Koniev’s 2nd Ukrainian Front
extends the Russian general offensive in temperatures of -20°C.
The Red Army crosses the 1939 Polish
frontier after a 170-mile advance in just two weeks.
Kirovograd falls to Russians.
The Russians capture Lyudvipol, 2-3
miles across the Polish border. The Russians propose new Polish
border further west on the so-called ‘Curzon Line’.
German forces in Dnieper bend are attacked by the Russians for
the next five days, but and early thaw aids the German defense.
The Russians launch another new offensive
German forces of Army Group Centre
repel repeated Red Army attacks in the area of Vitebsk.
Germans forces are surrounded in Novgorod,
100 miles to the South of Leningrad, but manage to break out.
The Red Army recaptures Novgorod.
Leningraders are told that the blockade
has been lifted after 900 days. The Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front
launches an offensive against Luzk and Rovno. Hitler lectures
all his eastern front army commanders on National Socialism
as the Russians cut off 60,000 men in Korsun Pocket, 100 miles
to the southeast of Kiev. Army Group North's commander, Von
Küchler orders the eighteenth army to pull back to the
The Red Army succeeds in encircling
several German divisions in the area of Cherkassy.
The Russians attack towards
Nikopol on the southern Dnieper.
The Polish underground
executes Major Fritz Kurschera, the chief of the Gestapo in
The 1st Ukrainian Front captures Luzk
and Rovno. Stalin agrees to USAAF using Russian bases.
The Germans start their offensive to
relieve the Korsun pocket.
The Russians capture of Nikopol. The
surrounded German forces in the Korsun pocket are invited to
surrender by the Russians.
The Russians begin to lay down a tremendous
artillery barrage against the Korsun pocket, in an attempt to
force its surrender.
German relief forces are now just 10
mile from the Korsun pocket.
The Red Army recaptures Luga.
Hitler permits Field Marshal Models
troops to withdraw to Panther Line and also allows the Korsun
pocket defenders to break out towards the relieving forces.
German troops encircled in the Cherkassy
pocket achieve a breakout, but at a heavy cost in men and equipment.
The Russians claim the annihilation of the trapped German divisions
at Korsun. They also begin to storm Krivoi Rog.
The Red Army recaptures Staraya Russa,
as Army Group North falls back to the line Narva-Pleskau-Oposhka.
Malinovsky completes the capture of
the mining area around Krivoi Rog.
Both German and Russian
forces in the Baltic region go on the defensive.
Under pressure from the Western Allies
to withdraw all remaining Spanish troops from the Eastern front,
the Franco government orders members of the so-called “Blue
Legion,” attached to the German 121st Infantry Division,
to return home and outlaws service by Spanish citizens with
the Axis forces. Nevertheless, a handful of fanatically anti-Communist
Spaniards defy orders and volunteer for service with the Waffen
SS, some of them fighting suicidally to the end in the ruins
Zhukov renews his attacks against the
forces of Manstein's Army Group South in the Ukraine.
Koniev's 2nd Ukrainian Front launches
an attack towards Uman.
Uman is taken as the Russians drive
towards the Bug and Dnieper rivers.
Zhukov is stopped on River Bug after
a 60-mile advance.
The Russians announce the capture of
Kherson in the southern Ukraine.
The Soviet 1st Ukrainian Front breaks
through German defenses and reaches the Bug river, the starting
point in 1941 for Operation 'Barbarossa'.
In order to ensure Hungary's continued
support as an axis partner, Hitler orders its occupation. Eleven
German divisions cross the border from Austria into Hungary,
encountering minimal resistance.
The Russians recapture Vinnitsa in
the Ukraine, the site of Hitler's Headquarters during in 1943.
A Russian tank army crosses the Dnieper
near Czech border. Malinovsky makes crossings of the Bug near
the Black Sea.
Manstein persuades Hitler to allow
the First Panzer Army to break out to the west of Lvov, not
Koniev’s armies reach the River
Pruth on a 50-miles front. The Russians recapture Kamenets-Podolsk.
in the Ukraine.
The Russians recapture Nikolaev on
the Black Sea and enter Romanian territory.
Kleist and Manstein are sacked by Hitler
and replaced by Schorner and Model.
