Hitler's Greatest Defeat: The Collapse of Army Group Centre, by Paul Adair

By Paul Adair

This article describes the land defeat of the German military at the japanese entrance, leading to irreplaceable losses (over 300,000 casualties) whilst the German military was once already in a country of turmoil because of failure in Russia and the Allied strengthen into France.

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In June 1941 the Red Army had 303 divisions, 170 of which were facing the Germans in the border military districts: Leningrad, Baltic, Special 47 THE SOVIET ARMY Western, Special Kiev, Odessa and Crimea. Also, 20 of the 29 mechanized corps were in the west. The formation of these new mechanized formations had been set in motion after the success of the German panzer forces in France. The new tanks, the KV and T-34s, were only present in appreciable numbers in eight of the mechanized corps. There were considerable problems with the older tanks, many of which were inoperative because of shortage of spare parts.

1 It is possible that the Stavka had commenced feasibility studies, and that these were discussed at the meeting of the State Committee for Defence with members of the Stavka present which Zhukov attended in December. 2 The options that the Stavka examined were wide-ranging, but all had their difficulties. Four main options emerged. The first option was to continue their advance through Roumania into the Balkans. While this was politically highly desirable and would threaten Germany's dwindling fuel supplies, an advance on this axis would leave strong German forces on their flanks.

The Soviet roads just couldn't be compared with European ones. There were muddy swamps and so on, but the Front doesn't run along a main road! '6 Great care was taken over medical arrangements. Before the offensive opened dressing-stations and hospitals were cleared as far as possible of wounded. Dressings-stations and field hospitals were formed in the forward administrative echelons, to be moved forward as the troops advanced. Wounded were evacuated to the rear in empty logistics vehicles returning to 54 1944 - A YEAR FOR DECISIONS pick up new loads, and from the leading mobile and cavalry/mechanized groups they were flown out by light aircraft.

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