|The 1st Panzer Army in
the Caucasus begin withdrawing from the Terek front to avoid
being cut off by Soviet forces attacking from the northeast
|Army Group A begins a general withdrawal
from the Caucasus.
|General Rokossovsky, C-in-C of Don
Front, issues a surrender ultimatum to the 6th Army, guaranteeing
"their lives and safety and after the end of the war their
return to Germany". He also promises that "...medical
aid will be given to all wounded, sick and frost-bitten...".
Paulus rejects this demand for surrender.
|After a 55-minute bombardment by thousands
of guns and rocket-launchers and employing seven armies, the
Red Army begins Operation Ring, the final annihilation of the
tattered remnants of 6th Army defending themselves desperately
against all odds in the ruins of Stalingrad.
|The Red Army begins an offensive to
restore the land communications with the encircled city of Leningrad.
The Germans abandon a 300 miles salient in Caucasus. and withdraw
towards the Kuban Bridgehead. The Red Army gains several more
streets in the bloody battle for Stalingrad.
|The Red Army captures Velikiye Luki
in the Valday Hills.
|The Russians break through the German
stranglehold on Leningrad to relieve the city from the East.
In the Caucasus, the Russian advance continues. Cherkessk is
captured by the Red Army, who are now less than 250 miles south
east of Rostov.
|Russians claim further victories during
a 75-mile advance towards Kharkov on the Voronezh front, with
the Russians claiming 52,000 axis prisoners on this front alone.
|Russian progress continues in the Caucasus.
|The Russians claim the capture of the
Caucasian railway town of Voroshilovskiy and say that 500,000
Germans have been killed and 200,000 captured in the last two
months of fighting.
|The last German airfield in the Stalingrad
|Russians take Starobelskiy, near the
Donets River in the eastern Ukraine, more than 250 miles to
the West of Stalingrad. Hitler orders no surrender in Stalingrad.
The offensive by the Soviet Trans-Caucasian Front toward the
Kuban bridgehead is stopped at Novorossiysk and Krasnodar.
|The Red Army succeeds in splitting
the remnants of 6th Army into a northern and a southern pocket.
German forces evacuate Armavir and Voronezh. Stalin’s
Order of the day says that the Red Army has routed 102 German
divisions in the last two months.
|The Stalingrad pocket is split in two.
Voronezh is captured.
|The exhausted troops of 6th Army's
southern pocket, having expended their last ammunition, surrender
to the Red Army. The Russians capture Field Marshal Paulus and
|German troops evacuate Demyansk.
|The remnants of 6th Army under General
Strecker in the northern pocket cease fighting and surrender
to the Red Army. In all, over 96,000 survivors of the once 300,000-strong
Army are captured, of which, only about 5,000 will live to return
to Germany after the war. At Moscow, the victory over the Germans
is celebrated with a salute of several hundred guns.
|Red Army troops achieve a landing near
the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.
|Russians cut off Army Group A by reaching
Yeysk on the Sea of Rostov.
|The Russians take Kursk and continue
|The Red Army captures Belgorod.
|Rostov is captured by Russians. German
troops evacuate Krasnodar and reach the defensive positions
in the Kuban bridgehead.
|The Russians take Kharkov and Voroshilovo
after nine days of heavy street fighting.
|The 25th Anniversary of the creation
of the Red Army is celebrated in all allied countries.
|Army Group Centre begins
a counterattack in the area between the Dnieper and Donets.
|The Russians announce that
new offensive to the South of Leningrad and led by Timoshenko,
'has made considerable gains'. German troops begin the evacuation
of the Rzhev area.
|Russians take Rzhev, over 100 miles
to the west of Moscow.
|German troops evacuate Vyazma.
|The Germans armoured forces recapture
|German troops recapture Belgorod.
|German radio announces
that 4,150 Polish officers that were deported by the Russian
authorities in 1940 have been found in mass graves near Smolensk.
|Stalin's son Jacob dies at a POW camp.
The Russian 14th Army repulses a German attack to the Southeast
|Germans find buried Polish officers
at Katyn Wood.
|The German 17th Army begins its attacks
to eliminate the Russian beachhead at Novorossiysk, but fails
and gives up on the 23rd April.
|A series of minor attacks by the Red
Army near Novorossiysk, drives the Germans back slowly.
|The Russians report the
‘smashing’ of a German counter attack in the Kuban,
to the South of Rostov.
|Hitler decides to postpone Operation
'Citadel' in order that more Tiger and Panther tanks can be
deployed in the offensive. This is against the advice of a number
of leading Generals who fear that the Russian defenses will
become too strong if the offensive is delayed any further.
|Stalin announces the dissolution of
the Komintern, the Communist International working for world
|The Red Army begins an offensive against
the German forces isolated in the Kuban bridgehead between the
Sea of Azov and the Black Sea.
|The Red Air Force attacks
German rear communications and airfields at Smolensk, Orel and
|The Red Air Force bombs
Kiev and Roslavl, while the Luftwaffe bombs Kursk.
