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Old 12-22-2010, 07:29 AM
 
Location: EAST-SIDE INDIANAPOLIS
355 posts, read 907,153 times
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I've read and watched many documentaries regarding the battles of Lenningrad, Stallingrad, Moscow and Kirsk what other major/minor engagements are interesting to any of you. Each battle/engagement that I listed is most definatley noteworthy but have been done to death, I know about people in lenningrad starving, I know about the great tank battle at kirsk, I know about hitler not allowing the 6th army to break out at stalingrad instead insiting upon him coming to free paulis up. I know about how close the Nazis were to moscow.
Tell me some about some of the lesser known campaigns on the Eastern front.
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Old 12-22-2010, 04:08 PM
 
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Journalistic coverage of several major battles on the Eastern Front was often inadequate or non-existent. Here are a few lesser-known battles I found:The Battle of Rzhev, called Operation Mars took place south of Moscow in December 1941. It was called the "Meat Grinder" for good reason. The Soviets lost 500,000 to a 1,000,000 men and the Germans had over 200,000 casualties. Staggering figures! Other lightly documented battles were at Lenino, one called the Demyansk Pocket, and one at Senno in the Vitebsk region.

The battle of Dukla Pass in the Carpathian Mountains of northeast Slovakia was a major battle that isn't discussed much, but thousands were lost on both sides. Probably there were many lesser battles between the Germans and partisan forces that harassed them throughout the war. Undoubtedly, several battles took place in the Caucasus region as the Germans retreated. Other battles were fought in East Prussia and Pomerania, including the city of Koenigsberg now called Kaliningrad.

One horrific battle that has been overshadowed by Stalingrad and Kursk was the German offensive to capture Sevastopol and the fortress, stubbornly defended by Soviet troops who were dug into hardened tunnels and bunkers. This may have been the only place where huge siege guns were used in WWII, including one called Dora that required dozens of people to set up and maintain.
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:22 PM
 
Location: Parts Unknown, Northern California
48,564 posts, read 23,968,969 times
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Do you know about the "Nachthexen" or Night Witches as the Germans nicknamed them?

These were 588th Night Bomber Regiment, female Soviet pilots who flew nocturnal bombing missions in Polikarpov PO-2's which were wooden biplanes, aircraft which were used exclusively as training vehicles otherwise. Their mission was primarly small scale harassment, targeting rear area troop camps and supply dumps.

The PO-2 topped out at 94 mph, four times slower than the German fighters which were sent after them. However, the speed difference turned out to be an advantage for the Red women. At night it was tough to spot the enemy until you were very close, and by the time a Messerschmidtt or FW saw their opponent, they were typically by them before having a chance to take a shot. The PO-2 sluggish rate also left it extaordinarily maneuverable, snapping tight turns which no high performance fighter could follow. Radar was of little help to the Germans because the wooden construction, combined with flying at very low altitudes, made them nearly impossible to detect. It was so difficult to bring one down that ultimately German pilots were promised an automatic Iron Cross if they got one. Not many did. Anti aircraft fire was responsible for most of the Night Witch losses. Their counter tactic for this consisted of one Night Witch in a flight being assigned to try and attract as much of the AA fire to her as possible while the others flew on unmolested. When they had finished their mission, they returned and replaced the decoy aircraft which then went on to deliver its attack.


The Witches made gliding attacks, flying to their targets, lining up their bombing runs, and then cutting their engines so that they came in silently and produced the maximum shock value when they were suddenly overhead and losing bombs.

From 1942 through the end of the war, the Witches flew more than 23,000 sorties, dropped more than 3000 tons of bombs, and were awarded 23 Hero of the Soviet Union medals.


