WW2 History
Second World War History > Operation Barbarossa - the Drive on Smolensk Timeline

Operation Barbarossa - the Drive on Smolensk Timeline

Hitler's ego got the best of him after successes throughout northern Europe, in the Balkans and on Crete - inevitably turning to an invasion of the Soviet Union.

Authored By Staff Writer

With conquests over Poland, Holland, Belgium, France, Yugoslavia, Greece and Crete - Hitler now looks to taking down the Red monster in the East. Operation Barbarossa - the invasion of the Soviet Union - is enacted. In doing so, he has now committed Germany to a second front that it could ill-afford. What follows is an early success for the German Army, encircling and annihilating Soviet army divisions until eventually taking Smolensk itself.


With momentum and weather on its side, the German Army has Moscow for the taking. Unfortunately for them, German High Command orders General Guderian (master of the Blitzkrieg) to now concentrate his forces to the south towards the Soviet Army near Kiev. This single strategic move would become the unraveling of any future German Army action on Soviet soil.


Though early returns of the massive operation faired comparatively well to early invasions schemes, Adolph Hitler had inevitably underestimated Soviet defiance within this simple statement:


"You only have to kick in the door and the whole rotten structure will come crashing down."

Text ©2006-2012 www.SecondWorldWarhistory.com • All Rights Reserved • No Reproduction Permitted
Total Operation Babarossa Events: 24

1941
Sunday
June 22nd

Operation Barbossa is put into effect - the German invasion of the Soviet Union.

1941
Sunday
June 29th

General Guderian's Panzergruppe 2 meets General Hoth's Panzergruppe 3 in Minsk.

1941
Sunday
June 29th

Russian army forces are encirlced at key cities across the Soviet Union.

1941
Tuesday
July 1st

Panzergruppe 2 and Panzergruppe 3 cross the Berezina River west of Minsk, heading towards Smolensk and Vitebsk.

1941
Thursday
July 3rd

Panzergruppe 2 and Panzergruppe 3 now form up as part of General Gunther von Kluge's 4th Panzer Army.

1941
Wednesday
July 9th

Soviet defenses at Brest-Litovsk, Bialystok, Volkovysk, Gorodishche and Minsk fall to the invading German Army.

1941
Wednesday
July 9th

Panzergruppe 3 continues north to Vitebsk.

1941
Wednesday
July 9th

Gurderian's army moves south towards Mogliev.

1941
Thursday
July 10th

Guderian's forces cross the Dniepr River 50 miles outside of Smolensk.

1941
Sunday
July 13th

Defenses across Smolensk are prepared under the direction of the Soviet 16th Army.

1941
Sunday
July 13th

The Soviet 19th Army makes its way into Smolensk.

1941
Sunday
July 13th

The Soviet 20th Army arrives in Smolensk.

1941
Wednesday
July 16th

Smolensk falls to the German 29th Motorized Division.

1941
Wednesday
July 16th

Panzergruppe 3 heads towards Yartsevo.

1941
Wednesday
July 16th

Marshal Timoshenko and his 4th and 13th Armies near the Sohz River counterattack the Germans at Smolensk.

1941
Tuesday
July 22nd

The Soviet counterattack at Smolensk is driven back by Guderian's forces.

1941
Tuesday
July 22nd

The German Army begins to encircled in Soviet Army pockets held up outside of Smolensk, Vitebsk and Mogilev.

1941
Thursday
July 17th

The German Army begins to tighten the noose around the encircled Soviet forces numbering some 25 divisions.

1941
Thursday
July 24th

The German encirclement of Soviet forces is completed.

1941
Tuesday
July 22nd

A Soviet offensive meant to break the German stranglehold fails due to poor coordination.

1941
Saturday
July 19th

A German High Command directive calls for the army to complete the destruction of Soviet forces around Smolensk and then head south to tackle forces in Kiev instead of marching on Moscow herself - this decision is viewed as the turning point to Germany's defeat in Russia.

1941
Tuesday
August 5th

The Soviet defense of Smolensk is obliterated and falls taking with it the end of the Soviet 16th and 20th Armies.

1941
Tuesday
August 5th

300,000 Soviet prisoners, 3,200 tanks and 3,100 artillery guns are captured by the Germans at Smolensk.

1941
Tuesday
August 5th

The drive to Smolensk nets a total of 600,000 Russian prisoners of war, 5,700 tanks and 4,600 artillery pieces.
Second World War History

EVENTS BY WAR YEAR:

1939
1940
1941
1942
1943
1944
1945


EVENTS BY DAY OF THE WEEK:

Sunday
Monday
Tuesday
Wednesday
Thursday
Friday
Saturday


MISC:

Pearl Harbor Speech Text
WW2 War Posters
WW2 Quotes
WW2 Statistics


NATIONAL TIMELINES:

Australia
Austria
Belgium
Britain
Bulgaria
Canada
Denmark
Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Holland
Hungary
India
Italy
Japan
New Zealand
Norway
Poland
Romania
South Africa
Soviet Union
United States
Uruguay

Contacting SecondWorldWarHistory.com
We can only get better if you tell us how. You can contact SecondWorldWarHistory.com at SecondWorldWarHistory at gmail dot com (replace "at" with "@" and "dot with ".") with any questions, comments or corrections. We also accept related military imagery that you approve for us to use on our website. Keep in mind, however, that due to volume, we may not directly respond to your inquiry. Please add us to your list of non-blocked recipients if you expect a response!
British Flag
German WW2 Flag
Soviet Union Flag
United States Flag
French Flag
Japanese Flag
Italian Flag
Finland Flag
Australian Flag
British Canada Flag
British India Flag
Poland Flag
Belgium Flag
Greece Flag
Holland Flag
British South Africa Flag
Norway Flag
Denmark Flag
Romania Flag
New Zealand Flag
Austrian Flag
Hungarian Flag
Bulgaria Flag
Uruguay Flag
All Events by War Year
All Events by Day of the Week
SUN
MON
TUE
WED
THU
FRI
SAT
World War 2 Posters
Pearl Harbor Speech
WW2 Weapons
spacer img

Site Disclaimer | Privacy Policy


©2014 www.SecondWorldWarHistory.com • Content ©2006-2014 SecondWorldWarHistory.com • All Rights Reserved • Site Contact Email: secondworldwarhistory at gmail dot com (replace "at" with "@" and "dot" with ".")

Top SwwH Stuff: Battle of El Alamein | WW2 Quotes | Rescue at Dunkirk | Blitzkrieg on Poland | Operation Market Garden


Most photographic images appearing on this site are courtesy of the public domain. Digital art work courtesy of Dan Alex. Material presented throughout this website is for historical and entertainment value.

eXTReMe Tracker