What was the Great Patriotic War?
The Great Patriotic War (1941-1945) is a war of the USSR against fascist Germany and its allies (Hungary, Bulgaria, Slovakia, Romania, Spain, Croatia). This is the final and decisive part of the Second World War. At that time, Germany occupied 12 European states in which the Nazi order was established. Such an unprecedented attack by Germany, has caused the peoples of the Union to strive to defend their independence and freedom. In our article, we will immerse you in the history of those times and tell you what the Great Patriotic War was.
Purpose of war
The plan of the Nazis was to crush the main enemy of Nazism - the Soviet Union, in whose person they saw an obstacle to the conquest of the whole world. Also in their interests was enrichment at the expense of the great national wealth and resources of the USSR. The officers and soldiers of Nazi Germany were fully allowed to engage in looting, violence and excesses in the territory of the Union, in order to leave the Soviet people without means to exist.These robber rights invaders used in full.
The main periods of the Great Patriotic War
In total, there are three periods in the whole war, the initial, the middle and the final, the duration of each period was almost equal. The initial period can be characterized by the attack of Nazi Germany without warning, in violation of all agreements, as well as with the rapid preparation of the union and initially large human losses. The middle stage is characterized by lengthy battles and counterattacks. But the final stage is the end of the war, the liberation of the Soviet lands and the defeat of fascism. We characterize each stage separately.
The first period of the Great Patriotic War
- On June 22, 1941, Germany violated the non-aggression pact and subsequently its army, without any warning, invaded the territory of the Union. On the same day, the Nazi associates, Romania and Italy, declared the war to the Union, and the next day, Slovakia. Although World War II covered a vast territory, the Soviet-German front was the main battlefield.
- The development of a plan of attack on our state began in 1940.The final version, known as the “Barbarossa Plan,” was a lightning war. Strategists of the Reichstag planned to inflict a quick defeat on the Union, and end the war in 1941.
- Hitler's army was concentrated along the USSR border in the amount of about 6 million soldiers, 4,000 tanks, 5,000 aircraft, about 47,000 mortars and guns. It was the largest invasion army in the history of mankind.
- In response, the USSR concentrated about 3 million soldiers and more than half of its equipment, but the fighters were lagging behind in the ability to use modern weapons. In many ways, there was a shortage of vehicles and combat units.
- The outbreak of hostilities was disastrous. The loss of the Union reached 850 thousand people, as a result of the summer-autumn campaign in 1941, about 5 million people were killed, captured and wounded. human.
- Despite the heroic rebuff, the fascists, by the 10th of July, still managed to capture Lithuania, Latvia, most of Belarus, Moldova and Ukraine.
The initial period of the Great Patriotic War for the Soviet side was very difficult and complicated, not only in terms of the number of equipment and forces, but also at the moral level. Having overcome almost halfway, the fascists were already celebrating victory, and the majority of foreign allies did not believe in victory.
Battles of the first period
Battle of Smolensk (July 10 - September 10, 1941)
- Hitler's rule regarded the seizure of our large territory as a victory, and continued to move in three main directions - Kiev, Moscow, Leningrad. The command of Hitler decided to increase the pressure on the Moscow direction. They believed that mastering the capital of the Union would be able to decide the outcome of the entire war.
- In an effort to split the Western Front, on July 10, the enemy launched an offensive in the Smolensk sector, on his way to Moscow. In the battle of Smolensk, the enemy had a double superiority, and almost four-time tank. Smolensk battle, one of the most stubborn and large in the first period of the war.
- The Smolensk battle is known for the first time that it used the first Katyusha rocket launchers, which caused panic in the enemy ranks. Also in this battle for the first time ever, Hitler’s army had to defend.
Siege of Leningrad (September 8, 1941 - January 27, 1944)
It lasted 872 days, more than 200,000 people died during its time, but it was of great strategic importance. In the battle for Leningrad, the troops of the Soviet Union pulled back up to 20% of all enemy forces on the Eastern Front, and almost the entire Finnish army destroyed about 50 German divisions.