The PO-2:
Polikarpov po-2 image by CzechTexan on Photobucket

The pilots:
http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3581/...8b291098_o.jpg

I have read and happily endorse:
http://www.amazon.com/Night-Witches-.../dp/0897332881

There is a Russian film about the group called "В небе ночные ведьмы" or "In The Sky Of The Night Witches" Here is a clip which features the PO-2 in flight:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O3duu...eature=related

Last edited by Grandstander; 12-22-2010 at 07:37 PM..
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Old 12-22-2010, 07:26 PM
 
Location: Kerkrade, Limburg, Netherlands
262 posts, read 547,881 times
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Check out the winter war with Finland.
So many Russians died compared to Finnish soldiers.
Theres a documentory about it:
Fire and Ice: The Winter War of Finland and Russia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Just read about it,I think this is one of the most interesting Battles in History, and I can tell i read a LOT. :]
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:02 PM
 
594 posts, read 1,773,452 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BramH View Post
Check out the winter war with Finland.
So many Russians died compared to Finnish soldiers.
Theres a documentory about it:
Fire and Ice: The Winter War of Finland and Russia - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Just read about it,I think this is one of the most interesting Battles in History, and I can tell i read a LOT. :]
BramH,

I was just looking at the following site this evening. It details some of the winter war of 1939-40 and some excellent history about Finland:

WWII: Finland's War with Soviet Union 1939 - 1944: Finland's War with the Third Aggressor of WWII
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:42 PM
 
Location: Kerkrade, Limburg, Netherlands
262 posts, read 547,881 times
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Yes! I know that site and its good for information. Also read about the sniper who killed the most people ever using a sniper rifle. For a Finnish soldier that is rather rare cause they have never been a 'big force' or anything like that.

Good site tho!
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Old 12-22-2010, 08:49 PM
 
Location: Southeast, where else?
3,913 posts, read 5,200,749 times
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Default Good History

Excellent posts as I, like most, keep seeing the same battles played out on the History Channel . If I see that Father and Son team from Britain one more time go over Midway or Stalingrad I'm going to take a hostage....

I would like to know about any battles immediately following the launch of Barbarosa. The immediate 100 miles East of the starting point had to have contained incredible atrocities and overwhelming victories for the Germans.

To my limited knowledge, not much is spoken about those towns and battles in the first 100-200 miles. Too much, perhaps, has been said about Kursk, Stalingrad ad nauseum.

If any of you now about some of these, please weigh in. Good stuff folks. Interesting notes you have entered to include the Night Witches. That I had read about...very harrassing movement. Those women, like all Soviet pilots, had to have been very, very brave for I am sure if they were shot down and lived, they were not treated very well at all. It would be a miracle if any of them had lived through internments.

Ergo the reason 90 percent of those Germans captured at Stalingrad never saw home again. It would have been a slaughter of Germans had we turned the German POW's over at the end of the battle of Berlin. I can't even imagine what the Soviet forces would have done to all those prisoners of German origin...and maybe, rightfully so?
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Old 12-23-2010, 09:35 AM
 
14,780 posts, read 43,473,541 times
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It's hard to find a lot of good information as most sources simply focus on the major/decisive battles that occurred. I know that wikipedia isn't the greatest thing ever, but they do have a nice timeline for the Eastern Front. At the very least they give you the various names of the battles.

Timeline of the Eastern Front of World War II - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:05 PM
 
Location: EAST-SIDE INDIANAPOLIS
355 posts, read 907,153 times
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Would I be correct in assuming the reason the rest are not so much talked about is because the 3-4 major engagements of the front pretty much dictated the way in which the rest of the engagements were fought. With the outcome of the major engagements determining who/which army had the initative and the next strategy to take.
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Old 12-23-2010, 01:47 PM
 
14,780 posts, read 43,473,541 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by krsheely View Post
Would I be correct in assuming the reason the rest are not so much talked about is because the 3-4 major engagements of the front pretty much dictated the way in which the rest of the engagements were fought. With the outcome of the major engagements determining who/which army had the initative and the next strategy to take.
Pretty much. It is like that for every front though. The Western Front is pretty much summed up like this:

Normandy (including hedgerow fighting)
Market Garden
Battle of the Bulge
German Surrender

There was obviously a lot of other things that went on, but those were the decisive moments that are focused on.

On the Eastern Front outside of the major battles that are hashed and rehashed it was basically one continuous battle of maneuver. Attack, counter-attack, surround, break out, etc. These engagements may have been strategically important in their local area, but didn't change the overall course of the war. From July 1943 (Kursk) to the Fall of Berlin, the Germans were basically fighting one long drawn out strategic withdraw.
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