Tanks of the Das Reich SS Panzer Division assemble ready to advance during the battle of Kursk.
Eastern Europe!
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01/01/1943 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 toward Rostov-on-Don.
03/01/1943 Army Group A begins a general withdrawal from the Caucasus.
08/01/1943 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.
10/01/1943 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.
12/01/1943 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.
15/01/1943 The Red Army captures Velikiye Luki in the Valday Hills.
18/01/1943 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.
19/01/1943 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.
20/01/1943 Russian progress continues in the Caucasus.
21/01/1943 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.
23/01/1943 The last German airfield in the Stalingrad pocket falls.
24/01/1943 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.
25/01/1943 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.
26/01/1943 The Stalingrad pocket is split in two. Voronezh is captured.
31/01/1943 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 16 generals.
 
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01/02/1943 German troops evacuate Demyansk.
02/02/1943 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.
04/02/1943 Red Army troops achieve a landing near the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.
06/02/1943 Russians cut off Army Group A by reaching Yeysk on the Sea of Rostov.
08/02/1943 The Russians take Kursk and continue their advance.
09/02/1943 The Red Army captures Belgorod.
12/02/1943 Rostov is captured by Russians. German troops evacuate Krasnodar and reach the defensive positions in the Kuban bridgehead.
16/02/1943 The Russians take Kharkov and Voroshilovo after nine days of heavy street fighting.
21/02/1943 The 25th Anniversary of the creation of the Red Army is celebrated in all allied countries.
22/02/1943 Army Group Centre begins a counterattack in the area between the Dnieper and Donets.
 
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01/03/1943 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.
03/03/1943 Russians take Rzhev, over 100 miles to the west of Moscow.
12/03/1943 German troops evacuate Vyazma.
14/03/1943 The Germans armoured forces recapture Kharkov.
22/03/1943 German troops recapture Belgorod.
 
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12/04/1943 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.
14/04/1943 Stalin's son Jacob dies at a POW camp. The Russian 14th Army repulses a German attack to the Southeast of Leningrad.
17/04/1943 Germans find buried Polish officers at Katyn Wood.
18/04/1943 The German 17th Army begins its attacks to eliminate the Russian beachhead at Novorossiysk, but fails and gives up on the 23rd April.
29/04/1943 A series of minor attacks by the Red Army near Novorossiysk, drives the Germans back slowly.
 
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03/05/1943 The Russians report the ‘smashing’ of a German counter attack in the Kuban, to the South of Rostov.
04/05/1943 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.
15/05/1943 Stalin announces the dissolution of the Komintern, the Communist International working for world revolution.
26/05/1943 The Red Army begins an offensive against the German forces isolated in the Kuban bridgehead between the Sea of Azov and the Black Sea.
 
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01/06/1943 The Red Air Force attacks German rear communications and airfields at Smolensk, Orel and Bryansk.
02/06/1943 The Red Air Force bombs Kiev and Roslavl, while the Luftwaffe bombs Kursk.
04/06/1943 Luftwaffe bombers attack the massive Russian tank factory's at Gorki.
14/06/1943 A German report shows that 100,000 cases of typhus were reported on the Russian front during 1942, with a fatality rate of 15%.
 
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01/07/1943 Hitler addresses the generals taking part in the imminent operation 'Citadel' at Kursk.
03/07/1943 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 deployment areas.
05/07/1943 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 casualties.
06/07/1943 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.
07/07/1943 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.
08/07/1943 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.
09/07/1943 The Russians say that the German attack has been held and claim that 2,000 tanks have been destroyed in four days.
11/07/1943 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.
12/07/1943 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.
13/07/1943 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 future.
14/07/1943 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.
23/07/1943 Soviet forces continue their advance into the Orel salient.
26/07/1943 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.
29/07/1943 Army Group A launches counter attacks to improve its positions along the Mius River.
30/07/1943 Army Group A losses the initiative in its attack to secure its positions along the Mius River.
 
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01/08/1943 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.
02/08/1943 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.
03/08/1943 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.
04/08/1943 The Red Army retakes Orel, as German 9th Army withdraws towards Bryansk, to avoid encirclement.
05/08/1943 The Russians take Belgorod and now threaten Kharkov.
12/08/1943 Hitler orders the construction of a fortified defensive line (Panther Line) along the Dnieper river.
16/08/1943 The Red Army launches an offensive against the Mius line toward Stalino.
19/08/1943 Russian troops breach the German defense line on the Mius river.
22/08/1943 The Germans evacuate Kharkov.
23/08/1943 The Soviet Steppe Front, occupies Kharkov, while the 5th Guards Tank Army beats off the consequent German counter-attack.
25/08/1943 The Russians continue their advance to the West of Kharkov.
30/08/1943 Taganrog on the Sea of Azov is evacuated by the German.
31/08/1943 Hitler allows Manstein to make limited withdrawals in Ukraine.
 
