Don, the chosen meeting point of
the two pincers. The 6th and 4th Panzer Army's hurriedly dispatch
mobile units to bolster the unprepared and crumbling Romanian
defenses west and south of the Don. Hitler relinquishes his
command of Army Group A to Kleist.
||The situation for the 6th Army is deteriorating
fast, not least owing to the fact that Army HQ is being relocated
which leads to serious disruptions in communications with the
troops in and outside the city.
||The Soviet 4th Mechanised Corps from
the south and the 4th Tank Corps from the north, join hands
at Kalach on the Don, thus establishing the complete encirclement
of the 300,000 men of 6th and 4th Panzer Army's. The Russians
report gains of up to 50 mites south of Stalingrad.
||The Russians claim 24,000 prisoners
have been taken since the start of their counter offensive.
||The Russians throw Germans rearguards
back across the Don.
||Army Group Don under Manstein is formed
to relieve Stalingrad.
||Several German divisions
ordered to be transferred from Western Europe begin arriving
in the area of Army Group Don southwest of Stalingrad in preparation
of 'Operation Winter Tempest', the relief of the encircled 6th
||Manstein launches his counter
attack with a hastily assembled force of 13 divisions, including
three Panzer divisions with about 230 tanks to try and relieve
Sixth Army at Stalingrad.
||A three day tank battle begins South
||The Red Army begins another offensive
in the direction of Rostov-on-Don to cut off the German forces
in the Caucasus. The Italian 8th Army's precarious position
on the Don threatens Stalingrad relief attempt.
||Manstein’s tanks are only 30
miles South of Stalingrad.
||Hitler refuses to let Paulus break
||Having advanced as far as the Myshkova
river 30 miles southwest of Stalingrad, the three Panzer divisions
of the relief force have exhausted their power and begin to
withdraw towards their starting line at Kotelnikovo.
||Following the suspension of 'Operation
Winter Tempest', the relief of Stalingrad, the Red Army begins
an offensive against Army Group Don toward Kotelnikovo, breaking
through the lines of 4th Romanian Army.
||Heavy fighting continues all around
the perimeter of Stalingrad, while the decimated and starving
troops of 6th Army receive their last rations of horse meat,
the 12,000 horses in the pocket having now all been slaughtered.
||The Russians continue their advance
on the southern front and claim 56,000 prisoners taken in middle
||Hitler agrees to allow the retreat
by Army Groups A and Don to a line 150 miles west of Stalingrad.
||In the face of the continuing Soviet
offensive toward Rostov-on-Don, Army Group A is ordered to withdraw
its forces from the Caucasus.