|Luftwaffe bombers attack the massive
Russian tank factory's at Gorki.
|A German report shows that 100,000
cases of typhus were reported on the Russian front during 1942,
with a fatality rate of 15%.
|Hitler addresses the generals
taking part in the imminent operation 'Citadel' at Kursk.
|The opening of operation 'Citadel',
the massive German offensive to encircle and destroy the Soviet
forces in the Orel-Belgorod salient near Kursk. is delayed by
one day because of heavy Soviet air attacks against the German
|The Germans launch operation 'Citadel',
their last major offensive on Russian Front on a 200-mile front,
with the 9th Army attacking from the North and 4th Panzer Army
attacking from the South. The Germans have deployed 37 divisions
totaling 900,000 men, which include 11 Panzer divisions with
2,500 tanks and assault guns, 10,000 guns and Nebelwerfers,
as well as 1,800 aircraft. Against this, the Red Army has 1,300,000
troops in deeply echeloned defensive positions, protected by
8,000 land mines per square mile, 3,300 tanks, 20,000 guns and
2,500 aircraft. Taken together, the opposing forces in this
operation constitute the largest concentration of military power
ever assembled in history. In the northern sector, the Germans
advance 6 miles, while in the southern sector they manage 25
miles against stubborn Soviet resistance which inflicts heavy
|The battle of Kursk continues with
unabated ferocity, with the northern pincer of 9th Army is struggling
to make any significant progress, the southern pincer of 4th
Panzer Army advances some 12 miles.
|The German forces engaged at Kursk
are still unable to achieve a major breakthrough in the face
of stiffening Soviet resistance, which is reinforced by the
arrival of strong tank and infantry reserves. Lt. Hartmann of
II/JG 52, downs 7 Soviet aircraft near Kursk, bringing his total
since the start of the offensive to 22.
|As the battle of Kursk reaches its
climax, the exhausted German forces are unable to make any further
gains while losing vast numbers of men, tanks and planes. Soviet
claims for the day are 304 tanks and 161 aircraft, while the
Germans claim 400 tanks and 193 aircraft.
|The Russians say that the German attack
has been held and claim that 2,000 tanks have been destroyed
in four days.
|The attacking German forces at Kursk
have been depleted by heavy losses in men and armour and have
nearly spent their momentum, even though the 4th Panzer Army
and Army Detachment Kempf in the southern sector have succeeded
in capturing the pivotal town of Prokhorovka. To prevent further
attrition, especially of the vital armoured forces, Field Marshals
von Kluge and von Manstein urge Hitler to call off the operation,
but Hitler refuses.
|The greatest tank battle in history’
takes place near Prokhorovka, as the Soviet Central, Bryansk
and West Fronts begin a massive counter- offensive in the area
of Orel, Bryansk and Kursk. At Krasnograd near Moscow, a group
of captured German officers, including Field Marshal Paulus
and General von Seydlitz, and exiled German communists form
the 'National Committee for a Free Germany' that calls for the
overthrow of Hitler and the cessation of hostilities against
the Soviet Union.
|Despite the maximum efforts by the
German forces to break through the Soviet defenses at Kursk,
no further gains can be made, so Hitler orders the suspension
of Operation ‘Citadel' and orders the transfer of various
divisions to the West. The outcome of this battle represents
a tremendous victory for the Red Army and ends hopes of any
major German offensive operations on the Eastern front in the
|Joining in the counter-offensive by
the Central, Bryansk and Western Fronts, the Soviet Voronezh
Front launches attacks against the 4th Panzer Army and Army
Detachment Kempf in the southern sector of the Kursk salient.
|Soviet forces continue their advance
into the Orel salient.
|A number of Waffen SS divisions are
ordered to be transferred from Russia to Italy, but only the
1st SS Panzer Division is actually redeployed.
|Army Group A launches counter attacks
to improve its positions along the Mius River.
|Army Group A losses the initiative
in its attack to secure its positions along the Mius River.
|Hitler orders the immediate
evacuation of the Orel salient. Lydia Litvak, the top scoring
Russian female fighter pilot of the war (12 kills), is shot
down and killed.
|Hitler orders that German armies are
to hold fast in Russia, but Manstein ignores him and uses a
‘flexible defense’ in the Kharkov sector. The Russian
gains around Orel continue, but German forces repel massive
Soviet attacks at Izyum and the Mius river line.
|The Red Army launches an offensive
from Belgorod area toward Poltava after the failure of Operation
Citadel. The Soviet Voronezh and Steppe Fronts penetrate into
Army Group South's left flank forcing the Germans are to retreat.
|The Red Army retakes Orel, as German
9th Army withdraws towards Bryansk, to avoid encirclement.
|The Russians take Belgorod and now
|Hitler orders the construction of a
fortified defensive line (Panther Line) along the Dnieper river.
|The Red Army launches an offensive
against the Mius line toward Stalino.
|Russian troops breach the German defense
line on the Mius river.
|The Germans evacuate Kharkov.
|The Soviet Steppe Front, occupies Kharkov,
while the 5th Guards Tank Army beats off the consequent German
|The Russians continue their advance
to the West of Kharkov.
|Taganrog on the Sea of Azov is evacuated
by the German.
|Hitler allows Manstein
to make limited withdrawals in Ukraine.
|A special order of the
day from Stalin announces the Russian victories on Voronezh,
Bryansk, Donets and Sea of Azov fronts.
|The Red Army succeeds in separating
Army Group Centre from Army Group South.
|The German 17th Army begins the evacuation
of the Kuban bridgehead across the Strait of Kerch to the Crimea.
