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Operation Blue - the Race for Oil Timeline

In a bold move, Hitler enacts Operation Blue, an attempt to capture the oil-rich fields of the Russian Caucasus.

Authored By Staff Writer

One year had already past since the German invasion of the Soviet Union. The destruction of the Soviet nation did not go as smoothly as Hitler and his generals had envisioned. A such, supplies were becoming stretched and, to ensure the German Army's survival, the oil-rich fields in the Russian Caucasus were targeted for capture. Hitler devised "Operation Blue" for such an act and the mission began on May 8th, 1942.


Progress was initially good as was the case with most German offensives this early in the war. The Soviets lost 250,000 soldiers at Kharkov after the Germans had completed an encirclement of the city. Multiple German attacks involving their stellar and seasoned Panzer tank elements against strategic cities were launched yielding promising results. A long siege against Soviet-held Sevastopol brings about another notable German conquer as does the fall of Rostov and another 83,000 Soviet Army prisoners of war.


Hitler no begins to eye Stalingrad as a crowning jewel in the vast campaign and begins an obsession to capture the city, diverting firepower and supplies to his objective. This results in an over-extension of forces and supplies creating a precarious situation for his German ground commanders.


By November, the German advance is bogged down. Army Group A reaches Mt Elbus while 6th Army is stuck trying to take Stalingrad.


Hitler does not budge from his objective and reaffirms to his commanders that Stalingrad must fall.

Text ©2006-2012 www.SecondWorldWarhistory.com • All Rights Reserved • No Reproduction Permitted
Total Operation Blue Events: 28

1942
Sunday
March 1st - April 30th

Hitler and his commanders flesh out Operation Blue - in invasion of the oil-rich Russian-held Caucasus.

1942
Sunday
April 5th

Hitler issues the official Fuhrer Directive for Operation Blue.

1942
Friday
May 8th

Operation Blue begins.

1942
Friday
May 8th

German General Manstein leads his 11th Army onto the Kerch Peninsula towards the city of Sevastopol.

1942
Tuesday
May 12th

Soviet ground forces launch a pre-emptive offensive against German-held Kharkov.

1942
Tuesday
May 12th

German forces enact Operation Fridericus and attempt to take Izyum.

1942
Saturday
June 27th

The Soviet Army is encircled and defeated at Kharkov, netting the Germans some 250,000 Soviet prisoners.

1942
Saturday
June 27th

German forces complete their capture of Izyum.

1942
Sunday
June 28th

The German Army turns its attention towards the Volga.

1942
Sunday
June 28th

The German 2nd Army and 4th Panzer Army launch their attack towards Voronezh near Kursk.

1942
Tuesday
June 30th

German General Paulus attacks at Belgorod.

1942
Thursday
July 2nd

The Soviet city of Sevastopol officially falls to the Germans.

1942
Monday
July 6th

The Soviet city of Voronezh falls to the German Army.

1942
Monday
July 6th

The German 6th Army reaches the Don River.

1942
Monday
July 6th

The German 6th Army moves on Stalingrad.

1942
Tuesday
July 7th

German General Field Marshal List takes command of the new Army Goup A, made up of the 1st Panzer Army and the 17th Army.

1942
Thursday
July 9th

The German Army begins its move towards Rostov.

1942
Thursday
July 9th

German Army Group South is renamed Army Group B and placed under the control of Field Marshal von Bock.

1942
Monday
July 13th

General von Weichs takes control of Army Group B from Bock.

1942
Monday
July 13th

Adolph Hitler assigns General Paulus and his 6th Army to take Stalingrad.

1942
Friday
July 17th

Hitler diverts the 4th Panzer Army away from Stalingrad and sends them towards the Caucasus.

1942
Thursday
July 23rd

Rostov falls to the German Army Group A, netting some 83,000 Soviet prisoners as a result.

1942
Thursday
July 23rd

Hitler issues a supplemental directive to Operation Blue requiring his 6th Army to take Stalingrad.

1942
Sunday
August 9th

Army Group A captures the Maikop oil field on the Black Sea.

1942
Sunday
August 23rd

Army Group B reaches the Volga River.

1942
Tuesday
September 1st - September 30th

German progress throughout the Casucasus is slowed by Soviet resistance and fuel/supply shortages.

1942
Sunday
November 15th

Army Group A reaches as far as Ordzhonikidze and Mt. Elbus.

1942
Monday
November 30th

German General Paulus and his 6th Army is contained by the fierce resisting Soviets in Stalingrad, putting Hitler's plans on hold.
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