The battle for Moscow (09/30/1941 - 04/20/1942)
- Hitler's rule developed a plan of attack called "Typhoon". It was supposed to break through the line of defense of the Soviet army and seize the capital. To this end, huge enemy forces were concentrated.
- In October, the enemy was able to capture Maloyaroslavets, Kalinin, Volokolamsk and Mozhaisk. On October 20, a siege position was introduced in Moscow and its suburbs.
- Fiercest battles were fought to preserve the capital throughout the territory, reinforcements came from the Caucasus, Yakutia and the Far Eastern regions, and as a result, the offensive was stopped.
- The Soviet command imposed on the enemy a war of attrition, while the reserves of the German offensive were exhausted, and the Soviet army was able to maintain the main forces.
The defeat of the German troops near Moscow
- On December 5, 1941, the German leadership attempted to strike at Moscow, but was immediately stopped. When the offensive of the enemy dried up, and the main forces had not yet sung to become defensive, the Soviet troops, on December 5-6, 1941, launched a counterattack on the whole front. For the German command this was unexpected, and it was not able to repel the powerful blow of the Soviet troops.
- In early January 1942, the Red Army was able to liberate Kaluga and Kalinin, and threw the fascists back 100-250 kilometers from Moscow.
- Then the counteroffensive was turned into a total offensive along the entire perimeter of the front. The winter offensive of the Soviet army lasted until April 1942. Many regions of Russia were liberated.
Second period of the Great Patriotic War
The period of the Patriotic War, which began on November 19, 1942, and ended in late 1943. During this time, the Soviet troops badly knocked down the ranks of the German invaders, many operations and battles were carried out which became decisive in the whole war. So the counteroffensive at Stalingrad was marked by the largest encirclement operation of about 330,000 German soldiers in a ring of 500 km in diameter. In the battle of Stalingrad about 100,000 prisoners of war were captured, of which 24 were generals. This battle practically decided the outcome of the whole war. The enemy lost almost 25% of his strength, this sharply undermined their spirits, and three-day mourning was declared in Germany.
Subsequently, Hitler acknowledged that the method of attack, the east he did not win. The authority of Germany began to fall in the countries occupied by it.A growing number of states became convinced that only the USSR was able to defeat Germany. Soon, the Hitlerite command wanted to take revenge for the Stalingrad defeat, and decided to attack in the direction of Kursk, having developed a plan "Citadel". But the intelligence services of the Union quickly figured out the intentions of the fascists and began intensively gathering troops in the Kursk Bulge area. Having started the offensive, the German troops quickly met resistance and were defeated again. On July 12, a grand tank battle involving 1200 vehicles took place in the Prokhorovka area. A later organized counter-offensive of the Soviet troops successfully developed, and the enemy was driven out of the right bank of the Dnieper. The battle at the Kursk Bulge was a turning point, and the enemy was no longer able to regain his strength.
The third period of the Great Patriotic War
- Considered to be liberating, it took place from January 1944 and was completed on May 9, 1945.
- During this period, most of the Ukrainian cities and the Crimea were liberated.
- Later, Soviet troops reached the foothills of the Carpathians, where they cleaned up the remaining active Nazi groups.
- In the summer of 1944, the liberation of Belarus began.Our troops, through Operation Bagration, stunned and destroyed the invaders.
- Then Moldova and the Murmansk region were liberated along with Karelia.
- Then the countries of Europe began to free themselves, agreements were signed on the entry of Soviet troops into the territory of the occupied states.
The final period of the Great Patriotic War
The defeat of Nazi Germany (April 16 - May 8, 1945)
Despite the collapse of the Nazi bloc, Germany was still a strong adversary, with about a million soldiers and a large amount of equipment.
The commanders, KK, commanded the offensive on Berlin. Rokossovsky, G.K. Zhukov, I.S. Konev. On April 29, Soviet troops approached the Reichstag, and on the night of May 1, the banner of victory was fixed on the spire of the building. The capitulation act was signed by fleet admiral H. Friedeburg and General Aviation G. Stumpf. From the Soviet side, the act was signed by G. K. Zhukov. Since then, the war has ended. Remember the date when the Great Patriotic War was, June 22, 1941 - May 9, 1945. This period is forever postponed in our memory.