Himmler and Goring order an evacuation of their rear area forces
from the eastern Ukraine.
|Soviet marines supported by naval units
of the Red Fleet recapture the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.
|German officers captured by the Red
Army since the start of the war, form an anti-Hitler association,
called the "Bund Deutscher Offiziere".
|The Germans begin to evacuate Bryansk,
some 200 miles Southwest of Moscow.
| The Black Sea port of Novorossiysk
is captured by the Russians after a week of amphibious and land
|Stalin announces the capture of Bryansk.
|Army Group South begins its withdrawal
to the Melitopol-Zaporozhe line.
|The Red Army forces a crossing of the
Dnieper at Dnepropetrovsk, thereby breaking into the German
|The Red Army captures Poltava.
|The Russians capture Smolensk and Roslavl,
over 200 miles to the West of Moscow.
|The Germans begin a General withdrawal
of all forces in the Ukraine to positions on the west bank of
the Dnieper river. Russians take the last German held port on
the Black Sea at Temyruk.
|The Russians make Dnieper River crossings
on a 300-mile front.
|Two Russian armies take
Nevel on the boundary between Army Groups North and Centre.
|The Russians now control the Kuban
peninsula on the Black Sea, after the successful evacuation
of all German and Romanian troops into the Crimea.
|With the war's tide turning, the Franco
government orders the Spanish 250th 'Blue' Division home. A
few thousand volunteers, however, refuse to abandon the struggle
against Communism and enlist in a so-called "Blue Legion"
that is attached to the German 121st Infantry Division.
|The Russians reach Melitopol in southern
|German forces evacuate the Zaporozhe
bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Dnieper river.
|Vatutin launches a 4-day breakout attempt
from the Bukrin bridgehead south of Kiev. Koniev launches an
offensive to cut off the 1st Panzer Army on Dnieper River.
|The Russian attacks from Bukrin bridgehead
are bloodily repulsed.
|Russians take Melitopol after 10-days
of fighting; Dnepropetrovsk falls to Malinovsky, while a tank
army reaches Krivoi Rog.
|The Red Army achieves a breakthrough
on the Dnieper river and captures Melitopol.
|Field Marshal Von Kluge is invalided
from command of Army Group Centre as result of a car crash.
|The Red Army achieves a
landing across the Strait of Kerch from the Taman peninsula
and also severs all German land links with the Crimea.
|A massive Russian offensive from Dnieper
bridgehead North of Kiev erupts.
|A Russian breakout to the North of
Kiev is achieved with their tank army's driving throughout the
|The Russians take Kiev and split the
4th Panzer Army into three.
|The Red Army achieves a breakthrough
near Gomel in Byelorussia.
|The Russians take Zhitomir in Ukraine.
The Kiev bridgehead is now 95 miles deep and 150 miles wide.
|The Russian 60th Army takes Korosten,
100 miles West of Kiev.
|A German counter offensive recaptures
|The Red Army achieves a breakthrough
near Kremenchug in the Ukraine and advances toward Kirovograd.
Hitler does not allow Army Group North to withdraw to Panther
line. Russian POW losses for war now total over five million.
|German forces of Army Group Centre
evacuate Gomel in Byelorussia.
|Russian forces isolate
the Germans in Crimea and control the northern half of the Dnieper
|Units of the German 11th Army begin
an offensive to eliminate the Soviet bridgehead at Kerch in
the eastern Crimea.
|A Czech-Soviet treaty of friendship
is signed in Moscow.
|A war criminals trial at Kharkov accuses
four Germans of murdering thousands of Russians in specially
equipped carbon-monoxide murder vans. Army Group Centre becomes
engaged in a series of heavy defensive battles in the area of
|German strength on Eastern Front is
now only 2,086,000, with 188,000 allied and satellite troops.
German casualties for 1943 were 900,000.
|The war crimes trial at Kharkov of
the four captured Germans opens with all plead the defendants
pleading guilty. One of the defendants says that more than 30,000
Russians were exterminated at Kiev.
|The Kharkov four are sentenced to death.
|50,000 people turn out to watch the
hanging of the four Germans in Kharkov city square.
|Russian forces smash the German bridgehead
over Dnieper River at Kherson.
|The Russians commence a third winter
offensive, with Vatutin’s 63 divisions in the Ukraine
and capture Berdichev.
|The Russians report 30-60 mile advances
from the Kiev salient along a 180-mile front.
|Russians retake Zhitomir,
80 miles East of Kiev.