The Russians announce their
entry into Romania and threaten to shoot one third of all German
POWs if the 18 divisions of the trapped 1st Panzer Army do not
surrender. The Russian army crosses the river Prut, East of
Cernovcy and liberates the little city Gerca.
Army Group Centre, under General Busch
launches a counterattack which succeeds in reaching German units
surrounded at Kovel in the Pripet swamps since the 19th March.
The Russians reach the Slovakian border.
The also continue their advance into Romania. The final Russian
offensive to destroy the German 17th Army in Crimea begins.
The remains of the 1st Panzer Army
regain the German lines after a 150-mile forced march. The Red
Army breaks through the German lines at Kerch in the eastern
The Russians enter Odessa on Black
Sea as German forces withdraw from the city to the west bank
of the Dniester river.
Russian troops capture Kerch in the
Crimea. While units of the 4th Ukrainian Front liberate Dsjankoi.
Hitler authorises a withdrawal of 230,000
German and Romanian troops to the fortress of Sevastopol. However,
this is four days too late and the delay results in many unnecessary
Simferopol, Feodosiya and Eupatoria
in the Crimea fall to Red Army.
The Red Army recaptures Tarnopol in
the southern Ukraine.
Yalta in the Crimea is captured by
The Russians take Balaclava.
The Russians launch their
attack the fortress city of Sevastopol in the Crimea.
The Russians capture Sevastopol as
Hitler finally changes his mind and orders evacuation of the
The remains of German Seventeenth Army
in Crimea are destroyed, with the Russians taking 36,000 Axis
The Russians repel a heavy German counter
attack North of Jassy, in the southern Ukraine. Stalin gives
the go-ahead to Operation 'Bagration' (the Russian summer offensive)
which is to destroy Army Group Centre in Byelorussia.
The Russian summer offensive,
operation 'Bagration' begins against Army Group Centre in Byelorussia
with assaults by the Soviet 1st Baltic, 3rd Belorussian 2nd
and 1st Belorussian Fronts against Army Group Centre on a 450
mile front between Polotsk and Bobruysk. Soviet forces amount
to 124 divisions, 1,200,000 men, 5,200 tanks, 30,000 guns and
6,000 aircraft. Against this, the German can field just 63 divisions,
including 900 tanks and 10,000 guns. The Luftwaffe launches
a surprise night raid (60 aircraft) on the US 8th Air Force's
shuttle base at Poltava in the Ukraine, destroying 44 B-17s
and 500,000 gallons of fuel.
The Russians report major advances
against Army Group Centre. Hitler orders all but one of the
five German divisions of the 53rd Korps that are encircled at
Vitebsk to fight their way out.
The Russians take Vitebsk.
The Red Army recaptures Orsha on the
Dnieper and destroys the trapped German 53rd Korps near Vitebsk.
Further gains are reported by the Russians at Mogilev to the
South of Vitebsk.
The Russians take Mogilev and cross
the Berezina river surrounding most of German Ninth Army.
70,000 troops of Army Group Centre
that are encircled near Bobruisk surrender to the Red Army.
The Russians report that 16,000 Germans have been killed and
18,000 captured near Minsk.
The Fifth Guards Tank Army
of the 3rd Belorussian Front takes Borisov, less that 50 miles
North East of Minsk.
The Russians cut the railways to the
West of Minsk.
Minsk, the capital of Byelorussia is
captured by the Russians, trapping 100,000 Germans in a pocket
to the East.
The Soviet 1st Baltic Front begins
an offensive toward Riga, capturing Polotsk and threatening
to isolate Army Group North during its fighting retreat from
The Soviet 1st Belorussian Front recaptures
Kovel to the southeast of Brest-Litovsk.
The Russians capture Baranovichi, 80
miles South West of Minsk. Lieutenant General Müller, the
commander of German 12th Corps surrenders with 57,000 men. Street
fighting is reported as the Russians enter Vilna. Army Group
Centre's losses have now reached 300,000 men (28 divisions)
in less than three weeks.
A major Russian offensive begins towards
Rezekne, to the East of Riga in order to cut off Army Group
North in Baltic States. The 2nd Belorussian Front attacks northwest
from Vitebsk, the 3rd Belorussian Front attacks West from Psovsk
and the Leningrad Front attacks southwest toward Narva.
