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GERMAN VICTORIES IN SOVIET UNION 1941 AND 1942



BATTLES OF BETRAYAL


The German invasion of the Soviet Union launched the greatest land war in world history. Although the Soviet Unionís Red Army campaigns destroyed, captured, or disabled 607 German divisions, which was more than any country has ever done.

For the first attack phase of the German Operation "Barbarosa", a code name for a massive surprise attack on the Soviet Union, German command organized 153 divisions. The divisions were divided into three main army groups: North, Center, and South.

Group North captured Paugavpils on June 26, 1941, Riga on June 30, and Pskovon on July 9. Group Center encircled Soviet troops west of Minsk and captured Vitebsk on July 9. Also that day, the Germans attacked on the cities and advanced into the Ukraine.

The Germans also took Vyazma on October 7, Kaluga on October 12, and Kalinin on October 14. In the South, German forces captured Kiev on August 14 and swept through the Ukraine into Crimea. They captured Rostov at the mouth of the Don River on November 21, but eight days later they were forced out.

Germany never did completely take control over the Soviet Union. The winters played an enormous part and so did the help of the United States. But the important thing is that Germany never got to Moscow, because that would have been a devastating loss to the Allies.

By Molly "The Donkey" Sparkman

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