14 Jun 2015

Massive WWII reenactment The Battle of Kiev (27 Pics)

The First Battle of Kiev was the German name for the operation that resulted in a very large encirclement of Soviet troops in the vicinity of Kiev during World War II. It is considered the largest encirclement of troops in history. The operation ran from 7 August to 26 September 1941 as part of Operation Barbarossa, the Axis invasion of the Soviet Union.
In Soviet military history, it is referred to as the Kiev Defensive Operation, with somewhat different dating of 7 July – 26 September 1941

Nearly the entire Southwestern Front of the Red Army was encircled, with the Germans claiming 665,000 captured. However, the Kiev encirclement was not complete, and small groups of Red Army troops managed to escape the cauldrondays after the German pincers met east of the city, including the headquarters of Marshal Semyon Budyonny, MarshalSemyon Timoshenko and Commissar Nikita Khrushchev.

The commander of the Southwestern Front—Mikhail Kirponos—was trapped behind enemy lines and killed while trying to break through

The Kiev disaster was an unprecedented defeat for the Red Army, exceeding even the Minsk tragedy of June–July 1941. On 1 September, the Southwestern Front numbered 752–760,000 troops (850,000 including reserves and rear service organs), 3,923 guns and mortars, 114 tanks and 167 combat aircraft.

The encirclement trapped 452,700 soldiers, 2,642 guns and mortars and 64 tanks, of which scarcely 15,000 escaped from the encirclement by 2 October.

Overall, the Southwestern Front suffered 700,544 casualties, including 616,304 killed, captured, or missing during the month-long Battle for Kiev. As a result, five Soviet field armies (5th, 37th, 26th, 21st, and the 38th), consisting of 43 divisions, virtually ceased to exist. The 40th Army was badly affected as well. Like the Western Front before it, the Southwestern Front had to be recreated almost from scratch


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