The Red Army captures the remnants
(35,000) of the encircled 4th Army.
The Russians announce the capture of
Vilna and continue their advance into eastern Galicia.
A new Russian offensive begins in the
northern Ukraine opens with massive support from the Red Air
Force and gains up to 10 miles and recaptures Pinsk.
Two Soviet armies from Crimea join
the Baltic front so that it can continue its offensive. Russian
tank penetrations are only 25 miles from Lvov.
The Brody pocket begins to form in
the northern Ukraine, trapping 40,000 German troops.
The Germans say they will hold Baltic
States ‘at all costs’, as the Russian advance approaches
the Latvian border.
The First Belorussian front attacks,
with six armies and 1,600 aircraft from Kovel across the Bug
The Russians claim to have crossed
An assassination attempt is made on
Hitler at his headquarters in Rastenburg, East Prussia.
Some of the German defenders of the
Brody Pocket reach German lines.
The Russian advance into Baltic States
continues with the capture of Panevezys in Lithuania. The Brody
Pocket is eliminated by the Russian, who take 17,000 prisoners.
The Russians take Pskov, 150 miles
to the South West of Leningrad on Estonian border. Heavy street
fighting is reported from Lublin in Poland.
The River San is crossed by the Soviets
to the northwest of Lvov. The Germans start evacuating Lvov.
Narva is evacuated by the Germans,
who take up position along the Tannenberg position to the West.
Soviet forces cut the road between Dvinsk and Riga in Latvia.
The Second Tank Army reaches the Vistula, 40 miles West of Lublin.
Lvov is surrounded and Soviet forces converge on Brest-Litovsk.
Narva is finally captured by the Red
Army. The Russians reach the Estonian border.
The Russians take Lvov, Dunaburg and
Bialystok and secure a major bridgehead over the Magnuszew River.
Further gains are also made in Baltic States.
Brest-Litovsk, on the Polish frontier
is taken by the Russian. More crossings over the Vistula are
The Red Army reaches to the Baltic
coast to the West of Riga, thereby cutting Army Group North
off in Estonia and Eastern Latvia.
The Russians take Kaunas
and cut all roads from Germany to Baltic States. Bor-Komorowski
leads the Warsaw Uprising by the 38,000 strong Polish underground
Army. They receive no support from Soviet forces who are already
on the eastern bank of the Vistula opposite the city.
The First Polish Army gains a Vistula
bridgehead, 40 miles to the south of Warsaw.
Soviet spearheads in the area to the
east of Warsaw, are destroyed by German counter attacks.
The 19th Panzer Division crosses Poniatowski
Bridge in Warsaw, as the fighting ceases in the suburb of Praga.
The Red Army forces a bridgehead across the Vistula at Baranov.
The Polish Home Army goes onto the
defensive in Warsaw, as 60 per cent of city now in its control.
The 4th Ukrainian Front is inserted in the Russian line in
southern Poland and northern Hungary.
The Russians seize the Polish oil
centre of Drohobyez.
The Russians advance into the foothills
of the Carpathian Mountains, near the Slovak, Hungarian, Russian
The Russians renew their offensive
towards the Estonian border at Pskov, breaking through the
Mavlenburg Line. The Germans assault the old town area of Warsaw
from three sides.
The Russians begin an offensive from
their Vistula bridgeheads, 100 miles to the South of Warsaw.
The Russians reach the East Prussian/Lithuanian
The Red Army recaptures Sandomir in
The Russians launch an offensive in
to Romania with 900,000 men (96 divisions), 1,400 tanks and
1,700 aircraft. Advances up to 12 miles are reported as the
Russian plan to surround 23 German divisions (360,000 men)
The German Sixth Army is separated
from the Romanian 3rd Army on Black Sea coast. Colonel General
Friessner orders all German units to withdraw as the Romanians
fail to fight and change sides. The Germans, with naval support,
open a coastal corridor 10 to 12 miles wide to Army Group North,
but Hitler refuses to order the evacuation of Baltic States.
The Red Army captures Jassy on the
Prut river in the southern Ukraine.
King Michael I of Romania dismisses
Marshall Antonescu, his head of state and brings his country
over to the Soviet side.
Russian 3rd Baltic Front reaches Tartu
in Estonia. Romania declares war on Germany.