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02/09/1943 A special order of the day from Stalin announces the Russian victories on Voronezh, Bryansk, Donets and Sea of Azov fronts.
06/09/1943 The Red Army succeeds in separating Army Group Centre from Army Group South.
07/09/1943 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.
10/09/1943 Soviet marines supported by naval units of the Red Fleet recapture the Black Sea port of Novorossiysk.
11/09/1943 German officers captured by the Red Army since the start of the war, form an anti-Hitler association, called the "Bund Deutscher Offiziere".
14/09/1943 The Germans begin to evacuate Bryansk, some 200 miles Southwest of Moscow.
16/09/1943 The Black Sea port of Novorossiysk is captured by the Russians after a week of amphibious and land operations.
17/09/1943 Stalin announces the capture of Bryansk.
20/09/1943 Army Group South begins its withdrawal to the Melitopol-Zaporozhe line.
21/09/1943 The Red Army forces a crossing of the Dnieper at Dnepropetrovsk, thereby breaking into the German Panther line.
23/09/1943 The Red Army captures Poltava.
25/09/1943 The Russians capture Smolensk and Roslavl, over 200 miles to the West of Moscow.
27/09/1943 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.
30/09/1943 The Russians make Dnieper River crossings on a 300-mile front.
 
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06/10/1943 Two Russian armies take Nevel on the boundary between Army Groups North and Centre.
09/10/1943 The Russians now control the Kuban peninsula on the Black Sea, after the successful evacuation of all German and Romanian troops into the Crimea.
10/10/1943 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.
13/10/1943 The Russians reach Melitopol in southern Ukraine.
14/10/1943 German forces evacuate the Zaporozhe bridgehead on the eastern bank of the Dnieper river.
16/10/1943 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.
20/10/1943 The Russian attacks from Bukrin bridgehead are bloodily repulsed.
23/10/1943 Russians take Melitopol after 10-days of fighting; Dnepropetrovsk falls to Malinovsky, while a tank army reaches Krivoi Rog.
24/10/1943 The Red Army achieves a breakthrough on the Dnieper river and captures Melitopol.
27/10/1943 Field Marshal Von Kluge is invalided from command of Army Group Centre as result of a car crash.
 
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01/11/1943 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.
03/11/1943 A massive Russian offensive from Dnieper bridgehead North of Kiev erupts.
04/11/1943 A Russian breakout to the North of Kiev is achieved with their tank army's driving throughout the night.
06/11/1943 The Russians take Kiev and split the 4th Panzer Army into three.
10/11/1943 The Red Army achieves a breakthrough near Gomel in Byelorussia.
12/11/1943 The Russians take Zhitomir in Ukraine. The Kiev bridgehead is now 95 miles deep and 150 miles wide.
17/11/1943 The Russian 60th Army takes Korosten, 100 miles West of Kiev.
18/11/1943 A German counter offensive recaptures Zhitomir.
20/11/1943 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.
26/11/1943 German forces of Army Group Centre evacuate Gomel in Byelorussia.
 
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01/12/1943 Russian forces isolate the Germans in Crimea and control the northern half of the Dnieper bend.
04/12/1943 Units of the German 11th Army begin an offensive to eliminate the Soviet bridgehead at Kerch in the eastern Crimea.
12/12/1943 A Czech-Soviet treaty of friendship is signed in Moscow.
13/12/1943 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 Vitebsk.
14/12/1943 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.
15/12/1943 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.
18/12/1943 The Kharkov four are sentenced to death.
19/12/1943 50,000 people turn out to watch the hanging of the four Germans in Kharkov city square.
21/12/1943 Russian forces smash the German bridgehead over Dnieper River at Kherson.
24/12/1943 The Russians commence a third winter offensive, with Vatutin’s 63 divisions in the Ukraine and capture Berdichev.
30/12/1943 The Russians report 30-60 mile advances from the Kiev salient along a 180-mile front.
31/12/1943 Russians retake Zhitomir, 80 miles East of Kiev.
 

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