Russians take Galati in eastern Romania.
The Russians capture the Romanian
oilfields at Ploesti and enter Hungarian occupied Transylvania.
An uprising begins in Slovakia against the pro-German government
of Dr. Tiso.
The Soviet 3rd Ukrainian
Front captures Bucharest, the capital of Romania and begins
to round up members of the 'Fascist' Antonescu government.
A German-Hungarian counterattack
in the area of Klausenburg in Romania fails.
The Russians occupy Turnu-Severin
on the Danube in Romania and advance to the Yugoslav border.
They also reach the eastern Carpathians.
Romania declares war on Hungary.
A German-Hungarian counter-offensive
grinds toward Arad and Temesvar in Hungary.
The Russians reach the Polish-Czechoslovak
border. The Romanians sign an Armistice with the Russians.
Russian troops reach the Vistula river
in the Praga suburb of Warsaw, as planes drop supplies to the
Polish Home Army which is trapped inside the city. Three Russian
Baltic fronts launch an offensive with 900,000 men, 3,000 tanks
and 2,600 aircraft against Army Group North which is forced
to fall back to defensive positions around Riga.
The Red Army achieves a breakthrough
The Russians occupy Tallinn and Reval
Russian and Romanian troops enter
Hungary at Arad.
The Russian offensive in Baltic States
2,000 Poles of the Home Army surrender
in Mokotow district of Warsaw.
The Red Army begin an offensive towards
the Yugoslav border from Romania.
A secret Hungarian delegation
arrives in Moscow to sign an armistice with the Russians.
Warsaw falls to the Germans after
63-day siege, with the Polish Home Army surrendering only after
all its food and ammunition had run out. The Germans recognise
their valor and treat the survivors not as partisans, but as
The First Baltic Front begins an offensive
South of Riga to cut off Army Group North in Lithuania.
A Russian offensive by 64 divisions,
750 tanks and 1,100 aircraft commences near Arad in Hungary,
with the aim of destroying Army Group South.
The Russians reach the Baltic at Memel
and cut off Army Group North (26 divisions) in the Kurland
for the rest of the war. The rebellion against the Tiso government
in Slovakia is put down by the German Army.
The Red Army captures Klausenburg
in Romania as Hungary and the Soviet Union begin negotiations
for a ceasefire.
The Germans manage to hold line of
the Niemen to cover East Prussia.
Russian troops capture Riga, the capital
of Latvia as Army Group North withdraws in to the Kurland pocket.
The Hungarian chief of state, Admiral
Horthy, shortly after announcing Hungary's withdrawal from
the war against the Russia, is taken prisoner by a commando
unit led by SS major Otto Skorzeny. A new government under
Ferenc Szalasi vows to continue the alliance with Germany.
The Red Army enters German territory
near Goldap in East Prussia. Thousands of German civilians
flee the area in panic.
German forces successfully repulse
heavy Soviet attacks near Debrecen.
German forces thrusts into Slovakia.
Hitler orders the total destruction
of Warsaw. The German 4th Army withdraws from the Tilsit area.
The Red Army continues its drive west
and captures several towns near the Russian-German border.
The 3rd Panzer Korps begin a six day
counter attack around Debrecen.
The Red Army completes its capture
of Transylvania in northwestern Romania.
The Red Army's advance into the Goldap
area of East Prussia is brought to a standstill by the tenacious
resistance of 4th Army.
The Debrecen counter attacks end with
the Germans claiming that they have inflicted 25,000 casualties
and destroyed 600 tanks. However, this doesn't hinder the Red
Army and they begin a major offensive in to Hungary.
The Red Army enters the southeastern
suburbs of Budapest.
The German 4th Army recapture the
town of Goldap in East Prussia.
The Russians advance in Slovakia.
The Red Army breaks through the German-Hungarian
defensive lines and captures Mohacs.
Russian troops cross Danube
into southwest Hungary, making large gains.
Malinovsky attacks with
two armies from North East of Budapest and makes a 60-mile
advance in eight days.
The Red Army begins an offensive aimed
at encircling Budapest.
The Russians reach the Danube north
The Russian breakthrough to the South
West of Budapest is now 60-mile wide.
The Russians capture Gran, this cutting
all communications with Budapest and trapping five German and